I Was Furious at the Mess Left by the Person Who Sanded this Kitchen

I couldn’t believe it. There was dust everywhere—spewed about the place by the heavy-duty sander that was being used to prep the kitchen.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I have two sworn enemies:

1. Whoever happens to be facing Wales on a rugby pitch.

2. Dust.

In that order.

Dust is a disaster for a kitchen painter. It will ruin a paint finish in the blink of an eye and absolutely has to be dealt with before the top comes off the paint tin.

People often comment on how clean I keep the kitchens I paint. It’s like an operating theatre in a hospital, they say. I tell them how silly that comparison is. My kitchens are much cleaner. It’s hard work, but vital if I’m to deliver the finish I’m known for. I swear, you could do open-heart surgery on the counter tops in one of my kitchens. Not sure the client would be too pleased, mind. Or the patient. But you get the point.

Anyway, you can imagine that when I saw all the dust created by the sander, I was absolutely ready to…  Let’s just say I was ever so slightly put out, and leave it at that. This is a family blog, after all.

And you want to know the worst of it? The person doing the sanding was me.

Here’s what happened.

The kitchen was magnificent, but the paint needed a refresh. The challenge was that the existing paint was oil-based. I work with a water-based paint. You can’t just put a water-based paint on to an oil-based finish, it won’t adhere properly, and the finish will be so delicate it would chip if you gave it a stern stare.

In order to get the water-based paint I know and trust to adhere properly, I had to apply a special high-adhesion primer. Before doing that, I had to sand the kitchen. The kitchen was so big, though, I was making slow progress. I needed a bigger sander. My client hired one in a flash. They were great.

Unfortunately, the bag on it wasn’t the best. It was a little porous. When I say ‘a little porous’, what I mean is it may as well not have been on there at all. Dust everywhere. But it did the job quickly, and even with the clean-up time afterwards, it helped the job along.

It was all worth it in the end, though. The client was over the moon with the result:


If you’re curious about the paint colours, the island is painted in Genesis. The main colour of the kitchen is Shell Cove. I know—you have to marvel at the fact somebody gets paid to think of these names. For fun, I’m thinking of going into a clothes shop and asking for a summer suit in Shell Cove. See what happens.