repaint your kitchen cupboards

How to repaint your kitchen cupboards

Fancy a new look in your kitchen but your budget just won’t stretch to new units? Don’t panic, you can quickly and easily repaint your existing cupboard doors for a strikingly different look without breaking the bank using Easy Surface Prep (ESP).

How does it work?

ESP is a wipe-on/wipe-off product which leaves a shiny or non-porous surface ready for painting with no time-consuming sanding. It leaves a surface for paint to bond to – it is odourless and can be coated with any paint.

It is perfect for revamping melamine furniture, ceramic tiles and it’s great even for use on glass as it dries completely clear.

ESP_lampe2_vernis Preparing your surfaces

Before using ESP on your surface it needs to be clean and grease-free. For standard surfaces simply use a mild detergent, but for surfaces which may be greasy or oily (such as kitchen cupboards) we would recommend scrubbing the surface with a green scourer or 00 steel wool soaked with ESP (wipe it off after 5-10 minutes).

Applying the ESP

To apply ESP to your surfaces, simply wipe it on with a brush or cloth and leave it for 5 minutes. Then wipe off any excess with a clean, dry cloth (best to use a brand new one if you can) and leave it to dry for 2 hours. Done!

esp-application Repainting your kitchen cupboards

You can now simply paint over your surfaces in your paint of choice according to the manufacturers instructions. This doesn’t need to be done immediately but needs to be done within 7 days of applying the ESP.

If not, don’t panic, just reapply the ESP as before and give it another 2 hours to dry.

painting-kitchen-cupboards What else can I use ESP for?

The uses for ESP are extensive but here are a few examples:

  • Those “delightful” yellow tiles with the little boats on in the bathroom of your new house?
  • Those orange-brown kitchen units from the 1980’s? How about a nice matt cream or grey instead?
  • That baby pink wardrobe you bought for your 5 year old daughter which doesn’t quite sit right in your now 15 year old’s bedroom?
  • Those melamine units in your utility room that you’ve been pretending aren’t there because you can’t justify the cost of new units in a room only you go in?
  • That lime green table lamp that fitted perfectly in your lounge 5 years ago but is a little jarring with your pale blue decor now?

If you’ve used ESP to repaint your kitchen cupboards or for any other projects we’d love to feature you on our website. Please do get in touch!

Owatrol Team
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24 thoughts on “How to repaint your kitchen cupboards

  1. I am looking to paint an expensive designer solid wood kitchen in my new house as I really hate the existing colour but love the units. Will ESP leave me with a new look kitchen finish that will do the kitchen justice, assuming that I do the preparation as suggested. I am worried about the new finish chipping or flaking.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Tony,

      Firstly apologies for the delay in response, your message was for some reason caught in our spam filter. If you follow the instructions carefully then ESP will give you a great finish for your kitchen which won’t chip or flake. It provides a surface for the new paint to bond to. Do make sure that the cupboards are thoroughly cleaned and dry before applying, especially in a kitchen where surfaces can become greasy.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  2. For melamine kitchen cupboard doors, after I have used ESP, do I need to prime or undercoat before the main coat goes on? Or can the main paint go on straightaway. Thanks.

    1. Hi Tim,

      There is no specific need to prime or undercoat before applying your chosen finish, it is very much a matter of preference. If you need any further assistance then don’t hesitate to ask.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  3. Can you help
    When using ESP on kitchen cupboard doors to allow for painting can I use any type of paint finish or do I still have to use the special kitchen cupboard paint for melamine covered doors
    Best regards

    1. Hi Tony,

      If using ESP you can use the paint of your choice, you’re not restricted to melamine cupboard paints. This is because the ESP provides a bonding layer for standard paints to adhere to.

      Please ask if you have any further questions,
      The Owatrol Team

  4. It is more difficult these days to get a coloured oil based paint for internal wood items most seem to be water based, Dulux-Crown etc.
    Why is it that water based paints stay soft when using ESP but oil based paints do not?
    Best regards

    1. Hi Tony,

      I have sent your question to our technical team and will have a response for you as soon as possible.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

    2. Hi Tony,

      ESP does not affect how long a paint stays soft. Both Oil and waterbased paints will fully harden even with use of ESP. Water based paints by their very nature taken longer to reach full hardness than oil-based paints irrespective of the whether that surface has been treated with ESP or not. The fact that water-based coatings take longer to reach full hardness is primarily due to the manufacturing process and the way they dry, however thickness and number of coatings applied along with humidity levels can also affect how long a water-based paint takes to dry and reach full hardness. In many cases once dry a water based paint can have a more hardwearing surface than oil-based paints.

      If you have any further questions then please let us know.
      The Owatrol Team

  5. i note from the product description that ESP can be used on any shiny surface. I am wanting to use it on old varnished kitchen cupboards which in some places have lost their varnish leaving areas of bare wood. Will ESP be ok on these bare wood areas as well as over the areas which retain their varnish?

    1. Hi Trevor,

      I have passed your enquiry onto our technical team and will get back to you as soon as possible.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

    2. Hi Trevor,

      I’ve spoken to the technical team and they have said that there is no problem if the ESP gets on the bare wood. Will neither aid or prevent the new finish from adhering.

      Hope this helps, please get in touch if you need more guidance.
      The Owatrol Team

    1. Hi there,

      Yes we do now, please see our response to his comment above. The ESP will neither aid or prevent the new finish from adhering to the bare wood.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  6. Hi, can esp be used on metal? I hope to paint a filing cabinet, it is not bare metal, it seems to be factory painted with something, not sure what?

    1. Hi there,

      ESP can be used on any non-porous surface so there should be no problem with your painted filing cabinet. We’d always recommend carrying out a test first but ESP should eb suitable for this use.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  7. Can I used ESP on an old hand made wooden kitchen cupboards that have been pained several times with oil based satinwood over the past 30 years ?
    Early reply appreciated.

    1. Hi Anny,

      Yes ESP would be perfect for this. Be sure to clean the cupboards thoroughly first so there is not grease build up.

      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

  8. Hi there,

    Can I use ESP on my laminated kitchen cabinets? Also can I can find a sample ESP pack for trial before buying the big one.


    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your query regarding ESP.
      ESP can be used on Laminated Kitchen Cabinets when the surface is prepared correctly. Please refer to the product page for more information on how to do this:
      Sadly, samples are not available for this product.

      I hope this answers your query. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us further.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

  9. Hi, I want to paint over previously waxed skirting boards. Would this product be suitable as a primer/undercoat?
    Early reply appreciated as I have already emailed and not had a response.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Jo,

      Thank you for your query.
      Sadly ESP can not be applied directly onto waxed surfaces, however, if you scrub surface with a green scourer or 00 steel wool soaked with ESP, leave it to work, then wipe off all ESP after 5-10 minutes, you can then follow the standard application instructions.

      I have linked the technical information sheet for you below:

      I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to contact us again should you require further assistance.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

  10. Does ESP have a shelf life? Does it go off? I have some which I used several years ago very successfully and need to use again.

    1. Hi Mand,

      All Owatrol products have a shelf life of a minimum of 1 year when in original unopened packaging. If it has been opened and used, especially several years ago, the composition or consistency may have changed especially if it has been subjected to temperature fluctuations.

      You could perhaps try it out in a small area first to test it?

      Sorry we couldn’t be of more help.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

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