The colours of paint used in our kitchen over the years

Published on 3 December 2023 in ,

A photograph of our old kitchen
Our old kitchen, just before it was ripped out.

We’re currently having our kitchen redone. Originally planned for 2020, it’s quite major work. An unused chimney breast has been removed to make more space, and simplify the layout.

Along the way, we’ve discovered lots of interesting things. Not least that the previous kitchen was installed about 22 years ago. That the wiring of the kitchen lights was a complete mess. That at some point the ceiling had some dreadful polystyrene tiles on it (some of them are still there, although now boxed in and well hidden away.) That half the ‘insulated’ roof to the single story kitchen extension was in fact insulated with 3cm deep polystyrene, and the other half not insulated at all (it’s now VERY insulated.) And that a built in cupboard that was next to the chimney breast and that had been boarded over, held a French glass chicken shaped egg cup.

What’s fascinated me most has been the paint that’s been uncovered. As the house was built in 1884 it must have had many layers of paint applied in the kitchen over the years.

The medium blue paint of the most recent kitchen.
The medium blue paint of the most recent kitchen.

At some point the wall was skimmed with new plaster, then papered over, with the paper painted. the kitchen was painted a the medium, slightly dull blue here. But we’ve found four other different paint colours, hidden underneath.

A terra cotta-orange paint.
A terra cotta-orange paint.

This terra cotta colour paint must have been pretty old because it was found above the line of the old suspended ceiling. Our house is Victorian with high ceilings, but at some point the ceiling was lowered probably because the roof of the extension slopes down. By lowering the ceiling, it would run mostly flat all the way across the length of the room, and hide the girder that would have been put in when the extension was done. We don’t know when the extension was done, but best guess is 70s or 80s. This shade will remain hidden away for some future owners to admire as it’s still there under the new suspended ceiling.

Lilac paint
Lilac?

With so many modern houses being beige and cream, it’s easy to forget that bold colours once reigned supreme. Although I’m less than convinced that lilac was a good colour for a kitchen. Some of this will also survive as it’s going to be hidden behind new wall cabinets.

A brighter blue paint colour.
A brighter blue paint colour.

Is this bright blue any better? Alas future generations may not get to puzzle over this one as it’s due to be re-skimmed and then painted.

Blood red paint in the old kitchen
Blood red paint? Well.

There’s been traces of this one visible for a while, revealed by chips in the blue. It must have been the colour of the kitchen before the dull blue. But blimey, this is a bold colour for a kitchen. I can’t say I’m convinced at all.

What will future generations think of our choice I wonder? Well the ceiling’s going to be an off-white, and the walls ‘Jasmin White’. Dull, staid and boring? Don’t worry, there will be colour. The new kitchen cabinets are going to be green.