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Does Your Kitchen Need New Paint? Here's How to Tell

Your kitchen is arguably the most used room in your home. From cooking meals to entertaining guests, your kitchen sees a lot of wear and tear. Over time, all that activity can take its toll on your kitchen's paint job. If you start noticing chips, cracks, or just an overall dullness to the walls, it's likely time for a fresh coat of paint thanks to assistance from residential painters. Most homes need to be painted every 7 to 10 years, according to Nationwide. Read on for our top signs that indicate your kitchen is due for a paint makeover.

The Paint is Chipped or Peeling

Chipped or peeling paint is one of the clearest signs your kitchen is begging for a fresh coat. Paint chips when the existing layer has deteriorated from constant activity and moisture. Grease splatter, steam from cooking, and cleaning with harsh products wears down the paint over time. Old latex paints also get brittle and less flexible. When the paint film can't expand and contract with temperature changes, it cracks and peels away. This exposes the bare drywall or plaster underneath, leading to more damage as moisture seeps in. Any small chips or cracks quickly expand into bigger damaged areas once the protective paint is compromised. Tackling chipped paint right away with proper scraping, priming, and repairs prevents further peeling.

There Are Cracks In the Wall

Cracks in your kitchen walls often accompany chipping or peeling paint. Both issues point to paint that has aged and lost elasticity. When paint can no longer flex as your home's foundation naturally settles, the paint film cracks. Temperature fluctuations that make materials expand and contract also take a toll over the years. As paint ages, its binding ingredients break down, making it more brittle and inflexible. Moisture from cooking or leaks can worsen cracking as it seeps into the compromised paint film. Any cracks provide an entry point for more water damage to the walls. Repainting alone won't fix cracks; the underlying cause needs to be addressed first. Cracks wider than a hairline also need filling with spackle or sealant.

The Walls Have Yellowed

Kitchens tend to be painted in warm, soft whites or off-whites like cream, eggshell, ivory, or linen. While beautiful when fresh, these softer paint colors will slowly turn yellowish over the years as the binding resins in the paint decay. Exposure to cooking grease and oil splatters can also contribute to yellowing walls. Smoking in the home accelerates the yellowing process even in previously white paint. Yellowed walls give the kitchen a dingy, dated look instead of a bright and clean appearance. The yellow cast makes the space seem darker and smaller too. Walls can be thoroughly cleaned before painting, but often the paint itself has changed color with age. Only a fresh coat of bright white paint will truly refresh the look.

There Are Grease Stains

With all the cooking and food prep that happens in the kitchen, grease accumulation is inevitable. Frying foods and broiling meats allow greasy residue to splatter on nearby walls. Over time, the splatter creates yellowish stains as the grease oxidizes. Grease stains are especially noticeable on light-colored paints. Attempting to remove them with DIY cleaners usually only masks the stain temporarily. The grease has often penetrated into the porous paint. Professional painters have access to industrial cleaners and degreasers that can thoroughly remove grease prior to repainting. TSP substitute is an excellent cleaner when combined with pressure washing, scraping, and sanding.

It Feels Dated

Has your kitchen decor seemed unchanged since you first moved in years or even decades ago? If so, the wall color is likely feeling as dated and stale as any 60s avocado appliances. Paint colors come in and out of trend, just like any design element. What was popular in the 90s and early 2000s may appear downright drab and dull by today's standards. Tastes evolve over time, so it's not unusual to feel you've outgrown your kitchen's decade-old or out-of-fashion color scheme. Updating the wall color is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to make the space feel current again.

The Cabinets Have Been Updated

Has your kitchen undergone a recent cabinet makeover? If so, but the walls are still their original color, the fresh cabinets likely stand out against the dated, grimy walls. Brand-new cabinets can make the existing paint job look even more obviously deteriorated. The new cabinetry deserves a fresh, clean backdrop. Painting the walls to coordinate with your updated cabinets helps unify and update the whole kitchen's look. Whether you've refinished, recolored, or replaced the cabinetry, take the opportunity to give surrounding walls a matching makeover. The seamless look pulls the style together and prevents the cabinets from appearing like an awkward add-on against dingy walls.

There Are Visible Nail Pops

Wood-framed walls can develop small cracks and raised sections over time called nail pops or protruding nail heads. This occurs when movement in the wall causes the nail to slightly dislodge and push up on the drywall and paint. The issue is more noticeable on walls painted lighter colors where the raised nubs cast small shadows. Any imperfections like nail pops are emphasized when the paint is lighter. Residential painting contractors are experienced with properly re-hammering any popped nails back into place. They'll cover them with joint compound for a seamless look before priming and painting over the repairs.

The Color Doesn't Match Your Style

Just like clothing styles change over the years, your color preferences evolve too. It's not unusual to feel your kitchen's decade-old paint colors no longer fit your lifestyle or taste. You may have painted it during a country cottage phase, but now lean toward modern colors and materials. Or vice versa - the bold red accent wall that felt fun ten years ago now seems unsophisticated. Tastes mature and change along with life stages. Take some time to consider what tones and styles best reflect your current life and personality. Updating the wall color is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to match your evolved style.

The Sheen Is Off

Paint comes in a variety of sheens ranging from flat to high-gloss. Kitchens often benefit from soft sheens like eggshell or satin that offer subtle shine and are easier to clean. Flat paint is too delicate for kitchen walls and shows every smudge. Over years of cooking splatters and cleaning, even sturdier satin or eggshell paints lose their luster. The walls simply look dirty and dull. Washing alone won't restore a uniform sheen once it has faded irregularly. A new paint application provides an even finish and sheen across all walls. For added durability, consider a pearl or semi-gloss finish.

If you've noticed any of these warning signs, your kitchen is likely overdue for some paint TLC. New paint transforms the space, making it look clean, updated, and more stylish. For the best results, consider hiring residential painters. They have the skills to properly prep, prime, paint, and clean up, saving you time and hassle. With the right prep and products, your new paint job will stand the test of time and activity. If you're looking to spruce up your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint, call our residential painters at Arclight Painting for an estimate today.


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