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Magic in the kitchen: MF Turnbull

While there are cracks appearing in our celebrated kiwi lifestyle of late, there needn’t be in your kitchen joinery. Local heroes MF Turnbull are again working their magic to return your surfaces to a brand-new finish, bringing you a great deal of pleasure and saving waste to landfill.



Co-owner Monique Turnbull explains, “For around the last 15 years, some kitchen joinery has been created using a plastic wrap finish, which owners sometimes assumed was a paint finish.

“People are finding that the plastic wrap is cracking – lifting from the base and breaking away. The great news is that we have a technique to remove the plastic and put a completely new surface on the base which is generally still in perfect condition.”

Monique says they are resurfacing a kitchen a week at the moment.

If this is happening in your kitchen and you’d like to put it right, the process is simple. A quick call to MF Turnbull will see Steve come out and have a look and provide you with a quote.

If you prefer, you can simply email in some photos and receive an estimate before you consider a quote.

“We are seeing this effect at all kitchen joinery price points, and you’ll usually see it go at the edges first or inside the panel on panelled doors,” says Monique.

“You might see it in just two or three areas to start with. Some people choose to get a colour match in just those areas, but as the rest of it eventually goes most opt to get all of the joinery resurfaced with a two-pack urethane paint finish.”

Refreshing and renewing your home doesn’t end at the kitchen. Rejuvenate bedroom and dining furniture, doors, wardrobe doors and more by spray painting.

MF Turnbull can also do French polishing of antiques, and the modern equivalent – staining and clears in polyurethane.

“I really like the idea that it’s an environmentally friendly way to refresh your house, our approach means reuse of the kitchen or piece of furniture, rather than throwing it out and buying new,” says Monique.

“A client will bring in an unusual piece, it might have lovely proportions and be beautifully made but the appearance no longer suits.

“Refinished in a bright colour it can be a real showstopper, or it could go out the door and start a whole new life with a shabby chic-style distressed finish.”

Working with interior designers on a special or much-loved piece that needs to fit a new scheme is a speciality. Upholstered items with timber parts can be resurfaced before being taken to the client’s upholsterer for recovering.

Unusual items which pose a challenge are especially welcome – as the team at MF Turnbull thrive on turning visions into reality.

Such visions are achieved through consultation with clients, and showcasing samples and all the options available.


MF Turnbull

Restored, renewed, revitalised: MF Turnbull

Celebrating 30 years in business, MF Turnbull has earned its place as an iconic Christchurch business. Experts in paint, stain, polyurethane and polished finishes on furniture and joinery, there is very little in the home that Monique and Murray Turnbull and their team cannot regenerate.


MF Turnbull


While finishing new items is a large part of the business, Monique says that word of their success in revitalising kitchen cabinetry has spread. While so many Christchurch homes are looking gorgeous after their earthquake repairs and redecorations are complete, existing kitchens can look a little drab in comparison, and that’s where ‘Turnbulls’ comes in. Kitchen cabinets in melamine, paint, lacquer and timber can be refinished to create a new and modern look. “We have a great product to go over melamine which is so hardwearing. And a bonus is that it contains Teflon – it makes the surface really easy to clean,” Monique says.


MF Turnbull


The process is simple; Manager Steve Baker goes out to clients’ homes to discuss what they would like to achieve and provides a free quote. Turnbulls then arranges for the removal and reinstallation of all the parts that will be resurfaced in the workshop. “Clients find it’s an ideal time to turn out their kitchen cupboards because they can see everything once the doors are off. It’s a real refreshment of the kitchen inside and out!”

Monique says. The team of 22, which now operates across three Christchurch sites, also rejuvenates bedroom and dining furniture, doors, wardrobe doors, anything in your house that might be spray painted. They can also do French polishing of antiques and the modern equivalent – staining and clear polyurethane. “I really like the idea that it’s an environmentally friendly way to refresh your house. Our approach means reuse of the kitchen or piece of furniture, rather than throwing it out and buying new,” Monique says.


MF Turnbull


“The challenge can be getting out of people’s heads the vision that they have. Not everyone wants plain finishes; French provincial or distressed is often called for, but everyone’s idea of that is different. By talking through the end goal using samples and options to clarify, the team is very good at turning visions into reality,” Murray says. The team takes pleasure in clients’ joy when they have had something old and it has received its reincarnation at Turnbulls. “I’ve seen some amazing things happen to furniture over the years,” Monique says.

“We removed camouflage paint from a tallboy, to discover the timber was beautiful underneath. The owner arranged for her father, who had originally made the piece, to collect it. He didn’t realise what it was until he saw his name and the date he made it on the back. His face was a picture!”


Turnbulls is open 7:30am to 4pm weekdays with easy parking at the front door.

For more information, visit, or phone
03 365 2519.