The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers is one of the oldest livery companies in the City of London and has occupied a number of buildings named Painters’ Hall, on Little Trinity Lane, for almost 500 years. Their current hall is a stunning Grade II listed building opened in 1961.
The rooms are historically and culturally significant and as you’d expect for a company of painters, the people who occupy the building are very knowledgeable about what goes on their walls. Therefore, any maintenance, decoration and improvements must be very carefully considered indeed.
So, in the summer of 2018, when The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers contracted Axis Europe to conduct internal decorations - specifically to the Banqueting Hall that had last been decorated 15 years ago - it was no ordinary job.
The works specified full redecoration of the walls and ceiling, windows and dados; repair and replacement of damaged timber floor planks and the sanding, lacquering and French polishing of the repaired flooring, restoration of the timber panels that surround the Banqueting Hall and the timber doors; refurbishment of the silver display cabinet and redecoration of the dome lighting.
For the decoration elements of the 2018 project, Axis Europe - a member of the Dulux Trade Contract Partnership scheme - called on the expertise of Dulux Trade to ensure that the history and high expectations of the Company of Painter-Stainers were carefully considered when it came to giving the Hall the beautiful, sympathetic and period-appropriate re-decoration that it needed. In planning, colour matching, producing samples and finally carrying out the application, specialists from Dulux Trade provided reassurance every step of the way.
Trevor Steele, Dulux Trade Senior Technical Support Manager, says: “A room with this much history and significance demands proper care and period appropriate materials and techniques. Axis Europe has already carried out external repairs to the building, allowing us to join forces when it came to the interior and produce a brilliant finish.”
The process began with a site visit from Commercial Colour Consultant at Dulux Trade, Nicola Holmes. Using colour instruments and her own expertise, she carefully matched the colours already on the walls, then created a scheme complementary to the building. From there, the first paint samples could be made.
These were a mix of Sky Blue for the wall panels, Florentine for ceiling detail, Wiltshire White for pillars and inserts and other carefully selected Colour Palette colours throughout the hall.
A test area ensured that the completed end result would match the Company of Painter-Stainers’ required finish. Once this was approved, Dulux Trade matched colours to the existing design.
A total of 1,000 litres of Dulux Trade Durable Flat Matt was required for the walls of the Hall, with a further 400 litres for the ceiling. A team of 16 appliers worked for a period of six weeks to complete the work.
Trevor Steele continues: “Our colour detection and matching expertise meant we were able to lift all the beautiful features in the room and bring the decoration back to life. The decoration was also further enhanced by the lighting being renewed, which better showcased the paint and effects.
“Dulux Trade is proud to have exceeded expectations in such a prestigious project where those expectations were already very high.”
Joe Ibrahim, Managing Director of Projects at Axis Europe, says: “There is a substantial amount of gold leaf throughout the Banqueting Hall and this was re-gilded by our specialist heritage team, who worked with a member of the Company, a Master Gilder, to achieve a period-accurate finish. The Company’s restored coat of arms was also put back in its rightful place in the Hall.
“Our decorators were more than aware of the need to use top quality products and provide a complimentary finish, which is why we opted for Dulux Trade. Having worked with them previously, we knew they would go above and beyond to make sure that the colours and finishes were exactly as required."
The Master of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, commended those involved with the project: “You have converted our dreams into reality. The result is transformational. Each of you has contributed in many ways and gone the extra mile. This is a Hall we are proud of. A Hall that is beautiful and unique among livery companies.”