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Project of the Month – August 2018

Oliver's Painting & Decorating renovation of a 1760’s working farmhouse.

Renovation of this beautiful Georgian house has been a 5-year labour of love for the owners. The farmhouse is a working farm that was built in the 1760’s and has been in the family for 60 years and passed down through the generations. 

When work began on the house, the owners moved in to a static home to add an extension to the rear of the house, creating a large open plan kitchen and living area and completed a full renovation of the property.

Olivers P&D were contracted to complete the redecoration. Oliver said “Taking on a project this size on your own can seem overwhelming but with the right access and products everything becomes a lot easier”

The ceiling on the first-floor landing opened to double height space, showing off the old beams. With the use of a tower scaffold on this floor, Oliver was able to reach the beams. 

The hall, stairs and landing were all completely re-plastered and new oak hand rails and newel posts were fitted to the staircase. All the interior doors were also replaced with oak doors and danish oil was used to enhance the look of the woodwork.

There was a huge amount of woodwork and Oliver found painting this and the new spindles was time consuming as they needed knotting, priming, undercoating using an Acrylic primer and undercoat and were then finished using Crown Heritage Eggshell which is water based, fast drying and low odour paint with a lovely smooth finish and look. This is a massive benefit in a busy house where people are in and out all day and night. 

It took 4-5 coats to achieve the finished look which was completed in Crown heritage colours to match the walls. Oliver used sanding pads between coats as he said, “they are great, they follow the shape of frames and skirting”.

Fortunately, not many problems were encountered during the project as Oliver was working with a new blank canvas. One issue he did encounter was the odd stains coming through the walls, which was easily remedied with Zinsser B.I.N to mask them.

The large extension to the rear of the property enabled the addition of a kitchen and orangery which created a new space. Prior to painting, the walls had to be based coated with white Matt with 10% of water added to completely soak in. The walls were sanded down between coats to get rid of any nips and bits to create a perfectly smooth finish. The final coat of paint was done one wall at a time to prevent any flashing in the paint from the cutting in and rolling.

In the extension three rooms flow in to one huge space which enables the colour to flow. This part of the house was quite awkward to decorate. The walls in the orangery were painted in old white in Johnstone’s Durable Matt, using the Farrow and Ball colour chart. Due to lighting in the dining and kitchen area, the walls were painted a shade darker to make the rooms flow. The vibrant feature wall in Brinjal contrasts the beautiful Neptune fitted kitchen making it a real focal point of the room, whilst the walls match the old white eggshell woodwork. 

Oliver said, “The Johnstone’s Durable Matt was chosen as it is great for rooms which encounter a lot of traffic and with 5 dogs, puppy’s and the fact that this is a working farm, it was an obvious choice. It offers great coverage as it has a good depth to the paint and gives a solid look. It has a slight sheen but not very noticeable for the people that want a Matt finish. The walls can be scrubbed and it leaves a great finish and look, which ideal for high maintenance house”.

Apart from general filling with Gyproc Easi-fill the redecoration was straight forward.

Oliver said “The hardest part of the job was just the size of it doing it on my own but slowly chipping away to get it completed” and he had to contend with the owner’s puppy who kept stealing his things.

Oliver’s brushes and rollers of choice are the Purdy brushes, Fat Hog roller sleeves and ProDec microfibre sleeves. He said, “These together seem to work for me and leave a quality finish and look”.

The Clients were very pleased with the transformation and colour advice Oliver gave them on the project and they obviously loved the look. More importantly they got their kitchen back!

A bonus for Oliver is that he has already gained re-peat work from this project. 

Oliver Cropper is a professional Painter & Decorator who trained at York College and served his apprenticeship at Bagnalls Painting and Decorating Company.

Following this in 2014 he started his own company; Olivers P&D carrying out work all around North Yorkshire. Working on projects of all sizes has given Oliver experience of working on listed buildings, modern houses and both domestic and commercial projects.

He has previously worked Bergerac, in France decorating a cottage which dated back to the 1800’s and has travelled to London to decorate a Victorian house.

Oliver prides himself on the fact that his work mainly comes from word of mouth and he showcases his work on Instagram to demonstrate his work and colour ideas to new prospective clients and to find inspiration from other decorators.


* Images supplied by Olivers P&D

See more of Oliver's work on Instagram


If you would like to submit a project to be considered for September’s Project of the Month submit your project using the button below by the 18th September, when we will make our selection.

If you have any problems submitting your project please email your project details to us including your name and company name to: [email protected]


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