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Project of the Month November 2020

Grade II 1904 Victorian Tramshed regenerated in to a showstopping beer factory

SALT beer factory is based in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Saltaire. The village is named after Sir Titus Salt who built a textile mill, known as Salts Mill and this village on the River Aire. This Grade II listed Victorian Tramshed built in 1904 now houses the brewery, taproom and live events space and was brought to life by a £1.7m investment by Ossett Brewery.


Salt Beer Factory is a microbrewery with a difference, unifying heritage and modern brewing. The mission is to produce showstopping, hop-forward beers, and couple them with an interactive brewery experience.

We’ve been speaking with Andy Bugg and Lee and Luke Howarth of HBH Décor, the team behind the decorating of this stunning venue.

Andy said, “Before the project started the three of us knew we were in for plenty long hard days and that weeks of hard graft awaited us to get the project finished on time. We find these types of projects can always pose a few challenges, even more so with the current times we’re all living in and sometimes wishful thinking hoping everything is plain sailing”.

The first challenge encountered was the layout, as the floor is set to different heights all around the building. It wasn’t as easy as just driving in a cherry picker or even just erecting a tower scaffold and moving it in to place. Ladders and mobile tower scaffolding had to be used and plenty polythene and dust sheets. The differing levels of flooring and placements of the roof and ceiling support beams and struts, bar areas and restaurant, meant only small sections could be painted. The scaffolding was built up to spray part of the ceiling, then had to be taken down and re-built a few feet away. This was the most time-consuming part of the job. Dulux lead white acrylic eggshell was used on the ceiling and Dulux anthracite 7016 solvent based paint was used on all metal rafters.

Festool dustless sanding systems were used to prepare most of the areas and bring them up to a good finish, but Andy had to rely on the trusty pole sander for those hard to reach areas at height. The project was decorated in Dulux heritage colours and the finishes range from diamond Matt to diamond eggshell for the high traffic areas. 

The main colour scheme for the project was anthracite grey for steels, painted in an oil-based Dulux eggshell, with contrasting colours to go with it. The lead grey to ceiling boards created a good contrast and the painted hexagons are a great feature on the anthracite grey background. Deadlines were very tight, so Andy and his team took the small hexagon tiles for this wall home and spent an evening painting them one by one, as they were needed for the next day. 

Modestly, Luke Howarth said, “We can’t take credit for the design and placement of the large painted hexagons, this design was created by the owner and another firm”

The wall areas were painted with Dulux anthracite durable matt, the hexagons were then created using yellow frog tape to create nice sharp lines around the shapes. Once finished, coats of clear matt varnish were applied to protect the lower parts so it can be cleaned.

The tongue and groove ceiling boards were sprayed with a Wagner airless sprayer enabling a quicker, more efficient and a better finish.

Another challenging part of the of job, was the quantity of spindle balustrades that were originally dark wood. The spindles had to be well sanded by hand and degreased ready for paint. One coat of Zinsser BIN was then applied to achieve a good key and give some durability, followed by two coats of Dulux anthracite solvent-based eggshell. The majority of this was completed over a long weekend.

Lee Howarth said, “I think it’s fair to say none of us wanted to see another spindle for a while.”

The team have their favourite products they rely on to achieve a good finish, Frog Tape and tesa tape to achieve razor sharp lines, ArroWorthy brushes and tubs of Polycell One fill and Toupret fillers to help with the preparation element of the job.

A mention goes to the other trades who were working on the site. Andy said, “We can’t take all of the credit. They were a good bunch who worked well together in difficult circumstances, to turn the project around. It’s been enjoyable to see the journey and transformation of the SALT beer factory, through the different stages of the project”.HBH Decor is situated in the historic market town Pontefract, in the Wakefield district of West Yorkshire. It’s a Partnership business made up of Andy Bugg and two brothers Lee and Luke Howarth. They are all former work colleagues at a decorating company and were made redundant late in 2008. They decided to go it alone in the spring of 2009 and never looked back since. HBH Decor take on all aspects of decorating from small domestic jobs to big commercial projects.

You won’t see any sign written vans for HBH Decor, they’re all plain. They don’t really advertise as most of their work is word of mouth. There’s no better advertisement than your last job and this is a real showstopper!



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

* By entering this competition you irrevocably agree that you have obtained the homeowner/ developers permission and furthermore undertake that you indemnify Trade Decorator should this not be true. *

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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