Expert advice on restoration for The Manchester Grammar School

Crown Paints’ renowned specification services combined their expertise to support the restoration of an historic hall at a prestigious school.

A team of technical, colour and product experts collaborated on the project at The Manchester Grammar School - an independent school for boys founded in 1515.

The process enabled the school to see exactly how the restoration would take shape, giving them the reassurance the project was in capable hands.

Completed in 1931, the school’s imposing Memorial Hall was built to honour former pupils at the school who were killed during the Great War and needed some restoration ahead of the school’s 500th anniversary this year.

The hall includes a stained glass window dedicated to the fallen of the First World War, while lower sections of the walls are covered in oak panelling.

Commemorative boards record those killed in battle and later boards were added to remember those lost in the Second World War.

Paul Cottriall, Specification Sales Manager at Crown Paints, said: “The most important aspect of this project was giving the school the confidence to go ahead with the restoration.

“The school wanted to retain the historic feel of the hall, which is at the heart of the school and ensure it was preserved and protected accordingly.

“The oak panelling needed attention and the walls and ceiling were all in need of a complete overhaul.

“It was a complex project which presented concerns about the best ways to treat the substrates – in particular the oak panelling.”

Paul asked Jemma Saunders, from the Crown Paints colour services team, and Sadolin woodcare expert Sean Thompson to liaise with contractor Novus Property Solutions and help create the perfect bespoke scheme for the hall.

Jemma set to work on a series of options for the school to choose for the upper walls and ornate ceiling of the hall – focusing on retaining an historic feel, but creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere.

Sean examined the oak panelling and recommended a series of measures to start bringing the wood back to life before coating with a specialist product.

Paul added: “It is unusual for all three of our main support services to be called in to a project.

“By utilising all the expert knowledge we have in the specification, colour and technical teams, we were able to provide The Manchester Grammar School with a clear pathway to the bright and welcoming space they required.

“The combination of detailed specification and the skills of contractor Novus Property Solutions gave the school the confidence to go ahead with the project and achieve a fantastic outcome.”

Find out more about Crown Paints Specification services at The Manchester Grammar School by watching the video above..