Castle shines after royal refurbishment

One of the country’s oldest continuously occupied castles has received a stunning interior restoration programme thanks to a detailed specification of finishes and subtle colours from leading paint manufacturer Johnstone’s.

Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, a Grade I Listed building, is steeped in history and has stood proudly since it was reconstructed in the 12th century. With such a rich history it was crucial that the specification of paints would remain faithful to the heritage of the Castle and give it a durable finish that would combat the high levels of traffic it experiences.

Areas such as the living quarters, service areas, tea rooms, Great Hall, Grand Staircase, drawing rooms and billiard room had not been painted for in excess of 40 years so decorating company Harris Decorators had to undertake significant preparation work in order to ensure the surfaces were in a fit state to be decorated.

In order to achieve this, they had to remove distemper from many areas which was flaking and causing a myriad of issues for easy paint application. Further to this, and because of the fragility of the building fabric, they were only allowed to dust off rather than clean down and prepare in the conventional way.

Decorators were on site from August 2010 until April 2011 and had to show all of their painting and decorating skills to overcome the numerous challenges they were faced with. For example, many of the pictures and tapestries couldn’t be removed from the walls because of their fragile nature so the decorators had to skilfully paint around them. They also experienced difficulty accessing the ceiling in the Great Hall, which is higher than 12 metres, and therefore had to use extensive scaffolding to undertake the intricate paintwork. 

Eight products from Johnstone’s extensive range were recently awarded the coveted EU Ecolabel accreditation and it was Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt from this range that ensured the walls and ceilings of the Castle could boast a finish that is resistant to fading and yellowing, as well as ensuring they have a wipeable surface, excellent opacity, and even better colour retention. The environmental criterion behind the EU Ecolabel accreditation is tough and only the products which are kindest to the environment are entitled to carry the EU Ecolabel. These stringent rules are agreed at European level and follow wide consultation with experts.

Gardinia, a form of yellow, County Cream and Whisper Grey were used to restore the Castle’s luxury interior and Jeff Harris from Harris Decorators believes that the products and colour options supplied by Johnstone’s were the perfect fit for the project. He said: “For such a massive job it was crucial for us to know that we were using products that we could trust. We have used Johnstone’s products for years and have experienced nothing but quality from them and this job was no different. The colours and products supplied by Johnstone’s perfectly captured the spirit of the Castle and will ensure it looks its best for years to come.”

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