Wallpaper news from Little Greene

News From Little Greene


New Wallpaper Collection – ‘Painted Papers’


On 23rd January we will be launching our new wallpaper collection ‘Painted Papers’, a definitive compendium of striped wallpapers produced using traditional printing methods.
More than ‘just plain stripes’, all eleven designs in ‘Painted Papers’ have been reworked from historic patterns sourced from several archives, including those at English Heritage and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Faithful to the period in which they were designed, and with many of the colourways also boasting an authentic historic provenance, the wallpapers are nonetheless highly relevant for the 21st Century interior.

Each wallpaper has been produced using traditional surface-printing methods, which originally would have applied paint rather than ink, the production of these papers reflects very closely that used in previous centuries: it also gives them their delightfully tactile feel and slightly textured appearance.

Managing Director, David Mottershead expands on the collection: “In reviving these historic designs we have tried to create a collection to serve homes of all ages and decorative styles. There are also offerings from the early and mid-twentieth centuries, in colourways to suit both the timeless and the cutting-edge interior. As with our previous wallpaper collections, we have judiciously selected paint colours to coordinate or complement each design and tone, to aid selection and encourage the end user to be adventurous.”

‘Painted Papers’ will be launched at Maison et Object on 23 January 2015. The collection will be available nationally and internationally through our network of distributors, via telephone (0845 880 5855) and online (www.littlegreene.com).

Read more about each wallpaper design below:

A classic ‘Roman’ or Regency proportioned stripe, originally produced in the early 19th Century using the ‘open trough’ method. Using this technique, stripes were created by bands of paint seeping through holes or slots in the bottom of a wooden trough onto the surface of the paper as it was pulled beneath. Striped wallpapers manufactured in this way are characterised by a brushed finish which was later superseded by a flatter print achieved with 19th Century rollers, as can be seen in these papers. The grand scale of this par-ticular stripe is tempered by the restricted use of colour – in each case the stripe sits on a softer ground of the same hue, creating a wallpaper that brings a relaxed structure to a room, without being too formal.

The original wallpaper that inspired this design, found at a property in Carlisle Street in Soho, London, is actually a much more complex pattern than the ‘Painted Papers’ design that has been extracted from it. By removing the solid stripes and extraneous leaf trail, what remains is a wallpaper that achieves all-over pattern but, at the same time, highlights an elegant stripe.

In keeping with its sister wallpaper ‘Marlborough’ from Little Greene’s London Wallpapers II collection, the age of the paper on which this design is based is perhaps misleading in terms of its provenance. Dated at 1965, this particular fragment emerged during English Heritage’s restoration work at Marlborough House on Pall Mall, London, though this paper itself was undoubtedly based on a much earlier original. In Little Greene’s in-terpretation, the motif – which was in fact a flock – has been completely removed to leave a cleaner, more versatile stripe. In keeping with authentic methods of production, the background strié effect is achieved using a horsehair brush, with the stripe and gilded edges printed on top.

This design is an accurate reproduction of one of several wallpapers found in a private residence in St James Place, London, dating from around 1840. Its ornate, decorative detail gives it a subtle artisan quality, and the original, richly-coloured blue and red colourway, faithfully reproduced for this collection, is very typical of the Regency era.

Taking the exact proportion and structural quality of Broad Stripe, each band in this more complex version comprises 42 ‘pin stripes’, creating a sharper, more contemporary look that appeals at first glance and offers even more on closer inspection. Given its finer proportions, this design would have been virtually impossible to print before the arrival of the surface print roller in around 1840.

Very much a 20th century design, this is a 1950’s English pattern found at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. A band of fine, white stripes over flat grounds, it is actually the space between stripes that creates the subtle optical movement. The more complex striped versions contain an additional three ground colours each, and the ‘plain’ versions are produced in matching colourways to coordinate specifically with the different elements of the stripe, offering a highly flexible range of papers to be used in combination in traditional and contemporary homes alike.

PAINT SPOT (c.1830)
This design is a faithful reproduction of an historic French wallpaper. Perhaps surprisingly, the original hails from 1830 and was printed in a bold combination of yellow and pink. Particular attention is paid to the paint reticulation (also known as the seaweed effect) evident within the printed spot element, in giving orientation – there is a definite right and wrong way up for this paper to be hung!

Another 20th Century stripe, each of the papers in this design contains a judicious balance of six tightly packed colours, giving every one an overall theme and several opportunities for picking out painted walls and trim. It has been inspired by the way designers would ‘tag’ colours together when referencing interior design schemes, and as a consequence is inherently close to the way colours were handled by the fashion industry too.

Originally produced as a design on fabric, the larger scale production of this classic 19th Century stripe was a natural development from the early ‘open trough’ printing method referred to in ‘Broad Stripe’. Its name is taken from the Regency fashion of hanging fabrics in a room to create a ‘tented’ effect. The proportion of the elements within these stripes was typically fairly consistent, but the scale on which they were reproduced (and used) varied considerably. Having been shown extensively in its own right as a stripe, the design was subsequently popularised as a background to a range of larger overprinted designs, including French damasks.

THAMES (c.1851)
Faithfully reproduced, but increased in scale, from an eye-catching piece in the English Heritage archive, this historical panorama of the capital was published by London Illustrated News in 1851. The hand-drawn, hand-painted scene depicts the buildings and landscape along the river Thames at that time: it has subsequently been re-mastered to include a repeating section, meaning it can be now hung as a continuing frieze. The original would have been shown at cornice height, but for rooms of a more ‘conventional’ scale, it has been created to sit comfortably at dado or skirting height as well.

Little Greene Wallpaper


Hand Painted Furniture Swansea

One of the great things about hand painted furniture is how you end up saving and reusing a perfectly good piece of furniture even if it has been abandoned and forgotten about for years. This well built wood unit with two drawers and cupboard was in a cold, wet, garage for over 20 years, functioning perfectly well as a storage unit.
Cleaning furniture for painting

There was a little easing needed on the drawers and the doors for the cupboard have seen better days, with the hinges seized and veneer delaminating. The doors and handles were removed and saved for another time, but right now it was necessary to clean everything down and get to sanding before even thinking about hand painting this furniture.

The first clean down with Krud Kutter’s Gloss Off* removed a lot of grime and wax that had accumulated and we were ready with the Festool Rotex 90 to sand everything back to a sound surface, you can see the change starting in the image above. This is one of the best parts as things start to clean up and you can visualise how the hand painted furniture is going to turn out.

Sanding over with we can get to priming and filling, it was decided to leave the top as it was for now and not to reattach the doors. For the priming Tikkurila Otex was used which gives great opacity and adhesion much like Zinsser Cover Stain, also it gives a great surface to sand smooth. The colour was always going to be neutral, and inspiration was taken from a popular designer colour range.

Hand painted furniture Swansea

It really is a transformation I’m sure you’d agree, for now the top has been finished with Fiddes Hard Wax Oil so I can see how well it performs before recommending it, and new handles attached. For a quote on hand painting your furniture in Swansea, South Wales get in touch by email mail@welshheritagedecor.co.uk or cal 07528 467 284



What does * mean? – if you click on a * link and go through to MypaintBrush and make a purchase, you will pay the same competitive price as all other visitors but I make a small commission for referring you to the MPB site



Painted DH Design

While working at Dumfries House I was given the opportunity to paint the Dumfries House emblem in the newly build visitors centre. Even though the majority of my decoration work is in South Wales, Cardiff, Swansea area it is nice to be given the opportunity to travel and see some new parts of the country.

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I was extremely happy to do this as it was very fitting to have it painted instead of a vinyl sticker, I just wish my sign-writing skills were a bit better for the Times Roman font they wanted below.

But I am more than happy with the end result and with a very appreciative helping hand from fellow student Ceilidh Green managed to get it complete on time

Refurbished Kitchen Aberdare

This article was first published on Traditional Painter by Matthew Evans

Not everyone is so sure as to how a hand painted kitchen will look once it is complete, colours are often difficult to imagine over broad areas and many will not have come across a high quality brush finish before.

After receiving some images through email (some tips right here) the owners of this kitchen in Aberdare were planning to move in a few years time and didn’t want to go through the expense and disruption of a new kitchen especially when this one was still working perfectly well.

I can work from a few good pictures and provide an accurate quote for most kitchen refurbishments and am more than happy to pop round to talk through the whole process and colours before work starts.

My first procedure is always going to be laying protection down and masking everything that I need to. After this it is time to start
cleaning, I have to say that this kitchen was particularly clean and didn’t take much effort. But it is always good practice and my preferred cleaner is Krud Kutter’s Gloss Off * this is a really good cleaner and wax remover but is primarily for preparing hard surfaces for painting, and it really does work! you can feel the difference under the brush.


This project also gave me the opportunity to try out my new Fox
brushes * a little more on that later though. With the cleaning finished it is time to sand everywhere that is to be painted, I’ve missed using my sander over the last year while I was working away and now I have the opportunity to work with it again, it really makes a difference. Just being able to sand away and not have a cloud of dust around you makes the area that much nicer to work in.




My usual routine of using an adhesion primer followed by filling and patching, filling and patching, undercoating and finishing off with two top coats gave the ho
me owners something to really talk about, the finish was better than they imagined and was ready to surprise the family.


Decorative Panel for Prince’s Foundation

For the 2013 Live Build the Princes Foundation had a woodland shelter built in the new arboretum of Dumfries House in Ayrshire. During the process I took time-lapse footage of the marking out and painting procedure of one of the decorative panels, the design was inspired from the trees and foliage in the arboretum and features a quote from the popular poet Robert Burns


Summer School Craft Week

This week has been more involved with traditional craft skills including Stonemasonry, Thatching, Timer Framing, Pargetting and Wattle and Daub. Met some great people, learned some new skills and it never ceases to amaze me how your can find similarities between different trades.

Take a look at the pictures but if you’d like to read more take a look here

I’m just writing up the next post which involves the design process and results for the  woodland shelter for the new arboretum at Dumfries House

Chestnut-Stays Pargetting-Sketch

Princes Foundation Summer School Week 1

This Post first appeared on matthewrhysevans.com

So the first week with the Princes Foundation is over and its been tiring, interesting, educational, inspiring, early starts, late finishes, new experiences and many other verbs that I just couldn’t list right now. We started off on the first day with a couple of introductions to people and topics, with the general agenda for the next few weeks. Then it was straight into it with presentations of the attendees portfolios, with such a mix of people there it was great to see the different projects and roles people have along with the reasons for coming to the Summer School.

Charcoal life drawing

Then into some Geometry with Joe Allen, something that I haven’t really used since school (apart from some 3-4-5 work when laying out a shed) and fair play it was interesting to see the links associated with structures and how they relate to the natural world. Henry Gibbons Guy was up next throwing us into some practical work with life drawing, something that I have never tried before but really enjoyed. It was great to learn some drawing/sketching techniques and quite relaxing, hopefully it’ll be something I can pick up now and again and carry on.

Day two followed on with some geometry and drawing and ended with an introduction to simple structures with Jonathan Horning. Making up some simple shapes that were associated with the geometry we had already covered really put into effect how special simple things can be. It was interesting to see to what degree each shape was stable and transferring that to day 3 we built two domes from wood string and wire, everyone working together.

Summer School 2013

The third day also gave us an introduction to perspective drawing with Micheal Romero and Lucien Steil, it was a challenge initially to transfer the skills from life drawing being quite loose to the structure of perspective. But I think that everyone by the final days had transformed their own perspective and really took on the challenge, Lucien’s passion was always coming through and it was impossible not to be inspired and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Our fourth day kicked off with the final instalment of life drawing, straight away it was obvious how much more relaxed everyone was and just letting things flow more naturally. We moved onto see the Princes House, a natural house with the mass market in mind, which was very impressive. Traditional looking but filled with clever tech and design implemented in an unobtrusive way, just making lifestyle more natural and not as much of a change from how we live at the moment.

BRE Princes Natural House

After the natural house we meet George Saumarez Smith, who introduced us to classical architecture. It was fascinating to see that some the architectural students of the group hadn’t experienced these ‘orders’ before and got a lot out of George, whose passion again is obvious from the moment he started talking.

London house of interest

The final day in London gave us the opportunity to work along Micheal, George and Lucien again on the classical architecture and some drawing around Spitalfields and Wesleys Church. Putting everything we had learned into effect from the life drawing with pencil and charcoal to perspective drawing and pen, giving everyones work a new lease of life. In the afternoon we displayed all our drawings from the week and what i really liked was that peoples emotion, technical skills and passion was evident over the week.

Princes Foundation Summer School 2013 Photo

Photo by Richard Ivey

So onwards to Edinburgh and then to Dumfries for some practical work which I think everyone is looking forward to, if this week is anything to go by its is going to be special!

Brushkeeper for your Water-based Paints

You may have seen an earlier post of mine including the Clean and Go storage container, which I use regularly and it’s a good system. It helps clean and store water-based brushes for a period of time stopping them from drying out in our scorching weather. The only thing against it is the size and while Hildering do have a larger storage container, I was offered the Cling-On Brushkeeper to trial.

Initial impressions were good. Its a well made unit, internally lacquered to prevent corrosion. More importantly it is sufficiently deep enough to stop the internal liquid from spilling out and wide enough to stop tipping over in the back of the van. Cleaning out is easy, as the lid removes completely via a secure latch ring.

Waterbased brushkeeper for long storage

The brush holders are spliced pieces of rubber which secure the brushes very well indeed and even after long periods holding brushes they return to a useable position.

The obvious comparison is to the Brush Mate 20, but as your suspending your brushes in water (or as I have been, a weak KrudKutter solution or you can use their brush wash) you need to rise some of the paint off before storage. Which hasn’t been a problem with the help of the Clean and Go.

Secure brush holders for storage

Suspending the brushes also helps for the remaining paint in the stock to gently release, which can only be a good thing. At the moment I’m favouring the Cling On Brushkeeper as the main overnight storage unit and using the Clean and Go to keep my brushes fresh throughout the day and before going into the Brushkeeper.

Don’t think that your limited with colours when using the Hildering and Cling On system there is very little colour transfer (I change the Hildering water every 2/3 days and the Cling On Brushkeeper up to 10 days) between brushes and I’ve stored pale off-whites and greens in the same container with no problems.

Locking latch prevents spillage from brushkeeper

Suspending the brushes also helps for the remaining paint in the stock to gently release, which can only be a good thing. At the moment I’m favouring the Cling On Brushkeeper as the main overnight storage unit and using the Clean and Go to keep my brushes fresh throughout the day and before going into the Brushkeeper.

Don’t think that your limited with brush colours when using the Cling On system there is very little colour transfer (I change the Hildering water every 2/3 days and the Cling On Brushkeeper up to 10 days) between brushes and I’ve stored pale off-whites and greens in the same container with no problems.

So why mess around with carrier bags, cling film or buckets of water. Both the Clean and Go and the Cling On Brushkeeper save you time cleaning brushes everyday, or slowly clogging them up. Just need something for my rollers now?

P.S. You might have noticed the new Rembrandt brush from ArroWorthy, not been used on any scale yet. But the initial impressions are really good, more on that later

‘This post was first published on the Traditional Painter website, written by myself, Matthew Rhys Evans’


Linseed Paint Window Renovation

With the spring months approaching, they are, really they are. People start looking to the external of their property and one area that does require maintenance are wooden windows. While poorly fitting windows can be draughty, lack of maintenance can cause rot and dry window putty fall out, there are remedy and repairs for all aspects of wooden window frames.

Linseed paint restoration

Last year we worked on a nice project to refurbish the windows and doors of this listed property in Newport. During the initial meeting the client mentioned the use of linseed oil paint and having previously used this externally at St Fagans Museum and at a Carmarthenshire Farmhouse, we were happy to continue.

There are a number of different companies selling Linseed Paint, this time we used Holkham Linseed Paint now known as Linseed Paint & Wax Co. From previous experience I’ve found that linseed paint works best when used from bare timer.

Paint and varnish removal


We stripped the window frames and doors of their existing coating using a infrared speed heater, this keeps the temperature low, avoids breaking the glass and also softens the linseed putty for easy removal and replacement.

Linseed paint door restoration




The first coat of warm linseed oil penetrates into the wood and when it is followed by 2/3 coats of linseed paint, you can see the change with each coat developing more sheen.

Allowing the paint to dry over night, it is especially important to apply thin thin coats, even if it is slightly too thick the paint will skin, wrinkle and you wont be able to touch it for a week. I like to adopt a two brush system, a dedicated angled cutting in brush with a fine tip, used on the glazing bars. Along with a flat version for the rest of the frame.

decayed window frame


There were also a few window repairs to be carried out at the same time. The beauty of working with wooden window frames is that they can be easily repaired especially when the Repair Care system is used.

restored window sill

This window frame suffered from severe rot and woodworm to the sill.

Using a seasoned oak from a local salvage yard we replaced the sill and  and bedded it in with repair care resin.

Window frame repairsWindow Frame Repairs with Resin





This softwood window was not as severe and you can see that only part of the sill was required to be replaced.

Again we bedded the timber in with repair care and decorated as normal leaving a seamless finish.

If you need advice or repair work on your external joinery then please do get in touch. Replacing windows and doors can get very costly our Repair Care restorations come with a 10Yr gurantee 

Get in touch on 01792 885173 of course there is also our email, get in touch with us at mail@welshheritagedecor.co.uk

by Matthew Evans of Welsh Heritage Decor

Tools of the Trade

Where would a tradesman be without his tools and thankfully there are people out there questioning what is on the shelves and developing new tools that we can now not live without. The Go-Paint range of kettles, pourers, and brush keepers is something that has caught my eye.

different paint kettles

Clockwise from top right – Wooster Pelican, Paint & Go tin with liner, Clean & Go storage, Spare liner, Roll & Go liner

I’ve mostly used plastic kettles for my everyday work especially the Wooster Pelican, so the Go-Paint metal kettle with a plastic liner initially seemed a little strange, but once I started using it I could see the benefit and its strongest point in my opinion changing the liner. This is something that can also be achieved with the Wooster Pelican which also has a liner, but when the pelican liner is removed it can be quite unstable and can fall easily, spilling paint and causing damage.

The Pelican does have the added feature of using a 4 inch roller built at the same time, Go Roll of addressed this with another liner that has a vertical paint tray. While this is useful it does take up a lot of space so only a limited amount of paint can be held. It also lacks a magnetic brush holder like the Pelican and with the limited space using a brush and roller simultaneously is a bit of a juggling act.

Roll & Go supports itself easily

Roll & Go supports itself easily

The liner can also be used without the outer metal tin with its own handle that can store store a 4 inch roller. Hilderling suggest you can store your roller overnight with this system with their supplied lid.

Now the brusk keeper they have is of interest, since switching over to waterborne paints my BrushMate sits in the shed. Water based paints have big points over oil but having to clean them out every night isn’t one of them, this does help. I’ve used this for a while and quite like it for short term use, then cleaning brushes fully after a couple of days a week at the most.

Hanging the brushes vertically helps, but of course you really have to get rid of all the excess water before using them. I find a quick spin in a clean 5 litre tin does the job.

Water based brush mate

Waterbased brush storage is great help when warm and dry weather finally comes to the UK

I see the biggest bonus of this system is actually daily storage, lunch time, waiting to recoat (while you crack on with sometime else of course) and travelling home leaves time for paint to dry and slowly clog up my favourite brush. But this relieves that, and will do no end in the scorching summer months that we have!

In case your wondering, in the brush holder are two brushes that I am quite impressed with, a 2″ Wooster Silver Tip and 2″ Corona Cody, but more on that later.

By Matthew Evans of Welsh Heritage Decor

Hand Painted Kitchen Porthcawl

This article also appeared on Traditional Painter written by Matthew Evans

We were approached last year to hand paint a kitchen in Porthcawl, near Bridgend, South Wales. The kitchen having little natural daylight required a little brightening up, with a lot of interesting colours and textures between the stone flooring and tiles and after sampling a limed wax finish a neutral shade in the form of Farrow and Ball’s ‘New White’ was opted for the solid colour

Following our usual preparation for a hand painted kitchen we removed doors and handles. Carried out a good clean down with KrudKutter and a abrasive pad. Followed by dust free sanding with our Festool Rotex 90 and priming with Zinsser Coverstain.

The finish used was 2 coats of undercoat followed by 2 coats of Farrow and Ball Estate Eggshell. While I dont go out of the way to recommend F & B for painted kitchens, I will use it with caution. But have to admit this time round it flowed on lovely and gave a good finish.

I will shortly be trying my first batch of Tikkurila Feelings Furniture paint, tinted to a Little Greene colour for a chest of drawers. With the great reports from fellow kitchen painters I’m really looking forward to it.

For a no obligation quote to have your kitchen painted get in touch with us. Phone us on 01792 885173 or try our mobile on 07528 467 284. Of course there is also our email, get in touch with us at mail@welshheritagedecor.co.uk

If you are outside the South Wales area you will want to look at UK Hand-Painted Kitchen Specialists on the Traditional Painter website.

by Matthew Evans of Welsh Heritage Decor


Historical Lincrusta Restoration

We are not joking when we say that Lincrusta has high durability, there are countless examples dating back into the nineteenth century. But accidents do happen and repairs are sometimes needed, unfortunately not all the pattern rollers survive and a historic pattern would cost thousands to hand engrave a new steel roller with the original design.

Lincrusta Dado

Small chipped area can be repaired with a skilled hand but Lincrusta have developed a Restoration Kit ideal for restoring damaged designs in repeats up to 1 square metre and for wall areas up to 20 square metres.

Made from a Plaster-of-Paris compound, this allows the damaged design to be replicated exactly without damaging the existing surface and we can also decorate it to match perfectly, whilst being flexible enough to be used on curved as well as flat walls and ceilings – a great way to preserve a great product for future generations.

For more information on the Restoration Kit or if you have any examples of historic Lincrusta feel free to send us some snaps, please get in touch with us at mail@welshheritagedecor.co.uk

by Matthew Evans of Welsh Heritage Decor.