Exterior Painting and Birds

Something that we come across every year when painting and maintaining the externals of property are birds. A lot of the time we are asked to remove nests because they ‘look unsightly’ or ‘the birds cause a mess’ but this doesn’t have to be the case. The UK is home to over 250 species of birds and we have to remember that we are vital to their survival.

Swifts for example are struggling in the UK due to threats to their historical nesting sites, they return to the same place each year and struggle to find alternative nest sites if they lose their original place. If you do come across swift nesting sites you can record them via the RSPB swift inventory. You can provide artifical nesting but a key element if you do provide for swifts, try to position the new entrance hole as close as possible to the original.

House martins are commonly found nesting on buildings and on the outer roof fittings, usually under the overhang of the eaves. You can buy various types of artificial nest for house martins, again these would ideally be located in the original site but if above windows or doors, moving them either side would be OK.

 

House sparrows and starlings are both red listed species that need the sanctuary of roof space for nesting more than ever and can be catered for by installing nesting boxes, with 32 mm and 45 mm entrance hole diameters respectively. The RSPB offer boxes for most species here.


 

 

The legal situation with regards to nesting birds. In short, it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to intentionally damage or destroy an active bird’s nest. The term active can be used to describe a nest, which is being built or contains eggs and chicks. Any work that would compromise the nest should be postponed until it is clear that the nest is no longer in use. Offences under this legislation can result in fines of upto £5000 or a 6 month jail sentence. Which may sound harsh but these measures have helped our unique bird population to thrive over the years

Nesting birds do not have to be an eyesore or a pest, look at them with affection, you can even install camera’s inside the nest and view the hatching chicks, maybe next year.

 

 

 

Sliding Sash Maintenance

The clue is in the title, if the sash doesn’t slide then its not a sliding sash. Not everything goes to paln 100% of the time, recently we were decorating the internal of a building that had new sliding sash windows fitted (about 2 years ago) decorated externally, but were left for the scheme of the room to be decided before any finish bar the primer be applied internally.

Top and bottom sliding sashes stuck, this was as far as they would slide

We found the waddle had warped and was fouling the weight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it came to painting the windows it was obvious something wasn’t right, the top sash wouldn’t move more than 4 inches and the same was said for the bottom internal sash. Closer inspection and a keen ear helped to determine that the internal weight was fouling on something and the  was too tight stopping the sash moving upwards. Not a difficult issue and easily fixed before the paintwork was finished.

Pinned back in place. 

First we removed the and freed the lower sash, we didn’t need to dismantle the whole unit, just gain access to the weights to see what was the problem. After loosening the  we could see that the waddle interfering with the weight as it was either not hanging correctly or had bowed for some reason, the problem that this created is the fact that you cannot gain access to the waddle unless you remove the enitre window and take the backing off. Normally the cavity should be free from anything that woul snag the weights, but the only way to fix the problem was to pin back the waddle to allow space for the weight to move freely.

After reattaching the and back in place we check the sashes move freely before fixing the. The needed a slight adjustment from before as they were too tight to the sash on the top half preventing the sash from opening. And there we have it, a beutiful sash window, running freely and ready for decoration.

by Matthew Evans of Welsh Heritage Decor

Back together

Fully functioning sliding sash window

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A Different Kind of Paint


Sometimes a client will ask for a product that we have not used before and sometimes not heard of. kt.COLOR is a highly specialised manufacturer of fine paints for interiors, located near Zurich. They use pure artists pigments to create 106 colours and have exclusive rights to manufacture the original Le Courbusier colours. After finding some information, we saw no reason not to use the paint, in fact we were quite excited to see and sample the material. Unfortunately the paints or not stocked in the UK and they had to be imported from their German distributor which took some extra time.
The actual paint applied extremely well and from the moment you took the lid off the pot you could tell there was quality in the tin. The finish is extremely flat, even the ‘satinee’ was comparable to a more flat finish than usual but still quite durable. But any kind of shine would really have killed the colour and interest of the finish.
The project was a pleasure to work on although the first few of days were spent sanding every surface as there had been a very rough rolled surface left behind by previous decoration. We also needed to get back to the original shadow gap which had been filled and painted in over the years, also strip back all the hinges as they had been painted over also. We used peelaway to take the paint off the hinges which worked perfectly, stripping the paint off in a couple of hours. Fortunately the was not much on there to start with. The shadow gap took a little more work as in some places it had been filled and needed to be scraped, while in others the bottom of the wall was crumbling away and needed repair.
The colours transformed the apartment and created a very relaxing and enjoyable work and living area. Hopefully you agree also, should you need any decorative work carried out in the South Wales area then get in touch at our website

Competitive Painting

Leaps and Bounds

Its a little over due but the shed that was posted about a while ago is pretty much finished, treated, dressed and settling in nicely
Unfortunately it has meant that moving all tolls and equipment has uncovered the need for larger storage requirements. But this is always going to be the case that whenever I have space it needs to be filled, that aside it serves the purpose perfectly. The vegetable patch in the foreground does need my attention now. Even tho I am not very green fingered and time is scarce most evenings and weekends.
Next project will be the render on the back of the house, wish me luck.

Calming Colours

Just recently completed a simple exterior in a quiet village north of Llandeilo. Which I think is a perfect example of how to choose colours for an exterior. The original scheme was not dissimilar using differing shades of green, but the impact was a little lack lustre.
The two shades of green ‘Eau de Nil’ and ‘Garden’ by Little Greene make a perfect combination to this quaint garden. They also tone with the stained glass in the door (more visible in the evening when lit from the inside), but the colours work well with the natural stone construction of the cottage and don’t detract from the flowers and surrounding nature. I think its nice anyway.
And the view isn’t bad either!

Unseen View

A enjoyment of mine that I get the benefit of sometimes is just looking at landscapes from a different perspective one that is often enjoyed when scaffolding is used. The point of view is always going to be different from any changed location, this plus the fact that the image I take in might not have been looked at in the same way as I am looking at it for hundreds of years, maybe never before and at rates of development in some areas, maybe never again.

Where does the time go?

It is certainly that time of year where everything seems to come at once, weather, garden, work! Its good to keep busy but sometimes a struggle to fit everything in, like posting a blog. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been sorting out storage in the garden for work supplies and to keep things generally tidy, now I am not a builder but with the wonderful help of the internet am quite happy with what has been achieved. Not fully complete yet and there is still the time to get the contents organised but things are coming along nicely, if not sometimes stressful. How I have managed to compile such a vast quantity of bits’n’bobs, half tins of paint, of cuts of various woods and tools that are yet to be used (but I’m sure they will come be handy at some point).

Its more complete that the picture and even has a door and window, but I shall post a little more when its fully furnished and painted.

Abbeyfield House, Llandeilo

Recently we had the opportunity to work on this listed residential building in Llandeilo. Everything needed coating from the gutters to the render.

The current condition was not perfect, flaking paint, some rotten window sills and the lime
render hadn’t been touched in years. We scraped, rubbed back, filled where possible and had a local joiner to repair the areas that were too badly damaged. Once everything was ready it was all coated up in Dulux Weathershield tinted in ‘Chive’ and ‘Lizard’ to give a traditional feel. The render needed some attention as the was some organic growth on the south west side and repairs around some doors. Everything was cleaned down and prepared for the finish two coats of Beeck’s Silicate Mineral paint, this allowed

the lime render to breathe as modern masonry paints were not suitable. The railing were cleaned with a wire brush primed, undercoated and glossed, with a little gilding to bring out some detail.

Finally the gutters were sealed along the joints with three coats of bitumen to stop them from leaking. The finished product has taken many hours and has been an valuable experience to work on.

Welsh Heritage Forum

During a SPAB technical day at the Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, I sat quietly listening to the fascinating speakers on welsh architecture, traditions, roofing, walling and individuals projects. Only to come to the conclusion that although most of the people here were singing from the same hymn book, there was not a lot of communication between everyone.

Coming away at the end of the day and I found that to get in touch with these like minded people was nigh on impossible. We might belong to the same organisations like the SPAB and Building Limes Forum but communication between members was slow at best. So I created the Welsh Heritage Forum online to try and gather a community and encourage some talk.

I did debate about the name, maybe it should have been it more open to regional culture throughout the UK, but did really want to connect the welsh community that is here and knowledgeable. Of course if someone from Kent wishes to open discussions about anything from the proposed high speed rail track to the impending job cuts then it is all welcome.

So I offer this invitation to all, should you be working on a project, need some tips or just want to see whats going on click the link, sign up and spread the word about www.welshheritageforum.com

Update:______________________________________________________________
Unfortunatly due to the lack of use of the forum it is going to be discontinued, but should anyone which to get in touch with me about reinstating it then I will be happy to look into it again as I still believe it could be a helpful tool to connect people.

Finishing Touches

Its the little things that really pull a room together, while we may concentrate on the paint or wallpaper or curtains, if the details are out of touch then the whole room can feel uncomfortable and its difficult to tell why.

So I have decided to include some little design details into this blog which I hope will inspire some of you that will stumble upon here.

After making some adjustments to the furniture in our bedroom the coat hooks we installed are no longer suitable and to save unsightly holes in the wallpaper the candle holders that have been knocking around seem to make perfect use of an otherwise unsightly interruption. Purchased from a local nic-nac shop and the small picture frame is from Oliver Bonas and added to make some more detail.

While this was created as an after thought it is so effective in adding extra interest to the room that I wish it had happened sooner.

Also consider taking a look in our shop as we often have new, old and different item on offer

Replacement of Lead Based Paint

The case for lead paint can be quite compelling, the authenticity and its appearance are a given, its ability to flex with the material applied to maintains a great level of protection, which in turn provide value for money by extending the the maintenance cycle. But its hazardous nature during preparation (dry sanding causes lots of dust) means that it was banned from general use and now is only available under license and applicable to Grade I and II* listed buildings.

The continuing restrictions on manufacture and importation of chemicals have resulted in production of white lead pigment coming to a stop. This may not seem serious but it does beg the question when approaching a building of historical importance as what to use, surly a modern paint will not have the look or feel of a traditional lead paint and what of linseed based paints?

There are paint trails being held by the National Trust at Buscot in Oxfordshire to determine the most appropriate alternative sampling a range of paints all in the same colour on 13 garage doors to test their longevity and to better understand the paints presently available. In addition to this the Paint Research Association will also carry trails into different paints to the same end.

If you are interested in any aspect of traditional buildings, please visit http://www.welshheritageforum.com