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Interior paint for a period house??

(18 Posts)
AndOnAndOnAndOn Fri 10-Jul-09 20:41:48

Have just bought an 18th century house and am thinking about redecorating, do we need to use any special paint? Someone told us not to use anythign that was oil based, something to do with letting the house 'breathe'. So what would you use? Farrow and ball, or just any water based emulsion? (thinking of the ££ here!)

LaurieFairyCake Fri 10-Jul-09 20:47:30

earthborn paints.

Not cheap but no VOC's. Beautiful chalky colours

link here smile

vonsudenfed Fri 10-Jul-09 20:50:15

Generally, you should be fine with almost any paint in an 18C house - esp if it is brick/stone built. And if it has been replastered in the last 20 years (unless iit's v v listed and has been restored under the eye of English Heritage) it won't be breathing much anyway.

It's only worth worrying if it's built out of something a bit more unusual - in which case I'd get a specialist decorator to come and advice.

AndOnAndOnAndOn Fri 10-Jul-09 20:57:56

Thanks for the link Laurie, can feel paint buying related bankruptcy coming on!

That's useful Vonsud, I think it's just normal brick built, but I didn't really understand about the house breathing (unless it's alive...) It is listed but only grade 2 so not spectacularly so.

AndOnAndOnAndOn Fri 10-Jul-09 20:59:18

oh just looking at the paint card - lovely colours! seagull, cricket and a couple others look just the sort of thing I had in mind.

slackrunner Sat 11-Jul-09 09:38:33

Dulux and Crown both do great period ranges - you need to go to a trade supplier to get to see the Dulux range though. We've always used the Crown period range on our house (built 1840) and they've given that wonderfully matt, chalky look.

FIL is a painter/ decorator and he thinks F&B is utter shoite wink - really poor quality paint.

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 09:43:47

Farrow and Ball

HerHonesty Sat 11-Jul-09 10:01:27

dont be fooled into buying one of the highstreet period paints (dulux etc) you wont get the same finish as something like f and b and the co its a false economy. also with f and b you actually need less paint than high street copies so whilst more expensive initially it evens out. other paints for a period feel are but more expensive than f and b.

slackrunner Sat 11-Jul-09 10:37:52

My FIL would whole-heartedly disagree with you HH lol

HerHonesty Sat 11-Jul-09 10:48:18

well, my opinion is based on personal experience and my own decorators thoughts, but thats not to say it is right!

slackrunner Sat 11-Jul-09 11:20:03

My FIL does come from the North West though, so I suspect he thinks that F&B is a load of southern softy nonsense (he likes to keep tabs on his spending)! wink

kitsmummy Sat 11-Jul-09 12:43:31

I've never understood why people say F&B paints are rubbish quality, I've always found them to be brilliant. Our whole house is F&B and i've never needed to do more than 2 coats

backintheUK Sun 12-Jul-09 19:06:52

I would receommend fired earth we are in a georgian listed property and they have some lovely colours with same finishs as F&B which don't mark any where near as easily as F&B and thats comiing from doing homes in both! I would always go for FE now. have to say though for high traffic areas I used Dulux diamond matt which my builder sourced as trade for me - matt finish but wipeable - its fantastic

ouchitreallyhurts Mon 13-Jul-09 12:22:34

we have just bought an 18th C house too and I have learnt first hand about letting old houses breathe. we have layers of black mold to contend with due to the wrong things being used here - mainly wall paper though.
there is something you can add to paint to prevent it though.
will be using f&b here as i think the finish is really important.

GrendelsMum Mon 13-Jul-09 18:19:24

Ok, you've just bought a period, listed house - this is the best piece of advice you are ever going to get.

Go on the SPAB weekend homeowners course. Do not buy anything until you've been on it.

You'll save an absolute fortune by doing this, and save a whole lot of stress. Seriously.

- - - -

Vonsudenfed is saying that you don't need to worry about buying breathable paint because the plaster will be modern and so not breathable, and the brick under it doens't need to breathe anyway. Thus you can slap anything on.

I don't know about C18 brick built buildings, but you can check on the SPAB website, or on However, if you do have some lime plaster (which I do in my house), you may well need to keep it breathable, and that means using breathable paints like Earthborn's clay paint. We have some unimpressive damp patches in our house (but this is Stuart, so quite a bit older) caused by using the wrong paint.

Now, if anyone would like to buy the large pot of F&B 'Blue Ground' paint that I bought before going on the SPAB course, I'm open to offers. The tin is dented but it's totally unused. Gorgeous colour :-)

madlentileater Mon 13-Jul-09 18:34:43

what's SPAB?

GrendelsMum Mon 13-Jul-09 21:17:41

Ah - Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings. The ones that Prince Charles has just fallen out with wink.

Go on a SPAB course and you can persuade your conservation officers to let you do anything you like...

AitchTwoOh Mon 13-Jul-09 21:21:45

if you've got kids with sticky hands you might live to regret the chalky finish of farrow and ball.

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