The ultimate sourcebook for interior and garden decoration



Ask the decorating experts

Paint, Painters & Wall Finishes

We are looking for a floor paint that can withstand a lot of wear - particularly from office chairs on wheels.  Is there anything that will take this sort of abuse? 

You don't mention the type of floor you wish to paint. You could paint concrete or wooden floors with one of the following: The Little Green Paint Company provide a low odour and quick drying formulation of polyurethane and oil resins, and their floor paint is easy to use and maintain and is exceptionally durable. Mylands have been manufacturing paints and polishes since 1884. Based in Lambeth, they are the oldest paint manufacturer in the country still owned and managed by the same family. Designerpaint is an excellent source of a wide range of paints from different manufacturers and excellent advice. Unless the paint is tested in a particular environment there is no guarantee, but all the floor paints from the above companies will withstand a lot of wear & tear !

Can you tell me how to achieve a French antique distressed look on a piece of furniture ? 

Mylands was established by French polishing expert John Charles Frances Myland who spent his life developing high quality paints and wood stains. The range includes environmentally-friendly emulsions, floor paints, and woodworking supplies including oil scumbles, transparent oil glazes and water-based lacquers. Speak to Mylands about painting your furniture. West Egg are specialists in sourcing and restoring vintage finds. Louisa also runs courses on Furniture Painting which would provide you with the expertise to achieve the French antique distressed look.

I am looking for a floor paint that gives me that French 'washed' look, so that you see the texture of the wood through the paint. I don’t want something too solid-looking. I was thinking of using some kind of white paint that doesn't cover the grains of the old wood completely (the floor has been sanded). Could you please advise the best way to achieve this?

The flooring company Ambience Hardwood Flooring can supply you with the wood finishing range by Osmo - there's a 'white transparent' and a 'white spruce' sealant which would give you the effect you are after.

Where can I buy exterior paint in a green used by the National Trust?

Fired Earth  has launched the National Trust range of paints, inspired by the houses and gardens in its care. The collection is available in 'hardwearing emulsion' and acrylic eggshell (in some colours); I am guessing from your email that you would like an oil-based or masonry finish. Also consider the English Heritage collection from The Little Greene Paint Company  and the excellent deep rich colours from Mylands. You might contact Designerpaint, a family business that sells most major brands of paint, including Zoffany and Sanderson. They offer excellent advice and have over 130 stores nationwide.

I would like a tinted plaster finish rather than a painted wall in an off-white, but not a yellowish white. Can you help?

Clayworks has a beautiful range of internal, naturally pigmented plasters. Part of the clay plasters natural appeal is the subtle colour variations inherent in the plaster. Clayworks can supply colour swatches to give you an impression of what can be achieved. The final results will also depend on how you apply and finish the plaster. Clayworks offers short courses on training or can supply a database of recommended plasterers.

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