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Shades of white

Updated: Jan 2

I promised myself I’d write this post when the scaffolding came down, so that I could take some decent ‘after’ photos. But instead of removing the scaffold, we just relocated it, to work on the other side. It came down from that work just before Christmas. So here I am, seven months later, finally getting around to it.

A quick catch up on why those months have been busy. In July, our house-sitter cousins set off for home (thanks for keeping the place standing guys!) and we moved in ourselves. We left behind our (fairly) sane, salaried life to throw ourselves full time into work on our little project.

I’ve lots and lots to write about, but let’s begin with the long-overdue “after” shots of the very first exterior repairs. Here it is, the two-storey east and northern walls of the part we refer to as the Victorian wing.


Painting lime render needs special products too. Lime render breathes – it’s like a Goretex jacket rather than a plastic mac. So the paint you put on it has to breathe too. For this first part we chose to use Keim mineral paint, recommended by our conservation architect, and our lime supplier. It doesn’t so much coat the render surface as react with it.

We actually chose the colour when we were still overseas, before we moved in, which wasn’t easy. We thought we just needed white, but it wasn’t that simple. All the shades loosely called white seem quite coloured, especially when painted onto the old, dirty but once-brilliant white paint.


Four shades of white and a couple of grey


The third along seemed like the whitest white, so we used that with the lighter grey below it for window sills. As you can see, on a blue sky day especially, it looks quite stunning. We went with shiny black rain gutters and downpipes, and black bargeboards so as to continue the look of the rain gutters.

So now, on to the other side, and the inside.

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Moreton House, Abbotsham Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 3QW

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