Johnstone’s Trade has received rave reviews after the 117-year-old Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield was decorated exclusively with the brand’s products.
As part of the theatre’s £1.9 million refurbishment, all public areas of the theatre were decorated, along with the auditorium, front of stage, back stage and external areas.
The theatre, built in 1898 to a traditional proscenium arch design, is the only surviving example of W.G.R. Sprague’s design work outside of London, and is Sheffield’s only Edwardian auditorium.
The project posed a number of unique challenges to decorators Mitie Property Services (UK) Ltd, whose team had only a short theatre close-down period in which to complete the works, and a number of other trades to work around.
To ensure a finish of the highest quality on the theatre’s walls and ornate plasterwork, Johnstone’s Matt Emulsion, Acrylic Durable Eggshell, Undercoat and Gloss were specified for the Lyceum’s walls, ceilings and woodwork, including fire escapes and exit routes, and applied using brushes, rollers, sponge rollers and spraying. The hard-wearing, easy-to-clean properties of Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable Eggshell made it an ideal choice for a busy theatre.
To protect the metalwork of the theatre’s grand exterior against corrosion, two coats of Johnstone’s Smooth Metal paint were applied, providing a primer and topcoat in one. Johnstone’s Smooth Masonry paint was used on the theatre’s external masonry to give the rendering excellent resistance against dirt and weathering. Many of the Lyceum’s ornate features required the paint to be applied using rag rolling and intricate fitch work to bring the dated areas back to life with a fresh look.
The completed decoration works received praise from the City of Sheffield Theatre Trust, and John Bates, project manager on the job, praised the quality of the finish, saying: “It was a challenging time scale, but it was completed to a first class standard. The place looks amazing.”
Kenny Robson, managing director at Mitie Property Services (UK) Ltd, said: “When working on a tight timescale, it is essential that we have the best paint products at hand to create the right result. Johnstone’s paints and primers never let us down.
“It was a pleasure to work on a historic building like the Lyceum Theatre, and we’re delighted to have been able to restore its superb features.”
The Lyceum Theatre restoration project came top in the Period and Restoration category at the Johnstone’s Painter of the Year awards in 2014. The theatre also won the Premier Trophy Award within the Highly Decorative Category from The Painting and Decorating Association in 2015.