Balcurvie House, Cumbria


  • KEIM Royalan

Balcurvie House, Millom, Cumbria


After leaving KEIM and the Midlands last year for the Cumbrian coast, I have had a whirlwind of a year; new house, new town, new job, new friends and even a new Zumba class (bringing a bit of dance to my sleepy little village). When we brought Balcurvie, exterior painting wasn’t high on my to do list, I knew it would need doing at some point (12 years at KEIM told me that the existing conventional paint would only last so long!) but as it looked it ok condition, I had anticipated a few years before I needed to tackle that challenge. Balcurvie is 250 years old and the list of jobs needing doing was a complex prioritising issue. This all changed however after our first winter, the ‘glorious’ cumbria summer and autumn gave way to ‘’glorious’’ winter and it soon became apparent that the house was as full of as many holes as a sieve! We had multiple damp and wet patches appear and would not be able to do anything else until the building was watertight, or at least as watertight as something that old could be.

We had the chimney replaced as one of the first jobs as it was exhibiting structural failure, and hoped this might fix the leaking, but alas the water continued to penetrate through a maze of hairline cracks and paint failures. My husband is incredibly DIY savvy, but he’s no match for me when it comes to paint! So I said we have to use KEIM. ‘But is it waterproof?’, ‘will it last?’, ‘is it really worth the money?’ All questions which I was able to confidently answer through so many of telling you guys all the same thing! I received my proforma from my old friends in the sales office and as many of you do, I’m sure, I gulped! So was I going to put my money where my mouth was?! Was I really going to pay so much more than the bog standard of the local DIY shop store? Of course I was, never a moments hesitation and I promise you that. My beautiful old house deserved KEIM, like my child and pets I try to provide the best, and I wouldn’t have ever considered anything else. I have seen too many paint failures and too many customers return in a few years, who learnt the hard way when they chose something else first time round and then came back to us.

The repainting job was made easier by finding a decorator, even in the most westerly part of Cumbria, who had used KEIM before. He liked it but never got the chance to use very often as people, as so often they do, selected paint on price. He didn’t get a choice with me! I think he also realised quite quickly that I was a paint ‘know-it-all’, but we got on great. The existing surfaces were previously painted pebbledash (oh the joy!), and after many a KEIM lecture from me, both hubby and decorator agreed to give the surfaces as serious power wash and fungicidal wash. No point paying a penny for any type of paint if you don’t prep the surfaces (on my soap box again!). 

By power washing the surfaces all the unsound existing paint, and in particular those areas which were exhibiting the worst water ingress, were taken back to bare substrate. This meant that in the areas which would most need it, the maximum breathability was restored. I had to laugh as the sample patch of KEIM I had applied wasn’t touched by the powerwash as you can see in the photos. A good proportion of the existing paint was removed, as you can see in the photos, but crikey it made a mess. Once the surfaces were sound and clean I chose KEIM Royalan as my preferred specification, with a Grob undercoat. KEIM Royalan Grob is not usually needed with a pebbledash surface as the texture creates its own ‘key’, but I felt there was so many hairline cracks and steps between the painted and now bare parts that the Grob would create a better finish aesthetically. It used quite a bit of material but I knew it would be worth it. I then applied two coats of KEIM Royalan to the most exposed areas and elevations and a single coat to the more protected faces of the building. I will leave it to my former colleagues to fill you in on any technical details they might feel I’ve left out, but suffice to say the application and the final finish were everything I expected and more. I swell with pride that after being with a company and a brand for so many years, I had my own house painted in it and I can’t wait till the questions start, ‘what paint did you use? That looks great!’

Thank you KEIM, thank you Roy the painter and thank you hubby for putting up with the KEIM soap box again. Most of all thank you to you guys, who over the years shared your stories (and hiccups) with me over the years, I learnt from you all and actually got to put it all into practice.

Former Customer Service Manager (2006 -2018)

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