The prestigious Castle Quarter Arcades have been an integral part of Cardiff’s cultural landscape since opening in 1887. Lying just a short distance from Cardiff Castle, the Grade II listed Victorian buildings attract thousands of locals and tourists each year with their fashion boutiques, gift shops and cafes. However, after years of tenants painting their shopfronts in a variety of colours, new owners of the High Street Arcade and Castle Arcade felt the buildings needed to establish their own sense of identity. Bridgend-based decorating firm JJ Williams Ltd was brought in to tackle the transformation.The project won the top prize at Johnstone’s Painter of the Year Awards, first winning in the restoration category, before battling it out with the other category winners to take home the Supreme Winner award.
Graham Thomas, director of operations at JJ Williams, said: “We’d worked with the client, Mansford LLP, for many years, but we’d never undertaken such ornate work and on such a well-known building in Cardiff, so it was a great privilege to take on this challenge. It allowed us to truly put our skills to the test and we couldn’t wait to get started.”
From shabby to chic
To achieve a durable, high-quality finish that would work across a variety of substrates and do justice to the buildings’ historic features, JJ Williams used over 17,000 litres of paint from Johnstone’s Trade to transform the shopping complex from mismatched and dated to sleek and professional.
A variety of Johnstone’s Trade paints were used across the interior, with all the ground-floor shopfronts and first-floor banisters being unified in charcoal grey Eggshell paint. The hardwearing, oil-based product leaves a desirable mid-sheen finish and can be used on both wood and metal surfaces. Meanwhile, the first-floor walls were given an colour scheme of grey and off-white using both Eggshell and Covaplus Vinyl Matt emulsion, a water-based, high-opacity paint that is suitable for all interior walls and ceilings.
For the external features around the impressive entrances, Johnstone’s Trade Stormshield Pliolite Based Masonry Finish paint was used, also in charcoal, but with the architraves being accentuated with Smooth Metal Paint in gold, a primer and top coat in one.