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Truro Cathedral, The Old School House

Zinsser Grade1 and AllCoat Exterior paint has been used extensively on the walls, ceilings and woodwork of a famous cathedral school in Truro during a large-scale refurbishment.


Originally built in 1908, the school was principally used to educate the cathedral’s choristers and in its remarkable history, was even used as a refuge during WW2 for junior boys evacuated from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The school formally closed its doors in 1960 and was then used briefly as corporate office space for the Cornwall Council Unitary Authority, but having been empty for a long period of time it will soon open its doors to the local community.


Nova Construction (which is leading the refurbishment programme) and Koha Architects, booked an appointment and site visit with Zinsser’s business development manager, Richard Thomas, allowing him to assess exactly what was required for this remarkable building with many different and difficult substrates.


Richard said, “For the interior walls and ceilings of the 19th century church, I recommended Zinsser Grade 1, which is specifically formulated to tackle problems associated with traditional and historic buildings, including high pH levels, staining, chalky surfaces, and issues like distemper and lime plaster, whilst being moisture permeable preventing the finish from flaking or cracking.



“Grade 1 is great for surfaces that conventional paints won’t adhere to, and it is washable making it very hard wearing. It has all the benefits of a modern coating and with the flat matt finish of a traditional chalk based paint, which is in keeping with a building of this type”.


All doors and woodwork in the cathedral school were primed with Zinsser BIN, and then finished in Zinsser AllCoat Exterior.


Richard continued, “AllCoat Exterior is designed to be used inside and outside. This hard wearing paint is re-coatable in just one hour and protects against cracking, peeling and blistering, giving a bright colour fast finish for up to eight years.”


Lewis Tolputt at Nova Construction commented “Upon completion in 2017 the building will include an area for the local community to access educational resources, a café, gallery spaces, office spaces and performance areas for concerts and recitals.”


“Being part of such a significant refurbishment is a great privilege for everyone at Nova. We’ve worked with Truro Cathedral for a number of years on a range of diverse projects, but the Cathedral school is really special building. At Nova, we understand our client’s needs and how to deliver unparalleled results. Zinsser shares this understanding and has created a great range of products that are in line with our commitment to deliver quality and excellence.”


The Zinsser specification service is offered free of charge, with members of the experienced Zinsser team available to work with professionals across the industry at every stage of their projects, from initial survey through to specification and application of coatings, providing on-site advice, training and technical assistance.

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