Blue Cross Centre Awash with Dulux Trade Colour

Dulux Trade has brought a splash of colour to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Lewknor, Oxfordshire, brightening up its bi-colour play barn with colours specified by the paint manufacturer’s Commercial Design Service.

The centre houses abandoned or unwanted pets, promotes welfare and provides treatment until the animals find a new home. The play barn is used on a daily basis where animals, particularly the centre’s canine residents can play and get exercise.  A grassy outdoor play area adjacent to the barn – complete with assault course, sandpit and paddling pool – means that when dogs enter the play barn, they bring the outdoors in. The room is subject to constant wear and tear all year round and according to centre manager, Nicola Bishop, the room requires regular cleaning.

image013Dulux Trade specifiers were asked to enhance the room’s aesthetics and give it a makeover that would withstand the dirt and provide a robust scheme to reduce cleaning.

What better way to demonstrate the chosen paint’s durability than by testing it with four-legged friends? Cue three of the centre’s cutest dogs, Blue Cross staff, a film crew and the Dulux Trade Commercial Specifier team to put the paint to the test.

The Dulux Trade Diamond range of paints, which includes Matt, Eggshell and High Performance Eggshell versions, is well-known for its hard-wearing qualities, allowing a long-lasting finish and an extended maintenance cycle.
Many users find that a Diamond finish can retain its original appearance for longer than conventional paints as surfaces can be repeatedly cleaned rather than redecorated, adding up to significant cost savings over the life span of the project.

The Test
A day to prep the walls and paint a feature wall with Dulux Trade Diamond as well as doors and window frames and the Dulux Commercial Specifier team were ready to prove that Diamond is ‘scuff, scrub and stain resistant’.

First to ‘test’ the paint’s capabilities in front of the cameras was Katie, an 18-month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, who having been for her morning walk, finished off her playtime with ball games in the play barn.

image021The age-old add age: ‘never work with children or animals’ nearly proved true. Despite coaxing from the camera crew and her handler, Katie clearly likes to keep her environment clean and tidy as she refused to touch the pristine magnolia Diamond-coated walls, much to the surprise of the team.

The next canine tester, Mary, an 18-month old Staffie cross with plenty of energy clearly loves the limelight. Mary gave an Oscar-worthy performance in just one ‘take’, after merrily splashing outside in the pool. She then bounded into the play barn to continue energetically chasing her toys, happily creating havoc on the Diamond walls. Several paws later, the play barn looked like it does on a typical day with muck and dirt ground into the walls and on the floor.

Finally, 13-month old crossbreed Doofus eagerly made his film debut, having rolled around in grass and sand outside. Once inside the Playbarn, he was only too happy to continue playing and helped to create the most mess out of the three dogs.


The Ultimate Test
With three happy, tired dogs having put the play barn and Diamond through its paces, the Dulux Trade team faced the ultimate test: bringing the walls back to their pristine magnolia condition with some good old fashioned ‘elbow grease’ using just a sponge, soap and water. Diamond’s properties mean that detergent or sugar soap are not needed. Water-based stains on a Diamond surface can be easily removed with just water.

image02330 minutes later, Diamond lived up to its reputation as one of the most durable paint products available on the market today. Nicola Bishop of Blue Cross said: “Our team were amazed to see that the magnolia walls, which had previously been marked with mud, sand and grass stains, were stainless, clean and bright after what seemed like little effort to wipe them down.”

“There was a particularly green grass stain, which I didn’t imagine they’d be able to remove with just water but I’m so impressed that the paint’s properties made it easy.”

So, it seems the Dulux Commercial Specifier team’s choice of product proved a hit with the Blue Cross. Nicola Bishop said: “We were a little sceptical at first that a paint could reduce our maintenance cycles and reduce the time spent in cleaning but since the Play Barn has been painted, several of our staff have reported that they don’t have to spend so much time cleaning the walls. We will be using Diamond for our next redecoration project.”

On The Walls
The Dulux Trade Commercial Specifier Team recommended a colourful scheme that reflected the energy and wit of the animals; colours that would also appeal to visitors and the staff who regularly use the Playbarn. Perhaps more importantly, the team also recommended Diamond, recently reformulated to withstand even tougher dirt and stain accidents and to make walls easier to wipe clean, thus reducing the need to regularly redecorate.

The range was used to provide fresh pops of bright colour in the play barn centering on yellow and blues to create an upbeat and ‘optimistic’ feel to the room. These clusters of colour were used as contrasts to the magnolia side walls.

Becky Davidson, Senior Brand Manager at Dulux Trade said: “We chose a bright pop of yellow (60YY 66/487) for the feature walls, with blue and turquoise colours for the adjoining toilet (50BB 18/276) and wash basin walls (90GG38/242) and main door (30BG 15/322). The window alcoves were enhanced with lime green (40YY 61/504) to draw the light in.

Aylesbury-based decorating contractors, A Splash of Colour were tasked with decorating the play barn’s walls, internal door and window trims.