Protecting Rye’s historic heritage
for future generations
Rye Conservation Society is a registered charity -
During the early 1950s an attempt was made to cheer up the appearance of towns, despite the austerity of the post war period, by painting buildings. The new 'emulsion' paint was cheap and easy to apply and would cover the grime in cities. Publicised in the Sunday papers' new colour supplements such painting became highly fashionable.
With no planning restrictions at that time many historic buildings, shops, houses and even churches of perfectly good brick or tile hanging were painted, often white, and Rye lost many of its traditional colours and textures with the painting over of mellow red bricks and tile hanging.
In place of the subtle variation of hue and colour depending on the variations of clay and of firing in the kilns and the colour of the pointing between the bricks, the whole wall became a bland dazzling white.
Unfortunately it is almost impossible to remove paint from bricks and tiles due to the porosity of the clay.
Unfortunately many types of paints will seal the wall and stop it breathing. Moisture produced in the house by residents' cooking, washing, even breathing and any slight rising damp is now trapped in the wall, producing mould on inside walls.
For the sake of appearance, painted walls have to be repainted every few years at considerable cost including, now, the cost of scaffolding. At least it does not have to be 'brilliant' white paint.
The use of limewash paints allows an old wall to breathe.
Painted brick loses both the colour and the texture