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Historic Yorkshire paint maker steps into a digital future

An artisan paint manufacturer that began manufacturing in Yorkshire in the 1700s – at around the same time as the French Revolution – has taken its first steps into modern retailing by selling online.

Hicks and Weatherburn launched a range of luxury interior paints inspired by the Yorkshire landscape last year and, thanks to a new web shop, the colours are now being used to decorate homes well beyond the county.

The paint names on the Hicks and Weatherburn colour card provide a whistle stop tour of some of the region’s best known beauty spots. Buttertubs, Hawes Cream and Kilnsey Crag are soft neutrals that echo the warm tones of the landscapes that have inspired them.

More adventurous interior designers might venture towards the richer hues of Burnsall Heather, Malham Tarn and Strid, strong colours that evoke the county’s bold character.

Owner Jonathan Wain, who makes his eco-friendly paint traditionally by hand, said:

Yorkshire has become an international brand in its own right, particularly since the Tour de France, and we’re proud to promote ourselves as made in Yorkshire and inspired by Yorkshire.

I’ve enjoyed developing new products to create an artisan paint range with the same high performance qualities as the top interior decorating brands and when it came to creating the colour range, my inspiration was already there – I’m a keen walker and have hundreds of photographs capturing my favourite places in Yorkshire.

The brand has a distinguished Yorkshire heritage which Jonathan is keen to make the most of.

Jonathan Wain said:

I still don’t know everything about the company’s history and it’s fascinating to unearth pieces of the jigsaw, through old advertisements, paint making equipment and colour charts that trace Yorkshire’s paint making history back over more than 250 years.

We now make over 20 different water based paints and we have products that can confidently compete against leading luxury paint manufacturers.

People are attracted by the fact that our products are handmade, our personal service and our performance guarantee  through small scale manufacturing, controlled selection of raw materials and product testing.

The fact that we’re a green manufacturer and our factory generates virtually zero waste is another factor that appeals to independent designers.

Today Jonathan has his sights set on the high end interiors market.

The business has also diversified into the theatrical market and works with theatres and set building companies nationwide including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet, Opera North and the City Varieties locally.


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