A long-standing painting business works wonders on long standing heritage homes
28 Jan 2021
For over 35 years, John and Judy Bisset have been painting the town together – well, many towns, actually. Their business, John Bisset Ltd (JBL), and their team of 13 strong has rolled their way through Warkworth, Omaha, Leigh, Tawharanui, Scotts Landing, Auckland and beyond colouring old and new homes, commercial buildings, theatres, schools and more. Roofs, fences, special finishes, whitewashing, chalk paints and waxes, inside and out – you name it, they’ve done it.
Given their extensive experience, the breadth of JBL’s portfolio is nothing short of extraordinary. But it’s their meticulous modern and heritage restorations that caught our eye at the Resene Total Colour Awards. Their business started in Auckland’s Devonport neighbourhood, where the couple have lived for over 38 years. A suburb that’s overflowing with attractive villas and heritage homes, it makes sense why they were drawn to specialising in these types of projects – but it’s their commitment to quality and getting the details right, both inside and out, that has made their work so celebrated.
“Word of mouth spread about the quality of the work our team produced and our work on these types of homes increased,” says Judy. Soon, JBL became known across Central Auckland and the team was asked to work their magic in other well-known heritage neighbourhoods like Ponsonby, Herne Bay and Remuera, and their reach has only continued to expand from there.
“Seeing run down villas and heritage homes transformed back to their original glory is very satisfying for our team and the homeowner – so the results are positive all around.”
Judy says the favourite part of her job is working with a great team and the satisfaction of knowing that they are producing great quality work. “Also, because the bulk of our work is in residential homes, we deal with some very nice people and the relationships that develop on site can be very uplifting for the team and the company,” she says.
Out of the many, many projects they’ve done, one absolutely spectacular Devonport house in particular stands out for them. JBL also painted the large heritage apartments next door a year apart. “Both were stunning buildings, and the redecoration made them look even more stunning,” says Judy. The home was a total renovation, so it was extremely satisfying to see the end result.”
When asked why they choose Resene, Judy says it’s because the products are fit for purpose, and that makes them an easy choice. “We use Resene Lumbersider for a low sheen finish, which minimises the blemishes that exist on the weatherboards of heritage homes, Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss and Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamels for a durable finish on windows, Resene Uracryl for a solid durable finish on exposed steel and, of course, Resene CoolColour technology for dark coloured paints.”
“Resene is great to deal with. There are stores handy to most job locations and pleasant, well informed and helpful staff. Our paint rep, Jay, is extremely helpful and well informed on product specifications and uses, as is the colour advice that Brenda Ngatai gives directly to our clients.”
If hiring a professional painter in New Zealand, Judy says to always look to members of Master Painters NZ for quality workmanship that’s backed by a Master Painters Guarantee. “If you’ll be doing the work yourself,” she says, “make sure you check with the staff at your local Resene ColorShop first so that you understand the preparation and painting processes you’ll need to make your efforts stand the test of time.”
“While preparation usually takes longer than the actual painting, good preparation is the key to a good paint job,” she reminds. “Don’t take shortcuts!”
JBL are also part of the Resene Eco.Decorator programme, a nationwide network of environmentally responsible, quality-focused painting contractors. Painting contractors can choose to undergo assessment for the Resene Eco.Decorator programme, which includes assessments of principles in practice, sustainable work practices, waste management, project plans and project sign-off processes, so you can be assured that the contractor is committed to sustainable principles in their work processes. www.ecodecorator.co.nz
JBL’s top colour picks
“Resene Half Rice Cake and Resene Quarter Rice Cake seem to be popular interior colour choices at the moment, and they do look great in the homes we have used them in. I like Resene Shadowy Blue, a beautiful intense blue. John loves anything bright,” says Judy. “Our depot in Glenfield has feature walls in Resene Kryptonite, Resene Jailbreak and Resene Submerge.”
Seeing how wonderful the decorative features of a heritage home look after their extensive preparation and repainting is what keeps John and Judy Bisset doing the satisfying work they do. Weatherboards in Resene Double Concrete, front door in Resene Dark Knight, concrete base in Resene Concrete and joinery, windows, columns, balustrading, rear pergola and other doors in Resene Alabaster.
JBL employees Luke Bisset, Laiben Hills and Alejandro Munoz in front of one of their favourite heritage restoration projects. Weatherboards in Resene Double Concrete and joinery, windows, columns and railing in Resene Alabaster.
images Jessica Gernat, www.jessicachloe.com