Colouring traditional with digital: High Growth Scotland with Kim McAllister


I spend a lot of time writing about new tech and cutting edge solutions – so I thought it would be cool to go back to a traditional brand.
But I’ve been surprised.

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Craig and Rose paint was founded in 1829 by two Scottish entrepreneurs, so when I heard they’d opened a new flagship store in the capital I thought it would be a quaint story.
I was wrong.
This is a cutting edge brand and no mistake. When General Manager Phil White explained their Artisan range can create a concrete effect or a rusted wall, I was ready to redecorate.
“We can teach you in ten minutes in store to use the product so that you get a trowel trade-type finish,” he said. “It’s been so popular that we’ve made a bespoke pink concrete version for a hair salon chain.”
“We also do a rust effect – there are iron filings in the paint and when you sponge on the solution we give you, you get a patina of rust,” he added.
Who knew you could create concrete and rust from a tin of paint?
Marrying traditional paint making and cutting edge technology is how Craig & Rose intends to make its mark.

Staff in the new Stockbridge store all have a design background and offer free interior design advice. The intention is for the store – and its sister outlet in Chiswick London – to become a design hub, a place where local artists are championed and customers can learn about techniques. The company recognises the importance of the experience, not just the sale transaction, and the role of digital technology too. A new website should go live over the summer.
“We are taking the first steps to becoming the best paint site in the UK,” Phil explained. “It will have colour advice and service and lots of additional features. We want to make choosing colours easy. It sounds simple but most people are pretty scared of picking a colour. They stick to safe magnolias and beiges. We want to challenge them a little bit with other options.”
If you’ve ever been a vodka drinker you’ll recognize the claims of triple distilled tasting better… Craig and Rose paints traditionally are triple ground to create an ultrafine pigment leading to smooth coverage. This is where Phil believes the brand stands out against its competitors.
“We can mix smaller batches for more bespoke finishes,” he said. “One of the problems with chalky paints – as popular as they are – is that they mark, so we’ve created a new durable and washable version. We’ve used technology to create a high performing product which is more in line with what customers need for their homes.”

I’ve had a look on the website as it currently stands and the prices are definitely at the luxury end. They are maybe not for hallways in houses with small, indoor-football playing children.
But I can dream of a Mackintosh Mauve bedroom, perhaps with a glitter glaze or a feature pink concrete wall, right?
If you go to the showroom in Stockbridge (13 Deanhaugh Street) let me know how you get on!

Other articles by Kim McAllister
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