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Essington Apartments, Newcastle

CALLAGHAN PAINTING AND ROCKCOTE ARMOUR FLEX A WINNING COMBINATION

Central Coast painter Ben Callaghan has walked away from the NSW Master Painters Awards with a swag of awards for his work using ROCKCOTE Armour Flex on Newcastle’s Essington Apartments. Ben was honoured by the industry for his outstanding repaint job on the iconic building which was completed earlier this year.

Ben’s family business, Callaghan Painting and Decorating took out the Texture Coatings Award and the Multi-Unit (Residential) Repaint Over $100,000 Award for the project, along with a Highly Commended in the Difficult Access category. Ben also took out the biggest honour, the Regional Commercial Project of the Year Award, an overall award which he won from 31 category winners.

Each category winner is chosen based on the best scores across eight criteria:

  • Preparation
  • Regular and blemish-free surfaces
  • Uniformity of colour and opacity
  • Cleanliness of fixtures and fittings
  • Evenness of finish
  • Artistic skills and technical capabilities
  • Cutting-in between finishes and surface
  • Overall effect and visual appeal

The judges scored Ben’s work on the project at 98 from a possible 100.

The building in Pacific Street, Newcastle, was originally a nurses’ quarters for the Royal Newcastle Hospital. It was refurbished and turned into residential units in 1998. At the time, the building was coated in ROCKCOTE Toscani .

It’s a harsh environment, not far from the beach and has been exposed to harsh salt elements and weather conditions. Toscani has performed exceptionally over and the project managers again turned to ROCKCOTE for this repaint.

ROCKCOTE Armour Flex ideal for harsh conditions

ROCKCOTE Armour Flex was selected for the repaint due to its high level of durability in a harsh and windy environment, aesthetics and excellent bridging properties – essential for multi-storey jobs.

Ben was impressed with its easy of use and quality: “After only a week, we were saying ‘this stuff is unbelievable!”

“There was no spatter whatsoever from the roller – it was so thick and such a nice product to use with no mess.”

“We were painting in 30-40 degree heat and walls like the north wall of the building were in full sun all day every day. Once the boats were in place, we just had to keep going. The Armour Flex was awesome – it just performed so well in the heat. You could barely see any roller marks – it’s beautiful stuff to roll.”

Ben said the job took seven months to complete with two full-time tradesmen and a part-time apprentice.

A special rig needed to be built on the roof to enable the job to be completed as there is no permanent rail affixed to the building.

The job was broken down into 11m wide ‘drops’ based on the width of the swing stages from which Ben and his team worked.

“We had to be very systematic, doing one section at a time. One lift would be set up and we would wash the entire section, then prepare and fill as needed, then apply two coats of paint, each layer needing us to work from the top down in that section.”

We had two boats on site and while moving one we could continue working using the other.

To ensure every batch was the right colour, Ben worked closely with the team in the Colour Room at ROCKCOTE’s Yandina headquarters, and ordered product by the pallet.

Cheng Smart, Contract Administrator of the Essington Apartments, said that she was thrilled with the final result.

“All the comments by residents and the public have been very positive – the building looks just lovely. I’m so happy for Ben and the whole project team about this award win – the quality of the job deserved to be recognised.”


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