At Craftmaster we don’t just sell our products, we use them.
Our company was founded by Phil Speight, a traditional narrowboat painter. Phil was looking for a product that suited his purposes as a trained coach painter, engaged in the hand painting of boats and other vehicles.
Failing to find a paint of sufficient quality he contacted HMG Paints in Manchester to see if they could develop a bespoke paint. Phil worked closely with HMG to develop a range of products that could be applied by hand (though they also roller and spray with excellent results). Others painters got to hear of Phil’s efforts and wanted to buy the paint, and so Craftmaster Paints was formed.
Half size Foden Steam Wagon completed in 2015. Painted by hand with Craftmaster Coach Enamel
Colours Used: Motor Blue No.3 (Historic Archive), Alfa Red (Standard Range)
Smokebox & Chimney painted with our Satin Smokebox Black.
Phil retired from major painting work in 2010 and sold the paint business to the Brown family. Though we have little involvement with the inland waterways, we have long been involved with historic vehicles and have a collection that we show regularly.
Currently two of our fleet of vehicles are painted throughout with Craftmaster products. We have a 1953 Morris 8 ‘Z’ Van which is presented in Craftmaster livery, and was painted by James Ragsdale of Retford (who was 18 at the time). Our half size Foden Steam Wagon was painted by Adam (who runs the business) and his sister Charley. Pictures of both are featured on this page together with details of the colours used.
We have several restoration projected underway which include the sole surviving ERF lorry built specifically for Showman’s service and a 1936 Morris Commercial which is totally dismantled. Pictures and updates will follow as the projects progress – keep an eye on our Facebook page.
1953 Morris 8 'Z' Van painted by hand with Craftmaster Coach Enamel
Colours Used: Saxe Blue No.3 (Historic Archive), Black (Standard Range)
It’s not all about full repaints though, some vehicles mellow with age and achieve a more ‘working clothes’ look. These we try to maintain as they are, whilst keeping them in working order and looking as smart as possible. Recent works have included the full reconditioning of the engine bay on our 1930 Austin Seven Chummy, which has been sympathetically repainted using a satin black rather than a gloss so as to compliment the appearance of the rest of the vehicle.
Phil is still with us and is engaged as our technical consultant, putting his 40+ years of practical experience to good use assisting our customers (and us!). This, together with our own experiences of using Craftmaster’s product range mean that we can give you the best possible advice on your own personal projects.