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CASE STUDY: Outdoor Wood Paint with Osmo Country Colour - The Cwtch Glanmordy Café

Posted by Morag, Celtic Sustainables on

The Cwtch Aberporth Summer House Paint

Back in October 2015 Gethin and Jessamy James were in the final preparations of launching their new business venture – a brand new café in the seaside village of Aberporth in Cardigan Bay, Wales. 

The Cwtch Glanmordy Café, known locally as “The Cwtch”, has possibly one of the best locations in town. Half way up the steep sided slope from the beach to the village. With views of the sea and sand it’s a perfect place to watch for dolphins while still keeping an eye on the kids. South-west facing – ideal for chilling at their late opening pizza evenings in the hot summer months. 

“Cwtch” (rhymes with “butch” – kind of) has no literal translation into English. Similar words in English would be “hug” or “cuddle”, but a cwtch is so much more than that. Rolled into the meaning of the word are also feelings of love, protection, safety, so rather than “hug” think of “heartfelt hug”… which still doesn’t come close but is getting there... 

The Cwtch Café is nestled into the side of the bay, providing safety and shelter on cold and rainy days, and an escape from the heat on hot days. It certainly provides a food made with love and a great place to meet up with friends and family. My parents declared it the best place I had ever taken them for afternoon tea, in all these years of visiting, on their most recent holiday here – high praise indeed! 

The Cwtch Aberporth in Winter Snow

In terms of the café building maintenance, the idyllic location comes at a cost. In Wales it is often said that the weather can be all the seasons in one day. The great views of the sea also means that The Cwtch is exposed to the coastal rain, wind and snow in the winter months (when it is closed). The south-west aspect means that it gets all the heat of the afternoon sun.

(photo Aberporth Winter 2018. The Cwtch in blue near the bottom of the image)

The Cwtch is essentially a row of wooden seaside huts joined together to make one large indoor eating area. A large wooden summer house provides the kitchen and shop facilities all on a huge patio with outdoor seating. The indoor seating room is really rather cute. From the outside it looks like a series of seaside chalets painted in co-ordinating blue and white colours. The design is now iconic of the area as it quickly became a favourite subject for artists and photographers looking to capture the uniqueness and beauty of Aberporth.

Outdoor Wood Paint on the Summer Houses at The Cwtch


“What is the best outdoor wood paint for my summer house?” was big question on Gethin’s mind when he visited Celtic Sustainables back in 2015. As we talked through all the things the paint needed to achieve we understood his dilemma. 

An exterior paint in an exposed coastal location with is one of the toughest environments for any finish. That combined with it being painted on wood (a material that naturally flexes depending on the weather conditions), being on the café buildings where first impressions count and Gethin really didn’t want to have to re-paint it all every year. Also The Cwtch’s summer house paint scheme was very specific requiring dark blue, light blue and white outdoor wood paint colours. 

Those conditions alone you might think would be a tough problem to solve, however Gethin also had a tight time framework to be finished in (to catch the end of the holiday season), didn’t want the place smelling of paint at the grand opening (so needed a low VOC exterior wood paint) and was looking for an eco paint brand.

The choice of outdoor wood paint had to be right.

All our paints are low VOC and eco in some way, so Gethin had certainly come to the right place! Our immediate thought was of our natural exterior oil based paint for wood. The main reasons are firstly, the oils penetrate and nourish the wood providing protection. Secondly, as the wood oils don’t sit on the top of the wood (like a water based paint does) the finish will flex with the wood and not flake, blister or peel over the seasons.

The Cwtch Summer Houses painted with Blue Outdoor Wood Paint

The final question then was colour, which eco paint brand had the colours to match the summer house paint scheme? The answer, Osmo Country Colour:

  • White Outdoor wood paint = Osmo Country Colour White (2101)
  • Dark Blue Outdoor wood paint = Osmo Country Colour Royal Blue (2506)
  • Light Blue Outdoor wood paint = Osmo Country Colour Dove Blue (2507)

Exterior oil based paints for wood are very different to painting with a garden wood paint. Perhaps it’s more like a wood stain in that the first coat penetrates the wood and chosen colour is quite subdued it is only when you paint the second coat that the colour really comes to life and reaches its full vibrancy. The finish is like a satin wood paint.

(photo Gethin applying the first coat of Osmo Country Colour Dove Blue in 2015)

So now, after three hard winters and heading into the fourth summer season how has the outdoor wood paint faired? We noticed that after two summer seasons the Dove Blue had started to fade ever so slightly on the most exposed sides of the summer houses. So we were keen to find out what Gethin and Jess thought of the paint.

“The colours had lasted very well. The refresh has given it a sheen and more lustre but the colours had stood the test of time (45 months) in what is a harsh environment”. Jess James

Touching up the external finish is really easy with Osmo Country Colour, you simply apply a fresh coat of paint! You don’t need to sand to create a “key” for the paint and because it doesn’t crack or peel you don’t need to spend ages making sure the surface is “sound” either.

We love what Gethin and Jess have done with The Cwtch. 

As a summer house paint scheme, we think this is really one of the best, but don’t just take our word for it. Pop in if you are near for a cuppa and a slice of cake or ice-cream and take a look for yourself.

Keep up with what’s going on at The Cwtch by visiting their facebook page.

To find the perfect outdoor wood paint for your summer house, shed, seaside chalet or external windows to to our Exterior Wood Paint page. Or if you are inspired by this summer house design, jump straight to Osmo Country Colour.


Photos copyright The Cwtch Glanmordy Aberporth (top two photos) and Celtic Sustainables (last two photos), please ask permission before use.