Patrick Baty of Papers and Paints chooses his favourite websites.

Patrick Baty has run the family business Papers and Paints for the last thirty years. He is an authority on the use of paint and colour in historic buildings and works as a full-time consultant. His wife Alex and her small team of specialists dispense advice and colour in the Papers and Paints shop, now celebrating its 50th year in the same premises in Chelsea's Park Walk.


My Blog – I have found blogging is a perfect vehicle for passing on nuggets of colour- and paint- related information that cannot be found easily elsewhere. It is immediate and I can respond quickly to the various questions we receive through the shop or the consultancy/ One can see graphic illustrations of what happens if the exterior of a house is painted at the wrong time of year or the wrong sort of paint is used, for example. Recent projects such as the recreation of both an Elizabethan and a Tudor Garden are described. The death-defying analysis of the paint on Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge is outlined. A series of posts describing the last fifty years of Papers and Paints has also proved very popular.

Royal Warrant Holders Association - One of the privileges of holding a Royal Warrant is to meet representatives of many other warrant-holding companies. Many, like us, are working in small specialist trades or crafts with a strong sense of tradition and they range from chimney sweeps to picture framers, butchers to dry stone wallers. The one thing that they have in common is their commitment to the highest standards of quality and service. This site enables you to find the very best in the country. They are good people and I always try to use fellow warrant-holders when I can.

Twitter - I couldn’t manage without this. Twitter is a constantly evolving conversation between self- selected peers (many of those I follow, and who follow me are involved in the heritage and arts industries). It is invaluable as collective for information as well as knowledge dissemination and support. The last 18 months have seen any personality that I may have had gradually fragment into four tweeting personae – @paperspaints tweets about many of my projects on historic buildings and structures; @RPBevan tweets about the works of Robert Bevan and his wife Stanisława de Karłowska; @MarsMinerva tweets about the works of art produced by members of The Artists Rifles and @patrickbaty is a personal tweet feed on a wide range of subjects – mainly art, music, history and military.

Manufactum - Since receiving the first English catalogue I have eagerly looked forward to this collection of well-made and designed items ranging from clothing to furniture and office supplies. I seldom buy, but do have a very nice spectacle case and propelling pencil that have given years of excellent service. Their soaps are very good too. A recent visit to their shop in Munich was quite an experience overshadowed only by a trip to the Residenz.

Georgian London - One of the joys of Twitter is encountering new people and there I met Lucy Inglis, who posts fascinating and often amusing aspects of everyday London in the eighteenth century. Such things as Letitia Ann Sage and her early trip in a hot air balloon; a series of six podcasts looking at each of the plates of Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress and the finer details of ladies’ foundation garments have been covered in recent months. The power of social media was made very clear when she initiated an internet campaign on behalf of the fire-damaged 76 Dean Street, in Soho which resulted in press coverage and brought the building to the attention of those in a position to save it.

Dropbox - I use this remarkable website every day. Dropbox enables me to backup the files that I am working on and it syncs files across my computers. I can also share files with people who I am collaborating with. The 2GB free storage is more than enough for me, but paying customers can get up to 100GB.

8 November 2010