Haymes Blog › Melbourne City Baths

23rd August 2022

Melbourne City Baths

Haymes Paint helps revitalise Melbourne City Baths after major refurbishment

The famous building undergoes three-year facelift with the help of Haymes Paint 

Melb City Baths 1 web

The Melbourne City Baths have been a feature landmark in Melbourne’s CBD since the 1860s. For more than 160 years, they have serviced the local population in many ways – from its original use as a bathing house, to its later revival as both a historic site and a wellness centre.

In 2019, the City of Melbourne began a major refurbishment of the historic site with the help of over 60 trade specialists to restore the site to its former glory.

Haymes Paint proudly played an important role in the restoration project – which took three years to complete – providing its extensive product knowledge and expertise in colour matching to ensure the building’s heritage was preserved.

Melb City Baths 5 web Melb City Baths 2 web Melb City Baths 7 web

The brief

Haymes Paint was recruited specifically for refurbishing Melbourne City Baths’ pool areas, roof areas and external precast.

For the pool areas, the internal walls, trim, doors, railing, and ceiling battens needed a generous lick of paint, while the external roof shingles and precast features required a strong and highly durable coating to protect them from the elements.

At the core of this project was ensuring that all refurbishment works preserved the existing heritage features of the building, which called for precise attention to detail and specialist knowledge – all of which the Haymes Paint team provided.

Melb City Baths 9 web

Colour Matching the Past

The Haymes Paint team brought multiple unique skillsets to this project, and perhaps none more so than its specialist laboratory-assisted colour matching. 

Importantly, Haymes Paint was one of the first paint manufacturers to recognise the heritage colours of Australian architecture and developed a range based on British and Australian standard colours. This dedicated Heritage Colour range meant the team came into the project with specialist knowledge and skills to undertake the colour matching.

The heritage status of Melbourne City Baths – an Edwardian Baroque building – meant that getting the right colour was critical, ensuring its traditional features were preserved. The age of the building meant the colours were within the ‘Munsell’ colour palette.

Following several initial on-site consultations, Haymes Paint collated all relevant information and provided on site sample panels for both the Architect and Heritage Architect to approve.

Once the exact colours were finalised, Haymes Paint – and Western Painting – were ready to get to work.

This level of collaboration was essential to ensure any refurbishment works stayed true to the building’s existing heritage and style. 

Melb City Baths 10 web

A history of heritage paints

For the interior walls, Haymes Paint used water-based enamel paint, Haymes Ultra-Premium Ultratrim(semi-gloss) a perfect option for an enclosed pool area as it can absorb more humidity and moisture than other paint types. Additionally, the paint’s tolerance to damp areas means the surface didn’t need to be completely dry before application. As for the ceilings, Haymes Paint Ultra Premium Expressions (Low Sheen) was applied, which is ideal for wet areas and protects against mould and mildew. 

For the external structures, highly durable Haymes Paint products were used on the roof shingles and external precast elements of the historic building. The roof shingles posed a particularly challenging part of the refurbishment, as each had to be handmade by artisan craftsman to match the original shingles. It made sense, then, to protect the shingles with a premium product that would afford it ultimate protection – in this case, they were coated in Haymes Paint Ultra Premium Solashield Exterior (Satin), which is highly UV and mould resistant. Adding to its already impressive durability, Solashield easily adheres to surfaces making it perfect for the job. The precast elements were also treated with Solashield, but this time the Low Sheen finish.  

Picture13Haymes Paint Melbourne City Baths image 7

A new lease on life

The project concluded in September 2021 after nearly three years of hard work, as the famous Melbourne City Baths building was rejuvenated.

“To step back and see the finished result was a wonderful moment. The entire team, including Haymes Paint and all the other specialist tradespeople, had an immense amount of pride in the work that went into restoring such a magnificent building,” said Teresa Watters – Architectural Specification Manager

“While working on such an old building had its challenges, it presented an opportunity for the Haymes Paint team to demonstrate their skill and expertise. We hope that everyone who visits Melbourne City Baths observes the beauty of the building and recognises that our work helped breathe new life into the CBD sensation.”

Haymes Paint has a dedicated team to support you with coating specifications who are experts in bringing your projects to life. Please reach out to our team via email: e_specifier@haymespaint.com.au.


Architect; Loretta from Cassisi Architects

Heritage Architect; Arthur Andronas from Andronas Conservation Architecture

Builder; Eastern Property Services

Painter: Western Painting