Retired decorator paints his council house to look like the Sistine Chapel

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A pensioner who transformed his three-bed council house into a renaissance palace has finally completed his project after running out of room on his walls.

Robert Burns, 74, from Brighton, Sussex, began painting his council house in 2003 after moving into the ‘bland’ three-bed terraced house with his wife.

The retired decorator has spent almost two decades painting his home after taking inspiration from the Sistine Chapel.

He has recreated art from some of the world’s most famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Sandro Botticelli.

After spending 18 years painting every wall, ceiling and hallway in his house, the pensioner has finally run out of room for any more renaissance style paintings.

‘When I moved into the home in 2003, I felt the home was very bland and simple throughout,’ says Robert.

‘I used to visit car boot sales in Lewes and I found a book that had pictures of the Sistine Chapel and remember thinking, what an amazing place that is.

‘I started buying even more books from charity shops and I built up a collection of beautiful books that I took inspiration from.

‘You can decorate council houses in whatever way you want and this is what I chose to do to make it my own.’

Robert says he only discovered his talent for painting when he began redecorating the house.

‘I do wish I had discovered it when I was younger as life as an artist would have been great fun,’ he says.

‘I have no more space so I’ve moved onto painting canvases and I just stack them up in the spare room.’

Robert initially moved into his council home after going through a divorce. Now, he has vowed to stay in the home and continue painting renaissance style canvases – despite running out of wall space.

He adds: ‘I’ve began painting celebrities in renaissance style; my most recent has been Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

‘During the first lockdown, I also painted Boris Johnson and did a few Sandro Botticelli inspired paintings.

‘We won’t ever move out of this home and the next people that do eventually move in can choose to paint over it all if they wish to.’

His hobby hasn’t even cost him very much money, Robert has spent less than £500 on acrylic paint over the 18-year period.

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