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a tale of renewal

From Habitat plus - wallpaper

The work of William Mason, arguably the most important wallpaper designer and manufacturer in New Zealand history, has been brought back to life by Resene.

Napier-born and London-trained textile designer Mason lived in Wellington in the 1950s, teaching art and exhibiting paintings. He and his wife Maureen began producing handprinted textiles, then wallpapers which were eagerly snapped up by homeowners renovating old villas. By 1965, the Masons' work adorned the walls of embassies worldwide as well as the New Zealand suite in the Hong Kong Hilton hotel. Today, examples are held in prominent galleries and museums including the Alexander Turnbull Library and Te Papa.

Mason tosca - Resene Wallpaper MT01

Mason poppies - Resene Wallpaper MPP01

Tosca: This Mason Tosca design uses Resene Half Delta on Resene Rice Cake; Resene Wallpaper MT01.  Poppies: This Mason Poppies design uses Resene Nero, Resene White and metallic paints Resene Bedrock and Resene Gold Dust; Resene Wallpaper MPP01.

Printing wallpaper is an ancient art. Originally printed by blocks made from fruit tree wood it superseded the previous means of decorating walls – hanging plain paper and illustrating it when in situ. By the 1950s the ‘screen printing’ technique became more widespread and is the process we are most familiar with today.

Wallpaper has been part of the Resene story since the company bought Mason Prints in 1974. The business came complete with the Marion Street building in Wellington which housed the wallpaper showroom and subsequently became the first Resene ColorShop. Resene continued to expand the original Mason's collection into new designs and colourways.

Mason Bamboo - Resene Wallpaper MBB01

Mason poppies design

Bamboo: This Mason Bamboo design uses Resene Rangoon Green and metallic paints Resene Pioneer and Resene Pure Pewter; Resene Wallpaper MBB01.  Poppies: This Mason Poppies design uses Resene Rice Cake, Resene Toto and metallic paints Resene Bedrock and Resene Gold Dust.

The collection was reborn in 2016. Around 20 of the Mason positives were in good enough condition to consider using, from which eight formed the final selection. While the resulting sample book features selected Resene colour combinations, decorators are welcome to specify their own preferences from any of the Resene colour collections.

Mason designs are hand screenprinted using Resene paints. Specialist blank papers are imported by Aspiring Walls, which also supplies Resene with commercial wallpaper ranges.

View the Mason Handcrafted Wallpaper collection at your local Resene ColorShop (selected stores only). Or view the Mason designs and colour ideas online at


updated May 2021
Habitat plus - wallpaper


Please place your wallpaper orders allowing plenty of time as there may be delays and some items may be unavailable. Samples are available in selected designs. Ask our Resene ColorShop team for assistance. Please view your favourites in store.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.