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Example of decorating specification and advice

Listed under Blog, Painting, preparation Posted Mar 18 2011

I recently went to Marple, a lovely property with big high ceilings, grand beams and some interesting timber panelling and polished doors. To my eye it was a challenging space to sort out in terms of design.

I took a look at the practicalities of refurbishing a big old building.

Below is an example of the technical info I put together for Ingrid to include with her final colourways and design presentation.

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Decorating specification

You need to solve the water ingress problem on the ceiling. Leaks are a building issue, not solved by decorating.

Below is an outline of how to tackle specific items.

Ceiling and walls
You may want to look into skimming over the heavily textured walls and ceilings. It is a very dated effect. I highly recommend Steve Evans to assess what needs doing. You should deal with him direct.

Once re-plastered:

1st coat acrylic matt diluted 30% with water

2 coats acrylic matt or ultimatt emulsion from Little Greene.

Use a 3/8″ woven pile sleeve. See photo with description of painting kit

Alternatively, a fabulous 2 coat system on new plaster is Classidur, but their range is not available in dark colours. Ask Patrick Baty for advice on whether the final colours you choose can be mixed in Classidur paints. He can supply the paint too.

If you do keep the existing finish, I would apply 1 x Blackfriars problem Solving primer to provide solid and stain-resisting basecoat, followed by 2 coats acrylic matt or ultimatt emulsion from Little Greene. Use a 1″ pile sheepskin roller sleeve – 12″ minimum. (probably need a couple of sleeves as it will be worn down on the current surface)


Sand down and apply Langlow Patina to handrail.

Mask up underside of handrail with 3m “blue tape” (2090 14-day tape)

On balustres, spray on Krudkutter de-glosser, leave 10 minutes to dry then prime with Blackfriars problem Solving primer (dont leave more than a week before overcoating the gloss-off)

1 coat of Little Greene primer-undercoat tinted to the top coat colour

2 coats of Little Greene acrylic eggshell

To revive woodwork (test small area first)

Clean with Langlow Wood Reviver

Apply 2 thin coats of Langlow Patina woodcare (4 hours minimum between coats.)

To clean off beams

Use a Random Orbital sander with 80 grade Abranet abrasives attached to a vacuum, minimal dust. You might need a wire brush for awkward bits, or abranet on a sponge block.

When cleaned back, vacuum off all dust. Decide on colour treatment once timber exposed. If oak, you can leave bare or treat with beeswax or shellac for darker hue. If pine you could apply Sadolin Classic in a variety of shades. It is a low sheen finish.

Hope that helps.

How much information?

The above is basic information that guides the client in the right direction, to either do it themselves, or call in a professional. Some would say that it is too much information, especially as I didn’t charge for it.

From my point of view, it is one thing knowing the process, it is another thing doing!

The homeowner who can redecorate per my specification isn’t going to employ me anyway, but if there are aspects of the work that are beyond them, I am a phonecall away to fill in. If they call in other decorators and refer to my specification, they will soon work out how well informed their decorators are – or aren’t. Either way, the time spent preparing this spec will not go unnoticed!

Primarily the information I have given adds value.

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2 comments to “Example of decorating specification and advice”

  1. BurtonTDSDerby

    RT @acmasterpainter: [watch out!] Example of decorating specification and advice – via #twitoaster https://traditionalpainter.com/example-of

  2. JGDecorator

    RT @acmasterpainter: [watch out!] Example of decorating specification and advice – via #twitoaster https://traditionalpainter.com/example-of

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