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Blog about painting and decorating tips

Listed under Blog, Painting, preparation Posted Feb 21 2012

These are the top ten most visited pages for painting and decorating tips.

1 – Farrow and Ball paint
One of several UK paint and wallpaper manufacturers who produce a heritage colour range with a traditional look. (It is the look and finish, not the price or the “retail” tag that sets them apart from Dulux or Crown.)

I never had an issue with Farrow and Ball, and used them for years, until they discontinued all oil-based paints in their range. This move to water-borne paints sets them apart from most mainstream manufacturers, traditional and modern. I am one of many who aren’t buying Farrow and Ball’s marketing eco spiel, and until they get their products’ body, sandability and application genuinely on a par with oil paint, I won’t be following them that far out on a limb.

2 –How to paint pine furniture
There are many ways to prepare and paint pine, and this post explains how you can do it, the bomb-proof way, plus other options.

3 –Hand-painted kitchens
If you have a timber or laminate kitchen that works well in terms of layout, but is looking a bit tired, (think orangey pine, sombre dark oak and beige laminate) a hand-painted finish is a stunning and cost-effective solution. Likewise, there is nothing quite like a new custom timber kitchen that has been installed and hand-painted to your exact requirements.

This is the sort of decorating work I specialise in, and throughout this site I demonstrate the practicalities of this tricky end of the trade – a mix of hard graft, attention to detail, flexible thinking and a finely tuned painting technique.

4 –Hand-painted furniture
In terms of practicality and cost, there is a lot to be said for refurbishing a complete set of dining or bedroom furniture, a very nice farmhouse dresser, or upgrading a small item as part of a home decorating job. However, if you are considering painting individual pieces, the logistics and cost of employing a professional, especially outside your cachement area, is usually prohibitive. I have contacts in London, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the North East, if that helps.

5 –Filler for paint
It is very refreshing to know that this is a popular topic! I think this article covers all the bases for filling walls and ceilings and woodwork.

In descending order of reliable and user friendly application and sanding, Toupret TX110 and Beisssier Interior filler, then polyfilla – all perfectly OK for filling defects and dings on stable flat plaster surfaces, prior to painting or papering.

Any sign of dodgy plaster, wide cracks, cracks that just won’t go away, general badness, the Turret TX 110 is still a tough one to beat, but if you haven’t got it, and need to go for the stronger fillers in a tub, try Polycell 2-pack, which ticks most boxes for strength, and user-friendliness. Experience says that if 2-pack filler fails, the source of the problem is not a decorating one, and you need to look to a builder for a clue about the weak spot.

Why emulsion cracks over caulk – Be very careful painting standard emulsion over decorators caulk – it tends to crack or craze. It relates to the different surface tension and drying times of paint and caulk. I don’t use vinyl matt or contract emulsion from the usual UK paint companies, instead tending towards acrylic matt, and I don’t see the problems that plagues so many painters.

One day I will read an admission by paint manufacturers that their matt and vinyl matt emulsions have too much filler in them to be compatible with acrylic caulk – or vice versa – caulk manufacturers cannot find a formula that is able to cope with the high filler content of vinyl matt and contract matt emulsions.

Till the conglomerates get their joint act together, for belt and braces, if you are emulsion painting with standard vinyl matt and contract matt, apply a coat of oil based undercoat over caulk as a primer, prior to emulsioning. That is generally the only process known to work every time, to avoid that type of paint cracking and crazing. Water-based eggshell has less filler than matt emulsion, but it is not bombproof reliable.

High acrylic content emulsion over a caulk with low VOC off-gassing, tends to be the golden bullet. i.e. the expensive paints and caulk that isn’t 99p a tube.

6 –Interior painting and decorating
A young lad asked me about setting up a painting and decorating business. I don’t think he quite understood how vast this profession is, and to be effective and stay sane, you really need to specialise. I specialise in interior decorating with an emphasis on painted kitchens and tricky renovation work. That is tough enough. Commercial, airless, texturing, industrial, exterior… I have a working knowledge, but no way could I spread myself that thin.

7 –Little Greene Paint Company
A local company producing high quality traditional paints and wallpapers for a couple of centuries, fast delivery, excellent customer service in all the colours demanded by English heritage / Farrow and Ball minded fans.

And something for modern paint fans to think about. Did you know that Little Greene paint boasts a few important technical features you don’t get from Dulux? Little Greene oil based eggshell is suitable for interior AND exterior use… and their acrylic matt emulsion is flat, with exceptional coverage AND (this feature is priceless) strong colours can be touched in carefully without leaving a mark… what is not to like?

8 –Colour cards
I was told at art college that if you made a 2″ colour chip of every shade the human eye can differentiate, the full swatch would stretch to the moon. I’m not sure which planet the lecturer was on, but you get the idea. So colour cards (mostly free or for a nominal fee), then paint sample pots (about £3) are the way to go before spending out on that perfect paint to suit your wallpaper, upholstery and favourite work of art.

9 – Paint equipment and trade secrets
Everyone wants to know the tricks of the trade, so here are a few in one place. The rest are scattered throughout the site!

This site gets good reviews but in my opinion, the most comprehensive and useful decorating trade blog is that of US painter, Jack Pauhl. Excellent reviews with great photos, in-depth analysis and maniacal dedication to quality, efficiency and productivity.

10 – Stripping wallpaper
Probably the least favourite job around the home, I am sure it is because people equate the task to a steam stripper, which surely has to be the worst ever invention for most wallpaper removal tasks. Take it steady with a bucket of warm soapy water, a sponge and a brutally efficient 4″ long-handled razor scraper – bliss!



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One comment to “Blog about painting and decorating tips”

  1. cathy

    grand daughter just got first home but one living room has silver emulsion it looks slightly textured to me but might be just bad application how do we remove it or cover it with white

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