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  • Writer's pictureAshley Woodcock

Knowing your Paint

It still shocks me when I go to meet potential clients and the question pops up, "so who gets the paint, us or you?". Have you ever made table reservations at a restaurant and ask, "who supplies the steaks us or you?" The materials we use play a massive part in providing you with a finish to be proud off.


We've all been to a retail store and seen fantastic deals on Dulux paint in a tin that catches the eye and thought I've heard of Dulux so must be good. Unfortunately the problem with retail paint is that it has a different formulation and uses different pigments, this generally leads to taking more coats. So what your saving on product will cost you on either time and/or labour cost!


This is import as to which surface and what area you are decorating. Years ago the choice was simple matt, silk, gloss and eggshell. For woodwork its simple gloss, satin and eggshell, which the best way to describe to non professionals is shiny, a little bit shiny and flat. Water based and solvent base comes into the equation, both have benefits but that's a discussion for another day. With wall coatings you now have a range, durable matt, contract matt, vinyl matt and silk. I try to avoid silk as it highlights blemishes and con not be touched up. I tend to go for durable matts.


Most people are aware of the big 3. Dulux, Crown and Jonhstone's. But now with the internet a lot more brands have come to light. Farrow and Ball, Little Greene, Isomat, Benjamin Moore and Tikkurila and very popular among the professionals.


A very important piece of information on the back of the paint tin which is often overlooked! I often hear people criticise paints because the project has not turned out right. For example people think Farrow and Ball is a poor finish but when asked did you use the prime required, the reply is most often no! Drying times are essential piece of information too. As you will notice Drying time and re coat times are mentioned, this is because paint dry's outside in. So if you touch a door casing then touch it a couple hours later and think I'll just re coat now you are putting the finished outcome at risk. It could result in peeling, flaking and just a poor finish in general.


This is just some basic information to consider before buying materials, all Decorators will have a personal go to product. Feel free to ask them why they choose that product, any good Decorator will be happy to explain.

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