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Decorating is the introduction of a new surface covering to introduce a new fresh colour, texture or finish to a given area to improve or change its’ appearance. Decorating is often referred to as painting. and decorators are painters and vice – versa.

A painter and decorator can work in the commercial and private sectors and is held responsible for the external and internal appearance of a building and its surface coatings. There is a distinct relationship between the nature and quality of the service required and the payment charged to or made by the client. Painting and decorating is closely associated with other areas of the construction industry, and with the many products that support it. The painter and decorator will almost be expected to make everybody else’s work look good.

Whether employed, self – employed or as a part of a small business or team it pays dividends for the tradesman to be well organised and in many cases capable of self-management. The ability to communicate, solve problems and be creative are often pre-requisite and expected.

The painter and decorator will be anticipated to possess the ability to prepare surfaces thoroughly with meticulous care often correcting other trades mistakes and bad workmanship. The painter and decorator operates within a highly mobile labour market, working as a part of a team, alone, or in both on occasion.

Whichever area of decorating you operate in you’ll benefit by joining FATE here (LINK) as a member for a host of helpful tools, sign off sheets, risk assessments, method statements – where to find a supplier and more.

Plans and colour swatches

Whether you’re a domestic, commercial or even an industrial painter and decorator you’ll take on a high level of responsibility listening carefully to your clients’ requirements and organising your own work space and material needs.

You’ll be expected to protect the surfaces around you, to work safely and tidily and possess exceptional planning and scheduling skills. Every process matters and mistakes can often be largely irreversible and potentially costly.

Choosing the right paint and paint finish will fall under your remit. There are two basic types of paint to choose from: water-based paints often referred to as acrylic emulsions, and solvent based paints. High-quality water-based paints offer not just an excellent all-round performance profile, they are also a good choice from a health and environmental perspective.

Solvent based paints, the more traditional type of paint, require users to exercise a degree of caution to avoid risks relating to potential health hazards and will require a solvent cleaner for brushes and tools.

All solvents are potential health hazards, even if toxicity varies from solvent to solvent. Certain solvent properties, and their known effects are specific, others are common to a group. Solvents can penetrate the human body and extra care must be taken when using solvent based products. If you are using a mineral spirit or thinner-based product (also sold as solvent-based) plan how you will dispose of excess paint. There are regulations.

Most paints fall into one of the general categories of eggshell, semi-gloss, flat or gloss. You may also need to apply primer or first coat, depending on the surface being painted. These basic paints will answer most of your needs but it is worth looking for formulas that will perform better in specific situations. Always apply paint as recommended by the manufacturer.

Whichever area of the decorating trade you work in you’ll benefit by becoming a member of FATE with free access to many helpful documents to keep your tools moving in the right direction.

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