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Give Your Kids the Room of Their Dreams!

cal decorators gloucester feb 19 blog

I know that Spring is traditionally the time to think about redecorating but this year don’t forget your kids. Don’t they deserve a special nursery, bedroom or playroom?

These days it is very easy to theme a room to meet the dreams of a child. There are plenty of themed wallpapers to select from as well as murals and posters.

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Grey Doesn’t Mean Dull!


cal decorators gloucester jan 19 blog

I am going to surprise you by saying that grey is not necessarily the dullest of colours for painting walls. In fact it can be quite inspiring.

These days grey is no longer associated with dull industrial environments, school toilet blocks or hospital corridors. It is quickly replacing beige, stone and earth wall and woodwork colours as the modern ‘go to’ colour.

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What is the Best Paint for Wood, Doors & Skirting Boards?

cal decorators gloucester december 18 blog

Now there’s a question for you. Which is best?

Gloss (shiny) vs Satin (satinwood or semi-gloss) vs Eggshell (flat matt)

Here’s a breakdown:

• Gloss – a shiny high sheen finish that is almost reflective in effect. Always popular because of its hard-wearing nature but other products also offer this these days. A drawback is that the glossy sheen will highlight any flaws and defects in the wood being painted.

• Satinwood or Satin – this is a semi-gloss finish, a midway choice which is not as reflective as gloss nor as matt as eggshell. A satin finish really enhances work on fairly large surfaces such as internal doors, especially those that are textured or panelled, giving a crisp, clean look.

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It’s Official – Less Than Half UK Adults are DIY Confident!

cal decorators gloucester november 18 blog

I have thought this for a while and now an official study has confirmed that fewer than half of the adult population are confident undertaking DIY projects in the home.

The study was carried out by Local Heroes, a home improvement and repair service backed by British Gas.

2,000 adults were involved in the survey and just 41% said they felt positive and confident enough to tackle DIY jobs around the home, preferring to employ a local tradesman to do the job instead.

There was a distinct divide across the country with only 37% of those in London, the South East and South West feeling up to the tasks. This compared to 47% in the North West who felt more able to get stuck in.

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New Farrow & Ball Colours

cal decorators farrow and ball oct 18

As you know, I am a strong supporter of Farrow & Ball’s excellent range of paints. They have recently added nine new hues to their total of 132 different colours.

Each of them has a wonderful story behind them – here are some to whet your appetite.

• Yeabridge Green (No 287) – Yeabridge House is an 18th century Georgian farmhouse in South Petherton, Somerset. This colour was discovered on the walls when the original gun cupboard was removed. It is a vibrant, verdant green reminiscent of the lush Somerset grass surrounding the property.
• Cromarty (No 285) – for those of you who listen to the BBC’s Shipping Forecast, you will recognise Cromarty which takes its name from the Cromarty Firth estuary. It is the lightest shade in their Mizzle, Blue Grey and Pigeon range and is ideal for those seeking to find a colour neither too blue nor too grey.
• Salon Drab (No 290) – room names are a popular choice for Farrow & Ball. Salon refers to the outer room of a dressing room but is also reminiscent of a room designed for cultural and intellectual conversation.

Drab simply describes a colour lacking brightness. This shade is ideal for creating a mid-19th century feel whilst being cosy and even cocooning.

Check out all the new Farrow & Ball colours on their website here:

http://www.farrow-ball.com/discover-new-colours/content/fcp-content

 

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Decorating Around Stainless Steel Appliances

cal decorators gloucester august 18 blog


Stainless steel has proved to be a real boon to kitchen design. Not only does it have a smart, modern look and feel it is also long-lasting and easy to clean and maintain. Not only that, you can match it with a host of essential kitchen accessories made from the same material, such as kettles and toasters.

Assuming you are not going for the heavy industrial look, incorporating stainless steel tables, tiling and worktops, then you will need to decorate around the appliances. Here are some suggestions for the best colour schemes to go for.

• Black. Black for me always says sophistication. In the context of a kitchen around stainless steel appliances it will appear striking and very modern.

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Beware the Dangers of DIY!

 

cal decorators gloucester BLOG august 18

I know that a lot of people gain great satisfaction from carrying out home improvements and general DIY jobs.

However, there are inherent dangers for the amateur and if things go wrong you could become one of the estimated 222,000 DIYers who end up in hospital each year. That statistic is provided by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSoPA) and they should know!

So what are the most common dangers encountered by an intrepid DIY fan and how might they get injured? Here are the most likely causes of accidents:

• Knives – you should always take care when using sharp implements and this is especially the case when utilising knives or scalpels for tasks such as cutting carpet or lino. It really pays to have a professional carpet fitter ensure the flooring is properly measured and fitted. Avoid blood on the pile!

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Yee Ha! 5 Common Cowboy Decorating Errors!

cal decorators gloucester july 18 blog 2

We’ve all seen them on the TV programmes about rogue traders and incompetent workmen. They are the cowboys that get us professional and reliable tradesmen a bad name.

Here are 5 typical mistakes to help you spot the John Wayne’s from top quality decorators.

1. Cheap tools. It is simple; if you are using poor quality tools then you are not going to achieve a beautiful finish. If you want to provide a first class piece of work you need to use top quality tools. A set of brushes from the pound shop are not going to cut it.

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What do Dads Want for Father’s Day? No DIY!

june 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

As you are no doubt aware Father’s Day is almost upon us. I spotted an interesting survey carried out by the MyBuilder website asking Dads what they actually wanted as a present for their special day.

Now, I know that many people have an image of Dad as a DIY expert desperate to find things around the house and garden just waiting to be fixed. Sorry to disappoint, but most Dads just aren’t as into DIY as much as you might think.

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Are You Asbestos Aware?

 

may 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

I am pleased to say I am, having successfully completed an Asbestos Awareness course with training provider High Speed Training.

Asbestos is an extremely hazardous substance which can cause serious health problems to those who handle it. It is vital that anyone likely to be around asbestos is aware of the risks and the correct health and safety procedures.

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CAL H&S Success!

april 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

I am pleased to confirm that my team have recently been working with major construction company Kier on the Shire Hall recladding and refurbishment project.

Not only that but we have received a letter from Jeremy Mann, Kier’s Contracts Manager, complementing us on our adherence to their Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) standards.

Here’s what he had to say:

“On behalf of Kier, I would like to share with you Kier’s recognition of your positive contribution in embracing our Safety, Health and Environment Management System requirements including our Just and Fair Culture Standard.

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‘Paint Safe’ Initiative Launched!

march 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

I was interested to read recently about a new scheme called ‘Paint Safe’ which aims to promote the safe use of paint and provide best practice for decorators during preparation, application and drying.


The initiative is the brainchild of the British Coatings Federation (BCF) in association with the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) and the Scottish Decorator’s Federation (SDF). They have worked in close collaboration with the UK’s major paint manufacturers.

The first phase of the campaign was launched at the end of November at the National Painting and Decorating Show and focuses on decorative paints. A second phase promoting the safe use of industrial paints will be launched later this year.

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Decorating Market Hits £925m!

feb 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

A recent report by AMA Research has revealed that the market for paint, wallcoverings and wood care products was worth a staggering £925m in 2017.

Having hit an all-time low in 2009, the upturn in the construction sector in 2014 stimulated demand for decorating products. This grew enormously during 2015 but has tapered off since 2016.

Amongst the key drivers of demand are the housing market, consumer confidence, home improvement levels, design trends, non-residential construction activity and the weather in any given year.

The paint sector has seen a shift towards more water based products, with acrylic eggshell showing good growth. There has also been a marked increase in demand for what could be described as value added products such as durable, stain resistant and easy-to-clean products, as well as more specialist paints, including light reflecting, textured finishes, anti-bacterial, low odour, fast drying, anti-slip floor paint and insulating paint.

The trend in the wallcovering sector is towards bold designs, including the use of texture and digital printing. Wood care has seen good growth in fencing, sheds and conservatories, accompanied by demand for garden paints.

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Specialist Decorators Ready to Baroque & Roll!

jan 18 blog cal decorators gloucester


I read recently that national property maintenance specialists Novus Property Solutions had begun restoring the exterior of a magnificent baroque mansion in York.

Beningbrough Hall is an 18th century Italian-style baroque mansion house set in beautiful landscaped gardens.  It is owned and managed by the National Trust in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. The wonderful architecture of the house provides an ideal setting for the display of the many 18th century portraits which adorn its walls.  

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Survey finds Service put before Profits!

december 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

I was very interested to read the results of a recent survey which found what I have always maintained – good workmen value their reputation for good service over the money they receive for a job.

Last month Dulux Trade published the results of a survey of 500 decorators across the UK.  It looked at a variety of issues relevant to the industry, including time management, training and the value of reputation.

Over one third of the respondents (37%) said that they put doing a good job above maximising profit (7%) or finishing a job quickly (8%).  52% confirmed that they had worked outside their normal working hours to get an urgent job finished.

Training held great importance according to the survey’s results.  78% said they had received professional training and that making these credentials clear to their clients was of importance.  Three out of ten respondents said they invested in training for their employees to maintain their company’s reputation.

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Tips for Internal Wood Care!

november 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

As anyone who knows me or has read any of these blogs will know, I am a great believer in getting the preparation right.  This applies to internal wood care as well.

Older or recycled wood will often have cracks, drill holes or other damage which needs to be attended to.  A good wood filler will cope with most scratches but deeper holes may require several applications of filler, building up layers.  It is important to use a filler of the closest colour to the original wood.  If in doubt, go a shade darker.

Once it has dried the wood filler can be waxed and varnished as normal.

You may have wood which has been stripped and sanded, you may find it has a dull appearance.  Before applying wax or varnish, you might want to consider a wood dye to the untreated wood.  This has the effect of enhancing the colour of the wood whilst also bringing out the grain.

If you are considering using an oil on your wood surface, you might be confused by the sheer number of products available on the market.  You need to consider which type of wood you are looking to treat and choose accordingly.

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Heart Wood – the Dulux Colour for 2018!

october 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

Dulux has recently announced that their colour of the year for 2018 is one called Heart Wood.

That’s all very well, I hear you say, but what colour is that?

Heart Wood can best be described as a delightful heather-grey.  Apparently it is intended to evoke the concept of a home as a sanctuary away from the pressures and stresses of life.

Dulux thinking goes beyond the paint itself and considers how the shade will sit with the objects, materials and textures of a room.  Heart Wood is thought to go particularly well with leather, velvet and warm toned woods such as cherry and walnut.  It is described as a warm neutral colour with plenty of versatility.

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DIY Bodgers – the Facts!

sept 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

Take a look at these facts:

•    Britons spend £244 a year per head correcting DIY disasters adding up to a staggering £6 billion for the nation annually
•    There are currently 31.7 million unfinished DIY jobs in the UK
•    One in ten Britons has injured themselves carrying out DIY jobs

These are some of the conclusions from a survey of 2,000 households carried out by Armstead Trade, a professional paint brand.

The study found that 67% of home owners now avoid basic decorating with one in ten worried that they will repeat a past bodge and 16% admitting to feeling stressed about carrying out DIY projects.  Some 36% of those interviewed confessed they did not have the required skills to do decorating jobs and 12% of men reported their partner did not trust them to do it successfully.

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Into the Digital Age with Farrow & Ball!

august 17 blog cal decorators gloucester
I’ve mentioned in these blogs before about my admiration for Farrow & Ball’s fantastic range of paints and associated decorating products.  Don’t think they are old fashioned and just concentrate on the traditional, though.  They are very much part of the modern digital age.

They are whole heartedly devoted to protecting the environment and in 2010 they made the brave decision to move all their oil based paints to eco-friendly water based products instead.  In addition all their paints have low VOC (volatile organic compounds.

They followed this move by incorporating recyclable paint tins and always use responsibly sourced wallpapers.

Moving into the digital world, Farrow & Ball use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.  They also produce their own online interiors magazine, The Chromologist, and have an Inspiration site based around their inspirational hubs of colour. 

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Keep Your Brushes Clean!

july 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

If you read my blogs regularly you will know that I am a stickler for good preparation and workmanship.  This is most certainly the case with one of our most valuable tools – the humble paintbrush.

Brushes should be cleaned immediately after you have stopped painting.  If possible wipe as much excess paint from the brush onto rags or newspaper.

Some decorators leave their brushes in a bucket of cold water.  By far the better method for brushes which have been using water-based paints is to pop them under a tap running slightly warm.  Ideally add a little Fairy Liquid or similar.

If you have been using oil based paints, put on a pair of household rubber gloves and pour some white spirit into a paint kettle or bowl. Dip the brush in and work the white spirit into the bristles well. Then repeat in clean white spirit until the liquid remains fairly clear.

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