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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!

july 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

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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Explore the Colour Thesaurus!

june 17 blog cal decorators gloucester
I am always interested in the many different shades of colours and constantly on the lookout for new tones.

Recently I came across a fascinating blog from Ingid Sundberg.  Ingrid is a children’s book illustrator.  She found simple words like blue or red didn’t encapsulate the shades she was visualising so she began collecting words associated with different tones of colour.

From this she has developed a fantastic infographic chart to identify the multitude of colours of the rainbow, grouped into major colours such as yellow or green.

There are some pretty surprising things to find.  For instance, I always thought ‘mustard’ and ‘Dijon mustard’ tasted pretty similar.  However, they have a subtly different appearance according to Ingrid’s chart.

Also she defines ‘lemonade’ as a shade of pink rather than the perhaps more obvious yellow.  And wait until you see the different shades of black she has identified!

Follow this link to view Ingrid’s complete thesaurus of colour:

http://ingridsundberg.com/2014/02/04/the-color-thesaurus/

This is a public blog so I assume we can use the link?  Also if you could lift one or two of the charts it would look really good.

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Homeowners to Spend £35bn on Home Improvements!

may 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

I spotted a recent report that claimed homeowners in the UK are expected to spend around £35bn to upgrade their homes by the end of the year.

It might be a sign of the current political and economic uncertainty in this country or the sheer expense of moving home. 

Whatever the reasons, six out of ten British households will be spending money on home improvement and upgrade projects.

The findings are contained in a report by DigitalBridge who estimate an average cost of £1,500 for each individual project.

The majority of people (62%) intend repapering or painting walls.  The rooms that are targeted the most are the kitchen (25%), bathroom (24%) and bedroom (23%).

Of course not everyone is an expert painter and decorator.  If you are planning refurbishments this year why not get an expert in to do the job properly?

My company, CAL Painting and Decorating, have been carrying out high quality work in Gloucestershire since 2001.  Why not give me a ring on 01452 540067 for a free, no obligation quotation.

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Painting Classes that are Out of This World!

april 17 blog

I was fascinated to read of a new education programme launched by paint manufacturer PPG in partnership with the National Space Academy.  Their aim is to inspire young people to consider working in the space-sector or other related Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.

Schools local to PPG’s manufacturing facility in Birstall were invited to taster sessions which explored the key role colour plays in space exploration.  The pupils conducted experiments including ‘How to Survive Re-entry’ where they designed thermal protection units to explain how spacecraft withstand high temperatures at high speeds.

The classes are aimed at school years six to nine and will feature practical experiments to help explain why certain colours are used most frequently in space projects.  One, for instance, is called ‘Why are NASA’s Rockets Painted White?’

There was nothing like this when I was at school and I find it all a bit exciting.

Getting back down to earth, I am still busily engaged in painting things that don’t travel at hundreds of miles an hour.  Do give me a call for all your painting and decorating needs in the Gloucester area.  I’ll give you a free quotation and hope to achieve lift off.

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Spotlight on Dulux Weathershield!

When it comes to external paint I have no hesitation in recommending the Dulux Weathershield masonry range.  For my money (and more importantly yours) they are the most resistant to the vagaries of our UK weather and they also make complimentary products for woodwork and metal.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of their Weathershield products:

•    Weathershield Smooth Masonry Paint.  This has a unique high performance resin that Dulux claim gives “total protection” against all types of extreme weather conditions for 15 years.  It is quick drying and they claim it is rainproof within 30 minutes of application.  Available in 20 different colours.

•    Weathershield Exterior High Gloss.  This is ideal for external woodwork and comes in 10 colours.  It gives a fantastic high gloss finish and has a weatherproof guarantee for 10 years.  In addition it is mould proof to prevent unsightly staining.

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Going the Extra Mile!


I do like to do a thorough job when I am painting a room.  It makes for a professional finish and can save money for you, the customer, in the long run.

Here are just a few of the ‘extras’ I provide:

•    Door handles and window catches.  Wherever possible I will remove door handles and window catches prior to painting.  I don’t think anything looks much worse than a paint-spattered window catch.  The same goes for light switches and sockets.

•    External door edges.  If you have a front or back external door which constantly jams or scrapes, take a look at the edges.  I would bet that they have been left unpainted and are bare timber.  This exposure allows moisture to penetrate and the door will then shrink or swell.  Unfortunately, although I can paint the edges and ease doors, the damage already done may be irreparable.  

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Resolve to Redecorate!

jan 17 blog

I am not one for New Year resolutions myself but I know many people make them and hope I can help some of them come to fruition.  

It is quite common to think about redecorating at this time of year and this is where I can help.  Whatever you are thinking of having done, from redecorating a single room to complete interior or exterior makeover, I have got the expertise and knowledge to get the job done efficiently and to a high professional standard.

I am experienced in all aspects of traditional decorating and am happy tackling ceilings, stairways and halls as well as all rooms throughout the house.

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