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Farrow & Ball – Child Friendly Paints!

cal decorators gloucester july 19 blog 1

I have talked before about my admiration for Farrow & Ball paints and wallcoverings. I really do think they are some of the best available.

It isn’t just the quality, but their whole ethos. They are passionate about conservation and using environmentally friendly materials. So much so that they now promote a range of child friendly paint.

Their 100% water based Modern and Estate ranges are certified child and baby safe in line with the Toy Safety Standards.

They are low in odour and low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) too. With their quick drying formulas they make the perfect child safe solution for painting cots, bedrooms, nurseries and playrooms.

They are even safe to use to paint toys so you can upcycle your children’s old toys with a bright new paint job and rest in peace as they carry on playing with them. 

Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion, Estate Eggshell, Modern Emulsion, Modern Eggshell, Exterior Masonry, Exterior Eggshell and Full Gloss have all been independently tested and approved to meet Toy Safety Standards (BS EN 71 – 3:1995 - Safety of Toys).

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Eco-Friendly Decorating Tips!

cal decorators gloucester may 19 blog

I am as concerned as anyone about the future of this planet and always looking for ways to improve our environment. Often it is little things that we all can do to help bring about change.

Here are four simple tips to make your decorating and interior design more eco-friendly.

1. Environmentally safe paint. I am well aware of the dangers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be found in many paints and lacquers. They release low level toxic emissions into the atmosphere and can affect out health and wellbeing. Always use low-VOC or VOC free paints as I do.

2. Buy vintage. Rather than heading for the large superstores to purchase your new decorations and furniture, why not keep your carbon footprint small and look at High Street alternatives. Plenty of classic vintage furnishings can be bought at second-hand, antique and charity shops. You also get the chance to use your craft skills by upcycling some pieces.

3. Change your window treatments. Why not follow the seasons? In winter it is natural to want heavy curtains at your windows to block out the cold air and they can help keep your heating costs down as well as improve your energy use. Switch to lighter drapes when the warmer, lighter months are with us for a brighter home.

4. Fill your home with fresh plants. House plants can have a massive impact on the quality of the air in your home. They take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen soaking up harmful toxins and purifying the air around them. And they also look fantastic!

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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 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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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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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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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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What to do with Unused Paint

As you know I am passionate about the environment and recycle whenever possible.  A recent survey by the British Coatings Federation (BCF) highlighted some problems with recycling unused paint.

It is estimated that a staggering 55 million litres of leftover paint is generated in the UK each year.  The majority if taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) is put in land fill or incinerated and only one in three HWRCs actually accept paint.

The problem for the local authorities that run these HWRCs is that incinerating paint safely is expensive and that seems to be the main reason why they don’t accept it.

There is another solution, however.  The BCF has found that sending the unused paint to a paint recycler or remanufacturer can lead to a saving of up to 40% for local authorities.

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