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MJL Decorating Services in Southampton | Our Blog

  • 03/09/2017 - MATTHEW J ELEMON, MJL Decorating Services
    The changing ways, tools ,methods and materials of today’s professional painter & decorator


    The changing ways, tools ,methods and materials of today’s professional
    painter & decorator

    I have been a painter and
    decorator since August 15th 1983, the first day I started as a
    young, willing, naive YTS trainee . I was eager to learn and wanted to soak as
    much information up as I could, My first job was knotting and priming, I loved
    it, I’m glad I did because that’s all I done for 6 months, knot, prime all day
    every day , but I got to learn how important both materials are, knotting to
    stop sap bleeding through from the knot and breaking through the paint film
    surface , The primer is and always is the most important coat, as it has to be
    applied correctly, minimal brush marks as these will show through every coat, most
    importantly the primer has to adhere to the substrate that’s is being painted, otherwise
    all the subsequent coats will also fail

    We always used to use an oil
    based pink primer, and because of its lead content it felt tacky still the next day, now a days
    Shellac based sealers Zinseer BIN is in my opinion the best sealer for knots,
    this can be brushed on or even sprayed from an aerosol can, leaving a far
    better smooth brush free finish,

    As for primers there are
    numerous different types for each individual situation and specific job

    Fillers have also changed
    immensely, putty or wood stopper was often used, for filling small nail heads,
    polyyfilla was a very well know powder based filler, There is so much more
    choice now, fillers dry quicker and are a lot more flexible . I personally like
    the French filler Toupret , they have a great range for different situations ,
    and substrates ,

    Tools have changed massively
    over the years since I was an apprentice, My first tool bag was a few basic
    Hamilton Perfection filling and stripping knives, a hacking knife for hacking
    old putties out, hammer, and brushes, which were also Hamilton Perfection, I
    really rated the brushes, In my opinion they were the best at the time, and
    lasted for years, really didn’t like a new brush, always wanted to wear my
    brushes in, so they were great for cutting in, When I was an apprentice we were
    not allowed to use rollers, everything had to be brushed, which at the time was
    hard work, but has paid off dividends now , A huge 6 inch flat brush for
    ceiling and walls, cutting in with this was an art in its own right.

    Todays brushes have changed
    so much , to accommodate the different paints, I now use Purdy & Pro form
    Blaze bot exceptional brushes , giving a great finish, of course walls and
    ceilings are generally rolled now , but occasionally I do get a customer
    wanting a traditional finish and I will brush walls and ceilings , which I
    personally think still is the best finish …. But of course it takes a lot longer!!

    There are so many different
    rollers now as well, ranging in sizes and again different roller pile, for
    different substrates, little 4in mini rollers are a handy addition to any tool
    bag , especially the flock finish , giving a great finish for water based

    Preparation tools: what a
    difference there has been with these, We used to cut a piece of “scratch’ as we
    called it off the roll, and rub everything by hand, sometimes wrapping the’
    scratch’ around a rubbing block to make it easier and flatter, At the end of a
    long day prepping the decorator would often be covered head to toe in white
    dust, especially if you had been rubbing ceilings and walls down all day , and
    of course de sheeting everything and then the cleaning could begin .

    On really detailed work we
    often rubbed down with wet and dry, a lot of the time using soapy water to stop
    the scratching of the surface, this was a great way of prepping, and gave a
    really smooth finish but took a lot of time

    I then started to use
    electric palm sanders, which at the time were a revelation, giving better quicker
    results than hand sanding, but noisy, and messy, as the dust wold be air bourn
    very quickly, but lots of it too

    Today’s modern decorator is
    virtually dust free. After investing heavily 3-4 years ago in specialised
    sanding machines that connect to a dust extractor unit. The difference is
    amazing, not only is the preparation far better, its quicker and so much
    cleaner , today I’m no longer covered in white powdery dust, because the
    different sanders have the dust
    extraction unit, and because of the way the sanding discs and pads are designed
    the dust gets sucked through tiny holes straight into the extractor , hence
    most of the dust is not left on the substrate either, Mirka & Festool are
    in my opinion the best dustless sanders and have different sanders for
    different items to prepare . The different abrasives obviously come in
    different grades, so if you need some old flaking paint removed there are the
    products for this, right down to the most finesse of preparation work , there
    are the products for this too . Because of the dustless sanding, this means
    cleaning up is quicker and a lot healthier for the decorator too. Here at MJL
    Decorating services ltd, we believe preparation is the most vital element of
    decorating, so we invest heavily in this side of things to bring the best
    possible results we can

    Spraying is becoming ever
    more popular, MJL Decorating services Ltd, have used spray equipment for over
    20 years, the first machine I bought was a small Tiatn pump, which was great, I
    then progressed on to Graco machines, These are bigger, and I personally find
    them better, we have both airless pumps and HVLP set ups, for the more delicate
    work, trims ornate coving and mouldings etc, again with the majority of
    painting and decorating, everything is in the prep, and especially masking,
    once he masking is perfected, spraying becomes very easy, and very fast,
    keeping coast down and time scales met

    This is just a very brief
    view of how things have changed and are constantly changing for the
    professional decorator of today, they are exciting times

    If you would like any further
    information of help please do not hesitate to call MJL DECORATING SERVICES LTD

    02382 109 216



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  • 13/11/2016 - MJL Decorating Services in Southampton
    Hand Painted Kitchen in Southampton

    I was contacted in the first instance by the homeowner, they had installed a brand new kitchen from a small independent kitchen company in Christchurch, Dorset . The kitchen was tulip wood frame with doors made from Tulip wood again with MDF inner panels .They had done lots of research in looking for a suitible kitchen painter and I was initially invited to give the home owners a call via an email . I called them and made arrangements to go and meet them and see their kitchen to give them a detailed breakdown of works and a quotation.

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