We all know that before painting and decorating take place, a surface should be prepared. We’re not here to go over old ground! Having said that, though, going over old ground is an apt expression since this is exactly what is required! Despite the knowledge that preparation is vital, many of us resent paying for the time that it takes and indeed, are reluctant to invest in allowing it to happen properly. This is, as you’d expect, a false economy. A badly prepared area will not retain its decoration or function for as long as one which has benefited from layers of care and attention.
The first part of preparing a commercial, office or educational space is to clear it out as much as possible. Yes, some items are tricky to move and some pieces of furniture are fitted. However, taking the time to remove these things and not just decorate around them will offer the kind of flexibility that keeps a space usable whatever the configuration for years to come.
Sometimes moving out simply isn’t possible – we understand this. So we work around a business to prepare and redecorate a space around their business hours. We arrange work schedules that leave many others aghast! Evenings and weekends are no problems to us if it means that we can achieve a properly prepared and undertaken decoration project.
It’s not just indoor spaces which require preparation. External walls, facades and windows have to withstand the beatings of the great British weather, so painstaking preparation and priming is a must. The outside of a building suffers not just from the lashings of wind and rain but also absorbs dirt and pollution which must be properly cleaned and not trapped in the walls by the next layer of paint.
Health and Safety
Preparation isn’t just about the lovely final result or the durability of the decoration; it’s about keeping your decorator safe in their work. External walls, especially, require working at height for which structured supports, scaffolding or towers should be planned and utilised. The preparation process begins before we reach site though, with risk assessments when required and detailed scheduling undertaken.
The final finish of a surface, be it wood, brick or metal is only as good as what lurks beneath. So for this reason, stripping back is vital for a long-lasting, functional finish. Then once layers are finally removed, there are more layers to add as we start to prime and protect the surfaces. Thinking of the amount of activity that exists under the colour that you finally get to enjoy just shows how much work and attention is required for a good job.
As part of the preparation process, the unexpected can be uncovered. Depending on the age of the building, we can encounter lead paint, asbestos or any number of structural issues. In this way, decorating can become more about problem-solving than painting. In this situation, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable decorator working on the project; one who can prevent the unexpected turning into the impossible.
A quick thing to consider, since there are none! In fact, when you think about it, achieving a properly prepared professional finish is the real shortcut to avoid unnecessarily frequent repeat jobs.
To repeat a wise old phrase: “Success is 90% preparation and only 10% perspiration”. In our business, preparation actually involves perspiration, but we will go along with the sentiment! The decoration itself will take less time and achieve a far superior finish if that hidden work is properly undertaken. The value of thorough preparation will be evident in the final quality of your decorated space.