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Cool Colour Combinations for this Summer!

cal decorators gloucester june 19 blog

I think we can just about agree that summer seems to be with us. That being the case here are some of the latest colour combination trends.

• Black & Metallics. Now, black may not be everyone’s first thought of a colour for the warmer months, but it is definitely on trend this summer, especially when paired with metallics. Copper, silver and gold all look amazing with black.

• Pale Pink & Baby Blue. Traditionally associated with the nursery, this colour combo is making a hit with adults too. They have subtle tones which mix well with fabrics such as faux fur.

• Hot Pink & Turquoise. If you are looking for something bold and bright then this might fit the bill. This combination of hot pink and turquoise shouts out ‘energy’.

• White & Rattan. White always says summer and it combines remarkably well with rattan. Think planters and storage baskets to get the idea.

• Peach & Yellow. This combo reflects and captures the essence of sunlight. Imagine a boldly coloured door and a throw rug.

• Purple & Turquoise. Another bold combination which works exceedingly well. The effect is remarkably cool.

• Blue & White. To finish a much more traditional summer combo. It gives a nautical theme and evokes Mediterranean memories.

If you are in Gloucestershire and are seeking a professional summer make over for you home, give me a call on 01452 540067. I’m sure we can come up with the right colour combination for you.

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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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Are You a DIY Procrastinator?

cal decorators gloucester april 19 blog

I read survey results recently that revealed 95% of us suffer procrastination problems, putting off or postponing something we should be getting on with.

When it comes to DIY I think procrastination is totally understandable. A growing to-do list combined with the sheer enormity of the task ahead and the pressure to get it right can be a huge problem.

Here are some simple tips to try and get you over the procrastination hump and to crack on with the job in hand:

1. Take inspiration. Some people are naturally creative while others need help visualising how a project will look when it is finished. If you are one of the latter then check out the results of similar projects to yours. The website Pinterest is an excellent starting point.
2. Give yourself a timescale. Trying to fit DIY plans into a busy home/work schedule can be difficult. Aim to put a certain amount of time aside to do your job and stick to it. It also helps to let others know so they don’t try and interrupt you.
3. Gather your equipment. Get all the things you are going to need together in one place. This will help you plan a step by step process for your project.
4. Regular breaks are important. Make sure you attempt your jobs using a sensible bite-sized approach and take regular breaks.
5. Reward yourself. If you can defeat your DIY procrastination and finish your project then you deserve a reward! I’ll leave it to you to decide how large or small that reward might be.

Of course, if you really can’t face the thought of more DIY you could always get a professional in. Give me a call on 01452 540067 and I’ll be happy to discuss your project and options.

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Check Out our Glossary!

cal decorators gloucester march 19 blog

You may not be aware but I have prepared a glossary of terms used in the painting and decorating business.

Here are a few of the more unusual ones that you may not have come across before:

• Alkyd – an oil based paint made from a synthetic resin rather than natural oils
• Distressing – a method of giving something an aged appearance, such as staining and also known as antiquing
• Flogger – a long haired paintbrush used to create the dragged paint effect and look
• Grinning – occurs when paint has been applied too thinly and the darker surface of the original paintwork shows or ‘grins’ through
• Knotting – use of a shellac based solution to seal knots in wood prior to priming
• Low tac – this describes types of masking tape with a very low adhesion making them easy to remove without damaging the surface
• Muraspec – leading designer and supplier of commercial wallpaper, available in narrow, medium and wide widths
• Size – the thin adhesive applied to walls which then seal the surface before wallpaper is hung
• Stippling – a technique whereby paint is applied using just the very tip of the bristles of the brush
• Thixotropic – materials with a gel like consistency so that they do not drip or run
• Wet and dry paper – waterproof abrasive paper made with silicon carbide particles glued to the back, used wet to provide a very smooth finish.

To see our full glossary, CLICK HERE!

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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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