New Career - Painting and Decorating

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by MCF, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. MCF

    MCF New Member

    Hi. I am calling on all the professional painters and decorators for help and advice.
    I have been working in the sales profession too long and I have had enough, and I'm looking for a complete change.

    I have done quite a bit of decorating over the years in my own house and for friends and family, and have recently painted tow houses and a small office for friends FOC in return for some experience and honest feedback. All have been impressed with the work that I've completed, and have asked if I'm starting up on my own as they have friends and family that they'd recommend me to.

    I have also just completed three weeks work as a decorator on a new build site ( following a recent redundancy - sales is so cutthroat ) and also five weeks for a mate who is also a decorator.
    Both were impressed with the work ( I'm borderline OCD so always meticulous with finish, and a very tidy worker ) and have said just go for it.

    I have looked into short P&D courses but both guys have said the best way to laern is to just get on with it, and they're always there if I do come into any problems.

    Just wondered if you all have any thoughts on doing or not doing a course. I know the basics, work hard, have run my own business in the past ( sales company ) and just want a less stressfull life.
    If I can earn 15 to 20k a year I'll be more than happy.

    Thoughts please
  2. Goodwill

    Goodwill Member

    Hi MCF,

    Okay, you say you know the basics so in order to start to assess where you are, to some degree, kindly offer a full reply in answer to Chris Diver's post; 'Error in Painting New Plaster Walls'.
  3. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    I just want a less stressfull life. Why do you think it will be less stressfull, when you finish the job your currently working on you have to have another job to go to, and when you finish that one another one to go to and so on. If the summers wet like this year what then!

    If I can earn 15 to 20k a year I'll be more than happy.  So would I

  4. StinkNugget

    StinkNugget Member

    Good on you for trying but just a quick word on the reality out there.  I used to pull in a decent wage in finance, million pound deals were not uncommon - P&D is no less stressful.  What about quoting several times a week but getting no bookings coz everyone wants it done for almost nothing?  When you have mortgage & accountants to pay but are competing against dole dwellers working cash in hand for 50 quid a day?  One Christmas I had several grands worth of work cancel on me over a 1 week period!  Money I was banking on to pay the bills...    At the end of every day you have to clean your tools, do all your paperwork, make some appointments & fit in some quotes.  Like Astramax said, it's not stress free :)

    Also doing a few bits for friends or at home is nothing like doing it for real.  If you have several months work booked in you gotta finish each of them on time regardless of what unforseen problems crop up.  All good being a perfectionist but you have to get it right first time every time then move on to the next job.

    It sounds like you have some good contacts to help but it would be worthwhile doing a course.  You will learn far more working alongside seasoned contractors but it should give you a good base to build upon.
  5. painterbird

    painterbird New Member

    You wait till a client asks you to hang some Laura Ashley paper ...then you will know what stress is lol...
  6. gyprocjim

    gyprocjim Member

    Just go for it mate....its not rocket science... just hard work and building up the skill levels and experience required and planning ahead, act professional and think each job through , have colour samples and give good advice to customers about complimentary and contrasting colours,,,,take advice along the way and you will do alright .......make your own luck !!!!..positive attitude is everthing !!!
  7. Goodwill

    Goodwill Member

    No it's not rocket science but it is colour theory - Complementary colours will be contrasting colours by the very nature of being complementary (not complimentary).  
  8. Guttercat

    Guttercat New Member

    You may think that you're a perfectionist but "thinking" you're a perfectionist, trying to make a living as a perfectionist  and dealing with people that also think they're perfectionists are going to give you a big shock.

    Pricing jobs based on perfection and OCD will not make you a wage. It would probably take you a fortnight to strip a ceiling and rub it down and fill any cracks holes, before you'd sized, lined, emulsioned and cut the coving and ceiling rose in. That's if they don't change the colour on you after you'd finished it.

    Good luck. :)
  9. Goodwill

    Goodwill Member

    In addition to Guttercat's observations, it's worth noting that whilst the blind are leading the blind, Gyprocjim, an expert on colour theory, told us in the Builder's Forum that he was going to use PVA adhesive as the primary coat on new plaster.  Be cautious regarding from where you take advice.

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