A Note on Paints and Quoting
(and why I’m not the cheapest decorator you could employ).
Not all paints are made equal!
If you get more than one quote for any kind of work, there is always a good reason why there is a disparity between them; and I can guarantee there will be. If my quote is higher than most then there is a simple explanation – I spend a great deal of time on preparation – a phase of the job sorely neglected by many decorators. Thorough preparation naturally ensures a much better and more satisfactory end result. I also spend considerably more on paints because I will only use the very best quality products. This will ensure the work that you have paid me to do will stand up to wear far better than it would do if cheaper paints had been used by another decorator. Also, poor quality paints will leave an inferior finish as they just don’t flow or level off very well.
My quoting is carefully worked out to ensure that you, as a customer, get a fair deal and I get a fair wage and I will not compromise by cutting corners or by using inferior products just to get the price down to beat the competition.
The paint brands I generally use for interior work are Little Greene, Benjamin Moore and Tikkurila.
Little Greene: This is a UK brand and is the product I like to use for painting walls. With around 200 colours on offer, their palette is limited compared to the thousands of colours offered by some paint manufacturers. However, this suits most people, as too much colour choice can be overwhelming. The Little Greene paint collections bring together the most useful and beautiful luxury colours from all key periods in the history of decoration. Little Greene Intelligent Emulsion is matt (only 5% sheen), safe to use (certified completely safe for children’s rooms), environmentally friendly and washable. It is suitable for all areas of your home including kitchens, bathrooms and higher traffic areas like halls and stairs.
Little Greene colour charts and 60ml sample pots are readily available online at littlegreene.com or at Brewers Decorator Centres. The colour chart chips are hand painted with real paint and are not printed equivalents so you get a clear idea of the colours you may be choosing. That said, I highly recommend obtaining sample pots so that you can apply a sample of paint over a larger area, which will give you a better idea of what the colour will look like in situ.
Benjamin Moore: This is an American brand and is the product I prefer for painting trim (woodwork). Benjamin Moore Scuff-X is a very durable water– based paint that has been formulated to resist scuffing in the most demanding high traffic commercial settings, so will certainly stand up to most domestic wear and tear. It comes in four finishes – matt (10% sheen), eggshell (20% sheen), satin (30% sheen) and semi-gloss (50% sheen). Aesthetically, I highly recommend the eggshell for most domestic jobs. As well as being tough, Scuff-X finishes beautifully. Being water-based, it dries in minutes, doesn’t give off toxic fumes and the white doesn’t yellow over time. Traditional oil-based paints may be more suitable in some properties but in general, this paint is what I like to specify.
White is specified for painting trim on the majority of domestic decorating jobs. However, if you desire to have a colour on all or some of your woodwork there are one or two points to bear in mind. Benjamin Moore has a range of 3,500 colours. However, their colour charts are downloadable only, (their UK website address is benjaminmoorepaint.co.uk), which means you don’t see the actual paint colour, just a close representation, but you can purchase sample pots on- line. Being American, everything is bigger! There is only one pack size available for Scuff-X and that is a US Gallon (3.79 litres). So, if you choose a colour for your woodwork and the job is only a small one, there will be a lot of expensive paint left over. The sample pots too are bigger than average (almost half a litre) but this does at least allow you to see the paint applied in more than one area of the room where the intensity of light and shadow is different.
Tikkurila: This is a Finnish brand and is also a product I highly recommend for painting trim. Tikkurila Helmi Furniture Paint is a water-based enamel and has pretty much the same qualities as Scuff-X, but Scuff-X has the edge on toughness and durability and I would also say, has the edge on the finish. If you desire having all your woodwork painted white and don’t want a gloss finish, then I would recommend Scuff-X. However, there is an advantage specifying Helmi Furniture Paint when choosing colours. A colour can be chosen from any paint chart from any brand of paint and I will be able to get it mixed and matched to your chosen colour. So, for example, if you particularly liked a Dulux colour and if you are happy with your colour choice, I can get it mixed and matched in Helmi. So it gives one more scope and it may be more convenient to get colour samples if you have a decorating centre nearby. Other advantages are that it’s available in one litre tins so can be a more appropriate choice for smaller jobs and it is also available in a gloss finish with an 80% sheen. The UK website address for Tikkurila is tikkurila.co.uk if you wish to take a look at their own colour range. You can also order free colour charts online.
If oil-based paint is the best option for a job then both Little Greene and Tikkurila offer excellent products.
So, these are my preferred and recommended paints. This doesn’t mean however that I will not use other brands if I am specifically requested to do so. If you especially want a particular colour from another brand for your walls, for example, then I will go with your choice. Please bear in mind though that I cannot guarantee the same quality of finish with brands other than those recommended.
I hope this page has been helpful, but please feel free to call me on 07870 650367 if you have any questions. If you wish to look in more detail at these products you can check them out on the manufacturers websites. The websites also have some very useful colour scheming ideas if you need inspiration.