Hello all, here’s how I’ve arrived at this forum.
Before I begin my ramble, I’ve got to publicly thank Andy for this brilliantly informative forum and website, and of course all you highly skilled and generous professionals from whom I’ve already learnt a lot. Thank you.
I’m 54 (how the hell did that happen ???), and have been doing my best in the DIY department for as long as I can remember. I’ve always tried to to things well, and as fortune would have it, I’m reasonably good with my hands. I say reasonable, because I know the work I’ve done compared to a proper bricky, plasterer, spark, carpenter, plumber, and of course painter and decorator is somewhat amateur. This is in complete contrast to the opinion of my lovely supporting wife, and friends, who think the standard of my results are brilliant and better than most tradesmen, though in some cases, sadly they are right.
As regards painting and decorating, and all the other trades I’ve turned my hand to, I’ve had no formal training (apart form working with a builder years back who thankfully taught me how to plaster), but I’ve enjoyed giving it a go. My departure from the usual DIY route of crown/dulux/other nasty cheap brand gloss and emulsion paint has been dictated by my own desire to use better paint, and more importantly from my wife’s allergy to the smell of the stuff. Oil based gloss especially makes her feel sick, so years ago I started trying out water based eggshell and various other wood finishes. I was obviously going about it in the wrong way, because most of the products I tried were rubbish, and didn’t give anywhere near the finish of traditional oil based eggshell. I gave up on gloss for interior woodwork almost as soon as I started painting, as it just looks wrong to me. Outside it’s ok, but I just prefer a more subtle sheen inside. Anyway, I eventually came across something called “Green Paints” from an online shop TheGreenShop. It does have a little bit of a smell, but at last I had a water based rather nice finish for my interior woodwork. Well, that’s what I thought until I found this place !
So for years I’ve been sanding down with the usual rolls of sandpaper, making dust everywhere, filling, more sanding, knotting, priming & undercoating and finishing off with 2 coats of green paints water based paints with all coats having a quick denib between with those flexible sanding pads.
I’ve been reasonably pleased with that, even though it takes me an age, but now…well for starters thanks to traditionalpainter.com I’ve discovered Abranet ! Bloody marvellous bit of kit, which not only works better, but coupled to my Henry saves me a shed load of dust hassle. As for paint and brushes, well, needless to say I’m starting all over again, am slightly bamboozled by all the options, but feel I’ve entered a wonderful toyshop of all things painterly, and am looking forward to achieving even more wonderful finishes of my DIY painting and decorating projects.
I have a few specific questions which I will post up in the appropriate sections.
I’m also trying my hand at some furniture painting. Not at all in the same league as Adam and his superb myhandpaintedfurniture.com but I’ll talk about that in another thread.
I’m really quite in awe of the skill and knowledge on here. I thought I was doing a reasonable job, then I started reading Andy’s website and realised I had sooooo much to learn. There is much to admire here, I keep coming across articles that make me realise quite how rubbish a job I’ve been doing. And the skill of folk like Jack Pauhl !!! My god, does he know how to use a paintbrush! I’m sure if I told my wife how interesting and exciting I find all this stuff she would think I was nuts, but it’s terrific and so helpful…and it’s all free !! You guys are so generous with your knowledge.
I’ll tell you what I do think is nuts though. Crap TV shows like 60 second makeover…what a joke. I hate all that sort of thing and how it makes a mockery of every trades person who has grafted hard to learn their skills properly, so that they can do something to a proper standard and that it will last…sorry, I’m on a rant, but there’s sometimes too much of a consensus that anyone can do building work, how hard can it be?, and painting gets the least appreciation as a specialist skill. I just hate to see things done badly, and even more hate the disrespect of those that dedicate themselves to do it well.
Having said that, I wish I’d learnt the art of painting and decorating properly ages ago. If I could I’d retrain now, but I’m not sure how I’d pay the bills now on an apprenticeship wage
I read Martin Dunn’s post recently about finding, or rather not finding an apprentice. Good grief, you’d think that young folk would be fighting over the chance to work with and learn from such a master of their craft, and stay with him for years to continue to learn, and more importantly to enjoy creating beautiful results. What a shame, I hope you got someone suitable Martin.
Right, I’ve waffled on enough. That’s given you a flavour of the sort of keen amateur, and somewhat rambling poster I am I’m immensely grateful to Andy and everyone who has given their opinions, insight etc to traditionalpainter.com as I’ve learnt so much in a short space of time, and am excited about improving my skills.
Thanks for reading…and if it helped you get to sleep…