I went out yesterday to look at what will hopefully be my big Spring job. Big old lodge house, middle of nowhere, husband works in property development in London so obviously knows his stuff, not short of a bob or two and wants it all done properly: “not worried about time, I want a quality job with Dulux products”. All well and good.
Compared to most guys on here, I will be a relatively inexperienced decorator, 38 and only been going five years, so I know I have lots to learn. To be honest, I do enjoy decorating, but I get bored with it sometimes (although I’m sure everyone does). I often find I’m not sure of how to approach a particular problem, but take my best guess based on common sense. It usually works out as I’m reasonably sensible. I have some great feedback on Checkatrade and pretty much all of my customers are happy with what I do and how I work.
But I get the distinct feeling I’ve reached a plateau and am not learning anything new, which I’m finding frustrating. I work mostly on my own, which probably explains a lot of that!
My point is, it’s time to up my game and take it a bit more seriously, or I’ll end up going crazy.
So I’m intending to dig a bit deeper into some of my jobs, I’ve already had some good advice on here (thank you Andy) but I’d like some more, especially to help me put together a comprehensive quote for this outside next year.
First thing I’m curious about is the Crittal windows. Last set of these I did were in an awful state, hadn’t been done in years. I scraped them back, sanded down hard, spot primed with Dulux Metalshield Water-based (non-ferrous) Primer then went over with two coats of Dulux Metalshield oil-based in Satin.
They looked pretty good, as you can see. But now I’m wondering, did I do the right thing? I’ve read the article on here about painting galvanised surfaces and I admit I’m a bit confused. Phosphate primer? Zinc primer? Taking all the topcoat off?? Is that necessary (or even possible unless I spend weeks doing it?)?
So I’m after a bit of guidance. Is there anything wrong with the approach I took? I saw a mention of wire brush, wire wool then wet/dry to take all the topcoat off (why wet/dry, are you supposed to use water?). How do I know if I need to use a zinc or phosphate primer, or whether the windows need etching first?
For this job I looked at, the paint on the windows looked generally pretty intact, so I’d guess that taking all the topcoat off would be unnecessary? Sand for a key, then two coats of Metalshield (incidentally, has anyone any experience of using Krudkutter Glossoff instead of sanding?).
What I did notice is that, on frames where the paint wasn’t intact, the black gloss has flaked off in large pieces. Going by what I have read, would this suggest a frame that wasn’t properly primed, so the gloss hasn’t stuck well?
Sorry if this is a bit rambly. What I’m basically after is sound advice on how to properly assess which products and processes to use and recommend to my customer. Because if it’s going to be costly, I’ll have to justify it and need to know what I’m talking about.
Many thanks in advance for any advice offered, but be warned I will probably just ask more questions!