Mick Downie a painter and decorator in Essex has been asking for advice on developing a business, hand painting kitchens
It is a tricky question to answer without sounding sanctimonious…
I am pretty sure that all the TP guys have been on this path for 20-30 years, or young 'uns like Matt Evans, less, but pretty much since they started out they have been doing out of the ordinary decorating work.
Kitchen and furniture painting is a specialism. Every kitchen painter can paint and decorate with the best of them, but few decorators are dedicated to this line of work.
I would say that it is only a satisfying and profitable business if you have a system, which comes from repetition. and it is not for everyone - very methodical and repetitive and you need to pay a lot of attention to detail. But if that is you, it is a fantastic area of decorating to work in.
I personally have not worked for a kitchen company direct. Homeowners for me! I have painted new Heatherington and Newman, but worked direct for the homeowner. I have also been introduced to clients by a bespoke kitchen fitting company.
I will leave it to the other guys to give their opinion and experience of approaching kitchen companies. It works well for some.
One thread that keeps coming up is that there is a revolving door of kitchen painter wannabe’s approaching kitchen companies and being let go after doing the first kitchen. You have to think that high end kitchen designers are probably the most demanding clients, their attention to detail is legend, their reputation is on the line, and they want a specialist hand painter to match their standards.
Talking with Colin Taylor, he reckoned at the peak of the boom there were maybe 25 full-time journeymen kitchen painters working up and down the UK. Out of 100 thousand plus painters. The economy is on a downturn now. Those kitchen painters are still out there. That puts the potential market for new kitchen painting work in perspective.
So take a deep breath, approach the target market and give it your best shot. TP website is the fruits of 3 years of concerted effort to explain what is involved in kitchen painting. Still a way to go.