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How do you find a reputable decorator to transform your home?  Here we give you tips for hiring the best painters and decorators.

  • To find recommended painters and decorators in your area, don’t just look at the ratings. Find a local trader who has good reviews for a similar job (e.g. wallpapering, woodwork, internal or external work) and this will reassure you that they’re right for your project.
  • Though genuine cancellations do happen from time to time, any trader who says they can start work the next day should be hired with caution. Similarly, painters and decorators who offer cash deals or use other high pressure sales techniques are best avoided.
    If you're looking for a quality finish, be aware of adverts that state they'll beat any price, and offer multiple services like cleaning gutters, rubbish clearance, gardening as well as decorating, as these are unlikely to be qualified tradesmen.
  • Good decorators will rarely give you a quote or agree to undertake any work without first visiting your property. Call or email three recommended traders with a brief outline of what you’re trying to achieve and rough measurements. They’re the experts and will be able to advise on the best options once they’ve seen the condition of your home and discussed your budget and preferences.
  • Ask a decorator whether a slightly more expensive approach, such as high quality paint, might result in a better finish or last longer. The initial outlay might be marginally more but it could end up being better value for money.
  • Always get quotes in writing. Usually these will be accurate, but wallpaper removal can be an exception. Most traders will give you a quote based on an assumption that there is one layer of wallpaper and that the walls underneath are sound. If they find something unexpected, they might reasonably charge more, but they should always advise you of any changes before going ahead with the work.
  • Don’t forget to check that there are no hidden charges, such as for parking, working at weekends, or if they charge a fee for supplying the paint, before you agree to any work.
  • Most painting and decorating jobs are paid for when the work is completed and accepted. For large jobs, such as those that take more than a fortnight, your decorator might ask for an instalment upfront, or at 1 week/ 2 week intervals.
    Costly or unique materials, such as specially mixed paints, may also be billed in advance, but many decorators will give you the option of supplying your own Paint. Just be aware that if you provide budget priced materials, the end finish will not be as good.
  • Once the work is finished, carefully examine everything and deal with any snagging before making or completing payment.

 
 
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Types Of Paint               
              
 
Always try to use a good quality paint.


Good quality paint gives a much better finish. It covers better and makes the job much easier. It can often mean you don't have to apply as many coats which can save you  time. 

The type of paint you use depends on what you are painting. There are lots of different options so here is a rough guide. 
  
      
Walls and ceilings
For walls and ceilings use a Vinyl Matt emulsion . I usually use a brilliant white for ceilings and choice of colour for walls. 
This is water based so clean your brushes with water.

For bathrooms and kitchens you may want something that is a little more hard wearing for which you can use a Vinyl Silk Emulsion. This has a slight sheen on it which make it more resistant to water or grease and is easier to wipe clean.

Most paint products tell you on the tin if it is especially for kitchens and bathrooms.
    
        
Woodwork
For woodwork you'll need an undercoat and top-coat . Traditionally these have been oil-based paints, however, you can now get water based paints too. 
Oil-based paints cover well and are hard wearing. The disadvantage is they are solvent based and quite smelly until dry. You will need to clean your brushes with white spirit.

Water based based paints may need more coats to get a good finish and are not as hard wearing. The advantage is they are easy to apply, don't smell as much, and you can clean your brushes with water.
            
 
Types of finish

For exterior wood you will usually need to use a gloss finish. For internal painting, most people prefer to use a less glossy or even matt finish which is not so hard wearing but looks good.      
              
Gloss: Gives you a shiny finish, and is hard wearing and easy to clean. A shiny surface will show up any little imperfections or bad painting.

Satin Wood/ Eggshell: Gives you a mid sheen finish and looks great, but is not as hardwearing as gloss

Matt: Gives a great finish, but marks very easily.
    
A best practice is to use a gloss for all exterior woodwork and an eggshell for all interior woodwork     
              
Radiators          
 
You can buy a paint especially for radiators. Always make sure your radiators are turned off before you begin.
    
              
Exterior paint          
 
For stone work or painted bricks you'll need a Masonry paint. It's a bit like interior emulsion but especially formulated to be hard wearing outside. It's water based so you can clean your brushes with water.

For exterior wood work as a general rule use an oil-based under coat and and an oil-based gloss top-coat.
    
                      
 
Just remember that whatever painting job you are doing, always read the tin as it will tell you exactly what the paint is suitable for and how to use it, so follow all the instructions carefully.
And always allow adequate ventilation whilst painting and drying.





 
 
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So here's an interesting tip for all of the DIY enthusiasts out there who want to keep their paintbrushes in tip-top condition.

1. In the middle of a painting project and want to keep your brushes fresh overnight? In this case, there’s no need to give them a thorough clean. Simply wrap the head of your paintbrushes and roller in cling film or secure in an airtight plastic bag. Seal around the handle with masking tape and store in a dry place for up to two days.


2. Once you’ve finished painting, it’s now time to give your brushes and rollers a proper clean. First, scrape off as much paint as you can.


3. If you’ve been using water-based paint, simply soak your brush or roller in warm water for about 2 hours. Dry with a clean cloth and store in a dry place for future use.


4. Using solvent-based paints? Pour a small amount of solvent-based cleaner (this can be found at your local hardware store) into a small jar or container and work the brush against the sides to get the cleaner into the base of the bristles. Soak for about 2 hours, dry with a clean cloth and store in a dry place for future use.


5. You shouldn’t pour solvents down the sink, so after you’ve finished cleaning your brushes, pop a lid on your jar or container and leave for 24 hours. Once the paint has sunk to the bottom, you can tip the remaining solvent cleaner into the bottle for future use. Leave the paint to fully dry in the jar before disposing in the bin.


 
 
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Rowsan Decocorators are now Surrey Trading Standards Approved...... But what does that mean to our customers?

Whether you're making home improvements or getting your garden ready for spring, choosing a local trader you can rely on can be a daunting prospect. That's why Surrey County Council Trading Standards has joined forces with Checkatrade to ensure residents can easily find reputable traders in their area.

Replacing the Buy With Confidence scheme in Surrey, the Checkatrade Trading Standards Approved, Surrey partnership will cover a larger number of local businesses, meaning residents will have a better choice of reliable traders.

Last year alone over five million people throughout the country used Checkatrade to find reputable traders. It's completely free to use and includes tradesmen from all across Surrey – just search the online database.

In addition, the partnership also means you can now find a trader who has been approved by both Surrey Trading Standards and Checkatrade. This new double accreditation provides a gold standard in approval which will protect consumers, help stop rogue traders and support Surrey businesses.


 
 
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It’s the best design tool there is - a splash of colour here, a splash of colour there.  Want a quick budget makeover for any room – paint it another colour!  Want to change the feel of a room - change the colour of the accessories.  But how do we pick the right colour for the room?  How do we make the bedroom a calm, serene haven and the dining room a lively place to have your meal?

  

You need to take a look at colour psychology and meaning.  Through the years we have assigned meanings to different colours based on their traditional uses.  Analysing the symbolic meaning of colours will give you some valuable insight on how to choose the right colour for the right place and help you in every aspect of interior decorating, from choosing a paint color to redecorating your home on a budget.












Whites and Neutrals
Whites and neutrals tend to project purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Notice that most hospitals have white walls, brides wear white gowns and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.   Whites tend to:
•Add to your mental clarity
•Encourage us to clear clutter or obstacles
•Purify or clears thoughts or actions
•Evoke a feeling of fresh beginnings

Yellows
What is the first thing you think of that’s yellow?  The sun, of course.  Yellow is powerful color that suggests warmth, richness and happiness.  Yellows in the right doses can:
•make you feel happy
•give you more energy
•cause people to become angry quicker

Yellows can have a magical effect on a room, but with the power of this color, using too much or having it too bright can cause problems.

Reds
Even more powerful than yellows are the reds, its is one of the most powerful colors you can use  We associate red with love, valentines, danger, desire, speed, strength, and even stop signs. It is considered the first color that is recognized by human eye and this color:
•Promotes alertness
•Increases vitality
•Increases strength
•Stimulates conversation

Ideas for the use of red include dining rooms, and a dash of red as an accent can spice up other rooms as well.

Greens
Greens are a fresh color to use in almost any room, and is one of most-often cited favorite colors.  It represents nature, environment, health, good luck, youth and fertility.  Greens represent:
•healing
•rejuvenation;
•Nature and growth.

You can use greens almost anywhere, anytime for anything - in the right shades, of course.

Blues
Blue is considered a universal color.  It represents peace, tranquility, stability, trust, confidence, security, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, and even depression.  Blue can
•slow the pulse rate
•lower body temperature
•reduce appetite.

Blue is universal familiar color, and is comforting.  It’s known for its calming affect and should be used in any room you would like to promote tranquility and peace, like a bedroom.

Browns
The color brown represents earth and steadiness.  But the first thing I think of with brown is chocolate, of course, which symbolizes smoothness and luxury.  Brown tends to make us feel:
•Luxurious
•Elegant
•Comforted
•Earthy
•Wiser
•Stronger

If you need a touch of sophistication in a room, brown may be just what you need.

 Colors are going to play a major role in your life and color choices throughout your home are going to influence your mood, so be emotional about your color choices.






 
 
To find recommended painters and decorators in your area, don’t just look at the ratings. Finding a local trader who has good reviews for a similar job ( wallpapering or external work, for example) will reassure you that they’re right for your project.

Though genuine cancellations do happen from time to time, any trader who says they can start work the next day should be hired with caution. Similarly, painters and decorators who offer cash deals or use other high pressure sales techniques are best avoided.

Ask your prospective decorator whether they use subcontractors as membership of professional organisations, for example, does not usually extend to subcontracting.

Ask for a survey

Good decorators will rarely give you a quote or agree to undertake any work without first visiting your property. Call or email three recommended traders with a brief outline of what you’re trying to achieve and rough measurements. They’re the experts and will be able to advise on the best options once they’ve seen the condition of your home and discussed your budget and preferences.

Ask a decorator whether a slightly more expensive approach, such as high quality paint, might result in a better finish or last longer. The initial outlay might be marginally more but it could end up being better value for money.

Get written quotes

Always get quotes in writing. Usually these will be accurate, but wallpaper removal can be an exception. Most traders will give you a quote based on an assumption that there is one layer of wallpaper and that the walls underneath are sound. If they find something unexpected, they might reasonably charge more.

Don’t forget to check that there are no hidden charges, such as for parking or working at weekends, before you agree to any work.

Payment

Most painting and decorating jobs are paid for when the work is completed and accepted. For large jobs, such as those that take more than a fortnight, your decorator might ask for an instalment upfront. Costly or unique materials, such as specially mixed paints, may also be billed in advance.

Once the work is finished, carefully examine everything and deal with any snagging before making or completing payment.

 
 
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Here is a recent decorating job that we think looks great.

The wallpaper was made from a photo that our customer had.

I'm sure most of us have a photo that we would love to do this with!


 
 
  Do you like to do your own painting & decorating?
*Remember preparation is everything - no amount of paint will hide holes or cracks.
*Rack out any cracks to make wider before you fill - it will help the filler stay where it should be & fill up twice - over   filling takes a lot of effort to sand back down.
*Start at the top - Ceiling - walls - woodwork.
*Thin your paint a little bit, so it flows - Always apply at least two coats.
*Use good quality paints - Cheap paint = lots of coats & poor finish.
*Solvent or oil based paints flow better than water based paints & give more working time.
*water based paints are very good too - Also keep their colour - oil paint yellow over time.

*DON'T forget cover anything that you want to keep clean.
*Happy painting :)

 
 
We have been working outside since before Christmas, its been wet, cold, frozen and generally horrible.
Thankfully it is now finished - Not the ideal time for outside work, but on commercial jobs it sometimes just has to be done.