The History of Painting and Decorating in Devon

The Builders SW TeamRenovationsLeave a Comment

The task of the painter and decorator has changed over the years. Although many of the roles taken on by the professional decorator remain unchanged, certain aspects of the job are much easier than they were historically. For instance, a painter used to be responsible for mixing the paints that he used. Painters were also responsible for maintaining a readily available supply of pigments, oils, paint thinners and driers. Part of the training of a painter was to enable him to accurately assess the type of mixture that was appropriate for every job that he did. In other words, the painter and decorator had to do all of the things that are now carried out by the manufacturers and retailers of the paint, allowing him to now spend more time on the preparation and application work. The preparation work involved in a thorough and professional painting job can be extensive.

Preparation before Painting
Nowadays, the responsibilities of a painter include the preparation of the surface to which the paint is to be applied, including filling holes, employing masking tape and applying a bond to porous surfaces. Preparatory work can also include scraping, sandpapering, the removal of any wallpaper covering, stain removal or blocking, patch plastering, wood filling, cleaning with sugar soap, caulking and patching.

Only when the necessary preparation work has been completed should the painter apply the paint. This may involve the use of a primer, sealer, undercoat and one or more finished coats, allowing the necessary drying time between respective coats of paint. When the final coat is dry, the painter completes his task by cleaning the site. Of course, in order to be able to do his job properly, the painter needs the right tools.

Devon Painters and Decorators

The Tools of a Painter’s Trade

The Painter’s Tools
Much of the painter’s work was manually performed in the past. The advent of power hand tools has removed much of the manual effort required, especially in terms of preparation, making the decorators job much less arduous. Power sanders and scrapers and paint sprayers all reduce effort and save time. There is still the need, nevertheless for the painter to work manually with scrapers, brushes and rollers, especially for more intricate work. If working at a height, the painter will need a set of ladders, a platform or scaffolding and the necessary fall protection measures should always be taken.

The Painter’s Union
Painters have long been keen on forming trade relationships with one another. As long ago as the end of the 13th century, painters began to form guilds to protect their secrets and their right to a monopoly over the trade. They also set the rates for their work. More recently, in 1894, a national association of painters was formed. In 1918, this was reintroduced as the National Federation of Master Painters and Decorators of England and Wales. It then changed its name to the British Decorators Association. Finally, in 2002, it formed a merger with the Painting & Decorating Federation and continues to operate today under the auspices of the Painting & Decorating Association.

The trade of painter and decorator is one of the oldest in the building industry and there are many Devon house renovations that require skilled painters and decorators to complete the finish to the job. Fortunately, Devon has many of these skilled tradesmen.

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