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Can A DIY Painter Become A Professional Decorator?

By Jemma Painter

It is clear that success in home improvements requires a certain aptitude. Taking on painting and decorating tasks should not be attempted if you lack patience, precision, or the ability to forward plan. It is not simply a case of deciding you wish to paint your fence today, the wood will need prior preparation, unless you want it to drink up your paint like a parched houseplant!

That said, possessing an aptitude that allows you to achieve a certain proficiency in DIY home improvements does not automatically mean you could turn pro and charge others for your skills. Firstly, a working knowledge of the language of the decorator is requisite. Buying ‘contract’ materials has absolutely nothing to do with contracts in the legally binding sense, but refers to the quality of wood, paint etc. that you are purchasing. (Contract =budget.) A door or window has ‘jambs’ rather than sides and, evidently, it would be a given that you know the various types of paint: primer, undercoat, matt or gloss and their appropriate applications.

The majority of part-time handymen run into difficulties because of a gross underestimation of the level of ground work that is needed. If the entire process of painting a room was taken into account, then the 300-400 charged by an expert seems fairly good value -the fun part of putting on the final coat is a relatively minor part of the overall job.

To achieve a quality finish, walls must be smooth and without blemishes, if necessary, they will have to be re-plastered and skimmed. Prior to filling chips and holes, the plaster should be sealed with a mixture of PVA glue and then, before painting over the plaster, the whole wall will need to be coated with watered down matt paint, (known as priming.) If this regime is not followed, you are likely to find that your top-coat starts peeling off somewhere down the line.

This is the detailed know-how required before you have even moved onto the separate skill-set involved in preparing woodwork to paint. Here you may have to enter the world of power tool purchase -manual sanding would not be very time effective. This could again reveal your novice status if you don’t know the difference between palm sanders and orbital sanders, those with a vibrating plate and those with a spinning disc. Take a quick look in your tool cupboard -are your electric tools green or blue, green denotes definite novice standing, indicating you are not yet ready to graduate to professional work!

Find out more about painting and decorating

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Painter, Jemma "Can A DIY Painter Become A Professional Decorator?." Can A DIY Painter Become A Professional Decorator?. 22 Aug. 2010. 13 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Painter, J (2010, August 22). Can A DIY Painter Become A Professional Decorator?. Retrieved August 13, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Painter, Jemma "Can A DIY Painter Become A Professional Decorator?"

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