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Ditching the Brush in Favor of Spraying – Statistics

I started spraying over 20 years ago for precisely the same reason as everyone today, it’s more profitable granted, and that’s not the whole reason we got involved. Still, its crux is that it is more profitable, and we would be lying if it wasn’t.

Over 10 years ago, we set up a Facebook group when they were new to the scene. I was a member of a couple of decorating groups, the main one being BOB (Brothers of the Brush); the concept was to share information and experiences of working in our trade. To ask fellow decorators whether they have used certain products and if they had worked well for them. With my main focus on getting better at spraying, I decided to set up a Facebook group focused on sprayers and those that were interested in spraying. The main reason for this was to gain knowledge on how I could get the best results within residential homes and smaller projects rather than Commercial ones because that was the area that my business was focused on. 

The interest was slow to grow initially, and to say that we hit some resistance would be an understatement;  at times, it felt like the local townsfolk were chasing us with pitchforks screaming “Burn the Witch!” – It felt like spraying had been classed as witchcraft and should be not used within the decorating trade.

Fast forward to 2015, when we decided to book a stand at the UK National Painting & Decorating show at the last minute. (The attendance numbers are in the region of 3000) There was a considerable presence of the leading paint suppliers and the usual crowds scurrying around for as many freebies as possible. We had decided to pitch at the crazy notion of trying to teach decorators how to spray – Decorators Teaching Decorators wow, what an idea, lol.

We considered leading with a campaign called “Bin the Brush“, where you wrote your details on an old brush which you threw into a Bin for a chance of winning a fully paid training course in spraying. Luckily we decided against it as our industry clearly wasn’t ready for such a sudden leap into the spraying world.

The interest in spraying at this stage was still very new, and this showed with the distinct lack of machine suppliers compared to the paint and sundries suppliers we have come to expect to see at this show.

However, fast forward again 4 years to 2019 when we were asked to run the first-ever SPRAY ZONE at the same show, and there was a clear shift toward spraying. The expertise we built within the Spraying Makes Sense Facebook group & the training courses developed at Painttech Training Academy meant we could showcase everything that was good about spraying as a decorator. The show was a huge success, and the SPRAY ZONE was the biggest buzz the industry has ever seen. We were lucky enough to have our good friend Chris berry (The Idaho Painter) join us for the show, plus a few days of training, which added a whole other level to the show and spraying clearly grabbed the attention of every decorator who attended. 

Now we find the show focused more heavily than ever towards Spraying over the Brush as more and more stands are showcasing not only just machines but also everything spray related. Masking tapes & protection stands are on every aisle, paint companies pushing their sprayable paints for kitchens, furniture & UPVC and all of the main machine manufacturers and supplies have expanded in size whilst the number of stands focusing on brushes & rollers seems to be less & less.

 

Download Now: The Ultimate Guide To Spraying [Free Template]

 

Over the years, we have run polls on our social media asking who sprays and how long.

The growth of Spraying Makes Sense has been slow and steady, not just because of the interest in spraying, but we have also been very focused on the quality of the group than the numbers. We want the correct information shared across the community rather than bombarding them with suppliers selling their products. We have released the group statistics over the years, and there has been a clear increase year on year.

The group now stands at 12,500 members, with 9,300 members active on the group and over 700 posts each month!

We still find that we turn away over 40% of joining requests to ensure the quality of information doesn’t get watered down. However, over the last few years, we have seen the growth of other spraying groups popping up with some big numbers. Although our focus is on quality information, there is no doubt that the development and interest is increasing.

industry report

We built the industry report

With the Spraying Makes Sense numbers growing, we also noticed that the number of confused sprayers was increasing too. Which machine should I buy and which paint is best in which scenario was just 2 of the main ones.

Last year we decided to build and release the first-ever Sprayers Industry report in the UK, we are working on the new 2022 report, but the good old COVID pandemic has had an impact on the information. We focused on using the community for solid feedback from decorators who were focused on using spraying within their business, and the information shows some of our findings.

We also spoke to the leading machine manufacturers, and a few select suppliers for their input and the shared information was a real eye-opener.

Check out the Industry report here.

 

As sprayers, we don’t charge more however we do earn more!

Go Construct released some data about the average salary for a painter & Decorator, what skills are required, what training is available, and how you would look to become a painter.  The link to the page is here You can also look at other trades and see what they would be earning.

We also spoke to the leading machine manufacturers, and a few select suppliers for their input and the shared information was a real eye-opener.

Within some of our training courses, we focus on how the Decorator is now claiming to be earning more than his rival trade; the Electrician sounds crazy, but clearly, it’s happening.

 

Here are some resources you might find helpful

There are many resources that could help you, but here are some of the best we could find for you.

 

Why Airless paint spraying is becoming more popular

We have all seen the videos on social media of decorators in the UK spraying instead of brushing and rolling. It looks incredible to watch, and it is so quick! But we have a little doubt at the back of our minds that says, “it’s just social media, it’s not really happening”.

We will discuss this idea later in the blog, but first, we will explore why spraying is becoming more popular in the UK and why decorators are ditching the roller and brush in favour of spraying.

 

It’s more accessible – these days, with the age of the internet, it is easy to jump online and look at the sprayers available and compare prices. They can be ordered and delivered with ease. In some cases, the next day. 

In days gone by, the accessories and equipment that you needed to get into spraying were not locally available, and you had to seek out the suppliers that could help you. These days many more suppliers are seeing the trend and are gearing up to supply decorators with the kit. This includes the sprayers themselves and accessories such as tips and extension bars.

 

There is better training and support available – One of the biggest problems for decorators who wanted to get into spraying was the lack of proper training and support. Some suppliers would do a quick 2-hour demo of the sprayer, and some colleges touched on spraying as part of the apprenticeship, but no one spent time explaining to the decorator how to make spraying work for their business. 

This meant that decorators feared getting the sprayer out and making mistakes. You need to spend some time with an experienced person to take you through all the setup processes, then spraying and finally cleaning. It would be best if you also had an understanding of tips and pressures and which “Pressure, tip, product” formulas work the best.

These days there are many products and surfaces that can be sprayed, and they are all different. Jumping on YouTube to find your answers can lead to even more confusion. If you do a recognised course, then you will be better equipped to enter the world of spraying.

There are good quality courses available that are staffed by experienced decorators and sprayers who know how to make money from the equipment. Check out the information at the end of this blog.

 

The equipment is cheaper and betterAirless spraying equipment has come on in leaps and bounds, and modern sprayers are not only smaller and lighter, but they will work at lower pressures. The days of great big airless sprayers that were only good on a big building site are gone. You can buy a professional airless sprayer for under a thousand pounds that is light and easy to transport. It is capable of spraying a small ceiling or a large exterior. This means that you can get into spraying without the massive outlay. Of course, the bigger machines are still available, but these tend to be used for more large scale work.

 

You can make more money spraying – when you are watching a video of a decorator spraying, you realise that it is so much quicker than traditional methods. Quicker means more money. You would price the job the same way as you always have; a decorating job will have a market price that people expect to pay. 

If you spray the work, it will be easier for you and quicker, meaning that you will complete more projects a month, meaning you will make more money. Many decorators that have gone down the spraying road have gone from “poor relation” compared to other trades to “rich uncle”, and this transition is long overdue.

 

You can give your customers a fantastic finish – This is why many decorators like to spray, especially the woodwork. The finish is excellent. Customers comment on it; their friends want their woodwork to look the same. You get a significant amount of job satisfaction from the finish you produce, which is great for your reputation.

The finish is the reason that even though it’s faster, decorators can charge even more than they usually do because of the finish. These days customers want a “factory finish” on things, and they are prepared to pay for it. There are not that many people out there that can pull off the amazing finish, so demand is outstripping supply.

 

Locations where you can train

We run courses for decorators on all aspects of spraying, including airless spraying for decorators, HVLP, fine finishing courses, and furniture spraying. These courses run throughout the year.

We have courses at a number of locations in the UK and depending on where you are located you are never too far from one of our training centres. The location of our centres is as follows; –

Scotland – Glenrothes

England – Preston (North West), Edenbridge (South East) and Exeter (South West)

Ireland – Castlebar, Co Mayo

Midlands – Texspray division

spraying cta

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