By Ian Crump..
I love my job as I am sure most of you do too, it can be fun and has a creative side to it. Art was one thing that I was really good at as a kid, I liked playing with colour so when an opportunity arose to come to London and work as a decorator I thought why not! I went on to train as a Decorative Artist learning how to woodgrain and marble with Bill Holgate in Clitheroe who was a fantastic teacher. I bought books by Pierre Finkelstein and Thomas Kershaw and spent hours creating samples based on traditional marbles and woods. This job took to me to some amazing places but the market was changing and faux finishes no longer seemed as fashionable. It was when we were working with a decorator from America and got a contract to paint 4 luxury new build homes in Wimbledon that the mention of spraying came about. The rest is history as they say and fast forward 20 years we are spraying almost all the time..
Painting & Decorating is a very labour based business which means that we put a lot of strain on our bodies every day. I find that on average I can walk around 15,000 steps a day, so yes we are very active! Although I love doing my job one thing in-particular that I used to dread was ceilings, especially large ones or ones with ornate cornice.
Years ago I spent over 6 months working in Saudi Arabia on a Royal Palace. We had a huge ceiling to art work and after a long few days it was finished. The following morning I woke up and stretched – click: that was it, my neck went and for the next two weeks all I could paint was skirtings as I couldn’t move it at all 🙁
Ever since then if I pick up the roller to roller a ceiling I pay the price for weeks – my body has told me that under no circumstance am I to roller a ceiling and I haven’t done one myself since. I do spray them however and have done a lot of them big or small and cornice is no problems at all no matter how big or ornate it is.
The other health issue has been because of all the years of being on my knees painting skirtings, kneeling on griper rods and nails etc which have definitely affected my joints. I try to minimise the amount of time I’m on my knees as much as I can now so I use a padded skateboard! I know it may sound silly but if you look at the pictures it’s a wicked bit of kit, not only do I save my knees but I save time too. I use this when filling, sanding and caulking but when it comes to painting which is the longest part of it I stand up and walk round the room and spray it. It’s a nice comfortably pace and I get an amazing finish on skirtings so its a win win.
Granted, not everyone has the luxury of having a machine with a two gun set up or two machines running at the same time but either way whether you do or don’t the point is that spraying not only looks more relaxed its easier and much more fun – for me one of the main benefits is that it is just so much less stress on not only your neck but other parts of your body as well.
So, if I can find a way to make my life easier, more enjoyable, quicker PLUS give a better finish why wouldn’t I? I am always surprised when I run courses by how many guys and girls who have been doing this job for years and are looking for a way to relieve the stress on their bodies.
Spraying really does Make Sense for so many reasons!