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Who are PaintTech!

Painttech Award Winners

We are just like you. 

Our strength has always been that all seven of our Painttech Training Academy tutors are highly experienced decorators with years in the field who have made the same mistakes you’re making but have learned from them. We’ve learnt what works and how to do it right. So, when thinking about how relevant our spray painting courses are to you and your businesses, know that our cock ups are what makes us relatable to every student. We know your pains and gains because we have experienced every up & down over the years.

 

Where did we start 

I started in the trade over 30 years ago when I was a naive young lad who thought it would be easy. What was I thinking? Lol. It seems a lifetime ago from the spray painting courses I run now. At the time, the only thing I was ever any good at was art, so I focused on decorative arts, which was booming during the 90s. Some of the older folk will know precisely what I mean. I was lucky enough to land some fantastic projects early on, like a three year restoration contract at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a fantastic learning curve, sharp & steep.

 

Decorating also took me to the Middle East for a few years working for royals and high-end clients, then on to Europe before finally settling down and focusing in & around London. Although my love and passion covered everything from marbling, graining & Venetian plasters, I fell into spraying like most of us back then.  

We got it wrong long before we got it right.

I began spray painting over 25 years ago but found it very hard. At the time, we couldn’t get it right. No YouTube, no one to ask, minimal help or guidance, plus decorators hadn’t even started talking and sharing their stories. Not like we do now. We had no other choice but to learn the hard way. It became a little too much to handle.

The stress of running a big business with over 20 staff took its toll. I spent six weeks in hospital and had 12′ of my bowel removed, it was a hell of a wake-up call, and I say from experience, if any of you suffer from stress, find a better way to make your life simpler.


I was told to find a better way, a different way to run my business or find another way to make a living. The problem was that I was very good at what I loved doing, so I realised I had to focus on reducing the stress and the staff, so I got busy with my first Airless Paint Sprayer ( Graco 695), a beast, to say the least. I kept cocking up and getting problem after problem. One day I completely lost my rag and considered dragging the bloody thing back out to the skip. Trust me when I say ‘keep the faith; it’s worth it.

 

Spaying Makes Sense – the new revolution.  

I needed more, more help, support and advice, but back in the day, where could I have found that information? So I set to find a place that attracted like-minded decorators who wanted to learn more. I joined a fantastic group on Facebook called BOB (brothers of the Brush ), run by a great guy Chris Kerfoot who had started something great and new, the concept of decorators talking & sharing information about tools, paints and everything in between.

I decided to try something similar, so Spraying Makes Sense was born. Spraying Makes Sense worked and has grown into an incredible community for anyone interested in anything spray-related. We’ve never tried to be the biggest, but we pride ourselves on being the best. We turn away up to 40% of requests from people to want to join, to maintain a high level of content and a safe environment for new members who are looking for advice from some of us more experienced folk.

 

Why doesn’t Spraying work for me?

When setting up Spraying Makes Sense, I expanded the Facebook groups I was involved with. I became the expert on spray-related topics and got asked many questions in the groups I was involved with. Honestly, some of the main questions I get asked today I did when setting up Spraying Makes Sense, such as

  • Why does it seem to work for you?
  • I can’t get it right,
  • What am I doing wrong,
  • How do I do this or that
  • Can I come and work with you

 

My favourite statement from those wanting to learn was and still is, “I will work for a week, for free”. Sounds logical, but my reply is always the same. If it takes me an hour, you being new, will take 2. Then my time is taken away from what I was doing to watch and train you, followed by the additional time to fix any issues or things that aren’t quite right. 6+ hours.

And on the flip side of things, how much is your time? How much does your week cost that you’re giving away for free?

So what’s the answer?

A controlled environment where you can cock it up time & time again with the proper training to correct things. OOOH! What a clever idea if there was only such a place.

Pitching the Idea.

In 2015 we decided to test such an idea, teaching decorators how to correctly use airless paint sprayers to make more money. To market such an idea, we exhibited at the National P&D show, throwing together a stand in just three weeks. The feedback was fantastic. We made many great connections and added some great friends into our community who are still strong Painttech Training Academy Ambassadors.

It wasn’t all rainbows & unicorns, though. In a matter of hours from the great highs of exhibiting, we were attacked on social media, across Twitter & Facebook. The personal attacks on Lyndsey and me were what I could only describe as vile. The thought to some of us helping decorators spray was nothing more than crazy witchcraft. We were so close to throwing in the towel and walking away; thank god we stayed strong against all the haters.

 

The infamous Mr fast & flawless 

The silver lining was that whilst at the show, I met Pete Wilkinson, Mr Fast & Flawless himself. We had been chatting via Twitter about our passion for changing the Decorating industry. So we met up and decided to push together, with the added experience of both himself and Tracey, who is now Mrs Fast & Flawless, the brains of that partnership.

Painttech Training Academy was born, focusing at the very early stages on the benefits of teaching painting and decorating courses on the uses of airless spray painting for decorating business.

 

We do this shit for a living.

 

That has been our ethos from the start because we all live and work within the decorating industry. Most of us are still involved in our own decorating businesses, so we can always stand tall and show how we have mastered the airless paint sprayer to get fantastic results and incredible profits.

 

We sell profits.

Because we only focus on training and ongoing support, we have no hidden agenda. We sell our knowledge and experience with years of cockups, so you don’t have to learn the hard way. Our support includes directing you to the best suppliers with who we have had experience dealing and that have shown the right approach to our own decorating businesses. We know that these suppliers have the same ethics as us; they focus on value & service and are not price-driven like most suppliers out there. You know that when ordering from any of the suppliers, we recommend dealing with the right companies for the right reasons. You can have that peace of mind guaranteed, and we’re always here to support you should something not go as smoothly as you hoped. Additionally, should we know or get told of any offers or vouchers, we will be sure to pass those on. 

 

The vision has never changed.

“Raise the respect, raise the rate” has always been my vision, and it’s not changed yet. In my own decorating business, I’ve always tried to lift the bar where ever possible. I’ve attracted the right clients over the years who value the service we deliver, and if you have that as your core belief, it shines through.

We want more of our fellow decorators to get involved with our community, so we raise the industry standard for the greater good and make decorating a trade of choice. For us, delivering ongoing painting and decorating courses plus consistently adding new and exciting courses can only keep lifting us higher. Remember, “Raise the respect, raise the rate.”

 

The future apprentices 

We need to focus on making the decorating trade an exciting trade to get involved in; let’s make it fun, engaging, exciting and profitable for the youth of tomorrow. Even if we have to do the hard work now, I believe it’s our duty we should all work towards; after all, it’s what we have built so far that we inherit, so let’s try to make our trade better we found it.

Let’s focus on not just traditional skills & methods but new & exciting aspects of decorating, airless spraying, one-piece murals, Epoxy worktop coatings & Venetian plaster finishes. All of these new additions are courses that we have been asked for by our Students and community as there is not only a whole new level but again, they are probably the most profitable aspects of the new decorating industry.

The future is very bright –

I’m personally very excited about what’s coming in the next few years as I can see some very exciting and dramatic changes ahead. I’ve been fortunate to be already involved in some of the new aspects coming that will impact us old doggies and anyone new to the trade.

 

The cherry on top.

One last bit of information for those of you that have got to the end is the ongoing financial help from the likes of the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), plus numerous funding channels that are now available to help decorators grow and up-skill. So get busy, get training, get involved and let’s make this the best trade to be involved in. 

“I personally love my job.”

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