Painting and decorating for Christmas.
When to hire your painter and decorator.
Make sure you have plenty of time and plan ahead when decorating for Christmas
Most people think that tradesmen do not have weeks of work ahead of them. This is wrong to assume that. Sometimes I’m booked up three or four months in advance. If you require my services in the summertime, you need to be booking me in the Spring. So the same goes if you need decorating for Christmas in time.
You should really start looking to contact your painter and decorator at the end of September or beginning of October at the very latest, in time for Christmas
You need to take into account that customers that require work in the late summer early Autumn, the dates can get pushed back due to unforeseen circumstances, bad weather, other trades not finishing on time etc.
This can take you into early October easily and therefore people that were booked in the late Autumn early winter can get actually pushed back to November and December. I see this all the time and I usually get your phone calls a month before Christmas is due saying ‘have you got any availability to decorate my front room, I need it done urgently’
You also need to take into account the time the decorator finishes and the time it takes you to put up your Christmas tree. You don’t want your decorator working right up until Christmas Eve, neither does the decorator.
Who should you hire?
This is not an easy question to answer. The best recommendation is to use word of mouth. Ask your friends, family and work colleagues if they’ve had work done in the past and if they can recommend someone.
Failing that you need to go online and look for recommendations that way. There are plenty of online platforms where customers can give honest reviews to the work that they’ve had done.
In the UK we have such platforms like Checkatrade, TrustATrader and MyBuilder etc. These allow customers to give honest feedback on the work that they’ve received.
I personally am signed up to Checkatrade. Checkatrade do contact customers directly to make sure that the review that I posted is an honest one, that’s why I use them. I also have reviews on Houzz and Google, so I have a plethora of customers spread across different review platforms.
The other platforms possibly operate in the same way, but I’ve never used them.
These platforms not only give an honest review of your work they also give you a score or on how well you stuck to the original quote, how tidy you were, your courtesy and politeness. All these add up to an overall score.
I would use these platforms to hire the right person, to decorate your home in time for Christmas.
Areas you should concentrate on.
At Christmas time we have friends and family visiting your home over the festive season. A lot of time is spent cooking in a kitchen and also eating in a dining room or living room. I would concentrate on these areas first, especially if these rooms need quite a bit of work or haven’t been decorated in a long time.
When decorating for Christmas take into consideration where your Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, etc are going to go. The last thing you want is any of these decorations to ruin your freshly decorated home.
Also take into consideration possible change of furniture or moving the furniture around. Or even replacing carpets or having new flooring laid.
Carpets can be laid after the decorating has been completed but new flooring needs to be laid before decorating takes place. So a bit of thought and planning really needs to take place in your home when decorating for Christmas.
Things to avoid in your newly decorated home.
So you’ve had all this brand new work done, all rooms are looking fantastic and sparkling new, so what is it you should avoid.
Well the obvious thing is to make sure you don’t damage the walls or woodwork. Make sure your finishes are scrubbable. So for wall finishes it should be a durable emulsion. Woodwork should be an eggshell or satin or gloss finish.
If you get any hand marks on the walls or woodwork a good tip is to use cheap shaving foam to clean your walls. Shaving foam is pure soap and these will allow you to clean the walls without damaging them, so hand marks, food marks that sort of thing. Don’t use hard abrasives, cleaners or bleach as these can damage walls.
Also Christmas decorations. People have a tendency to stick things to walls like pins Blu-Tack and Sellotape.
Sellotape is extremely sticky and will pull the wall finish off, especially if it’s just been recently decorated and the paint has not had time to cure.
Pins are another no no. These leave tiny holes all over your walls.
If you can’t use Sellotape and you can’t use pins then I suppose Blu-Tack is the obvious answer. This is one of the worst things you can do.
Blu Tack leaves an oil stain behind, once it has been stuck to the wall and also it can take the paint off, if the paint hasn’t had time to cure. Avoid Blu-Tack like the plague.
If all this seems too much, then maybe put off decorating your home in time for Christmas to the New Year. Once your Christmas decorations are down you can have a freshly painted home in time for January.