The decorators I speak to on a regular bases are probably sick of me rattling on about this, but it still baffles me why less than half of UK decorators spray. Some of the reasons the non-spraying decorators give are equally as mind boggling. I think the misconceptions are driven by nothing more than stubbornness against change. The fact is, decorators who spray, earn more money. They just do!!
So, are you a decorator? Do you want extra money? No? Fine, stick to pushing a brush around and moaning about decorators who use masking tape. If you do, for god’s sake, learn to spray!! It’s dead easy to take the step nowadays with the likes of the Dulux Academy! You can even get sprayers on finance, meaning they literally pay for themselves with the extra profit you make.
One of the most common arguments against spraying goes like this, “by the time you’ve masked up, I’d have had the room finished by brush and roller”. Another nonsense thing decorators come out with is, “I only do domestics and it doesn’t warrant spraying.”
Total poppycock!! Listen, some jobs do not warrant spraying because it is quicker to brush and roll. However, some jobs do. Some jobs are much quicker when you spray. Some jobs you can charge a premium BECAUSE you spray! Even if you only use your sprayer on one job every month, you’re quid’s in! Knowing when to spray and when to roll is quite straightforward.
Even if you just use your sprayer to do ceilings, you’re still saving a couple of hours per room. There is very little extra masking, you do not need to wait longer than about 5 minutes between first and second coats and it takes less time to clean a sprayer than it does to clean a brush and roller. There is no good reason not to spray!!
When do I spray?
I’m a one-man band when it comes to decorating and I work solely on domestics. I spray ceilings more times than not and if I’m doing multiple rooms, I spray woodwork too. I spray a lot of external render, and I can make good money in summer spraying pebble dash.
So, say I’m painting a bedroom. As mentioned above, I may just spray the ceiling, but a lot of the time I do the woodwork too. This is pretty much every job by the way, I can’t remember the last time I painted a ceiling by brush and roller.
I’ll go in, move any furniture to the middle of the room, throw a few sheets around and do my prep as any other decorator would. The only extra taping needed to spray a ceiling is a bit of masking tape over the wire on the light. Sometimes you have spotlights to tape, but its only 10 minutes.
I set my sprayer up, which is dead quick. Spray a coat, which only takes 5 minutes, then I spray the second coat almost straight away. After that I just clean my sprayer. I’m on the walls while an “old-school” decorator (otherwise known as a dinosaur) would be waiting for their first coat on the ceiling to dry.
Same when spraying woodwork in a room. You tape the carpet as normal; the only extra taping is a couple of lengths of roll and stroll next to each wall (which is good practice whether you’re spraying or not). WRX satin or Tikkurila Helmi spray very easily and it takes less than 2 minutes to wiz round a room with a coat. Again, you can apply the second coat before the first has dried. Then just throw some masing tape on top of the skirting and finish the walls by brush and roller.
You see now why the most ridiculous thing a decorator can ever come out with is “it’s quicker to use a brush and roller because of all the masking”, or “most jobs don’t warrant a sprayer”. I don’t get the mindset.
You may think I’m a bit of a hypocrite, but I’m only into the airless spraying. I never fancied kitchen or uPVC spraying, so I never bother with HVLP. However, I know first-hand that kitchen sprayers can earn mega money. A few of the guys I know clear a couple of grand every week.
Decorators who Spray Earn More Money – by Mike Cupit