Why you need to learn to spray – increase profits and client satisfaction
As a decorator, you are likely to have had a number of years’ experience in the industry. And if you are reading this, then you clearly have a passion for your craft. You are also likely to have been trained to use the traditional methods of decorating such as cutting in and rolling using paint brushes and rollers. But times are changing and although traditional methods will always be a big part of the decorating industry, spraying is growing.
Just like electric cars, spray technology has been around for a while, but it is now far more accessible than ever before. Buying a sprayer, although a large purchase, is now far more affordable and well worth the investment. Sprayers can range from £500 to £5,000 upwards but in return you will earn more money year-on-year once you start to master the technology.
Why can you charge more?
- You will have invested in more expensive equipment and subsequently you will have had to learn a new skill – using a sprayer. You can therefore increase your prices because your clients will be benefitting from your new skills and so your knowledge and expertise will now earn you more money – as well as the equipment.
- The finish you provide clients will be better. The industry is changing with spray technology, because the difference in finish is noticeable. Using spray technology really does mean flawless finishes, to the point where your paint work will look like an automotive finish.
- You will be in and out of your client’s house quicker. Therefore, for the benefit of having a quicker service, you can afford to charge more money and as you will be working quicker, you should be able to fit in more jobs!
So, where should you start?
You’ll firstly need to purchase a sprayer.
There is no one-size-fits-all sprayer. Each sprayer suits a different purpose and so you should choose your sprayer based on the kind of work you anticipate that you will be doing and how much you intend on using your sprayer.
Read online reviews, talk to a rep of your choosing and watch as many YouTube videos as possible but if you’re still at a loss then you’re best bet is to speak to your peers in the decorating industry. The best way to do this is to join a forum on Facebook specifically for decorators. There are plenty to choose from but the Decorators Forum and the Professional Sprayers Forum is a good place to start. After joining a group, you can post your question on the page and it will be answered by the members. Being part of a forum gives you a great support network, especially for if you ever get stuck at work and are not sure what to do next.
And how will I learn to use my sprayer?
You’ll need to book yourself on to a spray course. Watching YouTube videos are a great way to self-teach and troubleshoot issues, but they can only go a certain way in terms of helping you learn in real-time. It is far more beneficial to spend a day, practising on the spray gun and asking questions.
At The Abode Decorating Training Academy, owner Jamie Bourne (who has over 18 years’ experience in the industry) has been teaching decorators in the Wiltshire area how to spray. The courses on offer range from a beginners airless course, covering everything a decorator needs to know when first branching out into spraying; to other more specialised courses such as woodwork, furniture refurbishment and kitchen resprays.
The aim for the courses is to provide decorators with the knowledge they need for a reasonable price. All courses are structured around the students, to make sure they get as much as possible out of the training on the day and in the months to follow. The way in which the training academy achieves this is by:
- limiting the number of students per course to 3 people max – meaning that students get plenty of time to practice on the gun, as well as one-on-one time in which they can ask questions
- being flexible with dates – courses can be arranged for either a weekend or during the week, whichever best suits the students to fit around work and family commitments
- continuing to support students after the training by swapping contact numbers and being readily available to answer any questions or speak over the phone, and
- providing a full day course for a reasonable, no-nonsense price of £220 (VAT not applicable) for all courses, regardless of the topic.
If you want to know more about the courses, or you would like to speak to Jamie personally, please visit the website at https://abodedecorating.co.uk/the-training-academy.