In the fifth instalment of our series on the Dulux Academy, Professional Builder attends its Painting & Decorating Stage One course. Ideal for those looking to enter the industry, or for general builders looking to upskill in this area, this one-day course teaches the fundamental skills of the profession including best practice.
Beginning the day, attendees are offered a variety of breakfast options to prepare them for the day ahead; providing a great opportunity to chat to others who are at various stages in their careers. It is at this point we are introduced to our trainer, Tony Pearson-Young. Having been ‘on the tools’ for over 30 years, Tony has a wide range of experience in the industry having worked both independently and for a contractor.
It is clear from the moment we meet Tony that he has a real passion for the industry and strongly feels that his role is not only to educate and professionalise the trade, but to also give back to the trade that has been such a huge part of his life.
After our initial introductions, Tony leads us to one of the classrooms to take us through the basics of health and safety for the day and to explain the course structure. Featuring both theory and practical sessions, the course is designed to give attendees a broad understanding of the techniques and tools that all professional painters and decorators should be incorporating into their work.
The first section of the morning looks into the theory behind paint, including: the key components of paint; the different finishes available to professionals; substrate preparation for a variety of surfaces and the various tools all painters and decorators should have at their disposal.
Once the morning theory section has been completed, we all head into the larger of two practical rooms. The Application Arena, the enormous purpose-built space contains 12 bays that allow attendees to put what they have learned in theory into practice.
Prior to applying any paint, we are shown the correct techniques of painting. This includes how to correctly use a paint brush – including loading, laying off and cutting in – and how to use a paint roller efficiently. Before breaking for lunch attendees are put into pairs and provided with the necessary tools to practice these techniques for themselves.
One jacket potato later and we all filter back into The Application Arena for further practical demonstrations, including how to avoid brush marks or picture framing around light switches and the appropriate preparation techniques including an understanding of the grade or grit size of sandpaper that should be used for different applications. After this we’re then tasked with completing the painting of our bay areas. Admiring our finished work, it is clear that the lessons learnt in the morning session have made a real impact on how the attendees approach painting a surface.
Before wrapping up with an open Q&A session, we move back into the classroom for a final segment on the tools to assist surface preparation and a brief discussion on how best to look after paintbrushes – essential to ensuring their longevity.
The day was a great introduction to best practice application, full of hands-on tips that can be immediately employed on the job. The course also gives attendees a strong foundation to take their skills further, if they wish, with a number of courses available, including the City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Colour Design and Professional Decorating – an exclusive qualification designed in partnership with the Dulux Academy.
What did the attendees think?
Looking for a career change, Rosie Johnston has always been interested in decorating and has experience of painting for family and friends. Recently Rosie has been approached to do paid jobs; as such she is now in the process of setting up her own painting and decorating business – Everything’s Rosie.
“Today’s course has been a great experience. I came here to solidify my existing skills and seek professional training so I can provide clients with a high-quality service. The trainer has been excellent, being on hand to answer any question, and I’ll definitely be putting into practice the skills I’ve learnt today.”
James Leonard of JD Leonard Contracting has been a self-employed landscaper for the last 20 years. Travelling from Shropshire to attend the course, James plans to complete the exclusive City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Colour Design and Professional Decorating through the Dulux Academy on his way to becoming a Dulux Select Decorator.
“Having previously attended the Perfect Preparation course, I knew that the standard of teaching would be of a very high quality. It’s more than just learning how to apply paint, it’s everything around it, including preparation and professionalism. At the Dulux Academy, I’m being trained by the best and that inspires me to do the best.”
The first and only dedicated facility of its kind, the Dulux Academy provides a range of courses to help trade professionals of all levels to upskill, develop their businesses and hone their design knowledge.