With over 50 courses available, the Dulux Academy provides extensive, training courses for painters and decorators to provide them with the expertise and understanding needed for business success. For the third instalment in this regular series, PB attends a one-day Cosmetic Surface Repairs course.
Catch up with the rest of the series here.
On arrival, we make our way to the Dulux Academy – located just at the back of Akzo Nobel’s head office – and are welcomed by Tony, who will lead the day’s course. A decorator by trade, he brings over 30 years of decorating experience to the academy.
Interestingly, most of the attendees from this particular session are from the same company. The courses are not just aimed at the individual, both SMEs and larger, national companies, who would like to develop their employees’ skills, are also welcome at the Dulux Academy.
The course is aimed at providing attendees with the understanding of the surfaces that can be prepared using the Konig UK system. Experienced decorators who wish to provide this specialist service or those who work in the maintenance market can attend the course to learn about the newest products and techniques available to offer a cost effective solution to customers.
The morning session takes on a classroom style format, with Tony explaining the basics of health and safety and the tools required for different surfaces – including what and how waxes should be used for different applications.
The afternoon is then split into four practical application sessions on repairs for the following types of floorcoverings:
• Solid oak wood
The attendees first practice on laminate and PVC-U while Tony carefully guides each individual through how they should prepare, clean, fill, cure and polish the damaged area and the process of correct colour matching. Tips and advice are offered throughout the course, such as how to balance the colour and how to cool the Konig UK wax quickly.
As the group start to work on the solid oak wood, they reflect on their previous work, asking more questions, and finding out how they can not only match the colour but also replicate the texture of wood.
Lastly, they work on tile surfaces, using a Konig UK ceramic tile repair kit. This wax is a little grittier and therefore easier to apply, so this time Tony leaves them to it. The group apply the skills they have learnt throughout the day with little guidance and it’s great to see they all achieve a perfect finish.
Additionally, all attendees were then provided with a free repair kit containing all the tools required to repair a wooden surface including; a melting iron, hard wax, applicator, cotton cloth, varnish pen, sanding cloth and polishing cloth.
What did the attendees think?
Demonstrating that the Dulux Academy courses are suitable for a company to use as a method for up-skilling its employees, Matt Ross, Director of Southgrove Painting Contractors brought his supervisor team and leading decorator on the course to further enhance their understanding of cosmetic surface repairs.
“We want to take on plastic repair work to create additional revenue instead of having a different company undertake the work when we’re already on site,” he explained. “I’ve brought a few key people within the company on the course today so that they can get a greater understanding of surface repairs and then we’ll try to get one or two to specialise in it.
I would definitely recommend the course, thanks to the training we’ll be able to offer the service to our clients at some point in the future.”
Southgrove Painting Contractors have been to the Dulux Academy before, taking courses in everything from Spray Application to Health & Safety.
“For the supervisors within the company – these courses are really important,” commented Robert Zaicevicius a Supervisor at Southgrove. “We work on a lot of different projects so I need to have up to date working knowledge in a variety of decorating services to get the best out of my team.”