Inside the Dulux Academy (Part Two)

Inside the Dulux Academy (Part Two)

In the second in the series, Professional Builder attends a one-day Digital Mural and Feature Wall course

Arriving at the Dulux Academy for the one-day course, we’re offered a warming brew while we meet the other attendees on the course. First of all, it’s evident from the years of experience the attendees have, that this course is meant for the seasoned professional.

Once we’ve polished off a tasty bacon roll, we’re introduced to our course trainer for the day, Tony – a decorator by trade who brings over 30 years of decorating experience to the academy. He leads us to a classroom-like set up and offers an overview of the theory behind wallpaper and murals.

Tony explains the basics of health and safety, wall preparation, adhesives and tools – it’s a good refresher no matter how many years having been in the trade. He goes on to quiz the group on their approach to standard tasks such as how they remove wallpaper, why and how they line a wall and the different types of pastes available. The group quickly starts to bounce ideas off each other, comfortable in the understanding that the Dulux Academy is a place to learn from mistakes and your fellow trade professional.

Changing into suitable workwear, the afternoon is split into four practical application sessions for:
    •     Patterned vinyl wallpaper to create a feature wall
    •    A low cost four piece mural
    •    A three piece mural
    •    A Vista Digital one piece wall-mural

Tony highlights the importance of preparation – guiding the group on finding the centre of the wall and the patterned wallpaper before leaving them to the practical. Advice is offered throughout, ensuring best practice is maintained and offering tips such as how to paste in the most effective manner and how to ensure pasted paper is correctly folded. The group then get a chance to reflect on the way they’ve installed the feature wall, noticing how the same wallpaper applied differently can actually really affect how big or small the room appears.

As the mural applications go on, it’s clear that this course is primarily meant as a refresher, tidying up bad habits that might have cropped up over the years and offering time saving tips – especially important for those who work by themselves.

Lastly the group apply bespoke one-piece wall-murals provided by Vista Digital, who works in collaboration with the Dulux Academy as the exclusive training partner to accredited Vista Digital installers. Tony guides the group through application, again offering advice when needed, with the professionals leading the way.

What did the attendees think?

With 25 years experience in the trade, Mark Hutchinson of Mark Hutchinson Decorators enrolled on the course in an effort to become an accredited Vista Digital installer. A Dulux Select Decorator, Mark is experienced in wallpaper and mural application and had some doubts in what he would gain from the course, however he was quick to acknowledge the benefits.

“Working with other experienced decorators for the day, you naturally bounce ideas off of each other,” explained Mark. “When you’ve been in the trade for as long as we have, you don’t really need to tell each other your jobs – you give gentle hints. Tony’s very good at that; he doesn’t undermine you in any way. Everything is suggested to you, there’s no right or wrong way.”

Demonstrating that the Dulux Academy courses are applicable to even the most experienced of professionals, Keith Pomroy of KND Decorators has been in the industry for over 40 years and registered with the academy after seeing it advertised at a trade show. “There is stuff to be learnt throughout your working life. So for me, there’s always something to learn,” commented Keith. “I’d definitely come back and do the Advanced Wall-papering course. I’m sure there’s much more to learn.”

The first dedicated facility of its kind, the Dulux Academy provides a range of courses to help painters, decorators and trade professionals of all career levels to upskill, develop their businesses and hone their design knowledge.

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