Wokingham Decorating Services - Reliable, Experienced Decorator based in Wokingham

Blog posts March 2022

Update 2022

Oh my word! Where has the time gone?! I can't believe it's over a year since I last wrote anything in here. I did say it would be an "occasional" blog, but I think I've pushed that definition to extremes!

So much has happened in the last year or two, I think this will turn into more of a general "catch-up" rather than a post on a specific subject. 

Obviously we've all had the Covid pandemic to deal with, but in many ways I've been extremely fortunate. All my work during the first lockdown was cancelled, and of course when you're self-employed, if you don't work, you don't earn money. But since then, I've been rushed off my feet. Like many tradespeople, it almost seems as if Covid has had a positive effect on business, with homeowners spending more time and money at home. Consequently I've gone from a position where I was normally booked up a couple of months in advance, to a situation where it's almost a year in advance! It's great to know that there's the demand for my services, but it does make diary management more of a challenge, and it does come with a certain amount of pressure as I am of course aware that many people don't really want to wait that long!

The other less-positive impact of Covid, probably combined with Brexit, is on the availability and price of materials. We seem to be over the worst of the paint shortages now, but prices are rising more significantly, and more frequently, than we have known for a long time. When I'm quoting 9-12 months in advance, it does make it difficult as I have no idea what things are going to cost that far in the future.

On a more positive note, I've met some lovely people, and worked on some great projects in the last year or two. I've tried out some new paints, brushes and rollers, some of which were great and some weren't, but you never know until you try. I think my knowledge and experience of which paints work best in which situations has improved, and trying out new less-well-known brands gives me a wider array of options to offer people. If you want a look at what I've been up to, this video is my 2021 show reel, for want of a better description:

On a trends/fashion note, greys and "greiges" (warm greys, or grey-beige mixes) are still really popular. Dulux "Polished Pebble" is still one of the most popular colours of all, and of course I've used it in the last year or so, but some others that I've used and are worth a mention include Johnstone's "Metallic Mist" (has a slight green hint to it), Farrow & Ball "Ammonite", "Cornforth White", "Dimpse" and "Skimming Stone", Crown "Snowfall" (really popular), "Soft Steel" and "Sketchbook", Tikkurila "1966" (not a football reference!), and Dulux "Summer Linen" (very beige) and "Grey Wisp".

Bolder colours for feature walls, especially dark blues and dark greens, are becoming popular if you like bold colours, but I've also used some lovely wallpapers for feature walls in the last few months. The more wallpapering I do, the more I notice the difference between good and not-so-good quality paper. As a customer you can spend anywhere between £15 - £150 a roll (or more if you really want to), and while it isn't always the case, it is generally true that you get what you pay for. I used to be nervous when hanging expensive paper because of the financial risk if I got it wrong, but now I'm probably just as nervous of using cheaper paper, because it's really hard to get a good finish when the paper is so thin that it tears all the time. 

So, I'm going to sign off now, and I'll try not to leave it another year before writing again!

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