Interview with a decorator – Leesdecor
How and when did you start decorating?
I started decorating in 1983 when I was 15 years old and doing work experience. I used to help out at weekends & holidays too, I loved it even back then. I was promised a job the minute I left school and that is what I did.
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is the transformation at the end & seeing / hearing how pleased the client is, quite a few have even cried!
What is your least favourite part of the job?
The least favourite part of my job is paperwork, I hate it. Maybe because there’s never enough time to do it & it only gets done at the last minute. This has now been addressed by my bookkeeper/ accountant aka the misses. The only drawback is she keeps an eye on all my spending!
Tell us a funny story about a job…
Years ago me & my mate sub contracted for a big company, the job was based in Corby, Northamptonshire. The usual characters were on site but there was an old Irish fellow & his mate that used to disappear every lunch time to the pub. One lunch time whilst sitting in the van they came back early saying they’d lost the keys to the empty property they were working on & where they stored their kit. Trying all windows & doors which they had finished painting they asked for our help. My mate suggested ramming the front door with a fence post on the bottom door panel. Both weighed 6 stone wet through. One at the front one at the back just about to ram the door & my mate calls them back said you need to protect the door that you’ve just painted & offers his chequered fez style hat to put on the end of the fence post to protect the newly painted door lol. So they start trying to run with this fence post with a hat on it that they could hardly carry. They hit the door & bounced off it, staggered to their feet & inspected the scratched door calling us all the names under the sun. Tears streaming down our face they then proceed to get a spade & tried lifting the patio door out with it (advice from the local thieves) both jumping and pulling on the spade, the door glass shatters & they fall over. We were laughing uncontrollably. They disappeared back to the pub! Next day they were given keys to another property, because they didn’t have a ladder, the Irish fellow climbed out the bedroom window onto the living room bay window roof. After glossing it in his blue boiler suit & sand castle paint kettle he decides to climb back through the window getting covered in white gloss. Again we couldn’t stop laughing, it was like something out of a carry on film!
If you hadn’t become a decorator, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a decorator I would probably be a chef or work with animals. I’ve also started buying & renovating the odd house now which is really rewarding.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to help you become a better decorator, what would it be?
The one piece of advice I would have given my younger self to improve my decorating would be to go on as many different kinds of courses, absorb as much as you can whilst you are hungry for the knowledge.
Thanks again to Lee for taking the time to answer my questions.
I am looking to talk to as many decorators as possible over the coming months so we can share knowledge and hopefully raise the profile of the industry as a whole.
If you would like to feature in ‘An interview with a decorator’ please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org , DM me on social media or via the contact page on my website.