Paul Collier – SOS Painter

How and when did you start decorating?

I started about 12 years ago. I had to reinvent my career path, and the thing I was good at was working with my hands, so I set up a handyman business. Hence the name Surrey Oddjob Services, I thought it was a really clever name (facepalm). I fixed garden gates and assembled IKEA flatpack units for a couple of years, then people started to ask  if I did any decorating. So it took a turn for the better and I tended to do more decorating than anything else. People recommended me to friends, and soon I didn’t have time to mend gates as all my jobs were 5 days long and back to back.

What’s your favourite part of the job? 

My favourite part of the job is getting some paint on a surface. Whilst I know that preparation is key, and I never skimp on that, prep always just seems like you are making things look worse.

What’s your least favourite part of the job? 

Emptying all your kit off the job when you have finished! When you start it is just a gradual build up as and when it is needed.

If you weren’t a decorator, what would you be? 

I would love to try my hand at signwriting. I might run away with the circus.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to make you a better decorator, what would it be? 

It would be something like “take a book keeping course”, as a one man band it is not just the decorating, it is all the admin side of things that could be improved.

Thanks again to Paul 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 , DM me on social media or via the contact page on my website.

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