How and when did you start decorating?
I was fitting sunroofs for a local garage and my mate asked me to help him with a job refurbishing the McCarthy and Stone Headquarters in Byfleet for two weeks in 1989
I enjoyed the work so much I never went back.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I enjoy all parts of the job, But for a while now I have really got into the sales and marketing side of the business more. My best part of the job is writing Invoices the more the merrier!!!
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
Working for customers who don’t see the value in what you offer, although I am getting good at weeding them out during the sales process. Oh and preparing surfaces after one coat gloss has been used!!! One coat gloss should be BANNED in my opinion!!
What’s your favourite decorating tool/piece of kit?
If you are going to buy one piece of kit to improve your decorating 100% then it has to be a Mirka!!
You also run a podcast. For those who don’t know, could you tell us how it started and what it’s about?
It started because Ryan and I did a radio show, the relationship with the radio station ended as we couldn’t agree on a few things. Also, there were a lot of topics we couldn’t discuss in the ways we wanted to. We both enjoyed the radio show and so decided to start a podcast as no one else was doing it at the time. We want the podcast to be your mate at work, the talk you have at tea break. Decorating can be a lonely job at times and we wanted to be some company and talk the way you would to another painter. This has got us into trouble with a few people. But as we say if you don’t like it, don’t listen. Please don’t be offended and then carry on tuning in?
We talk about anything to do with Painting and Decorating. In recent months it has been a bit difficult to find content and get the shows out due to the current situation, but we have tried. If you have any ideas for the show or would like to appear as a guest as Jon has on numerous occasions please get in touch via email email@example.com
Tell us a funny/memorable story about a job:
If you are a podcast regular (Two Decorators and a Microphone) you will know all my stories. Ryan locking himself in a customer’s bathroom when he was 4yrs old, Decorating our hallway with McDonald’s wallpaper, Working with a bloke who stripped every time he used the toilet, Using a lift in a busy office block naked, Dressing as a female scarecrow. That was just one day at work
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first 3 things you’d do with the money?
Buy Ryan a bloody van!!! (podcast reference)
Have a holiday and then treat family and friends (and podcast listeners)
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Understand Customers, because most of them seem to think self-employed people live in a different world to them, especially when it comes to getting paid on time.
If you weren’t a decorator, what would you be?
If you could change one thing about the industry to improve it, what would it be?
Being serious, as a trade, we need to value what we do much more, despite what other trades say we make most other trades look good.
Plasterers that cant plaster
Chippies that don’t own a nail punch
Sparkies that make chases or holes or both to find their cables
Plumbers that throw up rads that we then have to get behind
the list goes on.
We need to know our value as a trade and not only that but educate the customer so that they don’t waste their money on the £80 a day Gardener / Painters.
Decorating is a skill, we do have a lot of knowledge, attention to detail and pride. Unfortunately, most customers only realize how difficult our job is when something goes wrong.
What do you get up to when you’re not on the brush? Any hobbies?
Spending time with my family, I do love a day at the races too, my YouTube channel takes up a lot of time as well (Painting and Decorating Tips by TJ) and the Podcast.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to make you a better decorator, what would it be?
Don’t try to be everything to everybody, work for the customers who you want to work with!! Find a good decorating forum to join maybe Owning a Decorating Business on Facebook for help and support, Listen to a decent Podcast and Buy a MIRKA!!!
Where to find Trevor:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/504922823593430/
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/TjdecorUk
Thanks again to Trevor for answering my questions. Another great insight shared.
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.