How and when did you start decorating?
Growing up, my neighbour’s brother worked for a painting firm. First I had a trial and then got a apprenticeship when I left school. He then put me into college and I’ve not looked back since!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love every part of it to be honest! You have to treat every aspect with the same attention and care because this reflects in the finish and outcome. However, if I was to pick one thing it would be spraying a new aspect of the job which leaves a flawless finish
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
Stripping wallpaper it’s not a fun job, especially when it doesn’t go your way and is tough and you end up sweating buckets and getting no where.
What’s your favourite decorating tool / piece of kit?
My favourite tool is my Festool dustless sander as this defines the surfaces before coating. In my opinion, it’s a piece of kit which everyone should have as it really does make a difference.
You recently set up a workshop for your spraying work. Any advice for fellow decorators who are thinking of doing the same?
Setting up the spray workshop something which is still on going as there will always be elements to improve, but my advice is get the basics right. A good compressor, extractor and set up. The old saying ‘walk before you run’ is extremely true as you can easily spend massive amounts in no time. My view is to build slowly but surely and invest as you grow. This is how I am doing and it will pay off.
Tell us a funny/memorable story about a job:
A memorable story and one which will always be with me is a job I completed down south for a customer. It was a renovation and they hadn’t been to see the progress towards the end. I was lucky enough to be there to meet them for the grand reveal and she broke into tears with the transformation of the place. The blood sweat and tears went into it certainly paid off to see this reaction
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first 3 things you’d do with the money?
Book a fabulous holiday for wife and myself.
Invest some into Portsmouth academy.
Buy an old property and renovate it with a health spa, sauna, swimming pool and gym. Plus, a workshop for my spraying!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
One super power would be to be able to be able to fly.
This would mean no more 4 hour drives to Portsmouth to watch them play!
If you weren’t a decorator, what would you be?
I have a big interest in airports and love planes. I love going on holiday so I would happily work at an airport. Preferably in warm country though!
If you could change one thing about the industry to improve it, what would it be?
One thing to change would be to increase the amount of places to learn the trade. I think we should give students the opportunity to do more courses at more colleges.
What do you get up to when you’re not on the brush? Any hobbies?
Hobbies are football. I often get on the train with few beers to watch Portsmouth. I enjoy watching the cricket, boxing, clothes shopping and going for nice meal and few drinks.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to make you a better decorator, what would it be?
If could go back in time I would tell myself to listen more when I was first starting out. I didn’t really pay attention back then but I see how important it is now. I’m like a sponge now, as I believe whatever you see and hear could help you later at some point.
Where to find Martyn of ML Decorating & Spraying Finishes:
Thanks again to Martyn for answering my questions. Some great tips in here.
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.