Name: Ryan Mangan
Company name: SND Decorating
Social media: @SND_Decorating and @2decs1mic on Instagram
How and when did you start decorating?
Left a Job with a long commute in London, asked my dad if he would give me a few weeks while I look for another job, 3 years on and I still haven’t found anything
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Can’t pick a top, LOVE getting paid obviously. I like beating expectations, a nicer finish, quicker, cheaper (for me) than I thought I could do it.
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
Rubbing down/old pissy carpeted bathrooms
What’s your favourite decorating tool / piece of kit?
Too many to name, I’m picky and only really use stuff I like anyway. Rodless Caulk gun, Putty knife, a hop up that I nicked off the old man that’s older than me, all great bits of kit. I just put in an Ali G -Esque sound system in the van which I’m telling HMRC is a tool, does that count?
Tell us a funny/memorable story about a job:
We were working on this huge country estate, doing all the external painting, the type of place where you are too beneath the customer for them to make you a cuppa, we had to walk through the garden and use the loo in the pool house. The “Lady” of the house walks up to me one day and tells us that we can’t walk through the garden as they have luncheon guests and do not wish us to be seen. twat. So I went and told the old man and he says that she’s told him the same thing. We decide there is one easy way not to be seen by her or her shitcheon guests, chucked brushes in the back and went home for the day.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a job? The biggest ‘oh sh*t’ moment?
I was on the phone to Dad, B.I.Ning some timber beams in a kitchen, just started one end above the units so had a good litre in the kettle, had resting on one of the units, turned around and knocked it straight over, shellac all over the brand new 8 grand oak engineered floor, most of it went between the units and you couldn’t see it from anywhere. a bit of meths and time and no one knew I fucked up. Just hope they don’t move the units for a few years.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first 3 things you’d do with the money?
First I’d hire someone to make it make more money, then hire a lawyer to keep it safe, then probably start splurging on cars that are older than me. I would still like to work, but to a bit of a looser schedule, you need something to wake up for.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would want to be able to not sleep and still feel rested, think of all the things you could do with the extra time.
If you weren’t a decorator, what would you be?
I’ve always liked the idea of being a repair technician at a hire place. I like servicing and repairing my tools anyway.
If you could change one thing about the industry to improve it, what would it be?
People to embrace new things quicker, lots of products and methods can make so many decs jobs better. Even if you’re a shite sprayer there is 0 reason not to spray mists and ceilings at least.
Imagine you moved your business to a new town. You have no existing customers or word of mouth to fall back on. How do you generate leads and get yourself up and running?
Spend a little time googling what decorators do in the area and try and fill a gap in the market, rental management companies are a goldmine if you know the techniques.
What do you get up to when you’re not on the brush? Any hobbies?
Irritating the old man on the Podcast and off it is a big hobby. Play a lot of games on PC until it broke a few months ago.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to make you a better decorator, what would it be?
Take more time, in every aspect, and learn my value a bit more. Saw someone saying you should only earn £120 at most as a subbie, load of bollocks.
Thank you again to Ryan for taking the time to answer my questions. Really enjoyed this one.
Do you want to take part next?
If you’re a decorator and want to tell your story, get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org. All interviews are published for free on my website and shared across my social media.