- Painter and decorator
A painter and decorator is a
tradesmanresponsible for the painting and decorating of buildings, and is also known as a decorator or house painter [citebook|title=Painting and Decorating |author= Alf Fulcher|year= 2005|publisher=Blackwell Publishing|id=ISBN 1405112549] ["The Modern Painter and Decorator" volume 1 1921 Caxton]
History of the trade
England, little is known of the trade and its structures before the late 1200s, at which point guildsbegan to form, amongst them the Painters Company and the Stainers Company. These two guilds eventually merged with the consent of the Lord Mayor of London in 1502, forming the Painter-Stainers Company. The guild standardised the craft and acted as a protector of the trade secrets, in 1599 asking Parliament for protection, which was eventually granted in a bill of 1606, which granted the trade protection from outside competition such as plasterers.
The Act legislated for a seven year apprenticeship, and also barred plasterers from painting, unless apprenticed to a painter, with the penalty for such painting being a fine of £5. The Act also enshrined a maximum daily fee of 16
old pencefor their labour.
Enforcement of this Act by the Painter-Stainers Company was sought up until the early 1800s, with master painters gathering irregularly to decide the fees which a
journeymancould charge, and also instigating an early version of a job centrein 1769, advertising in the London newspapersa "house of call" system which allowed masters to advertise for journeymen and also for journeymen to advertise for work. The guild's power in setting the fee a journeyman could charge was eventually overturned by law in 1827, and the period after this saw the guild's power diminish, along with that of the other guilds; the guilds were superseded by trade unions, with the Operative United Painters' Union formed sometime around 1831.
In 1894 a national association formed, recreating itself in 1918 as the National Federation of Master Painters and Decorators of England and Wales, changing its name once again to the British Decorators Association before merging, in 2002, with the Painting & Decorating Federation to form the Painting & Decorating Association. The Construction Industry Joint Council, a body formed of both unions and business organizations, today has responsibility for the setting of pay levels.
Tools of the trade
brushand the roller are the tools most readily associated with the painter. Recent advances in manufacturehave led to a standardization of brushes, with many older brushes falling from fashion.
airless spray gunis the latest tool in the painter's closet.It's powered by an electric, pneumatic or fuel powered motor which pumps paint through a hose into a gun which atomizes the paint to a fine spray. Graco is the leading manufacturer of this type of spray gun and equipment for contractors.Fact|date=March 2008With the airless spray gun it's possible to paint extremely large areas of surface in a short time.
The ground brush, also known as a pound brush, was a round or elliptical brush bound by
wire, cordor metal. They were generally heavy to use, and required considerable usage to break them in. These brushes were predominantly used in the days before modern paintmanufacture techniques; hand mixed paints requiring more working to create the finish. These brushes still have use in applying primer; the brushes are useful in working the primer into the grain of the wood. Pound brushes required an even breaking in to create even bevelon both sides of the brush minimising the formation of a point which would render the brush useless.
Sash tools were smaller brushes, similar to a ground brush, and used mainly for cutting in sash or glazing bars found on windows.
Sash tools and ground brushes generally required
bridlingbefore use, and a painter's efficiency in this skill was generally used as a guide to their overall ability. Both these brushes have largely been superseded by the modern varnish brush. Varnishbrushes are the common flat brushes available today, used for painting as well as varnishing. Brushes intended for varnishing typically have a bevelled edge. Distemperbrushes, used for applying distemper, were best made of pure bristleand bound by copper bands to prevent rustdamage. Styles differed across the world, with flat nailed brushes popular in the North of England, a two knot brush (a brush with two ovular heads) popular in the South of England, and three knot brushes or flat head brushes preferred elsewhere. In the United Statesdistemper brushes were known as calcimine, kalsomine or calsomine brushes, each term being the U.S. variant of distemper. Fitchesare smaller brushes, either ovular or flat and 1 inch wide, used in fine work such as to pick out the detail on a painted moulding.
Stipplers come in various shapes and sizes and are used to apply paint with a stippled effect.
A duster or jamb brush was used to dust the area to be painted before work commenced.
Limewash brushes were large brushes with a triangular head used to apply limewash.
Stencilbrushes, similar in style to a shaving brush and used for the purpose of stencilling walls or in the creation of hand-made wallpapers.
Brushes are best stored in a purpose made brush keeper, a box on which a wire could be suspended: the wire would be threaded through the hole in a brushes handle so as to suspend the brush in a cleaning solution without allowing the brush to sit on the bottom of the container and thus cause spreading of the bristles. The solution would also prevent hardening of the brushes and
oxidization. These were generally rectangular and stored several brushes. A lid would enclose the brushes and keep them free from dust. Surface ProtectionDustsheets or self-adhesive protection film ( [http://www.packexe.co.uk Packexe Ltd] the leading manufactures) are required to protect surface areas where decorating is being done.
Activities of the trade
Historically, the painter and decorator was responsible for the mixing of the
paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners, driers and sundries. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture dependent upon the nature of the job. This role has reduced almost to zero as modern paint manufacturing techniques and architectspecifications have created a reliance on brand label products.
Larger firms operating within the trade were generally capable of performing many painting or decoration services, from
signwriting, to the gildingof objects or even the finishing or re-finishing of furniture.
More recently, professional painters are responsible for all preparation prior to painting. All scraping, sanding, wallpaper removal, caulking, wall or wood repair, patching, stain removal, compound, filling (of nail holes or any others with patch or putty), cleaning, taping, preparation and priming are considered to be done by the professional contracted painter.
Professional painters need to have keen knowledge of the tools including sanders, scrapers, sprayers, brushes, rollers, ladders, scaffolding, in addition to just the paint in order to correctly complete work. Much preparation needs to be considered before simply applying paint. For instance, taping and dropcloth techniques, sizes of brushes or rollers, material types or dimensions of rollers or brushes (there are different sizes or types of brushes and rollers for different paints), amount of paint, number of paint coats, amount of primer, types of primers and paints, certain grits and cuts of sandpaper, trim cutting (the act of painting with a brush on the outline of baseboard, moldings and other trim work), wallpaper removal, and nail hole filling techniques just to name a few.
Today many painters are attempting to break into the field of
faux painting, allowing them more creativity and access to a higher end customer base.
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