Bedec Barn Paint... not just for barns!

July 1, 2014
Bedec are a small, British paint company. Many of you may not have heard of Bedec, but it has a damn useful range of paints. I'll blog more about some of their paints in other blogs, but for the time, here's one on their brilliant Barn Paint... and no, it's not just for barns! 

You can buy it online at Allfinishes here:

The Shed
I got an old 8ft by 8ft shed from Freecycle. It was stained brown, patchy brown, all over. It looked like a big, ugly, brown lump in our garden. Now I was thinking of giving it two coats of oil-based primer (to cover what looked like oil-based stain, and some bits of what looked like bitumen), and two coats of eggshell to 'prettify' it. But I'd used Bedec Multi Surface Paint before for interior paint work, and thought it was good stuff. So looked up the Barn Paint. There was a chance I'd be able to turn a 4 coat job into a 2 coat job! Perfect. I'm a busy person. My darling Jules and I chose 'French Grey'. We used one watered-down coat as a primer, and one topcoat. Done. Very quick, very simple, and it dries incredibly quickly too. This is how it still looks one year on: 

It gives an acrylic finish, somewhere between eggshell and satin. 

The Planters
I'd bought some cheap planters to grow herbs and vegetables in before we got the rest of our garden sorted. Unfortunately our chickens, which we'd been letting have free range of the garden, decimated the lot! Happy chickens. So the planters were empty for a time, until our wedding day. We were on a budget, and wanted a very homespun wedding reception, so we put up a tent in our garden with the help of some fabulous friends, and some more friends helped us buy plants and plant up the garden.

I decided our planters would look much better matching the shed in French Grey. I had very little time so one afternoon spent about an hour giving them ONE QUICK COAT of some of the Bedec Barn Paint we had left over. To get full coverage they'd need two coats, but they suited a slightly washed out look (very slightly, the paint covers very well). There's one in front of the shed in the photo above. And here's a quick shot of the painting in question. I coated EVERY SURFACE - sorry for that being in capitals but I wanted to emphasise that. It means that the timber will be more protected from the soil inside and being watered and left out in the rain. I'll empty the planters in the winter, wash them out and can give them another coat. They will last a long time (they only cost £20 each from Argos). 

Yep, that's just one coat of Barn Paint. It was dry enough within an hour to turn over to slap a bit on their bottoms (I say, Matron!) It was a hot day, usually I'd leave it 4 hours for a second coat. They can have a second coat when I empty them in the winter, but I'm not emptying them when they look this good! 

You can find more info on Bedec Barn Paint here: 

A quick aside, I used Bedec Superflex on the felt roof of the shed. It's very, very stretchy and is protecting the felt nicely. It's a lot quicker to put another coat on the felt than replace the felt itself. I'll be keeping an eye on how long it lasts, but it's been on a year and still looks good. More info here:

I have to say a special thank you to our friend Sally for helping choose plants, and for Clare and Adam for doing all the planting while we were putting up the marquee! We did pay everyone in cake. 

For exterior woodwork, Bedec Barn Paint is a damn good option - even if the timber is stained, has been painted with oil or acrylic paints, or has bitumen or creosote on! It's also flexible, so will move as the timber expands and contracts in the wonderfully varied weather we have in the British Isles. I have no idea how they get the paint to cover so well - even on tar -  but their chemists are known to be a bit on the clever side and I guess that's a trade secret. I'd recommend Barn Paint. You can buy it in various places online, but I buy it in my local Brewers Decorators' Merchants and from Allfinishes here:


The Art of Watching Paint Dry

February 19, 2014
Traditional Painter, superb craftsman, and all round good chap Martin Guest asked whether I would do a guest blog for him. He may have had second thoughts when I told him that the subject would be watching paint dry! 

Maybe surprisingly, the blog was well received by professionals and DIY painters alike. 

You can find it here: 

The Art of Watching Paint Dry

Continue reading...

Complete Kitchen Repaint

January 27, 2014
Two of my favourite customers, Sally and Andy, asked me to do a complete repaint of their 9 year old bespoke kitchen in their Warwickshire cottage. It's always a pleasure to work for them, but this project was a bit special as it's such a lovely room! 

Most areas were in reasonable decorative repair, but as it's an old house, quite a few cracks needed filling - particularly along the oak beams, and all the kitchen cabinets needed a lot of sanding before moving onto priming and painting. I love...
Continue reading...

A sanding demonstration - getting perfectionist!

January 26, 2014
You can see an example of the care I take in the preparation work I do in this video. 

It's one of about 35 kitchen doors I painted recently in a lovely bespoke kitchen in Warwickshire.

Video: Sanding using Festool RO90, Festool Stickfix and Handipad.
Continue reading...

Stripping paint off hinges, the easy way

December 12, 2013
I'm repainting a lovely bespoke kitchen at the moment, and all the cabinet hinges had paint on them. I cleaned off a few, but it was taking quite a long time, and I had dozens! 

Putting the little grey cells into action, I put all the hinges and screws from the cabinet doors into a large freezer bag, gave them 5 squirts of Multi Task Multi-Purpose Cleaner, moved them about in the bag a bit, sealed and left for a few hours. I was told by Andy from Eco Solutions in Somerset (who make Multi Task)...
Continue reading...

Papering masterclass with Ron Taylor

November 7, 2013

I just thought I'd share a few photos of a recent job. Sorry about the quality of the photos!

Some months ago I was approached to refresh a neutral and tired-looking sitting room. I was too busy at the time, but gave a quote which was accepted and the work booked in for autumn half-term while the house was empty. 

The specification was to repair some deep holes in plaster caused by redundant light fittings, general preparation work, repaint ceiling, 3 walls, woodwork and fireplace, and pape...

Continue reading...

Durable repair to antique window

October 15, 2013
As an experiment, I've made this entire post into a Pinterest graphic.

Continue reading...

If paint brushes were cars... or 'how to choose a paint brush'.

September 18, 2013

Choosing the right paint brush for a decorating job can affect the quality of the finish, how easy it is to apply the paint, as well as how quickly you can get the job done. It's a bit like choosing a car - there's no one vehicle that's perfect for every job, so how do you choose what's best for you?

Firstly - do you REALLY like using a crap brush?

If you enjoy picking bristles out of your paint every two minutes, or dipping your brush for every 3 inches of painting, or struggling to paint a cr...

Continue reading...

Homestrip - on brick

July 7, 2013
I'm currently painting the exterior of a customer's house. Most of the brick is unpainted, except a couple of square metres where there was a lean-to in the past. I asked my customer whether he'd like me to strip the paint off, to even it all up. He said it was a good idea. 

There were several layers of gloss paint on the brick - and I knew to sand it all off would take a long time, as well as quite a lot of Abranet (the mesh sanding 'paper' I use which enables most of the dust produced by san...
Continue reading...

Homestrip - a safer way to strip paint

May 4, 2013

I was asked by a regular customer to renovate a large dresser unit in her kitchen. It had been painted many times before, and the previous decorator had been asked to make it look like the rest of the natural wood kitchen. He'd decided to paint it brown, so it looked 'kind of like wood'. It didn't! The only way to really get the dresser to look like natural wood, without a huge effort of painting natural grains on it, was to completely strip it.  
This particular customer has a low tolerance...

Continue reading...