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This is a job that I have recently completed for a client of mine in Acton.

Have you ever lifted an ornament off your window ledge or moved a piece of furniture away from the wall and noticed the woodwork is more yellow than the rest? This is because solvent-based paints don’t like anywhere that has little, or no natural light coming in and since 2010 the problem has increased dramatically. Since January 2010 all solvent-based paint had to become ‘VOC Compliant’. Simply put, this means paint manufacturers have had to cut the solvent content of their paints in order to bring them into line with EU directives relative to Atmospheric Pollution. This has caused a huge headache for both professional decorators and homeowners across the UK. A solution to this problem is to use water-based products.

On this job the previous decorator had used solvent-based products on the woodwork and with very little natural light coming in the wood had yellowed very quickly looking more like magnolia than white as you can see in the first photo. On top of this the decorator did not abrade the surfaces properly or use an undercoat either so it was a case of gloss on gloss, meaning little or no adhesion whatsoever, as you can see from the second photo. The paint literally peeled off in sheets. Undercoat is always needed when a gloss finish is required so don’t be tempted to skip this stage or use ‘1 coat glosses’ or you’ll end up with a very costly and messy paint job next time around!

OB glossNo undercoat

This property is a large 3 storey house so on the hall, stairs, landing we’re talking 16 doors/frames, skirting boards, handrails and over 50 spindles! A huge amount of time was spent sanding the woodwork down using my Festool dust-free sanding system to ensure that this time the job was done properly and that the paint would not peel off with your fingernail!

A water-based undercoat and gloss were applied to all surfaces to ensure that it stayed white this time.

This is the finished job.

WB glossWB gloss

IMG_6351WB gloss