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How to talk to your decorator

Get the look you want in your new home with our helpful tips on getting the most out of your decorator.


“I’m hiring a decorator to paint my home. How do I make sure they give me exactly the look I’m after?”

When it comes to having your house painted, communication is key.

If you want your decorator to transform your new house into the home of your dreams, you’ll need to be specific if you want to avoid unnecessary glitches along the way.

Here, we’ve come up with a handy guide on how to hire the right decorator, and what you need to tell them:


1) Ask for recommendations

Before you talk to any decorators, ask people you know and trust for recommendations.

If you love the way a friend’s house has been painted, see if you can get the contact details for their decorator.

However you track your decorator down, make sure you see some examples of their work before you hire them.

2) Meet your decorator in person

The stronger the relationship between you and your decorator, the more likely they are to understand your vision and see it through to reality.

Arrange a convenient time for the decorator to come over to your home and discuss exactly what you want, pointing out any specific details as you go.


3) Show them what you want

Explaining is important, but actually showing your decorator what you want painting is the best way to make sure they get it just right.

This is where the Dulux Visualizer App comes in handy. It allows you to create a virtual impression of what your room will look like once it’s painted, so you can easily share your colour and product ideas with your decorator before they start painting.

At this stage, it’s also a good idea to agree how long the job will take, and what hours your decorator will be working at your home. Agree a start and finish time and clarify what days they will work, and whether or not this will include weekends.

4) Calculate how much paint you need

It’s always a good idea to calculate how much paint you’ll need before you get any quotes from a decorator. It’s the best way to give you the peace of mind that you’re paying the right price for the job.

The online Dulux Paint Calculator can help you do this in seconds. Once you’ve found your chosen paint on the Dulux website, simply type in the dimensions of your room, along with the number or doors and windows, and the calculator will do all the hard work for you.


5) Make a list and check it twice

You might not always be on-hand while your decorator is painting, so make sure you leave them a detailed list of all the work that needs doing so they can keep checking it as they go.

Make sure you re-read your list once you’ve written it to make sure everything is exactly as it should be – a slip of the pen could mean you end up having your bathroom painted instead of your bedroom!


6) Be precise with your paints

Give your decorator the exact colour name of the paint you want them to use, along with the product code to avoid any chance of confusion.

Include a list of paints on your decorator’s to-do list so they can refer back to it whenever they need to.

7) Get the right paint type and finish

A paints finish can make a big difference to the way it looks on your walls or any furniture you’re having painted. Make sure your decorator knows exactly which finish you want on each surface and write it down on their to-do list.

Bear in mind that you may need to use special type of paint in certain rooms, such as mould-resistant paint in bathroomstain-resistant paint in the kitchen or light-reflecting paint in a dark room.

8) Check the work before they leave

Once the work is done, have a good look around while your decorator is still there. Are you completely happy with the finish? Are there any last little bits of paint you’d like touching up? If so, let your decorator know before they pack away their paint brushes.

Top tip

Sketching a small plan of the room you want decorating is a useful way to avoid mistakes creeping in. You don’t have to be a talented artist – just include the most important features like the walls, the door and the windows with arrows showing which colour and finish you want on each.

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