Monday, 4 December 2017

Feeling Blue?

Alan and Haulwen Black certainly were feeling blue when they realised how difficult it was going to be to recreate the colour of the walls of the house and gardens of French Artist Jacques Majorelle  that they had seen and admired when they had visited Marrakech.

So when constructing the sunken gardens adjacent to their villa in Javea a few years previously they had employed a regular painter using regular blue paint on top of less than regular wall render the result being that within a short time the render was parting from the walls and the paint had lost most of it´s original colour and was looking very sad indeed.

Our first task was to remove all the bad render and replace with a good quality waterproof product which would have the correct adhesive properties to remain in place and then we contacted the Jotun Paint Company who recommended that we used one of colours from their extensive colour palate applied to Majestic Plasticised paint which they assured us would both retain the strength of colour required and be extremely water repellent to provide the desired long life.

The results can be seen in the photo on the left.Two years on and still no sign of failing render and the colour just as strong as the day it came out of the tin.

So now the Blacks don´t have the blues.
Just the walls of the sunken garden!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Painters Trany!

I am frequently asked which piece of our painting equipment I value the most and on reflection I generally reply that for exterior house paint contracts the Honda Motor Driven High Pressure Wash Machine because of its inestimable efficiency and time saving properties when we are cleaning down the walls of a property that has significant issues with peeling and flaking paint and render.

However when it comes to working indoors I, as legions of other painters and DIYers have discovered, that a radio playing in the background aids concentration and speeds up the production rate considerably.

Nowadays of course this music can be supplied by new technology gadgets such as MP3 Players and Smart Phones etc. however back in the day the industrious painter had to rely on the good old fashioned Transistor Radio which was know as "The Trany" for short.

Of course we now live in a world of cross dressers and gender benders and so the word "Trany" has acquired a completely different meaning to a generation not weaned on the music of the ubiquitous trany.

For this reason I am always very careful when asking a young employee if they could "Bring a trany in to work tomorrow?"

Friday, 27 October 2017


In a previous "post" (Before and After) I refered to a product called Tipp-Ex. It later occured to me that younger readers of my blog possibly wouldn´t know what this was. So to explain....Tipp-Ex was a product that was used to correct mistakes made when a person was typing (word processing) a letter or document using an old fashioned typewriter. It was supplied as a liquid form in little bottles that came with small brush to applicate included and also in small strips of paper that had been impregnated with the product in powder form.
It was an absolutely essential aid to the production of typewritten material, especialy to non professional typists which of course was nearly everyone!

In the photo on the right we can see a dear old lady of the typewriter generation using Tipp-Ex to correct a mistake on her Word Documet.  Aw bless!

You might be interested to know that the original Tipp-Ex  (Liquid Paper) was invented by the mother of Mike Naismith (true!) who was a member of the very popular sixties pop group "The Monkees" in this photo he is first on the left.

The Monkees of course were the very first "Boy Band" in that they were manufactured by the music biz with the express purpose of being an American rival to the Beatles.

To younger readers who are unfamiliar with the words "Typewriters" "The Monkees" or "The Beatles" I refer you to

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Before and After

It´s not always easy to take good photographs that illustrate the "Before and After" effect of our administrations of render and paint and the improvement in appearance to the property thereof, until that is we worked at the "Coelho" place on Monte Pego. Picture right...

Bought by mum Coelho as investment in the very early eighties when it was one of the very first houses in the area (clever mum!) her sons William and Kurt recently contracted me (clever sons!) to undertake the renewal of all of the paint work of the property to coincide with the other improvements and renovations they were undertaking.

They told me that together with a friend, they had painted the house themselves "about ten years ago" which news led me to the conclusion that they must have spent a fortune on all the Tipp-Ex they used to coat the house with because that´s what it appeared they had used when we started to wash the walls down with the high pressure machine that we use. The coating flew off in enough bits and pieces to fill four large bin bags with and the water was running white with the chalk that had been in paint to thicken it up. Also of course we removed significant amounts of the render which was in as bad condition on account of being poor quality in the first instance and then having suffered through twenty odd years of not being properly protected by a good quality paint.

The next task, after pausing briefly to take the required "Before" photos, was to fill in all the bare areas of render with the special mortar/filler that the paint companies manufacture specifically to undertake these sorts of repairs in that the composition has a much higher waterproofing and adhesive properties than normal fillers. Once completed we then applied a coating of stabiliser/sealer to prime the surfaces ready to receive two (in some areas three) coats of the world class Jotun Jotashield paint that we apply by airless spray equipment. Hey Presto! as good as (if not better than!) new.

This of course left only one task outstanding, to take the "After" photos of course!!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Watching Paint Dry

Painting and decorating is an occupation/hobby that for some reason has contributed a great many metaphors to the every day language.

One of the most commonly used of these appeared in the news threads of the printed and online media recently when it was used by none other than Mr. Wayne Rooney when he tweeted in his Twitter account when watching the Superbowl, that it was “Like Watching Paint Dry” this is to say of course that he found the event (sometimes described as “The Greatest Show on Earth) to be extremely boring.

This news prompted two trains of thought with me.

The first which I always think when I hear this particular meta 4(twitter speak!) used is, how can “Watching Paint Dry” possibly be boring? It is after all how I earn my living and I spend a great deal of my working day doing same. In fact if I am not “Watching Paint Dry” I am not earning money.

Secondly I thought, how much experience does young Wayne have of “Watching Paint Dry” he doesn´t after all strike me as the DIY sort? In fact I would imagine that the closest Mr Rooney has ever been to a tin of paint will be the red stuff which he uses to “Paint the Town Red” (another meta 4) which he does on regular basis (allegedly...sources can´t be confirmed at this time etc).

There are quite a surprising few more examples of metaphors,euphemisms and similes connected to painting and decorating, I suppose because everyone has a least tried it at some time in their lives, (with varying degrees of success!) and I will show more examples of these in future blogs.

Monday, 31 July 2017

It´s not an apple or a pear nor is it a lemon.

It is however the name of the telephone supplier that contrived to lose 
The Villa Painters their home/office telephone number of some nine years standing, because of not supplying the correct procedural information regarding Telefonica and a house move.

In the first instance of course this caused confusion and inconvenience and necessitated that all existing clients and family and friends were contacted and informed of the new number and the reason for the change explained.
Secondly it was then realised that it was too late to change the number in the advert in the current edition of the Focus on Professional Services Magazine (sister publication of Female Focus)

So if you saw the ad in the FOPS Magazine and dialed the old home/office number and were put off by the phone being answered by the Spanish woman who now has the number (doesn´t paint houses apparently) please try again with the new number.

965 047 973

Or the existing mobile number 627 806 661 and email address

Lastly and as if to confirm the veracity of the old adage that bad things come in threes it came to mind that the recently purchased box of business cards was also now surplus to requirements.

Oh dear!

Anyone have a use for a box of house painters business cards with the wrong phone number?

Suggestion please to customer services manager of the telephone supply company that is not an apple or a pear…………..

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Scrubbing the Decks

Everyone loves the luxurious look and texture of a wooden decking swim pool or patio surround it adds a touch of class to an area which can otherwise have an appearance which leaves a lot to be desired.

However many people are discouraged from installing these as they fear there will be a lot of maintenance involved and whereas it is undoubtedly true that wooden decking will require more care than for example ceramic tiles, if the maintenance is carried out on a regular schedule and not left for years until it presents a costly and time consuming problem there is no reason why the upkeep of decking should be any disincentive to its installation.

The trick to maintaining the appearance of wooden decking (as with other items such as wooden window frames and venetian windows and doors) is to establish a regular upkeep programe on a bi or tri yearly intervals and to employ a professional and experienced paint company such as The Villa Painters  to carry out a thorough renovation of firstly removing all old and flaking wood treatment and then applying two coats of a quality wood treatment such as Jotun Trebit.

The fortunate home owners can then enjoy their beautiful wooden decking and of course the admiring comments of friends and neighbours.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Wood - A Love Affair

It's hard to beat Mother Nature when it comes to creating beautiful , lasting building materials. Certainly wood, that hard, fibrous tissue harvested from many different trees , is the backbone of shelter construction that has housed humankind for thousands and thousands of years

As a construction material, wood is highly regarded for it´s strength, efficiency, adaptability in use and of course, lasting durability and beauty. Properly cared for wood serves silently and dutifully for several hundred years or more. Yet as tough as it is, once wood leaves the cradle of Mother Nature's care and goes on to its extended life as a building material, someone has to take responsibility. That someone needs to look it over regularly and occasionally apply modern methods of protection to extend wood's productive life span. 
We at The Villa Painters know a thing or two about caring for the timber that is so commonly used in and around the homes on the Costa Blanca.

People living in this part of the Spain love the natural look of wood of ceiling beams,  window frames and pergolas and increasingly now, decking around swim pools. However the typical 300 days of sunshine we get here can play havoc, because the sun's UV rays will, over time and without proper re staining, turn wood surfaces black and cause shedding or deterioration to occur.” Furthermore unchecked moisture issues can lead to wood rot, an equally troublesome enemy for wood surfaces.
The Villa Painters know how to spot wood threats and how to treat them. We work with our customers to find a balance between the appearance and protection they are comfortable with, and explain the various stain/color finishes, as well as their protective properties.” Clear and transparent finishes are usually preferred, but they require more frequent re staining. Semi-transparent and solid color finishes hide some of the wood's natural beauty, but last longer in the strong sunlight.

We always recomend the products of the Jotun Paint Company and in particular Trebitt wood stains and treatments. A range of products developed and perfected by the Jotun to treat and protect the wooden houses of their home nation Norway. In general, two coats give the best protection. The first cost penetrates the wood for good protection. The second coat bonds well to the first coat, and provides a surface covering that better resists UV and moisture

Friday, 28 April 2017

Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width!

A saying that used to be attributed to some less than scrupulous tailors when trying to pass off suit material that was less than top quality.

The same can be applied to the purchase of house paint. Some house paint companies advertise that the paint they use is "Thick paint...up to 20 times thicker than normal"  to infer that the thickness adds to the quality when in actual fact quite the reverse is the case.

Paint manufacturing companies will thicken "economy" paint by adding chalk which of course is porous and actually attracts water and damp instead of repelling it.
The addition of chalk of course explains why a bucket of such paint will actually be much heavier than the same quantity of a quality product such as Jotun Jotashield which is manufactured with the appropriate chemistry to ensure it´s effectiveness and long life.

Therefore when  choosing a house paint it´s always better to "Feel The Quality and not the Width"

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Stabilise?

Why Stabilise?

Proper preparation when house painting is,as with most aspects of life, vital.
An example of this is that the surface to which new paint is to be applied must be clean, dry and in good physical condition. A problem that we frequently encounter when painting houses here on the Costa Blanca is that the condition of the existing paint has deteriorated to such an extent that it presents an almost chalk like characteristic that will part from the substrate when rubbed by hand.

The remedy to this that prior to painting a coat of stabiliser (Fijador in Spanish) should be applied. Fijador is a material that is in part a sealant and part an adhesive which provides a suitable surface for the application of new paint.

Normally we will use the standard water based version of this product supplied by the Jotun Paint Company, however an option that we some times choose when we feel that the substrate is in especially bad condition or that the applied paint is going to be subject to difficult conditions (E.G. on swim pool surrounds) is to use the solvent, penetrating version which is much stronger.

Once this has been completed we can apply the paint confident in the knowledge that there will be no problems with the adhesion and that the new paint will provide a first class protection to the house for many years in the future.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Conditioning Your House To Sell. (Curb Appeal)

Today´s blog deals with the expression "Curb Appeal" and which is in fact the term used by the Realty (Inmo - Real Estate) industry in the U.S. to describe the impression and impact (or lack of!) that you property will have on any prospective buyer on the first instance of viewing E.G. from the car outside or when they walk through the gate.

It is certainly not reference in any form to those nice young ladies who stand or sit by the carreteras here in Spain while they practice the "Oldest Profession".

People judge books by their cover, we all do, so you have to make sure that in the current oversupplied real estate market the "cover" on your book is sufficiently attractive to induce a positive all important first impression.

A sound investment therefore and one which will surely be much easier on the finances than having to discount the price of the property to achieve a sale, is to commission a proper professional paint job. Not just a lick and a promise with a roller and two tubs of "economy" paint but a professional specification of works which delivers properly repaired and prepared walls, good tight lines round edges and borders and a standard of paint such as Jotun Jotashield which will protect the house and provide a lasting depth of colour to the finish.

Of course if you are to commission The Villa Painters to undertake such a contract then you will also be provided with our "Ten Year Maintenance Guarantee" which can be passed on to any new proprietors of the property. Another aid to making the sale.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression so use it!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Paint It Black

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black.”

So goes the opening line of a big hit by the Rolling Stones (popular beat combo of the sixties) whereas at The Villa Painters we don't paint cars, the paint it black idea is an increasingly popular solution to the what to do with the top of the chimney problem. Many residents of the not always warm Costa Blanca burn wood in the stoves of their houses during the winter months and of course the smoke on exiting the chimney will leave black soot stains and this can lead to the dilemma of whether to paint over in the same colour as the rest of the house, secure in the knowledge that the stains will return as soon as the fire is re lit, or to leave as is. A mixture of ugly black stains and original paint.

So we now offer our clients the option of having the top affected part of the chimney painted black neatly and a chosen uniform area thus turning a former
problem area into a feature.

It's important of course to undertake the work correctly by scraping as much of the carbon soot off the area as possible and then to apply a coat of a good quality solvent based penetrating primer. Then to paint two coats of Jotun Rehabilit Revestimiento.

Problem solved.