Dunlop acrylic filler

We’re pleased to have — finally — landed upon a solution to the eternal problem of caulk cracking after being painted.

Dunlop’s acrylic filler is the first product we’ve encountered which truly does fulfil the claim of being paintable with emulsion within an hour.

(Thank you to Gareth for sending a couple of tubes in the post to trial.)

With Polycell’s regular caulk, our standard routine had always been a sealing coat of oil-based undercoat, or Zinsser Coverstain — so it’s good to now be able to remove that additional, unnecessary labour.



Benjamin Moore — Regal Select Flat

We wrote briefly last week about the relatively recent introduction to the UK of the paint range from the long-established American company, Benjamin Moore.

Our client Celine selected the paint, in Gravel Gray, and David used it this week on some newly installed joinery.

The verdict from David is that this — the Regal Select Flat — is a great paint, notable for its opacity, coverage and rich, saturated finish.

We can recommend it highly to all painters and decorators in London and beyond, and look forward to using it on future projects.

New front door before painting with Benjamin Moore

Celine's front door after being painted in paint from Benjamin Moore

How to decorate no.6: Use Frog tape

There are big differences between the widely available budget masking tape — which can be picked up for less than £1 a roll — and the far more expensive professional versions, such as Frog Tape.

As well as its paint-blocking properties, Frog Tape is also a winner for its lower tack level, allowing it to be used where strong adhesion could damage the surface. It’s worth noting that one of the main properties of all budget masking tapes is their very high adhesion level — this can be damaging, particularly to varnished surfaces.

Each has its place: always have both.frogtape-multi-surface-uk

How to decorate, no.5: use a Brushmate

The Brushmate is as simple as it is effective: a sealable vapour box containing a pad impregnated with a clever proprietary fluid; it means you don’t need to clean your brushes after using them.

Finish using your oil paint brushes, store them for days — or even months — and when you come back to them, they’ll be ready to use.

Highly recommended.

The Brushmate 4 wet brush store

The Brushmate 4 wet brush store

How to decorate, no.4: use 2-part filler

2-part filler — usually simply called “2-part” or 2-pack”, depending on your preference — will set you apart from the herd as your pursue a professional finish. 

Generally: use plaster-based fillers for wall and ceiling repairs; use 2-part for woodwork.

A solvent-based product, you’ll work with a golf ball-sized amount of the filler, and mix it well with a pea-sized amount of hardener. The sets off a chemical reaction and, from the moment it has begun, the mix will start to harden: you don’t have long — maybe 5 minutes before it starts to become gritty and unworkable. 

Bonda Decor Fill -- a two part filler for professional painters and decorators


Use it to repair dings and surface damage to doors and skirtings indoors, and see how it really comes into its own for challenging exterior repairs where wet rot has been a problem. 

In terms of manufacturers: historically, the gold standard for professional painters and decorators has been Decor Fill by Bonda.

A more recently launched alternative is made by Ronseal — the big benefits of this are that it is much easier to sand, is easier to feather-in to the surrounding surface, and that it is available in white.