It’s only paint…isn’t it?

The hidden benefits of choosing the right paint

Like a lot of things, paint is often treated as a commodity. ‘Paint’s paint’.

However, if your business uses paint in a commercial capacity, whether you’re a sole trader decorator, or if you run a huge maintenance company that looks after 1,000’s of properties, paint is not just paint.

Paint is possibly the most valuable tool in your armoury. 

Here’s why:

-          No need to flick between jobs. Oil based paints are fine I hear you say! Only needs two coats, and I can schedule to go between multiple projects whilst it dries.

Well, that’s all well and good…until you need to apply an extra coat that you didn’t plan for. Now you have to reschedule all those jobs. A logistical nightmare on its own. Plus, when you put the final coat on, the customer doesn’t get the room fully back for another 12 hours until it’s dry and the smell has died down. In a commercial environment, this could be very costly for the client.

-          Never miss a deadline. Choosing the right paint for the job means you are far less likely to miss a deadline. No unplanned additional coats, no excessive drying times. Just the right paint for the job. Finishing to schedule means customers are happier, you get more referrals and importantly, you don’t get stressed out rearranging jobs because you ran over. This is even more important on large commercial projects, as you don’t want to miss the start date for the next big project!

-          No overtime. Anyone reading this can probably think of a time they or their staff didn’t get home until 10pm because they were using cheap paint and it took 6, 7 or even 8 coats. This doesn’t just cost money, it’s demotivating too. Freshening up a white ceiling with white paint? Use cheap contract emulsion, why not. But if you’re taking a dark colour to a light colour. Use a better-quality paint. It’ll pay for itself when you’re finished in 3 coats rather than 8.

-          Better mindset. If you’re a self-employed decorator, you don’t just paint. You’re the sales team, the marketing team and the accounts team to name a few. If you’re finishing jobs quicker and not getting frustrated using poor paints, you are in a better frame of mind for when you visit that potential new client and try to sell the next job.

If you’re managing teams of decorators, you’re spending less time organising logistics and fighting fires and spending more time doing what’s important to the business. 

-          Fewer call backs. Better quality paints mean fewer call backs for touching up and shorter snagging lists. Time saved here can be a huge cost cutter.

-          More of what matters to you. Working more efficiently means you have more time to spare. What you choose to do with this time is up to you. Take on more work and scale the business? Go for it! Spend more time with family? Absolutely.

Example case:

Let’s say you’re decorating a hotel room. It’s currently blue and the client now wants it to be white.

There are several ways to achieve this, but if this is your business, you’ll understandably want the most efficient and cost-effective solution for you and your client.

At this point, arguments might start on whether you should brush/roll it or spray it. You’ll then find arguments on top of that about which is the best brush, which is the best roller, and which is the best sprayer! Rarely do people consider the paint as being one of the ‘tools’ for success.

So much so, that for a lot of companies, the client will actually buy and supply the paint without consulting them!

As a contractor, if your client handed you a mini roller and a £2 brush to paint a room would you do it? Of course not, it would take twice as long. They are the wrong tools for the job. In the same way, there is the right and the wrong paint for the job.

So, back to the example. Let’s try 3 different paints for decorating this room:

Now, if your name is Mrs Jones and you are just painting your own living room, not a hotel room, you might not mind it taking longer and you don’t have wages to pay. So, for you, the cheapest paint would be the best option.

However, you are a business, and the solution that offers the best value for you as a business and the client, comes from the most expensive paint. As it’s not only the cheapest overall cost, but the room is also useable again far sooner. Plus, you get all the benefits listed earlier!

Let me know your experience. What would more time mean to you and your business? Let me know in the comments.