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Plastering and repairs
Stain blocking
House washing, gutter cleaning
Rendering and render repairs
Paint stripping
Non-structural carpentry and renovations Lead paint removal
Non-structural carpentry
Tiling repairs and sealing
Staining and varnishing
Roof re-pointing
Rot repairs
Decorative finishes
Graffiti removal and anti-graffiti coatings
Window glazing


Painting is a highly hazardous occupation, some of the materials we use can be seriously toxic. When sanding/scraping old paint, I try to contain and collect the debris and dispose of it properly. Lead paint is a popular issue nowadays, and rightly so, though it is by no means the only toxic substance we need to deal with and try to protect ourselves, our clients and their neighbours from.

With regards to the paint itself, I always recommend lower VOC alternatives for interior projects.

 Oil based glossy paints on trim are easier to use, have better coverage, there is greater margin for error, so a lot of painters use them without worrying about health effects for themselves or the residents. Oil based gloss also looks smoother and is slightly harder wearing than its water based alternatives. On the other hand, oil based paint is more susceptible to yellowing, fading, cracking, mould and rot. It acts as a vapour barrier and doesn't allow trapped moisture to evaporate.

When I do need to use oil based paints, I go to great length to minimize my (and my workers', if any) exposure to the toxic fumes. Powered air-purifying respirators are the most practicable means to this end. Of course the residents will still be exposed to the fumes.

However, I recommend water based alternatives (Dulux Aquanamel or similar) for interior woodwork, which offer similar results, but are much less toxic, though they require more skill, patience and greater attention to detail. I have also experimented with Zero VOC paints and endorse them happily, especially to customers with breathing allergies and other relevant health concerns.

On exterior surfaces, particularly in the harsh Australian summer, modern water based acrylic paints provide the best protection, especially for wood, largely because of their flexibility and permeability.