You might think that watching paint dry is boring. For me, it’s the opposite. Sometimes paint can dry too quickly for my liking. It might be because the weather is warm, or because the area I have to cover is so big the paint starts to dry (or “go off”, in painter parlance) before I can work to get the finish I’m known for. As far as I’m concerned, watching paint dry can give me heart palpitations and require multiple visits to the swear jar. Bit like watching Wales play rugby.
I tell you something else that gets me excited. Watching a fellow professional at work, especially if they are a master like Kevin Mapstone.
I like to think I’m pretty good at what I do. I don’t say this out of arrogance, rather out of confidence, which I think is an important trait for any tradesman to have. And I recognise the dangers of thinking you know it all. That’s why I invited Kevin over to help me with a kitchen that required a glaze on top of the coat of paint I’d applied.
Glazes are applied to give a particular finish to a kitchen. For instance, a glaze can give a kitchen an attractive patina of age. I have experience of glazing, but I’m always keen to improve further. Kevin is at the absolute top of our business. He is also a gentleman. He agreed immediately to come over from England to oversee the glazing portion of the painting.
Kevin was generous with his expertise and his knowledge. He is the kind of man who enjoys raising others up. The glazing only took two days, but by the end, I felt I’d experienced the most thorough education imaginable by working alongside him. In fact, I’m buzzing and can’t wait for the next opportunity to apply a glaze to a kitchen.
The glaze isn’t the end of the process. After the glaze comes a layer of lacquer, which hardens and protects the glaze. I sometimes think that if I give up the kitchen painting, I could stroll into a job at a nail bar. I must have all the terms down by now. Provided my clients were happy to talk about rugby, I’d be set. Would they get bored, though, and glaze over?