AdvicePainting and decorating

A.M. Decor talk apprenticeships, Laura Ashley and cracked paint

Talking to Tony Hutton, manager and owner of A.M. Decor, is a bit like opening up Pandora’s painting box. He’ll happily give you valuable inside tips and show the best painting and decorating tricks. For someone who doesn’t understand the difference between a 30p painting brush from a £30 one, that’s reassuring.

Paintbrushes resting on pot of white paint during a painting job

Tony is currently working on a property where the homeowners have had bad luck with a previous tradesman. They paid their painter £4500 to paint 28 windows and 5 doors, which according to Tony, is a cheap job. And it’s cheap for a reason. After 2 years the paint is peeling and cracking, exposing the wood that’s underneath. The unlucky homeowners have had to hire Tony and his team at A.M. Decor to do up the house again. Considering that a painting job should last for 10 years, it has become a pricey project.

Employees at A.M. Decor on a painting job

Incidents like this are very common, unfortunately. This is because homeowners often don’t know what to expect when a tradesman walks through the door. Tony’s top tips to avoid disasters like this in the future is to firstly ask what type of paint the tradesman is using. Although Laura Ashley and Farrow and Ball might seem like high end, Tony asserts that this is not the quality you want to be going for. Leyland or specialist paint stores will be the best choice. If you don’t know the type of paint your tradesman is using, Google it or ask someone who might know.

Preparing for the job is key, so if there’s any cheating before the paint goes on, you’re in high risk to have to re-paint soon again. Scraping, sanding, dusting and filling in cracks with caulk is essential for long-lasting windows and doors.

A.M. Decor employees painting a house

To Tony and his staff of 9, quality is key to all the work they undertake. Currently they’re booked up until March, which shows that homeowners are happy with the work they do. In fact, Tony got the re-painting job off the back of another job, which he found on While he was painting one house, the neighbours knocked on the door and asked if he could help them with theirs too. Fortunately, A.M. Decor have 2 apprentices that can help out if they get too swamped.

Exterior of a building

16-year old Natasha and 20-year old Stevie are the latest addition to A.M. Decor. They’ve decided to go down a different route than their peers who have office jobs or are still studying. With tuition fees soaring, paid apprenticeships are now more appealing as it means you won’t be stuck with a massive student loan. It takes 4 years to become a painter and Stevie has only 1 year left before he’ll be able to work professionally. Natasha, who started this year, has 4 years to go. Being an apprentice means you can build up your client network and get invaluable expertise from colleagues,  for A.M. Decor it also means they have 2 potential employees that can keep the company going.

To find other skilled painter/decorators like Tony and his crew, post your job on And if you’re based in Edinburgh and need your windows painted, you know where to turn to: A.M. Decor

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