Look to your local builders merchants for those last minute decorating supplies before the family arrive for Christmas


For most of us, the lead up to Christmas is a frantic blur of activity, from present shopping to pulling the Christmas decorations down from the loft. Amongst this frenzy, many of us look to our houses and start to compile a list of essential DIY jobs that need completing before friends and family come to stay over the festive period.

If you're thinking of refreshing your home, it's likely to involve a whole raft of items from paint to filler. When it comes to decorating supplies, the sheer scale of choice can seem overwhelming, so where do you start? The immediate reaction might be to jump in the car and head straight for your nearest retail DIY store. But before you grab the car keys, check out the location of your local builders merchant.

Chandlers Building Supplies has branches across the South East of England, so the chances are you're never far from our fully stocked warehouses containing offering over 20,000 different products, stocked with the needs of our local customers in mind.

The advantages of shopping locally means you're also never far away from expert advice. Our staff are happy to help with any questions you may have and they'll be able to point you in the right direction to get exactly the right product to make your job easier. So what essential decorating supplies should be on your list?

Preparation! Preparation! Preparation!

The key to success lies in the preparation. If you're removing wallpaper or getting ready to repaint, the wall surface must be prepared well in advance to ensure an even coverage of new paint and a smooth finish. Wash the walls down with sugar soap, this is one step we would recommend, and yet it is the one most often overlooked. When the wall is dry, rub it down with abrasive paper, the rough surface will help paint adhere. If your wall is stained, use a good quality primer under the first coat of paint.

The tools of the trade

You don't need to spend a fortune to refresh your house but a few good quality items will make all the difference. When it comes to decorating supplies, spend a little bit extra on high-quality items like synthetic brushes to keep bristle loss to a minimum. 

There are a range of different paint colours available, at Chandlers we have a Dulux paint mixing machine in a number of our branches, offering hundreds of paint shades to suit every taste. The most important thing is choosing the right paint for the job. Emulsions come in high-gloss sheens for heavy traffic areas, semi-gloss or satin sheens and matt. The glossier the paint, the easier it will be to clean, so whilst the fashion is for matt, this will show up marks like fingerprints so it is probably best to avoid in areas like playrooms and halls.

Refreshing woodwork is one job that many of us dread. Again, good surface preparation will ensure a smooth finish. Use a scraper to remove any loose paint and a wood filler to smooth over any dents or holes. Caulk any gaps that appear at this stage. Oil-based wood paints should be poured into a separate container, rather than dipping the paint brush directly into the can. Use masking tape for a clean, crisp paint line between the skirting board and the wall.

We wish you every success in your D.I.Y. endeavours and if, along the way, you have any questions or dilemmas, we are here to help. Our team are on hand to offer expert advice on all the decorating supplies available, to ensure the best possible job. You can find your nearest branch here.

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