Trends in the industry

Having set up my decorative effects company in 1994 I have seen a great deal of changes in the industry, obviously trends but also materials used. Here at Jo Poulton Studio and Paint School we keep completely up to date and produce innovative designs, these are passed on to anyone attending the many classes that are offered at Paint School including woodgraining, marbling, gilding, venetian plastering, tadelakt, and paint effects both traditional and contemporary. When I first started my decorative painting career we mainly used the oil system, which had its positive side as you had far longer to work on a wall than the current water based system as the scumble glazes we used to produce the broken colour work stayed open for so long and the finish had a beautiful depth to it, although the downside to using this oil system was cleaning brushes and equipment in white spirit was far more time consuming and messy, also the toxins and smell that came off these products was strong. When the law was changed about VOC (volatile organic compounds) the industry and manufacturing had to change, therefore decorative artists had to adapt their finishes and work with different products. Some decorative artists had been working for so long with the traditional oil system therefore had a lot of resistance to change and I agree that some of the first waterbased eggshells and glazes left a lot to be desired, however the waterbased systems have improved immensely and there are so many advantages to using them. The advantages are less yellowing, the oils tend to change colour due to light, more layers in one day due to quicker drying times, easier to wash brushes, less odour with the paints.
Trends with regards to different decorative finishes have also changed quite substantially although such classic finishes such as dragging, furniture painting, gilding,venetian plaster,stoneblocking ect seem to endure. One thing I have noticed over the years is the choice of products available to the specialist decorator, so many exciting finishes can be created,opening the way for some really incredible creations and truly original effects. Here at Jo Poulton Studio we are at the forefront of whats going on, new trends and truly unique creations, we spend a huge amount of time experimenting and trying new products, as well as embracing all the traditional techniques that my great grandfather would have used such as woodgraining,marbling and gilding.