Five years ago, I decided to go part time from my cushy full time job at college and go back on the tools. Ok it was not that cushy, but you would only really understand that if you are teaching in further education yourself. I have been teaching spraying to decorating apprentices for over 20 years and I have always enjoyed it.
I was lucky really because I had the support of sprayer manufacturers who used to come into college and train me on the latest kit. I also had ample time to play with the sprayers and get my head around it. I always told myself that if I ever went back on the tools, I would spray everything, I could not understand why everyone didn’t do this already.
I went part time, bought myself a little sprayer (a Wagner PS3.20) and away I went, spraying everything that didn’t move. I was chatting to a good decorator friend of mine and he said that there was a chap on Twitter called Ian Crump who was doing the same as I was doing down in London. His company was called “PaintTech Decorators” and I followed them.
They were amazing, there were posts of some amazing jobs that had an amazing finish. They were going to be at the Painting and Decorating show in Coventry that year to promote a new course they were developing so I decided to go along with Tracey.
When at the show I spoke to Lyndsey Crump (Ian was busy chatting to someone else) and she advised me to join a Facebook group called “Spraying Makes Sense”. They had set the group up to help sprayers just like me.
Mmm, Facebook. Something that I had never really gotten into. Anyway, I took the plunge and set up a profile and joined the group. It was amazing, there were videos and posts from people all over the world showing how they spray and approach spraying jobs, I even posted some of my own jobs in there. It was great. It was a community of people just like me.
Back then there were less than a thousand people in the group, although at the time being able to speak to hundreds of decorators who were spraying was an awesome thing for me. I have discussed spraying with decorators in the States, in Australia and in Wigan. It is amazing.
One of the things that I liked about the group was that it was very professional. There were no one posting pictures of their breakfast or lots of pointless swearing. I felt that this was a good thing and is one of the reasons that I stayed in the group after leaving many other groups that were out there at the time. Sometimes the forum is criticised for this approach but in the long run I think it is one the secrets of its success.
Because it is a professional group it attracts professional decorators and some of the posts are very interesting useful and great to read. There is very little nonsense and I always feel that time spent on the forum is time well spent. The group how grown over the years and there is now over 7 thousand sprayers in there. Other spraying forums have tried to duplicate what spraying makes sense has done but I feel that the forum is the original and the best.
Over the last five years I have seen many decorators take the plunge into the world of spraying and these days it is getting to be more mainstream. I think that Spraying Makes Sense has had a big impact in making this happen along with YouTube and The Idaho Painter. By the way Chris Berry is in the forum, he was our 2000th member.
Finally, you cant talk about Spraying Makes Sense without mentioning Jack Frost. The godfather of spraying. Jack has been spraying since 1971 and is a mine of knowledge. He is willing to share all his valuable spraying knowledge with everyone who asks. Which is amazing. He is also the gatekeeper of the group. He decides if he is going to let you into the group. Once in Jack will be the one who asks you to edit out any swearing that you have included in your post. “No swearing peeps”.
I have had the privilege of getting to know Jack very well. He teaches at our Exeter Academy and is a genuine passionate guy who loves spraying and loves spreading the word about spraying. We are very lucky to have him on board.