Laura Hettenbach, Senior Trade Brands Campaign Manager at Purdy, explains why it is so important for merchants to stock premium painting and decorating prep tools — and what to take into account when recommending products to their trade customers.
Any professional painter and decorator will know that prep work is the key to achieving a professional finish. In fact, it has been said that as much as 70% of a job is spent just on the preparation alone. As such, it is paramount that merchants offer their customers a range of high-quality products that are up to the job.
A common issue with low-quality prep tools is their tendency to rust. This is because if products like metal putty knives, stripping knives or multi-tools are not properly dried after use they can rust, and this can affect how well the tool performs and be detrimental to the overall finish.
“It is said that as much as 70% of a professional painting and decorating job is spent just on the preparation alone. As such, it is paramount that merchants offer their customers a range of high-quality products that are up to the job.”
To avoid this, leading manufacturers produce prep tools made from stainless steel. Unlike alternative materials, stainless steel includes a high level of chromium and when chromium reacts with oxygen it forms a protective layer that prevents corrosion and rust from occurring. Whilst it is still recommended to dry the product after use, there is a lower chance of it rusting.
Stocking a wide range of stainless-steel prep tools is a great opportunity for maximising sales as customers can trust in the quality and longevity of the products that they are purchasing. It is also recommended to have a selection of products from the same manufacturer as this will ensure that the merchant can easily cross sell and secure regular business from customers that are loyal to a particular brand.
There is also an opportunity for repeat business from those that are impressed with one product and are looking to add more items to their toolkit.
Another key consideration when selecting prep tools is how well they are constructed. Low quality options will often be designed with a short tang (the part of the blade that connects to the handle) and, as such, are susceptible to coming loose, bending or even breaking apart completely.
Instead, recommend products with a full-length tang that spans the whole length of the tool. This will ensure strength and stability and enable the user to rely on their prep tools even when using them for heavy-duty applications.
As professional painters and decorators regularly use their prep tools for extended periods of time, it is vital that the options stocked can deliver on comfort and usability. Products with a rubberised grip are always recommended as the additional padding will make them more comfortable, easy to handle and prevent the user’s hand from slipping.
In addition, users should be attracted to products that improve their efficiency and productivity on site like the Purdy 10 in 1 Folding Multi Tool. With a nail puller, Phillips-head screwdriver and features to set nails, scrape, open cans, spread compound, open or clean cracks, and clean rollers all included the device, it means users do not have to swap tools between tasks.
Better still, this product includes a folding blade and pocket clip so professionals can keep it close at hand, safe and secure in their pocket when not in use.
For removing paint from woodwork, scraping glue, or scouring stone, brick or plaster customers will need a carbide scraper. Always look to options that feature a strong bolt that attaches the blade to the handle as this will provide increased stability even when the user is putting their full force into the task.
Models like the Purdy Four Edge Carbide Scraper also come with a choice of four blades — two for aggressive scraping and two for finishing. This means that professionals can maximise their efficiency and use the same tool across multiple tasks. What’s more, by offering replacement blades merchants can benefit from repeat business opportunities.
Products such as the Purdy Brush and Roller Cleaner are also a good tool to keep in stock, as professionals can use them to clean paint out of their brushes and rollers quickly and effortlessly at the end of a job. Furthermore, the product has been designed to help extend the life of brushes and rollers which is a key benefit for customers.
For merchants servicing the professional painting and decorating industry, it is important to have a range of high-quality, durable and easy to use prep tools available in stock. When speaking to customers about the products that they should keep in their toolkit, always explain why stainless-steel models are preferable and the additional features that ensure the longevity of the tools that they are purchasing. This additional support will boost customer satisfaction, increase the chance of repeat business and offer an opportunity to cross sell.