Painting wood

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scrubadub
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Jan 2021 30 10:40

Painting wood

We have a new HT and he suffers from OCD a fair bit. He now wants all the corridors, hall and offices wood work glossing white. At the moment it is wood that has a varnish coating. They have been like this for 24 years and in all that time has needed no maintenance just a wipe down with a cloth. I feel that by glossing them white we are setting ourselves up for future problems. I've pointed out my concerns to the HT but he doesn't seem bothered, and basically implied that it won't be his problem. I just feel frustrated that sometimes HT have a power that is absolute. Any advice please?
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Sparky
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Jan 2021 30 12:43

Re: Painting wood

Hi, as I said in another post around painting I am definitely no decorator but having said that to gloss all this woodwork would you not have to remove the varnish first?? Either by heat gun or sanding? I may be, and probably are wrong but that sounds like a awful lot of work for not really much reward.....
Varnish tents to be very hard wearing as with gloss which can be easily scratched.
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EBJ
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Jan 2021 30 14:57

Re: Painting wood

If the Victorian attitude is his norm then go ahead with sanding and under coating and glossing and when finished collect your pension and retire because it is going to take that long. -Disappointment.png-

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greenjack
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Jan 2021 30 15:12

Re: Painting wood

It just highlights the fact that decision making should be left to the relevant people. In my experience some teachers and college business managers make spending or operational choices which they have little background or skill in. Building and site maintenance should be left to those who do it. I have been left baffled by some choices which should not have been made but unfortunately some clever one's think they know best.
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Taz
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Jan 2021 30 15:45

Re: Painting wood

When I painted our offices and reception area, the then head wanted magnolia walls, red doors, and white skirting/frames. At that time (still am actually) I was painting all walls magnolia, and painting the skirting in black gloss - hides all marks, and just requires a wipe over.

I did say that white would get grubby, and/or fade/discolour overtime, but she thought that black woodwork in that area would be too much. Fast forward 4 years or so, and all of it is getting grubby, shows up every mark, and is going yellowy in certain places. The black in the very first room I painted nearly 10 years ago, still looks fairly new....

If I were you, I would ask him if he would like his office done first. Take your time, prep it properly, and give it plenty of coats. When he realises it's going to put him out of his office for so long, he may think twice.....

Alternatively, just agree to it, but suggest that it's done when each room is next due to be painted, as it would mean that every other job is put on the back-burner. Never know he may forget about it...

I certainly wouldn't suggest white skirting/frames in a school.
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timmydog
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Jan 2021 31 16:57

Re: Painting wood

if you try to paint over varnes it will be a disaster you need to prime first then undercoat before you gloss good luck -Scared.png-
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Dexter
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Feb 2021 01 08:28

Re: Painting wood

It is going to be a job that has little return in terms of impact compared to the effort put in.

Your headteacher is the boss. You have raised your concerns. I would now devise a simple plan. Work out how long it is going to take to remove the varnish and pain the woodwork per architrave or length of corridor. Bearing in mind that corridors, hall and offices are only going to be accessible in the holidays, I would try and prioritise the areas and slot them in to the holidays where they an be fully completed. (I am assuming he does not want a partially completed area for any length of time) I would further explain that this work is dependent on other additional priorities not being placed upon you/the team.

It will show the head how long the work is going too take, if it is going to be done in-house. (He may at last realise that it is a folie.) It will give him an opportunity to change the order of the work, if he wishes, and may temper his expectations on timescale. It will show your intent to complete the work, despite the scale of the task. If he wants it done more immediately you could get a quote from a decorator. If you commit it to paper, he may see you as trying to facilitate the work rather than trying to block it.
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