Painting and Decorating London

GD Parvin provides painting and decorating services in London. Read our blog category about the subject and all the tips and tricks that we offer to help you make your home look nicer.


Choice of colour is – excuse me – something of a grey area. We’ve all been told for years that we have to paint our houses in neutral colours if we ever want to sell them. But some new research seems to suggest that we’ve all been repressing the urge […]

Apparently we all secretly want to paint our houses lime ...


This story is probably not true, but it’s so good that it ought to be, and I think I will go ahead and believe it anyway. And it came from a respectable newspaper. The word quiz, according to an article by the Guardian’s cricket correspondent, was invented on a bet: […]

Your starter for 10: Who invented the Quiz?


A while ago I discovered that oikodomophobia is a new and terrible disease, the fear of having oiks come round to your house and make a mess of it. It often leads to a farpotshket decorating job (farpotshket – a yiddish word meaning “broken because someone tried to fix it”). So […]

The house was farpotshket. Time for a hyggrade.



The great comedian Tommy Cooper once said: “I painted my wife in oils. Now she looks like a sardine”. But that’s not why I’m writing to you. The clever people at Dulux have come up with a new version of their Tablet app to see how your room would look […]

Now my phone tells me what colour to paint the ...


We are currently putting finishing touches to a project on West Hill in Wandsworth. The property is a substantial Georgian mansion, tastefully converted into nine well-sized flats as well as a converted stables building, a gate house, and an adjoining Orangery. It may well have been originally built as a country […]

A London decorating case study


If you’re not so much of a big kid as I am, then I apologise in advance for what follows. But the fact is I love London. I’ve been painting and decorating all over the city from our Putney offices since 1997, and I continually find out wonderful facts about the place. […]

Thomas Cromwell, the Muppets and me



Despite very strict planning laws, we’re famous in London for the way we put modernist buildings next to fabulous old buildings. Somehow, it all seems work. House prices have also driven owners to add extensions, often using the same mixture of new and old. Personally, I think it works very […]

Preserving the history of London homes


Every year about this time, Dulux, issue their predictions for our colour choices in the coming year. We saw their presentations for 2016 at a briefing held at the McLaren motor centre in Woking, and when I could take my eyes off Jenson Button’s Formula 1 car there was some interesting […]

Coming in 2016, from the company who brought you Dulux


Our good friends in the weather service are predicting plenty of rain and storms for this winter. No-one has ruled out a plague of woolly mammoths. The last really wet winter caused all manner of problems in properties across London, and this is the time of year to start preparing for the […]

Cold, Wet and Windy – keep your house from catching ...



There’s nothing as individual as choosing colours. You can get endless advice on the internet, not to mention friends and relatives. You might even appreciate some of it. As decorators we’ve learned to be careful about offering opinions – but it’s nice to know what is possible and what’s out there. […]

Resources for choosing paint colours


(click on the photos to expand)   We recently completed the decorating for a full refurbishment of the famous 1 Lombard Street, the Square Mile’s most established restaurant and arguably it’s best placed. The restaurant is sited in pole position next to Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of […]

A signature project in the City


I like to think I’m a manly sort of man. I know which end of a screwdriver to hold, and I have plenty of good words for when electrical items don’t work. So I was drawn to a website called “The Art of Manliness” – just to see if they […]

Three things to check on the house in July



I promised you a useful email, and at last here it is. We only deal with a better class of client, and we know you will want to treat our beautiful paintwork with the love it deserves after we have packed up and gone home. But accidents happen. In the photo […]

How to clean paintwork – a useful email, at last


I’m sorry about lowering the tone of my newsletters. I really, really try to make them informative and worth your while. But then someone presents me with information like this, and all my good intentions vanish in a puff of smoke. You may have seen my recent newsletter about painting with peanut butter. […]

Why GD Parvin customers are the best


We get unusual requests from time to time. But this was probably the strangest. Someone wanted their room painted with Peanut Butter. We can usually tell when we’re being wound up, but it wasn’t April 1st – and this caller seemed to be completely serious. Yes, he said, he wanted real peanut […]

Painting with Peanut Butter?



Our recent redecoration of a beautiful family home in Kingston on Thames was featured by The Resident magazine. Owner Jacqualene chose light taupes and white to take full advantage of the light and modern interior, which has rooflights and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panel walls in the large kitchen and living […]

Our decorating featured in The Resident magazine


We recently had the pleasure of completing a signature project, the refurbishment of Lindley Hall in Westminster. This classic Edwardian building is owned by the Royal Horticultural Society and used for a wide range of events. Dating back to 1904, the Hall is an echo of Britain at its finest. […]

A beautiful Edwardian restoration


Sky-high house prices in London are resulting in a lot more home improvements. And we’re always happy to help. I happened to be looking at some old paint charts and thought it was interesting how much they reflect the times. The 1970’s look very strange –  here’s the Dulux catalogue from […]

It’s officially (nearly) spring. What colours are we picking this ...



Feel a touch of Spring in the air? Just the tiniest whiff? As we move ever closer to Spring-cleaning time, a fresh crop of Dulux and Farrow & Ball colour charts have started to poke their heads though the snow. But since most of us spend our lives entirely surrounded […]

What goes into your housepaint?


Latest news suggests London house prices are cooling off – just a little. But for any of our customers who are not Russian billionaires (I know there are one or two of you) the news is not all bleak.If your thoughts are turning to home improvements, what better start to the […]

A Happy New Year for London House-owners




Lesson One: hanging on brick walls Planning to decorate the house this year? Perhaps you like the understated elegance of this example? Even if you’re not so brave, I thought you might like a decorator’s tips on how to make decorations stay up without incurring a repair bill in the New […]

Decorators tips: How to hang your Christmas decorations.


As I drive around London in my van I have to think about something. So what about this: Is there a collective noun for decorators? I sometimes use old-fashioned anglo-saxon words to talk about my workmen, but really they are warm and cuddly people. They deserve a proper collective noun, […]

Decorating tips – and some new words


I always thought it would be nice to have a roof garden. Somewhere to relax and maybe enjoy a frolic in the sun with the benefit of complete privacy. In my mind’s eye it would be something like this: Imagine my surprise when I took a ladder up to my roof and found […]

What Adam and Eve got up to on your roof ...



School holidays apparently see a spike in insurance claims – kids cause an average £176 of home damage a year, according to insurance industry figures from Policy Expert.  More than a quarter of this damage is caused to paintwork and interior décor.  A survey of parents found that the top […]

‘My Son used my iPhone as a hammer’


If you want to get creative, read this first I read two stories about Star Trek themed houses this week. Both of them (surprise!) in the USA. One fan spent $300,000 on converting his New York basement into the bridge of the USS Enterprise. The other did an entire house in Florida. […]

Batman in your bedroom?


One of these days I’m going to get lucky. I’ll get home early on Friday, the sun’s still shining on my garden, the barbecue has been lit & my favourite beverage is chilling gently in the fridge. I always seem to fall at the same hurdle; getting home early. But I’m working […]

The view from your back garden…



  The great British Summer is threatening once more. With it come to mind all the wonderful things we’re going to accomplish this year, like losing those extra pounds ready for the beach (hmm… I may move that one down my list a little…) or getting those new wardrobes you’ve […]

PROCRASTINATION (what’s that got to do with decorating?)


Sorry to keep coming back to this, but you might have seen my previous newsletter about green paint in bedrooms, and how it’s supposed to promote…well, let’s say, night-time exercise. Bad luck for the owner of this bedroom. And as we come to Easter it struck me that all the […]

Oh dear! More things we didn’t know about the colours ...


The quotation above is one of my favourites from Mark Twain. Working in the decorating industry, I see a lot of men with hammers. They’ll hit anything. So when salesmen urged half of London to replace old wooden doors with UPVC, they weren’t necessarily just thinking about the commission. I’m sure many […]

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a ...



All this rain is causing damp problems to homes all over London, even in areas which have avoided flooding. 
I hope you’ve not had any serious damage, but I thought you might want to know the main things to watch out for.

Water can get into walls through various ways, including: Cracked or missing roof tiles Gaps around […]

What to watch out for after all this rain


I’m becoming an expert at boring people at parties. If you invited me round this Christmas, you’d probably regret it. It’s not as if I wander around Fulham watching paint dry, but my wife thinks I’ve been learning more about paint this year than is healthy. Take colours. There are two […]

What you didn’t know about paint colours


Crikey, it’s nearly Christmas already! The John Lewis TV ad has started, which I believe marks the official start of the Christmas season. Hollywood usually gets the blame for the modern Christmas, but did you know that Prince Albert invented Christmas trees here in London? Well, sort of. Queen Victoria […]

Preparing for Christmas – grab our elves fast!



Sales of green paint have been going well since my last newsletter (in case you missed it, it’s supposed to be the paint equivalent of viagra). But I thought I should raise the tone a little. We sometimes find houses with old paint finishes that haven’t been redecorated since the […]

Restoring old paint finishes and choice of paint for exteriors


Everyone knows the story about painting the Forth Road Bridge (by the time the painters reach one end they have to start again at the beginning). Here’s something I didn’t know: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is painted in ‘International Orange’, but the US Navy originally wanted it […]

And the best colour to paint your room for a ...


Did you know that Picasso used regular house paint for many of his most famous paintings?Apparently this has been a source of argument between art historians for years, but it was recently settled by scientists in the US. They used a high-energy X-ray instrument called an x-ray nanoprobe to examine […]

Picasso and your house paint



It’s summer, so I thought I’d write about wet rot. Poor preparation and painting (and neglect) of timber door and window frames is bad news for your property, but it’s good news for fungi.  Poor painting means your wood gets wet, and wet wood gives fungus both a hearty meal […]

Hope I’m not talking rot…..


It was a new word for me as well!

It means “The condition which leaves millions of people in fear of dealing with cowboy tradesmen. Six in 10 people claim to suffer from the condition when forced to negotiate with plumbers, builders and roofers for a job on their property —Fear […]

Oikodomophobia – a new word


What is a good painter?  Having worked in the industry for more years than I care to think about, and having nothing better to do, I recently ended up studying a bit about marine painting. It is probably the most critical type of painting because if done badly the hull […]

Things you didn’t know about painting



I sat down to write a calm informed article about BluTak, and why it is the Devil’s work when it comes near nicely painted interior walls. And what did I find, dear reader, in a quick Google search: a Council Health & Safety order banning use of BluTak on windows […]

What BluTak does to your walls


I’m often asked how to look after indoor paintwork and keep it free of grubby finger-marks and general minor scuffs. My first response (“ask your wife to do it”) used to be appreciated by married men but all it gets me now is an elbow in the ribs from Mrs. […]

Care of paintwork and cleaning walls


Here in the South we seem to be moving towards Spring, despite the pictures I saw of cars in Yorkshire stranded in the snow.
It’s a good time of year to take stock of a home and look at what jobs will need to be done, including decorating jobs of course.

External […]

How to tell if it’s time for repainting



This kind of weather makes people worry about everything from burst pipes to collapsing roofs. It also makes my workmen fight over who gets to work in the warmest houses. But there are points to watch out for in a cold snap that could save nasty bills later, so I […]

Avoiding home damage from the cold


After surviving Christmas a lot of people seem to celebrate with a home makeover, or at least a fresh coat of paint.  And we’re happy to oblige. Remember, we’ve got through midwinter and it’s all downhill from here to Spring and Summer. Sunrise is one whole minute a day earlier […]

A Nice offer for the New Year


I love Christmas. My wife’s name is Holly, after all. But I lose sleep at the thought of all the lovely paintwork my men have done being wrecked by sellotape and blu-tack. So, if you’ll allow me, I have some suggestions on how to hang things without wrecking the lovely […]

Some Christmas decorating tips from your decorator



I’m sure when I was a lad I was told that things are supposed to wind down for the Christmas holidays. Just one of those things, like it always rains for Wimbledon. Not any more though. I came up with all sorts of explanations but none of them really make […]

The Winter Decorating yips


What’s your least favourite cleaning task? The toilet has to be up there, but top of the list on a recent survey was cleaning the oven: 40% of people named it as their worst household chore. Cleaning the toilet, if you’re interested, came in second with 18%. With that in […]

Favourite cleaning job : the oven!


Hello again. So it seems that Twilight isn’t only taking over the silver screens… it is also taking over our homes. No, Robert the vampire wolf guy – or whatever he is, isn’t going to be showing up, so keep your knickers on. The Autumn trends are here, and twilight […]

London Interior Decorating



Around this time of year people start looking at how to make the most of their home for the winter. The prospect of relatives coming for the Christmas break and more time indoors, perhaps. It’s a busy time for us decorators, though. I thought you might appreciate some unusual cleaning […]

cleaning tips for the winter


One of the biggest problems that people have when deciding to get their home re-decorated is picking a colour scheme for the rooms in question. They go and get all the different colour charts from Dulux, or Crown, or Farrow and Ball, but can’t always decide what to do, and […]

How to pick the perfect colour