Wayne de Wet

Wayne de Wet is quite simply one of the nation’s finest decorators. He was the Grand Winner of the Dulux Select Decorator of the Year in 2011, and runner-up in 2008. He also hand picked a Team of Dulux Select decorators, and they painted show homes and room sets at the 2011 London Ideal Home Show (Swedish house open plan living) and 2012 (The Santiago Town House and Dulux Design Service room set) – the same team produced great results at London’s Exel Grand Designs Live 2012, decorating multiple room sets, and Kevin McCloud used one to open the show.

Hand painted kitchens

Wayne with Kevin McCloud and Sacha Petrie of
SCP Designs at Grand Designs Live.

He’s done radio and TV, and also featured in magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire, and Homes & Gardens. He reviews products and tools for The Decorator and Professional Painter & Decorator Magazine, travels Europe testing products for manufacturers, and to be honest the list of accolades goes on and on with his latest award being in his home county where he was runner-up in ‘Norfolk Legends 2013’.

Well, I’ve managed to grab him for a quick interview, and below he shares some of his thoughts and tips that will help out every DIY decorator.

1. If you could think of one tip to help DIY decorators in getting the best paint finish, what would it be?


2. Is there such a thing as good, ‘cheap’ paint, or is it always necessary to spend that little bit more to ensure you get a good quality, lasting finish?

No such thing as a good cheap paint! Always buy the best you can afford.

3. One of my best time-saving tips is to use Zinsser BIN on bare wood as it’s quick drying, and knots and primes the wood all in one. What would be one of your top time-saving tips?

Use the same product on furniture, after washing with Krud Kutter. It bonds to clean glossy surfaces creating a great base for top coats.

4. When I walk around DIY stores, I often see products that I wish I could remove from the shelves in a bid to help DIY enthusiasts from making what I consider to be a big mistake – cheap paint rollers for example! Are there any tools or materials that you think would be best left in boxes in the store room?

Really cheap and nasty brushes – the DIY decorator will pay more in the long run.

5. If you reached into your brush box to pick out a favourite, what would it be and why?

That’s a hard one as I have so many!! But currently my fav is the Proform Picasso oval slanted with its bright orange filaments. It allows me to cut in at speed effortlessly.

6. Mythic paint is for me, the stand out performer of the increasing number of ‘green’ paints on the market. Are there any ‘green’ options that have impressed you?

Mythic is also one of my favs, but I also like Ecco & EarthBourne.

7. I’m always keen to encourage DIY enthusiasts to try new things and perhaps work outside their comfort zone. Are there no limits to what a DIY decorator can achieve, or are there areas where they really do need to call in the pros?

I think if the DIY enthusiast thinks the project through and is fit, sensible and able to understand instructions, then go for it. Look on YouTube for tips.

8. You’re a well known reviewer of new products in the market. Are there any recent innovations that you think will become a ‘must have’ for the DIYer?

Yes, a few must have tools.

a) Virtual dust free sanding is a must using the Mirka Handy with Abranet abrasives.

b) LadderLimb is just so cool and makes working up a ladder safer.

c) Paintbrush peg – this makes painting fun – it’s a magnetic peg that holds your brush and stops it falling in the paint or on the floor.

d) Handipad hook & loop sanding pads.

e) Fence Protector saves time money and mess.

9. Are you finding that there are any particular trends at the moment in relation to both paint and paper?

Yes, wallpaper is back – mostly feature or panels, and big patterns. Bright paint!!! Zesty loud and proud is back.

10… and finally a ‘Quick fire 5’ – you can only choose one answer for each Wayne!

Pure bristle or synthetic bristle brushes? Synthetic.
Farrow & Ball or Paint Library? Farrow & Ball.
Gloss or eggshell? Eggshell.
Purdy or Wooster? Wooster.
Roller tray or roller scuttle? Scuttle.

A huge thanks to Wayne de Wet for sharing his expertise and tips!

For more advice, check out his column at Housefixer where he reviews products under the alias of The Decorating Dean. You can also follow Wayne on Twitter at ToolTalk1 and decorum28, and give him a shout if you need his services!


  1. Hi Julian,

    You’ve got a lot of info out of Wayne there 🙂 Reading through, I recognise a few themes and “new” products that are re-setting the bar much higher for decorators, both DIY and professional.

    Contrary to popular belief, DIY need, and should have access to professional quality information and tools, paints etc. Offering someone second best just because they don’t paint all day every day, is doing the public a disservice, and draws good money after bad. With the economy faltering, value for money is paramount, and using cheap kit is anything but cheerful.

    I could understand reticence to invest in a pro quality brush when oil paint was the only option for woodwork ie the chances are, they wouldn’t get cleaned properly and end up in the bin. But with so many fantastic water based paints available, there is no excuse not to buy a good brush which is a joy to use, helps achieve a reasonable “professional” finish and is easy to keep clean.

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