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The art of cosmetic repair

In its most literal sense ‘art’ means deceit or to fool the eye, while its aficionados  even employ the term trompe l’oile to describe the genre beloved of French and other artists.

At Plastic Surgeon, we frequently find that candidates who have done well at art during their education will go on to make the best Finishers for our business. For not only do all prospective trainees have to undergo a test for colour blindness, to be sure they can match the pigments accurately, but some of the work such as recreating woodgrain details is really a very skillful challenge.

There are many other operations which the Finishers regularly tackle that are far less artistic, but which still require extended training in order to develop the necessary dexterity. These include smoothing out scratches or stains from table tops or floors, while dozens of Finishers are even trained in glass polishing.

The vast majority of repairs do, though, involve the operative in mixing up a selection of Plastic Surgeon’s System 20 pigments in order to replicate the original finish to doors, window frames, worktops, bathroom suites, tiles and other familiar building substrates. Outside the building many of our repairs to masonry and contemporary cladding products also involve spraying with products such as our Screedcoat system.

And although a lot of the Finishers’ time is spent helping housebuilders and other contractors with ‘snagging’ issues, a proportion of call outs involve far older, sometimes even historic buildings. In fact a look back through Plastic Surgeon’s archive of case studies reveals contracts across the regions where we have rebuilt badly weathered stone balustrades along rooflines, restored the patina on architectural metalwork or meticulously patched and repainted ceramic skirtings and architraves within an Art Deco building.

In all cases the ultimate aim of cosmetic repair is to help clients avoid the relatively much higher financial and sustainability costs of replacement: giving damaged building components an extended working life, while those who use them are blissfully unaware that the damage ever happened.

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