For half a century, CPD Quality Decorators Ltd. has been delivering high-quality commercial and residential painting and decorating contracting solutions to a legion of satisfied clients nationwide. We dropped into their Mountmellick, County Laois base – home of subsidiary business, The Paint Store – and caught up with founder Con Farrell to find out more about he manages the business.
Con Farrell now manages the day-to-day running of CPD Quality Decorators Ltd. and is joined at the helm by his daughter, Ciara, and two business partners, Pauric Goodwin and Dan O’Neill, who have worked with the company for many years.
It would be fair to say that Con is a master of his chosen craft. The Laois resident has been providing high-end residential and commercial painting and decorating services since the late 1960s and has painstakingly established the business, CPD Quality Decorators Ltd., into Ireland’s premier professional painting and decorating company, along with Ciara, Pauric and Dan.
Consistently delivering the highest standard of workmanship nationwide, CPD carry out all types of painting and decorating – residential, commercial, conservation & restoration – and specialise in historic work. Founder Con Farrell has built a solid reputation for himself as an authority on all things pertaining to painting and decorating and this is why he has been entrusted with decorating and maintaining some of Ireland’s finest houses and stately homes not to mention a veritable host of landmark commercial and business premises.
“I started painting at the age of 15 and began with Meaney’s from Cork,” he reveals, reflecting on the genesis of the business. “I was self-employed at 20 years old, which was fairly unusual in Ireland at the time.
“We did a lot of paper hanging in the early days as we were based in Kildare at the time and a lot of the Council houses that went up were papered. I then got involved in painting contracts – we were subcontracting houses from builders and we did the painting, stippling and paper hanging.
“Fortunately, I got the opportunity to work on historic houses and I got to know how these buildings lived and breathed and what paint would work best. That was an important part of my education and I’ve worked on a number of Ireland’s most historic houses over the years – as listed on our company profile, which is available upon request.”
These include – but are by no means limited to – Abbeyleix Estate in Laois, Castletown Cox House in Piltown, Kilkenny, Russborough House in Wicklow Headford House in Meath, Ballyfinn House in Laois and Danesmoate Estate in Dublin.
The more quality workmanship he delivered, the more Con’s reputation for excellence preceded him. He became known near and far for his tremendous knowledge of and insight into painting / decorating / restoration. As architects, building contractors and interior decorators alike got in touch looking for advice, he always took their calls and offered as much guidance as he possibly could. His genuine, helpful nature and desire to see people right generated a lot of goodwill towards the business, which remains very much intact today.
“I’ve always had a passion for doing things well and have always sourced the right products. I try to guide people in the right direction. It’s not about making a quick buck – I prefer to give people honest advice on how they can get the job done professionally but in as pain-free a manner as possible.”
CPD undertakes a large volume of high-end residential work, frequently working for well-known clients and individuals where utmost discretion is required. Only the very best in the business will be granted access to the homes of Ireland’s most successful people. So how has Con Farrell managed to get to the level where he is regularly taking calls from architects and clients to deliver such prestigious painting and decorating projects?
“I suppose the reality is that tradespeople who have devoted a lifetime to painting and decorating – and who have been at it as long as I have – are scarce,” he notes. “There aren’t many people who have been doing this for 50 years and you gain a wealth of knowledge and expertise over the years. There’s so much involved, so many new paints, so much to consider before you even lift a brush or roller…”
You can’t study it or read it in a book. Only through the practical experience of being out there working day in, day out can one become a top-class painter and decorator, an imminent artisan with a grasp of all techniques associated with decorating and restoration, be that floor sanding, paint stripping, graining, marbling, French polishing, faux finishes, specialised wall covering, etc., etc.
In conjunction with his daughter, Ciara, who is equally meticulous and exacting in her standards, Con also established The Paint Store in Mountmellick. “We like to test the paint before we stock it. We can match and tint paint for customers as they need it.” Stocking a wide range of fine paints, The Paint Store offers free advice and in-store colour consultations and is rightly regarded as one of the finest paint retail outlets in the midlands.
Returning to CPD Quality Decorators, every project is treated as an absolute priority, regardless of its size or financial value. Each project is unique and the challenges presented are embraced with enthusiasm. Con has an excellent team of painters at his disposal, most of whom he has personally trained himself.
CPD completed the aging work on Youghal Clock Gate Tower, which has been transformed into a visitors centre, while other recent projects include at upgrade to The Curragh Racecourse for Purcell Construction, Camida’s new office renovation in Clonmel with Frank Murray & Sons Construction (for whom Con has worked for over 30 years) and the new Mount Juliet Golf Club House in conjunction with Duggan Brothers. Con has also worked for a host of other contractors, including Monami Construction, as well as undertaking maintenance work in Pfizer and Veolia’s pharmaceutical plants.
From public and private sector clients to commercial enterprises, Health Boards, the Department of Defence and numerous other public bodies, anyone who has used his company’s stellar services will attest to the extremely high quality of the workmanship delivered. “Ultimately it is all about quality,” he confirms. “We set and achieve very high standards and this would not be possible without our outstanding team, my daughter Ciara and my two business partners, who have been with me for many years now.”
A personal touch permeates everything Con does and this applies to The Paint Store as much as CPD Quality Decorators, assuring customers of the best possible service at all times. “Paint can be a minefield and it must be very hard for people going into the big sheds where they can’t work their way around the maze,” he concludes. “We simplify it for people and Ciara knows paint inside-out so she brings a great knowledge to the shop. Whatever we are doing, we always go out of our way to look after people.”
That’s why they keep coming back…
CPD Quality Decorators Ltd.,
2 Church Street,
Tel: 057 8624435
Fax: 057 8644240
Mobile: 087 2500662
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, April/May 2018, Vol 4 No 4