A PAINTING and decorating student has pasted the competition after being named the top apprentice wallpaper hanger in the country.

Thomas Regan, 20, who studies at Accrington and Rossendale College, claimed the sixth prize of his career in the competition The competition, organised by the Painting and Decorating Association, tested students’ ability to match and cut paper accurately, get levels on borders correctly in place and apply paper smoothly with no blisters.

The awards took place at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, where Thomas was presented with the award and a cheque for £300.

Thomas, from Knuzden, said: “I knew I’d finished in the top three, but wasn’t sure which one.

“While I was confident that I’d had a good competition, the standard of some of the other competitors was extremely high.

“I’m really proud to have won.”

Tutor, Phil Burgess, said: “Talent doesn’t mean anything if you don’t make the most of it and it’s no coincidence that one of our most successful students is one of the hardest working. He really likes to master a skill and takes great pride in his work.”

Earlier this year Thomas was named winner of the North West heat of Dulux Decorator Centre’s Apprentice of the Year competition.

His prizes include: PDA Painter Of The Year, second in Dulux national final, SkillBuild North West Regional competition, Dulux regionals, National SkillBuild competition.


  • Preparation is the key: sanding, filling, sizing and lining paper.
  • Always read the manufacturers’ instructions before starting.
  • Carefully consider your starting points prior to applying wallpaper, eg feature walls centring patter.
  • Always ensure you plum the wallpaper with a level or a plumb line.
  • Work to a methodical system when pasting to ensure a good, even application.
  • When smoothing out, sweep from the centre outwards ensuring no blisters.