Twelve category winners and an overall winner were recognised during this celebration of Select Decorators around the UK.

The Dulux Select Decorators Awards 2019 were held at a gala dinner following the first day of the Painting and Decorating Show.

Dulux Select Decorators undergo rigorous assessments to become members - they must have at least three years experience in the trade and have run their own business for a minimum of 12 months.

By becoming members they are entitled to use of Dulux branded assets, have access to subsidised rates on Dulux Academy courses and become part of a supportive community, with invites to social events and an exclusive forum with other Dulux Select Decorators. Members also receive monthly news updates, regular competitions and product discount vouchers.

The Grand Winner of the 2019 Dulux Select Decorators Awards was been announced as Des Cass. He received the top award in recognition of his professional expertise and commitment to continuously exceeding customer expectations with the quality of his work, as well as his dedication to the trade and the Select Decorator scheme.

Decorators packed the venue for drinks, dinner and live entertainment, before Dulux Select Decorators Lead Vickie Mather, and judges Dulux Academy Skills Development Consultants Mark Rigby and Tony Pearson-Young, as well as Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford, took to the stage to announce the winners.

The category winners were announced as:

• Best Newcomer: Jason Whitehead

• Adding Colour to People's Lives: Glen Wilds

• Use of Dulux Colour of the Year: Carl Lesh

• Interior Project under £2,500: Richard Reece

• Interior Project over £2,500: Des Cass

• Sprayed Finish: Aaron Davidson

• Exterior Project: Steph Howles and Rose Morris

• Restoration Project: Jake Neal

• Wallpaper under £1,500: Steph Howles

• Wallpaper over £1,500: Simon Medlin

• Apprentice Mentor: Martin Connor (Highly Commended: Tony McCawley, Steph Howles and Rose Morris)

• Scheme Supporter: Sean Kelly (Highly Commended: Georgie Baker, Peter Clark, Nick Dodge, Steph Howles and Rose Morris)

Cass commented on his victory: “After more than 40 years in the trade, it’s wonderful to be named as this year's Grand Winner.

“It was a complete surprise as all the Dulux Select Decorators are incredibly talented, to have my work recognised after decades of dedication and commitment to doing this job to the best of my abilities is the cherry on the cake after a great year for my business.

“It’s fantastic to be part of this scheme and having a network of such great peers has been a game changer for me.”

Vickie Mather congratulated all the winners: “they have gone above and beyond for their customers and the Dulux Select Decorators scheme in the last 12 months.

“I was honoured to award our Grand Winner Des, who has been a Dulux Select Decorator for many years. His professional skills combined with his eagerness to get involved with the scheme make him a brilliant ambassador for Dulux Select Decorators.

“We know that being a decorator can quite often be a lonely trade - and there is so much going on behind the scenes running a business that never even gets recognised. The Dulux Select Decorators scheme is all about bringing expert professionals together so that they can lean on each other and learn from one another.

“We decided this year to celebrate the Dulux Select Decorators with a new-look gala awards evening so we could really show our appreciation for all of our decorators, who continually prove that there is an exceptional amount of expertise in the decorating trade.

“It was fantastic to just take a moment to reflect on the hard work and dedication these people give the painting and decorating trade - as well as recognising those that go above and beyond in providing exceptional craftsmanship.

‘’It was also great to share the evening with our trusted suppliers, who’s generosity allowed us to raise over £1,000 for charity.”