Irish immigrant got hired by painting company; now he owns it

EATONTOWN – When Paul Finn, owner of Modern Decorating Co., came to America from Ireland in 1987, he never thought he would soon own the home painting business, where he started as an employee.

“I was hired by owner David Low and worked with his sons David Jr. and Darren,” said Finn. “After a few years, David Jr. and Darren broke up and did their own thing. When I was working with David Sr., he considered retiring and gave me the company name.”

“We were well established at the time and had a lot of customers so everyone knew me,” said Finn. “When I started there were some things I really needed to learn that I didn’t know before I really got my feet wet.

“There’s a lot of preparation for this type of work,” said Finn. “There is a way of doing this, in the sense that you have to be very careful about taking care of people’s homes and treating them like they are your own. If you take a room apart, you have to Really put it back together the way you found it. It’s about precision and accuracy. “

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Painter family

Finn came from a family of painters. He had two uncles involved in the trade and remembers doing little painting jobs around the house as a young teenager.

“When I was in Ireland I never did it as professionally,” said Finn. “I was always interested in it, but it never really blossomed until I got to the US. I consider myself a person who has always had a mechanical mind and I also loved working with my hands.

“I’m the type of person that when I’m on a job and see something that looks broken, I go through a process in my head that I figure out how to fix,” said Finn. “My painting and house repair skills are all related to this mindset. Something happens in my head and a light bulb goes out. I’m just the handyman way of solving problems, and I’ve been that since I was a kid. “

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Paul Finn of Modern Decorating Company, an Eatontown-based company, repaints the kitchen for a Little Silver customer.  His shop offers a wide variety of decoration services.

Finn’s decorating and developing experience as a business owner grew from working with Low for a long time before taking over himself in 2003.

“For me, there wasn’t much of a difference between working and running the company because I’d learned so much in all of my years as an employee,” said Finn. “We were still pretty much dealing with the same people and it was a repetition of customers.

“One thing I had to learn to do in order to do that was something new to me, the pricing of certain jobs,” said Finn. “One thing about the pricing aspect required a little more attention to detail and improvement over time. For example, you need to try to predict how many days it will take for a particular job and how much will be charged for that job. Once you master this, you can predict how long it will take to get each job done without going behind or ahead of schedule. This is something that will take some time and you will get better at it over time. Customers really recognize the quality of the work when it comes to getting the job done on schedule. “

Do it right

Finn mostly does everything that has to do with house painting, whether indoors or outdoors. Finn also uses electricity to wash the exterior of a house or building, be it just to clean it for its own sake or to clean it before painting over.

“It’s important to clean a surface before painting over it, otherwise visible mildew on that surface will seep through the paint and ruin it,” said Finn. “If a paint is done over a dirty area and then removed later, it is more difficult because there is already some coats of paint on it. We make sure that we always clean a surface before painting it so we don’t have any problems after painting it. “

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Paul Finn of Modern Decorating Company, an Eatontown-based company, repaints the kitchen for a Little Silver customer.  His shop offers a wide variety of decoration services.

Modern Decorating Co. is doing its best to get out of the pandemic. For Paul Finn and his crew, his work is still considered “essential”, although he mainly limits himself to work outside the company.

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“We’re still allowed to work outside most of the time, unless a house is empty we can go inside,” said Finn. “I believe that COVID 19 is serious and is even more severe for certain people in certain categories. I try not to freak out about it, but I make sure we wear masks and keep social distance. We were fortunate enough to keep working and doing jobs overall. “

Paul Finn of Modern Decorating Company, an Eatontown-based company, repaints the kitchen for a Little Silver customer.  His shop offers a wide variety of decoration services.

Finn wants to do his best work for as long as possible and believes that he will continue to do so as long as he is in good health.

“I am confident in saying that I will continue this type of work and so far I have been able to maintain a safe presence of the Spirit,” said Finn. “Although it will be a little harder going up and down those ladders, I’ll do it for as long as I can and make sure I’m accurate.”

Modern Decorating Co.

Location: Eatontown

Phone: 732-915-4148

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