Gary Marsh unveiled as Dulux Heritage Hero 2023

28 September 2023

Dulux enlisted the help of four industry experts to unanimously select the winner and two runners up of this year’s competition

  • Gary Marsh wins top prize of a staycation
  • Polly Blewitt and Sam Warrington awarded as runners up, each winning £250 cash and Dulux Heritage paint
  • Judges reviewed entries, which were made anonymous for the judging session, and chose the top three projects based on the best client and entrant reaction, overall project transformation and how Dulux Heritage paint was incorporated into the project

The results for this year’s nationwide Heritage Heroes competition are in, with PDA Member Gary Marsh taking home first place, and Polly Blewitt and Sam Warrington named as runners up. An esteemed panel of industry experts, including Dulux Academy Colour Expert, Nicola Holmes, last year’s winning Heritage Hero, Chanelle Taylor and Dulux Select Decorators and Dulux Academy Associates, Steve Dove, and Georgie Baker, took part in an intense day of judging to crown the top three entries.

In its second year, the Heritage Heroes 2023 competition encouraged the nation’s painters and decorators to submit Dulux Heritage projects that focussed on the emotions evoked by entrants and clients alike, and showcased how a colour or a room refresh can make them both feel.

Nicola, Chanelle, Steve and Georgie anonymously selected Sunderland-based decorator Gary Marsh, of Gary Marsh Quality Decorators, based on the project transformation and how he used Dulux Heritage to really change the space, as well as the reaction from both him and his client.

In his project entry, Gary shared pictures and details of how he used various products from the Dulux Heritage range to transform a customer’s three-story staircase, passages, landings, a bedroom and bathroom whilst they were on holiday. When they returned, they were amazed and overjoyed with the transformation and standard of the work. So much so, that they have asked for Gary and his team to decorate other rooms in their house. As well as being crowned this year’s Heritage Hero, Gary will receive a £1,000 voucher to spend on a weekend away with loved ones, to have a well-deserved break and feel refreshed for the next job.

Speaking of the win, Gary commented:

“I’m over the moon to have won this year’s Heritage Heroes competition, and it really means a lot to me. It’s an honour to be recognised, especially given the high level of competition from the painters and decorators that have taken part. I love working in collaboration with my customers and being able to recommend products I trust, like Dulux Heritage, to bring their visions to life and help them feel happy in spaces within their homes. I always try to use Dulux Heritage where I can as I feel it is one of the best paints on the market.”

With over 20 high-quality entries to choose from, the judging panel unanimously decided on two projects to award runners up: Polly Blewitt, of Polly Paints, and Sam Warrington from South Notts Decorating, who each won £250 cash and five x five litre Dulux Heritage paint in a colour of their choice. Polly’s project totally transformed a client’s master bedroom in a couple’s new home and judges were impressed with the colour scheming and intricate details. Sam’s project involved revitalising a kitchen/diner to better reflect the customer’s personality and bring back a sense of pride for their living space.

Reflecting on the judging day, Nicola Holmes, Skills & Development Consultant and Dulux Colour Expert at AkzoNobel, commented:

“We had a very high standard of entries this year from extremely talented painting and decorating professionals, making it a stiff competition! When it came down to judging, Chanelle, Georgie, Steve and I really wanted to focus on the emotions that were tied into the decorating projects, for both decorators and their clients. Gary’s, Polly’s and Sam’s projects all excellently showcased how a space could be completely transformed and lifted using colour and expertise.”

Fellow judge, Dulux Select Decorator and Dulux Academy Associate, Steve Dove added:

“It was fantastic to see all the entries that came in, and the different ways in which Dulux Heritage colours were used to evoke emotion across a range of projects. I was delighted to take part in the competition this year and proud to celebrate the skills and stories of the industry in which we work.”

The Dulux Heritage range is available in an expertly curated range of 112 rich shades in both soft-to-touch velvet matt and eggshell high-quality finishes. The timeless collection blends modern and classic shades evocative of nostalgic memories, and gives decorators a chance to refresh spaces for clients to make new moments in. For more information about Dulux Heritage, visit