Adapting to changes often requires a versatile outlook. A project such as remodeling or renovation is a capital improvement, designed to increase the value of the property.
In painting, it is desirable to possess specialized skills and abilities such as applying wallcoverings, decorative finishes and custom textiles. The location does not depend on your skills.
Skills and abilities which are innovative fill needs that the average painter is not able to offer. My suggestion: Seek out specialized training. Learn about the advances in new building products and materials, finishing products and coating systems. A background in one or more of these areas will ensure that you are diversified in a competitive market.
1. How the painting trade standards have changed – eg. IUPAT.
A. Regulations on product use ensure the safe implementation of the application.
B. There is an expectation to use low VOC products for clean air provisions.
C. Regulations and implementation of hazardous chemical containment has been increased.
D. Lead abatement has become required for presence of pre-existing lead-based paint materials.
E. Rules established for disposal of used paints and solvents are more specific – and stringent!
2. How commercial/facility painting job descriptions have changed.
A. Jobs specify experience in multi-surface preparation, methods, techniques, etc.
B. Jobs specify experience in application of surface/substrate products, materials, etc.
C. Many employers seek persons with electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and tiling skills.
D. Descriptions are broader, allowing for more diversified experience and abilities.
E. Jobs require more flexibility in scheduling, budgeting and costing-out, product use, etc.
3. What experienced painters need to learn today.
A. Popular new paint products: How to apply Zolstone, Multi spec, Venetian plaster, acrylic glazing techniques, hand-texturing techniques.
B. Less known new paint products: Metallic glazing, low odor two-components, epoxy, urethane; moisture-cured polyurethane, water-based alkalai resistant primers, moisture-cured zinc primers, water-based interior/exterior solids and semi-transparent stains, water-based varnishes.
C. New finishing products: Water-based rust inhibitive primers and dryfall coatings; 2-component polyurethanes, mark resistant interior latex paints. Check Gliddens, PPG, Sherwin Williams, etc.
D. New, preferred methods to use: HVLP is preferred over standard, conventional spray painting. You have reduced material use, and much less overspray. Depending on the spray gun selected, a finer spray pattern can be achieved with HVLP.
E. New supplies: Plastic or plastic biodegradable dropcloths, long-release masking tapes, paintable siliconized caulking, cageless roller frames.
F. New tools: Purdy and Wooster paint brushes are considered the top two brands. Whistler (made in Great Britain) and Sympthony stand out as the two best in decorative finishing brushes.
G. New equipment: Graco, Sharpe, Devilbiss, Iwata (Japanese), and C-A techniques provide the most advanced spray finishing equipment available.
4. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew upgrade their skills.
A. Hold training sessions in areas of surface finishing – eg.painting, wallcovering, decorative finishing, texture applications.
B. Make available the basic, necessary tools and supplies for the particular upgrade.
C. Create work areas where new skills can be used.
D. Provide reference materials to use as guides – downloadable apps, DVDs, books, e-books, manuals, tip sheets, etc.
5. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew adapt to, and welcome, changes.
A. Tell the painters they are not expected immediately to create new skills. Being proficient takes time.
B. Allow each painters enough time, daily or weekly, to exercise a new skill or technique.
C. Require that everyone, who will paint, will know the proper way to finish each surface they will, or might, be required to work on.
6. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew ask for help, feedback and resources.
A. Let each team member know that he or she has the support of supervisors, coworkers, and management.
B. Create open dialogue within the department, and organization, where suggestions can be offered freely, without reprisal or offense.
Closing Comments: The more diverse that one’s skills are, the more you can offer the employer, and hope to guarantee you will be needed in the future. Requirements are always changing. And, a painter must be able to adapt so that any given situation is readily manageable, or solved to meet the needs of the market.
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Paint with spirit! Live with soul! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”