Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Archive for April, 2015

PAINTING AND DECORATING: THE HOTEL PENTHOUSE

A Central Florida hotel gave me the choice of three redecorating projects:

 

  1. larger penthouse,
  2. front lobby, or
  3. outdoor children’s play-town.

 

I opted for the penthouse. The other two projects were put on hold by the property management company.

 

Why the penthouse project got my vote: The diversity of creative decorating opportunities.

 

  1. Interior work – A/C, controlled environment.
  2. Fine finishing surfaces: paneling, columns, furniture.
  3. Lots of wallcovering installation, including mural.
  4. Custom color matching: paint-to-patterned wallcoverings.
  5. Faux finishing.
  6. Minimal traffic
  7. Management’s style, commitment and candor.

 

I scheduled the project into twelve main phases:

 

  1. Needs assessment by room, area, square footage, surface conditions, and preparation requirements.
  2. Products, materials, supplies costing-to-budget allotment; selection and coordination; quantity estimating and computation; requisitioning to purchasing.
  3. Wood furniture and woodwork stripping or bleaching.
  4. Wallcovering removal.
  5. Ceilings, walls, doors repairing, patching, filling.
  6. Wood repairing, filling, sanding, sealing.
  7. Ceilings, walls priming.
  8. Woodwork, doors, furniture re-staining and light sanding.
  9. Painting.
  10. Woodwork, doors, furniture finishing.
  11. Wallpaper and mural hanging.
  12. Faux finishing.

 

I was responsible for all aspects of the project except:

 

  1. delivery delays of custom wallcoverings and murals,
  2. purchasing department delays, errors, etc.

 

The one twist: The hotel president’s wife, a retired ASID member, would be included in the selection of the wallcoverings, and murals. In reality, the lady showed up on site once a week during the entire project. She put herself “to work.” She helped whichever hotel maintenance technician may have been assisting me on that day.

 

The project moved right along.
Complete shutdown was needed only two days – carpenter, plumber, tile man. The flooring people installed new carpeting after I completed my work. Note: I waited to re-install the re-finished baseboards until after the flooring was installed.

 

A FEW TIPS FOR ANY SIMILAR PROJECT THAT YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING

 

Before you sign on, you might want to do the following:

 

  1. Find out where the hotel’s purchasing manager orders the bulk of paint products and wallpaper materials.
  2. Clear with management – get it in writing – for YOU to be the person that visits the paint store and communicates with product/material representatives.
  3. Set it up so that YOU are the person that puts together the actual requisition order schedule and lists, for the purchasing manager to follow.
  4. Get a list – in writing – of all other work that will be taking place in the area. See that it includes the approximate “schedule blocks” of work days for every other craftsperson. Examples: carpenters, electricians, plumbers, tile installers, drywall installers.

 

BEST CASE SCENARIO:

 

  1. Hotel management sets it up and authorizes YOU to actually do the ordering from suppliers.
  2. You work under ONE member of management.
  3. You have access to other members of organization – supervisors, managers, staff – as needed.
  4. Feedback from managers is limited, and direct. No filtering through a chain of people.
  5. Project inspections are limited, and conducted by person(s) with authority to assist and act.
  6. “Sightseeing” visits by managers and staff members are kept to minimum, even discouraged.

 

HOW THINGS WENT:

  1. The hotel’s staff was friendly, helpful and totally enthusiastic. Especially the staff painter, and the engineering department, as a whole.
  2. The project came off without any major glitch – eg. shipment delay of custom wallcoverings.
  3. The project came in under budget – a surprise, even to me.
  4. The project was completed one week early. (Another surprise.)
  5. The carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywallers, and tile installers stuck to the master schedule – and theirs. Great teams!
  6. Final inspections came off with only minor changes.
  7. The hotel management company signed off promptly.
  8. The hotel’s principal owner flew in for a final walk-through – and “staff only open house.”

 

Would I pick that “penthouse project” again? Yes! Though it was the first one that I’d worked on solo. And, it was the largest: over 4,000 square feet, including the veranda.

 

TIP FOR TOP QUALITY INTERIOR FINISHERS:

 

Ask around. There’s bound to be a hotel, resort, or residential penthouse somewhere that needs your special, fine touch. If nothing else, offer to help the staff painter get it into shining shape again.

 

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Special thanks to everyone that has helped others do a great job at their chosen work.

And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

HIDDEN TOXIC MOLD AND MILDEW: A PAINTER’S VIEW

Toxic mold and mildew can hide in the most unsuspected areas, and on the most surprising surfaces. Given the right conditions, it can grow nearly anywhere in the world.

 

In the tropics and other moist, humid climates, the challenge of finding and keeping up with their mitigation and remediation tends to be relentless, exhausting, and costly, also dangerous health and safety wise.

 

Where does BLACK and GREEN MOLD – eg. stachybotrys chartarum – like to hide?

 

Short list of potential sites for hidden mold and mildew: *

 

  1. Wallpaper, drywall, paneling, cork: back side
  2. Ceiling tiles: top side
  3. Carpet, padding: underside
  4. Walls: inside, especially around piping, wall joists
  5. Furniture: surface facing wall behind, and/or adjacent
  6. Ductwork: inside
  7. Roof materials: above ceiling tiles
  8. Refrigerators: under/behind/around pans, door seals, ice cube maker connections, motor.
  9. Air conditioner/heating system: inside/under/behind covers, vents; around tubing, hoses.
  10. Drapes/linings/valances/swags: back side, folds; around/inside rods, around hardware.
  11. Bedspreads/skirts: undersides/backsides, especially edges touching flooring.
  12. Shower curtains/liners: behind, between, in folds.
  13. Tiles – wall, ceiling, floor: behind/around/under ceramic, vinyl, plastic.
  14. Exterior tiles and borders: on top/under/around.

 

* Note: This list represents a small number of potential hidden sites.

 

How do you INVESTIGATE for the PRESENCE of toxic mold and mildew?

 

1. Wear protective gear:

A. Preferred: Disposable hooded full-body suit, including shoe covers; also, gloves, free-standing breathing apparatus, snug eye goggles.

B. Basic: Long sleeved shirt, long pants, disposable long plastic gloves, snug fitting eye goggles, breathing mask.

 

2. Follow basic procedure:

 

  • Temporarily TURN OFF all systems that will move or stir the air in the area where you are checking, also all electrical systems.
  • Rely on your sight. DO NOT touch or disturb the area.
  • Try to shine a flashlight into and behind the area.
  • SLOWLY and gently pull back two edges/corners (in different spots) of wallpaper, drywall, tile, paneling, carpeting, pad, etc.

 

How to REMOVE hidden black and green mold and mildew.

 

Call a licensed mitigation and remediation specialist.

 

***WARNING: DO NOT try to handle any hidden mold and mildew problem on your own.

 

How to identify YOUR EXPOSURE to hidden black and green mold and mildew.

 

1. Watch for exposure to bio-contaminants (black mold, fungi, bacteria, virus) caused by exposure and moisture problems, poor maintenance and inadequate ventilation.

2. It can cause serious, life-threatening effects, disease, damage, and impairments.

 

Know the signs and symptoms of exposure to hidden mold and mildew.

 

1. Discomfort level – Associated with climatic conditions, especially when building contamination may be implicated (eg. “Sick Building Syndrome”).
***SYMPTOMS: Feel too hot/too cold, eye/nose/throat irritation; air too dry, stuffy, strange odor; feel sluggish, body aches, fatigue, odd taste in mouth, coughing.

 

2. Acute effects level – Within 24-hours of exposure.
***SYMPTOMS: Headaches; blurry vision, difficulty focusing; red/watery/burning eyes; difficulty breathing/getting air; nasal congestion/burning; dizziness; sore chest, lungs, rib cage; itchy skin/rash; fatigue; odd taste in mouth; upset stomach.

 

3. Chronic effects level – Long-lasting response to long-term/frequent exposure, even low concentration.
*** SYMPTOMS: Respiratory disease, skin disease, chronic/acute sinus infections and sinusitis, cognitive impairments, CNS damage, strokes, cancer, vision loss, hearing loss, hair loss/graying.

 

Important Note: Hair graying tends to be rather “sudden” and very noticeable.

For more information: www.epa.gov; www.osha.gov, www.sickbuildingsyndrome.gov.

 

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“Your world – your environment – includes every cell, tissue, neuron, fiber, muscle, tendon, bone, etc. of your body. PROTECT IT!  PROTECT YOURSELF!” rdh

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Many thanks for keeping in touch, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2013, 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

THE CARING PLACE! EVERYONE HAS TO START SOMEWHERE.

THE CARING PLACE was one of the first domestic violence shelters, where women could take along their children.

 

It took over two years for “The Task Force to Prevent Domestic Violence” to establish The Caring Place, and set up the services that would be provided there. My mother served on that task force.

 

Located in Indiana, its first facility had been used previously as a convent in the Gary diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Local craftspersons in the construction industry volunteered their services to remodel and retrofit the three-story, yellow brick building for its first shelter residents. It had to meet numerous codes and standards.

 

Just as important, the building had to meet the special needs of women and children in severe crisis and danger. Women and children who had given up everything they had to reach safety – and help.

 

My father and several IUPAT/IBPAT friends handled the painting and decorating part of the project. That included the repair, preparation, painting, finishing, and wallcover installation in the living, dining, cooking, play and recreation, and sleeping areas. Also, it required extensive work in the offices, and the security, storage, and entrance/exit areas.

 

My “work” time was limited to weekends and a few vacation days. I was in junior high school.

 

I remember the list of tasks, which an IUPAT/IBPAT foreman handed me on the first day.

 

 Overall duties: Assisted the painters in setting up, prepping, painting, finishing, and cleaning up all rooms and areas.

 

Specific duties:

1. Stretched dropcloths out on floors of rooms/areas to be worked on that day, or the next day.

2. Helped carry, place and move prepping and painting supplies into and out of each work room and area. Note: The painters handled the transportation and set-up of full containers of products and materials. Examples: Primers, paints, stains, varnishes; boxes/rolls of commercial wall vinyl.

3. Helped remove and tag all wall outlet covers and baseboards.

4. Cleaned and covered smaller tools; wiped off/cleaned, then replaced can lids, container caps, box covers, etc.

 

Working on that project was not fun, really. Still, it tapped into interests, traits, skills, and abilities that I did not know I had.

 

THE GREATER TASK: Helping to provide a clean, aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, and safe home for 15 women and at least 18 children at once.

 

That was good training for my soul. An important part of my development, as a responsible adult, and responsive member of the universe.

 

WHY PLACES LIKE THE CARING PLACE STILL MATTER

 

In April of 2013, I became deathly ill on the job, at the hotel. (See linkedin.com.) “911” was not called.

 

Instead, a while later, hotel guests – a woman and her children – came to my rescue. The family lived temporarily at the hotel, because they had “lost” their “home to foreclosure, near Windermere in South Orlando.”

 

The woman and her children saw me staggering across the lawn. I was about halfway between the front building holding the offices, where the incident occurred, and the back building and the engineering department.

 

The woman and three children ran out. The woman helped me sit and sip lots of water from a pitcher. One of her children broke a candy bar into small pieces. The girl pushed them, one at a time, into my mouth. The mother and children helped me to my feet, and led me to the back building.

 

A month ago, that woman recognized me in a local store. She introduced herself. A teenage girl smiled nearby. “I fed you my candy bar.” “That’s right,” I said. “I owe you a Hershey’s.”

 

What I learned is that, two years earlier, the woman and her children were “hiding” from her abusive husband. A well-known local businessman, and leader in the community.

 

She said, “He’d never think to look for us in an older hotel like that. I was trying to wait a couple of weeks, then catch the Amtrak to my family up north…”

 

I asked if she’d considered going to the women’s shelter in Orlando.

 

Her face turned pale. “YES! But the lady on the phone started to ask me a lot of questions. I didn’t have that kind of time!”  Tears formed in her eyes. “Besides, they didn’t have room for my children…”

 

I thought of The Caring Place.

 

THE CARING PLACE! If only the woman and her children could have gotten to Northwest Indiana. To the huge and beautifully restored three-story circa-1930’s period home where that shelter was located then. The Caring Place would have made room!

 

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Special thanks to the G.M. and staff of the Seralago Hotel and Suites Maingate East in Kissimmee, Florida, for giving special women and children safe shelters – and security.

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And, thank you – everyone – for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

Painting It: For Safety Sake

Painting is done normally for beautification, and for the protection of surfaces/areas from the elements.

Often, little attention is paid to the reasonswhy – it should be done for safety sake.

The main reasons why safety painting matters: To prevent injury and to draw attention.

 

The following is just a short list of applications where painting applies to safety:

 

1. Handicapped parking zone. The blue and white color code and wheel chair insignia designate it as an area for people with disabilities, who may require ease of access.

2. No traffic zones. The painted diagonal yellow stripes inform the driver of an automobile, or another vehicle, that the designated area should be avoided. It may be hazardous to anyone situated in that area.

3. Stop sign. The white lettering on a red background is universal in its understanding. It has saved more lives than can ever be estimated.

4. Color coding of piping and electrical conduit. Examples: black for gas pipes, blue for water. Tmost persons, these color codes may seem unnecessary. The colors are meant to inform people of the cautions that they should use in working around these areas. Use of these color codes assists in the avoidance of accidents.

5. Fire Zone. Normally painted in diagonal red lines, the area provides a safe access and water main hook up for the fire department. Also, it provides access for other emergency vehicles.

 

What might be the response if all of the areas, considered to be safety zones, were left suddenly unmarked or un-coded – without the use of color?

 

Safety experts and statistics show that the “accident rate” increases sharply.  The number and cost-liability levels of “insurance claims” rise dramatically.

 

Whenever you leave your home, the environment “out there” becomes more unpredictable. Your life carries with it a greater sense of risk wherever you go. Whether you’re shopping, going to work, or spending time with the family.

 

SAFE PAINTING: On the Job or at Home

 

Whether in your home or on the job, the painting environment should be a safe one. It should be free of all potential hazards, especially those which can cause injury.

 

How likely can any of us guarantee safe environmental conditions?  We can’t. We can, however, take certain precautions which may decrease our chances of getting hurt or seriously injured.

 

Common errors or areas that tend to lack our attention.

 

1. Standing on the top rung of a step ladder. You can fall by losing your balance.

SAFETY TIP:  Buy and use a utility or short step ladder with wide, deep and skid/rubber covered steps. For higher, hard-to-reach areas, recruit a taller person to use that same utility/short ladder. Approximate cost: $45.00

 

2. Over-reaching when on a ladder. You can lose you balance and fall.

SAFETY TIP: Get down, and move the ladder to an easy-to-reach position.

 

3. Painting overhead with eyes exposed. Prevent damage to your eyes.

SAFETY TIP: Wear a pair of snug-fitting safety glasses or goggles. Approx. cost: $12.00

 

4. Painting in area without adequate ventilation. Protect your ability to breathe.

SAFETY TIP: Buy and use large oscillating or stationary fan. Approx. cost: $30-60

 

5. Working with unprotected head in “construction”-type zone – eg. nearby beams, sharp objects/edges, protruding fixtures. Protect your brain from injury.

SAFETY TIP: Wear a hard hat or safety helmet. Approx. cost: $ 10-15

 

6. Painting without steady air supply. Protect your entire body.

SAFETY TIP: Wear designated, project-appropriate breathing apparatus. Approx. cost: $500-700.

 

7. Painting/finishing with skin exposed. Avoid skin irritation and burns from chemicals.

SAFETY TIP: Wear rubber gloves, also long-sleeved shirt and long pants; or full-body suit.

Approx. cost: $ 10 for gloves, $12 for suit.

 

8. Pointing a paint spray gun at a person or animal. You may cause an injury to others.

SAFETY TIP: Always point spray gun away – to the side or opposite direction of person. That includes yourself!

 

9. Lifting heavy buckets/objects with your legs stiff. Avoid getting a back injury.

SAFETY TIP: Bend to your knees close to object. Reach for and grasp object. Carefully lift, slowly straightening both knees, and keeping back straight.

 

If you find yourself questioning the safety of an on-the-job procedure, treatment, product or material, a tool or piece of equipment, consider consulting OSHA’s website on workplace safety. www.osha.gov/workplace/safety

 

Being safe is the only way to ensure the prospects for tomorrow.

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SAFETY ALWAYS MATTERS!     Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: Classic Marbleizing

Marble Faux Finished Lamp Table

The Marble finish represents the finest decorative application that can be achieved. In the 18th century, the artist guilds throughout Europe studied and simulated the wide varieties of quarried stone for the purpose of interior design.

 

Today, faux marble has been recognized as the most creative style to master. It is one of the most fascinating decorative forms to learn and apply.

 

Here are some recommended fundamental skills and tools of the trade to use for marbleizing.

 

SKILLS:

  1. Ability to perceive depth in three dimensions.
  2. Sensitive flexible touch.
  3. Sense of applying realism to a simulated form.
  4. Ability to combine random transparent textures.
  5. Ability to apply a variety of finishes using a variety of application methods.

 

TOOLS:

  1. Badger Hair blending brush, 3 or 4 inch          7. Sea sponges, small and larg
  2. Bright brush, # 7 or # 8                                        8. Goose feather
  3. Chiqueteur brush (special/optional)                  9. Cheesecloth
  4. Filbert brush, #1 and #2                                       10. Newspaper
  5. Flat brush, #10 or #12                                           11. Tack rags (2+)
  6. Spalter brush, 3 or 4 inch

 

THE METHOD OF MARBLEIZING

 

Marbleizing simply means a “simulation of marble.” And, it is done by replicating the same elements of composition, which are found inside the actual Marble itself.

 

You see it with your eyes, visualize it and reproduce it on the surface you have selected.

 

THE GENERAL STEPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR MARBLEIZED FINISH:

 

  1. The surface needs to be smooth and blemish free. Sand and patch accordingly – #120, then #220.
  2. Apply a suitable primer, using a low nap roller cover. When dry, sand surface smooth.
  3. Apply a basecoat, which has the appropriate background color of the genuine Marble.
  4. Sand the surface smooth with #320, then #400 sandpaper.
  5. Apply the first glaze color with a sponge, creating a wide criss-cross pattern. Blend into the surrounding basecoat, leaving random darkened areas.
  6. Apply the second glaze color with a sponge, overlapping the first application. Blend randomly. Leave some areas more heavily textured and other areas less textured.
  7. Mix the glaze color for the veins. Use a Sable Liner brush to create veins in random vertical and  irregular horizontal configuration. Blend edges of veins randomly.
  8. Mix a dark color glaze. Use a small and stiff Flat brush – eg. #8 or #10 – to finely splatter the surface in random locations.
  9. Apply a clear coat varnish or polyurethane to the surface, using a Spalter brush or a low nap roller. When dry, sand the surface with #400 sandpaper.
  10. Tack rag, and reapply a finish coat.

 

Note: The steps and tools to be used vary, depending on the type of Marble that you are trying to simulate.

 

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

 

  1. Glazes can be applied using either latex or oil based products.
  2. Keep tools and brushes clean.
  3. Always maintain a flexible approach and view when applying a decorative finish.
  4. Sand surfaces between each coat, when an ultra smooth surface is desired.
  5. Mask and cover all areas not to be finished.

 

SKILLS TIP:  When in doubt about your skills, test them. Make up several sample boards.

 

DECORATING TIP: Think creatively, and perceptively.

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SPRING into action. MARBLEIZE something!   Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: 9: Guest WI-FI and Interactive Communication Centers

BASIC FEATURES and AMENITIES of TYPICAL AREA

 

  1. Walls: Preferably, smooth surface painted in white or pastels, non-distractive colors.
  2. Flooring: Preferred light-colored ceramic or vinyl tiles.
  3. Workstation space: Features may include simulated marble or stone surface; cabinetry or natural-stain finish hardwood type oak.
  4. Seating: Soft cushioned seats with strong lumber support and braces.
  5. Lighting: Track lighting preferred, due to its focusing capabilities.
  6. Special features: Dropped keyboard position might also be considered to relieve neck, lower arm and back fatigue.
  7. Other amenities: Eg: All-purpose printer/copy/scanner/fax system; phone access. TIP: Allow for quickest access possible.
  8. Windows/Window treatments: Tinted glass. Window treatments necessary for privacy, or to block luminations from outside lighting sources – eg. parking lot light pole, vehicle headlights, signage/billboards, other buildings, neighboring properties, roadways.
  9. Doors/doorways: Use semi-gloss/gloss white paint, or light-colored stain finish. If not in workstation area, finish as desired.

 

TIP: WINDOW and/or DOOR FRAMES and TRIMS.

 

Paint same color and texture/pattern as adjacent door or wall surface. Intriguing effect: Paint to match nearest floor covering color and texture/ pattern.

1. Creates a flooring “extension.”

2. Can make room appear larger, or smaller.

3. Depends on overall room design, color scheme use, pattern/textile design/layout and size.

4. Well worth the detailing time.

 

COLOR SCHEMES and FINISH SHADES

 

  1. Predominant colors: Whites; pastel blues, greens, yellows, tan, beige, ecru, even light gray.
  2. Accent walls: A good bet! Pastel colors including blue-green, earth-tones.
  3. Walls: White preferred for its light value. Pastel cool colors are second choice: blues, greens.
  4. Ceilings: Flat white preferred. Minimizes glare.
  5. Flooring: Carpeting, tile squares. White or earth-tones; light browns, beiges, greens.
  6. Counter/workstation top: Same as walls or flooring.
  7. Seating: Black preferred. Also, darker and muted tones of green, blue, violet, cranberry.
  8. Furniture: Contemporary dark colors – eg. black, gray, burgundy, dark brown.

 

SPECIAL EFFECTS THAT ADD TO TECHY ATMOSPHERE

 

  1. Apply a wallcovering which has bright background color highlighted by reflective pattern.
  2. Create modern faux finish such as metallic look, or a striped wall.
  3. Install and finish multi-colored wood panels, with varied sheens of clear finish.
  4. Install patterned floor tile design.
  5. Hang photographs to illustrate history of electronic and media advances.

 

PAINTS, FINISHES, WALLCOVERINGS THAT ATTRACT TECHY GUESTS

 

  1. Paints: Multi-colored/textured spray finish; metallic coatings.
  2. Finishes: Gloss clear finishes; custom colored stains.
  3. Decorative finishes: Simulated metal and wood designs; custom hand-applied textures.
  4. Wallcoverings: Textured, metallic vinyls, reflective wallcoverings.

A. Patterns: Ink-printed wall designs, stencils.

B. Textures: See above.

C. Borders: Designed with geometric and/or metallic patterns.

D. Graphics: Bright colored, multi-layered designs, data symbols, social media symbols.

E. Scenics/Murals: Designs that incorporate techy views.

 

Example: In an Orlando area hotel, I installed a 14-foot long, one-wall techy-scene mural. It featured random “photo” frames of techy subjects and scenes, including social networking. Color scheme: Graduated hues, light white-yellow to light yellows. Great look. Background color: White-yellow. Final effect: Subtle, relaxing to eye, non-distracting. Note: The same and similar scenic murals are available in multi-hued greens, blues, greys, browns, and peach.

 

OTHER TIPS and RECOMMENDATIONS

 

1. The design should attract attention in its overview when approached.

This says, “This is exciting. This is the place to be.”

2. Painting and decorating elements should not distract the person, who is trying to use the computer, access and use WI-FI systems, use available printing/copying/scanning/faxing equipment/services, skyp, etc.

 

Staying connected is an essential part of the daily agenda of most hotel guests. Decorating hotel WI-FI connectivity centers in appealing and appropriate ways only adds to guests’ total experience. And, it inspires them to visit again. And again.

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Finishing a Table Top

One surface stands out in both residential and business settings: a smooth table top. This includes the kitchen variety, wood desks, living room coffee tables, lamp and corner tables, and many others.

A top, which has a fine finished surface, has always been a desirable, and valuable, addition to any living and office space environment.

The goal is to create an ultra smooth, high performance finish. One where the grain of the wood or painted surface is pleasing, aesthetically.

Typically, the choices of finish include (1) a stain-clearcoat application and (2) a semi-gloss, or full-gloss oil-based coating system. The stain-clearcoat uses a semi-gloss or full gloss coating system. If the table top is to be painted, a semi-gloss or gloss oil-based paint is recommended.

COMPLETE FINISHING METHOD  – (To achieve the highest quality finish available.)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1. Suitable work area.

– Includes: covered floor (eg. dropcloth), adequate lighting and. proper ventilation.

2. Proper safety attire, gear and equipment for finishing process.

– Includes: Safety glasses/goggles, rubber gloves (up to mid-forearm), breathing respirator.

– Suggested: Disposable work suit.

3. Necessary items such as products, tools, supplies and equipment.

A. Products: Coating(s), primers, paint and varnish remover, lacquer thinner, etc.

B. Supplies: Mild soap and water, sponges, garbage container, “Tack rags,” clean/soft rags, masking tape, clear plastic sheeting (roll), clean drop cloth(s), sandpaper (grades No. 120, 180 or 220, and 320 or 400).

C. Tools: Scraper, wire brush, paint/finishing brushes, rollers/roller covers, putty/wall joint knife; also tools for painting process.

D. Equipment: Sander (air-operated or electric).

~ FINISHING PROCEDURE ~

For a Stain-Clearcoat Finish

1. Remove top surface layers from table top.

A. Evenly spread the chemical remover onto the surface.\

B. As finish begins to lift, scrape clean until no more residue exists or comes off.

C. Clean surface with soap and water solution until clean.

D. Then thoroughly dry with a clean, soft cloth.

E. Re-wipe surface with lacquer thinner to remove any residual finish, and to open wood grain.

F. Leave to fully dry.

2. Sand surface in stages, using sandpapers in gradually-decreased grades.

A. Begin with #120. Sand entire surface in the direction of the wood grain, if it is to be finished with a stain and clear coat system.

B. Sand with #180 or #220 sandpaper.

C. Remove all dust, using dry, clean cloth.

D. Final sand, using #320 or #400 grade paper.

TIP: An air operated or electric sander can be used to promote production and ease sanding.

3. Fill wood grain with filler, if ultra smooth finish is desired.

A. Evenly spread paste-type water based filler or putty onto surface, using a putty knife or wall joint knife.

B. Let the filler and surface dry, according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

C. Sand with #220 grade sandpaper; then follow with either #320 or #400.

D. Reapply if necessary. And, re-sand surface as in “C” above.

4. Wipe entire surface clean and “tack rag” the surface in preparation for the initial finish.

5. Apply stain, using a rag or sponge.

A. Liberally wipe the surface from one end of table to the other.

B. Depending on penetration of stain, reapply it to achieve desired color.

C. Let dry for 12-24 hours.

6. Seal stained surface with appropriate wood sealer or shellac.

A. Apply a thin coat of sealer on the table top surface.

B. TIP: Make several passes to help eliminate bubbling.

Tools: 1 inch china bristle brush, and a 9 inch by ¼ inch Mohair, or non-shed synthetic, roller cover and frame.

C. Let dry for 8-12 hours.

D. Sand the surface with #220 sandpaper, followed by #320.

E. Dust the surface with cloth rag.

F. Then, with “tack cloth, remove all particles. TIP: Take your time. Get it all!

7. Apply second coat of sealer to table.

A. Let dry.

B. and accordingly.

C. Tack down surface.

8. Apply selected top coat finish(varnish, urethane, acrylic, or polyurethane) to top.

A. Use same application method used in the sealing process in step 6.

B. Let dry 12-24 hours.

C. and surface with dry #320 or #400 sandpaper, OR wet sand with #600 paper to dull surface sheen.

D. “Tack cloth” surface down.

9. Apply second coat of top finish.

A. Let dry.

B. Sand using suitable graded sandpaper.

C. Tack surface if multiple coats are desired, or specified.

TIP: After surface has fully cured, a wax can be applied for protection.

For a Painted Finish

1. Painting a table top.

A. Strip previously each failed coatings.*

B. Sand in stages. TIP: Sand after each step, also before applying each finish coat.

C. Fill low areas as needed.

D. Wipe surface with tack cloth.

E. Prime the entire table top if necessary.

F. Apply the finish coats. Use the same application method used to apply the sealers or clear top finishes. (Recommended paint finishes include enamel, polyurethane and urethane.)

* TIP: The quality and appearance of the final finish will depend, in large part, on the careful and thorough removal of maximum layers of previously failed coatings.

THE KEYS TO AN EXCEPTIONAL TABLE TOP FINISH

1. Apply the paint or clear finish as thinly as possible.

2. Clean and “tack cloth” the surfaces between each stage of sanding.

TIP: The table can be finished using a fine spray finishing method, if an automotive-like finish is desired.

Refinishing table tops tends to be a standard part of any hotel or facility  painter’s job.

RELAX! if this is the first time you’ve been faced with refinishing a table top.

TAKE YOUR TIME! Do one table first.

ALLOW YOURSELF plenty of work space. Great ventilation. Low or no traffic area.

Allow yourself plenty of BETWEEN time. Between steps. Between coats. Between steps and dry times.

GOOD LUCK!

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

PAINTING IT: DOOR PROJECTS

Have you ever seen that “vacation” commercial, that featured 6 to 8 identical, and individual, wood ocean bathhouses? Each door was painted a high-gloss, super-bright color? That scene captivated me. (Forget the ocean backdrop.)

 

Doors are fun to paint or refinish. They can be a challenge to “get right.”

 

Here are some door projects on which I’ve worked. Each of them very unique. And very pleasing to the eyes!

 

PROJECT: Spray painted 550 new, and roller re-painted 210 existing, wood guest room doors. Property: 800-room resort hotel. Location: Central Florida. Crew: 2( self, apprentice).

Set-up: Hotel management “blocked out” row/section of rooms according to painter’s schedule.

Challenge: The surface and wood construction integrity of most of the used doors had been compromised. They had many cracks, splinters, gouges, nicks, warping, water damage, and termite damage.

 

PROJECT: Color-code painted 610 interior and exterior doors, wood and metal; plus archways.

Property: Orphanage and school. Location: Chicago area. Crew: 3 (including self).

Set-up: Administrators “moved” classes and activities to other rooms and areas in school building. Staff “doubled up” sleeping spaces in dorm bedrooms, to vacate half a floor at a time.

Creative Challenge: Starting with base/paint color: White semi-gloss enamel. Tinting over 30 closely-graduated color-palette hues in sky blue, bright green, sun yellow, and peach families.

People Fun Challenge: Children wanted to be a part of the action. Barricading off work areas motivated some children – and adults – to find very creative ways to watch. A few tried to “help” the painter.

 

PROJECT: Re-painted 360 interior doors, each in slightly different color palette tint or shade. Property: Girls home and school. Location: Northwest Indiana. Crew: 2 (self, apprentice).

NOTE: Area business owner donated all products, materials, supplies, and equipment rentals.

Creative Challenges:

  1. Selecting 360 different tints and shades from Sherwin-Williams commercial color chip book.
  2. Custom tinted base paint white semi-gloss enamel for each door. To do: Poured white base paint into 362 glass, quart-sized Mason canning jars. Formulated each tint using paint dye kit, and S-W’s tinting guide.

Supplies Challenge: Locating 360+ glass jars, and screw lids with seals.

 

PROJECT: Restoration of 75+ carved, antique wood doors.

Property: Mid-1890s house, cottage. Location: S. Florida. Crew: 2 (self, F-T; apprentice, P-T).

Procedural Challenges:

  1. Required extensive and careful repairing, filling, repairing of carved areas on all doors.
  2. Required special products, then custom mixing and blending for EACH door.
  3. Required ample “wait times” for settling, gelling, drying, melding, and related processes.

Client Challenge: Property owner/family matriarch insisted on residing in main house, while it was being worked on. Frequently, she suffered serious reactions to chemicals in special products needed for restoration work.

 

PROJECT: Restoration of over 105 paneled and carved wood doors, with inlays.

Property: Small 120-year old church, monastery. Location: Indiana. Crew: 2 (self, apprentice).

Note: Anonymous donor covered costs. For years, monks had struggled to maintain buildings.

Creative Challenge: Custom mixing prep and finish products; testing on each door before using.

Surface Challenge: Most doors had numerous cracks, gouges, pieces of carved strips missing.

 
PROJECT: Refinished 60+ very old wood doors, poor condition.

Property: Nursing home, built 1930s. Location: Florida. Crew: 2 (Apprentice, self).

Compliance Challenge: A code compliance project, per order of Florida Department of Health.

Budget Challenge: Very limited budget. Home located: low income, underserved neighborhood.

 

PROJECT: Repainted all doors, children’s wing, including “burn ward” and trauma center.

Property: Non-profit hospital, religious group-owned. Location: S. Florida. Crew: 2.

Management’s objective: Part of effort to “spruce up” wing, and attract more capital support.

Logistics Challenge: No part of wing could be closed down during project. All procedures, tasks, uses of products, tools and equipment had to adhere to facility policies, government regulations.

Product Challenge: All products, materials and supplies had to meet stringent health, safety, environmental, and other requirements, standards and codes.

 

PROJECT: Installation of red flock wallpaper and wood railing and trim onto doors.

Property: Private residence, circa 1920s. Location: Southeast Florida. Crew: 1 (self).

Creative Challenges:

  1. Applied wallpaper, trim, to doors of living, dining, reading rooms with walls covered in same paper.
  2. Desired effect: Closed, the doors, and their trims, baseboards blended right in with the walls.
  3. Required: Cutting, staining, finishing, and installing of horizontal wood strips of railing, and hand-crafted wood baseboard, on doors. Trims had to align with adjacent railings, baseboards.

 

PROJECT: Painted doors and wood cabinetry in 17 bed and bath suites.

Property: Small inn. Location: Indiana. Crew: 1 (self).

Owner specifications: Paint each set of doors in slightly different tint of hunter green – Gliddens.

Supplies Challenge: Finding 17 empty and immaculate metal 1-gallon paint cans, with tight lids.

Logistics Challenge: Dividing project into phases, that matched phase schedule for each suite.

Procedural Challenge:

  1. Tinting of each gallon of paint in closely-graduated hue, to match respective color chip.
  2. Testing out each tint on most visible surface of suite, in which it would be applied.
  3. Making certain everyone followed 24-hour “wait and see” to check color, coverage, viscosity.
  4. Following alternating schedule to allow for ample prepping and primer drying.

Example: Starting with suite 1, kept work on each suite “evolving” into next phase.

 

Like I said, painting or finishing a door can be lots of fun. A great visual contribution to the world.

 

FIND A DOOR! Any door. And paint/finish/cover it to blend in or match. Or make a statement!

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Projects: “Let’s Do It” and “Let-Me-Think-About-It”

Every project features certain elements and parameters that must be considered before it’s taken on by the painter/decorator.

 

Every project requires certain resources for the painter/decorator to achieve satisfactory results.

 
Ten “LET’S DO IT” Projects.*

 

* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Projects require definite deadline; doing projects around other things unfeasible.

 

“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 1  (Basic stuff, piece of cake!)

1. Refinish picture frames.

2. Caulk cracks in ceiling edges, and wall corners.

3. Paint an accent wall.

4. Apply wallpaper border.

5. Wood-grain a metal door.

6. Do a simple faux-finish to wall, using sponging or rag rolling technique.

7. Paint ceiling in large office.

8. Paint metal door frames.

9. Hang wallpaper in room, or office.

10. Refinish pieces of wood furniture.

 

“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Need to do project safely!)

1. Paint exterior of home or office building.

2. Install commercial wallcovering in offices.

3. Paint concrete floors vs. floor.

4. Refinish large number of wood doors.

5. Paint interior walls of office/business complex.

6. Repaint acoustic ceilings.

7. Apply texture to interior walls of housing development, or business complex.

8. Apply faux finish to walls in 8 or more large offices, or multi-housing complex.

9. Hand-paint large wall mural.

10. Repaint residential development exteriors.

 

I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish, on my own, also as part of a crew. Upon completion, every project received an “excellent” rating.

 

RELATED TIPS:

  1. Always begin a project with all of the necessary products, supplies, tools, and paint equipment readily available to you.
  2. Avoid need to leave the job multiple times. It can distract you, and slow production.

 

 

Five “LET ME THINK ABOUT IT” Projects.*  

 

* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Most projects require definite deadline; doing project around other things unfeasible.

 

“Let Me Think About It” ProjectsCrew size: 1 (Take a closer look, some red flags! )

 

1. Refinish antique furniture in faux finish application.

2. Apply stencil design to bathroom.

3. Clean and paint driveway surface.

4. Apply faux plaster finish to interior  walls in very large, older residence.

5. Texture ceilings, presently with smooth surface.

 

“Let Me Think About It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Check out closely. Might not be a good idea to take on!)

1. Paint exterior of multi-floor building.

2. Remove ceiling tiles, and paint ceiling metal grid.

3. Repaint moldings and doors in multi-housing complex.

4. Repair, prep and repaint all walls in residential or business complex.

5. Paint accent colors on walls throughout entire office or business complex.

 

 

I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish – on my own, or as part of a small crew. Every project, upon completion, received an “excellent” rating. So, it can be done. Still, especially if you have a choice. . .

 

Food for thought: If any painter/decorator’s “Let-Me-Think-About-It” list is longer than five, he or she might want to consider specializing – whether he or she works for someone else, by the project, or for himself or herself. Or, re-think this career choice.

 

A painter and decorator needs to manage and operate his or her “project career” (my term), according to a basic set of rules and limits. One that works for that person. That includes working on projects with elements, parameters and requirements that coincide with the painter/decorator’s rules and limits. And, his or her innate value system.

 

This modus operandi, especially in the long-term, benefits everyone concerned. The guest/ visitor/ customer. The client/property owner/stakeholder. The employer or contractor. The staff or employee group. The paint team/crew. The painter and decorator.

Good Friday Services: Painter’s and Hotelier’s Views

On Good Friday in 2014, I viewed an interesting exception to the “business as usual” policy in the 21st Century business world during Easter. And, a very do-able one, according to hoteliers and hotel general managers that offer the service.

 

I was attending a trade show at a large hotel and convention center in Central Florida. A non-denominational worship service was being held for interested staff members and managers, guests, visitors, even vendors.

 

The continuous service was taking place between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm. Persons could walk into the makeshift chapel. They could sit and participate at any time during those hours. For whatever period of time they could fit into their schedule that afternoon.

 

Traditionally, most businesses closed their doors between 12 noon and 3 pm, on Good Friday. Some – eg. small businesses – closed for the afternoon, to give employees an early start on the long holiday week-end. The tradition ended before I was born.

 

It allowed the employees, customers and visitors the opportunity to attend one of the on-going worship services in their local community.

 

Certain businesses could not shut down, even for only two or three hours. Still, they switched operations into slow gear. Management found ways to accommodate at least some employees, who wanted to take off an hour and attend a workshop service. Healthcare facilities, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, gas stations/convenience stores, and supermarkets were a few of the businesses that stayed open.

 

Usually, in the painting and decorating trade, it was “business as usual,” too. The work pace slowed considerably, however. The painters stayed on the job. Yet, bosses authorized, even encouraged, them to relax and take more or longer breaks. The atmosphere was lighter. Everyone took the time to visit.

 

Some contractors treated their crews to lunch: carry-in food. And, everyone including the bosses ate together, sat around a while, and talked.

 

I think that any of my contractor bosses would have allowed any of his men to take off an hour or two to attend a nearby Good Friday service. I don’t recall that any of the crew members, including myself, took off to do that.

 

Today, most businesses do not shut down between 12:00 noon and 3 pm on Good Friday. Their operations do not go into slow gear. Management does not accommodate for any employee to take off work to attend a worship service. And, the workers themselves do not expect, nor ask, to take that time off.

 

Earlier this week, the GM of the hotel, that I mentioned earlier, told me the Good Friday service would be held again this year. He said that “group guests” and “nearly one-half” of his staff, at all levels, had requested the on-site service.

 

“It’s not something we openly market.” Cheerfully, he added, “We are, however, taking every opportunity to spread the word to everyone here this week… It’s something special that we can offer… A service for all…”

 

How thoughtful is that!

 

Best wishes for a Happy Spring – and Peaceful Easter!   Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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