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Archive for May, 2015

Painting It: Finishing Metals for Decoration and Corrosion Protection

A metal is a dense rigid substrate, which is used to provide for structural and surface durability.

The types of metals range from ferrous iron and steel to precious metals such as gold and platinum. Some of them are designed to be painted.  Others are not.


Preparing the metal is our first step.


Ferrous Surfaces

1. If surface is rusted or previous paint has failed, sandblast or use a power tool, removing all existing coatings.

2. Apply chromate, zinc or epoxy primer with a tack coat, then build coat. Coating may be applied with a brush, roller or spray application. Sand surface if necessary.


Non-Ferrous Surfaces

1. Sand surface with #320 sandpaper or emery cloth to provide anchor for finish. Treat with a lacquer solvent wipe.

2. Prime surface with acid wash, or a galvanizing primer. They are designed to bond to very smooth metal surfaces. Conventional spray is recommended. A smooth nap roller cover can be used.


Finishing the metal is the second step.


Ferrous Surfaces

1. Sand surface if necessary. Apply  recommended top coat, designed to prevent corrosion. Enamel, urethane and epoxy are prime choices.

2. Choose an application method designed with the smoothness of the surface in mind. Conventional, airless and electrostatic can all be used.

3. Apply finishes with a multi-coat system, allowing time for solvent to evaporate between applications.


Non-Ferrous Surfaces

1.  Apply enamels and latexes that bond well with wash primers. Apply evenly using a brush and/or roller, or spray finishing system.

2. Use the conventional spray method to apply paint with even thickness. Brush and roller may be used if finish is not required to be ultra smooth.

3. Apply several thin coats.




When a metal is to be used as a decorative fixture, you can use a number of applications.


1.  Patinizing is a finishing process, whereby multiple thin layers of metallic liquids are applied to a metal surface. It provides a simulated tarnished non ferrous metal appearance. Bronze is the most widely used finish.


2. Antiquing is another form of metal decoration. Here, several techniques are used that artificially age the surface. Typically, varying mixtures of opaque, transparent, and crackleture Gold, Silver, Flat Black, and Copper paints are used.

This technique is highly variable. It can reproduce an appearance matching even the most ancient of artifacts.


3. Gilding is considered a timeless application. It is used to add brilliance and luster to architectural elements. Namely moldings, ornamentation, figurines, and even written script.

Thin fine sheets of metal – normally Gold – are delicately applied onto a surface. Then it is burnished, creating a finely embellished decorative appeal.


All metals can be painted. Many surfaces can be designed to simulate the appearance of a metal. Consider the following two examples for a well rounded perspective on the subject:


1. The steel hull of a ship, due to exposure to sea water, must be protected from serious corrosion. If it is not, the goods transported across the oceans could end up at the bottom of the sea.

2. An ornate 18th century French salon has an original design. It includes extensive gold and/or silver metal leaf gilding of the plaster paneled moldings. There would be no style to the interior motif, without the use of gilding as an element of aesthetics.


Remember: An excellent finish starts with a well prepared surface. Especially when we’re talking about the smoothness of metal.


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Enjoy your environment! Enjoy your life!        Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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






Painting It: Choosing the Right Paint Brush

Many people believe any brush will do. On the contrary!  You will find that, in order to paint effectively, there is a specific paint brush for every need.


Generally, there are two types of brushes: the nylon/polyester, which is used to apply waterbourne paints and coatings, example: latex, and the China Bristle which is used to apply petroleum based solvent type materials, example: enamel.


 Some examples of brushes used with specific materials


  1. Oil based Varnish and Polyurethane: 3 inch white China bristle (preferred).


  1. Water based latex, acrylic clear coat: 1-4 inch nylon/polyester, 2½-3 inch (preferred).


  1. Oil/alkyd/enamel paints/coatings: 1½-3 inch black China bristle; 2½-3 inch (preferred).


  1. Epoxy/Urethane paints: 2½-3 inch black China bristle.


  1. Shellac-alcohol based coatings: 2½- 3 inch black China bristle.


  1. Ammonia based coatings: 2½ -3 inch nylon/polyester.


*Selecting a paint brush based on the material being used is half of the equation. One must also consider the surface or object you intend to paint.


Typically, you can base your selection on the size or detail of the project. Painting walls or ceilings requires a different brush than painting window trim.


A few examples which illustrate that fact


  1. Painting a Wood Door. Use a 1½-2 inch angular brush. These brushes are designed for trimming around hinges, edges and recessed panels.


  1. Painting a Wall or Ceiling. Use a 2½-3 inch angular brush or a 3-4 inch square brush. Use these brushes for large open flat areas with little or no detailed trim work.


  1. Painting an Ornamental surface. Use a 1-2½ inch angular brush, or selection of artist brushes depending on intricacy of surface or object.


  1. Painting Furniture. Use a 2 inch square brush with a narrow ferrule. Select a brush with fine bristles to reduce brush strokes.


Helpful Hints to Remember


  1. Always use the recommended solvent to clean your brushes. If you do not, your brush may be a one-time use only tool.


  1. Store brushes in a hanging container. Or lay flat with bristles wrapped in newspaper, or in the original brush protector.


  1. Load China bristle brushes with linseed oil to keep softened.


  1. Load nylon/polyester brushes with soap to keep soft.


  1. When cleaning paint brush bristles, use a fine wire brush to remove paint.


  1. Buy good quality brushes. Consider them an investment, especially if you’re a painter by trade. I recommend Purdy, Wooster and Sherwin-Williams brands.


A Painter’s paint brush is an essential, basic tool, like a wrench used by a mechanic. To continue to use it: keep it clean and use it as recommended.


One of the best paint brushes I ever used was a brush owned by my father. The brush was thirty-five years old. And, it was made by Purdy.


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SPECIAL THANKS: To all of the trade painters, who have been emailing or calling with requests and suggestions for “Painting with Bob.”


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


There is no better place to be on a hot day then in the soothing water of a pool or spa. As a form of outdoor recreation there is little that hotel guests can do that matches the level of relaxation experienced in these environments.

However, when a pool’s or spa’s appearance and/or condition begins to fade, guests and visitors may focus their attention elsewhere.



How to maintain the appearance and durability of a pool or spa

1. Repair or replace the grout around tiles in pool skirt or spa deck area.

2. Clean all necessary ceramic tile.

3. Repair loose or cracked masonry around the pool skirt area.

4. Prime and paint with recommended Epoxy or Acrylic finish with a high abrasion resistance.

5. Repair loose or cracked surface of pool basin with appropriate waterproof patching compound.

6. Prime and finish with recommended Epoxy pool coating. (Of course, the pool must be emptied and thoroughly dry.)

7. A surface and/or finish can fail – eg. paint peeling, sheen loss, finish wear, questionable adherence.

The entire pool bed may need to be abrasive blasted to remove all paint and create an anchor to which the new finish can adhere.

8. Apply the Epoxy finish in a two-step process, using a brush and roller, or airless spray, method.

A. Apply first coat using a mixture adding 1 quart solvent to 5 gallons of paint, or 1 pint to a gallon. Allow to cure for 12-24 hours.

B. Apply final coat of finish using standard 50/50 epoxy mix catalyst and base.

9. ALWAYS use a proper breathing apparatus, while applying various coats of finish. Epoxy fumes can be extremely hazardous to your health. Take the necessary precautions.

10. Once the base color has cured for 24 hours, the associated stripes can be measured, laid out and painted. The stripes are painted normally with Epoxy, done in “black” and applied using a brush and roller system.

Painting a spa involves much of the same preparation and finishing methods as does a pool.

Some other variables that must be considered when refinishing a spa.

1. When repairing the surface, remove all loose areas and cracks.

2. Use appropriate patching compound to fill in and feather edges to the surrounding surface.

3. When applying Epoxy type paint, add an aggregate (silica sand) to the mix to promote traction and slip resistance.

4. If the spa is to be painted with an acrylic polyurethane, thin the first coat to allow for greater penetration and bonding of final coat.

5. If the spa incorporates ceramic tile, make sure they are clean and polished, have no exposed sharpedges, are not loose, and are grouted tightly. Replace broken tiles.

A swimming pool or a spa can bring many hours of fun and relaxation. It is especially appreciated when a pool or spa’s appearance and condition are well maintained. And, the pool or spa is safe to swim in.

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Have a splashing week!  Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

“Hosea, the Conscientious Hotel Painter”

Hotel management instructed the purchasing director to stop ordering essential painting supplies. Thus, hampering  Hosea’s ability to complete basic painting maintenance tasks.


Previously, he’d experienced long delays getting things like one tube of caulking, or a gallon of white latex base paint. Increasingly, crucially needed items never made it at all.


So, Hosea did what any conscientious painter would do. He started to buy a few must-have supplies on his own, out of his own paychecks. When a supervisor told him to stop doing that, many of Hosea’s work orders had to be put on hold.


When management complained that the painting wasn’t getting done, the friendly and peaceable painter improvised with the materials that he did have. For as long as he could.


Then, Hosea did what any accountable painter would do. He suggested that management please check with purchasing about the delayed deliveries of maintenance painting supplies.


When the stoppage came, Hosea did what any industrious and resourceful painter would do.

He typed up a list of painting supplies, that he absolutely had to have. He printed out a lot of copies of the list. And, he asked local relatives and close friends to help him get the supplies that he needed to do his work. (Preferably at no cost.)


Within a week, painting supplies and tools started to arrive at Hosea’s small home in Broward County. “Deliveries” arrived every day.


By the end of the second week, Hosea’s attached one-and-a-half car garage was nearly full.


Neighbors kept quiet. Word spread. A lot of people found out about Hosea’s problem. They knew that he was a very good painter. They knew that he was a hard worker. They didn’t want him to lose his job.


Quietly, Hosea started to take a few of those essential supplies for painting maintenance to work. He used them to take care of some of those crucial work orders, still on hold. Some for months!


At one point, someone in management complained that Hosea had been catching up on his basic tasks and work orders. Different department managers recruited a few of their staff members to “keep an eye” on Hosea.


How was he getting his work done?


Hosea learned that all orders for him to get new, clean uniforms had been cancelled also. Bosses complained about the condition of his uniforms, and his appearance. He told his wife, and family. He consulted with his priest.


And, he made the decision that any highly-respected and ethical professional, being “managed out,” would do.


What did Hosea do? You might be very surprised.  By the way, Hosea is a real person.

What would you do if you were in Hosea’s situation?

What would you do if you were Hosea’s supervisor in this situation?

What would you do if you were hotel management?


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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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


“Hospitality painters create a friendly space where strangers can enter and find safety.”*

*Paraphrase of Stephen G. Post.


A hospitality painter’s goal is to leave a space in better shape that it was before. Its surfaces and areas in improved condition. Its appearance and appeal more inviting and alluring to the senses, and the psyche.


A safe hospitality painter follows all health and safety rules, standards, codes, policies, and procedures. Set by the trade and construction industry, product manufacturers, government, property owners/ business, and community.


A committed hospitality painter stays alert, keeps his/her nose clean, thinks ahead, pays attention, and does whatever it takes to take care of the space.


A creative hospitality painter looks, continually, for spaces to touch with his or her brush or roller.


An innovative hospitality painter seeks spaces that will test his or her skills with a spray gun system.


A construction-experienced hospitality painter actually “sniffs out” potential problems, and professionally applies his or her knowledge to minimize – and even prevent – structural damage and loss.


A diversified hospitality painter steps up to the plate, whatever the need might be, always willing to lend a hand.


A  flexible hospitality painter moves back-and-forth, in-and-out, up-and-down between projects, tasks and work orders with remarkable adeptness, agility, accuracy, and neatness.


A savvy hospitality painter represents a unique and appropriate blend of all of these key abilities and characteristics.


A hotel or facility that employs such a painter is, and will be, blessed beyond measure.


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Special praise to Mark C., Jay B., John L., Hosea F., Antonio F., Steve M., Paulo H., etc. – five-star, savvy hospitality painters and decorators.


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Thank you from “Painting with Bob” for checking in, reading, emailing, calling, and writing.

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


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