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Archive for August, 2015

PAINTING THINGS FOR SMOKEY THE BEARS

SmokeyBears
Since childhood, I’ve been collecting “Smokey the Bear” stuffed animals. The collection includes two first editions. One made in the late 1960s, the other in the early 1970s.

 

All except two of the forest ranger bears were manufactured by Knickerbocher in New York, New York.

 

Over the years, the “Smokeys” received treatment deserving of such “naturalists.” They had their own custom-designed furniture, crafted from oak and pine woods.

 

. Park bench – 20-inches high by 36-inches long by 8-inches deep.

Description: Painted forest green, semi-gloss latex, Mfgr,: Sherwin-Williams; “Smokey” belt buckle etching on front cross-brace of back, 50 percent grey matte acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Side chair – 18-inches high by 10-inches wide by 8-inches deep.

Description: Clear primer/sealer, low-gloss clear polyurethane finish, Mfgr.: Minwax. Carved poinsettia back panel, painted crimson red and tinted forest green acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Bunk bed – 21-inches long by 12-inches wide by 18-inches high.

Description: Mattresses, posts painted Bright white semi-gloss latex; Mfgr.: Sherwin-Williams. Curved headboards, painted light bark brown background, with the “Smokey” logo name painted custom-tinted blue-grey acrylic; Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

Young neighbor children liked to play “gently” with a few of the “Smokeys,” while their mothers stopped by to discuss a problem with someone.

 

Most of the Smokey the Bears sit safely, in a display wall cabinet.

 

On Halloween, “Smokey No. 7”, a custom designed, handcrafted 36-inch high model, sits in a white captain’s chair at the front door. Holding a large aluminum bowl of trick-or-treat candy in his lap. Even the teenagers grin, when they see “Smokey,” and they help themselves to two or three snack-sized candy bars.

 

In December of 2014, six of my “Smokey the Bears” were donated to Goodwill Industries for a fundraiser. They were clear-wrap sealed in pairs, to generate higher prices.

 

A running search on e-Bay and Google+ for another original edition of “Smokey the Bear” is checked at least monthly. Like with any collectible, the “Smokeys” turn up some interesting people. And stories.

 

My most recently purchased “Smokey,” circa 1975, came from the Los Angeles area. A lady who was once in the film industry. I’m waiting for a “Smokey” to arrive from California. Given as a birthday gift to a gold record musician, the 1972 bear is being given as a birthday gift to me.

 

Per agreement with the seller, this “Smokey the Bear” will remain with the rest of the group here. And, the entire group will be donated to a Central Indiana community’s local historical museum. “When the time comes…”

 

Bears, it may be time to build a bigger park bench.

 

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“Only you can prevent forest fires.”     “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

                                                                                                                  …. “Smokey the Bear”

Note: Smoke the Bear is the trademark property of the National Park Service.

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Have a safe September, everyone. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

PAINTING IT: NIGHT SKIES OVER BED

Retired sign designer and painter Steve and his wife, Sara, were going legally blind. Their shared passion, since college, had been astronomy.

 

One of their prized telescopes was an ED 127MM Apochromatic refractor. A favorite for its astrophotography capabilities. Steve and Sara’s model had been equipped to capture, enlarge and edit what they were no longer able to see clearly, even with corrective lenses.

 

Trying to look at narrow framed close-ups was not the same as gazing at the panoramic span of the heavens. Especially at night. From their back porch.

 

So, two years ago May, the couple convinced me to paint the night skies onto their 18 by 24 foot bedroom ceiling. They knew that, at the time, my vision wasn’t much better than theirs. (I still had problems with focus, blurriness, redness, and burning caused by repeated exposure to toxic levels of mold, and concentrated chlorine bleach solution.)

 

The “Skies the Limit” Layout Decision

 

Steve and Sara thought about extending the “galaxy grid” down each wall, 8-10 inches. I questioned the idea. “Too dark…could cause sensations that the ceiling/roof/sky was falling in…”

 

To help them decide, I convinced them to allow their son and me to stretch dark king-sized flat bed sheets across the entire ceiling. For one night. By eight o’clock the next morning, at least half of the sheets had been taken down. Steve said, “The walls were shrinking in on us…”

 

Pre-Painting Step: Gridding in the Galaxy

 

As a template, I used the big enlargement of a photo taken by Sara for Steve’s 60th birthday. When both of their green-eyed sights were perfect: 20/20 vision.

 

Using her MacBook Pro and a projector, Sara transposed the image onto the ceiling. That helped me to “grid” and mark the location of stars, planets, etc.

 

The Painting Process

 

Note: Unless noted otherwise, I used Sherwin-Williams paint and finishing products.

 

1. A thinned-down coat of color no. SW 6565, Rarified Blue matte latex ceiling paint was rolled on, serving as a primer. Allowed natural drying time: 24 hours.

 

2. The ceiling was “feather-sanded” with no. 400 sandpaper. A thorough “rag-wipe” followed, using absorbent NEW cloths.

 

3. Next, I rolled on a base coat of Cosmos Blue semi-gloss latex paint, to which I’d added 3 drops of Iridescent Ivory Black acrylic. Liquitex artist paint. Allowed natural drying time: 3 hours.

 

4. Then, I damp “feather-sanded” the ceiling, working toward each galactical marking. Drying time: until the next morning.

Note: To preserve those galactical markings, I covered each with an uncut stencil, made from poster board. Each stencil was grid-numbered, and affixed in place with a small, finger-rolled strip of blue masking tape.

 

5. With the stencils back in place, I sprayed a thin coat of Indigo (midnight) Blue semi-gloss acrylic latex. Used sometimes for set/scenic painting. Drying time: 4 hours.

 

6. Using artists brushes, I detailed in all of the stars, planets, rings, etc.

A. Undercoat paint: Cadmium Yellow,* high-gloss mixed with Gesso.

B. Overcoat paint: Iridescent Titanium White,* semi-gloss.

C. Linings/indents: Yellow (deep) Gold matte.* Also used: Hansa Yellow Light.* Manufacturer: Liquitex heavy body acrylic paints. Note: Excellent for experimental techniques. Natural drying times: Under coat, overcoat – 3 hours each. Lining work: 18 hours.

* Note: This process took only two-and-a-half days, surprisingly. (My eyes watered and ached, though I used, at all times, either safety eye goggles and a breathing mask, or a full-face breathing apparatus.

 
7. Next, I rag-wiped the ceiling. Fabric: 12 by 12 inch squares, Natural muslin, used in quilting.

 

8. Stars Finish Detailing: Using artist brushes*, I dotted and dabbed Iridescent clear glitter into each star. Glitter mixed 4-to-1 parts with Hansa Yellow Light (tinted with Iridescent Titanium white low gloss. Mfgr: Liquitex acrylics. * Detail brushes used: No. 2 bright; Nos. 2 and 4 Filbert; No. 2 flat.

 

9. Feather finish: Using artist brushes,* I blended three colors of Liquitex heavy body acrylic paints from outer edges of stars, planets, etc. into surrounding skies. Colors used: Cobalt Blue Dark; Cobalt Blue Light; Ultramarine Blue. * Detail brushes: Universal angle 1-inch flat; 2-inch flat; 1-inch Universal flat freestyle.

 

10. Ceiling finish coat: Spray painted a fine coat of Clear semi-gloss latex Into the paint pot mixture, I’d added 5 drops of Iridescent Rich Silver.

 

Technique used: I sprayed with a pin nozzle. I used a subtle arc movement with my arm. And, I released the spray gun’s lever, for a few seconds, over each galactical element. I did not spray with any steady back-and-forth motion.

 

THE EFFECT:

Beyond imagination! Reflective, with sensation that either the stars and constellations, or the viewers, were moving or rotating slightly.

 

SARA and STEVE in 2015.

Sara is totally blind. Every evening before bed, she and Steve sit together, in their leather Lazy-Boy loungers, or in bed. Under their stars.

 

Hotel/Facility Painter/Decorator Footnote:

This ceiling treatment can make an awesome addition to any ceiling in a hotel. Examples: KidsSuite, “Honeymoon Suite,” club/entertainment stage, game room. That is, if the budget allows for the purchase of the variety of products and supplies needed. And the hours of detail work by a creative, detail-oriented staff painter can be justified.

 

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Friends’ favorite rooms deserve special treatment from friends.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

SHORT STROKES: CREATIVE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN

1. An inn in the southeast installed a “rock climbing” wall, to keep active 2-3 year olds occupied. Its features include:

A. Solid oak construction, dimensions: 4-feet high, 9 feet long, 3 inches thick.

B. “Wall” screwed into 2-inch by 4-inch wall joists, 8-inches apart, behind finished drywall.

C. Random rock pattern hand-painted on oak surface, then clear, vinyl-coated.

D. “Rock ledges,” 4-inches wide by 6-inches deep, formed from heavy, smooth rubber tires.

E. Numerous vinyl-coated gripper handles placed on either side of each “ledge.”

F. Grey foam pad, 10-feet long, 8-feet wide, 3-inches thick, stretches out at foot of wall.

 
A retired playground designer created the wall. At the request of the inn’s owners: his sons and daughters-in-law. The need for a safe, indoor “energy” outlet apparent. Between them, they had five children.

A sturdier “rock climbing wall, for older/larger children, ages 4-6, is under construction. Completion date: October 2015.

 

2. A rescued 110-room Days-Inn features a do-it-yourself kitchen and snack bar, for children 5 to 10 years old. It features:

A. Child/young junior sized appliances – all with clear, see-through doors, globes, surfaces.

     . Refrigerator    . Smoothie/Blender    . 2-Burner, built-in cooktop

     . Microwave      . 4-Slice toaster, battery-operated

     . Portable mixer, battery-operated

     . Utensils: coated, non-sharp, non-serrated.

B. All food products are fresh, frozen or baked.

C. All foods are gluten-free, no-sugar/no-salt added.

D. Cost: Free – all food products, cooking privileges, and “classes.”

E. Hours: 9-10:30 am, 12-1:30 pm, 4-5:30 pm, 6 days a week.

F. Cooking and baking “classes” – supervised assistance – 5 days a week.

G. Kitchen is supervised by at least two hotel kitchen workers, specially trained for the job.

H. “Rain days” – Innkeeper’s version of his “snow days” in Michigan when schools were closed.

 

3. A third-generation fishing cottage business, on Lake Michigan’s western shore, has its own mini-ice fishing “pond,” for guests 4-8 years old.

A. A 70-feet diameter shallow fishing pond is frozen solid, November to February.

B. Eight, 2-person fishing “huts” are pulled onto the ice.

C. Construction: One-half inch plywood sides, floor, roof, joist frame; shingled roof, insulated walls; 2 eye-level windows/cased; wood doors.

D. Paint/Exteriors: Walls: Color- Bark brown, satin finish; Doors: Color – Bright red, high gloss finish. Both products: Sherwin-Williams Heavy-Duty latex.

E. Interiors: Built-in double seat; fire-proof portable heater/battery; clear plexi-6-inch high encasement around fishing “hole” in floor.

F. Cost: Free to child guests.

G. Fishing contest: Alternate Saturday afternoons, November – February. Free: Guests. Open to local children, 4-8 ($2.00 entry).

 

A Central Florida M.D. told me that he used to take his family to the Lake Michigan site. “We were young, and on a tight budget. Natives of the Sheboygan area. What you’d call ‘millennials with a marriage license, and kids.’”

 

He oriented me to the following 21st Century hospitality facts about millennials:

 

1. Millennial guests may have children, too.

2. Millennial guests expect the hotels where they stay to accommodate their children.

3. Millennial guests expect the hotels to provide their children with qualitative, safe, and age-appropriate full services. Commensurate with those offered to the millennials themselves.

4. Millennial guests’ budgets come in all sizes, and credit cards with all levels of buying power.

 
A hotel/facility painter’s millennial tips:

 

1. Treat millennial guests well, like guests in any age group deserve to be treated.

2. Treat the children of millennials special. Like guests in any adult age group want their children/ grandchildren/ great-grandchildren to be treated. Whatever the children’s ages.

3. Remember, the millennial guests’ children are away from home. In a different environment.

4. Say “Hi” to millennial guests’ children. Smile naturally. Look them in the eye.

5. Ask them what they like about your hotel, and their stay there. Ask nothing personal.

6. Encourage them, from a distance, to watch you paint. Ask, “Have you ever painted anything?”

7. Chat briefly with them, while you work. Tell them what you are doing. Point out to them the WET PAINT sign you’ve posted nearby. Explain why wet paint should never be touched.

8. Encourage them to ask you a few questions. Always answer them, briefly and respectfully.

9. After a reasonable time, encourage them to move on. To check back in with parents or family.

10. Say goodbye. “Thanks for stopping.” “Have a great vacation.” “Have a good trip home.”

 

Recently, I stopped to watch a hotel painter. He was applying a bright cranberry exterior enamel to a park bench in a children’s outdoor play area. Several children and a young family watched him work.

 

Everyone else moved on eventually. I asked the painter if he enjoyed his “little audiences.” He grinned. “They make my days. Make it all worthwhile.”

 

Yeah. “Go ahead and make my day.”  Clint Eastwood.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Them: Inns and Bed and Breakfasts on Rue de les Fleurs. Part 1: Exteriors

An inn or bed and breakfast (chambre d’ hôte) occupies every building on the row of this Haute Alpes village, in southeast France. Each property’s owners live in a third or fourth story attic, or a small apartment behind the kitchens. Originally, each property was what we might call a “row house.”

 

Jean-Paul, my mother’s cousin, e-mailed about the property owners’ problems. “All of the buildings are in disrepair. Business is très mal (very bad). Soon, travelers will stay in other villages, or in the city.”

 

He e-mailed a detailed description of “les maisons pour les touriste stays” (houses for tourist stays). He drew a mental picture of the condition of the seven, tightly sandwiched structures. Cell phone photos followed. Red roofs canopied the five towers.

 

“What can we do?” he asked. “I’ve staged original productions in small theatres, including here. These touriste stays must not crumble to ruin. Tourism is the village’s main source of revenue.”

 

At first, I had no clue how to answer Jean-Paul’s question. How could we help? That French village was located over 4,480 miles away.

 

Then, an image appeared of the Seralago, a historic hotel in Kissimmee, Florida. Scaled down and reconfigured, it could have been the buildings on Rue de lès Fleurs. Their red-painted tower roofs announcing their formidable presence in the community.

 

The Seralago became the inspiration for an idea that sparkled with possibilities.

 

In June, I brainstormed with two painters at different Marriott-managed hotels. I mentioned the idea to my mother. (Caution!) And, she and Jean-Paul took it from there.

 

OVERALL PLAN – A Capsule Version

 

1. Designate two project leaders. One, for the exteriors of the buildings; the other for the interiors. Each will work with the owner(s) of each row house, to oversee and help with every phase of the exterior, or interior, part of the project.
2. Arrange for photos to be taken – before, during, after each phase of the project. And, with every row house.
3. Hold a “Rue de les Fleurs” la fête (party) to launch the restoration project. Publicize the event, and the project. Contact the media.

 

SELECTING EXTERIOR PAINT CREWS – A Capsule Version

 

1. Find a very skilled and agile commercial painter in the area.

A. Engage him to give the tower roofs a fresh coat of red paint. Urge him to donate his services.

B. Try to get his employer – l’contracteur – to donate the paint.

C. Let the media know about their generosities.

2. Line up the work crews – all local villagers:

A. Paint crew. Persons skilled at using a paint brush, and at least two able to use a roller.

— Find one or two skilled in using a spray system. Five able to work on ladders, and scaffolding.

B. Repair and prep crew. Fit persons: out-of-work, retired or unoccupied. Men and women.

— Include a few that are able to work on extension ladders.

C. Ground crew. Teenagers and adults, willing to help with work on the street level.

 

NEW LIFE FOR EXTERIORS OF BUILDINGS

 

1. WALLS. Clean. Scrape off old paint and loose masonry. Patch and/or fill all areas that need it. Lightly sand surfaces when dried.
2. FRONT DOORS. Clean, and scrape off old paint. Sand, patch, and paint all. Paint each door a distinctive and complementary color. TIP: Alternate deep bright blue, extra white, and crimson red (or, colors close to those of the nation’s flag).
3. HARDWARE-FRONT DOORS. Clean and polish each door’s hinges, knocker, and handle. (In the photos, they look like brass.)
4. WINDOW FRAMES, INSETS, and CORNICES. Clean, scrape, patch, sand, and reseal frames and insets of all windows. Also, window cornices and ledges. Paint to match the respective doors on street level.
5. WINDOW SHUTTERS. Remove from the buildings. Be sure to mark each shutter for building, window, and side of window. Clean, patch, fill, and sand. Paint the shutters to match the respective doors on the first story. TIP: Spraying shutters produces a much better finish, and longer-lasting coatings.
6. FLOWER BOXES. Put a few retired carpenters to work building a flower box for every window, including on each end of the row. Paint to match the respective front door on street level.
7. SEATING. Find a park bench for each front entry. Used ones are fine. Repair each, as necessary. Scrape off loose, old paint or finish. Sand till smooth. Paint all with gloss black. Or, paint each in the color that matches the respective door.

 

NOTE: Area steps 3 through 7 have entailed more than what’s outlined here.

 

PROGRESS ON THE RUE DE LES FLEURS.

 

Work on the row of inns progresses. Jean-Paul says the spirit of villagers grows. “Like the crops on surrounding farms… The townspeople prepare for a busy touriste stay season. And, the little theatre will be ready to reopen on October 16. Très bonne.”

 

PLEASE READ: Painting Them: Inns and Bed and Breakfasts on Rue de les Fleurs. Part 2: Interiors.

 

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“Buildings, like persons, deserve special care – outside, and inside.” Jean-Paul.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 2

Recently, I heard of a group of five entrepreneurs that save smaller properties, like the three men did in the Midwest. (See “Getting Unemployed Properties, Part 1.)

 

This group purchases abandoned smaller schools, rehabilitation facilities, hotels, and churches. Then, they remodel and retrofit each property to fill a specific voice in its respective community. “Usually, within a 25-mile radius.”

 

A few examples:

 

  1. One-story elementary school, north central Florida, converted into a residential facility for moderately-to-severely handicapped teens and adults.

 

  1. One-story private elementary school, in northwest Florida, turned into a non-denominational assisted living facility for low-income persons.

 

  1. Two-story hotel, in southeast Georgia, transformed into low-income rental “villas.”

 

  1. 100-room hotel, in north central Florida, retrofitted as an assisted living facility, complete with ADA-compliant pool and spa.

 

  1. One-story high school, turned into short-term rehabilitation center and permanent ALF for handicapped military veterans.

 

  1. Small church and adjoining education building, remodeled as a year-round community center.

 

Within the last five years, the group has purchased, then helped “revitalize and recycle” over 15 properties. Two persons in the group are brothers.

 

One is a cardiovascular physician and surgeon, that co-finances the group’s “property rescue projects.” The other brother is a journey-level painter, that specializes in remodeling, renovating, and retrofitting what he calls “people-public properties.”

 

The painter in the group e-mailed me about his role in getting some of these properties “back to work.”

 

“Usually, I work as both the foreman and line painter on a crew of five commercial painters. My project work can be divided into eight phases.

 

  1. Surface/area assessment – conditions and needs.
  2. Product and color estimating, selecting and ordering.
  3. Tool and equipment selecting, purchasing or renting, and keeping track of.
  4. Work area set-ups and scheduling.
  5. Painter assignments and outfitting.
  6. Painting with the rest of the crew.
  7. Troubleshooting and punch lists.
  8. Cooperating with inspectors and sign-off people.

 

“My work is time sensitive… labor and ability intensive. We rely a lot on each other. Across trade lines…. A big, learning experience for me. On every project…”

 

“The painters’ job on these projects is not to restore the surfaces to their pristine, original condition. It’s not to deal with style-conscious interior designers. And, forget trying to please the owners and investors 100 percent. (This group doesn’t expect that.) We don’t have any of them on these projects.

 

“We’re all here with the same dream: To get the property back to good use. No egos here.”

 

He closed with this motivating message…

 

“Practically anyone can do this. Pull together a few friends and relatives. Pool your brains, money and abilities. Save one building. Help some decent people in your own community.”

 

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“Charity begins where we’re working. Where we’re standing.” rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 1

One of my mother’s established clients, and two of his friends, purchased shut-down school properties. Then, the men transformed them into facilities needed in their respective communities.

 

A few examples…

 

  1. A one-story elementary school, near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, was turned into a summer camp for boys and girls from low-income families.

 

  1. A one-story elementary school in northeastern Illinois was remodeled, then licensed as a community-owned and operated nursing home and rehabilitation center.

 

  1. A small, two-story high school, in the Chicago area, was reconfigured to serve as the new home for an overcrowded orphanage.

 

During a twenty-year span, the three entrepreneurs saved over fifty abandoned structures from demolition. In every instance, their goal was to put the property to good use in its local community.

 

For every remodeling project, local people were employed to do the work.

 

  1. A large advance crew cleared out and cleaned up the property, before any other work could proceed.

 

  1. A general contractor handled the rest of the project. That included the employment of the different types of skilled trade and craft persons needed to pull off that particular type of project.

 

The abandoned properties shared many problems.

 

  1. The buildings had been closed up at least two years, usually over three.
  2. The seasonal elements – rain, snow, ice, wind, heat, mold and mildew, etc. – had taken their toll on both the interiors and exteriors of the building(s), also the land.
  3. Sand, wild plants, wild creatures, pests of all sorts, etc. had taken up residence – and in the most unbelievable of areas/spaces.
  4. Woods had warped, rotted, cracked, and separated.
  5. Paint had chipped, faded, crackled,  and washed off many, if not all, surfaces.
  6. Wood stain had paled and turned a greenish black, or black.
  7. Varnishes had cracked and turned ugly shades of grey, or weird shades of red or yellow.
  8. Commercial grade wallcoverings had separated from their backings, and/or peeled from the walls. Then, stuck to the floors.
  9. Exterior metalwork, rails, fencing, doors, windows, frames, etc. had been beaten severely by the weather, and years of neglect. Some of it before the property had been closed down.

 

Working on any of the projects was not an painter’s idea of a dream job. Well, not for most. Even when the pay scale was high, and his or her contractor-boss was likeable, fair and accountable.

 

In July, a retired commercial painter e-mailed that he’d worked on several properties purchased by Jerry’s group.

 

“I was a moderately skilled painter on my first project done for them. I needed the job. Jerry said he saw my drive and potential. By the time we finished that first school, I’d used every skill I’d learned in apprentice school. And, I worked into a steady job, helping to save abandoned small schools, hospitals, motels, etc. Gratifying work if you can fit into it!”

 

I never knew the inventor-entrepreneur that led the small group of property benefactors. He wore many hats.

 

But, his worn coverall appearance, and laid-back, no-nonsense approach to nearly everything that he did was legendary. And, respected. Even among the infamous street gangs – eg. Hell’s Angels – that terrorized and paralyzed older neighborhoods on the northwest, west, and southwest sides of Chicago.

 

Saving shut-down and abandoned properties has become popular, as the “GO GREEN” philosophy and approach grows in North America. And, around the globe.

 

Each of us, including painters, has a role in preserving and protecting the natural resources we have. In  restoring, reviving and revitalizing properties and buildings that already exist. Especially when they are restorable or revivable.

 

Welcome any opportunity to do what you can. One of those opportunities is to repair-renovate-restore-rejuvinate-retrofit-re-use our buildings. And, the lands upon which they set.

 

Read Part 2: Painting Them: Getting Unemployed Properties “Back-to-Work.”

 

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A painter is as entrepreneurial and innovative as the next person – including in the reviving and revitalizing of existing man-made resources.

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Thanks, everyone, for doing your part to make this world better for others.

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

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Painting Them: Restoring and Reviving Hotels

Every staff member saw the hotel “looking better than it had in years.” “Since it had been built,” said a longtime employee.

 

What does it take to restore a hotel?

 

  1. A solid yet flexible plan, highly-skilled craft persons, time, and a large budget.
  2. Usually more resources than many property owners have, or want to commit.

 

What needs to be done to revive a hotel property?

 

As much as the budget will allow.

 

REVIVING A HOTEL

 

Tips from a painter that’s been there, done that. On more than seven hotel properties.

 

1. Start with the most obvious areas – noticeable to the guests and visitors.

A. Guest rooms

B. Lobby(ies)

 

Clean all areas. Touch up paint. Or “full-paint” areas to create a fresh look. A change of color, or design and placement, can be uplifting. A big benefit.

 

2. Cover the essentials.

A. Safety zones

B. High-traffic areas

C. Pools and spas – especially in hotter, humid and sunny climates

 

3. Repair – take care of – the most neglected areas.

A. High-wear areas may require weekly attention.

B. Always post “WET PAINT” signs when painting in high-traffic areas.

C. Look for permanent repair solutions for areas that receive repetitious damage or wear.

Example: Place plastic guards over corners in high-traffic areas such as a lobby.

 

4. “Clean up all of those old messes, the best you can.”

A. Cover anything that is not to be painted, located close to the work area.

B. A final vacuum of the area completes the job.

 

5. Revitalize the higher ticket areas. Get them “back on the market.”

A. Conference centers

B. Restaurants

C. Food courts

D. Gift Shops

 

6. Liven up the most popular spots.

A. Game rooms

B. WI-FI and VIRTUAL SPOTS

C. Children’s playground and activity areas

D. Outdoor recreation areas

E. Social areas

 

7. Remember key operations areas.

A. Housekeeping and Laundry

B. Physical Plant– electrical, mechanical, plumbing systems

C. Engineering and Maintenance

 

Non-guest related areas are often neglected. Yet, they and its workers are vital and valuable.

Use a variety of colors and/or graphics paint to accentuate areas that receive less attention.

It increases morale. It maintains a clean, pleasant work environment. It adds a spot of creativity.

 

Painting unfinished floors can benefit the facility’s operations areas in value-adding ways.

Painting the walls and floor accentuates the importance of the area, and persons that work there.

Painting these areas inspires anyone that works there, or passes through, to take care of the spaces, to keep them clean, and to maintain them. Even when the areas are in use 24/7.

 

Some deciding factors in every category:

 

  1. Urgency
  2. Necessity
  3. Relativity to business’s major market(s), focus and mission
  4. Owners’ and shareholders’ preferences and long-term goals
  5. Budget
  6. Availability – time lines
  7. Competition

 

No two hotel revival projects are the same. Not even when the properties are designed similarly, and owned by the same group.

 

Are you a hotel staff painter? Your involvement may vary. Depending on the area to be revived, your level of needed skills and abilities, and your time, may vary a lot.

Are you a project painter, employed by a commercial contractor? Your involvement is clear. You are put on the project because you can produce! Big time! And your skill sets, abilities and work personality fit that project.

 

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If a task is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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