Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Archive for October, 2015

Painting Them: Theatres and Entertainment Areas

An area meant for entertainment should look the part.

 

All design elements should add to the total atmosphere. Every color, textile, and finish should serve as a backdrop for, or complement to, the theatre screen or stage area.

 

Special features: Low-dim-dark lighting; top acoustics; track lighting, colored lights; music for all types of moods – and sets the mood for movie or activity.

Construction elements: Create angles to walls and ceiling. Install cornices and crown molding; a multi-step wall base. Add a couple of columns for interest.

Design elements: Complementary toned-down installations: Seating upholstery/fabric, flooring, chrome. Gloss-over ceilings. TIP: Carpeting with subdued graphic design.

Special needs: Flat, non-reflective and non-distracting finishes and coverings on all surfaces and areas. Large, legible signage – eg. exit, traffic patterns, seating areas. Very accessible seating.

TIP: Bannisters, rails, etc. painted to be very visible for holding onto, and walking in dark area.

Color schemes: Complementary colors/tints/shades; soft earth tones with bright accent colors.

TIP: Bright colors work great in small areas.

Wood finishing: Bright colored stains, instead of earth tone colors.

Wallcoverings: Panoramic mural, abstract or realist; carpet wallcoverings; solid, or vertical-striped monochromatic textured panels, hung in alternate sections.

 

A FEW HOW-TO TIPS  

 

  1. Repair and maintenance: Re-glue loose wallpaper seams. Wash wallcoverings regularly; vacuum if wall carpeting used. Regularly, wash all metal surfaces – eg. chair arms, railings.
  2. Prepping: Sand all surfaces. Spackle small holes. Caulk all cracks.
  3. Painting and finishing: Ceilings – Flat latex or enamel. Decorating idea: Midnight blue like night sky, then glitter spray or hand-paint in stars. Walls – Dark tones, solid, complementary or monochromatic. Columns – Flat or eggshell enamel. Faux finish for style – eg. marbleizing, sponging, etchings.
  4.  Wallcoverings: Walls – Dark tones, same color or complementary. Columns – Cover in same wallcovering used on walls, to blend into décor. Use contrasting covering to make area stand out.
  5. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Tools – Smoothing brushes; razor blade/ broad knives.
  6. Challenge: Preventing/reducing reflection of surfaces. Using wallcoverings that absorb the sound. Finding paints that add appeal and ambience, maximize durability, and tone down other surfaces (eg. railings).

 

The ambience of a theatre or entertainment area plays a vital role in its appeal, use, and popularity.

 

Are you the painter and decorator responsible for this area? Aim for top-quality prepping, painting and finishing, and maintenance results. So good that, when the lights are UP, persons see great workmanship, smooth surfaces, “seamless” wallcovering seams. A memorable scene!
Keep in mind: Many people use, and are associated with, these areas. Having surfaces that are low maintenance and very durable is essential. And, cost-effective in the long-term!

 

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“Let us entertain you” includes the surfaces, as well as what’s on the screen, or on the stage.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

 

 

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Painting Them: Hotel Outdoor Recreation and Sports Areas

Outdoor recreation and sports areas require special attention, due to extensive use and wear.

 

The striped areas are of major concern. These lines can blur, or disappear completely.  “Then, there goes the game,” a junior tennis competitor told me.

 

Types of areas: Tennis, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, handball, badmitten courts.

Special features: Lines, symbols, stripes, signage, posts, fences, backboards (factory plastic).

Exposure: Sun, rain, water, wind; wear; abuse.

Special needs: High (and long-time) durability, easy cleaning, low maintenance.

Design elements: Graphics, “planned graffiti,” logos.

Color schemes: Usually, special color combinations, established by sports and recreation regulatory organizations, professional associations, etc. Ex. Tennis courts: Green, white, yellow.

  1. Repair and maintenance: Resurface areas which are chipped or cracked. Repair asphalt and concrete surfaces.
  2. Prepping: Exterior: pressure washing; sand smooth surfaces.
  3. Painting and finishing: Apply coatings by brush and roller, or spraying. Here technique depends largely on smoothness of surface, also easy accessibility, and drying time allotted.
  4. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Appropriate fillers – eg. urethane, asphalt patch. Lining – Line strippers. Finish products – acrylic latex, silicon-based products.
  5. Challenge: To restore finish to best possible condition; to maximize pleasing appearance.

 

Outdoor recreation and sports areas, at hotel/facility properties, deserve as much attention as the painter can give them. And the best quality products and materials that the budget will allow.

 

The persons that use these areas have certain expectations. They need the surfaces to be safe to use and marked clearly and correctly. They need the areas to be clean, sanitary and unobstructed.

 

Hotel management needs to ensure that these areas are properly maintained. The business cannot risk any guest getting injured due to faulty, damaged, broken, and/or missing elements.

 

A TRUE TENNIS COURT STORY

 

One day at the hotel, I saw a mother teaching her young daughters the fundamentals of playing tennis. She walked around the perimeter of the court. Using her racket handle, she pointed to the different lines. She explained what each one was for.

 

She saw me working outside of the fence. “Could you do me a favor, please?” The lady asked me to stand on an end-court line. Then, she served a tennis ball, across the net, to one of her daughters. “See that line?” she pointed. “Aim this side.” She reminded the girls. “This side.”

 

As I left the court and returned to my golf cart, I heard the mother’s repeated instructions. And, smiled to myself.

 

Only a week earlier, I’d been able to refinish and reline the entire court area. Thanks to my engineer! He had gone to the nearest Lowe’s, and purchased the supplies needed so I could get the job done right!

 

“…before any serious complaint comes in…” he told me.

 

Good going, Bill! Good going, Tennis Mom!

 

PRODUCT FOOTNOTE: A variety of exterior resurfacing products are available. Select products formulated by paint manufacturers, recognized for results. Excellent coverage, consistency, quality, durability, and customer service. A few brands: Sherwin Williams, H&C, Douracourt, Tennis Universal.

 

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Outdoor recreation and sports fun and safety go hand-in-hand.

Like spray painting and protective breathing apparatus.

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Enjoy the outdoors, wherever you are. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Designing with Graphics Using Paint

What can you do to liven up a wall? Create a graphics design using paint. One reason: to exhibit a sense of creativity in an otherwise bland environment. This applies to wall surfaces, in particular.

 

To achieve a sense of creativity, we can use color and geometry. Go figure.

 

Any substrate can be used as a base, and also as a constructive element to make the actual design. One example being: an interior brick wall with sections of precut gypsum board installed on its face, designed in the shape of a company logo or picture.

 

How to use paint as a factor for design.

 

Paint can achieve any number of designs, and account for a wide range of color combinations.
1. Study a color chart from a paint supplier or manufacturer.
2. Select colors that you like and will complement or contrast the existing colors.

 

3. Create a paper sketch of the wall surface and your particular graphic display.

 

4. Here is where the detail-work starts.

A. Measure dimensions of wall.

B. Transfer them, according to scale, onto your preliminary sketch.

TIP: Gridded paper works great for this. Or, use a graphics design software program, and a laser measuring tool if you’re so inclined.

 

5. When laying out graphics prior to painting, I recommend the following items:

A. easy release or automotive masking tape,

B. chalk box for snapping lines,

C. geometric templates to create accurate curves and contours,

D. 2” square and 2 ½ “angular paint brushes,

E. liquid spray mask for covering non-painted areas,

F. 4” low nap roller frame/cover.

 

6. Let’s say you want to create a horizontal 6-stripe pattern. Transfer measurements from diagram to wall surface marking the width and length of the stripes. Mask off lines 1,3, and 5.

 

7. Paint spaces in an alternate type configuration. Going back to the 6-stripe pattern.

A. Paint lines 1, 3, and 5. Let dry overnight.

B. Mask off lines 2, 4, and 6. Be sure to press down edges of tape.

C. Paint lines 2, 4, and 6.

 

TIP: When you have a design with shared border lines, paint shapes that do not touch each other. It’s common sense stuff, and helps ensure straight lines.

 

TIP: When painting graphics always allow the proper drying time for each phase.

 

Creating graphics using  paint opens an astounding panorama of choices. As breathtaking and awesome as a sunset in motion!

 

Look for: Designing with Graphics Using Wallcoverings.

 

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Have a great October 31, folks!  And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: Balancing a Painting Budget

When sizing up the expenses for a painting project, what should you ask yourself first?

Normally, you want to know what the final finish products will cost. Reasonable enough, since

they are comparably the most expensive items.

 

Painting to achieve durability and quality is what establishes the basis for a budget. It’s very simple: you get what you pay for.

TIP: When two gallons of paint are separated by costs greater than half the price, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Don’t let a paint salesperson tell you differently.

 

The type of paint. Well, that’s a different story.

 

A specialized coating, such as acrylic clear coat for protecting wood, may cost $50 a gallon.

A urethane for painting exterior metal could cost up to $125 for the catalyst, base and solvent. A finish that you’ve selected for your garage floor could cost you at least $70 a gallon.

 

I base the total cost of a painting project on the following things:

 

  1. total square feet of surface to be painted, and the number of coats of paint.
  2. total linear feet  of moldings, trim, fascias, soffits, etc.
  3. type and number of doors – eg. louvered, flat, recessed paneled.
  4. time in labor for preparation, priming, and finish painting. This can be underestimated!
  5. cost of preparation and painting products and materials.

 

The cost for paint and materials is a fixed price based on the present market value.

 

Where money is dramatically lost or saved, labor comes into play.

 

The time estimated to perform the work is critical to the total quoted price of a job. Usually, this is figured on the total number of “man hours multiplied my dollars-per-hour charge, or as a contracted price per unit.

Example: Painting a door costs $25; painting 10 doors costs $250. To each total, add cost of paint, preparation materials, and necessary supplies.

 

The labor charge must also be adjusted for the degree of difficulty or the extensiveness of the process. Bottom line: It is “experience” that establishes competitive labor charge or rate.

Example: Refinishing a piece of furniture.

What’s involved: Stripping, then cleaning the surface; using wood filler, process of repeated sanding, application of multiple coats of finish, and waxing.

What can happen: An “inaccurate estimate” in any one of these steps could cost you your entire profit in completing the whole piece.

 

The inventory for painting tools and supplies can be charged as a fixed monthly expense.

Example: You purchase 10 rolls of masking tape and 25 sheets of sandpaper on average per month. Cost: $40 per month, times 12 months: $500 a year expense. Items such as brushes will be purchased based on use. TIP: Always make allowances for projects which require more.

 

Productivity is another area which can offset the budget, in a positive or negative way. The quantity of work performed in any given time period can create a profit, cause you a loss,

or allow you just to break even.

 

“Why so much of a difference,” you might ask? The business model says: By decreasing time in labor, your profits will increase. That’s not true, necessarily.

 

What happens to that anticipated profit, when a rush job results in poor work and client rejection? You need to redo the job. And, YOU have to foot the bill for materials and labor the second time around.

 

Typical labor-saving materials, tools and equipment in the painting process.

 

  1. Airless spray painting for large spaces, or areas such as vertical/horizontal siding.

 

  1. Airless spray painting for large amount of preinstalled moldings.

 

  1. Conventional spray equipment to apply oil stain to preinstalled moldings.

 

  1. Easy-release masking tape to prevent pull-off of existing finish.

 

  1. Pressurized roller system when painting a lot of walls in one color.

 

  1. Industrial-grade paint stripper when removing wood finish.

 

  1. Largest size roller cover you can manage for the specific work to be done.

 

  1. Plastic sheeting to cover furniture when painting overhead.

 

All application methods, materials, tools, and equipment serve to save time. The use of a spray finishing system far exceeds the level of productivity of brush and roller work.

 

Budgeting is all about saving money. And everyone wants to do that.

 

When quality is your prime concern, however, make sure to save enough money for what is most important.

 

A TOP TIP: Always shop around for products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment. Including rentals! Prices can vary between different supply houses – same company.

 

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Thanks, everyone, for staying on-course — and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Hotel Painting in a Franchising Global Economy

More hotel chains are opting to franchise, versus company (“co.-own”) own, their brand properties. And, more hotel brands are pushing, vigorously, for wide global recognition.

 

 

A few relevant questions for the career hotel painter. . .

1. How does the hotel painter’s role change?

2. How does his or her job opportunities change?

3. Where does the skilled hotel painter and decorator fit?

 

A lot may depend on the painter’s hotel career path:
1. level of “star” experience (1-to-6 star hotel class),

2. loyalty to hotel chains/corporations, as an employer.

 

Some career hotel painters stick with hotel chains.

 

* They prefer the corporate framework.

* They thrive in a big business culture, or environment.

* They accept the trade-offs attached to belonging to a large organization.

* They need structure and established policies and practices.

* They want lateral opportunities to transfer to different locations, even to different brands.

* They buy into the political and governing hierarchy.

* They prefer a narrowed, more limited job description.

* They need job security.

 

Skilled painters with larger hotel chains expect the benefit of job security. Steady work.
1. If they keep their noses clean.

2. If they don’t make waves, or minimize issues – eg. workman’s compensation claims, complaints.

3. If they follow orders, and leave decision-making to management.

 

What makes for a great corporate hotel painter?

 

Basically, they’re the same qualities needed to succeed as a commercial painter with a large contractor.

 

1. Professional approach to painting trade, and construction industry.

2. Corporate mindset.

3. “Big game” player.

4. Narrow, focused job scope – with broad flexibility as needed.

5. Preference for limited flexibility and responsibility.

6. Keen P.R./customer service skills, with trickle-down transparency and accountability.

7. Limited need for creativity and autonomy on job.

8. Overall, limited interest in vertical mobility, and leadership role.

9. Willingness to follow orders. No dissent, minimal input.

 

In early September, a career hotel chain painter emailed, then phoned, me. His hotel (brand) was being switched to a franchise. He’d been told that everything would continue status quo.

 

On September 30, he was fired. On October 1, he was given the option to sign on, as a temporary, with an external employee leasing company. A separate division of the national hotel management company, that the franchisee had put in charge of the hotel business.

 

His eighteen years of corporate hotel service, loyalty and security had been replaced with career uncertainty and financial instability. He’d lost his retirement and vacation plans, health savings account, group incentive package, professional education credits, and mobility/transfer opportunities.

 

Still, he signed on with the new employee leasing company.

 

“I’m hopeful,” Greg wrote, “that I can turn it into a permanent position. With the hotel management company.  Where I can transfer to other properties they operate. Especially for my hotel corporation…”

 

By the way, “Greg” (not real name), worked previously as superintendent for a painting contractor, that specialized in hotel projects. Clients were mid-to-large sized hotel corporations.

 

His experience reminded me of the difference between employment through IUPAT, and an open shop. And, also employment in a “Right-to-Work” state. No guarantees, no security, minimal support, limited benefits, limited systems.

 

Enough said on the subject. Right, Greg?

 

* Post dedicated to all painters and decorators, who really work at being professionals, regardless of what is going on around them. Or, with someone else.

 
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Thanks, everyone, for hanging in there. Your greater rewards are on their way!

And, thanks for your calls, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting Them: Food Courts and Snack Bars

A commercial food facility, above all things, must serve food and beverages that are widely known, and appeal to the diverse tastes of the public.

 

What type of atmosphere works best to stimulate that hunger for food, or thirst for a beverage?

 

Do you have an established theme? The 50s décor with its juke box, vinyl-cushioned booths and roller skating servers, was a popular style in its day. A well-established theme will keep the patrons, guests, and visitors interested. Coming back for more! And, create a great place for conversation and socialization.

 

Most food courts, whether at a hotel or a mall, are designed for guest comfort. The design should correspond with the surrounding décor. It should incorporate some of the same elements in décor, color, textures, tone, etc. And, all elements used should stimulate the appetite.

 

“Spaces” within the food court: Eating/drinking, socializing, studying, resting.

Special construction elements: Solid woods, steels, metals, laminates; glass, heavy plastic; slip-proof flooring; one level, no steps.

Special features: High traffic, specialty clusters in bigger space, opps. for lots of mingling.

Special needs: Smooth surfaces and corners; no residual fumes/odors; pleasing aesthetically; high durability; easy cleaning and sanitizing; obstruction-free traffic areas;

Exposure: Water, cleaning agents, grease, high heat, etc.

Design elements: Graphics, stripes, geometrics; inlay pieces; food-inspired paintings/murals; original paintings; illustrations.

Color schemes: Bright accents; subtle touches. Inviting, and conducive to dining. Welcoming! Uplifting, cheerful, and relaxing. Also, great for conversation, reading, listening to music.

 

Bring life to your food service area. Here’s how!

 

1. Utilize scenic paintings or photos related to leisure and travel. People love to envision themselves there.

TIP: Hang printed and enlarged photos of enticing scenes on the hotel property. Flowers, plants, brook, fountain, rest area, etc. Hang small paintings found/donated by staff members.

 

2. Paint wall graphics to increase the element of creativity, and to reduce blank wall space.

HINT: An original wall graphics was hung on the walls of two adjoining restaurants, and corridor that connected them. It was the creation of a local paperhanger/patron.

 

3. Vary wood tone colors used on tables and chairs.

TIP: Tables in light oak with laminate, tile, or block tops, chairs in dark oak or even painted.

 

4. Use track and neon lighting with various combinations of colored lights to create mood appropriate for area’s theme. Examples: Friendly, business-like, folksy, formal, romantic.

TIP: The right lighting also enhances the appearance and appeal of the food and beverages. And, the entire area!

 

5. Heavy-textured vinyl wall covering adds to the atmospheric mood.

TIP: Commercial-grade wallcoverings clean well. They’re very durable. They retain color and finish/texture longer.

 
6. Surrounding guests with a sense of memorabilia tends to instill sentimentality and comfort.

HINT: Old kitchen utensils and cooking pots, laundry aids, photos, tools, small implements, etc. lined the walls of The Wagon Wheel in Merrillville, Indiana. Eating there was like eating at a grandparent’s circa 1800s kitchen table.

 
7. Convey a sense of realism by using a system of murals.

TIP: Continuous murals are fun. Example: A walking trail, or farmer’s market, or big garden.

 
8. Refer to the “psychology of colors” to see what colors stimulate an appetite best.

TIPS: Red – Hot foods, romantic drinks; Blue – Cool foods, relaxing drinks; Green – Nature.

 

Above all, you want the food court and/or snack bar to make every patron feel comfortable, and unrushed. Totally welcome there!

 

It’s all about atmosphere. The service. And, definitely, the food, beverages and snacks.

 

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“Food without atmosphere is like tacos without spice.” Rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015.  Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Painting It: Hotel Teen Center & Computer Room

BASIC FEATURES and AMENITIES of TYPICAL TEEN CENTER/ROOM/AREA

 

  1. Carpeting or carpet tiles: Dense weave, darker solid colors or patterned, bright color accents.
  2. Walls: Painted and/or commercial wall vinyl; darker shades, bright color accents.
  3. Windows: Unobstructed view of outdoors; windows overlooking hallway; no windows.
  4. Entrance: Often open, and no doors. Any doors may be wood, or vinyl-coated.
  5. Computer area: Washable/durable surfaces: countertops, height-appropriate chairs/stools.
  6. Seating: Bean bag chairs. Upholstery: vinyl/fabric; heavy-duty, stain and water resistant.
  7. Other furniture: Café booth(s) with benches (bolted down); couch, arm chairs; work table.
  8. Lighting: Recessed lighting, fixtures for reading/close-up work; workstation lighting.

 

COLORS THAT TEENS WANT

 

Note: Bright anything tends to be first choice. With older teens, dark colors are popular, too.

 

  1. Main colors: Dark colors – eg. black, gray, forest green, purple – on the walls.
  2. Accent colors: Red, hot pink/fuscia, purple, lime, orange, bright blues,
  3. Ceiling color(s): Multiple colors – light-to-dark; bright colors. Not solid whites, or pastels.

 

“CREATE WITH” SPECIAL EFFECTS THAT TEENS LIKE

 

  1. Create with paint: Murals and graphics. Interactive and erasable mural wall, on which teen guests/patients/visitors can add-to – eg. drawings, illustrations, cartoons, caricatures, graphics, scenics. Multi-designed mural in black and shades of gray. Faux layer-on-layers; reflective looks; subtle images.
  2.  Create with wallcoverings: Textured with bright colors; cosmic, galactic, luminaries; graphics and geometrics in bright colors.
  3. Create with carpeting/carpet tiles: Multi-colored; solids, stripes, colorful patterns in carpet.

Fun/game/hot spots. F.Y.I: “Game Room Fun” blog, posted January 20, 2015.

  1. Create with wood: Faux design simulating wood; multi-colored painted or stained wood.
  2.  Create with wallboard/fiberboard: Multi-layered in puzzle pieces, various colors, one wall.
  3. Create with other materials: Cork block and vertical panel bulletin boards. TIP: Alternate with adjacent painted panels. Colorful fabrics on walls; bright colored trims, moldings.

IDEA: Create Amazon rain forest atmosphere. On one wall painted muted tropical green, clip/staple simulated or real bamboo stalks. Carpet entire/part of room in variegated green tiles. Create jungle “path.”

  1. Create with lighting/fixtures: Track lighting, using various colored bulbs; spotlights; globes.

 

COMBINING COLORS, PATTERNS, TEXTURES, GRAPHICS, ETC.

 

  1. Patterns: Overlap stencils with bright colors, 3-dimensional transparent designs.
  2. Textures: Multi-colors to form design on wall. TIP: Various shades and tones of one color.
  3. Graphics: Geometrics hand-painted, or done with wallcoverings (eg. remnant commercial weight vinyls). Texting acronyms, words, phrases painted in curved lines/arches. Symbols.
  4.  Scenics: Hand-painted animated scenes, wallcoverings of real-life nature scenes – eg. islands.
  5. Murals: Teen-involved paintings – eg. street scenes, dance club, optical illusions.
  6. Overlays: Wallcovering over freshly-painted surface – eg. Collages, facsimiles of photo-op frames. Adhesive-backed carpet tile shapes for walls, wide arches, columns, cabinetry headers.

 

 

VERY TECHY-FRIENDLY!

 

Features: No-glare surfaces, finishes, lighting, etc. Flexible-use spots. Space-y workstation areas. Movable, durable seating. Smooth material, sturdy, washable upholstery. Open-space feeling, forget doors.

 

CREATING CLUSTER FUN and HOT-SPOTS

 

  1. Games space: Create a system of modular spaces (non-painted) – laminate and solid wood – with interchangeable sections.
  2. Eating/snacking space: Informal; vinyl-covered bar stools, smooth flooring for easy cleaning.
  3. WI-FI/Computer station space: Opportunities here limited only by budget, really.
  4. Groupie/congregate space: Create communal space, where everyone can see each other.
  5. Dancing/Music space: Crate a dance floor, using a design such as geometric wood inlays.
  6. Reading/study/project space: Modular design, open space for circular tables.

 

 

Teens like lots of freedom! Including in spaces they use at the hotel or resort where they are staying overnight. Give them that space. Invite their creative souls. And, they’ll love your hotel, and your staff.
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Thanks, everyone, for keeping in touch – and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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