Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Archive for November, 2015

Painting Hotels: Creating Curbside Charm

A hotel’s appeal starts in three places: on-line, on-app, and at-the-curb.


Its exterior image can attract or deter guests and visitors patronage, loyalty and referrals. It can help position the hotel in the lodging and convention marketplace. It can help establish and sustain its place in the business community.


How can the hotel’s painter and decorator create, or enhance, the business’s curbside appeal and image?




Area: Property’s front-main entrance and gate.


Main Entrance Walls: Masonry.

Paint color: Lt. yellow gold. Other examples: Cream 45yy721230, Glidden Exterior semi-gloss; H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/low-lustre, water-base over previous paint surface. Gates: wrought iron, baked enamel. Color: Black.


Project: Paint wall top and edging a color that complements main color used in area.

Paint color: White No. 60yy831094. Glidden’s Heavy-duty exterior semi-gloss masonry paint. Other colors: Egg White No. SW6364, or Tandy Green No. SW 6424, both Sherwin-Williams; H&C Exterior Concrete Color Stain/Sealer. TIP: One coat using heavy duty, premium product.


CAUTION: A color that sharply contrasts with area’s predominant color can detract, even cheapen, overall appearance of entire area. Example: Entrance walls: Cream or lt. yellow gold; Trim: Bright or deeper red, Exterior high-gloss paint.


Project: Construct “WELCOME” sign. Tap a woodcrafting staff member – in any department – to design and construct sign and posts.

Construction: Use treated exterior wood, such as oak.

Letters: Paint or stain in brightest/darkest hue of hotel’s predominant color scheme color. Examples: Paint color: Dark Lake Blue, 90BG 08/075, or Forest Green 07BG 08/244, both Glidden’s Exterior semi-gloss; Stain: Pine Needle SW3009, Sherwin-Williams.

Sign body and posts: Mask off dry letters. Stain, using ample product. Let penetrate. Wipe with clean, soft cloths. Apply two coats of exterior clear polyurethane to entire sign.

Alternate method: First, stain sign body and posts. Let penetrate. Wipe with clean, soft cloths. Then, paint or stain the letters. Let dry. Last, apply two coats of exterior clear polyurethane. Allow ample dry time between coats.


Area: Lobby Entrance Exterior.


Project: Paint two park benches in a color that matches a color in hotel’s and lobby’s scheme.

Seats/backs: Paint colors: Real Red SW6868, Radish SW6861, or Positive Red SW 6871, all available in Duration, SuperPaint or Resilience Exterior Acrylic Coatings, Sherwin-Williams; Bright Juniper Green C40, 50GY51/437, or Caribbean Sea B40, 56BG 23/355, Glidden’s.

Product type: Glidden’s Heavy-duty exterior high-gloss enamel.

Bench metal frames/braces: Paint color: Black, Glidden’s or Sherwin-Williams. Product type: Rust-proof, fade-proof heavy-duty metal/steel paint.

Finish coat entire bench: One or two coats of exterior heavy-duty clear coat to all surfaces. NOTE: Finish back and underside of bench.


Project: Where’s your mascot? A life-size model belongs at the lobby entrance doors. Freshly painted or stained, and clear-coated.


Areas: Guest Building Exteriors.


Project: Use color scheme that matches front entrance colors that match hotel’s color scheme.

Main color: Light hue of predominant color. Accent color: darker shade in same family.

Alternate color: Darker shade of predominant color. Accent/trim color: light hue of same color.

Alternate: Light hue of predominant color. Accent color: Comparable hue, complementary color.

COLOR TIP: Softer hues invite rest and relaxation, particularly in blues and greens.


Areas/Surfaces: Exterior Signage Around Buildings.


Project: Natural wood signs, that identify indigenous plants, flowers, trees.

Treated new wood: Spray or brush clear stain/sealer onto entire wood area of signs. Wipe dry. Letters/numbers: Hand paint if smaller; spray if larger. One coat fine with premium product. Color idea: Dark shade of darkest color in hotel’s color scheme. Finish coat: Spray entire sign with two finish coats of exterior, heavy-duty clear coating for wood signage.


Project: Wood – painted signs.

Used wood: Clean, wash and sand all surfaces. Prime entire sign and posts. TIP: Spray can primer works great here. Retain light, short spray motions to avoid runs, splotches, corner globs. Letters/numbers: Hand or spray paint. Color idea: Dark shade of darkest color scheme color.

For contrast: If letters/numbers are raised, hand paint sides with contrasting color. Steady hand!

Finish coat: Spray entire sign with two coats of exterior heavy-duty semi-gloss latex or enamel. For contrast: Paint outer edges of entire sign in paint color used for letters/numbers.

DURABILITY TIP: Avoid bright yellows, reds, purples that tend to fade faster.


Areas: Walkways Between Buildings.


Project: “Park-a-Bench”®* along every walkway. More than one is ideal.

TIP: Place a bench along every stretch, between each cross-walk. (* Registration pending: RDH.)


A painter friend at a South Florida hotel spearheaded a staff “Paint-a-Bench”® workshop.


What they did: “Crew” repaired and refinished used park benches located on the property. Also, some staff members got “donations” of unused, unwanted benches from neighboring hotels.

What colors they used: Each park bench was painted in a color that matched or complemented the hotel’s overall color scheme. Protective finish: Two coats, exterior heavy-duty clear coat.

Personal touch: Each park bench was named after an ocean mammal or fish.

How long it took: Period of three months, each “team” completed two or three benches.

Who paid for what: Hotel’s property management company paid for the paint primers and finish products, also thinners and cleaners. A local contractor donated a supply of sandpaper and gently used brushes and rollers. The hotel’s G.M. donated the rolls of plastic sheeting/drop cloths.


COLOR TIP:  Brights excite. Hues subdue.


Thanks to some creative, visionary and  practical G.Ms. and property owners, I’ve had the honor to execute each of the projects suggested here. Each project varied from the overview offered in this post. Much more “creative license” was expected and built into the process. The results: Aesthetically alluring, “amenities” in their own right, and value-adding.



Sometimes, stepping out-of-the-box is the best way to keep in step

with your global community.


Stay safe, everyone. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting Them: Closets with Class

Add appeal, style and even a new life to closets, or closet alcoves, in your hotel, facility – or home.


1. Paint the entire area in a color that complements with the room’s color. Example: Room color: off-white, closet color: light sand.

TIP: Use up some interior paint color no longer needed, because of a property color scheme change.


2. Paint the most visible closet wall in the same color used in the room. Paint the side walls in a contrasting color.


3. Create horizontal border effect on all of the closet walls.

A. Paint lower two-third of walls the same color used in room.

B. Paint upper one-third of walls in white, or contrasting color.

C. Or, reverse it: Contrast or white on lower part, main room’s color as upper border.


4. Paint all walls white, or light tint of the color on room’s walls.

Install wallpaper border on the room wall outside of the closet, running it around walls inside the closet.


5. Install remnant wallcoverings, purchased at paint store. Mix and match.

A. Supplier tip: Check with major local contractors that do a lot of wallcovering installation.

B. Shopping tip: Look for colors that complement or contrast with your regular color scheme.

C. Material tip: Look for white-on-white stripes, subtle patterns, textures that remind you of scenes/areas/amenities on your property.

D. Great find: Commercial grade products. Examples: Designs such as pebbles, grasscloths, hemps; laminated wood veneers; leathers. These wallcoverings are very durable, and usually come in wide panels. NOTE: Many tend to be heavier, and harder to handle.


6. Install wallpaper or vinyl on the most visible wall in the closet, or closet alcove. After painting other walls in lighter hue of nearest room wall color.


7. Install complementary wallcoverings on adjoining walls of closet, or closet alcove.



Colors: Keep it/them light, and neutral.

Textures: Keep it/them durable, easy-to-clean and similar.

Patterns: Keep them complementary to others in the area, and to those used in adjoining room.

Special Effects: As creative as you can get. As creative as management will let you be.

Panel directions: Horizontal, vertical, diagonal. Whatever!




A relative in Ohio moved into a large corner studio in an assisted living facility. She had one window. It overlooked the end of a parking lot. She had two closets.


Her grandsons decided to turn the smaller closet into a work-computer space for Grandma Anne.


1. They installed a soft, pink-on-white vertical striped wallpaper on the room’s wall, adjacent to the window wall.

2. They installed the same wallcovering on the two side walls of the closet.

3. On the closet’s back wall, they installed a “window garden scene” panel of wallpaper, with the same pink-on-white pattern/background as the panels hung on the closet’s side walls.

4. Inside the closet, they installed a remnant white marble laminate counter.

5. On one end, they installed adjustable shelving, that faced the counter, not the doorway.

6. Under the counter, they slid in a two-drawer metal cabinet, repainted high-gloss petal pink.

7. With management’s written authorization, the grandsons ran a multiple-plug panel from the room’s nearest outlet, into the closet, on the floor. No lighting fixtures were installed in the closet. Mainly because of code regulations and property restrictions.


Today, Anne sits at her counter…emails family and friends…does on-line personal business…and enjoys the special outside view.


Closets can be great fun to decorate.


The creative opportunities are endless. Their smaller dimensions, standardly, make them perfect spots to use up fabulous, left-over, better or top quality products and materials. To experiment with new layouts, and techniques. To try new combinations of colors, patterns and textures.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Try a closet on for size! Make each one a little unique!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you for taking an interest in your space. And for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.



Painters and decorators are always on the lookout for better, easier ways to run their paintshops, and workshops. Example: I keep an electronic “guidebook.” Tabbed and indexed. Set up so I can select, then print out any part, as needed. Some part of it goes with me, nearly everywhere.


Thirteen tips from Bob’s Painting and Decorating Guidebook.©

1.Keep sandpaper sheets and scraps organized.

Needed: Expandable accordion-style file folder – $4.99 up.

A. Assign/label each compartment a sandpaper grid number.

B. Include the following categories: Emery, Discs, Dovetail, Screens

C. File your sandpaper in the appropriate section.


2. Organize your small supply of screws, nut, bolts, washers, etc.

Needed: Plastic organizer box, with adjustable or molded dividers.

A. Place each type and length of screw in a separate section.

B. On lid, draw horizontal and vertical lines that correspond with dividers inside.

C. Label each section with the type and size of pieces shown underneath. Use permanent marker pen tip.


3. Organize your small supply of nails in the same way.


4. Use a self-made wall and shelf unit to store extra shop-vac hose and attachments.

Building tips: Backboard: Plywood, 3/4 or 1 inch; shelf: 1 inch. Attachment holders: Plastic pvc/plumbing connectors. Hose: Garden hose holder/bracket, wall-mount.


5. Make tack cloths for wood finishing from cheesecloth. Excellent, affordable choice!

Needed: 1 or 2 yards of new/clean cheesecloth – dense weave.

A. Cut cheesecloth into 6-inch or 12-inch squares.

B. In discarded small cooking pot, bring linseed oil and varnish to boil. Remove from heat.

C. Dampen cheesecloth squares in mixture.

D. Store in covered, heavy glass jars, with tight lid.


6. Revitalize paint brushes, hardened with old product.

A. Shellac residue – Soak overnight in alcohol. Rinse and wash in trisodium phosphate (tsp) solution. Use brush comb to help clean and condition bristles.

B. Other products – Soak in paint and varnish stripper to dissolve gunk. Rinse with TSP and comb. Product examples: Latex, polyurethane, wood finisher.

C. Dried product solvent known – Soak brush in that product. Example: lacquer thinner.

— Then use a stripper. Product examples: StripX Stripper, Woodfinisher’s Pride.


7. Evaporate water-based paint products safely before disposing of cans.

A. Set open cans in ventilated area.

B. Allow old product to evaporate completely.

C. Replace lids on cans, if possible.


8. Dispose of left-over oil-based products, solvents, paint removers, and most water-based products at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.

A. Store in cool, dark, dry location in paint shop.

B. Keep out of sunlight, and off of damp concrete floor.

C. Leave each product in original container, with its label still affixed and legible as possible.

TIP: If label is not legible (dried paint), print product name on outside of can, using black permanent marking pen.


9. De-activate oil and other chemicals soaked into old rags.

A. Drop used rags into bucket of water, when through with them.

B. Properly dispose of rags at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.


10. Choose chemical strippers with care. Then, follow label instructions.

A. Avoid dangerous solvents. Examples: Methylene chloride, acetone, tuolene, xylene.

B. Safer choices: Organic-active ingredients; slow evaporation.


11. Use plenty of sawdust shavings to soak up residue from chemical stripping.


12. Store finishing and other flammable products in sturdy, locked metal cabinet.

TIP: A used office cabinet works for this.


13. Keep assortment of clean steel wool/abrasive pads in shop.


My father showed me how to set up a paint shop. He made it very clear WHY it was important to know that. I was only 10 or 11.
“Suppose you have two minutes to grab your tools, and head out to the site. What can you afford to show up without? Nothing, Son, when you need it NOW!”




FREE GO-TO GUIDES: Click on post: Steel Wool Guide and Sandpaper Grit Chart.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Special thanks to the following: and’s group; also,

Home Depot’s Bill, and; and’s commercial consulting.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob,” and for connecting.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

Painting Gardens, Rest Areas and Walking Trails – Part II

In Part 1, I offered a few tips for finishing and maintaining five areas on hotel property: decks; roofs, covers, overhangs; rails and fences; seating; and tables. Those tips were based on personal experience.


Tips for finishing and maintaining areas 6 through 12 are offered here.




Note: With many hotel properties, substrate, electrical and mechanical repairs and maintenance of these areas are handled by a specialist. An engineering technician. Or, an outside contractor.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Fill all cracks in concrete.

B. Prepping: Scrape loose paint. Or, sandblast to remove all of the paint from surfaces

C. Painting and coating: Apply two coats by brush and roller. Use roller cover at least ¾ inch diameter.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Paint – Urethane or epoxy formulated for concrete; Brushes – China bristle; Roller covers – Synthetic fiber.

E. Challenge:
Finding time in humid air conditions, when surface is completely dry – and paintable!


7. GROUND BORDERS: WOOD, BRICK, STONE, CONCRETE – Caution: Watch your step/stumbling/where kneeling. Avoid creepy crawlers.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Replace all broken, chipped, sharp pieces/areas.

B. Prepping: Pressure clean non-painted surfaces.

C. Painting and finishing: Wood timbers can be finished with exterior stain, or oil-based products to resist moisture and sun. Brush and roller techniques are recommended, for best coverage and neat job.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Masonry patching compound; alkyd enamel, semi-transparent or solid color exterior stain, acrylic latex stain.

E. Challenge: Produce a surface finish which stays cleaner longer, and always looks great!


8. FLOWER and PLANT BOXES – Caution: Wildlife, creepy crawlers.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Tightly fasten boxes.

B. Prepping: Line boxes with plastic, or asphalt paper. Often store-purchased boxes are sold with lining.

C. Painting and finishing: Prime bare wood, finish paint with moisture and sun resistant paint; or apply multiple coats of exterior stain, then finish coat with urethane or Spar varnish.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Solid oil stain or alkyd enamel. Spray can application works!

E. Challenge: Make certain squared/sharp corners, adornments, etc. are (1) smooth to touch and (2) clear of human traffic pattern.




Reminder: Our bird and animal friends rely on us to look out for them, and respect their needs.

Note: Generally, paint products are not recommended for bird and animal feeders.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Replace feeders that have surface cracks, chips, breaks, etc. Tightly affix to posts, frames, or extensions.

B. Prepping: Carefully clean surfaces with gentle soap and water. Please, no abrasives or chemicals.

C. Painting and finishing: Exterior stain works well on wood parts.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Exterior stain on wood parts. Avoid paint.

E. Challenge: To apply stain/finish, remove feeders from bird/animal use area. If possible.




Note: Most hotel and lodging exterior furniture is constructed of plastic, and/or is vinyl or powder coated.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Remove and replace furniture that has worn, frayed, sharp, loose parts, components, and areas. Regularly, check all pieces for stability. You do not want a chair to collapse, with a guest in it. You do not want a table to tip over or collapse because of too much weight, or a weak spot.

General cleaning: Scrub with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. Mold/mildew removal: Wash down area with gentle bleach and water solution, or a biodegradable product. Rinse very thoroughly.

B. Challenge: Keeping on top of build-ups: mold, mildew, dust, dirt, food/beverage spills, body residue.



11. LIGHT FIXTURES, SYSTEMS, POSTS – CAUTION: HOT ZONE! – Power lines, cables, etc.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Any electrical work should be left to staff, or outside, electricians.

B. Prepping: Clean surface; sand, if necessary, to remove loose debris. Prime bare areas with suitable primer, either for concrete or metal.

C. Painting/finishing: Prime bare areas with suitable primer (wood, metal, concrete) to remove debris.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Concrete surfaces – Acrylic latex products; meta; – oil-based. Tools – Brushes and rollers. Equipment – Manlift needed to access and work safely in area.

E. Challenge: Safely accessing and working on high and/or hard to reach areas.



12. SIGNAGE – Caution: Any power sources/lines involved?


Note: Read “The Art of Sign Painting” blog, posted August, 2015, for commercial sign painting tips.


A. Repairs and maintenance: If the base is cracked, replace the sign material. Carefully, wash surface with a detergent and water solution. Brush gently to remove all accumulated dust, residue, grit, etc.

B. Prepping: Remove all old, cracked letters, numbers, graphics, etc. Remove any left-over fasteners that may have been used to affix components to sign base. Sand entire surface smooth.

C. Painting and finishing: Paint base of sign with exterior oil-based product. Apply stencils. Affix new or repaired graphics, logos, etc. Brush in letters, numbers; borders and edgings for affixed components.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Products – Commercial lettering oil paint, clear coat to help keep dirt and residue off letters, numbers, affixed pieces. Brushes – Assorted artist brushes. Stencils. Tools – Electric sander.

E. Challenge: Keeping signage clean from exposure to wide variety of contaminants – environmental and man-made. Preventing or minimizing damage, wear, rotting, etc.




Note: Many hotels, resorts and convention centers feature garden and rest areas that are fully enclosed.

Amenable for use 24 hours a day, and year round. These amenities are climate-controlled, especially regulated to protect and preserve the flora and fauna.

Challenge: Care and maintenance of the many types of surfaces in a regular and timely manner. Requires painter to possess a diverse of knowledge of atrium/under-roof construction and configuration, surfaces and areas, and both existing and potential environmental conditions, Painter needs standard and special knowledge and abilities, related to surface/area treatments, products, supplies, tools and equipment.


Maintaining and repainting and refinishing these areas tends to involve more work, time and money than budgeted for them by management. Do your best to keep these special areas in great shape.


In the short-run, your guests, visitors and co-workers will love you for it. In the long-run, your supervisor, hotel managers, and property owners will appreciate your efforts.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Any quiet space is a soft place for any soul to sit and simply be!   rdh

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Many thanks for your great emails, snail’s mail, and calls. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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


Painting Lessons Anyone Can Learn


  1. Cover the floor. Unless you’re painting it, now.


  1. The same goes for the furniture and fixtures, bushes and flowers, walkways, etc.


  1. Remove, or cover, whatever you’re not going to paint at the time.


  1. Promptly, clean up after yourself. Paint drips, drops, splatters, spills, etc.


  1. Post “WET PAINT” signs while you’re still painting in the area. After is too late!


  1. Rope or barricade off your work area as much as possible -with safety always in mind.


  1. Clean your used brushes and/or roller covers a.s.a.p. With a product-appropriate solution.


  1. Tape over, or remove, electric outlet covers before you do any work in the room/area.


  1. Unplug all electric tools before leaving your work area.


  1. Always use the tool or equipment safety shields/covers. They’re provided for a good reason.


  1. Keep all sharp supplies and tools in a secured place. Do not let them laying around.


  1. Put paint/finish/solvent container lids tightly back on containers before you leave area.


  1. Read the product label. Even if you’ve purchased, and used, the same product many times. Manufacturers do change instructions.


  1. Follow manufacturer instructions for all products and materials.


  1. Protect your skin when working around any toxic or hazardous chemicals, conditions, etc.


  1. Wear disposable full-body suits and shoe covers, when cleaning larger areas, or worse infestations, of toxic mold and mildew. Promptly, bag and throw out after finished.


  1. Wear snugly-fitting eye goggles, when using any product, materials, tool, or equipment that can emit damaging fumes, particles, etc.


  1. Use a breathing mask, or apparatus, every time you use product containing chemicals, harmful health and environmental agents.


  1. Clearly label all containers of solvents.


  1. Store, under lock and key, all toxic and hazardous products. No exceptions. No excuses. Be super careful around areas used by children, disabled, impaired.


  1. On a large area, do not use any product or material new to you. First, test on a small, hidden spot.


  1. Ask for help from someone that knows more than you do about a product, technique, problem, etc. That person was less knowledgeable and experienced at one time, too.


  1. Try not to climb a tall ladder, while carrying any open container of paint, finish, solvent, etc.


  1. Open the cutting blade when you’re in position. Before then, keep closed, and secure in tool belt. (Assuming you’re wearing it.)


  1. Quickly, turn off electric paint mixer when finished. Unplug, unless you’ll be using it again within 5 minutes.


  1. Unplug all electric tools and equipment when not in use.


  1. Put away all tools and equipment at the end of each work day or shift.


  1. Wash your face, hands, wrists, and arms with soap before every break, and before you leave work for the day.




Pay attention to what you’re doing. What you’re using.


Pay attention to where you’re at – and who else is around.


Watch where you’re going!


Use whatever common sense you’ve got. And, find some more – when you’re running short.


Wear that back brace when lifting, carrying, hoisting, bending, climbing, etc.


Wear knee pads when working on your knees for an extended period of time. Or, repeatedly.




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Many thanks for doing more than your share.

And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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



Designing with Graphics Using Wallcoverings


Rainbow Farm in Vinyl

Blue Sphere













Various types of wall covering can be applied to achieve part or all of your chosen graphic design. The possibilities are endless because a very wide selection is available.


About “Rainbow Farm in Vinyl”: Graphic design covers two adjacent corner walls. Overall dimensions: 42 feet length by 9 feet height. Design features abstract symbols of a modern recreation farm: buildings and structures, flowers and gardens, fields with lush crops, animals, Christmas tree nursery, vehicles. Templated symbols were cut from commercial-grade vinyls. The variety of colorful and textured remnants came from two large elementary school projects.


About “Blue Sphere”: Graphics free-form stripe wraps around two adjacent walls, trailing into a large walk-in closet. Overall dimensions: 12 feet-to-8 feet-to-9 feet length by 8 feet-to-6 feet height. Design features one graduated, 12-inch to 8-inch horizontal stripe. Free-style form was cut from mini-pebble textured commercial vinyl, spliced into already-installed off-white decorative stone-textured ceiling-to-floor commercial vinyl.


The layout is similar to the painting process. The work can be compared to doing a puzzle.


Before you can install the wallcovering, many pieces of various sizes and shape will have to be fashioned.


Each separate piece will need to be pasted with the appropriate adhesive or paste. NOTE: Some will require vinyl paste while others may need wheat or cellulose.


The following process is meant for the skilled paperhanger.




1. Create a paper sketch of wall area.


2. Sketch in your design to scale.


3. Use grid paper, or graphic software program. Example: 1 inch = 1 foot.

A. Number each piece within design.

B. Use larger grid paper to transfer shapes to full-size.

C. Gridded architectural or engineering paper works great for this.

D. Be certain to number each piece to correspond to piece’s number in sketch.




1. To apply wallcovering to stripe areas, pre-trim pieces on zinc strip to fit.


2. Then, paste material. Be sure to use the paste/adhesive appropriate for that piece.


TIP: I’ve used small, neon-colored sticky notes to “label” front of each piece. Here’s how:

On 8 ½ inch by 14 inch paper, I’ve made a chart. I glued tiny sample of each type of wallcovering to be used. Next, I wrote the type of paste/adhesive to be used for that type of covering. Then, I assigned a neon color sticky note to each type, and adhered one alongside the corresponding wallcovering sample.


3. Butt (align) the seams of the pieces and smooth out wallcovering.


4. When several pieces are fitted, use a straight edge and razor knife to trim excess to even out any edge or seam joint. Much patience is needed here.


5. Where irregular sized and shaped pieces are to fit irregular sized and shaped pieces, I recommend one or both of the following methods:


  1. Method 1: Pre-cut each piece.
  2. Match each piece to a template, before adhering to wall with paste/adhesive.
  3. Several pieces, that will adjoin each other, can be trimmed and matched together at the paste table before applying.


  1. Method 2: Overlap the seams of adjoining pieces.
  2. Double-cut through the two layers.
  3. With straight lines, trimming is easy.


TIP 1: When making curved or arched cuts, always make up plastic templates that precisely match the curvature of the penciled line. Normally, you will need only a half dozen to allow for the making of your other cuts.


TIP 2: Change your razor blades more regularly.


6. Smooth all wall covering in multiple directions to remove creases and bubbles.


7. Using a seam roller, press down all seams and edges.


8. Use just enough pressure to adhere the wallcovering piece to the substrate.


9. Work quickly while ensuring a perfect job.


10. Wash the seam roller as needed.


TIP: In some instances, it is invaluable to use special seam glue and a heat gun to manipulate the material more precisely.


Remember: All wall coverings are not applied using the same method.


TIP: If various types of coverings are used, be ready to work with each one a little differently to fit each piece of the graphics together.


A large graphic design project . . .


On one occasion, I applied a vinyl graphics design in a corridor over one hundred and fifty feet long. It turned out magnificent in the end. However, it was difficult to achieve. The entire length of the hallway set on a slope. And the stripes and curves, that made up the design, were at eye level.


When doing graphics using wallcovering, both patience and precision are required to achieve favorable results.


And remember: Create a sample first!


Footnote: Fortunately, creating great graphics using wallcoverings is a breeze, compared to trying to transfer media files into this post. Any tips from anyone?  Thanks in advance!


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

Painting Gardens, Rest Areas and Walking Trails – Part I

Interior and exterior gardens, rest areas and walking paths are valuable amenities of any hotel property. They benefit hotel guests, visitors and staff members. They provide natural or “near-to-nature” settings for:


. enjoying quieter moments, meditating, taking in nature;

. taking breaks, eating a snack;

. de-stressing, calming down;

. reading, writing, contemplating, thinking more clearly;

. visiting briefly with a co-worker, or another guest/visitor.


Too often, these special havens are not a high priority, when planning and scheduling painting/decorating projects around the hotel property. When identifying and handling maintenance projects. When budgeting – finding the money – to take care of them.


The surfaces of these wonderful areas deserve special treatment and attention. How do we keep each of them in good – make that excellent – shape?


Tips for decks; roofs, covers, overhangs; rails, fences; seating; and tables. 

1. DECKS – Caution: Steps, ramps, rails, banisters, etc.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure boards, rails, banisters where loose or protruding from surface. Make certain that fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) are recessed below the surface. Check that metal and glass pieces are smooth. Regularly, pressure-clean with bleach solution, to kill and remove mold or fungus.

B. Prepping: Sweep surfaces free of debris. Apply sealer to surfaces.

C. Painting and finishing: Apply appropriate primer formulated for decks. Apply exterior oil stain, solid or semi-transparent. If using paint, apply exterior gloss oil or enamel finishing product.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Oil stains, enamel, epoxy; brushes, rollers, spray equipment.

E. Challenge: High exposure to sun, rain/moisture, shoes, wheels, sharp objects, things that stain.

Tip: Suggest products with high level of environmental exposure resistance.


2. ROOFS/COVERS/OVERHANGS – Caution: Sharp edges, heights, reaching angles.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Replace rotting or damaged soffitts and fascia boards. Use galvanized fasteners to reduce corrosion; make certain they are flush with or recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Caulk seams, cracks, joints in wood. Properly cover adjacent non-painted areas; tape down edges and corners of covering. Recommend: Plastic sheeting, available in different mill weights.

C. Painting and finishing: Prime wood with exterior oil-based product. Use exterior acrylic latex, oil-based, or solid or semi-transparent oil-based stain.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use airless paint sprayer system to apply a uniform paint thickness. Use similar system/equipment to apply stain and finish coating over large area.

E. Challenge: Accessibility. Climbing ladders and positioning to use equipment and to do job safely.


3. RAILS and FENCES – Caution: Sharp edges, small spaces, inflexible components.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Make certain fasteners are tight, and recessed below the surface. Pressure clean all areas to remove algae, mildew, soil, dirt, dust, etc.

B. Prepping: Sand sharp edges. Use filler to fill in holes, cracks, small crevices. Use exterior primer if using a paint-type system. Cover all nearby surfaces not to be painted; tape down edges and corners.

C. Painting and finishing: Spray paint onto surface, using a conventional or airless spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use oil-based solid color, or semi-transparent stain. Or use acrylic exterior latex as a topcoat.

E. Challenge: Try to prevent paint overspray from reaching non-painted surfaces (eg. flowers, trees, bushes, grass); areas finished with another specialty coating (eg. automotive, traffic, recreation); surfaces coated by manufacturer ( eg. playground equipment), etc.




A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure wood structures, so there is limited movement. Make sure that all fasteners are recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Sand and wood fill all areas that are not smooth to the touch.

C. Painting and finishing:
Use a hard finish. Wet sand between coats.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use medium nap roller cover and frame to apply paint product.

E. Challenge: Try to provide a surface that is safe for contact by skin; also is very durable and washable.


5. TABLES – Caution: Super-heavy weight; shape, cumbersome to move/manipulate.


A. Repairs and maintenance: Metal – Secure broken welds. Wood – Repair damaged surfaces with filler.

B. Prepping: Metal – Remove rust using sandpaper, wire brush, steel wool, etc. Wood – Sand surface with appropriate abrasive material to achieve preferred smoothness.

C. Painting and finishing: Use a hard finish. For a premium finish, use a HVLP spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Products – Hard finishing – eg. enamel, urethane, polyurethane, varnishes. Tools – Low-nap roller cover, when applying finish.

E. Challenge: Try to provide superior hard surface that is resistant to chemicals, frequent cleanings, environmental exposure, frequent use, surface abuse and wear, etc.


It helps to know a few other facts about each area. Examples:


  1. How often area is used: Infrequently, sometimes, often; a heavy traffic area.
  2. When used: Mainly, mornings, afternoons, or evenings; on and off all day; regularly; weekends only.
  3. Who uses the area: Age groups, individuals, families; staff, locals, natives, foreign visitors.
  4. What accommodations it must meet: Blind, hearing/smelling/touching-impaired, wheelchair/walkers.
  5. Why persons are there: Work there; supplier/contractor; vacation; business; conference; area events.
  6. How long area is used: Short-term, extended-stay, long-term, indefinitely.


Keeping gardens, rest areas and walking trails in good shape is a daily work-in-progress. It’s a lot of fun. And, it’s fulfilling. Especially later, when you see co-workers, guests, and visitors enjoying them.


(See Part II: Fountains; ground borders; flower and plant boxes; bird and animal feeders; other furniture; lighting and light posts; and signage.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gardens are a natural source of energy and rebirth.  rdh

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

Painting Them: Indoor and Outdoor Garden Area: Introduction to Care

What makes a garden really stand out consists of more than just flowers and plants.


Start with a do it yourself landscape design first. And, let your creative juices flow.


“Painting” is usually secondary to selecting the structural elements you incorporate into your garden. These would be a bridge, an arbor, a trellis, a deck, wood fencing, and even signage.


Elements of Wood


Once the elements are in place, if they are constructed of wood, they will need protection from the environment, wildlife, people, etc. Especially water!


For durability and protection from fungus and rotting, I recommend the following:


  1. Prime wood with an oil-based product. Apply “two coats” acrylic latex or oil base material.

Apply clear wood preservative (a very effective add-on.) ex. Thompson’s Water Seal or

Sonneborn sealants.


  1. Apply “two coats” solid color oil-based stain. Apply a clear wood preservative.


  1. Pre-finish the surface with an oil-based primer. Apply elastomeric finish as a top coat.


  1. Wood can be finished with a clear waterproofing coating to preserve natural look.


  1. For signage, use acrylic latex or oil-based finish, then an acrylic clear finish for protection.


  1. For wood products, embedded below grade, I recommend using a creosote or

other tar-based product to reduce the chances of wood rot.


Once the garden’s amenities have been installed, set a schedule for their regular upkeep. This would involve cleaning.

  1. Recommended: either a biodegradable cleaning agent, or a bicarbonate solution which is harmless to plants.
  2. When cleaning mold infested exterior surfaces do not use bleach. It will burn the leaves of your plants.


In some cases, I would advise using stone for building walkways and bridges, rather than a high maintenance wood product. In any case, you want to use a paint which resists moisture penetration.


Then there will be more quality time available to look at the flowers, versus the rotting wood.


A garden can be a wonderful place for a painting project. And, one of the most relaxing places to soothe the stresses of the day.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Create a garden spot for others to enjoy with you, and for you to honor alone.

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

Tag Cloud