Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

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.)

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Gardens are a natural source of energy and rebirth.  rdh

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


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