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Archive for March, 2016

Painting on a Crew Versus Painting on a Staff

Generally, a new painter is welcomed more warmly onto a contractor’s crew, than onto a hotel’s or facility’s team.

 

Paint crews, more than workplace teams, tend to appreciate more readily that extra braun and brains. They tend to work the new person into the group almost immediately. They’re more concerned with getting the job or project done right, on schedule and within budget. Than on one-upping each other on the job.

 

Individuals on the crew feel less threatened, than they might on teams. Their positions tend to be more stable. They tend to accept and work around each other’s idiosyncrasies and personalities, with greater group purpose and focus. Usually, their place in the organization is clear from day one.

 

And, a new painter on a crew tends to know why he or she is there. What is expected, what is acceptable, and what is not allowed.

 

In February, as I battled a major allergic rash to something, an area contractor cornered me in our internist’s office.

 

“I read your painter’s blog. Write something about painters on construction crews, versus painters on hotel/facility staffs. I have found the two types of painters to be very different. I’ve found that one has a greater difficulty adapting – making it work – in the other job place…”

 

Well, S. M., you make a good point.

 

I don’t know the numbers: how many construction crew painters switch over to hotel/facility painting, or vice versa. And, I don’t know which type of painters tend to adapt and adjust better to the other employee situation.

 

Based on my experience – and what painter friends have told me, the construction-type painters tend to make a go of the staff job much better than the other way around.

 

Perhaps, it has a lot to do with extent and diversity of experience, and range of skills and abilities – as a trade painter and decorator. I worked on the contractor – paint crew – side for over twenty years, before working as a hotel/facility staff painter.

 

The transition proved relatively easy for me. And, I loved it! You’d have to ask my hotel supervisor, and management, how my being there worked for them.

 

While you’re at it, you might want to chat with hotel/facility painters that have transferred over to paint crew work. Ask why they switched.

 

I’ve known more than nine painters that have switched (not many, really).

  1. Five joined non-union shops, and liked little except the higher hourly wage.
  2. Three worked as temporary painters, through one or more large franchise construction personnel companies.
  3. One works seasonally with a small, family-run residential contractor.
  4. None went the route of attending apprentice school, and earning IUPAT, or CAS, accreditation.

 

My personal opinion: It depends on the painter.

 

  1. Why is he or she painting for a living?
  2. At the end of each day, how does he or she want to feel about what you did that day?
  3. What kind of financial security does he or she need to sustain him? And, perhaps a family?
  4. What kind of career goals (plural here) is he or she aiming for?
  5. When he or she decides to retire, what kind of legacy does he or she want to leave behind? As a painter? As a person? As a citizen of this planet?

Bottom line: Painting is considered a profession, or a job. As a professional, the results left behind need to be virtually the same. Wherever that painter applies his or her brush or roller. Whether as a painter working on a paint crew, or as the/a painter on a hotel or facility staff.

 

To me, it’s not about where you work, or where you paint for a living. It’s about how you work, wherever you paint. For a living, or as a favor for a relative or friend.

 

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Paint with purpose and respect: for people, property and the environment!

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Thanks for staying with it. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

14 Favors to Do for Your Replacement

You’re leaving the painter’s job at the hotel or facility. A new painter will be taking over.

Your aim should always be to leave the “Painter’s Post,” Paintshop,” and all related support systems in top shape for your successor.

 

You can play a key role in the new painter’s ability to start on the right foot. He or she needs and deserves:

(a) to be welcomed warmly by your former “family” – teammates and managers;

(b) to adjust well to his or her new workplace, system, and company policies;

(c) to learn to do the job needed and expected, and,

(d) to reach the confidence level needed to be a vital, valuable member of that “community.”

 

You want to do everything that you can – during your last week or two there – to ensure that he or she will be glad about accepting the job.

 
1. Leave him or her a list or chart about the following: (a) standard tasks, (b) usual work orders, (c) current projects, (d) departmental troubleshooting projects, (d) projects on the agenda, and, (e) projects on hold because of budgetary/management constraints.

 

2. Leave an up-to-date list of products, materials and supplies that (a) have been ordered for necessary, basic use; (b) have been requisitioned but put on hold; (c) were requisitioned but turned down; (d) need to be ordered for current projects; and (e) need to be requisitioned for upcoming projects.

 

3. Leave a list of little “inside” job secrets, and handy-to-know things.

 

4. Encourage your department teammates, fellow staff members and supervisor(s) to treat the new guy right! To include him or her in their lunch groups. And, to cut him or her some slack.

 

5. Finish as many uncompleted orders and small-to-mid sized projects as you can. Note: You may need to prioritize a bit.

 

6. Prepare and leave a simple guide that correlates with the company’s “Painter” job description.

 

7. Update the Paintshop inventory list. And, leave it in an easy-to-see place.

 

8. Sort, organize and shelve – in a handy spot – all manuals, MSDSs, spec sheets, guides, tutorials, videos, tapes, etc.

 

9. Clear out, clean up and straighten up the Paintshop.

 

10. Clearly label, then organize and properly store all product containers.

 

11. Leave all essential tools and equipment in good-to-go working order. Well, the best that you can do. Note: Thoroughly clean all painting and finishing tools and equipment used regularly.

 

12. Clean, launder, fold, and store all dropcloths; reusable “suit-ups,” hats/caps, work gloves, etc.

 

13. Clean out, vacuum, wash, and wax the “Painter’s Golf Cart.”

– Put air in the tires. Fully charge the battery(ies). Clean the windshield, and fill the wiper fluid reservoir. If gas-operated, fill up the tank the last day you’re there.

 

14. Leave your desk, computer, mobile devices, and related spaces ready for the new person. TIP – LAST DAY: Before you clock out, delete your user/access name, password, security/I.D., number, plus all personnel, personal, and other information.

 

BONUS: If supervisors and management approve, offer to be available to the new painter for questions – on a limited basis. Until he or she gets settled and learns the ropes. TIP: Especially helpful if you were there more than five years.

BONUS: To the best of your ability, leave the “Painter” name/title in real good shape there.

BONUS: Leave behind a good – make that great – “Paintshop” reputation.

SUPER BONUS: If appropriate, leave a “Best Wishes” or “Good Luck” card for the new painter. Keep it light, and very brief.

 

AFTER YOU LEAVE: Stay away from the business, and off of the property. For one full year, at least. Exceptions: You need to pick up or drop off something. You’re applying for a job opening. You’ve been invited there for a specific, appropriate reason. TIP: Go straight to the designated area. Do not pass “GO.”

 

Give the new painter a good chance to get settled, find his or her way around, make friends, gain support, and succeed!

 

You want the new painter to be glad that he or she is there. A part of the engineering/facility services team. And, a part of the organization!

 

You have the power! The new painter’s success may depend on how you leave things there. (Realizing that some things tend to be out of your control.)

You can leave behind a shining – and lasting – example of integrity, honesty, fair play, respect, friendship, and, professionalism.

A legacy that the new painter can build upon, to succeed in his or her own way.

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A painter’s most trusted friend can be the painter that he or she is replacing.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part II

In “Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part I,” posted February 10, 2o16, we covered a giant chessboard project that turned into a huge mess.

 

Here, we cover how the unique project – exterior driveway and courtyard, and interior main hallway, of a retired Chess champion’s large residence — was re-done. Beautifully! And right!

 

HOW THE PROJECT GOT STRAIGHTENED OUT

 

** A new paint crew came on board, and started from step one. **

 

 

PREP WORK OF ALL SURFACES

 

1. Lightly sanded driveway, courtyard and hallway.

2. Re-measured all three areas; then re-gridded surfaces, locating axis and connection points.

 

EXTERIOR AREAS – Driveway and Courtyard

 

1. Sprayed S-W 30 Seconds Outdoor Painter’s Prep Cleaner (124-7485) onto both surfaces.

2. Hosed off both areas. Let dry completely (4 hours).

3.  Sprayed H&C Concrete Etch Solution onto driveway and courtyard areas.

4. Plumb-lined, then taped grid lines and block edges. Tape: ScotchBlue 2097; 2090.

5. Labeled Autumn Brown and Natural Tan blocks, on grid. Used color-coded tapes.

6. Cut in, then painted Tan blocks on driveway. H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/Sealer, S-B.

— Two, 2-men teams worked from center of each row outward, in opposite direction.

— First man on team cut in, then second filled in blocks. Rollers: 3/8 in. nap by 3 in., and 9 in.

7. Cut in, then painted Autumn Brown blocks. Followed technique used in No. 5.

8. Rolled first coat of H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look on driveway. Rollers: ¼ in. nap x 12 inch.

9. Cut in, then painted courtyard chessboard: Natural Tan blocks, then Autumn Brown.

10. Rolled on first coat H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look onto courtyard. Roller: ¼ in. nap x 12 in.

— Let surface dry for 24 hours.

11. Rolled on second coat of H&C Wet Look. SharkGrip Slip Resistant Additive mixed in paint.

12. Sprayed one coat of H&C Concrete & Driveway Protector onto both surfaces.

 

INTERIOR AREA – Floor/Main Hallway

 

1. Covered hallway walls with 4-mil plastic sheeting; ceiling with 6-mil.

— Used special masking tape; walls papered in Grass Cloth.

2. Smooth-sanded wood floor, using graduated grit disks, 400-to-1000, on orbital sander.

— Thoroughly vacuumed after each grit sanding.

3. Primed with S-W Multi-purpose (wood)*. Roller: ¼ in. nap x 12 in. roller. * Primer optional.

4. Plumb-lined, then taped grid lines and block edges. Used T-square to “square” all corners.

Tape: ScotchBlue 2090/Orig. Multi-use; 2080EL/Advanced Delicate.

5. Labeled Meadow Brown and Naturel Tan blocks, from axis out. Used color-coded tape.

6. Cut in, then painted Tan blocks, front doorway to back entry.

Paint: S&W Porch and Floor Enamel. Brushes: 1 ½ in./angled; Rollers: 3/8 in. nap x 9 in.

7. Cut in, then painted Meadow Brown blocks. Brushes, rollers: Same as for Tan blocks

8. Let area dry for 24 hours.

9. Gently “glass-sanded” floor; carefully vacuumed immediately.

10. “Fan-sprayed” on Sherwin-Williams MinWax Polyurethane, semi-gloss clear.

NOTE: Everyone on the team closely followed paint manufacturers’ instructions for each product.

 

WHO DID RE-DO PROJECT

 

1. 5 Journey-level painters, including foreman;* also 1 apprentice.

— 5 experienced in application of specialty exterior products.

— 1 also highly skilled decorative painter/finisher – interior work.

* Note: Journey foreman also served as project manager, with over 21 years of experience.

 

HOW LONG RE-DO PROJECT TOOK

 

1. Prep work: 3 days.

2. Painting: 8 days.

3. Clean-up: 1 full day.

* Note: Time did not include “rained out” days. (There were four.)

 

WHAT PAINT PRODUCTS WERE USED – A Summary

 

* Exterior surfaces: Sherwin-Williams 30 Seconds Outdoor Painter’s prep Cleaner; S-W H&C Concrete Etch Solution; S-W H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/Sealer, solvent-based; S-W H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look (topcoat); S-W H&C SharpGrip Slip-Resistant Additive; S-W H&C Concrete & Driveway Protector.

* Interior surface: S-W Multi-Purpose (wood) Primer; S-W Porch and Floor Enamel, satin: Meadow Trail (Brown), Naturel Tan; S-W MinWax Polyurethane Super Fast Dry, semi-gloss.

 

WHAT PROJECT COST – Approximate

 

1. Original estimate:   Paint: $5,200 Labor: $ 2,400 Total: $7,600

2. Rescue/Re-Do cost: Paint Products: $15,043.83 Labor: $10,060 Total: 25,103.83*

* Does not include cost for tools and supplies.

3. ** Owner cost: Paint: $0.00; Supplies: $0.00; Labor: $0.00; Legal fees: $4,000. Total: $4,000

** Final figures, after settlement.

 

See upcoming post: “Chessboard Project Supplies Chart and Computations.”

 

WHO PAID FOR PROJECT RE-DO

 

Final decision: “Split responsibility.” Real estate company that “subcontracted” job to painting contractor, that employed first two painters. * Original paint crew’s work was not guaranteed.

 

HOW DIFFICULT “CHESSBOARD” WAS TO STRAIGHTEN OUT

 

“It could have been worse,” said the paint foreman/project manager, a retired IUPAT member from N.W. Indiana. He’d moved to Florida in 1995 to get the opportunity to work on “extreme, detail projects.” I have to say: That guy was really in his element. And, an amazing craftsman!

 

How I was involved in project

 

Found paint foreman/project manager, helped identify crew members; helped with product selection, surface testing, and estimating; advised about layout, gridding, and procedures. (My services were gratis. A family friend of property owner.)

 

See upcoming post: “Chessboard Project Supplies Chart and Computations.”

 

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Complicated jobs are nothing more than simple jobs with more steps.

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Have a safe and satisfying day, everyone. And, many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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