Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

 

On a warehouse store project, I needed to paint miles of stripes on the concrete floors. Using a small supply cart, with lockable wheels, was the most effective and low-stress way to get it done.

 

A painter’s ability changes with age, injury and illness.

 

So what’s new? You will still be able to plan and carry out a job very successfully.  And, when something not in your control is added to the job? Adapt and adopt!

 

KEY TIP: Know what your abilities are before you begin a new project, or sign on with a new employer. And, “suit up” – prepare – accordingly.

 

KEY TIP: Find creative ways to perform the work.

 

KEY TIP: Get 21st century savvy in project scheduling, completing under budget, and meeting – even exceeding – your employer’s and customer’s/guests quality expectations.

 

TIPS TO ASSESS YOUR CAPABILITIES AND ADAPT WAYS YOU WORK

 

1. Is pain involved? Can you take it? The no. 1 deal breaker.

Example: Periodic knee pain from a college football injury hampers your endurance.

TIP: Change the way you stand, walk, bend, climb, etc.

TIP: Apply common strain-relieving techniques, taught by occupational and physical therapists.

TIP: Wear a light-weight, unnoticeable brace when you’ll be using those knees a lot.

TIP: Follow preventive and strengthening strategies recommended by sports’ medicine pros.

 

2. Is accessibility involved? Are you mobile? Can you drive, walk, reach, bend over, climb?

Example: You can’t reach surface areas that require unusual body positions for long periods.

TIP: Improve how you reach – eg. turn your upper torso differently.

TIP: Improvise. Find creative ways to reach the surface – eg. bendable double extension poles.

TIP: Build a small cart, with wheels, to roll along for hours, and help get painting done.

 

3. Is dexterity involved? Can you hold a paint brush for an extended period?  Can you manipulate it for an entire day?

Example: It will take you all day to brush on a special coating over a large exterior surface.

TIP: Build up those muscles, joints and tendons with break-time and off-work exercises.

TIP: Apply thin coat of muscle/joint cream to hands and wrists under inexpensive cotton gloves.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that maximize grip and free-motion, and minimize strain.

TIP: Outfit your brush handle with a removable grip pad, designed for that purpose.

 

4. Is dexterity and grip involved? Can you hold a spray gun all day, and spray effectively?

Example: You need to spray out the exterior corridors and walkways of all guest buildings.

TIP: Schedule 2-minute relaxation “un-grip it” break every 30 minutes.

TIP: Do “finger flexing” every 45-60 minutes, or more often if possible.

TIP: Take advantage of between times – walking to-and-from, standing in line, talking on phone to boss or supplier, eating lunch, etc.

TIP: Outfit your spray gun with a removable grip pad, designed for spray gun handles.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that are washable. (Most affordable are sold online.)

 

5. Is a chronic illness involved? Can you work around its symptoms and medication side effects?

Example: Your asthma kicks in big time when you’re painting areas with heavy toxic mold.

TIP: Use an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.

TIP: Take regular breaks, and leave the area. For at least 5 minutes each time.

TIP: Pick your paint times, as much as possible. Sun-exposure, no/minimal moisture.

TIP: Work with an oscillating fan running – lower speed, clean air flow.

 

Hopefully, you know your own body better than anyone. That is, if you’re really living inside that intricately-designed structure.

 

TIP: Periodically, tune in to what it’s telling you.

* Aches, pains, cramping, twitches, burns, blurriness, fatigue, etc. – all messengers.

 

TIP: Study your own job, and what it entails.

* Movements, positions, extensions, loads, time lengths, etc.

 

TIP: Find easy ways to adapt to those changes with yourself.

* Convenient, convertible, un-costly.

 

TIP: Experiment. Try a different method, position, grip, device, etc.

* And, if one doesn’t work for you, try another. And another.

 

TIP: Seek input from others that may have tips that will work for you.

* Painters in the trade longer than you can be superb, and private, advisors.

 

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Adapt to change, and change how you adapt to avert extinction.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

 

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