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Archive for September, 2016

Painting It: How to Achieve a Superior High Gloss Finish

First of all, starting out with a smooth surface is essential. With a rough surface, you will have to add exceedingly more hours of labor to even reach a starting point.

 

Metal, fiberglass or hardwoods are the substrates of choice when considering an ultra smooth surface.

 

In this instance, I will use metal as the example. No matter what the situation, the proper procedure in achieving a gloss finish includes:

 

  1. Initial metal preparation – Acid etch surface, orbital sand with #80 grit sandpaper.

 

  1. Dry and wipe surface clean with lacquer thinner, then use tack cloth.

 

  1. Using an HVLP spray system, apply multiple thin coats of high solids epoxy primer or acrylic lacquer. Let dry thoroughly. Orbital sand between coats with #400 sandpaper; then, wet sand with #600 sandpaper.

 

  1. Apply urethane sealer using two thin coats. When dry, wet sand using #600 sandpaper.

 

  1. Apply urethane basecoat using three thin coats with a 60% overlap in spray pattern.

 

  1. After two to four hours of drying, color sand using #600, then, #800 sandpaper. Wash surface with soap and water. Rinse with warm water, and let dry.

 

  1. Reapply urethane basecoat using three thin coats.

 

  1. After drying time, wet sand with #800 grit sandpaper. Wash and rinse surface. Dry and tack cloth.

 

  1. Apply multiple thin coats of urethane clear coat. Let dry.

 

  1. Wet sand with #1000 or #1200 grit sandpaper. Rinse with warm water. Let dry.

 

  1. Apply final clear coat. Let dry.

 

After all that time and preparation, you should be able to see your face in all that shine. What is paramount in order to reach such a high level of finish is a person’s skill at spray painting. No beginner can ever hope to achieve such a finish.

 

Typically, there are five elements involved which you must have:

 

  1. A well seasoned professional with comprehensive knowledge of all the modern finishes.
  2. A well equipped spray booth with positive flow ventilation.
  3. A client who is willing to pay for the best, and has patience.
  4. A preparation team who is dedicated to producing the finest finish imaginable.
  5. All those involved should have a basic knowledge of OEM and aftermarket paint material and solvent compatabilities.

 

Producing a fine finish at a hotel, on a client site, or in your home can be accomplished. You do not have to follow all of the rules above. Just keep the following ideas in mind:

 

First, wet sand or dry sand in decreasing grits #220-#320-#400.

Next, make sure that, after sanding, the surface is tack clothed. If you do not, you will have debris in the finished paint job.

Third, always apply thin multiple coats. With heavy coats, you may have runs, sags, and cracking. You absolutely want to avoid this.

Final step, set up a spray booth.

 

Also, provide adequate ventilation by (a) using fans, and (b) wet the floor to keep dust at a minimum.

 

And, if you are interested in wood finishing, some of the same methods can be used. Just keep the surface dry and dust free until completed.

 

A superior finish is all about knowledge and talent. It is about looking at such a finish and wondering, “Who could have done this? It’s magnificent!”

 

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A superior high gloss finish starts with a super skilled finisher.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Working with Toxic Painting Chemicals

Protecting oneself from chemical exposure is the key to enjoying a long working life. In the coatings industry this is particularly important since coatings and paint materials contain any number of harmful components. With what they are designed to do, they have to. Paints must withstand the weather, corrosion, rigorous abrasion, and the penetrating rays of the sun.

 

Paint manufacturers and the chemists do their parts in helping to ensure the lasting quality and endurance of paint.

 

The painter is the one who applies a coating for a specific situation. Therefore, he is the one subject to the conditions produced in applying the material.

 

This is to inform you that you are in charge of what and how you are exposed to.

 

Here’s an example: You are assigned to paint the ceiling deck of a retail store. You assess the situation and realize there is certain equipment you will need. Namely a spray pump, fluid line, a spray gun, and possibly plastic to cover what doesn’t get painted.

 

If you are a seasoned professional, then you also know you must protect yourself. You know this because you have prior experience with the product you are going to use. The paint is composed of various inorganic solids and evaporative solvents which are dangerous to one’s health. But, that’s what the job calls for.

 

Under most circumstances, most anyone would say, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Figure out how you can paint the ceiling without becoming seriously ill. This was a major problem in the early 1900’s when there was lead in the paint, and painters had virtually no breathing protection. Their life expectancy was often shorter.

 

Today, however, the toxicity of the various paint chemicals has met its match. If the painter “works smart”, there is no longer a reason for him to suffer.

 

This is what’s available to the painter and to everyone serious about their health:

 

  1. Self- Enclosed Breathing Apparatus. Similar to what firefighters and scuba divers use, it provides the optimum conditions for breathing in a toxic environment. It is composed of a compressed oxygen air tank and a facial mask or a complete helmet.

 

  1. An Inorganic Vapor Respirator. This is the painter’s most universal tool next to the brush and spray gun. It is a face mask design containing filter cartridges which remove substances in the air before you inhale. The cartridges become filled with contaminants and must be replaced regularly. Caution: When in an enclosed space, the solvent concentration can build up to a point where the cartridges cannot prevent the solvent vapor from coming through. If you know this before hand, opt for the Self-Enclosed breathing system.

 

  1. Air Flow Mask. This is a simple system in which air is supplied to a transparent type bag mask. The incoming air blows through the mask providing you with breathable air, as well as blowing through an opening the size of your mouth and eyes. This current of air keeps any dust and overspray from entering. It is not recommended for keeping out high evaporative solvent vapor.

 

  1. Full Body Suit. It is a thin cloth suit which can be used under many conditions. A mechanic could use one to keep the grease and oil off of him. For the painter, it prevents paint overspray, paint platter and a minimal amount of solvents from coming in contact with his skin. In this, it keeps the chemical from being absorbed out into the bloodstream. The body suit is very important to have on hand.

 

  1. Head Sock, Eye Protection and Gloves. These are accessory items that provide additional protection. They are one of the best precautions you can take, because they protect vital areas. Sometimes these items are taken for granted. You may take them off and forget to put them back on because you’re so busy. Big mistake!

 

I once was working on a wood striping project, when my gloves became dissolved up by the solvent. I kept on working without them.

 

Later, when I had finished, I saw that my hands were extremely dry. I then thought to myself, “I wonder how much of that solvent made it into my bloodstream and into my brain. I felt a little queasy and I was wearing a respirator. See what can happen?

 

Recommendations: Be your own advocate. It’s your health that will suffer if you aren’t.

 

* When first starting to work with a product, read the manufacturer’s label where it concerns

safety precautions.

*My own personal advice: Have a box or container in your vehicle in which to store only safety

equipment.

*Always keep a spare set of respirator cartridges. When you can’t find any, you’re likely to

keep working.

*Some products are against the law for use to consumers. This means they are even more toxic.

 

When working with paints, coatings, and solvents, toxicity is self evident. Prepare yourself so you will live to paint another day, and not one in which your family loses you.

 

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Toxic exposure is everyone’s business on the job.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: How to Paint Difficult Surfaces or Objects

There are different substrates in which paint can be applied. The most problematic are those not typically considered. However, when they are, it would be a good idea to know the proper finish so that the paint job will last. Any paint job, when done correctly, can last indefinitely.

 

The first question is: What types of surfaces are the most difficult to cover? And what are the requirements to produce a durable appearance?

 

But, before any finish is applied, sand the surface with an appropriate grade of sandpaper. Ultra smooth surfaces may not benefit from this.

 

Here is a list for you to consider:

 

  1. Glass – Clean with alcohol. Apply alcohol based primer; top coat with alkyd.
  2. Ceramics – Acid etch. Apply acid based or galvanizing primer; top coat polyurethane.
  3. Plastic – Apply alkyd primer; top coat with urethane.
  4. Rubber – Apply alkyd primer; top coat with alkyd.
  5. Formica – Apply epoxy or urethane primer; top coat with same.
  6. Fiberglass – Apply epoxy or lacquer primer; top coat with epoxy or acrylic enamel.
  7. Copper – Apply acid wash coat; top coat with exterior acrylic latex or oil base.
  8. Aluminum – Apply galvanizing primer; top coat with exterior alkyd.
  9. Brass – Apply acid wash coat; top coat with acrylic enamel.

 

And, of course, the method of application varies with the type of surface. I recommend that, in most circumstances, you use a fine spray finishing procedure. (HVLP preferred)

 

  1. Ultra smooth surfaces – They typically require applying a finish in multiple thin coats, with sanding (wet sand #400) in between each coat and tack cloth to promote a glossy, even surface.

 

  1. Medium smooth surfaces – These usually require mild sanding,(#220-#400) the filling of minor surface flaws with polyester resin, and then painting by thin nap roller (sponge, or mohair).

 

All surfaces listed in 1-9 are considered to be “smooth.” No products with a high viscosity and slow drying time are suitable for the above surface types.

 

Recommended products include: Bulls eye Shellac, Bulls eye alcohol based primer, Gripper latex bonding primer, Bin alcohol based primer, Aqualock primer, Kilz oil primer, Washcoat acid etch primer, Zinc primer, Glidden and Sherwin Williams specialty coatings.

 

Objects come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Some are for decoration and some are functional. Most of them can be painted in one way or another depending on your interests.

 

For our purposes, let’s look at household items which can be designed and finished for decorative reasons. Here is a list of some items you may want to paint:

 

  1. Electrical outlet cover – Sand cover, using #220 sandpaper. Apply shellac or Kilz primer coat. Top coat with any latex or oil finish desired. Apply multiple thin coats.

 

  1. Table top – If existing finish is clear, sand with #220 or #400 depending on how smooth the top is. Using spray or short nap roller cover, apply satin, semi or gloss polyurethane, varnish or acrylic clear coat. Apply several thin even coats, sanding in between and using tack cloth to remove dust. Paint requires similar application. Sand, fill minor imperfections and apply multiple thin coats.

 

  1. Sculpture – Smooth surface with a Scotch Brite pad or sponge sanding block with a #120- #400 grit. Apply coating by spray, including airbrush for even finish. Alkyd paints are most suitable for opaque finish. Bronze, glazed or metallic finishes may also be applied. Experiment with various tools for different effects.

 

  1. Light fixture – If wood or metal, sand surface with #220-#400 sandpaper. If metal, apply surface adhesion promoter. For optimum finish, apply coating using spray technique. Oil or polyurethanes or urethanes work best.

 

  1. 5. Vase – If glass, treat with alcohol wash. Prime using Gripper product; reduce with alcohol for thinning. Apply finish using spray methods. Airbrush or low CFM spray gun is best. Use oil or urethane and thin for multiple coats.

 

  1. Wooden Box – Sand to desired smoothness using #120-#320 abrasive. Apply oil or acrylic latex primer. Sand surface. Apply finish choice as desired. Stain process involves choosing a semi transparent or solid color stain and applying clear coat (polyurethane) in satin, semi or gloss sheens. There’s a lot of variation here.

 

  1. Candlestick – If metal, follow application for light fixture. Gilding is the most decorative process. Prime accordingly to manufacturer’s directions. Then apply artificial or genuine metallic leaf. Experiment first before trying to complete a finished product.

 

  1. Basket – Typically made of bamboo, it is best to apply a finish with some flexibility. I recommend using an oil primer, than an acrylic latex finish. Use spray method for uniform finish and ease of application.

 

What is most difficult to finish is an object or surface which does not offer a recommended application or does not specify which type of material to use. That’s where a paint failure comes into play. When a surface is peeling or cracking, or has bubbled, we don’t often know how to repair it without making it worse.

 

TOP TIP: Test your technique on a hidden part of the object. Follow all of the instructions as if you were finishing the entire piece.

 

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Painting difficult surfaces or objects can take more patience than talent.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s View: Modifying Your Hotel’s Color Scheme

Supposedly, residential painters possess the greatest creative latitude in using color. Their palette is color wheel sized.

Hotel and facility painters tend to be confined to the master color scheme established for the property. Then, specific surfaces, areas and amenities on the property.

That said, they can expand that palette. They can give the property, and people, a huge boost!

 

My suggestion? Start on the right foot.

1. Be certain that you have identified the exact color scheme currently approved by the owners.

2. Check out where what colors are used.
Example: Sherwin-Williams Yellow crème. Front road entrance and lobby/office building.
Example: S-W Chinese Red. Front entrance and lobby building fascia.
Example: S-W Deep Mint Green. Exteriors of guest buildings.
Example: S-W Bright Gold. Exterior doors of guest rooms.

3. Confirm with the owners their preferences and limitations for making color use changes.
Q. What colors in that color scheme can be modified?
Q. What new tints, hues and/or shades are acceptable?
Q. On which surfaces and areas can what specific new colors be applied?

TIP: Get sample color swatches approved in advance. In writing!

 

TEN TIPS FOR MODIFYING COLOR SCHEMES

1. Building exterior fascia and trim. Be consistent.
Example: If the front lobby building is trimmed in S-W Chinese Red, then trim all buidings on the property in the same color hue. The finish may need to be varied, depending on the surface.

2. Option: If color scheme features, say, six colors, use all six at front entrance area. Then, paint the fascia and trim on each building in one, or different hue from color scheme palette.

3. Then, paint other exterior surfaces on or near respective building in that hue.

4. Select one color from the color scheme. Mix two-to-three tints closely related to that color. Choose two-to-three types of surfaces and areas around the property to paint in those different tints.
Example: Park benches, signage frames, litter collection boxes. Paint in S-W Medium Mint Green, one of the new tints.

5. Select two colors from interior color scheme. Mix two-to-five tints closely related to those colors. Then, choose two-to-five types of surfaces/areas to paint in those new tints.

6. Choose two different tints from the same new one above. Paint two areas in the office area in those tints to liven up the workspace.

7. Choose the mid-level tint from that 2-5 that you mixed already. Create accent wall in sales director’s office. Paint darker tint on bottom half of the wall. Then, tint that color two levels lighter. Use that color to apply decorative finish – eg. vertical stripe – to upper half of wall.
Added touch: Paint a long narrow section of wainscoting/trim a darker tint of same color. And install it mid-point horizontally.

8. For the G.M’s office, use the darkest tint that you mixed. Create an accent wall by applying decorative finish on entire wall.

9. In main hallway to a restaurant, brush on a light tint of one of the lobby colors from the color scheme. Added touch: Paint wainscoting/trim section in same tint, or two shades darker.

10. Fitness room. Paint three-foot wide vertical stripe on both entry walls. Use one of lighter colors from master color scheme.

The idea is to build on the color scheme that you already have in place. Wherever possible, you want to extend and accentuate that theme. You want to unify the overall aesthetic appearance of painted and decorated elements on the property.

And, ultimately, you want to strengthen and solidify the guests, and teammates, overall perception and connection to your hotel.

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A painter’s role includes the enhancement of what’s already there!
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Jesse the Painter: The Pride of the United States and Mexico

Jesse V. came to the United States from Mexico to give his small family a better life. Initially, they settled in Miami, where a group of relatives had immigrated and, eventually, earned U. S. citizenship.

 

There, he worked as a painter, while Maria, his wife, stayed home to care for their toddler Doreen.

 

Jesse worked hard, accepting any job and toiling long hours, to make ends meet. He’d learned the painting trade back in Mexico City. /Where both he and Maria left behind their loved ones.

 

As soon as they arrived in the United States, Jesse and Maria applied for citizenship. The Miami relatives served as sponsors, tutored them in the English language, and helped them meet the other requirements. Just as promptly, they registered as legal residents of Florida.

 

Shortly after being granted U.S. citizenship, Jesse was given an industrial painting opportunity in the Chicago-Northwest Indiana area. He joined the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades (IBPAT). The job offered a much higher hourly wage, pension and family health benefits, and both job security and safety.

 

Jesse and Maria fit right into the area. They found a church that offered a Sunday mass in Spanish. The Hispanic population was starting to grow. So, they were able to form a few friendships with families, from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South America. Always at the core of everything was Jesse’s love for his wife and children – and their devout Catholic faith. He talked a lot about his wife and children.

 

Eventually, they had three more children: a son and two daughters. Proudly, Jesse and Maria reared them to be good Americans, and good people. Yes, all of them knew Spanish and fluently communicated with family back in Mexico. Their home in Northwest Indiana was decorated with momentos that showed their great pride in Mexico their native land. Also, there were treasures everywhere that showed their great pride in the United States of America, their chosen home.

 

My father and Jesse worked together on a frequent basis. As the company’s superintendent, Dad often pointed out Jesse’s admirable attributes, strong work ethic and undaunting professionalism.

 

On the job, what Jesse lacked in height, he made up for in experience, skill, energy, and drive. He was motivated, and always jumped in, “a real self starter.” He had a happy personality, and smiled most of the time. He had a friendly, helpful and willing spirit.

 

At different periods of time, Jesse and I worked for the same contractor. Whether he was working on a commercial or industrial project, he gave it his 150 percent. He was consistently professional, punctual, loyal, and neat. He never complained about a thing. He worked beside other painters as a true member of that crew, or team, assembled to work on that project. He worked beside other tradespersons, and bent over backwards to make their jobs go smoothly.

 

He was interested in what others had to say, and he defended others to the limit. Yet, he had difficulty standing up for himself when someone talked about him. And, he had a stubborn streak, and did not like to be corrected.

 

The biggest joke about Jesse on the job revolved around the large thermos of fresh fruit juice – eg. cantaloupe – that he carried to work every day. Also, he always offered to shae the hot Mexican food packed in his lunch by Maria. Tamales, tortillas, tacos, enchiladas, etc.

 

One Thanksgiving Day, he and his family came to our country home for dinner. They brought along six home-baked cream cheese pies: 2 plain, 2 cherry, and 2 cinnamon. For 10 people. During the meal, I realized how Maria struggled to participate in the table conversation. After living in the U. S over twenty years, her English-speaking skills were limited. Yet, her immense pride in her family being American citizens radiated from her eyes. Sang from her voice. And, captivated you through her loving smile.

 

The saddest day in Jesse’s life in America came in the mid-1980s. His beloved wife, Maria, suffered a severe brain aneurysm. Within a few days, he had to decide for the hospital physicians to pull her off the life support machines. At his request, our family sat in the nearby ICU waiting room. Keeping his children company while their dad kept vigil at their mother’s bedside. And, reassuring Jesse and the children as the time drew near to let her die in peace.

 

I’ll never forget those last moments with Jesse and his children, proud Americans and proud Mexicans.

 

Jesse was different after he and his children buried Maria. Who wouldn’t be? He took off work to go home to Mexico City, where he visited with his brother, a physician who achieved great tv media recognition during recovery efforts after the massive earthquake in 1985. While in his native land, he also spent a lot of time with Maria’s family.

 

When he returned, eventually, to the job, he wasn’t the same. Yes, his workmanship and craftsmanship were still first rate. But, his soul was missing.

 

He and my dad became close. I became close with Jesse’s son-in-law, a coworker of ours.

 

From time to time, Jesse would simply be gone from work. Back to Mexico for one to two months at a time.

 

When my dad died suddenly in 1993, Jesse came by. He sat in our living room, and cried. He told me all about his pal, Bob. And, he told me all about the kind of friendship he and my father shared. I didn’t have a clue.

 

The last time that I saw Jesse. He stopped by to say “hello” and “so long” during our huge estate and moving sale in May of 1993. Like at work, he picked at me a little. “Bob, when are you going to get a girlfriend. You’re a good guy.” For some reason, his joking didn’t bother me at all. I saw how deep and genuine his vein of caring ran for his friend Bob – and Bob’s son.

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting With Bob.”

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

 

Painter’s View: Working a Holiday Shift

Working a holiday shift has its rewards. Take Labor Day at a hotel or hospital.

 

  1. The overall mood of the staff is more upbeat, spontaneous and relaxed.
  2. Guests or patients are feeling upbeat and sociable, even to staff.
  3. Fewer members of management may be around to interrupt your work.
  4. Supervisors tend to move in slower gear, and accept the same from team members.
  5. The painter’s tasks and work orders can often be completed in minimal time.
  6. Management demands cause less stress.
  7. The overall atmosphere around the property is lighter, even enjoyable.
  8. The dining menus offer more festive, fun choices – even in the staff/employee cafeteria.
  9. Lunch breaks may be a little longer if the workload is light – and relatively routine.
  10. More opportunities may come along to chat with teammates – in your own and other departments.
  11. Extra treats, from the chef, may be available for free. Particularly, if he and his kitchen helpers have been cooking for a big event at the hotel.
  12. Clocking out may be a little later than usual; but the reason is usually worth it.
  13. Guests or patients like the chance to visit with you a few minutes.

 

 

Eight Tips for Enjoying that Holiday Work Shift

 

  1. In advance: Pick a painting project you can easily leave and return to throughout the day.
  2. Schedule to eat lunch with one or more teammates, and share the holiday spirit.
  3. Share your morning and afternoon breaks with any fellow staff member that’s nearby.
  4. Help a teammate handle a work order that is clearly a pain in the grain.
  5. Look alive! Lend a hand when you see a coworker struggling with a large arm load of stuff, or trying to move a piece of furniture or equipment.
  6. Treat your supervisor on duty to a soda, coffee, or snack.
  7. Say more than a “hello” to guests or patients located in your general work area.
  8. Volunteer to help a teammate or supervisor with a task or work order so everyone in your department can leave on schedule.

 

Turn your holiday work shift into an experience you wouldn’t mind repeating. And, help others to feel the same.

 

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Your hotel’s or hospital’s paintshop doesn’t close just because it’s a legal holiday.

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Thank you, holiday shift painters, for staying on the job.

 

And thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

PAINTSHOP CREATURES

Periodically, a creature of nature wandered into the hotel’s engineering department – and the paintshop.

 

One morning, I surprised a small green iguana stretched out on the workbench. Another day, a large raccoon sat inside an open metal cabinet. During a big rain storm, an Amazon parrot had taken refuge on a shelf of spray paint cans. One afternoon, I returned to unload the golf cart, and surprised two mice, contentedly nibbling on food crumbs dropped by a teammate.

 

A few visitors were not welcome. And, they were corralled and escorted from the premises by skilled wild creature-handling teammates. A huge rat. A poisonous snake. A baby alligator. A young white tiger cub.

 

Our main objective was to keep the area safe for anyone that might enter. Our other objective was to promptly relocate the creatures to more likeable and suitable spots.

 

Among ourselves, department teammates discussed ways to keep our area creature free. We decided that most of the visitors were harmless, and actually pleasurable. Besides, the ccreatures never damaged anything, or caused any costly mess.

 

My last day of work, a huge white cockatoo met me in the paintshop. He looked on as I completed my checklist of things to do to help out the new man. I enjoyed the bird’s company. We “talked” a little. We were the only ones there. It was a Saturday.

 

Shortly before clocking out, I got him into an empty box. And, I escorted him to a large area of beautiful foliage on the neighbor’s property. He watched me climb into my Blazer, and drive off.

 

I didn’t know about him. But he ended my day on a very positive note.

 

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Wild creatures have a mystifying way of taming the species called humans.

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

 

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

 

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