Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Archive for September, 2016

Paintshop: Expanding your space

Every Paintshop Has Space to Expand. Somewhere!


It falls under the lead painter’s job description. And, it requires every engineering team member to keep it in shape.


Usually, the paintshop space is smaller than the volume of things that must be housed there. The amount of open floor space is limited. The size of the area available for in-shop work must compete with the space needed for traffic flow; moving supplies, tools and equipment in and out; and tool and equipment maintenance.


Thirteen ways to stretch your paintshop’s space


1. Every three months, take photos of the paintshop. Print and post on the department bulletin board. How does the place look? Can you see where improvements are needed?


2. Monthly, clean house! Get rid of everything that (a) does not belong there, (b) is no longer used, and (c) is too dangerous and unsafe to store there.


3. TIP: Discard each item properly and safely, according to MSDS instructions, EPA standards, and your department’s/company’s policies. No exceptions!


4. At the end of every day/first shift, pick up after yourselves.

A. Put supplies, tools and equipment in their proper storage places.

B. Tightly close/seal all product cans and containers; place them in designated areas.

C. Into trash receptacle, throw used sandpaper sheets, rags, disposable masks and gloves, etc.

D. Close all drawers, cupboard doors, fold-outs, etc.

5. Regularly, assess how you are using the paintshop space. What kind of space is running short? Shelving, drawers, wall, open work area?


6. On 1-inch to 1-foot grid paper, draw a layout of the painshop.

A. Measure each use area; sketch into its proper place on the layout.

B. Examples: Paint can shelving – 12 ft. long; Hazardous chemical steel cabinet – 6 ft. wide; Closet 1 – 4 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; ladder loft – 6 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; compressor area – 6 ft. by 6 ft.


7. Jot down which spaces are crammed.

A. Make a note of the items in each of those spaces that can be moved to a bigger storage shed or outbuilding on the property.

B. List the types of items that you will still need more space to store.


8. Go back to your gridded layout.

A. Where do you have room to make more room? For what kind of inventory?

B. Measure the running feet available to add another shelving section.

C. Measure the area where you can fit a second, smaller cabinet.

D. How can the tool and supply drawers be re-compartmentalized? Cut clutter.

E. Do you have any open wall space, even 4 feet long?

1. Can you build in a counter there? What about installing a few shelves above?

2. What about building shelving underneath, or adding cabinetry (with doors)?

9. Keep a chart of what improvements you want to make; the supplies and estimated costs for each; proposed location for each. (I code each into the layout, using letters. Examples: SB= Shelving below); HTS=Hand tool storage; P=Priority (eg ASAP, by December).


10. Keep your chief engineer in the loop. Brainstorm with him or her about available budget, necessity of addition, scheduling.


11. Get everyone that uses the paintshop involved in its upkeep.


12. Regularly, post messages on the department’s bulletin white board. Keep them upbeat and to the point.


13. Let your teammates and boss know that you appreciate their efforts to help keep the paintshop organized, neat, safe, and useable.



Motivating Tip: In the dark… in an emergency, how easily could you, or your boss, find something in the paintshop?


Look at it this way: Your paintshop says a lot about you as a professional. How you approach your work. And, the quality of the job you leave behind each time.



Keep your paintshop in top shape, and it will help you do your job right – and in timely manner.



Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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

See: Real Simple’s August 2016 “How to Paint (Just About) Anything”

RealSimple August 2016 Photo

Article Photographs by Christopher Griffith, Prop Styling by Ariana Salvato, Illustrations by Toby Neilan

Real Simple’s August 2016 issue features a 10-page spread, “How to Paint (Just About) Anything.”*


Check it out. Whether you’re a professional, card carrying painter/decorator, or a DIY painter.

You may pick up a few new tips, or refresh ones that you haven’t thought about lately.





The “How to Paint…” article features:


  1. Stunningly clear “Paint tester app (free)” photo, page. 151.
  2. Overview of types of paints, finishes, applications and supplies, and “helpful helpers.”
  3. Capsule-sized instructions on computing prepping and priming quantities needed
  4. 30-second tips on coating trims, ceilings, floors, front doors, and kitchen cabinetry.
  5. Mini-tutorial on “How to Roll the Right Way.”
  6. Quick steps for painting special surfaces such as brick, metal, laminate, ceramic tile.
  7. Quick tips for panting indoor and outdoor furniture.
  8. A few consumer problem and solution scenarios.
  9. Simple, essential steps for cleaning up tools after completing a project.
  10. Direction tips for deciding what to do with leftover paint.


The copy is clean, concise and easy-to-read. The layout is easy-to-follow. The full-color photos and illustrations of products, supplies and tools are small, very clear and detailed.


“The Paint Experts,” who served as advisors for the article, include:


  • Katherine Kay McMillan, coauthor, Do-It-Yourself Painting for Dummies.
  • Carl Minchew, VP/color innovation and design, Benjamin Moore.
  • Chris Richter, Sr. merchant/interior paint, The Home Depot.
  • Lucianna Samu, color and DIY expert, paint educator, Benjamin Moore and Aubuchon Hardware.
  • Brian Santos, “the Wall Wizard,” author and industry expert.
  • Cheri Sparks, owner, A Painting Company, Denver, Colorado.
  • Stephanie Tuliglowski, artist/decorator, Joliet, Illinois.
  • Dustin Van Fleet, interior designer/owner of Funk Living, Tifton, Georgia.
  • Rick Watson, Dir./product information, Sherwin Williams.
  • Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson/Paint Quality Institute, div. of Dow.


* Written by Amanda Lecky, Photographs by Christopher Griffith, Prop Styling by Ariana Salvato, Illustrations by Toby Neilan; Pages 148-157. Real Simple: Life Made Easier is published by Time, Inc.;



Pro painters and decorators tend to learn something new about their craft every day.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” today.

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

Painter’s View: Olympic-Style Painting

Following the construction of competition sites for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, I got a free refresher course on specialty coatings.


Nearly every event’s set-up required the use of products custom engineered for the surface and area on which it was to be applied.


  1. Each event’s physical components required products that would withstand the type and level of exposure, and wear and tear, unique to that event.
  2. All products had to be safe for both the environment and the people, also non-toxic and suitable for the arid climate.
  3. Paint products had to be unusually durable, “colorfast” and water/sun/fade proof.
  4. Paint products had to be 100 percent tint/hue/shade accurate to the Olympic Committee’s color palette for that particular event and site.
  5. All paint products had to be 100 percent suitable for the event and site.
  6. All paint products needed to be aesthetically appealing, complementary to each other, and alluring to the spectators.
  7. All paint products needed to (a) cover their respective surfaces in the minimal number of coats; (b) dry fast to the touch; and (c) require industrial painting experience, but not highly specialized (thus costly) expertise.
  8. All paint products needed to require minimal surface prepping and fast, easy clean-up of the area and tools used there.


Watching the different events on TV, I looked for close-up camera shots. Peeks at the finished jobs of Rio‘s local painters and certified application specialists (CAS).


My post-Olympics objective via Connect with one or more Rio painters that had worked on the event sites. Question: Why hadn’t that crossed my mind during the 9-12 months actual construction time frame?


Question for the non-Olympics painters out there: What would you want to know from a Rio Olympics site painter?





  1. What was your greatest enjoyment or pleasure in working on the Olympics project?
  2. What standard products – used on regular commercial and industrial projects – did you use on the Olympics project? In what areas mainly?
  3. What products caused you the greatest application challenges?
  4. What surfaces and areas were the hardest to coat?
  5. What weather problems did you run into? What was your longest down time?
  6. Previously, how many times had you used the specialty products that you used for the Olympics?
  7. What special tools and equipment did you need to use?
  8. What’s the largest quantity of paint that you applied on one event’s site?
  9. Were you under tight time constraints most of the time?
  10. With surfaces to be installed at outdoor event sites, what percentage of the prep and painting had to be done, say, inside a building?
  11. Would you work on an Olympics painting project again?
  12. What advice would you give to any painter looking at working on an Olympics site in 2020?
  13. How should he or she be preparing to handle the job right, and with minimal stress?



At this point, I don’t know what kind of success I’ll have connecting with a Rio Olympics painter. I’ve put out the word to a few well-known persons in the construction industry in the Rio area – and in Brazil. I’m hopeful.


Footnote: In the 1980s, Chicago planned to vie for the next Olympics games. Architect Norman DeHaan was serving on the committee that was coordinating those efforts. Among the groups that he enlisted was the Lake Michigan Region Planning Council (LMRPC). Its membership list read like the WHO’S WHO in architecture, design, engineering, and construction based in the Midwest.


At an LMRPC officers’ meeting held over 18 months out, he shared some facts about the greatest challenges facing Chicago’s Olympics planning committee. “Working with, and pleasing, so many special interest groups needed to pull off such an event. It’s mind boggling…”


Question 14 for the Rio Olympics painters: Was that how you felt, anticipating going into a painting project of such gigantic size?



Special Olympics-style projects keep us on our toes and focused on top results!



Thrive at working on whatever special project that you are on.


And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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




1. Matching paint color for brush-ups.

TIP: Use the same paint made by the same manufacturer as used on that surface before.


2. Removing toxic Black mold infestations.

TIP: Use bleach and hydrogen peroxide mixture.


3. Cleaning dried paint from brushes

TIP: Latex/water-based. Soak brush in paint/varnish remover for 15 minutes only.

TIP: Oil-based. Soak brush in lacquer thinner for 1 hour.


4. Removing paint splatters from carpeting.

TIP: Use lacquer thinner, acetone. Caution: First test on splatters in least visible spot.


5. Camouflaging dents in the wall.

TIP: Feather edge compound. Match existing paint texture. Test with various tools.


6. Covering up major damages to headboards and table tops.

TIP; Use colored wax pencils; markers for scratches.

TIP: Apply colored varnish or clear finish.


7.Refinishing guest room furniture.

TIP: Stain bare spots. Touch up varnish or paint finish.

TIP: Clean all wax, polish or grease.


8.Revitalizing furniture in public areas.

TIP: Sand item. Then completely paint or apply new clear finish.


9. Drawing attention away from surfaces/areas in worn condition.

TIP: Paint some areas with accent colors.

TIP: Thoroughly clean surfaces which are worn.


10. Upgrading area’s appearance by creating accent finishes on surfaces.

TIP: Using least used and strongest hue/tint/shade in color scheme, apply a faux design to smallest wall in area.

TIP: Create dado/wainscoting effect by faux finishing part of small wall in area.





1. Matching paint color for touch-ups.

TIP: Same color, with different sheen, will not match when viewing surface from an angle.

TIP; Don’t use a different manufacturer for same color.

TIP: Don’t try to match surfaces which have oxidized or become faded from sunlight or other elements.


2. Removal of toxic Black mold spores.

TIP: Soap and water will not kill mold spores of fungi.

TIP: Hot water will not kill mold spores.


3. Cleaning dried paint from brushes

TIP: Latex/water-based. Do not soak brush in lacquer thinner, or paint remover.

TIP: Oil-based. Do not use soap and water. Do not use paint remover.


4. Removing paint splatters from carpeting.

TIP: Don’t use paint or varnish remover, or volatile solvent.

TIP: Don’t use carpet cleaner.


5. Camouflaging dents in the wall.

TIP: Don’t try to repair/fix area in one application.

TIP: Don’t use products that are incompatible, especially if it is something which can’t be sanded nor smoothed.


6. Covering up major damage to headboards and table tops.

TIP: Don’t re-stain only.

TIP: Don’t apply new finish without first cleaning surface.


7. Refinishing guest room furniture.

TIP: Don’t touch up with brush; use an air brush.

TIP: Don’t skip sanding between finish coats.

TIP: Don’t use “painter” paint rags to dust surface; use tack cloth.

TIP: Don’t apply color only; top coat with clear finish.


8. Revitalizing furniture in public areas.

TIP: Don’t touch up multiple areas. It will show.

TIP: Don’t use bright colors on the majority of surfaces in the area(s).

TIP: Don’t touch up spots which are bare or rusted.


9. Drawing attention away from surfaces/areas in worn condition.

TIP: Don’t use gloss paint materials. Imperfections will look magnified.

TIP: Don’t use incompatible paint products.


10. Upgrading area’s appearance by creating accent finishes on surfaces.

TIP: Don’t use flat, dull finishes.

TIP: Don’t skip on surface preparation.


FINAL TIP: Keep some kind of simple notebook or log – eg. on your hand-held device. Most professional painters and decorators wish that they’d done so in the past. I remember a few projects when it would have saved me valuable time and hassle, if I’d been able to refer back to some notes. Rather than, under stress, try to pick it out of my memory bank.



Painters: Thank you for making it a part of your standard practice

to seek out better, safer and easier ways to do your job.


And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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