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Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

Painter’s World: The Future of Painting and Decorating

In the future, which most of us have not thought much about, the painting of surfaces will no longer be needed.

 

All construction and building materials will be coated at the manufacturing plant. Even touch-ups on the construction sites will be unnecessary.

 

If you’ve been paying attention, that’s the case more and more today.

 

So, where will that leave the experienced painter? Will he or she become extinct?

 

A number of occupational pilot programs offer training in things like “paint coatings technology,” for example. Painters learn skills used at the product design and manufacturing levels.

 

  1. Design, development and maintenance of computer systems that run assembly coating systems equipment.
  2. Operation of assembly painting computer system equipment.
  3. Research and development of painting and coating products applied at building products manufacturing plants.
  4. Manufacture of manufacturing equipment that applies coatings.
  5. Installation and maintenance of manufacturing equipment that applies coatings.
  6. Quality control.
  7. Sales and marketing of above mentioned computer systems, manufacturing equipment, and pre-coated construction materials and products.
  8. Risk management.
  9. Accounting, credit and collections.
  10. Training of construction workers in installation of pre-coated materials and products, etc.

 

You get the picture.

 

Painting science and technology. Not a bad choice, actually. Generally, technology jobs pay more per hour. They offer more job stability, and mobility. They offer access to job, and volunteer, opportunities not available outside the realm of science and technology (STEM).

 

By this time, the old structures and pieces will have bitten the dust. I’m referring to the homes, office buildings, stores, schools, restaurants, manufacturing plants, etc. that required painters on site, or a paintshop, for brushing, rolling or spraying on product.

 

The panorama of our residential, commercial and industrial landscapes and skylines will be occupied solely by surfaces pre-coated at the plant. Sleek, clean lines. Toxic-free, hazard-free.

 

Recently, I got out “Star Wars” from my Star Wars Trilogy Special Collection. I popped it into my DVD-VCR system. I looked more closely at the sets used in the movie. Awesome!

 

There, in full view, was a vivid picture of future surfaces. Those construction/building products and materials precoated at the manufacturing plant.

 

I took my first class in Painting Technology 101, I guess you could say. Food for thought for certain.

 

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It’s amazing the trade lessons that science/futuristic fiction authors, artists

and filmmakers have been teaching us, probably without thinking about that.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s Tips: Adapting for the Environment

 

It is easy to paint, when the environmental conditions are optimal. The sun is out; and the air is dry and moderately cool.

 

On many occasions, painting must be done in less than suitable conditions. It may be overcast, humid, or confined.

 

Some of it is a matter of choice. Also, the pressure to get the job done promptly.

 

The ability to adapt to environmental changes and conditions allows a painter much greater flexibility, that he or she might not see in set conditions.

 

TIPS FOR ADAPTING TO THE ENVIRONMENT

 

TIP 1. When work is to be done outdoors, and whenever possible, select days that allow for the paint to dry properly, and you to work efficiently.

Example: I’ve worked under humid conditions before only to see the paint run off the walls. The employer ignored recommendations to wait till conditions had improved.

 

TIP 2. It is possible to enhance your working environment. Wear a hat when working in the sun.

 

TIP 3. When working indoors, use a portable fan or air conditioner to improve air circulation.

 

TIP 4. Some conditions, coupled with certain products, require the use of an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.

 

TIP 5: The driest possible air is essential for painting. At times, however, it is not possible.

 

TIP 6. Minimize toxic exposure by wearing protective head-to-toe clothing, gloves and safety goggles. Also, use a organic vapor respirator/fresh air supply system.

 

TIP 7. Limit skin and breathing/respiratory exposure. Especially, chemicals, industrial solvents, and mold and mildew.

 

TIP 8. Provide adequate ventilation, when working with chemicals. Even latex paints can cause breathing problems, and oxygen levels in the blood to decrease.

 

Working conditions can be altered in such a way as to not affect the quality or productivity of your work.

 

KEY TIP: Take some time, forethought, and planning to improve where you work. And, to maximize the safety and health conditions in that work environment. On a daily basis.

 

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Everyone in a painter’s  work space plays a role in the health and safety of that environment.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

HEAT ILLNESS: Special Life-Saving Prevention Tips for Painters. Part II

“WATER. REST.  SHADE.”

 

 

PLEASE DO: Before the prolonged hot, humid and full-sun season starts…

1. Get approval to adjust your uniform requirements, to fit extreme hot, humid, sunny conditions.

2. Get approval to adjust regular tasks and projects to minimize exposure to extreme conditions.

3. Get approval for a plan on how you will work in these extreme conditions when you must handle, or help resolve, property emergencies.

 

PLEASE DO: During prolonged hot, humid and full-sun season…

1. Schedule exterior painting during the coolest times of your work day.

Example A: Dawn-to-10 AM. Example B: 5 PM-to-dusk or dark, or later.

 

2. Plan to work on surfaces and areas opposite full-sun exposure.

Example A: West and north sides of buildings when sun is over east and south sides.

Example B: East and south sides of buildings when sun is on west and north sides.

 

3. When handling, or helping to resolve, any property emergency, follow your plan.

NOTE: There are times when exterior painting must be done immediately.

 

4. Wear clothing/uniforms made of fabric that (a) reflects sun and (b) allows sweat to evaporate.

 

5. Wear short, white painter’s pants when you must work in temperatures 90 degrees and higher. Regardless of the time period involved.

 

6. Wear a cap or hat with a visor, when working and/or walking in the sun. TIP: Wider is wiser.

 

7. Keep a drinking water supply with you at all times. TIP: Cool or cold. Avoid ice cold.

 

8. Carry packs of small snacks in your pocket. Examples: Walnuts/almonds, Peanut M&Ms, raisins, Trail mix, granola bars, energy bars.

 

9. Carry frozen ice pack in small cooler on your golf cart or pushcart. Stick in healthy snacks. Examples: V-8 or orange juice; apple, banana. Help to stabilize potassium, sodium, hydration, etc.

 

 BOTTOM LINE: The painter on duty must get his/her work done. One way or another.

 

Watch out for yourself when the heat and humidity start to climb. And, the full-sun sets in for an intense and long visit!

 

Help set the standard for others to watch out for themselves. And, to help pay it forward…

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Learn and Live “Heat Illness” Free. Go to: www.osha.gov/heatillness.

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A Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone, especially old coworkers and friends.
And, many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Consulting in the Painting Trade

 

Why do highly skilled, innovative and excellent employees turn to self-employment and consulting? 

 

In October, I surveyed fifty-two journey-level painters that had left “boss situations.” All had gone into contracting and/or consulting. All possessed over 15 years of previous experience painting, in an employee or staff member capacity. Examples: contractor, facility, government, private corporation, institution, school system, property management company, etc.

 

Many of the painters “commented” with the following reasons for offering consulting services:

 

  1. Decision-makers already seek out their creative ideas and advice.
  2. These people tend to listen, use and follow suggestions.
  3. They tend to pay well for the expertise and direction.

 

Another reason given: RESPECT!

 

Three former employee painters described the well-known “suggestion box” scenario.

 

Some employers set out suggestion boxes to impress employees with their “inclusion” policies. They might read the suggestions. Often, they are filed away, or “shelved.” The employees, including the painter, hear nothing more about them.

 

Decision-makers that tap consultants will actually read those employee suggestions. They will act upon them. Moreover, they will include the employees in those follow-through activities.

 

Why do skilled, successful and excellent employers turn to consultants that, previously, were highly skilled and excellent staff painters?

 

Twenty-five employers with staff painters on board were surveyed a month earlier, in September.

 

Many “commented” with three reasons they turned to painting consultants that previously served as staff painters.

 

  1. The consultant will work as smart and hard for them, and they worked before, as employees.
  2. The consultant will take the time to learn and understand all about them, their business, their problems, and their circumstances.
  3. The consultant will do everything in his or her power to (a) find the right solutions and (b) help them – customer/client – actually put those solutions into practice.

 

Another term for it: MUTUAL RESPECT!

 

In painting and decorating, consulting is an important part of every project. It is a key element in every successful and trusting painter and client/customer relationship.

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Reach out. Give where you can. Build a network.

Root yourself. Help others do the same.

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Many thanks, to everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Estate Properties: Repainting and Redecorating within the Sale Prep Budget

A loved one passes away, and is laid to rest. His or her estate must be settled in a legally acceptable and timely order. The residence – eg. house, townhouse, condo – is a major part of that estate. And, it must be sold.

 

Often, each heir will have a wish list for using his or her share of the monetary proceeds. Each heir expects to get at least a certain amount.

 

The final sale price must be maximized. The property needs to undergo a facelift, before it goes on the market.

 

A Skilled Painter and Decorator’s role

 

A painter, skilled in renovation and restoration – especially of estate properties – can hold the key to realizing a lucrative sale.

 

  1. The painter will be able to accentuate the home’s attributes and advantages.
  2. The painter will be able to upgrade the home’s features to appeal to today’s real estate market.
  3. The painter will be able to camouflage or minimize its flaws – uneven walls, cracked wood.
  4. The painter will be able to suggest or advise the seller(s) about other work to have done, and by whom.

 

The painter can help the estate trustee or administrator work up a total facelift estimate.

Also, the painter/decorator can help determine an itemized budget range for each service that needs to be completed. Prior to listing the property for sale.

 

Painting/decorating tips gleaned from giving an interior facelift to a home prior to listing.

 

Keep the facelift simple. Make it suitable to the home’s architecture, style, worth, and location.

 

  1. TIP: To minimize the pale yellow cast of once white ceilings, custom tint white latex wall a very light yellow-white. This stretches facelift budget that cannot cover repainting of ceilings.

 

  1. TIP: Paint all walls throughout the home the same custom-tinted paint mentioned above. This creates flowing, uniform look.

 

  1. TIP: Repaint the bathrooms in their same original color – in this case soft yellow. This helps contain paint product costs.

 

  1. TIP: Limit repainting in kitchens, breakfast nooks, etc. that often feature tiled wall areas.

 

  1. TIP: Select high-end paint products, known (a) offer better coverage and (b) require only one coat. Especially in older homes, and in certain climates.

 

  1. TIP: Give ample attention to cleaning and prepping all surfaces to be re-finished. Examples: patching, filling, caulking, sanding. Allot enough drying time between steps and applications. Remember: The quality of a finishing job is linked directly to the quality of the surface prepping.

 

  1. TIP: Limit priming to surfaces that really need it. Hint: Areas that will likely stay the same finish color for at least the first year of new ownership.

 

  1. TIP: Apply finish coat to walls, trim, doors, etc. room-by-room. Or, whichever way that will assure ample drying time, a uniform finish throughout, and save in overall labor costs.

 

 

Before you call in a painter. . .

 

Empty the home’s interior to the walls. Here are a few tips to help you.

 

  1. Distribute and remove all personal items. (Follow the terms of the trust and/or will.) This includes all types of items such as furniture, accessories, appliances; china, silver, housewares, cookware; clothing, jewelry; linens, textiles; antiques, collectibles, books, etc.

 

  1. Remove and place remaining valuables in the hands of the best available dealers. Examples: expensive jewelry, art; antiques, collectibles, glass, books.

 

  1. If there’s time, hold a “class act” yard sale for the rest of personal property. Roll out the red carpet bargain-prices. Offer boxed/bagged/packaged group deals. Offer some quality items for free.

 

  1. GOOD NEIGHBOR TIP: If your loved one lived in the neighborhood for years: Invite close neighbors to come and select a few items to keep. No charge.

 

  1. Donate some of the nicer clothing, accessories, linens, etc. to a local church-run thrift shop.

 

  1. Donate whatever is left to the nearest Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, or similar charity store. Call in advance to make certain they offer pick-up service.

 

Giving a home its final touches of paint and finish – facelift – before its estate sale can be rewarding.

In a way, the painter gets the opportunity to help the family give their loved one’s property a proper send off. And, that may help those left behind find some sense of closure.

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When people know how much you care about them, they care about how much you know.

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Special thanks to supporters through LinkedIn.com and Google+.  See you on the IN-side.

And, thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Painting Lessons Anyone Can Learn

 

  1. Cover the floor. Unless you’re painting it, now.

 

  1. The same goes for the furniture and fixtures, bushes and flowers, walkways, etc.

 

  1. Remove, or cover, whatever you’re not going to paint at the time.

 

  1. Promptly, clean up after yourself. Paint drips, drops, splatters, spills, etc.

 

  1. Post “WET PAINT” signs while you’re still painting in the area. After is too late!

 

  1. Rope or barricade off your work area as much as possible -with safety always in mind.

 

  1. Clean your used brushes and/or roller covers a.s.a.p. With a product-appropriate solution.

 

  1. Tape over, or remove, electric outlet covers before you do any work in the room/area.

 

  1. Unplug all electric tools before leaving your work area.

 

  1. Always use the tool or equipment safety shields/covers. They’re provided for a good reason.

 

  1. Keep all sharp supplies and tools in a secured place. Do not let them laying around.

 

  1. Put paint/finish/solvent container lids tightly back on containers before you leave area.

 

  1. Read the product label. Even if you’ve purchased, and used, the same product many times. Manufacturers do change instructions.

 

  1. Follow manufacturer instructions for all products and materials.

 

  1. Protect your skin when working around any toxic or hazardous chemicals, conditions, etc.

 

  1. Wear disposable full-body suits and shoe covers, when cleaning larger areas, or worse infestations, of toxic mold and mildew. Promptly, bag and throw out after finished.

 

  1. Wear snugly-fitting eye goggles, when using any product, materials, tool, or equipment that can emit damaging fumes, particles, etc.

 

  1. Use a breathing mask, or apparatus, every time you use product containing chemicals, harmful health and environmental agents.

 

  1. Clearly label all containers of solvents.

 

  1. Store, under lock and key, all toxic and hazardous products. No exceptions. No excuses. Be super careful around areas used by children, disabled, impaired.

 

  1. On a large area, do not use any product or material new to you. First, test on a small, hidden spot.

 

  1. Ask for help from someone that knows more than you do about a product, technique, problem, etc. That person was less knowledgeable and experienced at one time, too.

 

  1. Try not to climb a tall ladder, while carrying any open container of paint, finish, solvent, etc.

 

  1. Open the cutting blade when you’re in position. Before then, keep closed, and secure in tool belt. (Assuming you’re wearing it.)

 

  1. Quickly, turn off electric paint mixer when finished. Unplug, unless you’ll be using it again within 5 minutes.

 

  1. Unplug all electric tools and equipment when not in use.

 

  1. Put away all tools and equipment at the end of each work day or shift.

 

  1. Wash your face, hands, wrists, and arms with soap before every break, and before you leave work for the day.

 

THINK! THINK!

 

Pay attention to what you’re doing. What you’re using.

 

Pay attention to where you’re at – and who else is around.

 

Watch where you’re going!

 

Use whatever common sense you’ve got. And, find some more – when you’re running short.

 

Wear that back brace when lifting, carrying, hoisting, bending, climbing, etc.

 

Wear knee pads when working on your knees for an extended period of time. Or, repeatedly.

 

THINK! LOOK! LISTEN!  BE ALERT!  BE AWARE!  CARE!

 

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Many thanks for doing more than your share.

And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

served.

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 2

Recently, I heard of a group of five entrepreneurs that save smaller properties, like the three men did in the Midwest. (See “Getting Unemployed Properties, Part 1.)

 

This group purchases abandoned smaller schools, rehabilitation facilities, hotels, and churches. Then, they remodel and retrofit each property to fill a specific voice in its respective community. “Usually, within a 25-mile radius.”

 

A few examples:

 

  1. One-story elementary school, north central Florida, converted into a residential facility for moderately-to-severely handicapped teens and adults.

 

  1. One-story private elementary school, in northwest Florida, turned into a non-denominational assisted living facility for low-income persons.

 

  1. Two-story hotel, in southeast Georgia, transformed into low-income rental “villas.”

 

  1. 100-room hotel, in north central Florida, retrofitted as an assisted living facility, complete with ADA-compliant pool and spa.

 

  1. One-story high school, turned into short-term rehabilitation center and permanent ALF for handicapped military veterans.

 

  1. Small church and adjoining education building, remodeled as a year-round community center.

 

Within the last five years, the group has purchased, then helped “revitalize and recycle” over 15 properties. Two persons in the group are brothers.

 

One is a cardiovascular physician and surgeon, that co-finances the group’s “property rescue projects.” The other brother is a journey-level painter, that specializes in remodeling, renovating, and retrofitting what he calls “people-public properties.”

 

The painter in the group e-mailed me about his role in getting some of these properties “back to work.”

 

“Usually, I work as both the foreman and line painter on a crew of five commercial painters. My project work can be divided into eight phases.

 

  1. Surface/area assessment – conditions and needs.
  2. Product and color estimating, selecting and ordering.
  3. Tool and equipment selecting, purchasing or renting, and keeping track of.
  4. Work area set-ups and scheduling.
  5. Painter assignments and outfitting.
  6. Painting with the rest of the crew.
  7. Troubleshooting and punch lists.
  8. Cooperating with inspectors and sign-off people.

 

“My work is time sensitive… labor and ability intensive. We rely a lot on each other. Across trade lines…. A big, learning experience for me. On every project…”

 

“The painters’ job on these projects is not to restore the surfaces to their pristine, original condition. It’s not to deal with style-conscious interior designers. And, forget trying to please the owners and investors 100 percent. (This group doesn’t expect that.) We don’t have any of them on these projects.

 

“We’re all here with the same dream: To get the property back to good use. No egos here.”

 

He closed with this motivating message…

 

“Practically anyone can do this. Pull together a few friends and relatives. Pool your brains, money and abilities. Save one building. Help some decent people in your own community.”

 

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“Charity begins where we’re working. Where we’re standing.” rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

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