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Archive for the ‘2016 Olympics’ Category

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.

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