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Archive for the ‘Exterior coatings’ Category

Paintshop: Painting in Bad Weather

Heat/humidity. Full sun. Mist/rain/fog. Smog. Dust/dirt. Wind/whirlwinds. Arctic blasts. Cold/frost/ice. Sleet.

 

You know the policy: Paint until you can’t get anything done. Then try to paint anyway.

 

You’ve heard it before:

 

“You can’t let a little bad weather stop you.”

 

“A little rain or wind never hurt anyone.”

 

“Do it anyway.”

 

“Figure it out.”

 

“Just get it done. Now!”

 

Fourteen Tips for Painting in Bad Weather

 

  1. What’s the job? And what do you need to get it done?
  2. Assess your situation and the scene, relative to the project.
  3. How bad are the weather conditions?
  4. Do a last-minute check of the weather.
  5. What can you take care of while waiting for the bad weather to calm down, or clear up?
  6. Who has the final say whether you (a) hold off and reschedule, (b) wait a while, or, (c) do it anyway?
  7. Will you actually save time, money and manpower by holding off till the afternoon, or the next day? Or even later?
  8. Which way will your quality still be there?
  9. What can you do to make things work, even in the bad weather?

A. Can you paint less exposed surfaces and areas first.

B. Or, can you prep and paint sunny, less windy, less affected areas first?

SPECIAL TIPS: Remove all ice, water, rust, etc. from the surface to be painted. Make sure the surface is completely dry and smooth before painting. Use fast-drying primers and top coats; they are less affected by changes in the weather.

10. What can you do to protect you and your crew?

A. Can you partially tent or tarp the work area to cut out exposure to the elements – eg. wind, drizzle, snow, cold?

B. Allow enough air to circulate for the painted surface to dry.

11. What can you do to protect the crew from unhealthy and unsafe over-exposure?

SPECIAL TIPS: Dress for the conditions: warm coat, hat, work gloves, insulated boots. As soon as possible, invest in some waterproof apparel.

12. When is it time to call it quits? NOTE: Continuous high winds combined with rain do not a good paint job make.

13. What tasks are simply too dangerous in this bad weather? Example: Strong wind gusts are moving the extension ladders around, and pulling at the men’s clothing.

14. Is the painting project more important than following your instinct to just respect the bad weather? And try later?

INDUSTRIAL PAINTER TIP: Exterior painting can always be done, if you can isolate the work from the weather.

 

Bottom line: In bad weather conditions, health and safety must come first. No painting task nor project is worth a dollar if it costs anyone an injury, a serious illness, or worse.

 

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Make every job site a “safe-weather situation” for your crew and you.

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Start your year on a safe footing. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: The Truth About Paint

“You get what you pay for” goes for paint and supplies as well.

 

For the painter, it is important to get the best value out of the products chosen. Painting materials must guarantee some degree of durability to retain their worth over time. You look for something else if they don’t.

 

What separates a quality paint product from one at the bottom of the barrel? One is a quality-formulated product; the other pretends to be one, particularly as they try to compete.

 

Typically, you can rely on a paint product which is a high-end brand name. And within that, the most expensive is normally the best. The reason is research and development.

 

When a company focuses on making a better, longer lasting product, the result should be a more durable product. At the same time, the manufacturers of all higher-end products do try to make improvements to even their lower-end, cheaper materials.

 

When it comes to paint, here’s what you should look for:

  1. amount of pigment.
  2. volume of solvent. CAUTION: Some paints have more water than they should.
  3. cost per gallon, versus the cost per five-gallon unit (not more than $15/$130.)
  4. paint is not manufactured by a foreign subsidiary of main brand.
  5. product has UV protection. TIP: If it doesn’t the surface may oxidize faster.
  6. binder percentages in paint are equivalent to similar priced and types of paint.
  7. viscosity test level information. TIP: My opinion: Paint is worthless if the material is too thin.
  8. Paint with primer” added is a misnomer. CAUTION: The chemistry of either cannot be combined to produce the same results as when the primer is applied by itself, then later the finish paint.

 

About Primers. A primer bonds to the surface. It provides a porous anchoring surface that the top coat to which it can bond effectively.

 

“Paint with primer” products skip one critical step. Be careful about this, especially if you’re an experienced painter. The time and money you think you are saving, along with the idea that your work has become easier, diminishes the actual quality of the job itself. You could be painting something twice in a year instead of once.

 

Now, who has the best Paint?

The two central choices are Glidden and Sherwin Williams. They have a long and valued reputation for making high quality, long lasting and moderately priced coatings. For the price, they are also the most diverse in their product types. Sherwin Williams, by far, has the best industrial line.

In its response to the residential market, the Behr paint line is exceptional, as well, although the pricing is somewhat higher than Glidden. For stains, Minwax and Olympic are without real competition. They also have a long history behind them. In the automotive industry, I would rate DuPont as the best option.

 

What are the most durable paints?

 

The three that I select the most are the following:

  1. Elastomeric compounds for exterior commercial masonry surfaces,
  2. Two-part Urethanes for automotive refinishing,
  3. Two-part Epoxy products for commercial/industrial corrosion and abrasion resistance.

 

Within reason and knowledge of these products, they may be purchased and applied by the general public.

 

A True On-Site Story…

 
I once painted a smoke stack with a silicon, heat resistant alkyd paint. The label said the product was resistant up to 600 degrees Farenheit.

After two days of curing, the smoke stack was put back into service. That same day the paint bubbled and peeled off, sending sheets of paint floating to the ground. It had been shown that the temperature of the metal heated to a consistent 625 degrees. Was it the paint product’s fault?
Several days later, I repainted the stack with another heat resistant product. This time it was a high-heat, aluminum fibered material. Once the stack became heated, everything turned out fine, no loose or peeling paint. In this case, I said it was the paint. Go figure.

 

Every experienced painter has a less than favorable on-site story to relate. Hopefully, yours had a positive ending, like mine did. Eventually.

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Best wishes from “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert  D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: Painting Unusual Projects

What are the most unusual paint projects that you’ve ever done?

 

10 Unusual Paint Projects Worked on By Other Painters

 

  1. Exterior and interior of Doberman’s custom dog house
  2. Tennis equipment storage of retired athlete
  3. Children’s-sized 3-room playhouse
  4. Garage interior room for small antique tool collection
  5. Miniature apartment interior for training city dogs “how to live in an apartment”
  6. Built-in notions and supplies closets for professional designer and seamstress
  7. Huge storage closet for tech geek
  8. Children’s 2-level treehouse
  9. Agri-seed museum
  10. School’s double flagpole and connecting platform

 

10 Unusual Paint Projects that I have Worked On

 

  1. Sandblasting and spraying vinyl coating on structural steel frame for train scale
  2. Painted geometric graphics in fluorescent colors in day care center
  3. Applied genuine grasscloth wallcovering to entire room – ceiling, walls, doors
  4. Painted piping and talk system that was being shipped to China
  5. Sandblasted and painted semi-tractor wrecker
  6. Stained woodwork for molded panel ceiling
  7. Painted church dome with Metallic Gold
  8. Sandblasted and epoxy-painted Olympic-sized swimming pool
  9. Applied foil wallpaper to large ceiling
  10. Brush and rolled steel tub frames for Wild West display

 

Probably, my father’s most unusual painting project was the interior of an underground bomb shelter. In particular, he painted the vertical wood panels inserted into the walls of the pre-cast 12-feet by 18 feet vault thick steel shell. The agri-businessman’s wife refused to even step in the security structure unless it “looked inviting and homey.”

 

Unusual painting projects tend to stretch our creativity, agility and patience. They also give us the opportunity to have lots of fun. To use colors in exciting, unexpected ways. To reach into our greater selves as craftspersons and artisans.

 

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Unusual painting projects can open the door to new, specialty career opportunities.

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Thank you for including “Painting with Bob” in your busy day.

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

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.

Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part II

In “Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part I,” posted February 10, 2o16, we covered a giant chessboard project that turned into a huge mess.

 

Here, we cover how the unique project – exterior driveway and courtyard, and interior main hallway, of a retired Chess champion’s large residence — was re-done. Beautifully! And right!

 

HOW THE PROJECT GOT STRAIGHTENED OUT

 

** A new paint crew came on board, and started from step one. **

 

 

PREP WORK OF ALL SURFACES

 

1. Lightly sanded driveway, courtyard and hallway.

2. Re-measured all three areas; then re-gridded surfaces, locating axis and connection points.

 

EXTERIOR AREAS – Driveway and Courtyard

 

1. Sprayed S-W 30 Seconds Outdoor Painter’s Prep Cleaner (124-7485) onto both surfaces.

2. Hosed off both areas. Let dry completely (4 hours).

3.  Sprayed H&C Concrete Etch Solution onto driveway and courtyard areas.

4. Plumb-lined, then taped grid lines and block edges. Tape: ScotchBlue 2097; 2090.

5. Labeled Autumn Brown and Natural Tan blocks, on grid. Used color-coded tapes.

6. Cut in, then painted Tan blocks on driveway. H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/Sealer, S-B.

— Two, 2-men teams worked from center of each row outward, in opposite direction.

— First man on team cut in, then second filled in blocks. Rollers: 3/8 in. nap by 3 in., and 9 in.

7. Cut in, then painted Autumn Brown blocks. Followed technique used in No. 5.

8. Rolled first coat of H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look on driveway. Rollers: ¼ in. nap x 12 inch.

9. Cut in, then painted courtyard chessboard: Natural Tan blocks, then Autumn Brown.

10. Rolled on first coat H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look onto courtyard. Roller: ¼ in. nap x 12 in.

— Let surface dry for 24 hours.

11. Rolled on second coat of H&C Wet Look. SharkGrip Slip Resistant Additive mixed in paint.

12. Sprayed one coat of H&C Concrete & Driveway Protector onto both surfaces.

 

INTERIOR AREA – Floor/Main Hallway

 

1. Covered hallway walls with 4-mil plastic sheeting; ceiling with 6-mil.

— Used special masking tape; walls papered in Grass Cloth.

2. Smooth-sanded wood floor, using graduated grit disks, 400-to-1000, on orbital sander.

— Thoroughly vacuumed after each grit sanding.

3. Primed with S-W Multi-purpose (wood)*. Roller: ¼ in. nap x 12 in. roller. * Primer optional.

4. Plumb-lined, then taped grid lines and block edges. Used T-square to “square” all corners.

Tape: ScotchBlue 2090/Orig. Multi-use; 2080EL/Advanced Delicate.

5. Labeled Meadow Brown and Naturel Tan blocks, from axis out. Used color-coded tape.

6. Cut in, then painted Tan blocks, front doorway to back entry.

Paint: S&W Porch and Floor Enamel. Brushes: 1 ½ in./angled; Rollers: 3/8 in. nap x 9 in.

7. Cut in, then painted Meadow Brown blocks. Brushes, rollers: Same as for Tan blocks

8. Let area dry for 24 hours.

9. Gently “glass-sanded” floor; carefully vacuumed immediately.

10. “Fan-sprayed” on Sherwin-Williams MinWax Polyurethane, semi-gloss clear.

NOTE: Everyone on the team closely followed paint manufacturers’ instructions for each product.

 

WHO DID RE-DO PROJECT

 

1. 5 Journey-level painters, including foreman;* also 1 apprentice.

— 5 experienced in application of specialty exterior products.

— 1 also highly skilled decorative painter/finisher – interior work.

* Note: Journey foreman also served as project manager, with over 21 years of experience.

 

HOW LONG RE-DO PROJECT TOOK

 

1. Prep work: 3 days.

2. Painting: 8 days.

3. Clean-up: 1 full day.

* Note: Time did not include “rained out” days. (There were four.)

 

WHAT PAINT PRODUCTS WERE USED – A Summary

 

* Exterior surfaces: Sherwin-Williams 30 Seconds Outdoor Painter’s prep Cleaner; S-W H&C Concrete Etch Solution; S-W H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/Sealer, solvent-based; S-W H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look (topcoat); S-W H&C SharpGrip Slip-Resistant Additive; S-W H&C Concrete & Driveway Protector.

* Interior surface: S-W Multi-Purpose (wood) Primer; S-W Porch and Floor Enamel, satin: Meadow Trail (Brown), Naturel Tan; S-W MinWax Polyurethane Super Fast Dry, semi-gloss.

 

WHAT PROJECT COST – Approximate

 

1. Original estimate:   Paint: $5,200 Labor: $ 2,400 Total: $7,600

2. Rescue/Re-Do cost: Paint Products: $15,043.83 Labor: $10,060 Total: 25,103.83*

* Does not include cost for tools and supplies.

3. ** Owner cost: Paint: $0.00; Supplies: $0.00; Labor: $0.00; Legal fees: $4,000. Total: $4,000

** Final figures, after settlement.

 

See upcoming post: “Chessboard Project Supplies Chart and Computations.”

 

WHO PAID FOR PROJECT RE-DO

 

Final decision: “Split responsibility.” Real estate company that “subcontracted” job to painting contractor, that employed first two painters. * Original paint crew’s work was not guaranteed.

 

HOW DIFFICULT “CHESSBOARD” WAS TO STRAIGHTEN OUT

 

“It could have been worse,” said the paint foreman/project manager, a retired IUPAT member from N.W. Indiana. He’d moved to Florida in 1995 to get the opportunity to work on “extreme, detail projects.” I have to say: That guy was really in his element. And, an amazing craftsman!

 

How I was involved in project

 

Found paint foreman/project manager, helped identify crew members; helped with product selection, surface testing, and estimating; advised about layout, gridding, and procedures. (My services were gratis. A family friend of property owner.)

 

See upcoming post: “Chessboard Project Supplies Chart and Computations.”

 

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Complicated jobs are nothing more than simple jobs with more steps.

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Have a safe and satisfying day, everyone. And, many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part I

 

Last October, two painters took on a project that they had no business tackling. One, they had less than one year experience in the trade. Two, they were production painters. And, three, they were not detail-oriented.

 

Project: Paint continuous pattern on exterior driveway and courtyard, and interior main hallway.

Dimensions: Driveway: 36 feet wide by 350 feet long; Courtyard: 18 feet wide by 24 feet long. Hallway: 12 feet wide by 220 feet long

 

Pattern/effect: Wood-grain chessboard.

 

Property owner: Amateur chess champion and business entrepreneur.

 

WHAT THE PROJECT REQUIRED

 

  1. Precision measuring: up, down, across.
  2. Precision gridding: linear, horizontal, vertical.
  3. Precision marking: block pattern, no-borders, edge run-offs.
  4. Labeling: Alternating blocks, horizontal and vertical.
  5. Precision cutting in, each paint block.
  6. Prompt, steady fill-in of each block, in gridded order.
  7. Careful matching of correct paint color to correct block.
  8. Frequent paint mixing and stirring: 5-gallon containers; also 1-gallon roller pan filler cans.

 

HOW THE PROJECT GOT MESSED UP

 

  1. Measuring: each surface area’s length and width estimated, not measured; courtyard missed.
  2. Gridding: each area’s axis (center) not located.
  3. Marking: perpendicular lines forming block edges/encasements not marked evenly. Corners not squared. Why: Product failure: Poor quality masking tape failed.
  4. Labeling: Cabernet brown and Sandstone blocks not alternated in certain area. Why: Worker(s) did not pay attention, lost track, got in a hurry.
  5. Cutting in: corners not sharp – not squared/ “L-ed” off. Fuzzy edging. Why: Work speed did not match skill level; wrong brushes used; too much paint on brushes; poor taping. (See C.)
  6. Filling-in: Finish paint surface not smooth. Paint applied unevenly, also too thinly or thickly in spots. Unblended brush stroke edges. Paint-clogged brushes.
  7. Paint-to-block matching: Lost chessboard pattern big time. Note: One block color off messes up entire sequence.
  8. Frequent mixing/stirring to avoid “bumps,” lumps and separation in applied paint. Why: Paint products not strained or filtered before being poured into 1-gallon buckets, paint tray.

 

See: Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part II.

 

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Champion chess players and devoted decorative painters share a key skill: Patience.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. 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 with Marley – and One Curious 3-Year Old

A surprise visit from a property owner’s pet iguana reminded me of an old iguana friend.

 

“Marley” and I met in June of 2007. On the walkway between Engineering Department’s doors and the back of the building.

 

He measured at least four feet in length. weighing over ten pounds. And, he blocked my path. Refusing to budge.

 

I stood and stared. Captivated by this amazing, and beautiful, creature.

 

His scales glistened in the bright sun. Showing off a kaleidoscope of hues in green, blue, red, and orange. He had a “third – parietal – eye” on the top of his head. A tall-to-short row of spines – “dewlap” – that ran down his back to the tail. Behind his neck, I saw these small, “spoke” like scales. And, then there was a very large round scale on each cheek.

 

It was my first very close encounter with a Green iguana. Considered a 21st century descendent of the prehistoric Polychrotid lizard.

 

Getting back to Marley. The name I gave him in late 2007, after crossing his path at least weekly.

 

One morning, our meeting was not exactly friendly. I’d needed to leave a freshly-coated exterior corridor, on the second story to help my boss move something very heavy.

 

Upon returning, I found claw marks in the damp, unset paint. And, Marley lying, leisurely, at the top of the steps that I’d rolled out less than a half-hour earlier.

 

The frustrating point came next. No matter what I did, the iguana would not move. Even when three young guests, in swim trunks, appeared at the foot of the steps.

 

My first instinct: Protect the three boys. Position myself between them and the iguana. That worked fine with the two older children.

 

The youngest, however, ignored me – and the WET PAINT signs. He ran onto the wet surface. Toward the iguana.

 

“AN’MAL! AN’MAL!” he shouted happily. “AN’MAL! Come here.”

 

Well, the “an’mal” raised on all fours. He swished that tail a couple of times. Then, he jumped from the second story landing, to the ground beneath. Scurrying toward the nearest clump of dense bushes.

 

The youngest boy following closely behind. “AN’MAL! AN…..’MAL!”

 

His big brothers chased after him. “NO, DAVID.” “Stop, Davie.”

 

I took off running after all three boys. My greatest concern was for their safety. The second concern: Marley.

 

Suddenly, alongside me appeared this lady in a dripping wet swimsuit. The boys’ mother.

 

In a flash, she had all three sons corralled, and following her back to the gazebo in the pool area.

 

Lucky for me, the iguana’s claw marks in the paint were easy to lightly smooth out with a No. 2 steel wool pad.

 

The first thing next morning, I re-coated that section of the concrete corridor. Guarding the area for fifteen minutes longer than necessary. Until the special coating had dried completely.

 

Moral of the story: Watch out for four-legged creatures and two-legged boys when painting open, and public, spaces.

 

Footnote: The last time I saw Marley was the afternoon of April 19, 2013. He stood on the hotel’s side of the fence. He peered toward the nearby, swampy pond. And, “Charlie,” a resident Alligator, floating along like an old log. Only the top of his snout and beady eyes above water.

 

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Lucky is the painter that can work in the midst of nature.

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Here’s hoping that you have a great month, everyone. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Painting Hotels: Creating Curbside Charm

A hotel’s appeal starts in three places: on-line, on-app, and at-the-curb.

 

Its exterior image can attract or deter guests and visitors patronage, loyalty and referrals. It can help position the hotel in the lodging and convention marketplace. It can help establish and sustain its place in the business community.

 

How can the hotel’s painter and decorator create, or enhance, the business’s curbside appeal and image?

 

A FEW CREATIVE AND COST-EFFECTIVE OPTIONS

 

Area: Property’s front-main entrance and gate.

 

Main Entrance Walls: Masonry.

Paint color: Lt. yellow gold. Other examples: Cream 45yy721230, Glidden Exterior semi-gloss; H&C Concrete Solid Color Stain/low-lustre, water-base over previous paint surface. Gates: wrought iron, baked enamel. Color: Black.

 

Project: Paint wall top and edging a color that complements main color used in area.

Paint color: White No. 60yy831094. Glidden’s Heavy-duty exterior semi-gloss masonry paint. Other colors: Egg White No. SW6364, or Tandy Green No. SW 6424, both Sherwin-Williams; H&C Exterior Concrete Color Stain/Sealer. TIP: One coat using heavy duty, premium product.

 

CAUTION: A color that sharply contrasts with area’s predominant color can detract, even cheapen, overall appearance of entire area. Example: Entrance walls: Cream or lt. yellow gold; Trim: Bright or deeper red, Exterior high-gloss paint.

 

Project: Construct “WELCOME” sign. Tap a woodcrafting staff member – in any department – to design and construct sign and posts.

Construction: Use treated exterior wood, such as oak.

Letters: Paint or stain in brightest/darkest hue of hotel’s predominant color scheme color. Examples: Paint color: Dark Lake Blue, 90BG 08/075, or Forest Green 07BG 08/244, both Glidden’s Exterior semi-gloss; Stain: Pine Needle SW3009, Sherwin-Williams.

Sign body and posts: Mask off dry letters. Stain, using ample product. Let penetrate. Wipe with clean, soft cloths. Apply two coats of exterior clear polyurethane to entire sign.

Alternate method: First, stain sign body and posts. Let penetrate. Wipe with clean, soft cloths. Then, paint or stain the letters. Let dry. Last, apply two coats of exterior clear polyurethane. Allow ample dry time between coats.

 

Area: Lobby Entrance Exterior.

 

Project: Paint two park benches in a color that matches a color in hotel’s and lobby’s scheme.

Seats/backs: Paint colors: Real Red SW6868, Radish SW6861, or Positive Red SW 6871, all available in Duration, SuperPaint or Resilience Exterior Acrylic Coatings, Sherwin-Williams; Bright Juniper Green C40, 50GY51/437, or Caribbean Sea B40, 56BG 23/355, Glidden’s.

Product type: Glidden’s Heavy-duty exterior high-gloss enamel.

Bench metal frames/braces: Paint color: Black, Glidden’s or Sherwin-Williams. Product type: Rust-proof, fade-proof heavy-duty metal/steel paint.

Finish coat entire bench: One or two coats of exterior heavy-duty clear coat to all surfaces. NOTE: Finish back and underside of bench.

 

Project: Where’s your mascot? A life-size model belongs at the lobby entrance doors. Freshly painted or stained, and clear-coated.

 

Areas: Guest Building Exteriors.

 

Project: Use color scheme that matches front entrance colors that match hotel’s color scheme.

Main color: Light hue of predominant color. Accent color: darker shade in same family.

Alternate color: Darker shade of predominant color. Accent/trim color: light hue of same color.

Alternate: Light hue of predominant color. Accent color: Comparable hue, complementary color.

COLOR TIP: Softer hues invite rest and relaxation, particularly in blues and greens.

 

Areas/Surfaces: Exterior Signage Around Buildings.

 

Project: Natural wood signs, that identify indigenous plants, flowers, trees.

Treated new wood: Spray or brush clear stain/sealer onto entire wood area of signs. Wipe dry. Letters/numbers: Hand paint if smaller; spray if larger. One coat fine with premium product. Color idea: Dark shade of darkest color in hotel’s color scheme. Finish coat: Spray entire sign with two finish coats of exterior, heavy-duty clear coating for wood signage.

 

Project: Wood – painted signs.

Used wood: Clean, wash and sand all surfaces. Prime entire sign and posts. TIP: Spray can primer works great here. Retain light, short spray motions to avoid runs, splotches, corner globs. Letters/numbers: Hand or spray paint. Color idea: Dark shade of darkest color scheme color.

For contrast: If letters/numbers are raised, hand paint sides with contrasting color. Steady hand!

Finish coat: Spray entire sign with two coats of exterior heavy-duty semi-gloss latex or enamel. For contrast: Paint outer edges of entire sign in paint color used for letters/numbers.

DURABILITY TIP: Avoid bright yellows, reds, purples that tend to fade faster.

 

Areas: Walkways Between Buildings.

 

Project: “Park-a-Bench”®* along every walkway. More than one is ideal.

TIP: Place a bench along every stretch, between each cross-walk. (* Registration pending: RDH.)

 

A painter friend at a South Florida hotel spearheaded a staff “Paint-a-Bench”® workshop.

 

What they did: “Crew” repaired and refinished used park benches located on the property. Also, some staff members got “donations” of unused, unwanted benches from neighboring hotels.

What colors they used: Each park bench was painted in a color that matched or complemented the hotel’s overall color scheme. Protective finish: Two coats, exterior heavy-duty clear coat.

Personal touch: Each park bench was named after an ocean mammal or fish.

How long it took: Period of three months, each “team” completed two or three benches.

Who paid for what: Hotel’s property management company paid for the paint primers and finish products, also thinners and cleaners. A local contractor donated a supply of sandpaper and gently used brushes and rollers. The hotel’s G.M. donated the rolls of plastic sheeting/drop cloths.

 

COLOR TIP:  Brights excite. Hues subdue.

 

Thanks to some creative, visionary and  practical G.Ms. and property owners, I’ve had the honor to execute each of the projects suggested here. Each project varied from the overview offered in this post. Much more “creative license” was expected and built into the process. The results: Aesthetically alluring, “amenities” in their own right, and value-adding.

 

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Sometimes, stepping out-of-the-box is the best way to keep in step

with your global community.

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

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

Painting Gardens, Rest Areas and Walking Trails – Part I

Interior and exterior gardens, rest areas and walking paths are valuable amenities of any hotel property. They benefit hotel guests, visitors and staff members. They provide natural or “near-to-nature” settings for:

 

. enjoying quieter moments, meditating, taking in nature;

. taking breaks, eating a snack;

. de-stressing, calming down;

. reading, writing, contemplating, thinking more clearly;

. visiting briefly with a co-worker, or another guest/visitor.

 

Too often, these special havens are not a high priority, when planning and scheduling painting/decorating projects around the hotel property. When identifying and handling maintenance projects. When budgeting – finding the money – to take care of them.

 

The surfaces of these wonderful areas deserve special treatment and attention. How do we keep each of them in good – make that excellent – shape?

 

Tips for decks; roofs, covers, overhangs; rails, fences; seating; and tables. 

 
1. DECKS – Caution: Steps, ramps, rails, banisters, etc.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure boards, rails, banisters where loose or protruding from surface. Make certain that fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) are recessed below the surface. Check that metal and glass pieces are smooth. Regularly, pressure-clean with bleach solution, to kill and remove mold or fungus.

B. Prepping: Sweep surfaces free of debris. Apply sealer to surfaces.

C. Painting and finishing: Apply appropriate primer formulated for decks. Apply exterior oil stain, solid or semi-transparent. If using paint, apply exterior gloss oil or enamel finishing product.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Oil stains, enamel, epoxy; brushes, rollers, spray equipment.

E. Challenge: High exposure to sun, rain/moisture, shoes, wheels, sharp objects, things that stain.

Tip: Suggest products with high level of environmental exposure resistance.

 

2. ROOFS/COVERS/OVERHANGS – Caution: Sharp edges, heights, reaching angles.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Replace rotting or damaged soffitts and fascia boards. Use galvanized fasteners to reduce corrosion; make certain they are flush with or recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Caulk seams, cracks, joints in wood. Properly cover adjacent non-painted areas; tape down edges and corners of covering. Recommend: Plastic sheeting, available in different mill weights.

C. Painting and finishing: Prime wood with exterior oil-based product. Use exterior acrylic latex, oil-based, or solid or semi-transparent oil-based stain.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use airless paint sprayer system to apply a uniform paint thickness. Use similar system/equipment to apply stain and finish coating over large area.

E. Challenge: Accessibility. Climbing ladders and positioning to use equipment and to do job safely.

 

3. RAILS and FENCES – Caution: Sharp edges, small spaces, inflexible components.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Make certain fasteners are tight, and recessed below the surface. Pressure clean all areas to remove algae, mildew, soil, dirt, dust, etc.

B. Prepping: Sand sharp edges. Use filler to fill in holes, cracks, small crevices. Use exterior primer if using a paint-type system. Cover all nearby surfaces not to be painted; tape down edges and corners.

C. Painting and finishing: Spray paint onto surface, using a conventional or airless spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use oil-based solid color, or semi-transparent stain. Or use acrylic exterior latex as a topcoat.

E. Challenge: Try to prevent paint overspray from reaching non-painted surfaces (eg. flowers, trees, bushes, grass); areas finished with another specialty coating (eg. automotive, traffic, recreation); surfaces coated by manufacturer ( eg. playground equipment), etc.

 

4. SEATING.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure wood structures, so there is limited movement. Make sure that all fasteners are recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Sand and wood fill all areas that are not smooth to the touch.


C. Painting and finishing:
Use a hard finish. Wet sand between coats.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use medium nap roller cover and frame to apply paint product.

E. Challenge: Try to provide a surface that is safe for contact by skin; also is very durable and washable.

 

5. TABLES – Caution: Super-heavy weight; shape, cumbersome to move/manipulate.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Metal – Secure broken welds. Wood – Repair damaged surfaces with filler.

B. Prepping: Metal – Remove rust using sandpaper, wire brush, steel wool, etc. Wood – Sand surface with appropriate abrasive material to achieve preferred smoothness.

C. Painting and finishing: Use a hard finish. For a premium finish, use a HVLP spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Products – Hard finishing – eg. enamel, urethane, polyurethane, varnishes. Tools – Low-nap roller cover, when applying finish.

E. Challenge: Try to provide superior hard surface that is resistant to chemicals, frequent cleanings, environmental exposure, frequent use, surface abuse and wear, etc.

 

It helps to know a few other facts about each area. Examples:

 

  1. How often area is used: Infrequently, sometimes, often; a heavy traffic area.
  2. When used: Mainly, mornings, afternoons, or evenings; on and off all day; regularly; weekends only.
  3. Who uses the area: Age groups, individuals, families; staff, locals, natives, foreign visitors.
  4. What accommodations it must meet: Blind, hearing/smelling/touching-impaired, wheelchair/walkers.
  5. Why persons are there: Work there; supplier/contractor; vacation; business; conference; area events.
  6. How long area is used: Short-term, extended-stay, long-term, indefinitely.

 

Keeping gardens, rest areas and walking trails in good shape is a daily work-in-progress. It’s a lot of fun. And, it’s fulfilling. Especially later, when you see co-workers, guests, and visitors enjoying them.

 

(See Part II: Fountains; ground borders; flower and plant boxes; bird and animal feeders; other furniture; lighting and light posts; and signage.)

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Gardens are a natural source of energy and rebirth.  rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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