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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.

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Paintshop: Managing Minor Frustrations and Snags

We’ve all had them. Those annoying, little glitches in our regular schedules that can mess up everything.

 

Take the new compressor hose that kinks, and causes the paint spray to sputter and spurt out of the nozzle. Or the day-late shipment of a big order of industrial coating for pipes. Or when you’re short two crew members, because they called in sick on the same day. Or the blown tire on the equipment-loaded truck out on the freeway.

 

What do you do? How do you deal with this minor stuff, so that you can move on to the real jobs?

 

Speedy Solutions for Minor Snags

 

1. Kinking compressor hose

 

Cut the hose where kinked area exists. Fit a hose connector – brass or galvanized pipe, as available. Then clasp each side of the connection with the proper size of stainless steel pipe clamp. This will hold well, until you are able to change out a new hose.

 

2. Delayed shipment of paint

A. Put out an emergency call to the manufacturer’s rep for a small supply of product. Enough to get at least one day of spraying completed.

B. Call the manager of the paint manufacturer’s closest paint store. Explain the situation. Have them get on the horn and get some of the shipment to you pronto.

 

3. Manpower shortage on a rush job

A. Call your company superintendent. Ask him to switch two guys to your job site for two days – whatever length of time you need the extra help.

B. Shorthanded anyway? Call for two men through the local painter’s union.

C. Non-union shop? Call the nearest construction trades’ labor pool.

D. Switch tasks on the schedule, if possible.

 

4. Big flat tire on loaded equipment truck

A. Call the shop for someone to bring out a replacement tire. TIP: Before you call, make sure that you have the jack system on the truck.

B. Call the shop for someone to bring out another truck, and then help you transfer the load. TIPS: Don’t think about transferring equipment that requires more men than you have around. And, never try to transfer equipment that requires OTHER equipment to move, lift, and/or lower it.

C. Call a truck towing service.

D. Call a truck rental outfit for emergency delivery.

 

5. Running out of paint thinner on a remote industrial job site.

A. Call your shop foreman. Have someone grab a supply, and deliver it to you.

B. Call the nearest paint store for an emergency delivery.

C. Call the closest Home Depot, Lowes, etc. – wherever your company has an account. Purchase a day’s supply of thinner over the phone. If possible, send a worker to pick it up.

D. Hand some cash to your site crew’s “go-for” person – apprentice. And, send him or her to the nearest hardware store. TIP: Price will be higher than a trade-construction source.

 

NOTE: Once, we called the business agent at the union hall, and asked him to pick up eight gallons of thinner from the nearest Sherwin-Williams, on the way for his scheduled visit to our site. Our company president ordered the supply. S-W had the containers waiting at their back door.

 

6. Two spray guns malfunction at the same time.

 

SPRAYER’S TIP: In your truck, carry a replacement rebuild kit for each type of spray gun you use frequently. Also, keep a supply of replacement rebuild kits for each type in the paintshop.

A. Call the shop foreman for quick delivery of a replacement rebuild kit for each spray gun you are using on-site. Also ask for a box of extra repair parts.

B. Call the nearest paint tool and equipment outlet that you deal with. Ask for a rush delivery.

C. Call your company boss, and ask him or her to buy a new spray gun and deliver it.

D. Do a rush clean-out of one spray gun, to get it back on the job. At least for that day.

E. At day’s end, tear down both spray guns. And do a complete overhaul.

 

By the way, sometimes you don’t have the time or resources to deal with a minor snag in the usual, standard, or acceptable way. When that’s the case, just do what you need to do to get the job moving forward.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Whatever comes along and stands in you and your crew’s way of getting the job done, do the best you can do at the time – and with what you have. And sweat about any repercussion later.

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It can take more skill and savvy to deal with the minor snags than the major job or project.

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Thank you for clicking into “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter – Vietnam Veteran That Makes A Difference

In the mid-1980s, my mother interviewed over 1,000 Vietnam veterans. Most of them had been suffering with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other health problems as well. Fewer than 25 percent of those veterans were receiving the healthcare that they needed.

 

Within five years of being interviewed, over 60 percent of those with PTSD had died. For those still alive, life was full of ups and downs. The veterans struggled to get ongoing access to healthcare, job opportunities, and financing for education, home buying, business startups, etc.

 

Fast forward: It’s now 2017. Over forty years after the U. S. troops pulled out of South Vietnam. Over thirty years after my mother interviewed the last veteran on her list.

 

On November 6, 2017, a LinkedIn.com “Connect” request came into my home page. It was from a retired painter-painting contractor on the west coast.

 

The 72-year old man wanted to know if I was related to a “Sandra…….. Hajtovik.” (That’s my mother in case you haven’t made that connection.) If so, he asked, “Could you please put me in touch with her?… I’d appreciate it…”

 

A Vietnam veteran (U. S. Marines Green Beret), he’d been interviewed by my mother in 1984. He wanted to tell her what had happened with him in the last thirty-three years.. “How my life has been going…” he e-mailed.

 

Within a day of getting the message, my mother e-mailed the man.

 

So, how had his life been going?

 

  1. It turns out that he was the retired founder of one of the largest commercial painting companies on the west coast.

 

  1. Over the last twenty-five years, his company had given jobs to over fifty-five Vietnam veterans.

 

  1. Many of those “painters” – men and women – suffered on and off with PTSD and other medical conditions caused by toxic exposures while serving in Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

  1. One of the “automatic benefits” available to all of his employees, particularly the Vietnam veterans, had been financial help to go to college or trade school, rent or buy a home, lease or buy a vehicle, get emergency or surgery treatment, even bury a close relative. “Help has included for immediate family, too,” the man has e-mailed my mother.

 

  1. Special financial help has been available for any “employee painter” who wanted to start a painting contracting business of his or her own. (That’s helping to set up the competition.)

 

For Christmas of 2017, this “retired painter” is bringing all of his employees and immediate families to Central Florida, for two weeks, to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.

 

He’s invited my mother and me to join the group for two days and nights. (That includes hotel accommodations inside Disney. I have other plans that can’t be changed.)

 

My mother accepted the very kind invitation. Already, she is jotting down a short list of “interview-type” questions.

 

It would have been great to meet the fellow career painter and decorator, and talk shop. Also, I’d  want to find out why, besides the obvious, he has employed and stuck by so many Vietnam veterans.

 

“Character builds character,” my Grandfather Boyd once said. “Worth builds upon worth.”

 

From what I’ve learned so far, I’d say that this retired painter/painting contractor – Vietnam vet that my mother met in 1984 – has tried to help other painters-vets build good “self-character.” I’d say that he’s also helped to build more sense of “self-worth” into their worlds – and into the larger world in which they are still trying to make it.

 

What an important legacy this war veteran is leaving behind. One person at a time.

 

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How far and how well others journey through life often has so much to do with you, and I.

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Thank you for checking into “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: And, That’s A Good Thing

SOME GOOD THINGS ABOUT A PAINTER’S WORLD

 

  1. Four guest passes to see The Last Jedi. (Thanks, Doc.)

 

  1. Packed cookies all in the mail, folks.

 

  1. I’d saved six of seven manuscripts and related files and setups onto flash drives. (See no. __ below.)

 

  1. Installed new hard drive. Now waiting for copy of new operating system from Microsoft.

 

  1. Old hard drive is on its way for specialist to run analysis, recover files…reactivate.

 

  1. So far, all “readers-en-field” have also written reviews. (And all are very positive.)

 

  1. Online bookseller Curtis is a first-class networker, linking only serious participants.

 

  1. Connection with amazon.com best-selling author Buddy A. is proving outstanding.

 

  1. Artist-sculptor of Neanderthal in cover photo is on board 100 percent. And, with her international connections.

 

  1. Indiana cousin made it to the altar on December 2. (Three months earlier, his spinal cord was severely damaged in a five-vehicle pile up on the interstate.)

 

  1. New outpatient neurologist at CNH/FHMG is a very sharp, wholistic health pro. Very up to date on research, therapies and clinical trials.

 

AND, A FEW NOT SO GOOD THINGS ABOUT A PAINTER’S WORLD 

 

  1. The new hard drive will not open up. Note: I’m waiting for new Windows 7 from Microsoft.

 

  1. I lost all of no. 7 manuscript and related files, when the hard drive failed. Rebooting, etc. a NO GO. Started working on this one in 2011.

 

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Sometimes, even good or not so good things encapsulate the opposite effect.

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“Painting with Bob” is a blog aimed at helping painters and decorators, including contractors.

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

Painter’s World During Christmas

His eyes. There was something so familiar about those eyes. I couldn’t stop staring into them.

 

I was only two years old. But I knew those sea green eyes. From somewhere. Glistening and clear.

 

Of course. This was Santa Claus’s lap that I was sitting on. And, it was Santa that kept smiling, and laughing so jolly-like at me.

 

He was all dressed up in his bright red plush suit with the white fur trim, matching hat, and shiny black boots and belt.

 

Of course. My instincts were correct. The big, tall man with the white wavy beard that touched his chest?

 

It was my own father. He was playing Santa at IUPAT/ IBPAT Local 8’s Christmas party for the union member’s children. Like my one-year old sister. And I.

 

Christmas season can be a fun and rewarding time for a painter.

 

The union painter may be recruited to play Santa at the annual Christmas party for members’ children. (Like my Dad did for over five years.) He or she may serve as coordinator for the big boss and his wife’s holiday night out for the employee painters and their spouses/significant others.

 

A painter may be one of the volunteers that assembles bicycles and other “vehicles” to help out Santa’s helpers-parents. He or she may help collect, then wrap toy donations for the local children’s home. The painter may represent the shop, and make the rounds to the local paint manufacturer’s stores’ open houses held for trade customers.

 

He and other crew members may be “volunteered” to paint scenes and props for the local Christmas parade float. Or sets for the community theatre’s annual Christmas production starring local children.  The painter may join the construction trades’ community charity chorus.

 

The independent painter may reach out to his or her community, and lend a hand wherever it’s needed. Even in the public school system, or at a shelter. He or she may offer tools and equipment to make others’ holiday tasks easier, and safer. Special skills and abilities may be donated to help local non-profits tackle their holiday community projects and programs.

 

At any older neighborhood church, the help of a younger and more agile painter/ craftsperson would be appreciated in decorating. Also setting up the traditional outdoor nativity scene. Even preparing for the special meal for people that are homeless or alone.

 

What about the staff painter? Show a little enthusiasm for the season; and you’re recruited for major holiday decorating. Stringing thousands and thousands of Christmas lights throughout the property. Examples: Those tall, tall Palm trees. Decorating the swimming pool areas. Painting, then setting up exterior and interior holiday displays. Helping create a special space – presence – for dear old Santa. Decorating the halls and lobbies, and other high traffic areas. (One year, we also decorated the public restrooms.)

 

What had been one of my favorite on-the-job holiday projects? Helping the rest of the staff set up their special displays and holiday activity areas.

 

By the way, your ChristmasNew Year week may be just around the corner – or already here. There’s still time. to grab your talents, pack essential tools and equipment, and head out to help make the season bright, cheerful and hopeful. For others!

 

And, that’s what this season is all about.

 

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Holiday bliss follows a benevolent heart, and extra pair of hands.  RDH

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Best wishes from the network of people that make “Painting with Bob” possible.

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

 

 

 

Painter’s World: How Last Stops Can Play Forward

In December of 1992, my father visited Florida – and his daughter – for the last time. Every year, he planned it so that he’d be in the “Sunshine State” to celebrate his birthday.

 

On the way to South Florida, he stopped at St. Augustine. He walked through the Fort, and checked out the cannons pointed out to sea (Atlantic Ocean). He knelt and prayed in the tiny chapel nearby, where the Spanish explorers prayed for calm seas. He toured the Henry Flagler Museum, and admired examples of the world’s rarest seashells.

 

He window-shopped along the cobblestone-covered street where top artists and craftspersons displayed and sold their works. He got acquainted with one of Florida’s, and the city’s, most renowned oil painters. He drove through torrential rains and winds to St. Augustine Island, to buy a relic nautical bell, from a diver that explored old sunken ships.

 

In South Florida, he gave his daughter a ride to work for three days straight because it took her hatchback auto so long to defrost and warm on cold, icy mornings. Early mornings, he (and Mom) walked along Bal Harbor Beach, between one of Sunny Isle’s most expensive oceanfront condo buildings and Baker’s Haulover Cut, a channel that connected the Intercoastal Waterway to the Atlantic.

 

Outside, he waited in line for an hour or longer to bite into one of the best, and largest, Kosher sandwiches in the Southeast. (He had a Classic Cornbeef; Mom had her Reuben.)

 

The afternoon of Christmas Day, he walked along the southerly stretch of that Bal Harbor Beach. Ahead of his daughter and Mom. His head hung low; his steps slower that usual. Whenever he glanced back at family strolling behind, he wore a contemplative look on his face.

 

One morning, he followed up with a lead from a real estate broker that handled large residential properties in Golden Beach. It was located along a small stretch of ocean property between Sunny Isles and Hollywood.

 

He admired several new oceanfront mansions along Ocean Boulevard. Eventually, he pulled into the drive at the address given to him. A massive, U-shaped stucco mansion, painted in a soft Golden-yellow, towered before him. A lean, bronze-tanned man – the Italian architect – stood by a long and glossy black Mercedes.

 

“Distinguished, friendly” was the way Dad described the man during a long-distance phone call to me on Christmas Day. He also said that the man’s oldest son had been pre-med at Purdue, the same time that I was there.

 

My father got out of his like-new grey Chevy Suburban, and introduced himself. The gentleman laid down his tube of blueprints, then took Dad on a tour of the 10,500 -plus square foot home.

Over thirty minutes later, the two men re-emerged, wide smiles on their faces.

 

After an embrace and a “Chiao,” Dad climbed back into his vehicle. He handed Mom two business cards, and a handwritten note on the architect’s engraved personal stationery. And he said, “We’re moving to Southeast Florida. I’m going into painting here. My own shop. Mr. V is my first client…”

 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that Dad never made it back to Florida. (Well, not in his well-known earthly form.)

 

FAST FORWARD…

 

Christmas 2017, I will be my sister’s guest when she spends over three days at the Golden Beach home of that Italian architect’s son and his family. Longtime customers of my sister’s employer.

 

When the invitation card was forwarded to me, it contained an interesting old photo. Taken in December of 1992, it showed my father, a distinguished gentleman wearing an Ivory silk suit, and a third man dressed in “painter whites.”

 

They stood in a large marble-walled rotunda at that Golden Beach home. Under a partially-completed dome ceiling: A replica of the Sistene Chapel.

 

Standing to the side of the three men was a man a little younger than I. He was dressed in a black turtleneck and worn jeans. (He looked a little familiar.)

 

“The guy in the dirty jeans is me,” my sister’s Christmas week host had scrawled at the bottom of his invitation note. He added, “I hope that you can make it. Condolences about your father. He would have liked it here. Done very well… My father liked him.”

 

SMALL WORLD, ISN’T IT?

 

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Every meeting in passing is an opportunity about to unfold.  RDH

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Many thanks for doing your work and living your life with a conscientious soul.

And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: What Hotel and Facility Painters NEED to Do Their Jobs

*** A lead painter, whose hotel was damaged by Hurricane Maria’s winds, reminded me about a post that I missed submitting. Perhaps, you will find something here that can help you in 2017.

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A hotel chain’s Senior chief engineer in South Carolina emailed about team preparedness, after the October 29, 2014 post. (“Hotel Engineering Team Training: Pilot Project 2015”)

 

“We’re a small group of specialty brand inns.  Our paint applicators are all experienced in brush, roller and spray. None of them requires formal instruction on using new products, tools (and) equipment. Each painter is good at picking up on things, and running with it.

 

“Our budget is always tight. The 2015 budget can be stretched to purchase a few newer types of products, tools and equipment for each paint shop.

 

“I emailed all of our engineering directors. Each submitted a similar short list of needs. All of them requested the following:

 

1.  Samples of new formulations of basic paint products that may fit our property needs.

‘My application specialist needs to test out a product before he can decide whether to go with the newer product, or stick with the standard one.’

 

2. Small samples of products as they come on the market.

‘Our chief engineers push for their painters and maintenance techs to get to test out any new product, supply, tool, or piece of equipment before they get stuck with it.’

 

3. Free new painting and maintenance tools to try-before-we-buy.

‘Promising new tools come on the market. I want my painter, and maintenance people, to be able to try a few of them, at least. . .It makes no sense to buy a new tool for my paint shop, before we know if it will work for the painter that has to use it.’

 

4. New spray gun, or spray system pre-purchase testing

‘Each of our painters does a lot of spraying, interior and exterior. At some point, a spray gun becomes too costly to repair, or rebuild, even with thorough cleaning and careful maintenance. Replacement becomes sensible option. Some of the new spray gun systems can be expensive…’

 

Question 1: “Bob, who do we call to get small samples of products as they come on the market?”

Answer: “In your capacity, contact the product manufacturer’s testing division. Explain your interest and need in testing new products before you buy them. Tell them about the products, including theirs, that your painters have used in the past. Share a short list of pros and cons. Offer specific engineering departments and sites within your chain as “testers and test sites.”

 

Question 2: “How do we get samples of new paint/finish products that may fit our property (ies)?”

Answer: “Talk to your regular paint supplier/distributor first. If that doesn’t work, contact the paint manufacturer’s representative for each respective product line.”

TIP: “It might help to seal the arrangement if you can offer your paint applicators’ experiences with the product as ‘painting trade testimonials.’ Check in advance with a few of your painters.”

 

Question 3: “How do we get to test out new tools and equipment free? Try-before-we-buy?”

Answer: “Contact the respective tool manufacturer – “Trade/contractor services.” Talk with the director or assistant director of their “after market” research testing center. Find out what type(s) of research data they need.

 

“And, if you know that you can help meet their need:

“FAX a 1-2 page “Trade Testing-Based Proposal. Offer to provide “after market” tool use data. State how many “testing” locations you can provide and their location. For each, describe:

(1) approximate acreage and age of developed area, also property layout;

(2) structures: number, square footage, style, relevant substrates;

(3) paint shop job description, capabilities.

 

“For the tool, describe (1) need: current and projected; (2) use: how, where, and frequency; (3) purchasing plan: minimum quantity, initial order; approximate purchase date(s).

 

TIP: “Keep your proposal brief, and to the point! Do not offer the expertise of any specific dynamo painters under your umbrella. At this point, do not “bank on” any staff member to help pull this off.”

 

Question 4: “How can we get at least three spray systems to try out? Pre-purchase testing. Longer than one day for each system.

“Next year’s budget: I can fit in the purchase of one system for each property, after March 30. If our applicators know how to use the system, each engineering department can save sizeable funds, now going to outside contractors…”

Answer: “Spray systems for commercial and/or industrial use tend to be expensive. Phone the manufacturer’s nearest rep. Especially if you already use one or more of their spray guns and spraying systems.

 

“If you’re confident that you can provide important data not yet at the manufacturer’s fingertips:

“FAX a 1-page proposal letter. Offer to supply certifiable testimonials from both your top, and less experienced, sprayers. Include their experience in using that manufacturer’s spray systems, also their experience using any comparable system made by a top competitor.

“Briefly describe how your sprayers can provide feedback that will help the manufacturer build and sustain its market base for that specific spray system.

 TIP: “Please do not offer to provide any data that you’re not certain you can supply.”

 

Some needs transfer into future situations. Some useful ideas turn into future opportunities.

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Thanks for reading “Painting with Bob.”

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

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