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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.

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PAINTSHOP: “You Have Just Been Awarded $5,000…”

You’ve been awarded $5,000 to spend on any painting projects of your choice. Where to start? How to decide? So many areas need work.

 

1. On what projects will that $5,000 reach the furthest? And, do the most good?

 

2. Is it really your decision to make? Or, are some members of management standing nearby hoping that you will select projects/areas that they want done, now that you – paintshop – have the budget to do them?

 

3. Do you need to make a list of your top five choices? Then get approval from management?

 

4. What kind of time frame are you looking at for spending down that money? Can you spread it out? Can you reserve some of it for a project later?

 

5. In that available time frame, which projects can be taken care of with minimal down time related to guest and staff ability to use the space or area.

 

These little tips may get your juices flowing now. Before that possible miracle gift falls in your lap.

 

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Every hotel or facility painter deserves some dream money for the paintshop.

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Thank you for checking in with “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: Hotel/facility painter and custom finishes

Ordinarily, a hotel/facility painter will not be expected to restore or maintain custom finishes applied by fine artists. Example: Front lobby’s faux marbleized columns and fascia, done during original construction.

 

That job might change, however, when:

 

  1. management/owners want the job done, and will not contract for fine craftsmen to do it;
  2. something must be done about area, and the painting/decorating budget is frozen for the rest of the year;
  3. necessary repairs and replacement to the area – due to rain/water leak, major mold infestation, structural aging, fire damage – force a “restorative” level of painting.
  4. major reconstructive/upgrading requires “blending” old, original finishes with newly applied ones. Particularly in high traffic, frequently used areas – eg. luxury suites, conference centers, entertainment room.
  5. Management issues an order for you to maintain, duplicate, or restore custom finished surfaces/areas.

 

So, what do you do, when you’ve never applied a fine finish – not even in apprenticeship school?

 

SIX + ONE + THREE TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT!

 

  1. Create a sample board, made of the same construction material as the surface involved. Do a super job of duplicating the problematic finish on the surface/area. Repair, prepare and refinish by following the same steps you’d use on the real surface.
  2. Once both you and management are satisfied with the result on that sample board, find the most obscure and worst small section of the area to be redone.
  3. Repair, replace and refinish that section using the identical technique, products, supplies, and tools used on that sample board.
  4. If possible, let that refinished area stand for at least five full days. Preferably longer. See how it appears to you. Compare your redone section to the finish on the overall area.
  5. Encourage management and the big shots to take several look-sees. Invite a few very observant teammates to check it out, too.
  6. Get a written “special project order” signed and dated by the hotel’s/facility’s top management officer. Your supervisor’s order to proceed is not good enough. This approved order must include the following:

A. Project scheduling and completion date, based on your availability and regular work responsibilities (that you will still have to get done during this time);

B. List of all needed products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment – as required;

C. Pre-signed and pre-dated requisitions for delivery of all needed items in “B.”

D. A “no interference and no changes statement,” leaving authority with you.

E. Statement about cordoning/securing entire work area for the time that you require;

F. A “project delay start date”, if management has not had required products, materials, etc. delivered according to agreed upon schedule.

 

ONE SCHEDULING TIP: Slot out time thirty days out from project start date, if possible. This gives everyone the ability to get their respective ducks in a row. You, teammates, supervisor(s), management, purchasing, suppliers, etc.

 

THREE SUCCESS TIPS:

 

  1. Do your best to work ahead on your regular tasks, work orders and projects. Hint: With your supervisor, do a weekly “walk through” to make sure you’re both covering the basics.
  2. One week out: Meet with your supervisor. Include teammate(s) that will be covering for you in getting regular work done. NOTE: By this point, the list of “to do’s” will have been agreed upon between you and your boss.
  3. One week out: Closely check your project inventory. Run through the list of products, materials, supplies, etc. Is everything ready? Has everything been delivered?

 

BOTTOM LINE: Keep in mind that you’re really at the mercy of management. Too often, what they say they want is not matched by their compliance to their part of the deal. Tread carefully, my friends!

 

FINAL NOTE – and CAUTION

I’m a stickler when it comes to “special projects” that flow from the desks of management. I never start one of these projects on the fly. And, I never proceed with any “special project” that everyone involved has not, in advance, committed to in writing!

 

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Certain faux finishing projects need to be redone by the experts.

And, you are not they, if you don’t know a lot about this specialized art form.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: How to Purchase a Spray Finishing System

 

To save time and money, I recommend the use of a spray system. You can purchase or rent the system you need and/or want.

 

To purchase a specific make and model, contact the manufacturer, their nearest distribution center, or a manufacturer’s sales rep. Or, the needed spray system may be available through a certified commercial equipment outlet – in-store, or on-line.

 

To rent the same or equitable system, contact or visit your local equipment rental center. By the way, equipment rental fees depend on frequency of use.

 

Of course, whether you purchase or rent, allow yourself a little time to (1) familiarize yourself with the equipment, and (2) learn the techniques involved in using that spray system.

 

The question: How much time and money do you want to save?

 

With paint spraying equipment, you need to think about a spray pump’s capacity, and the extent of your intended project.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

1.Paint a Door. It may require only a small hand-held airless, or HVLP, spray unit.

 

2.Paint a Ceiling. Use airless system, between ½ and ¾ gpm capacity. Spray tip: .017 -.021.

 

3.Paint Ceiling Deck of Warehouse. Use airless with capacity of 1-2 gpm. Spray tip: .023-.027.

 

4.Paint Metal Partitions. Use 6 cfm compressor and an hvlp, or conventional spray gun.

 

5.Paint Structural Steel. Use 9-15 cfm compressor, and a conventional or airless spray system.

 

6.Apply Stain to Moldings. Use hand-held airless, conventional, or hvlp spray system.

 

The paint spray systems used today are highly diversified. And, they vary greatly in cost. Prices can range anywhere from just under $100.00 to in access of $15,000.00.

 

When it comes to accessories, you may need to purchase an air compressor, air and/ or fluid hoses, paint supply tank, regulators, moisture separators, paint filter screens, siphon cups, etc.

 

When selecting a brand, choose from the following manufacturers:

Spray Pumps – Graco, Spray Tech, Wagner, Titan, and Apollo.

Spray Guns – Binks, Devilbiss, Sharpe, Sata, and Iwata.

NOTE: These manufacturers are recognized for the precision design and configuration, quality, usability, durability, and maintainability of their spray systems. Also, their product warranties, return and replacement policies, AND level of long-term customer service.

 

TIP: It is important to choose a system which will enable you to prime, paint, and finish a variety of projects – with various types of materials. That way you assure yourself of a good investment.

 

MINI-GLOSSARY

 

Gpm – Gallon per minute.

Cfm – Cubic feet per minute.

Hvlp – High volume low pressure.

0.013- 0.031 millimeter – Airless spray tip orifice sizes.

Orifice – (Small) opening.

 

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The quality of a spray paint or finish job depends as much on the person

pushing and releasing that lever, as on the spray system being used.

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

 

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

 

Project Management: Equipment Rental versus Ownership

 

You don’t have the equipment needed to do the job? About anything you need can be found at a local equipment rental place.

 

Commercial/industrial rental centers provide a reliable resource for completing your project work. On time, to spec., within budget. And, at first-rate quality. Whether you need a paint spray pump and hoses, compressor, or pressure washer. Even equipment like extension ladders, scaffolding and hydraulics.

Charge: Typically a fee for hourly, half day or 24 hour use. Just make sure you bring it back as you found it – and on time.

Maintenance: All maintenance is taken care of by them.

 

When you opt for purchasing, you take on more responsibility and long-term costs. The biggest difference is that the equipment you purchased will be available for use any time you want. The maintenance is up to you. And the choice of whether or not to purchase insurance rests with you, too.

 

A List of Pros and Cons

 
1. When renting there is no guarantee on the level of performance of the equipment. You could be renting a piece of equipment which really needs to be overhauled.

 

2. As the first owner-operator a new spray pump can have an unquestionable maintenance record.

 

3. As a renter, you are obligated to return the equipment in the same condition as you rented it. If not, you will have to pay for damages.

 

4. By owning a piece of equipment, you have the best guarantee that the equipment will be available when needed. Examples:  Spray pump, pressure washer, extension ladder, scaffolding.

 

5. Theft of rental or owned equipment can be an asset or a loss, depending on whether or not you have insured the equipment.

 

6. Owning equipment may require that you have a supply of repair parts, in case something breaks, wears out or gets damaged – outside of the warranty.

 

7. Also, you, or someone you enlist (pay), must be able to actually do the repair, replacement, and maintenance work on the equipment.

 

A few things to consider when looking for equipment

 

1. If you are thinking of purchasing, can you afford the expenditure, when weighed against your gross sales, overhead expenses and needed/desired profit?

 

2. Or is renting less of a strain on your monthly expenses?

 

3. Is the purchase warranted? Do, or will you, have the volume of work to get a return on your investment? Can you afford the maintenance costs? Will you be using the equipment frequently enough?

 

Sometimes it boils down to one thing having nothing to do with the cost. For instance, convenience carries a lot of weight. It focuses on “time-saving.” And, saving time translates into increased profits and operating capital. Who doesn’t want that?

 

If you are set on purchasing, buy the best equipment that you can afford. And, make your selection from one of the top manufacturers.

 

Happy Equipment Hunting!

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Purchase for the long haul. Rent to get the project done on time.

Purchase or rent to get the project done right!

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Happy New Year! And, many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Painting It: Estimating Paint Quantity and Cost

 

In the process of estimating a project, always include the amount of each paint product you will need to use. That means: Number of pints, quarts, gallons, and five-gallon quantities.

 

When the project is small and requires only one type of material, priced at under ten dollars, there’s rarely a problem. It becomes more complicated when you have an entire house, or a commercial building, to paint.

 

When costs enter the picture, accuracy and precision are the rule of thumb. It is possible to bid a job, receive it and later find that you have underbid the work. Let’s say by twenty gallons, and at a cost of $340.00.

 

There’s no problem if your total estimate is in the thousands. But, if the bid is $700.00, then you have just lost 50% of the gross payment. Add those mistakes add up big time over the course of a year. You will barely realize a profit.

 

A permanent solution so you don’t underbid – unintentionally.

 

1. Estimate (accurately) the total square feet and linear feet of the project.

A. Square feet: Measure length and height of longest and adjacent wall. Multiply.

B. Linear feet: Measure length of longest wall/area. Multiply by number of walls.

 

2. Establish a spreadsheet on the various products by name, and cost per unit.

A. For each product, list the manufacturer’s color name and code number.

B. Specify the manufacturer for each product you intend on using.

 

3. Calculate a base figure for sales tax for all quantity units.

 

4. Establish a spreadsheet detailing specific surface coverage for each material.

 

5. Design a chart comparing surface texture with volume of material used.

 

6. Figure in a transportation charge for pickup and delivery of supplies.

 

General Rules of Thumb – based on quality of product you choose.

 

1. Average gallon of latex paint covers = 400 sq. ft. at cost of $9.00 – $21.00.

2. Average bedroom = 1.5 gallons of paint.

3. Clear coating a wood door = 1 quart of finish at cost of $12.00 – $15.00.

4. Semi-gloss latex for bathroom ceiling = ½ gallon at cost of $6.00 – $9.00.

5. Latex paint for 2500 sq. ft. house = 7 gallons at cost of $120.00 – $160.00.

6. Oil stain 10 Oak doors = 1 gallon at cost of $22.00 – $30.00.

 

Estimating paint product quantity and cost takes time. It deserves your full attention. Even the top estimators –eg. in construction, or engineering/facilities management – know the tradeoffs for doing their job right. Every time.

 

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Estimate each time as though your job depends on your accuracy.

Probably, it does. And, so do the jobs of others!

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Enjoy your New Year. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting Them: Closets with Class

Add appeal, style and even a new life to closets, or closet alcoves, in your hotel, facility – or home.

 

1. Paint the entire area in a color that complements with the room’s color. Example: Room color: off-white, closet color: light sand.

TIP: Use up some interior paint color no longer needed, because of a property color scheme change.

 

2. Paint the most visible closet wall in the same color used in the room. Paint the side walls in a contrasting color.

 

3. Create horizontal border effect on all of the closet walls.

A. Paint lower two-third of walls the same color used in room.

B. Paint upper one-third of walls in white, or contrasting color.

C. Or, reverse it: Contrast or white on lower part, main room’s color as upper border.

 

4. Paint all walls white, or light tint of the color on room’s walls.

Install wallpaper border on the room wall outside of the closet, running it around walls inside the closet.

 

5. Install remnant wallcoverings, purchased at paint store. Mix and match.

A. Supplier tip: Check with major local contractors that do a lot of wallcovering installation.

B. Shopping tip: Look for colors that complement or contrast with your regular color scheme.

C. Material tip: Look for white-on-white stripes, subtle patterns, textures that remind you of scenes/areas/amenities on your property.

D. Great find: Commercial grade products. Examples: Designs such as pebbles, grasscloths, hemps; laminated wood veneers; leathers. These wallcoverings are very durable, and usually come in wide panels. NOTE: Many tend to be heavier, and harder to handle.

 

6. Install wallpaper or vinyl on the most visible wall in the closet, or closet alcove. After painting other walls in lighter hue of nearest room wall color.

 

7. Install complementary wallcoverings on adjoining walls of closet, or closet alcove.

 

GENERAL TIPS:

Colors: Keep it/them light, and neutral.

Textures: Keep it/them durable, easy-to-clean and similar.

Patterns: Keep them complementary to others in the area, and to those used in adjoining room.

Special Effects: As creative as you can get. As creative as management will let you be.

Panel directions: Horizontal, vertical, diagonal. Whatever!

 

A CLOSET WITH A VIEW. . .

 

A relative in Ohio moved into a large corner studio in an assisted living facility. She had one window. It overlooked the end of a parking lot. She had two closets.

 

Her grandsons decided to turn the smaller closet into a work-computer space for Grandma Anne.

 

1. They installed a soft, pink-on-white vertical striped wallpaper on the room’s wall, adjacent to the window wall.

2. They installed the same wallcovering on the two side walls of the closet.

3. On the closet’s back wall, they installed a “window garden scene” panel of wallpaper, with the same pink-on-white pattern/background as the panels hung on the closet’s side walls.

4. Inside the closet, they installed a remnant white marble laminate counter.

5. On one end, they installed adjustable shelving, that faced the counter, not the doorway.

6. Under the counter, they slid in a two-drawer metal cabinet, repainted high-gloss petal pink.

7. With management’s written authorization, the grandsons ran a multiple-plug panel from the room’s nearest outlet, into the closet, on the floor. No lighting fixtures were installed in the closet. Mainly because of code regulations and property restrictions.

 

Today, Anne sits at her counter…emails family and friends…does on-line personal business…and enjoys the special outside view.

 

Closets can be great fun to decorate.

 

The creative opportunities are endless. Their smaller dimensions, standardly, make them perfect spots to use up fabulous, left-over, better or top quality products and materials. To experiment with new layouts, and techniques. To try new combinations of colors, patterns and textures.

 

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Try a closet on for size! Make each one a little unique!

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Thank you for taking an interest in your space. And for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

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