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Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips, Part 4: Creating a Makeshift Shelter

Sometimes, you don’t have the option to leave where you’re at, and go to a community shelter to ride out a major storm such as a hurricane.

If you’re at work, it’s your shift. You’ll need to stay put. You may need to put in two or three straight shifts, or more. Teammates may not be able to make it in to work. Also, you may need to stay longer to help secure the property so that others – eg. hotel guests – will be safe.

If you’re at the home of a friend or relative, you may need to stay and help secure the place in case the storm hits there. You may need to take responsibility for their welfare and safety.

If you’re at home, you may or may not be able to vacate, and go to a shelter.

So, how do you create a makeshift shelter wherever you’re at? How do you protect yourself, and possibly others for whom you may be responsible? The following tips are based on preparing a temporary shelter in your home. But, they can be applied almost anywhere.

1. Be realistic. Your time and resources are probably limited. Don’t tackle more than you can handle.
2. Select a spot that will offer you the most protection. HINT: Windowless room or space in middle of structure, preferably first floor, sustaining wall. Examples: Closet, bathroom, small bedroom, pantry.
3. Remove everything from the space that might take wing in the big wind.
Examples: Bath scale, hamper, decorative hangings, cups/glasses, furniture.
4. Empty the room so that you can maximize the space. Put smaller items in heavy-duty trash bags. Securely tie shut. Place outside of your “shelter” area.
5. Move large pieces outside of area’s entry. TIP: Use them to help form a barricade around your shelter space. Examples: Oak chest, upholstered chair, table.
6. Inside “shelter” space, select the SPOT where you will actually sit it out.
7.Over that SPOT, lay large, heavy-duty trash bags. On top, place 1 or 2 large comforters. Add for each person: 1 zip-out sleeping bag or 2 blankets, 1 bed pillow/ double-cased, 2 bedsheets. Add: flashlights with fresh batteries, also 2 bottled waters per person.
8. If “shelter” space is a bathroom, set closed 1-to-5 gallon containers of water close to toilet for flushing. TIP: At least 10 gallons. You don’t know how long you will be in this space. Supply with toilet paper, moist wipes, handy-wipes, hand sanitizer; bottled waters.
9. If “shelter” space is NOT a bathroom, turn nearby spot/corner into a lavatory area. “Equip” with one or two, 5-gallon buckets or a large, heavy storage container – all with tight-fitting lids. “Supply” with package toilet paper, pack moist wipes, cylinder handy-wipes, heavy-duty trash bag, tall kitchen garbage bag; bottled waters (for drinking).
10. Fill a small plastic storage container with toiletry and hygiene aids. Secure lid. Place next to spot where you will sit. Suggested items: 2-3 packs moist wipes, First-Aid kit, 2 rolls toilet paper, 1 roll paper towels, 1 tube toothpaste, 1 toothbrush per person, 1 small or medium sized bottle mouthwash.
11. Put foods and healthy snacks that do not need preparation or cooling into another container. Close with tight lid. Place this container near “shelter” spot. Include: can opener, pack of foam or plastic plates or bowls, cups; plastic eating utensils (forks, spoons, knives); roll of paper towels.
12. Within easy reach, set large cooler/insulated container. Last minute, place freeze packs plus foods that need to stay cold. TIP: Limit items, their size and quantity to prevent spoilage, and possible poisoning. Suggested: Foods you can eat or drink from their disposable containers.
13. Within easy reach, set 1 or more cases of bottled water.
14. Within easy reach, place plastic container with “time fillers” inside. Examples: ballpoint pens, box crayolas/colored markers; puzzle booklets, activity books, “finger” puzzles (eg. Rubic Cube, Eboi); box playing cards, small game, 2 notebooks, small all-band radio/fresh batteries; extra packages of batteries, 2-3 paperback books, devotional book, your smaller Bible.

IMPORTANT TIP: Try to set up this entire area so it’s relatively safe and comfortable, also easy to keep clean, hygienic and dry.

See: Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips, Part 5: Packing for Riding Out Storm.

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Any potential major disaster needs to be respected, and taken seriously.
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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Upcoming Posts…

The fun, and challenge, of writing and publishing any blog for painters is to cover topics that will be helpful. Being in the trade has its benefits in that area.

Here are a handful of subjects that I’ve dealt with recently – and I’ve decided to take a closer look into:

1. Paintshop Software Programs, Apps, etc.

2. Paintshop Policies and Practices: Reporting Problems.

3. Painter’s World: How Job Descriptions Have Changed.

4. Paintshop: New Construction Materials that Affect the Commercial Painter’s Job.

5. Paintshop: Techniques and Methods that Painters Need Today to Work on Newer Construction Surfaces.

6. Painter’s World: Painting and Decorating for the Disabled Person.

Now, I can’t promise exactly when any of these topics will be posted. But, they’re coming!

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Curiosity may have killed the cat; it also keeps the curious painter always looking for answers.
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Thanks for checking in with “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Painting During Slow Seasons

 

In lodging, the slow season varies in different regions of the country – even in certain areas within a given state.

 

The climate – weather – has a lot to do with it. So do school terms, vacation times – both school and employment; busy seasons in a specific industry, trade or business.

 

In Florida, the slow season tends to fall between the second week of January through March, or even April.

 

If you’re a staff painter working in Florida, the slower season is a good time to get things done. Fewer guests and visitors, fewer emergency calls and work orders, and fewer interruptions.

 

But, the “slow season” is also the period of lower revenues, lowered budget, and much fewer resources.

 

If you’re a contract painter, the slower period may be the right time to branch out and to do some freelance work.

 

SIX SLOW SEASON SOLUTIONS FOR THE STAFF PAINTER

 

  1. Before Day 1 of the slow season, decide with your chief engineer (a) what work orders and projects must stay on the roster, and (b) what projects must be shelved.
  2. Take a closer look at that list of necessary work orders and projects. Whittle it down by 25 percent.
  3. Then, prioritize those according to daily and weekly jobs.
  4. Next, establish a budget, or cost estimate, for each – based on the supplies needed to do each.
  5. Take a closer look. You may see that the list of necessary work orders and projects can be shortened. Example: Working on “bathrooms re-paint” project can be spread out over a longer period of time. Say five bathrooms a week or every two weeks, versus five a day.
  6. The toughest time: Shelve the “necessary” work orders and projects that require the most outlay of money for materials and supplies. Note: That may be the most money for few supplies.                  TIP: This amount may end up being your allotment for paintshop emergencies. Your contingency fund.
  7. Now you’re ready to schedule out your work load for each week during the dry spell, budget-wise.
  8. Be prepared for additional cutbacks (a) across-the-board organizationally, then (b) unilaterally throughout your Engineering Department.
  9. When you’re asked or expected to perform paintshop miracles during an already “bare bones” massive budget freeze, here’s what you do next:
  10. GET CREATIVE. GET TOUGH. GET WISE.

 

Seek out and volunteer to perform other essential tasks in your department – eg. maintenance, grounds. Volunteer to split your work-day time. Help out in another busier department that has also suffered staff cutbacks – eg. housekeeping, kitchen, guest services

 

Your bottom line objectives during any slow season:

  1. Keep the paintshop running.
  2. Keep your job.

 

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“Slower season” does not mean it’s the time for you to slow down on the job.

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Thank you for staying on task, whatever your regular job description.

 

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” blog.

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

 

Painting It: While Trump and Clinton Talked about Eradicating Gang High-Crime Rates in Chicago…

I shared this true story with Celebrating Chicago Cubs Friends…

 

Friday Morning, Northwest Chicago – My mother was trying to convince an inventor client on the image benefits to his business in getting the exterior of his shop painted. The building looked like an abandoned barn in the middle of another bankrupted farm’s field.

 

Mom and Jerry stood at the open overhead doorway of his loading dock. It faced the alley. Walking in that alley were eight or nine members of a notorious gang. They wore black leather jackets with a dragon emblem on the back, tight blue jeans, knee-high black leather boots with noisy cleats, also bandanas and black leather caps.

 

To Mom’s surprise, her client called the group over as they passed the loading dock. He offered them the job of painting the barn-like, two-story building. Bigger surprise: They took him up on the offer.

 

Promptly, Jerry jotted down a list of the materials and supplies they’d need. He handed the leader 2-one-hundred dollar bills. And, he sent them to the nearest paint store, located three blocks west on West Grand Boulevard. He offered them his car keys to bring everything back; but they refused.

 

TWO FRIDAYS LATER…

 

My mother had an appointment to deliver the draft of a project contract proposal to Jerry. She pulled her auto up to the curb in front of his property. As she walked past the side of the house, toward the job, his wife darted out of the back door.

 

“What do you think?” She smiled. “They did a terrific job, even on the carved trim around the dormers and porches. This house hasn’t looked this good since it was built in the 1950s…”

 

Come to find out: The infamous gang had painted the exteriors of both the large, 2-story house, and the shop. And, they looked superb!

 

MOTHER’S BIGGEST SURPRISE…

 

Upstairs, in Jerry’s shop, worked nine black leather jacketed young-young adults. Members of a different notorious Chicago gang, associated with the Hells Angels. (Remember hearing about them?)

 

The group was busy packing shipping boxes with plastic-wrapped, soft-fabric insulated hot/cold tote bags for foods and beverages. Jerry’s inventions in the 1970s. Note: Most of the prototypes were stolen away, initially, by a woman to whom he’d given a job to help her get back on her feet. Talk about crime!

 

Anyway, Jerry had given temporary jobs to the “teen hoods. “ The scourge of society. “The no good hoods.” They’d been on the job three previous days that week, putting in seven hours. Free pizza lunches and two “junk food” breaks included each day.

 

That scene in his shop was not a new one. The man was just as well known for his giving jobs to notorious gang members, as they were for robbing, stealing and threatening every other business place in the area.

 

Frankly, both Trump’s and Clinton’s camps could have learned a lot from people like Jerry, about eradicating major gangland crime in big cities like Chicago.

 

Gutsy people that put themselves out there. Inventive people who offer doable alternatives, not ineffective and stupid threats to well-connected gang members.

 

Before the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians game on November 2,  2016, I was watching “campaign clips” for both Trump and Clinton.

 

“Bob,” my mother commented, “high gangland crime in cities gets derailed by people like Jerry. Not by politicians, laws and the courts.”

 

I agreed. An image of a black leather jacketed gang member in Osceola County, Florida, flashed in and out of my brain. We “met” when I spotted him making a drug sale directly outside the men’s restroom inside the local public library. He still completed the sale, then casually walked upstairs and sat in front of a public computer.

 

People on the front lines – on the streets – almost always know the better solutions to problems that politicians tend to talk a lot about. During presidential campaigns especially. Why is that?

 

Are we paying the wrong people to eradicate high level, gangland crime?

 

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob” – especially as we head into a new, and unprecedented, leadership and constituency relationship!
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Upgrading Your Skills in the 21st Century

Work orders come and go, and come again. Projects vary by size, complexity, surface/area, and time constraints. Some come along periodically, once or twice a year, every few years, or only once.

 

Whether you’re a hotel or facility painter, you’ll need to keep on your toes. Ready to do what’s necessary in a reasonably prompt, professional and timely manner. Consistent in your techniques and outcomes, even when a high degree of creativity and flexibility are required.

 

Have you ever had a problem prioritizing, then scheduling, and eventually following through on certain work orders and projects? Whether the glitch was self-induced, or caused by outside forces? Examples: hotel’s/facility’s chief engineer, or general manager.

 

Here’s where experience can be a great coach, and mentor. We learn by handling the same or similar work orders repeatedly. We learn by facing the same or similar situation more than once.

 

When your experience needs a boost… when your repertoire of effective techniques, products/materials, supplies, and tools needs to be expanded, try these quick tips.

 
1. Tweak one of your standard techniques, products, supplies, and/or tools. WHY? You know that its basic elements work; so draw on that foundation of success.

 

2. Tap the experience of a pro in handling that type of work order or project. Examples: Online tutorials and sources, paint store consultants, fellow union/association members, related manufacturers.

WHY? It’s very possible that he or she has been there and done that. Some of the bumps that you’re facing have been worked out already.

 

3. Ask your chief engineer. WHY? He or she is there to keep things running smoothly, and cost-effectively. Probably, he or she has dealt with the situation before, though it’s new here. No doubt that he or she gets the connection between your doing a good job, and his or her ability to keep things humming. And your boss will want to add some wisdom to your mix.

 

4. “Google” the problem, in the form of a brief question or phrase. WHY? You may be amazed how many other painters have faced the same challenge, and found doable answers via their extended internet network.

 

5. Step out. Stretch your innovative, gutsy soul. Kindle or rekindle that pioneer spirit that may not have gotten much of a chance, in the past, to spread its wings. WHY? That’s how you become an expert yourself. A go-to guru!

 

Painting at the hotel often called upon skills and abilities that I did not know that I had. Untapped talents and resources that fit the need perfectly. Or surprisingly close. Whether facing a new or reconfigured work order, project, or troubleshooting problem.

Often, it was those challenges – those questions and uncertainties – that made the job come alive.

 

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New experience builds a foundation for great experience.

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Thanks, everyone, for checking out “Painting with Bob.”

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

Kathy’s Creative Carpeting Solution

Kathy U. needed new living room carpeting. With five active children and a busy contractor husband, the stone-fireplaced area took a beating.

 

Big problem: The family’s budget couldn’t cover that size of expense.

 

Challenge: So, the Porter County artist, homemaker and volunteer got creative!

 

Solution: Basically, here’s how Kathryn re-carpeted the room with a Currier & Ives picturesque view of the countryside.

 

  1. She selected a basic patchwork quilt color scheme.
  2. She designed a simple block pattern of squares and rectangles.
  3. For months, she haunted area carpet stores, warehouses, installation companies, etc. and purchased, or was given, over 150 remnants with similar fibers, weaves and backing
  4. She sorted the remnants by color-hue family, into large separate cardboard boxes.
  5. Next, she laid the pieces onto the bare floor, by this time stripped of the original worn carpeting. She paid close attention to placing colors and pieces so they complemented each other. And, their weaves all went in the exact same direction.
  6. Settling on the color-pieces arrangement, she consulted with the family. “Yes,” they agreed. It was a “GO, Mom!”
  7. Starting at one corner, she turned over each piece and wrote a number on its backing.
  8. Based on each remnant’s size, she drew a grid on the room’s floor space, using a carpenter’s pencil.
  9. On grid paper – 1-inch equals 1 foot – she transferred her remnant pattern. Inside each block on the grid paper, she wrote (a) its length and width and (b) number of remnant to fit there.
  10. She purchased many spools of heavy carpet thread through a carpet installation business.
  11. Starting at the far, lowest traffic corner of the floor, she replaced each numbered remnant on its matching numbered grid block. She made certain that the weave/grain of all pieces went in the same direction.
  12. On the backing of each piece, she drew its grid measurements, allowing a ¾-inch “seam” on each side.
  13. Using a carpet cutter, she spliced each remnant along the marked cutting lines.
  14. As she cut each piece, she replaced it to its numbered spot on the gridded floor.
  15. After all pieces had been cut and laid out, she double-checked for proper dimensions, color conformity, and weave direction. (See no. 11 above.)
  16. Over a period of six months, she hand-stitched the carpet pieces together. Note: A very tough job. Kathy said it was “hard on the fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and back!”
  17. Word leaked out about the woman’s unique creative project: the hand-sewn patch quilt carpet. Area media took photos of the newly carpeted room, and published or aired stories on Kathryn U.
  18. Friends, neighbors and relatives appeared for the open house when Kathryn unveiled the beautiful hand-stitched, wall-to-wall carpet.

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Necessity may be the mother of invention, but a creative soul is the mother of true art.

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Thank you for taking a pause to visit “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: The Fast and Easy Way

Just to clarify things: Easy and fast is not necessarily the most recommended way to paint something. However, for everyone, we sometimes want things to go a little easier or to happen a little quicker.

 

Painting is no different. By taking some precautions, we can guarantee some degree of quality, no matter how fast or easy the work is. Having the right amount of skill is usually the ticket.

 

There are any number of items that can be painted the easy way, and as fast as you might want to complete them. Example: Using an airless spray system, I once prime finished just under 3000 linear feet of molding in less than an hour. When calculated using a brush and/or roller, it would have taken the entire day. Yes, a high level of productivity can be achieved daily, depending on the situation.

 

A FEW PREP-LEVEL TIPS

 

  1. Make an assessment of the project.
  2. Determine the steps needed to complete the project. The general rule is: The fewer steps there are, the easier it will be to complete. And, you will be finished in no time.
  3. Next, evaluate how difficult it will be to complete each step. Example: To paint a louvered door, you must (a) sand each piece of wood or metal as the case may be, (b) dust the surface, and (c) apply the paint using your chosen method. Here, the process of sanding can slow the paint process down quite a bit. It would be no big deal, if all you had to do was paint it.

 

So, how can you make a job easy, or develop a faster way of doing it? Let’s take the easy part of it first. You might want to follow the steps below.

 

  1. Answer this question: What is the largest size brush to use for painting this surface? A 1-inch brush is used for detail and glass framework. A 4-inch brush is used for flat, open wall areas and wide trim such as crown molding. Determine which one’s best suited for you and the job.

 

  1. When selecting a roller system: Relate the viscosity of the paint to the type of surface. Applying paint with a roller is easiest if the paint spreads smoothly, and you don’t have to dip the roller every five seconds. Example: Use a 3/8 inch roller cover when painting brick or concrete block. And, you will fight it the entire time.

 

  1. What can be easier than using a spray gun? Assess the surface and which spray tip is the most appropriate to apply the paint evenly. For those of you familiar with tip sizes, a 3-11 is best suited for trim painting and multiple small objects. It is possible to work yourself to death painting large wall spaces with a small tip. Recommendation: A 4-17 or 5-21 are the optimum choices here.

 

 Now: How can you paint this faster than, say, the last time? Think: Spray it!

 

A well-seasoned painter, with comprehensive knowledge in spray painting, will know intuitively how to get the most out of his spray work. Here are several things that he or she might bring to the attention of a less experienced painter.

 

  1. Completely strain the paint prior to siphoning or pressurizing. This step cannot be stressed enough.
  2. Make sure that all system filters are clean. Replace at regular intervals.
  3. Make sure the spray tip is not worn, and does not leak as you trigger the gun.
  4. Assess hourly use of each spray tip per manufacturer recommendations with type of paint.
  5. Thin paint or coating material to the proper viscosity NOTE: This will increase ease of paint flow and pumping efficiency.
  6. At all times, maintain a posture and spray gun motion which is perpendicular to the surface. 7. Cover everything within close proximity to the work that does not get painted. Use plastic sheeting, paper and drop cloths.
  7. Use a mask as necessary – one appropriate for the product, space, exposure, ventilation, etc.

 

How to Optimize Ease and Speed in Unison

 

Normally, I would consider it difficult to work fast and for the work to be easy at the same time. It takes some concentration to achieve what you’re looking for. There a few things you can do.

 

  1. Spray finish as much as possible before having to bring out the roller and brush. Your productivity will be considerably higher; and the hand tool use won’t have worn you out.

 

  1. Use a roller system in place of where you typically would have used a brush.

 

  1. Upgrade or vary the brush size from what you would normally use.

 

  1. Provide the highest level of surface preparation available.

 

To make a paint job easier, it is not necessary to cut corners or costs. Ease comes with experience: knowing how to complete a task using a sound and simple method versus getting too involved.

 

Start simple and build from there. Example: Don’t try to strip wood without using a chemical remover.

 

Fast means: You will be done sooner and generally make more money. Just don’t sacrifice quality and end up back where you started: behind schedule.

 

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I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob,”

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

 

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