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Archive for the ‘Projects and Techniques’ Category

Painting It: An Author’s Painter – and Movie Sets

An author’s greatest reward can be seeing one of his or her novels reach the big screen.

A handful of novelists have had more than three of their works turned into a full-feature film.
Few of these novelists write the screenplay version of their novels. More of them do, these days, serve as technical consultants during the filming of their stories.

Earlier this year, one of these prolific authors of popular film stories got his house painter and decorator a job as a painter on the set of a movie.

Let’s call him “Joel.” The man mixed and matched the paints. Then he painted the movie set’s exterior buildings, store fronts and related areas; also the interiors of many sets. It was meant to be a very temporary gig.

Three-and-a-half weeks into the project, the construction crew’s lead painter was in an accident, and couldn’t work. “Joel,” the temporary set painter, who was a seasoned commercial painter and decorator, was put into the lead job.

At the end of filming, the author came along. He offered the temporary painter a full-time, steady job as a movie set painter. Particularly the sets of the author’s film projects. And, this author always tends to have one of his novels heading for or already on a movie set somewhere.

“It was a lot of fun,” my old painter friend told me while visiting in Florida in early July. “Being around all that action… some great actors… very talented, skilled craftspersons and artisans. That was great.”

The man’s eyes dropped to the paint color chips in my hand. And the two, 5-gallon buckets of paint at my feet.

“This,” he pointed around the paint store, “is me.” Then, he grabbed one of the heavy paint buckets and walked out to my ‘87 Chevy Blazer. The subject of movie-set painting closed!

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The mark of a real pro is often the little things that he does, and the big decisions he makes, along his way.
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Thanks to all readers and followers – visible and hidden – of “Painting with Bob.”

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

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Painter’s World: Painters and Gardens

The rain drip, dripped, then beat upon my hearty vegetable plants. I hoped that they would make it.

Last year, the torrential rains knocked my tomato, pepper and pole bean plants to the ground. Broken, limp and lifeless.

Miraculously, the repeated rainfalls recently – all of them needed desperately – saturated the earth. And, they bounced off the leaves of every plant. Even the young, more vulnerable ones.

WHY DOES ONE CROP SURVIVE AND THRIVE? Why does the last crop curl up and die?

An “THIS-GARDEN” ANSWER

This season I pre-treated the soil with a fertilizer spray solution: 1-cup ammonia to 1-gallon water. (TIP: Do not increase the ratio.)

I found the old solution printed in Amish Gardening Secrets by Mardy D. Nicholas. (Copyright 2005, James Direct, Inc., Hartsville, Ohio 64632.)

I did not expect the results that I’ve gotten so far. Many buds on every plant.

Yield estimate: If one half of the buds produce fresh vegetables, the yields will be amazing. More than enough to share with non-gardening neighbors. Plus a few local painters and former co-workers. And, still have enough fresh veggies to freeze or can.

ABOUT GARDEN SIZE

Garden size does not determine plant yield. Nutrients in the soil, quality of vegetable seeds, timely cooperation of the weather (rain, sun, shade, heat, humidity), and, planting and tending DO have everything to do with it.

Since 2013, I’ve cut down the garden size by 50 percent. Fewer tomato, pepper, bean, and pea plants, less lettuce, and only one or two herbs.

In my family, painters and decorators have also gardened. In Indiana: a huge “truck patch.” Hundreds of plants. In South Florida: six-to-eight plants in huge earthen patio pots. In Central Florida: ten-to-twenty-five plants mainly in the ground, also in earthen and plastic pots.

Teammate Tip: If a teammate shows up with a basketful of home-grown vegetables and/or fruit, take some. That’s why he or she brought them. If you’re not interested, please take a few for a neighbor or friend.

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It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
It’s not where you begin, but where you end.
It’s not what you plant, but what you end up with.
It’s not how much you plant, but the quality of your yield.

..Paraphrased quote by Tommy Tu, director, “Grand Hotel”
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Thanks to painters that also grow gardens.

Thanks from “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Them: Camouflaging Beat Up Walls, Doors, Trim

The 85-year old hotel showed its age. Though well maintained, its 240 guest rooms needed a major face lift.

But the group of employee owners could not afford it.

Yet, to fill their rooms – to keep their doors open, they needed to improve its appearance. Also they needed to repair the essentials.

In early 2016, I stayed in one of their best rooms. It needed a lot of work.

In December of 2016, the hotel’s painter demonstrated his face-lift plan to the chief engineer and general manager. Both men pushed for the group of owners to authorize the plan.

Here’s the painter’s plan, in the order that the respective area(s) would be redecorated.

1. GUEST ROOMS
A. Patch, then lightly sand the surfaces of the wall in the worst shape.
B. Next, apply a base coat in the room’s darker main color.
C. Then, apply faux finish glaze – eg. sponging – in same color tinted 2-3 hues lighter.
D. Option: Apply base coat in main color lightened three hues. Then apply glaze coat in color 3 hues darker.
TIP: Save even more time and money. Forget the fresh base coat. And apply only the faux finish glaze – eg. sponging, dragging, or ragging – in same hue as base color, or lighter or darker.

2. GUEST ROOM BATHROOMS
A. Thoroughly wash and rinse the worst wall. Let dry.
B. Lightly sand area so all streaks and gouged edges fake into surface.
C. Paint wall in same color used as glaze color on Guestroom wall.
D. Bonus: Paint contrasting 3-inch border along top of accent wall, across from adjoining wall leading to bedroom’s refinished wall.
E. TIP: Repaint all trim and molding in base coat or Vanilla cream.

3. PUBLIC RESTROOMS
A. Patch, then lightly sand the vanity/sink wall.
B. Repaint in bright hue that contrasts with room’s main color.
Example: If main color is light gray, repaint sink wall in Light Aquamarine, Lime, or Berry.

4. CORRIDORS
A. Patch, then lightly sand walls on both sides.
B. Repaint upper walls in tint of lightest color used in hotel’s main color scheme.
C. Repaint lower walls in darker hue of same color.
D. Repaint baseboard/trim in same light color as upper walls.
E. Repaint end wall, if nicked, in contrasting color.

5. LOBBY
A. Grid worst wall into vertical stripes.
B. Patch, then lightly sand the surface.
C. Paint stripes in alternating colors: Predominant color in the room, then same color tinted 3 hues lighter or darker.
D. Option: Apply one of the colors in faux finish – eg. dragging, flogging.

The objective: Recoat the surfaces so that they would pass even the “UP CLOSE” test.

The goal: Enhance the amenity’s appearance so that the guests say “Wow!” when they walk in.

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“Painting with Bob” aims to present a side of painting that makes your job easier, and enjoyable. On a daily basis.

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

Four Unusual Guest Rooms in Un-ordinary Locations

1. FOCAL POINT: Red iridescent 1967 Mustang life-size mural. Air-brushed and hand-painted on 42-foot north wall.

Lodging type: Private inn with 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.
Structure: Former Amish farm house.
Location: Northeast Indiana.
Room’s description: Third floor attic suite. Dimensions: 24-feet wide by 42 feet long.
Light source: Two dormers on front and back sides, one on each end.
Floor: Smooth-planed, tongue and groove hardwood. Note: more than 130 years old.
Walls: Drywall. Finish: White Snowfall, Color No. SW 6000 semi-gloss latex.
Ceiling: Drywall. Finish: Two layers of clear faux glaze over white flat base coat.
Paint products manufacturers: Sherwin-Williams; also Liquitex Acrylic Artist Paints.

2. FOCAL POINT: Panoramic re-creation of rare books reading room in Newberry Collectors Library, Chicago. Custom wallpaper mural wraps around 32-feet north and 22-feet east walls.

Lodging type: Hostel catering to travelers ages 60 and over; 8 bedrooms, each sleeping 7-8.
Structure: Abandoned industrial warehouse.
Location: West side of Chicago.
Room’s description: Second floor. Dimensions: 32-feet by 22-feet.
Light sources: 4 large, 18-paned steel-framed swing-hinged windows.
Floors: Wall-to-wall commercial grade carpeting over hardwood. Pattern: Salt-n-Pepper-neutrals.
Walls: 3 – Bare concrete block, smooth floated. Finish: Stain: Softer Tan, Color no. SW 6141.
Mural wall: Drywall installed, then white latex base coat rolled on two weeks before mural hung.
Ceiling: Dropped 18-inch frosted tiles, grid frames.
Furniture: Twin-sized bed foundations made from shortened oblong library tables; small reading tables became bedside/night stands.
Paint products manufacturer: H&C/S-W (concrete block walls); Drywall base coat.

Personal note: At age twelve, I visited the Newberry Library for the first time. Six years younger than the required minimum age of eighteen. I filled out a form requesting a book to read, I was seated at a table. A library concierge brought the volume, and placed it on a small table-top easel in front of me. She showed me how to turn the pages by using a special wand with felt tips. Note: All works had to be read there.

3. FOCAL POINT: Two Brown bear cubs in Wisconsin north woods scene. Life-size mural covers 24-feet long wall.

Lodging Type: Extended-stay family motel, that accommodates traumatic brain injured children.
Structure: Former two-story elementary school.
Location: North Appalachian Mountains.
Room description: First floor. Dimensions: 24-feet by 32-feet, part of 3-room suite plus bath.
Light source: Skylights.
Floors: Wall-to-wall commercial carpeting. Pattern: Houndstooth. Colors: Med-to-forest greens.
Walls: Smooth-floated plaster. Three walls painted Emerald Line: Cotton White, Color no: SW 7104, tinted with Byte Blue, Color no. SW 6498.
Ceilings: Dropped white pearl frosted acoustical tile squares set into flat white grid frames.
Paint product manufacturers: Sherwin-Williams; Liquitex Acrylic Artist Paints.

The Process: I installed the custom woodland mural onto the 18-feet by 32-feet wall facing south. Then I hand-painted and air-brushed both cubs into the foreground, using the designer’s template. By the way, the woods scene was a reproduction of a photo taken by the property owner. He was a freelance nature photographer for The National Geographic Society.

4. FOCAL POINT: View from the top of Jack’s Beanstalk. Hand and air-brush painted.

Lodging type: City inn.
Structure: Former 23-room luxury apartment.
Location: West Central Park, New York City
Room Dimensions: 15-feet by 26 feet
Light source: 2 tall adjacent windows overlooking the park.
Walls: Drywall. Painted white semi-gloss latex base coat; then two layers of faux stippling glaze: 1 part White Mint, color no: SW 6441, 3 parts Cotton White, color no. SW 7104, semi-gloss latex.
Ceilings: Popcorn texture, pin-dot effect. Paint: Cotton White, color no. SW 7104.
Paint products manufacturers: Behr’s; Grumbacher Acrylic Artist Paints.

The Process: A graphic designer sketched the Jack’s Beanstalk design on paper first. Then, a projector shot the image onto the wall. The same designer used colored chalk pencils to “trace” that image. Next, she used an air-brush spray system to paint the design. The painted mural was allowed to dry and settle for two days. Last, the artist sprayed on a fine coat of clear glaze mist.
THE EFFECT: Like looking through the clouds.
Paint products manufacturers: Glidden’s; Liquitex Low-Gloss acrylics.

Most painters and decorators envision the unusual and unique projects they’d like to have a hand in creating.

A Few Tips for Getting Started in Design-Mural Painting

1. Explore these outlets during your off days, and hours.
2. Decide which type of creative project really interests you.
3. Practice the special techniques required. If you can afford it, take a high-rated class at your local art school. Opt for a professional artist-instructor. Check out background, credits, awards.
4. Study recognized designers-muralists. Their backgrounds, styles, methods, paint selections.
5. To start out, you may want to work under an experienced creative painter/artist on one of his or her projects. Recommended: Help on your off time. Keep the day job.
6. When ready to “solo,” work on these special projects on the side. Start with simpler designs.
7. Leave your regular painting job behind only if and when you have a solid potential client and project base established. And, if and when you want to make that career change.

My view: Hand-painted murals are a gift to the surface… the atmosphere… the viewer!

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Thanks for being here on this planet. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Creating and Painting: Murals by G.B. – Part II

Do you remember the muralist, G. B., that I blogged about in December of 2015?

Well, G. B. – Gerard – resides now in an “elder care home” located in South Florida.

His knees click when he stands or bends. His arms won’t reach overhead without a painful struggle. His fingers crimp when he tries to grasp an artist’s brush for longer than three minutes. And, many tiny black dots dance through his narrowing view.

Has he given up painting?

“NEVER!” he cheered on the telephone.

Instead, guess what the 72-year old artist is doing:

He’s painting small murals on different walls throughout the facility where he resides.

He paints small flower gardens – of their choice – in the rooms of neighbors in his wing. For Marlene: a patch of red, yellow, orange, pink, and lilac Tulips. For Clara: tall Gladiolas in bright peach, coral, yellow, orange, and scarlet. For Harry: three Rosebushes full of young blooms. For Jen Lee: a garden of wild flowers: Tiger, Peace and Day Lilies; Daisies, Iris, Goldenrod, Roses.

He’s painted an herbal garden on the wall along a short hallway near the main kitchen’s pantry. In the main dining hall, he painted two wrought iron café chairs and a table, complete with a setting of Limoges Haviland tea service.

At the end of one corridor, he created a “wall” bird sanctuary. He painted in three birdhouses, a bird bath, a large ceramic frog, and “a squirrel that has seen better days.” Along another corridor, he painted butterflies. A variety of species, colors and sizes.

In January, the facility’s administrator “commissioned” Gerard to design and paint a music staf half-railing along one wall of the music and band room.

What’s next? Gerard is designing an “open-themed” half-wall mural for the “Activities Room.” He’s recruited fellow residents who want to help paint it. A group project, complete with snacks and lunch – furnished by the kitchen staff, and the administrator.

I think that G.B. – “Gerard” – is a fine example of life after life alters the way a painter – a person – must pass through it. Tweaks here and there. Some adjustments.

And changes. A part of life from birth.

Like Gerard’s 15-year old grandson e-mailed, “So what’s the big deal? Grandpére is amazing!”

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting in Purple: Rooms for Three Pals

Within a two-block radius live three elementary-age girls. Each is being reared by her natural father or grandfather, or an adoptive step-grandfather.

 

They’re the type of children for whom you want to do what you can to brighten their lives. And, they have the type of guardians you want to help, too.

 

So, what can a painter do for remarkable neighborhood girls like them?

And, how can a painter help out their caring and hardworking parental figures?

 

WELL, HE OR SHE CAN PAINT!

 

All of the girls lived in rented duplexes. Thus, redecorating needed to conform to the tenant rules of the respective property owner. Paint colors and products had to be selected and used that would be (a) easy to recoat when the current tenants moved, or (b) color-compatible with a new tenant’s needs.

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And, the products had to be child-safe. Non-toxic, non-flaking, non-flammable, non-“rub-offable.” Washable, too!

   

STARTING POINT: CHOOSING THEIR COLORS

 

All three girls loved the color “PURPLE!”

 

All three girls chose their paint colors from Glidden’s® “Make It Magical with Disney” line.

(For information: www.disneypaint.com.)

 
Girl No. 1’s Room:

  1. WALLS: Base Color no. WDMN05, Color name: Minnie’s Gloves (white).
  2. Special effects: 3 horizontal wrap-around stripes, two adjacent walls. Top/4-inches: Color no. WDMN04, Color name: Adorable Daisy. Middle/6-inches: Color no. WDMN08, Color name: Bow-tique Beauty. Bottom/12-inches: Color no. WDMN09, Color name: Purple Cuteness.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDMN04. Color name: Adorable Daisy.

 

Girl No. 2’s Room:

  1. WALLS: 3 walls: Color no. WDFY04, Color no. Vidia Purple; 1 wall, bookcase and closet: Color no. WDPR03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.
  2. Special effects: 4 to 8-inch diameter circles, positioned in shooting star effect from white wall onto adjoining right-hand closet wall. Color no. WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight; Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight.

 

Girl No. 3’s Room:

  1. WALLS: 4 walls: Color no. WDPR03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.
  2. Special effects: 2-inch wrap-around border: Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  4. WOOD FURNITURE: Color no. WDFY03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.

Special effects: Tops of desk, 2 nightstands, 6-drawer dresser: Faux Swirl Pattern: Color no. 1: WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight (pastel lilac); Color no. 2: WDFY01, Color name: Tinker Bell (mint green); Color no. 3: WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.

 

Paint and finishing products

 

Paint products: Semi-gloss and Gloss latex. Manufacturer: Glidden’s.

Stain and finish coat products: Miniwax.

 

First Things First: Scheduling and Clearing Out Rooms.

  1. Painting schedule: Week days (for each), when respective family gone for day.
  2. Clearing out: Adults (household and friends) removed wall posters, banners, pictures. They also removed table lamps, small chairs, mirrors, small shelving units; toys, stuffed animals, games; clothing and personal stuff; bed linens, pillows, curtains, small area rugs, etc.

 

Paint Project Process for Each Bedroom.

  1. Vacuuming: Room and closet. Thoroughly! Also, cleaning/dusting all furniture to be painted.
  2. Prepping: Minor patching, filling small cracks and nail holes; light sanding.
  3. Finish painting: One coat.
  4. Paint method: Smooth.
  5. Desired finish effect: Fresh, color-chip match; distinctive. New!

 

Special touches for each girl’s room, donated by groups of neighbor ladies.*
* New coordinated and washable cotton blend curtains.

* New quilted coverlets or bedspreads, and decorator pillows with removable covers.

* Two complete sets of coordinating bed linens, and 1 set of bath linens.

 

Large area rugs, donated as follows:

Girl No. 1’s Room: 9-ft. x 12-ft., Donors: Out-of-town relatives.

Girl No. 2’s Room: 12-ft. x 12-ft., Donors: Deceased mother’s aunt.

Girl No. 3’s Room: 12-ft. x 15-ft., Donors: Group of grandfather’s friends.

Biggest reason to take on a joint project like this?

Three girls starting out in life, and their three guardians who are willing to sacrifice a lot help them take each step into the future.

 

Thanks for doing what you do, including painting, to make life better for someone else.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: Susika’s “First Real Bedroom”

 

Susika was a ten-and-a-half year old when we met. Her aunt and U. S. Marine uncle had brought her home with them, after the mass family funeral in the Middle East. On the plane, they promised her a “real bedroom.”

 

Uncle “J.J.” and several handy friends knocked out a wall to add six feet to the small 10-feet by 9-feet space.

 

Here’s how they outfitted what Susika called her “first real bedroom.”

 

  1. On 15-feet window wall: Built in a window seat, with bookshelves on each end, and two roomy, half-cupboards underneath.
  2. On each side of window seat unit: A roomy closet: one for clothes, the other for her “stuff.”
  3. On other three walls: Wall rails and one-half wainscoting.
  4. Floor covering: Wall-to-wall, commercial grade carpeting: Colors: Pastels in pink, rose, cranberry, mint green, forest green. Pattern: Splashes and Swirls.
  5. Bed Furniture: Wood twin bed, 6-drawer dresser, 2 night tables. From uncle’s elderly neighbors.
  6. Old wooden desk and chair. Shared by her mother and “J. J.” as children.
  7. Small arm chair. Once used by older cousin, now in college.
  8. Toy chest. Originally belonged to her uncle.
  9. Bean bag chair, vinyl. Color: Hot pink. New. A gift from that cousin in college.
  10. Four-shelf, three-drawer unit. For stuffed animals and dolls. Yard sale purchase.
  11. Bulletin-White board. For hanging above desk. Purchased at Wal-Mart.

MY JOB: Paint and finish coat everything paintable. And, there was a lot.

 

Susika chose her new room’s paint colors from Glidden’s® “Make It Magical with Disney” line.

(For information: www.disneypaint.com.)

Color scheme: Soft white, pastel pinks and greens, also tinted forest green.

Paints used: Interior semi-gloss and high-gloss latexes; also artist acrylics.

 

SURFACES and AREAS, COLORS

 

Ceiling: Glidden Color No. WDPR03. Color: A Wave of the Wand. Finish: Popcorn textured.

Upper and built-in walls, closets: Color No. WDPR03. Color: A Wave of the Wand (tinted Pink).

Rails, vertical wood wainscoting, doors, trim; also window and cupboard doors: Color No. WDPR08. Color: Fairest of Them All.

Furniture: Color No. WDPR10. Color: Water Lily.

33-year old 4-shelf/3-drawer unit: Base coat Color No. WDPR03. Color: A Wave of the Wand; Glazed Top coat: Color No. WDPR10 Color: Water Lily. Faux application: Random sponging.

Tops of dresser and night tables: 2-coat Faux glaze. Coat 1: Color No.: WDPR10. Color: Water Lily; Coat 2: Color No. WD FY05. Color: Fairy Flight. Faux application: Sponging, Ragging.

Built-ins and Window Seat Wall: Natural Stain; Sealer/Finish coat: Low-gloss polyurethane.

 

The entire painting project took a little more than a week. I used a large, cleaned out shed to re-finish the furniture pieces. It was equipped with central A/C. All other surfaces and areas were primed and finish-coated inside of the room.

 

PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS
Paints-Primers, finish coats: Glidden’s “Make It Magical with Disney.”

Stains, finish coats: Miniwax sealers, stains, varnishes, polyurethanes.

Artist Paints/Detailing: Liquitex Acrylics.

 

Painting and decorating children’s rooms is a lot of fun. Especially, when the painter is included in the project from the theme, design, color, and pattern selection stage.

  1. Every project is different. Every child’s preferences and needs are unique.
  2. The elements – theme, design, color, pattern – vary a lot.
  3. The products and materials used, in combination, are always one-of-kind.
  4. Working creatively within the budget draws on untapped energy, imagination and resources.
  5. A special sense of satisfaction bubbles forth as a child’s “special space” takes shape.

 

ABOUT SUSIKA
Susika’s completed room was very special for an added reason. She was a war orphan, legally adopted by her only living adult relative: an American military officer. Susika’s mother, the military officer’s sister, was an American educator that taught the children of enlisted officers stationed in the Middle East. Her father was a U. S. educated Middle Eastern professor and administrator.

 

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“My own room! It’s like having my private place in Heaven.”   Susika

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Thank you, fellow painters and decorators, for brightening the lives of others.
And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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