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Archive for the ‘Tools and Equipment’ Category

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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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.

More Custom Carriers for Painter’s Tools

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Custom Designed Carriers for Painter’s Supplies and Tools

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Sometimes, you need a carrier customized to fit the supplies you rely on.

Here are some pieces that I’ve built. Each took one to three hours to complete. All at minimum expense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paintshop: Preserving “Bob the Painter’s” Brushes

My father, “Bob the Painter,” died suddenly in 1993. He left behind a huge inventory of painting and decorating products, materials, supplies, tools, and portable equipment.

 

Included were thirty-nine (39) paintbrushes, most of them Purdy or Wooster.

 

. 13 China bristle – for oil-base/alkyd base paints

. 12 synthetic/nylon bristle – for water-base or latex paint products

.   7 lacquering brushes

.  7 faux finishing brushes

.  5 boxes of disposable (cheap) brushes – for building up primers/sealing

 

A tall and skinny, hand-crafted wood cabinet housed over 31 assorted artist brushes.

 

All paintbrushes were in very good-to-excellent shape. Bristles dense and springy, solidly embedded by “plugs” in tight-fitting metal ferrules; and firm, flagged/frayed ends.

 

All brushes were well-maintained, very clean, and no paint/residue build up anywhere.

 

Four China bristle brushes set in a small amount of solvent solution in Dad’s metal brush carrier. And, three or four artist brushes lay in a tray containing “fresh” water.

 

I was amazed – still am – at his attention to tool maintenance. His paintshop in our huge garage always looked in disarray. Yet, in a flash, he could find whatever he needed. Or, he could tell me exactly where to find something.

 

Recently, an e-mail appeared from the contractor to whom we sold most of Dad’s paintshop inventory. He said that his son had taken over the business in 2008. And, most of my dad’s paintbrushes were still being used.

 

That meant that the contractor and son had been doing a great job of maintaining those brushes, too.

 

In 1993, I kept at least nine of Dad’s paint and finishing brushes. I pulled them out last week-end. In an obscure spot on the handle of each brush a year had been etched.

 

On one China bristle brush: 1975; on another: 1986. On one synthetic/nylon bristle brush: 1984; on another: 1992.

 

The latter one may have been the last paintbrush that my dad ever purchased. It’s a 2-inch, angled sash with chisel tips. It’s like new and still in its Purdy holder. Even though I know that I’ve used that brush hundreds of times since 1993.

 

Great, well-made paintbrushes last. In fact, they get better and better with age. Just like some people and pets that I’ve known, too.

 

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Treat your paintbrushes better than your girlfriend or wife;

And they will support you well throughout your life.

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Take care. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: What is the Best Paint?

Paints and coatings are similar. What separates them from each other is their ability to retain color and their durability of sheen.

 

The typical factors, which can affect this, are (1) surface exposure to the sun, (2) cleanliness, and (3) humidity.

 

First of all, to find the “best possible paint” for your application, consult paint store and manufacturer recommendations.

 

As a rule, you get what you pay for. Normally, the best quality paint will have the highest price. With the modern development in coatings research, the quality of paint is at its highest level. Now, there are paints which combine primer as part of their formulation.

 

Usually, I prefer to use a suitable primer, then let it dry. And I apply a top coat, especially designed for that surface and that primer-top coat combination. To each his own, however.

 

Each surface requires a paint that is specific to its requirements. You wouldn’t put latex paint on bare steel. And, you wouldn’t prime the steel with the recommended primer and then apply a latex finish paint. If you don’t know the difference, you might.

 

There are “best paints” for every class of surfaces. Here are a few of them.

 

  1. Exterior masonry. Use an elastomeric coating. It’s a high-build, water-proofing material.
  2. Steel. Use epoxy primer and finish. They provide an extremely durable, chemical resistant finish.
  3. Interior drywall. Use acrylic latex. It leaves a highly washable, color retentive finish.
  4. Non ferrous metal. Use oil galvanizing primer. It has excellent adhesive properties.
  5. Automotive. Use urethane. It has ultimate durability, high color retention, resist abrasions.
  6. All surfaces. Use oil-based paint. It provides excellent durability, color retention, resist stains.

 

Then, there are my “best brand paint picks.” Opinions may vary. Yet, there are standards of quality, cost and reputation for each manufacturer.

 

  1. Interior/Exterior house paints: #1 Glidden; #2 Sherwin Williams; #3 Behr.
  2. Wood finishes: #1 Minwax; #2 Olympia.
  3. Masonry: #1 Glidden; #2 Sherwin Williams.
  4. Fine finish metals: #1 DuPont, #2 Sherwin Williams.
  5. Industrial coatings: #1 Sherwin Williams.

 

There are many paint and coatings’ manufacturers out there. Do your research, especially when you are questioning a surface’s compatibility with a particular paint type. Paint failures or a reduced life of the sheen can occur if the wrong selection is made.

 

 

A STORY OF EXTREMES

 

As a commercial painter, I was once assigned a job to decorate the front offices and lobby of an automotive body shop. My job was to paint all of the drywall ceilings, with a flat white latex, and to apply vinyl wall coverings to all of the walls and the electrical cover plates. It sounded simple enough.

 

But as I got started, I saw several of the body shop workers carrying stack s of wood moulding into their service area. And when the doors arrived – about 12 of them, they were taken to that area as well.

 

I was busy doing my own work. Until one day, I went back and discovered a couple of body shop employees working on the doors and woodwork. They were painting them.

 

I thought:  Well, that’s just fine. Then, I realized that the paint they were using was not the run of the mill latex or oil I would have used. I was shocked, yet totally amazed at what they were doing.

 

The owner had chosen to finish his woodwork with automotive paint. I never heard of such a thing. On his own, the owner decided to experiment.

 

The product he chose to use was a two-part urethane with a clear coat final finish.  The finish was known for its unsurpassed durability and extremely high gloss.

 

Okay! I waited and continued with my duties. In the last days of my work, I got to see the carpenters putting everything up. Room by room, they installed the doors and the trim. Then the body shop guys sprayed the last coat of clear coat.

 

We had a party upon completion of the project. And we got to witness the end result. It was beyond words.

 

THE DOORS! I’m not kidding. You could see yourself. When you walked along the casing or baseboard, you could see your reflection as you walked by. Not only that: This interior finishing had the most durable finish I had ever seen.

 

When I talked to the owner, he said: “I want my shop to be the only one of its kind. I want it to be perfect. I don’t care how long it takes. And money is no object.”

 

By the way, he invited shop owners from all over the area to the party. So they could admire the work done on his body shop. And, I even got to take a bow.

 

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Creative results are often the harmonious blend of the norm with the impossible.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

14 Favors to Do for Your Replacement

You’re leaving the painter’s job at the hotel or facility. A new painter will be taking over.

Your aim should always be to leave the “Painter’s Post,” Paintshop,” and all related support systems in top shape for your successor.

 

You can play a key role in the new painter’s ability to start on the right foot. He or she needs and deserves:

(a) to be welcomed warmly by your former “family” – teammates and managers;

(b) to adjust well to his or her new workplace, system, and company policies;

(c) to learn to do the job needed and expected, and,

(d) to reach the confidence level needed to be a vital, valuable member of that “community.”

 

You want to do everything that you can – during your last week or two there – to ensure that he or she will be glad about accepting the job.

 
1. Leave him or her a list or chart about the following: (a) standard tasks, (b) usual work orders, (c) current projects, (d) departmental troubleshooting projects, (d) projects on the agenda, and, (e) projects on hold because of budgetary/management constraints.

 

2. Leave an up-to-date list of products, materials and supplies that (a) have been ordered for necessary, basic use; (b) have been requisitioned but put on hold; (c) were requisitioned but turned down; (d) need to be ordered for current projects; and (e) need to be requisitioned for upcoming projects.

 

3. Leave a list of little “inside” job secrets, and handy-to-know things.

 

4. Encourage your department teammates, fellow staff members and supervisor(s) to treat the new guy right! To include him or her in their lunch groups. And, to cut him or her some slack.

 

5. Finish as many uncompleted orders and small-to-mid sized projects as you can. Note: You may need to prioritize a bit.

 

6. Prepare and leave a simple guide that correlates with the company’s “Painter” job description.

 

7. Update the Paintshop inventory list. And, leave it in an easy-to-see place.

 

8. Sort, organize and shelve – in a handy spot – all manuals, MSDSs, spec sheets, guides, tutorials, videos, tapes, etc.

 

9. Clear out, clean up and straighten up the Paintshop.

 

10. Clearly label, then organize and properly store all product containers.

 

11. Leave all essential tools and equipment in good-to-go working order. Well, the best that you can do. Note: Thoroughly clean all painting and finishing tools and equipment used regularly.

 

12. Clean, launder, fold, and store all dropcloths; reusable “suit-ups,” hats/caps, work gloves, etc.

 

13. Clean out, vacuum, wash, and wax the “Painter’s Golf Cart.”

– Put air in the tires. Fully charge the battery(ies). Clean the windshield, and fill the wiper fluid reservoir. If gas-operated, fill up the tank the last day you’re there.

 

14. Leave your desk, computer, mobile devices, and related spaces ready for the new person. TIP – LAST DAY: Before you clock out, delete your user/access name, password, security/I.D., number, plus all personnel, personal, and other information.

 

BONUS: If supervisors and management approve, offer to be available to the new painter for questions – on a limited basis. Until he or she gets settled and learns the ropes. TIP: Especially helpful if you were there more than five years.

BONUS: To the best of your ability, leave the “Painter” name/title in real good shape there.

BONUS: Leave behind a good – make that great – “Paintshop” reputation.

SUPER BONUS: If appropriate, leave a “Best Wishes” or “Good Luck” card for the new painter. Keep it light, and very brief.

 

AFTER YOU LEAVE: Stay away from the business, and off of the property. For one full year, at least. Exceptions: You need to pick up or drop off something. You’re applying for a job opening. You’ve been invited there for a specific, appropriate reason. TIP: Go straight to the designated area. Do not pass “GO.”

 

Give the new painter a good chance to get settled, find his or her way around, make friends, gain support, and succeed!

 

You want the new painter to be glad that he or she is there. A part of the engineering/facility services team. And, a part of the organization!

 

You have the power! The new painter’s success may depend on how you leave things there. (Realizing that some things tend to be out of your control.)

You can leave behind a shining – and lasting – example of integrity, honesty, fair play, respect, friendship, and, professionalism.

A legacy that the new painter can build upon, to succeed in his or her own way.

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A painter’s most trusted friend can be the painter that he or she is replacing.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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