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Posts tagged ‘Changes’

Painter’s 28 Tips for Adapting to Ability Changes


On a warehouse store project, I needed to paint miles of stripes on the concrete floors. Using a small supply cart, with lockable wheels, was the most effective and low-stress way to get it done.


A painter’s ability changes with age, injury and illness.


So what’s new? You will still be able to plan and carry out a job very successfully.  And, when something not in your control is added to the job? Adapt and adopt!


KEY TIP: Know what your abilities are before you begin a new project, or sign on with a new employer. And, “suit up” – prepare – accordingly.


KEY TIP: Find creative ways to perform the work.


KEY TIP: Get 21st century savvy in project scheduling, completing under budget, and meeting – even exceeding – your employer’s and customer’s/guests quality expectations.




1. Is pain involved? Can you take it? The no. 1 deal breaker.

Example: Periodic knee pain from a college football injury hampers your endurance.

TIP: Change the way you stand, walk, bend, climb, etc.

TIP: Apply common strain-relieving techniques, taught by occupational and physical therapists.

TIP: Wear a light-weight, unnoticeable brace when you’ll be using those knees a lot.

TIP: Follow preventive and strengthening strategies recommended by sports’ medicine pros.


2. Is accessibility involved? Are you mobile? Can you drive, walk, reach, bend over, climb?

Example: You can’t reach surface areas that require unusual body positions for long periods.

TIP: Improve how you reach – eg. turn your upper torso differently.

TIP: Improvise. Find creative ways to reach the surface – eg. bendable double extension poles.

TIP: Build a small cart, with wheels, to roll along for hours, and help get painting done.


3. Is dexterity involved? Can you hold a paint brush for an extended period?  Can you manipulate it for an entire day?

Example: It will take you all day to brush on a special coating over a large exterior surface.

TIP: Build up those muscles, joints and tendons with break-time and off-work exercises.

TIP: Apply thin coat of muscle/joint cream to hands and wrists under inexpensive cotton gloves.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that maximize grip and free-motion, and minimize strain.

TIP: Outfit your brush handle with a removable grip pad, designed for that purpose.


4. Is dexterity and grip involved? Can you hold a spray gun all day, and spray effectively?

Example: You need to spray out the exterior corridors and walkways of all guest buildings.

TIP: Schedule 2-minute relaxation “un-grip it” break every 30 minutes.

TIP: Do “finger flexing” every 45-60 minutes, or more often if possible.

TIP: Take advantage of between times – walking to-and-from, standing in line, talking on phone to boss or supplier, eating lunch, etc.

TIP: Outfit your spray gun with a removable grip pad, designed for spray gun handles.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that are washable. (Most affordable are sold online.)


5. Is a chronic illness involved? Can you work around its symptoms and medication side effects?

Example: Your asthma kicks in big time when you’re painting areas with heavy toxic mold.

TIP: Use an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.

TIP: Take regular breaks, and leave the area. For at least 5 minutes each time.

TIP: Pick your paint times, as much as possible. Sun-exposure, no/minimal moisture.

TIP: Work with an oscillating fan running – lower speed, clean air flow.


Hopefully, you know your own body better than anyone. That is, if you’re really living inside that intricately-designed structure.


TIP: Periodically, tune in to what it’s telling you.

* Aches, pains, cramping, twitches, burns, blurriness, fatigue, etc. – all messengers.


TIP: Study your own job, and what it entails.

* Movements, positions, extensions, loads, time lengths, etc.


TIP: Find easy ways to adapt to those changes with yourself.

* Convenient, convertible, un-costly.


TIP: Experiment. Try a different method, position, grip, device, etc.

* And, if one doesn’t work for you, try another. And another.


TIP: Seek input from others that may have tips that will work for you.

* Painters in the trade longer than you can be superb, and private, advisors.



Adapt to change, and change how you adapt to avert extinction.



Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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


Upgrading Your Painting Team Skills and Abilities: Keeping Pace with New Trade Standards and Property Changes


Adapting to changes often requires a versatile outlook. A project such as remodeling or renovation is a capital improvement, designed to increase the value of the property.

In painting, it is desirable to possess specialized skills and abilities such as applying wallcoverings, decorative finishes and custom textiles. The location does not depend on your skills.

Skills and abilities which are innovative fill needs that the average painter is not able to offer. My suggestion: Seek out specialized training. Learn about the advances in new building products and materials, finishing products and coating systems. A background in one or more of these areas will ensure that you are diversified in a competitive market.

1. How the painting trade standards have changed – eg. IUPAT.

A. Regulations on product use ensure the safe implementation of the application.

B. There is an expectation to use low VOC products for clean air provisions.

C. Regulations and implementation of hazardous chemical containment has been increased.

D. Lead abatement has become required for presence of pre-existing lead-based paint materials.

E. Rules established for disposal of used paints and solvents are more specific – and stringent!

2. How commercial/facility painting job descriptions have changed.

A. Jobs specify experience in multi-surface preparation, methods, techniques, etc.

B. Jobs specify experience in application of surface/substrate products, materials, etc.

C. Many employers seek persons with electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and tiling skills.

D. Descriptions are broader, allowing for more diversified experience and abilities.

E. Jobs require more flexibility in scheduling, budgeting and costing-out, product use, etc.

3. What experienced painters need to learn today.

A. Popular new paint products: How to apply Zolstone, Multi spec, Venetian plaster, acrylic glazing techniques, hand-texturing techniques.

B. Less known new paint products: Metallic glazing, low odor two-components, epoxy, urethane; moisture-cured polyurethane, water-based alkalai resistant primers, moisture-cured zinc primers, water-based interior/exterior solids and semi-transparent stains, water-based varnishes.

C. New finishing products: Water-based rust inhibitive primers and dryfall coatings; 2-component polyurethanes, mark resistant interior latex paints. Check Gliddens, PPG, Sherwin Williams, etc.

D. New, preferred methods to use: HVLP is preferred over standard, conventional spray painting.  You have reduced material use, and much less overspray. Depending on the spray gun selected, a finer spray pattern can be achieved with HVLP.

E. New supplies: Plastic or plastic biodegradable dropcloths, long-release masking tapes, paintable siliconized caulking, cageless roller frames.

F. New tools: Purdy and Wooster paint brushes are considered the top two brands. Whistler (made in Great Britain) and Sympthony stand out as the two best in decorative finishing brushes.

G. New equipment: Graco, Sharpe, Devilbiss, Iwata (Japanese), and C-A techniques provide the most advanced spray finishing equipment available.

4. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew upgrade their skills.

A. Hold training sessions in areas of surface finishing – eg.painting, wallcovering, decorative finishing, texture applications.

B. Make available the basic, necessary tools and supplies for the particular upgrade.

C. Create work areas where new skills can be used.

D. Provide reference materials to use as guides – downloadable apps, DVDs, books, e-books, manuals, tip sheets, etc.

5. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew adapt to, and welcome, changes.

A. Tell the painters they are not expected immediately to create new skills. Being proficient takes time.

B. Allow each painters enough time, daily or weekly, to exercise a new skill or technique.

C. Require that everyone, who will paint, will know the proper way to finish each surface they will, or might, be required to work on.

6. How to help experienced painter(s) on your team/crew ask for help, feedback and resources.

A. Let each team member know that he or she has the support of supervisors, coworkers, and management.

B. Create open dialogue within the department, and organization, where suggestions can be offered freely, without reprisal or offense.

Closing Comments: The more diverse that one’s skills are, the more you can offer the employer, and hope to guarantee you will be needed in the future. Requirements are always changing. And, a painter must be able to adapt so that any given situation is readily manageable, or solved to meet the needs of the market.

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Paint with spirit! Live with soul! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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