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Painter’s View: Painter Apprentices at Work

Most painter apprentices start out by doing grunt work – in the paintshop, and on site.

 

THINGS A PAINTER APPRENTICE MAY HAVE TO DO

 

  1. Basic surface preparation: sanding, washing, caulking, puttying, degreasing, masking, dusting, patching walls/ceilings, scraping off loose paint.
  2. Studying job site blueprints and specifications for scheduled paint/finishing product.
  3. Learning to prepare various surfaces for specific types of coatings and finishing products.
  4. Driving company supply/equipment truck to and from job sites.
  5. Loading and unloading paint products and equipment.
  6. Picking up, delivering and packing up, storing supplies, tools, work tables, etc. used by the journey painters.
  7. Moving or removing furniture, large fixtures, area rugs, etc.
  8. Spreading out dropcloths; covering furniture, fixtures, built-ins, flooring, that can’t be removed.
  9. Organizing and setting up, then taking down work areas.
  10. Removing, then replacing fixtures, electric outlet covers, window shades/blinds/treatments.
  11. Mixing and pouring paint, filling paint pots and trays.
  12. Setting up masking/tape dispensers and machines, and other supplies, tools, equipment.
  13. Opening, unwrapping, unrolling boxes of plastic sheeting, masking/film papers, wallcoverings.
  14. Holding or stabilizing ladders, scaffolding sections, planking systems.
  15. Assisting journey painters.
  16. Stripping wood and metal surfaces.
  17. Repairing metal with polyester patch.
  18. Rough sanding and scraping of chipped, alligatored and worn paint and finishes.
  19. Basic drywall finishing and sanding; also prepping if that job was left to painters.
  20. Applying prime and finish paint products, when all other work is caught up.
  21. Stacking wood moldings, trims, frames, etc.
  22. Moving doors, framing; shutters, thresholds, railings, etc.
  23. Removing masking and taping materials, dropcloths, sheeting, etc.
  24. Cleaning all overspray from unpainted surfaces.
  25. Folding up dropcloths, sheeting, etc.; loading them onto supply truck..
  26. Cleaning up, picking up, sweeping, and clearing out work areas at end of each day.
  27. Soaking, cleaning and restoring paintbrushes, roller covers and frames; extension rods, etc.
  28. Flushing or washing out paint spray systems: spray guns, spray pots, hoses, compressors.
  29. Cleaning out buckets, paint trays, filters, racks, soaking carriers.
  30. Properly closing and sealing all product containers, boxes, tubes, wrappings, crates, etc.
  31. Disposing all chemical and hazardous products and supplies according to EPA, HazMat, and manufacturer instructions.
  32. Keeping paintshop storage and work areas organized, picked up, cleaned up, cleared out.

 

Actually, the list is endless. Too, it can be extended at any time, and by different persons, too.

 

Working as a painter apprentice can seem like a very dead-end and thankless job. And, most apprentices can’t wait to get handed that first paintbrush and a gallon of paint, and be ordered to paint a surface.

 

However, the smart apprentices will take advantage of every minute that they must spend doing that grunt work. They will literally see what it takes to run a job. Every physical aspect of it.

 

And, they will UP their learning curve every day that they’re on the job. From check-in time till check-out. (Actually, off the job, too.) Observing more. Listening more. Seeing more. Smelling more. Touching more. Learning more. Soaking in all that they can. Like a top grade Greek sea sponge.

 

SPECIAL BONUSES THAT PAINTER APPRENTICES MAY GET

 

Many painter apprentices have the opportunity to go onto different job sites. They are able to meet many people: experienced craftspersons and bosses in various construction trades. They get to be around architects, engineers and designers (in various fields); suppliers and manufacturers’ representatives; government inspectors; customers and clients; even investors.

 

Starting at the bottom in the painting trade offers so many long-term benefits. It offers invaluable preparation work for building a successful career as a journey painter, a finishing/detail painter and decorator, a contractor, a consultant, a trainer/instructor, an construction industry expert, an U.S. government expert in construction and building, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, etc.

 

I’ve met over a dozen painters that have ended up building successful careers as product designers or inventors; others as product/materials testers and analysts. Even as speakers and authors.

 

Where grunt work can take the painter apprentice is really up to him or her. Where it leads some day may be to a quality of life, and a way of life, that he or she could have never imagined when first signing up with IUPAT, a technical school, and/or painter apprenticeship programs.

 

The door is wide open.

 

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There’s honor in beginning at the bottom. There’s honor at the top,

especially if you respect others who are just beginning. RDH

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Have a safe, rewarding week. And thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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Painting Questions, Quotes, and Quips – Part 1

QUESTIONS:

1. What constitutes a “source” that must be credited in any future use?

Answer: According to U.S. Trademark, Patent, and Copyright Law, the original source of a concept, design, prototype, photograph, imprint, illustration, artwork, literary work, etc. must be listed whenever and wherever the item is used. That includes when the re-user has written permission from the originator, or legal representative, to use the material.

2. How should the original source be credited?

Answer: The originator’s required, usually brief, format must be used.
Example: Name of person, name of studio/company/publication, title of work, copyright date/year.

3. How necessary is it for any re-user of an original work to get written permission to use the work or material?

Answer: It is essential, especially whereas we live in a period of widespread misuse, pirating, fraud, plagiarism, identity theft, etc. Whenever, wherever, and how you use someone else’s material for “personal and/or financial gain…”

QUOTES:

I was checking on possible LinkedIn connections to specific persons connected to the technical services of a leading paint products manufacturer. Sure enough. At least two were there. Then, I checked on the manufacturer’s informational website for painting contractors. There, I found the same persons credited as the writers and/or editors of articles.

Immediately, I noticed that many of the articles’ topics and titles, organization, contents, and both wordage and phraseology were very familiar. Say, from this “Painting with Bob” blog. “All posts “copyright” protected. “All rights reserved.” Meaning no re-use, reproduction, reprinting, etc. without written permission of the author, or his/her legal representative.

QUIPS:

A first year journalism student landed an entry-level, Friday night job on The Indiana Daily Student, Indiana University’s newspaper.

Assignment 1: Pick up the reporters’ wads of yellow printer’s paper laying around their desks.

Assignment 2: Grab a chair next to any working reporter. Then read each page of copy as it comes out of the typewriter.

Assignment 3: Check that WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW – and even WHY – have been covered within the first two paragraphs of the reporter’s story.

Assignment 4: “Red-pen” circle every error in punctuation, spelling, grammar, word use, word order, typing, etc.

Assignment 5: Check all quotes for accuracy, and that the following match those written in the reporter’s notebook: interviewee’s full name, title and affiliation; exact words stated and in order, beginning and ending quotation marks, date, place and occasion of interview.

Assignment 6: Warning: “No mistakes allowed,” said Dr. F.A., dean of the School of Journalism, Indiana University. “If you can’t cut it on the floor, you can’t cut it at the desk.”

Closing observation: The paint manufacturer’s writers and editors did a good job on those painting tips articles for the contractors’ publication. They got the facts straight. And, their paraphrasing was reasonably accurate.

So… I let two area Sherwin-Williams friends treat me to lunch, and compare notes about an experimental coating for exterior surfaces such as high-exposure steel fencing.

CLOSING TIP:
Always give credit where credit is due!

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Trademark, Patent and Copyright Laws are here to protect everyone – including painters!
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Thanks to all visible or hidden readers, followers, and paraphrasers of “Painting with Bob.”

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

Volunteering Your Painting and Decorating Skills, Part II: Options and Action

When it comes to volunteering our painting skills, we may overlook the needs that exist in our own community or neighborhood. Two large categories below:

1. Steer your skills where they can matter the most at this time.
Examples:
A. Local low budget nursing home unable to afford staff painter.
B. Local public school severely hurt by sharp budget cuts.
C. Local free medical clinic.
D. Local small church or church school.
E. Low income or fixed income neighborhood.
F. Family that’s been uprooted by severe medical bills, or death of main breadwinner.

2. Consider discreetly volunteering your skills for persons that you know.
Examples:
A. Relative or friend.
B. Elderly or disabled neighbor.
C. Your church pastor and family.
D. Members of church family.

Also, we may not know how to go about finding these needs in our own back yards. Two ideas:

1. To locate a local needy person or family, check with your pastor or one of a nearby smaller parish.
TIPS: Some churches only accept volunteer work through their own parishioners. Also, people have their pride. Offer help only to persons or families willing to accept to accept it.

2. To find a local low-income church, organization, facility, school or group, I suggest that you write a brief letter offering your painting skills labor-free. Include the following information:

A. summary of your experience
B. work you’re available to do, including days, no. of hours, morning or afternoon.
C. availability: 1 time, temporary for 3 months 1 year, etc.
D. statement about who buys and who pays for needed supplies – eg. paint, caulking tubes
fillers, sandpapers, paint thinner.
E. statement about when supplies would need to be purchased.
F. statement about your limits – eg. interior work, environmental conditions, hazardous conditions, tools
and equipment.

A FEW TIPS ABOUT DOING THE VOLUNTEER PAINTING JOB

1. Aim to leave behind a finished job as good as you do in your paid painting job.
2. Follow standard and exceptional policies, procedures, and techniques that you normally follow.
3. Be neat, thorough and friendly.
4. Respect all the health and safety rules that you would normally follow.
5. Be professional on your volunteer job, too.
6. Respect the rules that apply to your work for the person, family, organization, group, etc.
7. Maintain your pre-set volunteering parameters. Do not volunteer to do more than you have
offered or agreed upon, at least the first time that you help out that person or group. Even
one extra room, area or park bench can require more time than you have available.
8. Be honest.
9. Set and keep to a schedule. Cancel or change work dates and times only if necessary. And,
give prompt notice.

MY VIEW: I want to do my best. And, I want beneficiaries to want me to come back and help them again.

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When a painter volunteers, he or she adds special strokes of hope into the lives of others.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Artist Brushes 101

Artist brushes have been an important part of my painting career since serving as an apprentice. On nearly every interior project, I saw a journeyman painter using them. Favorites were long, thin-handle and fine-bristle brushes to perform precision application tasks.

 

EIGHT COMMON USES FOR ARTIST BRUSHES BY COMMERCIAL PAINTERS

 

  1. To coat the smallest of spots
  2. To paint pencil-fine lines
  3. To edge decorative finished areas
  4. To maneuver paint around sharp curves, odd shapes
  5. To reach into very visible corners
  6. To add very narrow borders, or accent lines in murals
  7. To outline or “in-line” letters, numbers, symbols, etc.
  8. To detail borders, dado, furniture, fixtures, mirror frames, etc.

 

Their usefulness and effectiveness are unlimited. And on a regular basis, an artist brush in hand has made precision craftsmanship very achievable. Even lucrative.

 

BASIC ARTIST BRUSH KIT FOR A PAINTER AND DECORATOR

 

  1. Fitch Brush – flat, Sable bristles. Example: No. 4 ($12.46, http://www.jerrysartarama.com*).
  2. Bright Brush – flat, square tips. Example: No. 8. Uses: Fill in open area, shading.
  3. Angular Tip Brush – 5/8. Uses: Cut in lines, make contour strokes.
  4. Round Brush – No. 3X0 ($8.96*). Uses: Fine detailing; No. 4 ($13.34*). Uses: Fill in narrow areas
  5. Linear Brush – No. 4 (long, thin). Uses: Produe fine lines, edging
  6. Filbert Brush – flat, round bristles/ferrule. No. 2 ($12.06*). Uses: Painting florals, plants.
  7. Fan Brush – No. 2 ($20.85*). Uses: Create irregular texture effects, also paint vegetation.
  8. Polishing Mop – Bushy, full, stout handle. Uses:

 

NINE ARTIST BRUSHES and TOOLS TO ADD AS BUDGET ALLOWS

 

  1. Watercolor Brush – Nos. 0-12. Uses: Touch up, match grain pattern of figures.
  2. Micro mini detail – Creative Mark, set/12/20/0-10/0 ($25/00*). Features: Easy-to-hold handles, synthetic. Uses: Tight spots, small details; spotter, angular shader.
  3. Spalter – Chungking bristle hair, set/3, 1-3 inch flat ($11.99*). Features: Bigger scales, softer bristles. Uses: Blending paint with thin oils/acrylics.
  4. Grumbacher Degas or Gainsborough oil and acrylic – No. 1-12 ($3.79-$14.99*). Features: Flat, Round, Fan, Brush, Filbert.
  5. Mural Brushes – Creative Mark. Golden flat, round, Filbert; White round, flat, Filbert. Nos. 30, 40, 50 ($6.99-$19.99*). Uses: Large scale painting; excellent for acrylics, watercolors, traditional waters and mixable oils.
  6. Grumbacher Fine Hog Bristles – Sizes 1-12; Series 760B-Bright, 760F-Flat 760R-Round, 760Filbert, 760N-Fan. ($2.09-$5.59 *). Features: Strong, durable, manipulative; heavy point; unique taper bristles interlock/maintain shape; easy control placement of color.
  7. Bob Rankin’s Big Bad Brush – 3-inch. ($15.00*). Chungking Hog bristles, flagged ends, seamless brass ferrule. Features: Ends Holds lot of paint, grips color, distributes evenly/quickly. Uses: Blending, wash techniques; robust design allows exerting pressure on strokes; perfect bounce-back/performance.
  8. Bargain Seconds Bristle Set/12 – Creative Mark. ($7.41*). Features: Variety of hairs: pony, ox, camel, bristle.
  9. Wipe-off Tool – ($6.49*). Varnished wood handle, 2 brass ferrules; tips: soft rubber/both sides: chisel, fine point. Uses: Wipe off excess paint quickly/accurately. All media.

 

FIVE ARTIST BRUSHES and TOOLS ESPECIALLY FOR DECORATIVE CRAFTSPERSON

 

  1. Colorwashing Brush – China bristle, nylon/polyester, or Badger. Uses: Work paint and paint glaze combinations onto base coat to achieve “looking-through” effect.
  2. Flogger/Whacking Tools – Long bristle brush, dust mop, car mop, tire brush. Features: Floggers – Absorbent like dense brushes, mops, dusters, car mop. Features: Can apply or suck up glaze. Whackers – Non-absorbent like plastic brushes, tire brushes, toilet/tub cleaning brushes. Uses: Woodgraining; removing parts of wet glaze from surface; creating large-scale texture.
  3. Dragging – Long bristle brush (eg. wallpaper), large comb, rubber window squeegee, driveway surfacing broom. Uses: Emulate striped fabrics; create fine-texture finish, fine lines.
  4. Stippling Brush – Bristles usually larger, mid-length. Uses: Create fine texture of dots, by dabbing repeatedly over surface; create smooth impression from distance, texture close; create “fade-away” appearance. Alternative: Stainer brush. Features: long, dense, flexible bristles.
  5. Sable Short-Handle – Escoda Versatil Synthetic. Sizes 2-22. ($8.00-$57.39*). Features: Exceptional snap; Spring-like Kolinsky hair, perfect point keeps shape; incredible fluid retention; superb absorption; affordable replacement to Kolinsky.

 

By the way, the area may determine the type and number, or size, of the artist brush that you need. Your level of skills and abilities with standard paintbrushes will, more likely, determine which, if any, artist brushes you actually use.

 

In the right hands, a two-inch Purdy or Wooster Trim Brush can work artistic magic. It can paint pencil-thin lines…add pin dots for effect… cut in razor-sharp corners…highlight and detail an artist’s signature.

 

FOOTNOTE: Artist brushes are different than decorative finishing brushes. Some artist brushes are used in applying, then detailing, certain decorative finishes.

 

See: Paintshop: Decorative Painting Brushes and Tools 101

 

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An artist’s hand is often more valuable than an artist’s eye.

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Thanks for stopping by “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: Mind your own business

At a seminary reunion, some of my grandfather’s old classmates asked how he managed to have such a successful church, financially.

 

“I stay out of their business,” he told me he answered, “and mind my own.”

 

The same goes for a painter. Whether on the staff, with a contractor’s crew, or a temporary worker.

 

Stay out of what does not directly concern, or relate, to you and your work there. Mind your own business. Let other people do their jobs. And you do yours.

 

Simple enough, right?

 

A FEW MIND-YOUR-OWN-BUSINESS SCENARIOS

 

1. Your hotel is managed and operated by an outside company.

There should be no need for you to communicate directly with them, unless an authorized company official initiates that. Then, watch what you say. Also, promptly tell your supervisor about the communication: who initiated it; who said what, when, where, etc.

TIP: If you do need to connect with them, first follow the chain of command on your end. Example: supervisor, manager, administrator.

 

2. You run into a big problem on a commercial project, applying wall vinyl selected by the customer.

Do not contact the customer yourself. Unless it is part of your job to deal directly with them.

TIP: Call your job foreman, or company boss.

 

3.  Staff members in another department are having problems handling assigned tasks, that you can help make easier and safer for them.

It is not your call!

TIP: Offer no advice nor help on your own. First get written authorization from your supervisor/ director and the supervisor/director of that other department.

 

4.  You have a serious teammate or fellow staff member situation.

Do not run to Human Resources! Not to one person there.

TIP: First, keep it in the department. Privately mention the matter to your supervisor, in a “What can I do?” or “How do you advise I proceed?” frame.

TIP: Refrain from criticizing, running down, or tearing/apart your coworker. Let your boss check into the problem.

 

5. A client’s top official or manager repeatedly interferes with your ability to complete project.

Please, do not communicate directly with any client’s official.

TIP: Promptly alert your company’s superintendent, senior officer or owner. Let it up to him or her to handle it.
6. Another trade craftsperson, working on the same large project, keeps damaging the surface areas you’ve already finish coated.

Do not say one word to that craftsperson’s boss – foreman, superintendent, company owner.

TIP 1: If you’re the lead painter or foreman, try taking the craftsperson aside, and politely asking him or her to please be more careful.

TIP 2: If you’re a crew painter, hint how those mishaps might affect everyone’s paychecks, and the final sign off by the client or customer.

TIP 3: Promptly, notify your superintendent, or employer. Report the problem. Stick to the facts.

TIP 4: If you’re a temporary, report the matter to your assigned contact with your temporary staffing company.

 

It can be tempting to step forward, and try to handle a problem or situation, that is not within your authority.

 

Bottom line: Keep it straight with yourself who is responsible for what, and who, ultimately, is in charge. And do not let anyone else – even a boss – put you in that position. It could raise serious liability problems and legal questions.

 

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One key to troubleshooting on the job or project is keeping out of other people’s business.

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Many thanks, mentors, for mentoring me well!  Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

HOSPITALITY PAINTERS CREATE FRIENDLY SPACES

“Hospitality painters create a friendly space where strangers can enter and find safety.”*

*Paraphrase of Stephen G. Post.

 

A hospitality painter’s goal is to leave a space in better shape that it was before. Its surfaces and areas in improved condition. Its appearance and appeal more inviting and alluring to the senses, and the psyche.

 

A safe hospitality painter follows all health and safety rules, standards, codes, policies, and procedures. Set by the trade and construction industry, product manufacturers, government, property owners/ business, and community.

 

A committed hospitality painter stays alert, keeps his/her nose clean, thinks ahead, pays attention, and does whatever it takes to take care of the space.

 

A creative hospitality painter looks, continually, for spaces to touch with his or her brush or roller.

 

An innovative hospitality painter seeks spaces that will test his or her skills with a spray gun system.

 

A construction-experienced hospitality painter actually “sniffs out” potential problems, and professionally applies his or her knowledge to minimize – and even prevent – structural damage and loss.

 

A diversified hospitality painter steps up to the plate, whatever the need might be, always willing to lend a hand.

 

A  flexible hospitality painter moves back-and-forth, in-and-out, up-and-down between projects, tasks and work orders with remarkable adeptness, agility, accuracy, and neatness.

 

A savvy hospitality painter represents a unique and appropriate blend of all of these key abilities and characteristics.

 

A hotel or facility that employs such a painter is, and will be, blessed beyond measure.

 

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Special praise to Mark C., Jay B., John L., Hosea F., Antonio F., Steve M., Paulo H., etc. – five-star, savvy hospitality painters and decorators.

 

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Thank you from “Painting with Bob” for checking in, reading, emailing, calling, and writing.

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

 

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