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Paint Shop I: Organizing and Storing, Part 1: Inventory Your Inventory

I learned young about paint shop operations. Part of my first job, as an apprentice painter, was keeping the paint shops – buildings – clean, inventory organized, and workshop spaces ready to use. (We did a tremendous volume of shop work: sandblasting, painting, finishing, etc.)

For a small painting contractor business, that may have been an easy job. For a major, and still growing, commercial and industrial contractor business, it meant a lot of steady work!

Every paint shop is organized differently. How well it works depends on the painter responsible for its operations. Also, it depends on how well it works for the rest of the team. Team members in the engineering or facility services department; also team members in the other departments within the organization.

When the painter responsible for the paint shop is not around, do enough people in the department know how to handle things? Painting-wise? Is everything being taken care of?

What follows is a two-section tutorial on Paint Shop Operations. Paint Shop I, starting here, covers organizing and storing. It’s divided into four parts: (1) inventory your inventory; (2) creating a place for everything; (3) putting and keeping everything in its place; and, (4) maintaining inventory lists.

 

1: Inventory your shop’s inventory – by category and subcategory.

—What do you have – types, colors, quantities, general condition?

 

A. Products/Materials:

(1) Paint – Latexes, epoxies, oils – Total no. of gallons, according to paint type, color.

(2) Finishes – Stains, varnishes, urethanes, shellac

(3) Coatings – Rust/corrosion prevention, anti-fouling, elastomeric, chemical-resistant, UV protective, waterproofing, heat-resistant

(4) Wallcoverings – Papers, vinyls, foils, flocks, textures, patterns, grasscloths; borders, murals

 

B. Preparation/Supplies:

(1) Sandpapers – What grades; total number of sheets in each grade

(2) Caulking tubes – Types (eg. for kitchen/bath, exterior); total number of each type

(3) Solvents – 1 gal. each of most used products: mineral spirits, lacquer thinners, denatured alcohol

(4) Paint tint kit – Universal tints

 

C. Work area supplies:

(1) Dropcloths – At least 3 – 4 ft. by 15 ft. for clean interior use; 2 – 4 ft. by 15 ft. for

exterior use; 2 – 16 ft. by 20 ft. for wide covering.

(2) Sheeting – 1 roll 20 ft. by 100 ft. plastic; 3+ smaller rolls

(3) Buckets, sponges – 1/2 gal., 1 gal., 2 gal., 5 gal; natural sea sponges (assorted sizes, thicknesses)

(4) Masking paper, masking tapes – 1 dozen each ¾-to 1 ½ inch masking tape.

 

D. Tools:

(1) Brushes – Assortment nylon or China bristle: 1-in., 2-in., 2 ½-in., 3-in., 4-in

(2) Rollers, roller covers – Assortment 3-in. to 12-in. rollers; ¼-in. to 1/1/2-in. naps.

(3) Paint tray, paint screen

(4) Broad knives, level, straight-edge

(5) Basic tool kit: Hammer, screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, clamps, etc.

 

E. Equipment:

(1) Spray guns, hose – Airless sprayer greater than ½ gal. perminate capacity

(2) Compressor – Greater than 6 OFM for spray painting

(3) Ladders – 1+ 24-ft. extension, 16-ft. stepladder, 5-ft. platform aluminum ladder

(4) Pressure washer – Greater than 2000 psi

(5) Garden sprayer system

 

F. Protective gear and Safety items:

(1) Boxes/ packages of disposable gloves, breathing masks

(2) Organic vapor respirator, also spare cartridges; dust mask supply, safety glasses

(3) Disposable plastic suits, hats, shoe coverings, vinyl/rubber gloves

(4) Signs: WET PAINT, CAUTION, KEEP OFF, Caution Tape

 

G. Cleaning/Clean-up Supplies:

(1) Sponges, bags of rags, buckets (2-qt. plastic), floor mops

(2) Glass/mirror cleaner, spot remover

(3) Standard trash bags, heavy duty trash bags; re-sealable plastic bags (eg. for storing hardware, switch plates)

(4) Small portable vacuum cleaner, shop vacuum; push brooms, large dustpans; dusting brushes, deck brush w/extension.

 

H. Vehicle/Golf Cart Maintenance:

(1) Car wax, upholstery cleaner

(2) Oil, tire gauge, tire pump

(3) Battery charger

(4) Small portable vacuum, combo mini-broom/dustpan

 

I. Recordkeeping, Writing, Presentations:

(1) Software programs – Excel, Outlook/Express, Word, PowerPoint, Quickbooks

(2) Printable forms and worksheets on internet

(3) Journals, ledgers, and other systems available from office supply –in-store, on-line.

 

Your Paint Shop inventory pertains to much more than a few cans of paint in your standard, frequently-used colors. It pertains to everything that you and every person in your department may need to perform painting-related tasks, work orders, projects, etc.

 

PAINT SHOP MANAGER TIP: You need to know what you have on-hand. You need to know what you’re supposed to keep on-hand. You need to know what you need to get on-hand. To be ready to go! Or, as close to that point as possible. At all times.

 

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Organize your Paint Shop. It saves lots of time. It minimizes mistakes, frustration and accidents. It cuts costs like you wouldn’t believe!

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter: Part 1

Hotel/facility painters get noticed. Often! In their “whites,” they are recognized easily. During any work day, they are watched by various teammates. Certain teammates or managers tend to be regular observers.

What can you learn from your hotel or facility painter? Here are some possible clues – and tips.

 

1. How to select the right products or materials for the job.

 

A.  Surface/”substrate” type: New, bare wood; old, painted wood; varnished wood; metal, brick, stone, concrete; covered with wallcovering ( paper, vinyl, flock, foil, etc.).

B.  Surface’s current color: Light, dark; bleed-through; solid, patterned; new, faded.

C.  Area’s purpose: One-person use; high or low traffic; interior or exterior; kitchen, children; entry/exit; garage; basement, stairs, stairway.

D.  Budget: Tight-One coat of paint! Flexible-Primer, one finish coat. Big-Top-quality job.

E.  Job’s required life-span: 1 year or less; 2-3 years; indefinitely.

 

2. How to determine and estimate amount of paint needed. Be on the safe side: Buy extra.

 

A.  Walls: Measure two walls. Multiply numbers. Example: 10-ft. x14-ft. = 140 sq. ft. room

(1)  To paint light color over light, or dark over light:

Coverage needed: 140 sq. ft. + 50 sq. ft. (1/3) = 190 sq. ft.

(2)  To paint light color over darker, or over wallcovering:

Coverage needed: 280 sq. ft. (double sq. ft) + 140 sq. ft. (1/2) = 420 sq. ft.

B.  Molding or trim: Measure running length (linear feet). 3 lin. ft. = 1 sq. ft. wall space.

C.  At the paint store, read the label on the pain can that you plan to purchase. Look for “Covers” or “Coverage.” Compare to your estimate, also the type of area you’re painting.

 

3. How to set up the area to be painted.

 

A.  Protecting floor, carpet or tile with dropcloths or old sheeting.

B.  Moving furniture, lamps, plants out of way; cover with dropcloths or sheeting.

C.  Using masking paper and tape to protect windows, trim, brick/marble, special surfaces.

 

4. How to prepare – “prep” a surface to be refinished.

 

A.  Covering and protecting adjacent surfaces and areas with masking paper and tape.

B.  Selecting products based on surface/“substrate.”       See No. 1 above.

C.  Considering surface damage amount and type – eg. scratches, gouges, holes, cracks.

D.  Choosing caulking product. Running smooth, full beads with caulking gun.

E.  Repairing small gouge in the wall – product and tool(s) to use.

F.  Filling holes, cracks, etc. How much product to use?

G.  Using a putty knife to smooth filler even with the surface

H.  Holding/grasping tool for maximum control and flexibility; making right strokes.

 

5. How to apply a primer paint on a new surface, before finish coating.

 

A.  Selecting primer product and color suitable to finishes- white, tan, gray, black.

B.  Applying spray primer versus primer from a can. Which to use when?

C.  Painting up and down? In same direction? Back and forth? At an angle?

D.  Taking short, light strokes, or long strokes? Or, plastering it on?

E.  Waiting between coats, if one coat does not cover. How long?

F.  Finishing “prep” area, so the finish coat will adhere well – and last.

 

6. How to apply a finish coat of paint.

 

A.  Checking paint in can for lumps, clumps, paint strings, etc. Mixing paint again.

B.   Testing can of spray paint for flow, consistency, viscosity.

C.   Selecting brush(es): nylon/polyester bristle, China bristle, etc. (Many choices!)

(1)  Bristle width that will fit area: 2-inch, 2 ½-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch.

(2)  Bristle edge that fits surface: squared, curved, angled, sharp corner, dipped.

(3)  Brush handle length and “gripper” that you can manage.

(4)  Checking for loose or worn bristles in brush – used and new ones.

D.  Selecting rollers: Short or long handle; narrow, middie, or wider base roller.

E.  Choosing cover and nap type, density. Basing on product and surface traits. See No. 1.

(1)  Cover nap: New rollers before buying; used rollers before using again.

(2)  Brushing/rolling methods: Suit to surface, area size/layout, product, drying time.

F.  Cleaning up as-you-paint: spills, drips, splotches, trails, etc.

**  Note: Using a spray gun system calls for a completely different set of skills, abilities and savvy.

 

7. How to prep a used surface for re-painting.

 

A.  Washing all old surfaces first.

B.  Fully sanding, caulking and patching surface/area as needed.

C.  Applying primer, or first coat of the finish product.

 

8. How to re-paint a previously painted surface.

 

A.  Assessing condition of the surface – and area.

B.  Lightly sanding, also caulking and spackling imperfections in, the surface.

C.  Selecting and using roller cover with a nap size similar to the one used before.

** TIP: Looking at roller “stipple” (pattern left on surface before) to determine size used.

D.  Brushing: Using long strokes, and laying paint on evenly.

E.  Rolling: Using uniform motion; slightly overlapping each previous edge (stroke).

 

9. How to prep a used surface for re-finishing – eg. varnished wood.

 

A.  For painting:

(1)   Completely sanding surface to dull existing finish.

(2)  Wiping down surface with liquid sandpaper, or rubbing alcohol.

B.  For staining:

(1)  Using different color: Removing clear finish with paint stripper. Then, sanding surface in multiple stages.

(2)  Removing darker color before staining with lighter color. Doing what’s needed.

(3)  Protecting the wood’s integrity. Doing your best.

(4)  Be careful – and patient!

 

10. How to stain and seal a new wood surface.

 

A.  Choosing stain product: Depends on extent – size and complexity – of project.

B.  Sanding lightly. Making certain that all marks or discolorations are sanded out.

C.  Applying stain heavily to surface. Using rags, cotton towel, or sponge.

D.  Letting stain soak in.

E.  Waiting till the stain feels slightly “tacky” – sticky.

F.  Applying sealer with a brush, roller or spray gun.

 

11. How to varnish or finish coat a new wood surface.

 

A.  Using spray finishing system for optimum finish.

B.  Spraying multiple thin coats, rather than one heavy coat.

C.  Letting solvent evaporate before applying second coat of finish. A MUST!

 

Whatever information or tips you glean from your hotel/facility painter is really up to YOU.
Fact-finding TIPS:
1. Be specific. Tell your painter about the project: room/area; layout, approximate square footage; type of surface/”substrate,” surface age and condition; area’s main uses; budget.

2. Be honest. Tell your painter who will be doing the work. Will it be YOU? Let him or her know what painting, refinishing, and/ or papering projects you’ve done. How did they turn out?

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Read Part 2: “Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter”

Wallcovering Tips; Special Things to Look For; Questions to Ask, and Not Ask, Your Painter.”

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Have a “fresh outlook-ing” day. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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