Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘facility painting’


Artist Bob Ross used to say, “Painting should not be agony.”

I agree.

Over the years, I’ve met and/ or worked with construction industry painters that fit into one of these categories:

1. Some painters loved what they were doing; and it showed in their work, and their attitude about life.

Example: “Bob, the Painter,” my father, smiled a lot on the job. And often he stopped to admire others’ workmanship… to watch a bird in a nearby tree…to double check his own work.

2. Some painters, overall, liked to paint, and seemed to be fine with the likelihood that they’d be doing it for years in the future.

Example: Jesse hummed on the job… drank, and tried to share, cantaloupe juice made by his wife… took on any task that needed to be done.

3. Some painters liked to paint and did a good job; but they wanted to do something else career-wise, and to earn a living.

Example: Larry and Wayne wanted much more independence than a foreman painter had. So both went into contracting, and demonstrated that they were okay with the added responsibility that entrepreneurship required.

4. Some painters really didn’t like to paint; but they lacked the will, nerve and resources to try anything else.

Example: “W” dreamed of doing something where he could visit more with others on the job, and get paid for it. But, he had no real support system in the U. S. to help him try something new.

5. Then there were a few painters that had an intense dislike for painting, and much associated with the trade. And, increasingly, they demonstrated their disdain and discomfort.

Example: W.R. complained about everything, it seemed. He showed up intoxicated… violated safety rules…put crew members at risk…misused products.

What each of those painters knew about their jobs was complemented, or contradicted, by their respective attitudes about painting, and their own lives.

Which painter would you like to work with on a regular basis?

Into which category do you think that others might place you?

Into which category do you believe that you really fit?

Something to think about, right?

Whatever you do for a living, including painting, give it your 100 percent at least 85 percent of the time. The remaining 15 percent? Take a good look at how you’re doing, and why.

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Hotel and Facility Painters “Do Other Things”

Hotel and facility painters must be willing – and able – “to do other things.” In fact, it is a requirement listed in most job descriptions. Including the U. S. Department of Labor Directory of Occupations.


 Hotel Painter’s Short List of “Other Things to Do”

(Eg. Hotels, resorts, vacation spas, convention centers)


  1. Help clear out and clean up critical incident scenes and accident areas.
  2. Decorate property for holidays and special events.
  3. Clean and replace HVAC systems; make minor repairs to room A/C units, repair filters.
  4. Replace acoustical ceiling tiles, panels and grid frames; repair walls; replace doors, trims, baseboards.
  5. Dig, lay and bury underground WI-FI cable systems; replace modem units.
  6. Repair, or remove and replace pipes, plumbing, also lavatory parts; clear clogged drains.
  7. Repair, or remove and replace ceramic, glass, quarry, and other tiles.
  8. Cut out, remove and replace carpet sections and tiles.
  9. Remove and replace bath/shower/tub fixtures, safety bars/rails, etc.
  10. Repair, resurface or replace furniture, cabinetry, countertops; also vanities.
  11. Treat toxic black mold infestations; spray chemical pest control solutions.
  12. Replace light bulbs, lighting and illumination fixtures and systems – interior/exterior.
  13. Repair, or remove and replace door key card systems.
  14. Patch/repair, or remove and replace swimming pool skirt tiles.
  15. Perform landscape work; replace mulch, chips, edgings, stones, etc.
  16. Repair, or replace wood decking, steps, rails, banisters, seating, signage.
  17. Repair, or replace roof tiles, shingles; also building fascia, gutters, downspouts, etc.
  18. Repair, or replace landscaping brick, stone; also walkways.
  19. Pressure wash sidewalks, also exterior corridor areas, walls, fencing, etc.
  20. Help repair, or replace any mechanical systems on property.


Facility Painter’s Short List of “Other Things to Do”

(Eg. Hospitals, ALFs; corporate headquarters, government properties, universities, malls.)


  1. Replace ceramic floor tiles and trim.
  2. Replace acoustical ceiling tiles, also panels and gridwork.
  3. Repair walls; replace baseboards, trim, doors and frames, etc.
  4. Lubricate door locks and hinges.
  5. Replace air conditioner filters
  6. Repair carpeting and carpet tiles.
  7. Caulk restroom areas.
  8. Repair water damaged ceilings, walls, etc.
  9. Clean glass.
  10. Clean A/C units; make minor repairs to HVAC systems.
  11. Replace light bulbs, fixtures, interior/exterior illumination systems, etc.
  12. Repair, or replace cabinetry, countertops, shelving units, etc.


BOTTOM LINE: As a hotel or facility painter, you want to be prepared to step in and resolve either physical or aesthetic problems in any interior or exterior area on the property.


Also, you want to feel comfortable using whatever products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment that are needed to get the job done right. Also, promptly and cost-effectively.



Often, persons are judged by the “other things” they do, not only by doing their job as described.


Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painters at Work: In Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Year

How much time do you spend using specific skills and abilities?

A group of 150 painters completed a detailed questionnaire to determine how painters work in the 21st century. It was part of a research project.

Section I: Computation of amount of time that we actually work.  


1. Day-to-week: 8 hours/day x 5 days = 40 hours/1 week

2. Weeks-to-month: 40 hours/1 week x 4 weeks = 160 hours/1 month

3. Months-to-year: 160 hours/1 month x 11 months = 1760 hours/11 months

4. ADD: 40 hours x 2 weeks = 80 hours/ ½ month

5. Approximate Total Hours = 1840 hours/ 11 ½ months (excludes 80 hrs./vacation time).


Section II: Computation of how we spend our time, based on following information:


1. Paint skills and abilities used alone;

2. Paint skills and abilities in combination/simultaneously;

3. Paint movements and positions used alone;

4. Paint movements and positions used in combination/simultaneously;

5. Paint tools and equipment used alone;

6. Paint tools and equipment used in combination/simultaneously.




Note: All painters checked the box beside:  “My figures/estimates are on the low side.”


1. How many hours do you hold a paint brush?

A. 6 hrs./day x 5 days = 30 hrs./1 week

B. 30 hrs/1 wk. x 4 wks. = 120 hrs./1 month

C. 120 hrs/1 mo. x 11 mos. = 1320 hrs./11 months

D. ADD: 30 hrs x 2 wks. = 60 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 1380 hrs./11 ½ months


2. How many hours do you use a spray gun?

A. 6.5 hrs./day x 5 days = 32.5 hrs./1 week

B. 32.5 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 130 hrs./1 month

C. 130 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 1430 hrs./11 months

D. ADD: 32.5 hrs./1 wk. x 2 wks. = 65 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 1495 hrs./11 ½ months


3. How many hours do you stand?

A. 7 hrs./day x 5 days = 35 hrs./1 week

B. 35 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 140 hrs./1 month

C. 140 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 1540 hrs./11 months

D. ADD: 35 hrs. x 2 wks. = 70 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 1610 hrs./11 ½ months.


4. How many hours do you carry?

A. 3 hrs./day x 5 days = 15 hrs./1 week

B. 15 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 60 hrs./1 month

C. 60 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 660 hrs./11 months

D. Add: 15 hrs. x 2 wks. = 30 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 690 hrs./ 11 ½ months


5. How many hours do you lift?*

A. 3 hrs./day x 5 days = 15 hrs./1 week

B. 15 hrs. wk. x 4 wks. = 60 hrs./1 month

C. 60 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 660 hrs./11 months

D. Add: 15 hrs. x 2 wks. = 30 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 690 hrs./ 11 ½ months

* Does not show the number of times painter lifts/carries combination of cans, buckets, tools, etc.


6. How many hours do you walk and/or step?

A. 5 hrs./day x 5 days = 25 hrs./1 week

B. 25 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 100 hrs./1 month

C. 100 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 1100 hrs./11 months

D. ADD: 25 hrs. x 2 wks. = 50 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 1150 hrs./ 11 ½ months


7. How many hours do you climb?

A. 5 hrs./day x 5 days = 25 hrs./1 week

B. 25 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 100 hrs./1 month

C. 100 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 1100 hrs./11 months

D. ADD: 25 hrs. x 2 wks. = 50 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 1150 hrs./ 11 ½ months


8. How many hours do you bend, kneel and/or crouch?

A. 3 hrs./day x 5 days = 15 hrs./1 week

B. 15 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 60 hrs./1 month

C. 60 hrs./1 mo. x 11 mos. = 660 hrs./ 11 months

D. ADD: 15 hrs. x 2 wks. = 30 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 690 hrs./ 11 ½ months


9. How much weight do you lift?  * Does not include weight of container

A. Paint (gal) = 122 fl. ounces/7.6 lbs.

B. Paint (qt.) =   31 fl. ounces/1.94 lbs.

C. Paint (5 gal) = 620 fl. ounces/38/.7 lbs.

D. Ladder (6 ft./wood) =

E. Ladder (6 ft./alum.) =

F. Ladder (12 ft. extension/alum) =

G. Tool kit = 15 lbs.
* Does not show number of times painter is lifting/carrying combination of product cans, tools, and equipment at same time.


A. 2 gal paint = 15.2 lbs.

B. 1 gal paint (7.6 lbs.) + 1 ladder/6 ft. aluminum (23.8 lbs.) = 31.4 lbs.

C. 1-5 gal. paint (38.8 lbs.) + 1 ladder 12-ft aluminum (69 lbs.) = 107.8 lbs.

D. 1-5 gal. paint (38.8 lbs.) + 1 spray gun + system (23.5 lbs.) = 63.9 lbs.

E. 1-gal paint (7.6 lbs.) + 1 tool (15 lbs.) = 21.6 lbs.


10. How many hours do you match paint colors to painted surfaces?

A. 0.5 hrs./day x 5 days = 2.5 hrs./1 week

B. 2.5 hrs./1 wk. x 4 wks. = 10 hrs./1 month

C. 10 hrs./1 mo. x 11 months = 110 hrs./ 11 months

D. ADD: 2.5 hrs./1 wk. x 2 wks. = 5 hrs./ ½ month

E. Approximate total hours: 115 hrs./11 ½ months


Section II included the following questions that required painters to calculate their time:


11. How many hours do you prepare surfaces? Ex: A. Filling/caulking, B. Sanding, C. Patching, D. Priming

12. How many hours do you spend cleaning preparation and painting tools?

13. How many hours do you repair painting tools and equipment?

14. How many hours do you use a computer?

15. How many hours do you use a mobile communication device?

16. How many hours do you use a calculator, or other computation device/software program? 


Section III required the painters to identify the skills/abilities and tasks they used simultaneously. Example: Painting – use brush – carry, then stand on ladder – carry 1 gallon of paint.


Then, painters needed to compute how much time they performed/used/did each part within that combination.


How will this data be used? Why is it important? Here’s a capsule view:


1. Federal and state agencies can determine how actual job descriptions for specific occupations have changed.

2. Wage/pay scale experts can identify changes in calculating actual task-to-time rates.

3. Educational, vocational and technical program developers determine real-world/real-time curricular needs of current and future workers.

4. Recruitment and employment specialists identify how to market and fill positions, based on a three-to-five year worker retention scale.

5. Industry manufacturers of products, materials, supplies, tools, equipment, etc. can better identify the needs of the specific types persons that will be using their products.

6. Health industry providers determine newer problem areas in symptomology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis; also project industry needs in patient care.


This particular research  project is still being conducted. Is it the type of project in which the average painter should participate? ABSOLUTELY!



Build up your own profession, craft or trade – especially for the next generation!


Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: Solving Surface Preparation Problems


A paint job continues to look good, as long as there are no failures in the surface or in the paint or coating material. The causes of such failures boil down to two main areas: moisture and sun related exposure.


A substrate – eg. drywall, masonry, wood, or steel – has limiting factors related to the type of environment it is able to resist. Typically, they are based on the substrates ability to repel the thing which can effect it the most.


Example: An improperly prepared drywall surface will absorb water and its gypsum construction will lose its strength.


Another example: A steel surface, etched and primed incorrectly, will start to rust more quickly and lose its structural integrity. Of course, with steel, prepped properly, it takes much longer.


To prevent this from happening, a specific coating can be applied. Also, this ensures a long life to the surface. Basically, it’s called the “prime and top coat system”.


If the surface hasn’t been prepared as best as it could have, negative results can occur. If there has been an environmental exposure of some kind, negative results can occur.




1. Rusting metal – peeling paint.

A. Invasive correction: Sandblasting, fiber glassing, metal replacement.

B. Superficial repair: Auto Body filler, wire brushing, sandpapering, naval jelly application. Priming surface with alkyd, epoxy, urethane or zinc coating.

2. Peeling Paint – wood.

A. invasive correction: Removal of loose, flaky dry paint by sandpapering, abrasive wheel cleaning, chemical paint stripper.

B. Superficial yet effective repair: Pressure clean surface. Prime surface with acrylic latex, oil based coating, alcohol based specific to interior/ exterior.

3. Bubbles – Usually localized, not invasive or widespread.

A. General repair method: Removal by sandpapering to feather edge, scraping, wipe surface with adhesion promoter.

B. TIP: Prime with oil based or fast dry acrylic latex.

4. Alligatoring – Paint applied too thick, surface overheated/overexposed to sun, problem with solvent evaporation.

A. Invasive correction: Sandpapering and smoothing out, or stripping entire surface. Then, if necessary, spackling of smoothing compound.

B. TIP: Use body filler for metals, joint-type compounds for drywall or plastered surfaces.


The final results of your project are dependent, inherently, on surface preparation. The time and method you take to properly prepare a surface will ultimately produce a beautiful and lasting finish. And, doing it the right way can ensure that the money spent is done wisely.


Remember: Follow your surface preparation procedures to guarantee the best quality job imaginable. And when you think you’ve sanded enough? Sand some more.



Every smooth, durable finish coat has a surface prep story to tell.


Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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


Painting: Power’s Out!

BOOM! The major transformer blew. Off went all of the power. The bright lights, that I was working under, now dark.


The spray gun in my hand: nothing more than an idled device of steel and aluminum.


In the background, the steady hum of the gas-powered compressor, assuredly still on the job.



Without notice, popcorning out the 32-feet by 60-feet ceiling stopped cold. The custom designed effect: less than one-half of the application completed.


The “blackout” – totally out of my control – reminded me of an important on-the-job lesson.


Some things can’t be prevented by (me) the painter. They can’t be prepared for 100 percent either.


All you can do is:


  1. Shut down the compressor – if you haven’t done it already.
  2. Take a breather. Maybe take a seat on the drop-clothed floor.
  3. Glance around. What can you do while you wait for the power to come back on?

Example: “Do I need to get the spray gun into that bucket of water nearby?”

  1. Look around. What can you clean up and wipe up without access to power or lights?
  2. Find your meal pack. Grab an apple. Enjoy your lunch a little early.
  3. Go with the flow! Eventually, the power will be restored. And, things will get back to normal. (Well, close enough.)
  4. Personal Note: While I waited for the power to return, sitting outdoors in my Blazer was not an option. Temperature with the heat index and full sun exceeded 100 degrees.


SPECIAL TIPS: Does it look like your spray work is done for the day?

  1. Flush out and clean the spray hoses the best that you can. Lasso, tie securely, put in storage area provided. Or, on the truck.
  2. The same goes for your spray gun(s), and all other equipment and tools.
  3. Secure and straighten out the work area before you leave. Tightly close and safely store all containers of texturing, paint, thinners, and other products. Also all supplies.


And, there’s always tomorrow!


Have a great one: friends, e-mailers, likers, and secured followers.


Everything of value can be put to good use. Rdh



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

Estate Properties: Repainting and Redecorating within the Sale Prep Budget

A loved one passes away, and is laid to rest. His or her estate must be settled in a legally acceptable and timely order. The residence – eg. house, townhouse, condo – is a major part of that estate. And, it must be sold.


Often, each heir will have a wish list for using his or her share of the monetary proceeds. Each heir expects to get at least a certain amount.


The final sale price must be maximized. The property needs to undergo a facelift, before it goes on the market.


A Skilled Painter and Decorator’s role


A painter, skilled in renovation and restoration – especially of estate properties – can hold the key to realizing a lucrative sale.


  1. The painter will be able to accentuate the home’s attributes and advantages.
  2. The painter will be able to upgrade the home’s features to appeal to today’s real estate market.
  3. The painter will be able to camouflage or minimize its flaws – uneven walls, cracked wood.
  4. The painter will be able to suggest or advise the seller(s) about other work to have done, and by whom.


The painter can help the estate trustee or administrator work up a total facelift estimate.

Also, the painter/decorator can help determine an itemized budget range for each service that needs to be completed. Prior to listing the property for sale.


Painting/decorating tips gleaned from giving an interior facelift to a home prior to listing.


Keep the facelift simple. Make it suitable to the home’s architecture, style, worth, and location.


  1. TIP: To minimize the pale yellow cast of once white ceilings, custom tint white latex wall a very light yellow-white. This stretches facelift budget that cannot cover repainting of ceilings.


  1. TIP: Paint all walls throughout the home the same custom-tinted paint mentioned above. This creates flowing, uniform look.


  1. TIP: Repaint the bathrooms in their same original color – in this case soft yellow. This helps contain paint product costs.


  1. TIP: Limit repainting in kitchens, breakfast nooks, etc. that often feature tiled wall areas.


  1. TIP: Select high-end paint products, known (a) offer better coverage and (b) require only one coat. Especially in older homes, and in certain climates.


  1. TIP: Give ample attention to cleaning and prepping all surfaces to be re-finished. Examples: patching, filling, caulking, sanding. Allot enough drying time between steps and applications. Remember: The quality of a finishing job is linked directly to the quality of the surface prepping.


  1. TIP: Limit priming to surfaces that really need it. Hint: Areas that will likely stay the same finish color for at least the first year of new ownership.


  1. TIP: Apply finish coat to walls, trim, doors, etc. room-by-room. Or, whichever way that will assure ample drying time, a uniform finish throughout, and save in overall labor costs.



Before you call in a painter. . .


Empty the home’s interior to the walls. Here are a few tips to help you.


  1. Distribute and remove all personal items. (Follow the terms of the trust and/or will.) This includes all types of items such as furniture, accessories, appliances; china, silver, housewares, cookware; clothing, jewelry; linens, textiles; antiques, collectibles, books, etc.


  1. Remove and place remaining valuables in the hands of the best available dealers. Examples: expensive jewelry, art; antiques, collectibles, glass, books.


  1. If there’s time, hold a “class act” yard sale for the rest of personal property. Roll out the red carpet bargain-prices. Offer boxed/bagged/packaged group deals. Offer some quality items for free.


  1. GOOD NEIGHBOR TIP: If your loved one lived in the neighborhood for years: Invite close neighbors to come and select a few items to keep. No charge.


  1. Donate some of the nicer clothing, accessories, linens, etc. to a local church-run thrift shop.


  1. Donate whatever is left to the nearest Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, or similar charity store. Call in advance to make certain they offer pick-up service.


Giving a home its final touches of paint and finish – facelift – before its estate sale can be rewarding.

In a way, the painter gets the opportunity to help the family give their loved one’s property a proper send off. And, that may help those left behind find some sense of closure.


When people know how much you care about them, they care about how much you know.


Special thanks to supporters through and Google+.  See you on the IN-side.

And, thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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


Hotel/Facility Painting World: The 90-10 Relationship-Technical Skills Ratio

Hotel management coaches say a team member’s on-the-job success is 90 percent relationship skills, and 10 percent technical skills.


In hotel/facility painting, that is true. Until the property starts to look shabby, old, and poorly maintained.


Then, the painter that gets along with everyone has to get moving. Visiting less, and working more!


Usually, the most skilled and productive staff painter is not among the most friendly staff or team members of a hotel or facility. His or her bottom line is to get the work done. On time and right! Anything less is considered unprofessional and unacceptable.


Yes, every hotel staff painter – like every staff member – would like to be liked. He or she would like to fit in, and be a part of the group. He or she would like to find the time, and have the freedom, to stand around and chat on and off throughout the day.


That is a luxury that very few staff painters will have.


So, they aim for a 50-50 relationship and technical skills arrangement on the job.


1. They say, or wave, “hello” when they see another staff/team member.

2. They stop and visit a few minutes, a few times throughout the work day, with a few staff members.

3. They eat lunch or take their break with a coworker, who’s off at the same time.

4. Etc., etc., etc.


They try to fit in these brief “connections” when they can. They try to fit them in when, to do so, will add to, not interfere with, their job.


They try to fit in teammate visits and joking around when it also supports and strengthens their employer’s and the organization’s objective for having a painter there in the first place.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is “TODAY!”


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


Tag Cloud