Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘hotels’

PAINTING THINGS FOR SMOKEY THE BEARS

SmokeyBears
Since childhood, I’ve been collecting “Smokey the Bear” stuffed animals. The collection includes two first editions. One made in the late 1960s, the other in the early 1970s.

 

All except two of the forest ranger bears were manufactured by Knickerbocher in New York, New York.

 

Over the years, the “Smokeys” received treatment deserving of such “naturalists.” They had their own custom-designed furniture, crafted from oak and pine woods.

 

. Park bench – 20-inches high by 36-inches long by 8-inches deep.

Description: Painted forest green, semi-gloss latex, Mfgr,: Sherwin-Williams; “Smokey” belt buckle etching on front cross-brace of back, 50 percent grey matte acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Side chair – 18-inches high by 10-inches wide by 8-inches deep.

Description: Clear primer/sealer, low-gloss clear polyurethane finish, Mfgr.: Minwax. Carved poinsettia back panel, painted crimson red and tinted forest green acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Bunk bed – 21-inches long by 12-inches wide by 18-inches high.

Description: Mattresses, posts painted Bright white semi-gloss latex; Mfgr.: Sherwin-Williams. Curved headboards, painted light bark brown background, with the “Smokey” logo name painted custom-tinted blue-grey acrylic; Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

Young neighbor children liked to play “gently” with a few of the “Smokeys,” while their mothers stopped by to discuss a problem with someone.

 

Most of the Smokey the Bears sit safely, in a display wall cabinet.

 

On Halloween, “Smokey No. 7”, a custom designed, handcrafted 36-inch high model, sits in a white captain’s chair at the front door. Holding a large aluminum bowl of trick-or-treat candy in his lap. Even the teenagers grin, when they see “Smokey,” and they help themselves to two or three snack-sized candy bars.

 

In December of 2014, six of my “Smokey the Bears” were donated to Goodwill Industries for a fundraiser. They were clear-wrap sealed in pairs, to generate higher prices.

 

A running search on e-Bay and Google+ for another original edition of “Smokey the Bear” is checked at least monthly. Like with any collectible, the “Smokeys” turn up some interesting people. And stories.

 

My most recently purchased “Smokey,” circa 1975, came from the Los Angeles area. A lady who was once in the film industry. I’m waiting for a “Smokey” to arrive from California. Given as a birthday gift to a gold record musician, the 1972 bear is being given as a birthday gift to me.

 

Per agreement with the seller, this “Smokey the Bear” will remain with the rest of the group here. And, the entire group will be donated to a Central Indiana community’s local historical museum. “When the time comes…”

 

Bears, it may be time to build a bigger park bench.

 

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

“Only you can prevent forest fires.”     “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

                                                                                                                  …. “Smokey the Bear”

Note: Smoke the Bear is the trademark property of the National Park Service.

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

Have a safe September, everyone. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Advertisements

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 2

Recently, I heard of a group of five entrepreneurs that save smaller properties, like the three men did in the Midwest. (See “Getting Unemployed Properties, Part 1.)

 

This group purchases abandoned smaller schools, rehabilitation facilities, hotels, and churches. Then, they remodel and retrofit each property to fill a specific voice in its respective community. “Usually, within a 25-mile radius.”

 

A few examples:

 

  1. One-story elementary school, north central Florida, converted into a residential facility for moderately-to-severely handicapped teens and adults.

 

  1. One-story private elementary school, in northwest Florida, turned into a non-denominational assisted living facility for low-income persons.

 

  1. Two-story hotel, in southeast Georgia, transformed into low-income rental “villas.”

 

  1. 100-room hotel, in north central Florida, retrofitted as an assisted living facility, complete with ADA-compliant pool and spa.

 

  1. One-story high school, turned into short-term rehabilitation center and permanent ALF for handicapped military veterans.

 

  1. Small church and adjoining education building, remodeled as a year-round community center.

 

Within the last five years, the group has purchased, then helped “revitalize and recycle” over 15 properties. Two persons in the group are brothers.

 

One is a cardiovascular physician and surgeon, that co-finances the group’s “property rescue projects.” The other brother is a journey-level painter, that specializes in remodeling, renovating, and retrofitting what he calls “people-public properties.”

 

The painter in the group e-mailed me about his role in getting some of these properties “back to work.”

 

“Usually, I work as both the foreman and line painter on a crew of five commercial painters. My project work can be divided into eight phases.

 

  1. Surface/area assessment – conditions and needs.
  2. Product and color estimating, selecting and ordering.
  3. Tool and equipment selecting, purchasing or renting, and keeping track of.
  4. Work area set-ups and scheduling.
  5. Painter assignments and outfitting.
  6. Painting with the rest of the crew.
  7. Troubleshooting and punch lists.
  8. Cooperating with inspectors and sign-off people.

 

“My work is time sensitive… labor and ability intensive. We rely a lot on each other. Across trade lines…. A big, learning experience for me. On every project…”

 

“The painters’ job on these projects is not to restore the surfaces to their pristine, original condition. It’s not to deal with style-conscious interior designers. And, forget trying to please the owners and investors 100 percent. (This group doesn’t expect that.) We don’t have any of them on these projects.

 

“We’re all here with the same dream: To get the property back to good use. No egos here.”

 

He closed with this motivating message…

 

“Practically anyone can do this. Pull together a few friends and relatives. Pool your brains, money and abilities. Save one building. Help some decent people in your own community.”

 

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

“Charity begins where we’re working. Where we’re standing.” rdh

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

 

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

“ERIK, G.M.”

Erik (not real name) had been the hotel’s general manager for over twenty-two years. I’d been told that he’d worked his way up from front desk clerk.

 

Few persons knew that his first job with the hotel had been “maintenance man.” When the engineering department consisted of three persons: engineer, painter and maintenance worker.

 

Erik learned the hotel business – hands-on – from the ground up. Literally. Without a college degree to back him up.

 

He had worked in nearly every department during his career. Thus, he possessed more than a basic awareness of each department’s function, and each worker’s job description.

 

Erik was one G.M. that a hotel staff/team member could not fool. He was one G.M. that every staff member could count on to understand what he or she was talking about, and was up against.

 

More than likely, Erik had been there, too.

 

We met in 2005, when I worked on two painting projects at his hotel. Erik got upset because one of the sub-contractors came to the site every day, and yelled – “bullied” – his own men.

 

One morning, Erik must have had enough. When my contractor came around and criticized my buddy’s and my paperhanging, he was confronted by the G.M., and two men wearing expensive dark suits.

 

In May, I received an email from Erik, through linkedin.com. Now retired, he said that he’d heard about the most recent job offer back at my old hotel. He gave his “30-second staff sales pitch.”

 

What shouldn’t have surprised me was how much he knew about that hotel’s operations. About the painting work that needed to be done there. Also, about the hotel painter’s job with any hotel.

 

Erik’s second starting job at his hotel had been “painter.” In fact, he had set up the paint shop there. He had established its “job description.” He had stocked its inventory shelves. He had written the guidelines that every painter since him has followed.

 

He told me something else that shouldn’t have surprised me either. His first job at – not with – his hotel was as a painter. A card-carrying IUPAT/IBPAT member, employed by a union commercial contractor in the area.

 

“Talking shop” with Erik has been a tremendous experience. He has been able to offer feedback from many vantage points within a hotel organization. Including as general manager, and painter.

 

Being able to “talk shop” with someone like Erik has been a well-timed gift!

 

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

“A kind, gracious problem-solving attitude can save years of tears.”  Anonymous

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

 

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

THE CARING PLACE! EVERYONE HAS TO START SOMEWHERE.

THE CARING PLACE was one of the first domestic violence shelters, where women could take along their children.

 

It took over two years for “The Task Force to Prevent Domestic Violence” to establish The Caring Place, and set up the services that would be provided there. My mother served on that task force.

 

Located in Indiana, its first facility had been used previously as a convent in the Gary diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Local craftspersons in the construction industry volunteered their services to remodel and retrofit the three-story, yellow brick building for its first shelter residents. It had to meet numerous codes and standards.

 

Just as important, the building had to meet the special needs of women and children in severe crisis and danger. Women and children who had given up everything they had to reach safety – and help.

 

My father and several IUPAT/IBPAT friends handled the painting and decorating part of the project. That included the repair, preparation, painting, finishing, and wallcover installation in the living, dining, cooking, play and recreation, and sleeping areas. Also, it required extensive work in the offices, and the security, storage, and entrance/exit areas.

 

My “work” time was limited to weekends and a few vacation days. I was in junior high school.

 

I remember the list of tasks, which an IUPAT/IBPAT foreman handed me on the first day.

 

 Overall duties: Assisted the painters in setting up, prepping, painting, finishing, and cleaning up all rooms and areas.

 

Specific duties:

1. Stretched dropcloths out on floors of rooms/areas to be worked on that day, or the next day.

2. Helped carry, place and move prepping and painting supplies into and out of each work room and area. Note: The painters handled the transportation and set-up of full containers of products and materials. Examples: Primers, paints, stains, varnishes; boxes/rolls of commercial wall vinyl.

3. Helped remove and tag all wall outlet covers and baseboards.

4. Cleaned and covered smaller tools; wiped off/cleaned, then replaced can lids, container caps, box covers, etc.

 

Working on that project was not fun, really. Still, it tapped into interests, traits, skills, and abilities that I did not know I had.

 

THE GREATER TASK: Helping to provide a clean, aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, and safe home for 15 women and at least 18 children at once.

 

That was good training for my soul. An important part of my development, as a responsible adult, and responsive member of the universe.

 

WHY PLACES LIKE THE CARING PLACE STILL MATTER

 

In April of 2013, I became deathly ill on the job, at the hotel. (See linkedin.com.) “911” was not called.

 

Instead, a while later, hotel guests – a woman and her children – came to my rescue. The family lived temporarily at the hotel, because they had “lost” their “home to foreclosure, near Windermere in South Orlando.”

 

The woman and her children saw me staggering across the lawn. I was about halfway between the front building holding the offices, where the incident occurred, and the back building and the engineering department.

 

The woman and three children ran out. The woman helped me sit and sip lots of water from a pitcher. One of her children broke a candy bar into small pieces. The girl pushed them, one at a time, into my mouth. The mother and children helped me to my feet, and led me to the back building.

 

A month ago, that woman recognized me in a local store. She introduced herself. A teenage girl smiled nearby. “I fed you my candy bar.” “That’s right,” I said. “I owe you a Hershey’s.”

 

What I learned is that, two years earlier, the woman and her children were “hiding” from her abusive husband. A well-known local businessman, and leader in the community.

 

She said, “He’d never think to look for us in an older hotel like that. I was trying to wait a couple of weeks, then catch the Amtrak to my family up north…”

 

I asked if she’d considered going to the women’s shelter in Orlando.

 

Her face turned pale. “YES! But the lady on the phone started to ask me a lot of questions. I didn’t have that kind of time!”  Tears formed in her eyes. “Besides, they didn’t have room for my children…”

 

I thought of The Caring Place.

 

THE CARING PLACE! If only the woman and her children could have gotten to Northwest Indiana. To the huge and beautifully restored three-story circa-1930’s period home where that shelter was located then. The Caring Place would have made room!

 

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

Special thanks to the G.M. and staff of the Seralago Hotel and Suites Maingate East in Kissimmee, Florida, for giving special women and children safe shelters – and security.

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

And, thank you – everyone – for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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

 

 

Painting It: Classic Marbleizing

Marble Faux Finished Lamp Table

The Marble finish represents the finest decorative application that can be achieved. In the 18th century, the artist guilds throughout Europe studied and simulated the wide varieties of quarried stone for the purpose of interior design.

 

Today, faux marble has been recognized as the most creative style to master. It is one of the most fascinating decorative forms to learn and apply.

 

Here are some recommended fundamental skills and tools of the trade to use for marbleizing.

 

SKILLS:

  1. Ability to perceive depth in three dimensions.
  2. Sensitive flexible touch.
  3. Sense of applying realism to a simulated form.
  4. Ability to combine random transparent textures.
  5. Ability to apply a variety of finishes using a variety of application methods.

 

TOOLS:

  1. Badger Hair blending brush, 3 or 4 inch          7. Sea sponges, small and larg
  2. Bright brush, # 7 or # 8                                        8. Goose feather
  3. Chiqueteur brush (special/optional)                  9. Cheesecloth
  4. Filbert brush, #1 and #2                                       10. Newspaper
  5. Flat brush, #10 or #12                                           11. Tack rags (2+)
  6. Spalter brush, 3 or 4 inch

 

THE METHOD OF MARBLEIZING

 

Marbleizing simply means a “simulation of marble.” And, it is done by replicating the same elements of composition, which are found inside the actual Marble itself.

 

You see it with your eyes, visualize it and reproduce it on the surface you have selected.

 

THE GENERAL STEPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR MARBLEIZED FINISH:

 

  1. The surface needs to be smooth and blemish free. Sand and patch accordingly – #120, then #220.
  2. Apply a suitable primer, using a low nap roller cover. When dry, sand surface smooth.
  3. Apply a basecoat, which has the appropriate background color of the genuine Marble.
  4. Sand the surface smooth with #320, then #400 sandpaper.
  5. Apply the first glaze color with a sponge, creating a wide criss-cross pattern. Blend into the surrounding basecoat, leaving random darkened areas.
  6. Apply the second glaze color with a sponge, overlapping the first application. Blend randomly. Leave some areas more heavily textured and other areas less textured.
  7. Mix the glaze color for the veins. Use a Sable Liner brush to create veins in random vertical and  irregular horizontal configuration. Blend edges of veins randomly.
  8. Mix a dark color glaze. Use a small and stiff Flat brush – eg. #8 or #10 – to finely splatter the surface in random locations.
  9. Apply a clear coat varnish or polyurethane to the surface, using a Spalter brush or a low nap roller. When dry, sand the surface with #400 sandpaper.
  10. Tack rag, and reapply a finish coat.

 

Note: The steps and tools to be used vary, depending on the type of Marble that you are trying to simulate.

 

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

 

  1. Glazes can be applied using either latex or oil based products.
  2. Keep tools and brushes clean.
  3. Always maintain a flexible approach and view when applying a decorative finish.
  4. Sand surfaces between each coat, when an ultra smooth surface is desired.
  5. Mask and cover all areas not to be finished.

 

SKILLS TIP:  When in doubt about your skills, test them. Make up several sample boards.

 

DECORATING TIP: Think creatively, and perceptively.

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

SPRING into action. MARBLEIZE something!   Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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

“A Hotel’s ‘Sick Building Syndrome’: A Close-to-Real-Life Personal Story.”

Marielle eyed the park bench. “Homeless man,” she whispered. “Where did he come from?”

The hotel is empty. Everyone was vacated from the property over three weeks ago. OSHA and EPA orders.

In very humid climates, this type of thing happens more than even locals might suspect. All that area residents see are tall security fences appearing suddenly around properties. Hotels, commercial buildings, schools, homes, rehabilitation/nursing facilities, hospitals, etc.

Marielle thought about approaching the man. But, she wasn’t supposed to be there either.

She’d found a front gate open. That morning, the security officer, hired by the federal government, had not snapped the gate lock tight enough, when he’d left. The latch hung.

During the next week, Marielle entered the property at least five days. Each time, the gate was not secured. Each time, she spotted the same homeless man sitting on the same bench, behind Building 6.

On her seventh visit to the emptied property, she got a big surprise. Something streaked across her vision, as she climbed out of her suv, parked under some trees near the tennis courts.

Three men stepped out. Shoulder-to-shoulder. In front of her. They wore head-to-toe HAZMAT suits.

“EXCUSE ME. What are you doing here,” asked one man. “This property is sealed off.”

Clearly, the men were authorized to be there. Marielle was not.

The one speaking produced an I.D. badge and a card. “Are you alone?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Your name?”

“Marielle Vega Velasco.” (A fictitious name.) She didn’t even think to not answer.

“What are you doing here?”

“Oh…” she stopped. “You asked that…Sorry…Uh…I used to work here. For twenty-one years. Director of Housekeeping.”

“Why did you enter the property? Didn’t you see all of the warning signs?”

“No…uh. Well, yes. I did see the sign secured to the main gate. The second time.”

“What part of ‘WARNING…U. S. Government…Environmental Protection Agency … TOXIC…HAZARDOUS…DO NOT ENTER…do you not understand? Did you not see the signs ‘HAZARDOUS… Sick Building Syndrome Building’ posted on every building?”

Marielle gulped. She knew about both SBS and BRI (Building related illness). They’d been major reasons for the mirage of inspections of the property during the last year. BLACK  MOLD. She shuddered.

An intense heat flashed up and down Marielle’s body. Underneath her clothes. She felt water trickle down her back and her legs, into her Nike shoes. Oh, Oh! She thought. Fear froze her to the asphalt.

“Am I under arrest?” She’d been afraid to ask. More afraid of the answer.

“No. That’s outside of our job, “said a different suited-up person standing nearby. (A woman’s voice.) “We will need to escort you off the property. Immediately!”

Marielle didn’t need to be told twice. She climbed back into the vehicle, and eased the door shut. She backed the suv, then put it into DRIVE.

She slammed on her brakes. Screeeech! Out of nowhere had appeared a bright yellow, oversized golf cart. Fully enclosed.

She could see the three suited-up figures seated inside. A large orange light sent blinding flashes from the golf cart’s roof. Bright red lights flashed from the rear of the vehicle. A loud BLEEP BLEEP shattered the atmosphere.

Marielle followed the golf cart. It inched along the east parking area, and turned left toward the front gate, and U. S. Highway 192.

Tears swelled behind the woman’s eyes. She knew, somehow, this would be the last time that she – or anyone else with the hotel – would ever see the place again.

Marielle was wrong. Fewer than ten months later, the tall cyclone fence came down. A combination of solutions had been followed to save the buildings, and make the property safe for occupancy. At a reported cost, including the overdue remodeling, of nearly $1 million dollars.

The woman stood in full uniform, thankful for so much. Familiar cars, trucks and suvs began to fill strategic parking spaces towards the front, and near the back of the property.

Very familiar faces smiled at one another. People shook hands, waved, and hugged each other.

At dusk, the colorful lights in the signage along the front entrance sparkled. They winked brightly at visitors entering the property, or passing by.

 

THE HOTEL WAS BACK IN BUSINESS.

And Marielle? Well, Marielle was eating her box lunch, on her first night back. On that park bench. Remember?

Somehow, it seemed like the perfect place to enjoy the view.

* This story is a work of fiction, inspired by a true story. All names, characters, places, and incidents are used here fictitiously. Copyright 2015. SSH. All rights reserved.

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

As age, environmental damage, budget, etcetera take their toll on older properties, let’s remember that…

HOPE can beat for buildings, too. Not just for the people that have worked in and around them. Or called the buildings and their surroundings “home.”

 

As caretakers of our entire environment…

Let’s do our best to protect, preserve and restore our buildings, too.

“Sick Building Syndrome” does not have to happen.

Special thanks to those who protect their properties from developing “Sick Building Syndrome.” Special thanks to the property owners that preserve and maintain the integrity of their buildings.

Special thanks to the property owners that invest the funds to solve and modify SBS, BRI and related problems.

Special thanks to the property owners that order “demolition” when their buildings are too sick to be saved. And, too sick to safeguard for the health and welfare of people and their pets.

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

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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

Painting It: Lobbies and Concierge Centre

Most often, it is the lobby that the guest sees, before the room he will be staying in.

 

As far as first impressions go, it is reason enough to want to present the area in the best possible light. Chances are your hotel’s lobby is already designed and decorated in such a way, that the guests feel welcomed and comforted each time they come.

 

As well as providing basic comfort, it’s also advisable to appeal to the guest’s other interests, before going to his room. Examples: You can offer kiosks with information about hotel and local amenities, virtual tour plasma tv systems, small reading alcoves, techy communication centers. Little time will be spent in the hotel lobby. So it is important that the guest feels at home.

 

With respect to the lobby’s aesthetic appearance, there are a number of things that can be done to achieve this.

 

Here are a few general guidelines:

 

* Maintain impeccable cleanliness, especially with the floors.

 

* Encorporate a variety of decorative elements such as colorful paint finishes, textures,

wallcoverings, and also wood as a surface and structural design element.

 

* Install marbleized columns. Or, apply a decorative marbleized finish to existing columns.

    This provides a historical element, and appearance of refinement. Also, add wood moldings

and panels.

 

* Apply gilding or (metallic leafing) to provide the highest order of decorating in the lobby

areas. It is best suited for moldings, picture frames and ornamental elements such as

sculptural relief objects and carved ornamentation. When applying this, it is best done

conservatively.

 

* Develop a decorative paint scheme which includes a random patterned design, along with a

textured appearance and a metallic surface effect. The optimum design would be something

which creates a reflective and transparent look, like a magic trick using chrome and mirrors.

 

Lobbies and the Concierge Center should make a clear and memorable statement about the hotel’s overall raison d’etre. Its mission. Its value system. Its purpose. Its philosophy. Its people.

 

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

 

A victorious Valentine’s Day weekend to everyone! 

Look for Victoria’s Valentine, story booklet no. 3 in the Victor (the St. Bernard) series – if you’re on our family’s snail’s mailing list!

 

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

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

 

Tag Cloud