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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.

Hotel/Facility Painters: Is Outsourcing Your Paintshop Services in Your Future?

It should come as no surprise to any hotel/resort staff member, when the news arrives that the management and operations of a certain department will be outsourced.

 

Other mid-to-large sized for-profit employers have been farming or “outsourcing” for needed services for years. More and more local, county and state governments have been contracting out for the management and operation of entities under their umbrella.

 

What throws a hard, curve ball is when the outsourcing company is going to move in its own people to staff that department, which is a part of the organization. EXAMPLES: Food and Beverage/Catering, Pools and Gazebos, Housekeeping/Laundry, Security, Sales, Conventions.

 

With a large department, the outsourcing company may opt to employ certain existing hotel staff members. Persons experienced working in that area, and with its targeted guests and visitors.

 

Usually, these persons need to complete new, pre-employment forms for the external company. Including for federal and state tax withholdings. Usually, the persons do not need to go through the hotel’s Human Resources’ job application and screening process.

 

So far, hotel engineering departments have been exempted from the contracted outsourcing system of employment. Some exceptions exist.

 

  1. The property owners decide to outsource the management and operations of the entire hotel business. Here, existing staff can sign on with the external company, or a designated staffing company.

 

  1. The outsourcing company “out-sources” the hotel’s engineering department services.

Note: Designated staff members may be able to apply to the outside company, to continue to work at the same hotel.

 

  1. The outsourcing company decides to switch engineering operations to a temporary and on-call arrangement. For all positions and tasks, or for certain positions and tasks.

Note: Usually, some of the current engineering staff members are offered the opportunity to work in his/her current – or a similar – position, but as a temporary or on-call worker.

 

In all cases, some positions are eliminated. Some job quotas are reduced. A lot of department re-organization takes place.

 

In smaller businesses – eg. hotels and inns, clinics, hospitals – the services of a full-time painter may not be needed any longer. They may not be affordable. Within the budget.

 

Thus, the career hotel/facility painter needs to be ready to adapt. And, to switch “employers,” if and when the time comes.

 

At the same time, take note!

 

Not all outsourcing arrangements work. Many get axed at some point. Department management and operations are returned to in-house people. Former staff members may be re-hired. Experienced employees are put back in charge of operating their respective department.

 

After reasonable tries, more city and county governments are voting against renewing their contracts with outsourcing companies. Businesses are tightening up qualifications and expectations for their outsourcing contractors. They are more closely, and accurately, computing the bottom line.

  1. “Are we really saving money? “
  2. “What’s the trade-off been within – and for – our community?”

Hotels and resorts are listening to their experienced staff members, about major organizational and ethical problems dealing with the outsource company’s people. Hospitals report losing once loyal employees and community support. Also they report an increase in serious liability quality-of-service and patient treatment issues.

 

What can a hotel painter do to influence top management and owners in deciding which way to go?

 

  1. Show a greater and more sincere interest in your hotel, and especially in your teammates. What’s really going on with them? What’s great, so-so, not good at all? Share in any on-going dialogue among your coworkers. Your bosses, too. TIP: Hold back a little here. Keep “person,” “personal,” and “personality” out of this.
  2. Show an interest in the “outsourcing” discussion. Periodically, exchange a few ideas with your chief engineer. Especially, if you’re the lead painter and help him handle a lot of the troubleshooting.
  3. Discreetly ask questions. Try to find out the reasons management is looking at outsourcing your job. Or, the entire engineering department.

 

THEN, ZERO IN ON YOUR POSITION…YOUR FUTURE.

 

  1. Update the hotel’s job description for your job. Provide a clear, detailed picture of exactly what you do there. Include both standard and special skills and abilities that your hotel’s painter must have. To get the job done! NOTE: Now is not the time to underestimate and undervalue what the real job entails. Now is not the time for humility.
  2. List the types of tasks, orders, projects, and emergency jobs you have done. Estimate the frequency with which you’ve done each. Indicate the location of each on the property. TIP: Keep your own on-site painter’s photo gallery up to date, and captioned!
  3. List the customer service functions you perform. That includes for team members, fellow staff members, managers; guests, visitors; suppliers, vendors, contractors; inspectors; and the community.
  4. Offer your experience and insight as input to the (a) chief engineer and (b) general manager. Limit what you offer in information to details that will positively support your bosses’ true position. Also, their short-range and long-range goals.

 

Final Note: As the staff painter, you are often in a unique and influential position. You tend to come into regular contact with coworkers and managers in many of the departments and work areas within the hotel’s organization. You tend to “brush shoulders” with certain aspects of the hotel or facility’s actual business.

 

Bottom Line: You may be able to play a key role in management’s decision to outsource. Or not.

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“Press toward the mark that you want to leave behind.”  RDH

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2012, 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Painting During Slow Seasons

 

In lodging, the slow season varies in different regions of the country – even in certain areas within a given state.

 

The climate – weather – has a lot to do with it. So do school terms, vacation times – both school and employment; busy seasons in a specific industry, trade or business.

 

In Florida, the slow season tends to fall between the second week of January through March, or even April.

 

If you’re a staff painter working in Florida, the slower season is a good time to get things done. Fewer guests and visitors, fewer emergency calls and work orders, and fewer interruptions.

 

But, the “slow season” is also the period of lower revenues, lowered budget, and much fewer resources.

 

If you’re a contract painter, the slower period may be the right time to branch out and to do some freelance work.

 

SIX SLOW SEASON SOLUTIONS FOR THE STAFF PAINTER

 

  1. Before Day 1 of the slow season, decide with your chief engineer (a) what work orders and projects must stay on the roster, and (b) what projects must be shelved.
  2. Take a closer look at that list of necessary work orders and projects. Whittle it down by 25 percent.
  3. Then, prioritize those according to daily and weekly jobs.
  4. Next, establish a budget, or cost estimate, for each – based on the supplies needed to do each.
  5. Take a closer look. You may see that the list of necessary work orders and projects can be shortened. Example: Working on “bathrooms re-paint” project can be spread out over a longer period of time. Say five bathrooms a week or every two weeks, versus five a day.
  6. The toughest time: Shelve the “necessary” work orders and projects that require the most outlay of money for materials and supplies. Note: That may be the most money for few supplies.                  TIP: This amount may end up being your allotment for paintshop emergencies. Your contingency fund.
  7. Now you’re ready to schedule out your work load for each week during the dry spell, budget-wise.
  8. Be prepared for additional cutbacks (a) across-the-board organizationally, then (b) unilaterally throughout your Engineering Department.
  9. When you’re asked or expected to perform paintshop miracles during an already “bare bones” massive budget freeze, here’s what you do next:
  10. GET CREATIVE. GET TOUGH. GET WISE.

 

Seek out and volunteer to perform other essential tasks in your department – eg. maintenance, grounds. Volunteer to split your work-day time. Help out in another busier department that has also suffered staff cutbacks – eg. housekeeping, kitchen, guest services

 

Your bottom line objectives during any slow season:

  1. Keep the paintshop running.
  2. Keep your job.

 

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“Slower season” does not mean it’s the time for you to slow down on the job.

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Thank you for staying on task, whatever your regular job description.

 

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” blog.

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

 

More Custom Carriers for Painter’s Tools

small-carpentry-supplies-carrier1small-mechanics-tools-carrie1instrument-case1woodcustomaccessor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tablet-case1

 

 

 

Paintshop: 21st Century Work Partners: Software Programs and Hand-Held Devices

Twenty-seven year old painter Ben got a big shock when he returned to work after a two-week vacation.

 

“Effective immediately…” started the memo. A hand-held tablet would be his “work partner” wherever he went throughout each work day.

 

Using the device, he would be expected to perform the following functions on a daily basis:

 

  1. Clock in and clock out.
  2. Select from list the exact tasks and work orders he would be completing that day.
  3. Select from list the project(s) he would be working on – and the stage of each.
  4. Select products, materials and supplies he would be using for each task, work order and project. That included colors by name and manufacturer product number.
  5. List each work order as it came to him, indicating the start, pause/delay and completion times of each; list of products, supplies and tools for each; brief description of problem(s) incurred; and, future recommendations.
  6. List quantity/amount of each product, material and supply used.
  7. Submit weekly requisitions for basic products, materials and supplies needed to work on any painting task within the next two weeks.
  8. Record when requisition orders were filled, then when supplies were actually delivered.
  9. Maintain paintshop inventory on weekly basis.
  10. Log all communications with supervisor(s) related to each task, work order and project.
  11. Maintain contact list of manufacturers’ representatives, supply stores, sales staffs, etc.

 

In other words, a fair percentage of Ben’s work time would be spent using the hand-held device.

 

“I don’t have a problem with it,” he e-mailed. “But it cuts into my actual painting time like you wouldn’t believe.” He added that he needed to share more details about how the system worked. “No time.”

 

“What’s nice about it is, at any time, I can plug my hand-held into any printer at the hotel, and print out a copy of any file, communication, list, worksheet, chart, color palette sheet, etc. That’s been a big help.”

 

Ben added that the devices are kept in the department when not in use. Locked up at the end of the day in a cabinet inside the chief engineer’s office.

 

I think the concept is great. And full access to a hand-held device with a top quality painting or paintshop software program can save the painter a lot of paperwork, time, and money. Especially when the painter is allowed ample control about how he uses it.

 

RECOMMENDED PAINTER/PAINTING CONTRACTOR SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

1. General and cross-function: www.getjobber.com; www.knowify.com; www.go.intouchinsight.com;

2. Estimating, bidding, invoicing: www.paintestimating.com; www.invoice2go-enterprise.com; www.quickpaintingproposals.com; 3. Business: www.CorkCRM.com.

 

By the way, most of the above online software companies offers an APP version. Ben suggested checking into the possibility of purchasing/downloading and interfacing two or more systems.

 

“Your paintshop and engineering department may need to use more than one program to cover your bases. Also, your department might need to sit down with an IT creative and develop a few custom sub-programs. Example: A running and cross-referencing inventory list.”

 

Thanks, Ben, for the information.

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Smart paintshop practices include whatever support systems and devices that will make work easier. 

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Thanks to everyone for revisiting “Painting with Bob” in 2017.

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

Paintshop: Preserving “Bob the Painter’s” Brushes

My father, “Bob the Painter,” died suddenly in 1993. He left behind a huge inventory of painting and decorating products, materials, supplies, tools, and portable equipment.

 

Included were thirty-nine (39) paintbrushes, most of them Purdy or Wooster.

 

. 13 China bristle – for oil-base/alkyd base paints

. 12 synthetic/nylon bristle – for water-base or latex paint products

.   7 lacquering brushes

.  7 faux finishing brushes

.  5 boxes of disposable (cheap) brushes – for building up primers/sealing

 

A tall and skinny, hand-crafted wood cabinet housed over 31 assorted artist brushes.

 

All paintbrushes were in very good-to-excellent shape. Bristles dense and springy, solidly embedded by “plugs” in tight-fitting metal ferrules; and firm, flagged/frayed ends.

 

All brushes were well-maintained, very clean, and no paint/residue build up anywhere.

 

Four China bristle brushes set in a small amount of solvent solution in Dad’s metal brush carrier. And, three or four artist brushes lay in a tray containing “fresh” water.

 

I was amazed – still am – at his attention to tool maintenance. His paintshop in our huge garage always looked in disarray. Yet, in a flash, he could find whatever he needed. Or, he could tell me exactly where to find something.

 

Recently, an e-mail appeared from the contractor to whom we sold most of Dad’s paintshop inventory. He said that his son had taken over the business in 2008. And, most of my dad’s paintbrushes were still being used.

 

That meant that the contractor and son had been doing a great job of maintaining those brushes, too.

 

In 1993, I kept at least nine of Dad’s paint and finishing brushes. I pulled them out last week-end. In an obscure spot on the handle of each brush a year had been etched.

 

On one China bristle brush: 1975; on another: 1986. On one synthetic/nylon bristle brush: 1984; on another: 1992.

 

The latter one may have been the last paintbrush that my dad ever purchased. It’s a 2-inch, angled sash with chisel tips. It’s like new and still in its Purdy holder. Even though I know that I’ve used that brush hundreds of times since 1993.

 

Great, well-made paintbrushes last. In fact, they get better and better with age. Just like some people and pets that I’ve known, too.

 

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Treat your paintbrushes better than your girlfriend or wife;

And they will support you well throughout your life.

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Take care. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Selecting Paint Colors Using Online Chip Catalogs

Shopping for the best paint color for a surface or area is only a CLICK away. Via the internet, you can search any major or specialty paint manufacturer’s website.

 

And, you can access their complete color chip catalog, including each color’s name and product number.

 

Usually, the paint chips will be organized by color family. Also, they will be categorized by certain criteria.

 

  1. Surface – interior or exterior.
  2. Substrate – e.g. wood, masonry. Metal.
  3. Paint sheen/finish – e.g. flat/matte, eggshell , satin, semi-gloss, gloss, high-gloss.
  4. Paint type – e.g. latex, oil-base, acrylic latex, primer/finish duo.
  5. Environment/climate – eg. dry, wet, humid/tropic, cold.
  6. Unique features.
  7. Paint quality – e.g. good, superior, premium, heavy duty.

 

October and November tend to be the ideal time to CLICK on a paint manufacturer’s site for news about the new colors for the next year. Each color and each color combination will be shown in appropriate product-color-surface applications. By room or area.

 

EXAMPLE: Sherwin-Williams “Poised Taupe SW 6039.”

 

  1. Living room setting: The color may be shown on an accent wall.
  2. Dining room: Color may be used on the upper part of a dado wall, or old wooden chairs.
  3. Entertainment room: Color may be applied in alternate vertical stripes on a wall.
  4. Master bedroom suite: Color may be used on a recessed wall or alcove.
  5. House masonry exterior: Color may be used as predominant color, or trim color.

 

For real excitement, try the virtual, or 3-D visualization, capability available on most paint manufacturer’s sites.

 

  1. CLICK on the chip of color you are considering.
  2. CLICK on the type of room or area in which you want to use the color.
  3. See how the color might actually look.
  4. See how your chosen paint color might be combined with other colors for total effect.
  5. See how your color might look in rooms of different styles or with decor – eg. traditional, provincial, contemporary, eclectic.
  6. See how your color might look under different light exposures – eg. full sun, partial sun, partial shade, or full shade room or wall.

 

In my opinion: Nothing beats the visit to the paint store to find the exact color that you need.

 

Still, shopping online first can save a lot of time and money. And, when the color needs to be approved by someone else, a few strategic CLICKS and PRINTs in color can save you a lot  of grief – and repainting – later on.

 

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Chip away at correct color selection by first CLICKing on paint chips.

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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