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Posts tagged ‘Painting projects’

Volunteering Your Painting and Decorating Skills, Part I: Where You’re Coming From

Whatever your painting capabilities – and specialty areas, there’s a cause or program out there that can really use your help. From the local, loosely formed grassroots organization to the international non-profit corporation, the need for skilled craft persons is basically the same.

It’s up to you to find that niche – and then help to fulfill it.

So, how do you volunteer your painting skills and abilities toward a good cause? One that you’ll feel good about while you’re working on it, then after you leave.

TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED ON YOUR VOLUNTEER PAINTER’S PATH

1. Your interests. What grabs your attention – and won’t let go?

Examples: Neighborhood park; local school/ learning center; pets, animal shelters, zoos; people: elderly staying in own home/ ALF, or skilled nursing facility, children with chronic diseases, disabled adults, homeless families; churches, church fundraising arms, youth programs; historic preservation properties, museums, art/theatre/culture centers; community/ civic centers.

2. Your obligations. How often can you help out?

Examples: 1 hour a week, two hours a month, one-half day (4 hours) a month 1 week (5-7 days).

3. Your schedule. When can you help out?

Examples: Mondays only; mornings (8am-12 noon); week-ends (Saturday and/or Sunday); vacation/ break/ sabbatical.

4. Location. Where can you help out?

Examples: A. Locally/ close to home (within 10 miles); B. In this half of county; C. Anywhere in county; D. Within my state/ region of state; E. Region of country: Northwest, West, Southwest; Plains, North Midwest; Northeast, East, Southeast; South; F. Anywhere in U.S. mainland; G. Foreign country – eg. Sudan.

5. Your availability. Are you available to live on-site – say for 7 to 10 days?

Examples: New school construction, third-world country; hurricane disaster community in U.S.; remodeling of free medical clinic on Indian reservation; restoration of historic estate; rebuilding of burned out orphanage in Appalachians.

6. Your accommodations. What, if any, special accommodations do you need in order to be able to help?

Examples: Good HVAC system (heat, ventilation, A/C); building access ramp and entry/exit, handicapped parking; assistance with lifting, carrying, moving anything over 10 pounds; limited walking; special diet. (For extended stay, on-site projects); sanitary sleeping/ restroom facilities.

7. Your tasks. What specific painting tasks do you want to help with, or handle?

Examples: New construction only; Brush/roll only; spraying; surface/ area prepping; powerwashing; mixing/ matching paints; wallpapering; cleaning up graffiti; cleaning high-sanitation area; decorative finishing.

8. Your environment. Which works better for you: interior or exterior work?

9. People. Do you want to work on a small crew? Or, with a large group of volunteers?

10. Your role. Are you interested in supervising others? How many persons? Which skill level(s): skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled?

11. Entity. Do you want to help with the same group or organization each time? Or, do you like the idea of working on projects for different groups/ organizations? OR, do you want to work on special projects only?

12. Your Transportation. How will you get to-and-from each volunteer site?

Examples: Your car/truck/SUV/van; public transportation – commuter bus or train; plane; boat.

13. Your finances. Can you afford to volunteer any time, without pay? Will you need financial help to pay for getting to-and-from each volunteer site?

Examples: For gas, oil, parking fees, road tolls; tickets, fares, fees.

14. Your personality. What type of volunteer opportunity, as outlined above, really matches who you are? Under less than perfect circumstances? When very little is in your control? When the other people involved are very different from you?

15. Your health. What health issues, if any, do you need to consider when choosing a volunteer outlet for your skills and interests? Which volunteer opportunity(ies) will be very doable for you? Which needs will you be able to fulfill while helping to provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for yourself and others?

16. Your commitment. How serious are you about volunteering your painting capabilities? Are you willing to switch around your current priorities to make room for this new one? Or even let something else go?

17. Your reasons. Why do you want to volunteer at this time in your life? Examples: Have more time; see need for your kind of help; recent experience raised your awareness level; social consciousness want to pay back kindness you/your family received; realize what you’ve been missing by not volunteering.

18. Your ultimate goal. What do you need to get out of the experience? What do you want to leave behind? What, if any, personal motive do you have?

Here, I’d like to add one more thing:

19. Your “what ifs”. What if you can’t find a fit? What if the volunteer opportunity you chose turns out to be less than anticipated? Or more than you can, or want to, handle? Or very different than what you signed on for?

THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS

Volunteer where you feel you’re needed.
Volunteer where you believe you’ll be appreciated.
Volunteer where you see that you can make a positive difference.
Volunteer where you know that, later, you’ll still know that it was the right thing to do!

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A special “thank you” to all painters that have stepped up to the plate and volunteered.
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Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. “Painting with Bob.” All rights reserved.

Creating and Painting: Murals by G.B. – Part II

Do you remember the muralist, G. B., that I blogged about in December of 2015?

Well, G. B. – Gerard – resides now in an “elder care home” located in South Florida.

His knees click when he stands or bends. His arms won’t reach overhead without a painful struggle. His fingers crimp when he tries to grasp an artist’s brush for longer than three minutes. And, many tiny black dots dance through his narrowing view.

Has he given up painting?

“NEVER!” he cheered on the telephone.

Instead, guess what the 72-year old artist is doing:

He’s painting small murals on different walls throughout the facility where he resides.

He paints small flower gardens – of their choice – in the rooms of neighbors in his wing. For Marlene: a patch of red, yellow, orange, pink, and lilac Tulips. For Clara: tall Gladiolas in bright peach, coral, yellow, orange, and scarlet. For Harry: three Rosebushes full of young blooms. For Jen Lee: a garden of wild flowers: Tiger, Peace and Day Lilies; Daisies, Iris, Goldenrod, Roses.

He’s painted an herbal garden on the wall along a short hallway near the main kitchen’s pantry. In the main dining hall, he painted two wrought iron café chairs and a table, complete with a setting of Limoges Haviland tea service.

At the end of one corridor, he created a “wall” bird sanctuary. He painted in three birdhouses, a bird bath, a large ceramic frog, and “a squirrel that has seen better days.” Along another corridor, he painted butterflies. A variety of species, colors and sizes.

In January, the facility’s administrator “commissioned” Gerard to design and paint a music staf half-railing along one wall of the music and band room.

What’s next? Gerard is designing an “open-themed” half-wall mural for the “Activities Room.” He’s recruited fellow residents who want to help paint it. A group project, complete with snacks and lunch – furnished by the kitchen staff, and the administrator.

I think that G.B. – “Gerard” – is a fine example of life after life alters the way a painter – a person – must pass through it. Tweaks here and there. Some adjustments.

And changes. A part of life from birth.

Like Gerard’s 15-year old grandson e-mailed, “So what’s the big deal? Grandpére is amazing!”

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s View: Ten Spaces and Ten Reasons to Paint on New Year’s Week-end

New Year’s week-end is a great time to pick up a brush, and paint.

 

Because of the busy holidays, at least some of your regular schedule is probably still on hold. You’re in a more relaxed, “winding down” mode. And, you’re already psyched up to try new things, new ways.

 

 TEN REASONS TO PAINT ON NEW YEAR’S WEEK-END

 

  1. You may have more time off to paint things other than assigned work orders and tasks.
  2. Paint stores are running super pre-2017 sales.
  3. Many product manufacturers’ websites and apps are offering two-and-three-for-one discounts.
  4. Manufacturers are offering introductory discounts on paint products in the new 2017 colors.
  5. You may need a physical outlet to vent that holiday season stress.
  6. At work, your chief engineer may be more amenable to your doing that creative project that you’ve suggested.
  7. At home, the holiday spirit will still be wide open for creative expression.
  8. Your energy and enthusiasm levels are still at a high.
  9. Your willingness may be greater to accept a little help from your crew.
  10. You “need to paint this now” – while you’re in the mood.

 

 TEN SPACES TO PAINT ON NEW YEAR’S WEEK-END

 

  1. Rooms at home: a bathroom, bedroom, sun porch, study/den, attic room, sewing room.

TIP: Steer clear of high activity areas during the holidays – eg. kitchen, media room.

  1. Areas at home: workroom in basement or garage, garage/barn loft, small apartment, workshop.
  2. Rentals: apartment, loft, duplex unit; small house, condo or townhome.
  3. Home-based work space: office, writing/artist studio, computer room/alcove, assembly room.
  4. On-site work spaces: bosses’ offices and bathrooms, art gallery offices, shop offices; kitchen/lunch room; non-profit offices, workrooms, or restrooms.
  5. Furniture: simply designed chairs, table in good condition, smaller dresser/chest, bed, smooth-surface desk, picture/mirror frames; bookcases, storage units.
  6. Built-ins: eating nooks, window seat areas, bookshelves, cabinetry doors/frames, home office cubicle.
  7. Fun spaces: Jewelry/treasure boxes; children’s sleeping loft or playhouse; children’s toy chest; dollhouse, play barn/fort; doghouse.
  8. Elderly friend/relative space: front entry, living/dining area, bedroom, den/study, enclosed sun room; ALF/retirement community apartment or villa.

TIP: Pre-arrange for the resident to stay with a neighbor, relative or friend for the week-end. Or,              perhaps in your home?

  1. Your church: Unless the buildings are new, nearly every room/area may need a pro painter’s touch.

TIP: Look for smaller rooms that have been ignored or neglected aesthetically. Examples: Sunday             school rooms, library room, workroom, bulletin/newsletter/printing room, office workroom and storage rooms; kitchen/pantry; choir practice room and robe storage.

 

TOP TIP: Make it a project of your choice. Make it a do-good, do-well endeavor.

 

P. S. My New Year’s project: Applying matching faux finish pattern to two, curbside discarded, two-drawer metal file cabinets.

 

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Happy New Year, everyone. Enjoy. Stay safe. Be well.

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Here’s hoping to hear from you in the New Year – 2017.

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” during 2016.

Copyright 2016. 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.

 

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

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: The Fast and Easy Way

Just to clarify things: Easy and fast is not necessarily the most recommended way to paint something. However, for everyone, we sometimes want things to go a little easier or to happen a little quicker.

 

Painting is no different. By taking some precautions, we can guarantee some degree of quality, no matter how fast or easy the work is. Having the right amount of skill is usually the ticket.

 

There are any number of items that can be painted the easy way, and as fast as you might want to complete them. Example: Using an airless spray system, I once prime finished just under 3000 linear feet of molding in less than an hour. When calculated using a brush and/or roller, it would have taken the entire day. Yes, a high level of productivity can be achieved daily, depending on the situation.

 

A FEW PREP-LEVEL TIPS

 

  1. Make an assessment of the project.
  2. Determine the steps needed to complete the project. The general rule is: The fewer steps there are, the easier it will be to complete. And, you will be finished in no time.
  3. Next, evaluate how difficult it will be to complete each step. Example: To paint a louvered door, you must (a) sand each piece of wood or metal as the case may be, (b) dust the surface, and (c) apply the paint using your chosen method. Here, the process of sanding can slow the paint process down quite a bit. It would be no big deal, if all you had to do was paint it.

 

So, how can you make a job easy, or develop a faster way of doing it? Let’s take the easy part of it first. You might want to follow the steps below.

 

  1. Answer this question: What is the largest size brush to use for painting this surface? A 1-inch brush is used for detail and glass framework. A 4-inch brush is used for flat, open wall areas and wide trim such as crown molding. Determine which one’s best suited for you and the job.

 

  1. When selecting a roller system: Relate the viscosity of the paint to the type of surface. Applying paint with a roller is easiest if the paint spreads smoothly, and you don’t have to dip the roller every five seconds. Example: Use a 3/8 inch roller cover when painting brick or concrete block. And, you will fight it the entire time.

 

  1. What can be easier than using a spray gun? Assess the surface and which spray tip is the most appropriate to apply the paint evenly. For those of you familiar with tip sizes, a 3-11 is best suited for trim painting and multiple small objects. It is possible to work yourself to death painting large wall spaces with a small tip. Recommendation: A 4-17 or 5-21 are the optimum choices here.

 

 Now: How can you paint this faster than, say, the last time? Think: Spray it!

 

A well-seasoned painter, with comprehensive knowledge in spray painting, will know intuitively how to get the most out of his spray work. Here are several things that he or she might bring to the attention of a less experienced painter.

 

  1. Completely strain the paint prior to siphoning or pressurizing. This step cannot be stressed enough.
  2. Make sure that all system filters are clean. Replace at regular intervals.
  3. Make sure the spray tip is not worn, and does not leak as you trigger the gun.
  4. Assess hourly use of each spray tip per manufacturer recommendations with type of paint.
  5. Thin paint or coating material to the proper viscosity NOTE: This will increase ease of paint flow and pumping efficiency.
  6. At all times, maintain a posture and spray gun motion which is perpendicular to the surface. 7. Cover everything within close proximity to the work that does not get painted. Use plastic sheeting, paper and drop cloths.
  7. Use a mask as necessary – one appropriate for the product, space, exposure, ventilation, etc.

 

How to Optimize Ease and Speed in Unison

 

Normally, I would consider it difficult to work fast and for the work to be easy at the same time. It takes some concentration to achieve what you’re looking for. There a few things you can do.

 

  1. Spray finish as much as possible before having to bring out the roller and brush. Your productivity will be considerably higher; and the hand tool use won’t have worn you out.

 

  1. Use a roller system in place of where you typically would have used a brush.

 

  1. Upgrade or vary the brush size from what you would normally use.

 

  1. Provide the highest level of surface preparation available.

 

To make a paint job easier, it is not necessary to cut corners or costs. Ease comes with experience: knowing how to complete a task using a sound and simple method versus getting too involved.

 

Start simple and build from there. Example: Don’t try to strip wood without using a chemical remover.

 

Fast means: You will be done sooner and generally make more money. Just don’t sacrifice quality and end up back where you started: behind schedule.

 

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I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob,”

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

 

Painter’s World: Visiting Old Projects, Old Properties

It can be very interesting, and motivating, to visit hotel, resort and other properties where you’ve completed projects in the past. Or where you were a staff painter.

 

You may look at your previous project work through different eyes. The eyes of more experience. This is particularly true with completed projects. Or, similar projects on which you used better products or more effective methods, and achieved better results than before.

 

Two of my friends from IUPAT days have turned this experience into a “painter’s” destination. They stay as guests at a hotel or resort on which they’ve worked. They reserve a large room for a minimum of a 3-day weekend, to a maximum of ten days.  (Depending on the amount of work they did on the respective property.)

 

Here’s what they look at while staying at each hotel or resort.

 

  1. Current overall color scheme of hotel/resort – predominant colors used and where.
  2. Surfaces/areas repainted or redecorated since they worked on property – including products and colors used.
  3. Surfaces/areas that have not been redone since they worked on them – including products and colors they used.
  4. Special designs, finishes and effects used now, that weren’t used back then. Changes made that painter recommended before, but management turned down.
  5. New designs, products, finishes, colors, etc. used now that are much more appealing and effective than those the painter(s) needed to use when there.
  6. Areas and amenities remodeled or upgraded since they worked on the property – including paint, finishing and wallcovering treatments used.

 

Actually, their destination checklist number over eleven. Also, within twenty-four hours of their arrival at the hotel or resort, they made a point of introducing themselves to the chief engineer, also the general manager of the property.

 

“We keep everything above board. We tell them who we are, and why we’re there. Besides the overnight stay, of course.  We tell them that we are painters, what we do specifically, and when we worked on the property, or as a staff member.”

 

They ask permission to walk around, and look at areas that they worked on. They make notes about problem surfaces and projects back when, and the better ways they would handle them today.

 

The two painters – with 56 years hospitality painting experience between them – have developed their own learning curve. They’ve created and produced DVD tutorials – problem-solution how-tos – to share with other career hotel/resort painters and engineering department teammates.

 

Hats off to Trent and Carlos.

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Learning from our past often requires awareness of our presence.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

A True Antique Story: Pub Back Bars and Front Bars

Greek immigrant and saloon owner, Mr. Bates, owned the largest, l-shaped parcel of land that surrounded our wooded property. On the land set a gold mine of Sothby’s-quality antiques.

 

Some pieces set inside and under the vacant, dilapidated cabin in the dense woods adjoining ours. Some were hidden inside the tunnel of an underground bomb cavern.

 

Most of the antiques were crammed into the two huge boxcars. Both set in an untilled field, camouflaged by a dense overgrowth. Located less than one thousand feet from our fence line.

 

The cabin site housed dozens of wooden cigar boxes. They were filled with old currency from the U. S., Greece, British Isles, etc. Some boxes were stuffed with matured U. S. Savings Bonds – over one hundred of them.

 

Ceramic, porcelain and earthenware dishes, pots, pitchers, vases, and trays set on the floors in both rooms. Also, many old pieces of flatware: sterling silver, silver-plated, gold-plated.

 

Old saloon and bar furnishings filled the boxcars. That included three complete bar sets; fixtures, mirrors, picture frames, wall mural panels, etc. Also china, crystal, glassware, and cooking accessories.

 

One boxcar contained eight or nine rolled up imported oriental rugs. And, over six wooden crates of fine tapestry.

 

The other one housed two complete front and back bar systems. Both were constructed of rich, solid mahogany, and similar in design. Each back bar measured at least 21 feet in length, and 17 feet in height.

 

The Back Bars featured inset twin beveled mirrors, fluted columns, intricate relief carvings, and built-in drawers. Also, small cupboards and three glass cases. Both were appointed with brass trim, hardware and railings. One unit included built-in steps to reach those higher areas.

 

The Front Bars of both sets featured a brass beer drain board and a polished counter top. And, each included brass boot rests/bars.

 

Over the years, the heavy key locks on each boxcar were broken or cut off repeatedly by thieves, or “snoops.” Little was ever taken. Perhaps because most of the pieces were so cumbersome. And unusable somewhere other than inside a bar or pub. Or, a huge residence, or museum.

 

At some point, the attorney for the elderly property owner engaged our closest neighbor and us to keep a close eye on the property. And, its contents. We were “enlisted” to watch out for all trespassers. (A little more about that follows.)

 

The hardest part of that job was spotting the intruders that snuck onto the wooded section. First, they had to slip or sneak through our woods. And, the entire wooded area was unusually dense, even in the winter. Also, hunters wandered – trespassed – onto the back of our property, then onto the neighbors.

 

Another problem: Some of the intruders were the grown nephews and families of old Mr. Bates. And, reliable sources had informed us that the three nephews eagerly awaited their inheritances.

 

But, a funny thing happened as their greed grew. The owner set up an interesting system of trusts for his entire, massive estate.

 

The nephews would receive access to the estate only after the youngest child of any nephew reached eighteen. And, at the time of the owner’s death, the youngest child in the group was under age one.

 

By the time Mr. Bates said his earthly goodbyes, his attorney faced a much easier job of settling the estate.

 

The elderly owner had already sold off most of his real estate in town, including the saloon. Nearly all of the antiques had been lifted from the boxcars. The cabin and underground cavern had been looted, and fallen apart from gross neglect. (Too, the most forceful nephew had died of a heart attack.)

 

Even at the end, our family possessed special access to the Bates tales. From school days, my father knew the attorney. And, my mother and the attorney’s wife belonged to the same philanthropic sorority, Tri Kappa.

 

Still, I was not prepared for the trivia that hit my e-mail Inbox last week. One of the “authorized looters” of those boxcars was a young Greek bar owner in South Florida. The furnishings that he had lifted were shipped to Florida, and set into his family’s pub in the early 1990s.

 

Today, that pub is owned and operated by his two Baby Boomer sons, and their adult children.

 

Thanks, Mr. Bates. What a fantastic idea for the plot of a mystery novel!

 

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Own your day, and value its contents.  rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

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