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Heat Illness: Preparing-for-Prevention Tips for Painters: Part II

As painters and decorators, we are our own best advocates in preventing heat illness on the job. We must play an active role in the protection of our own health. We cannot leave the responsibility to our employers.


In fact, both OSHA and EPA limit the employer’s level of responsibility. Employers tend to make these work-related choices, and provide preventive measures at their discretion.


Now – the cooler months – is the time to come up with a plan to prevent and treat on-the-job heat illness symptoms.


Now is the time to determine how we will handle our workload during the sustaining hot and humid months/season. Especially in climates like Florida has from May through October.


NOW is the time to get the facts out about heat illness.


  1. Talk about it: types, symptoms, risks and warning signs, safety issues.
  2. Publicize it.
  3. Orient everyone on the team and staff about what to look for.
  4. Train team members and staff what to do, when, and how.
  5. Commit to on-going heat illness awareness and advocacy at the workplace.


Heat Illness Prevention Tips for Painters

1. Know your body.

A. What is your tolerance level to heat, humidity, and sun exposure (direct/indirect)?

B. What is your exertion limits within that tolerance level?

2. Know your work environment.

A. What is the highest temperatures in which you must work during the hottest, most humid season? How many hours a day? How many days a week?

B. What is the actual temperature felt by your body – with the heat index added?

C. What us the longest period of time during a work day, that you must work continuously in that actual temperature?

D. How many days during a week must you work continuously in those actual conditions?

E. What is the level of clean-air and ventilation within your work area(s) on a continual basis?

3. Know your job’s physical demands.

A. How many hours in a day must you work in hot, humid conditions? Number of days a week?

B. At how fast of a pace must you do your work? Very slow? Slow? Moderate? Fast? Very fast?

C. For how long a period must you keep up that pace? _____ minutes. _____ hours?

D. How many breaks do you get, ordinarily, each of these days?

1) At what times during the work day are the breaks scheduled?

2) How many additional breaks are you allowed during work days in hot, humid conditions?

3) How often can you take a break when heat and humidity conditions meet or exceed your tolerance level. (See 1 and 2 above.)

4. Know your physical limits in meeting the physical demands.

A. How many pounds can you lift, carry or move, ordinarily and at once?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum number of pounds? Without symptoms.

2) With B, do you need to use a cart or other conveyance piece of equipment?

B. How long can you climb and stand on a ladder?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum length of time? Without any symptoms

C. How long and often can you bend, stoop or crouch within one hour?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest that you can do these? Without symptoms.

D. How long can you stand and how far can you walk without resting? Holding/carrying anything that weighs your maximum poundage? (See 4-A above.)

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest period and furthest distance that you can do these? Without any symptoms.

5. Know what your first heat illness symptoms may be.

A. What have been your first heat illness symptoms in the past?

B. What, if any, medical conditions that you have could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms?

C. What, if any, medications that you take could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms? Include over-the-counter products – eg. antihistamines, aspirins, nasal sprays.


Do you have a low tolerance level to any heat-humidity-ventilation environmental conditions?

  1. Avoid them. Work in cooler, shaded areas when above conditions do exist in other areas.
  2. Do not allow yourself to be placed in any situation that might cause, trigger and/or exacerbate your heat illness susceptibility.




  1. Schedule exterior painting during the coolest times of your work day. Examples: A. Dawn-to-10 AM. B. 5 PM-to-dusk or dark, or later.
  2. Plan to work on surfaces/areas opposite full-sun exposure. Examples: A. West and north sides of buildings when sun is over east and south sides.
  3. East and south sides of buildings when sun is on west and north sides.
  4. Plan to work in hot, humid areas when an emergency comes up. NOTE: Ordinarily, there are times when exterior painting must be done immediately.
  5. Wear short, white painter’s pants when you must work in outdoor temperatures 90 plus degrees. Regardless of the time period involved. NOTE: Get approval before the hot season arrives to adjust clothing to fit extreme heat/humidity conditions.
  6. Wear a cap or hat with a bill, when working and/or walking in the sun. TIP: Wider is wiser.
  7. Keep a drinking water supply with you at all times.
  8. Carry packs of small snacks in your pocket. Examples: Walnuts/almonds, Peanut M&Ms, raisins, trail mix, granola bars, energy bars.
  9. Carry frozen ice pack in small cooler on your golfcart or pushcart. While you’re at it, stick in a couple small cans of healthy juice. Examples: V-8, orange, apple. TIP: Pack a banana, too. High in potassium. Essential for sodium/hydration leveling.


BOTTOM LINE: The painter on duty must get his/her work done. One way or another. So watch out for yourself when the heat and humidity start to climb. And, set the standard for others to do the same.


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Learn and Live “Heat Illness” Free. Go to:

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: What is the Best Paint?

Paints and coatings are similar. What separates them from each other is their ability to retain color and their durability of sheen.


The typical factors, which can affect this, are (1) surface exposure to the sun, (2) cleanliness, and (3) humidity.


First of all, to find the “best possible paint” for your application, consult paint store and manufacturer recommendations.


As a rule, you get what you pay for. Normally, the best quality paint will have the highest price. With the modern development in coatings research, the quality of paint is at its highest level. Now, there are paints which combine primer as part of their formulation.


Usually, I prefer to use a suitable primer, then let it dry. And I apply a top coat, especially designed for that surface and that primer-top coat combination. To each his own, however.


Each surface requires a paint that is specific to its requirements. You wouldn’t put latex paint on bare steel. And, you wouldn’t prime the steel with the recommended primer and then apply a latex finish paint. If you don’t know the difference, you might.


There are “best paints” for every class of surfaces. Here are a few of them.


  1. Exterior masonry. Use an elastomeric coating. It’s a high-build, water-proofing material.
  2. Steel. Use epoxy primer and finish. They provide an extremely durable, chemical resistant finish.
  3. Interior drywall. Use acrylic latex. It leaves a highly washable, color retentive finish.
  4. Non ferrous metal. Use oil galvanizing primer. It has excellent adhesive properties.
  5. Automotive. Use urethane. It has ultimate durability, high color retention, resist abrasions.
  6. All surfaces. Use oil-based paint. It provides excellent durability, color retention, resist stains.


Then, there are my “best brand paint picks.” Opinions may vary. Yet, there are standards of quality, cost and reputation for each manufacturer.


  1. Interior/Exterior house paints: #1 Glidden; #2 Sherwin Williams; #3 Behr.
  2. Wood finishes: #1 Minwax; #2 Olympia.
  3. Masonry: #1 Glidden; #2 Sherwin Williams.
  4. Fine finish metals: #1 DuPont, #2 Sherwin Williams.
  5. Industrial coatings: #1 Sherwin Williams.


There are many paint and coatings’ manufacturers out there. Do your research, especially when you are questioning a surface’s compatibility with a particular paint type. Paint failures or a reduced life of the sheen can occur if the wrong selection is made.





As a commercial painter, I was once assigned a job to decorate the front offices and lobby of an automotive body shop. My job was to paint all of the drywall ceilings, with a flat white latex, and to apply vinyl wall coverings to all of the walls and the electrical cover plates. It sounded simple enough.


But as I got started, I saw several of the body shop workers carrying stack s of wood moulding into their service area. And when the doors arrived – about 12 of them, they were taken to that area as well.


I was busy doing my own work. Until one day, I went back and discovered a couple of body shop employees working on the doors and woodwork. They were painting them.


I thought:  Well, that’s just fine. Then, I realized that the paint they were using was not the run of the mill latex or oil I would have used. I was shocked, yet totally amazed at what they were doing.


The owner had chosen to finish his woodwork with automotive paint. I never heard of such a thing. On his own, the owner decided to experiment.


The product he chose to use was a two-part urethane with a clear coat final finish.  The finish was known for its unsurpassed durability and extremely high gloss.


Okay! I waited and continued with my duties. In the last days of my work, I got to see the carpenters putting everything up. Room by room, they installed the doors and the trim. Then the body shop guys sprayed the last coat of clear coat.


We had a party upon completion of the project. And we got to witness the end result. It was beyond words.


THE DOORS! I’m not kidding. You could see yourself. When you walked along the casing or baseboard, you could see your reflection as you walked by. Not only that: This interior finishing had the most durable finish I had ever seen.


When I talked to the owner, he said: “I want my shop to be the only one of its kind. I want it to be perfect. I don’t care how long it takes. And money is no object.”


By the way, he invited shop owners from all over the area to the party. So they could admire the work done on his body shop. And, I even got to take a bow.



Creative results are often the harmonious blend of the norm with the impossible.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting It: The Art of Using Paint and Varnish Remover

Removing paint from a surface can be done in several ways. Power tooling and abrasive cleaning are just two. Sand dry media blasting can be used to remove a large amount of paint effectively. But, it’s a rather involved process equipment-wise.


The removal of paint using a chemical method in that it lifts the paint from the surface in a far less labor intensive manner. Basically, you have to put up with the smell.


Below is a list of items you will need:


  1. Chemical stripper, paste or liquid. (I recommend Air Craft Stripper or Bix brand.)
  2. Lacquer thinner – for residue removal and as an aid to drying.
  3. Assorted brushes – stainless steel and nylon.
  4. Steel wool – # 1-3.
  5. Scotch pads – coarse.
  6. Rubber gloves -Neoprene.


The effectiveness of a remover depends on several things. They center on time, saturation of said surface, and type of film to be removed.


Below are some parameters to  go by:


  1. Determine basic film thickness or number of layers. In part, this will determine what type of remover to use: mild, medium, industrial strength or mastic barrier stripper. For qualified persons only.


  1. If you can, determine what type of material it is that you need to remove. This too will help you determine the remover type.


  1. Determine the surface’s level of saturation, test the material by using a small sample of stripper or nail polish remover. This will tell you how easily the material softens. Note: If, after applying the test, nothing bubbles or wrinkles, then the chances are that the material in question will require the strongest stripper you can find.


  1. As a general rule, when the remover test is applied, determine the time it takes for the surface material to alligator or wrinkle.


Rule of thumb: After applying remover:


  1. Surface wrinkles appear in 30 seconds or less: very easy to remove; use nylon brush.
  2. Surface wrinkles appear in 3 minutes or less: Scrape surface, reapply remover.
  3. Surface wrinkles appear in 5-10 minutes or longer: Use stronger stripper.


Methodology for using paint and varnish remover:


  1. Wear appropriate protective gear and clothing – eg. long pants, long sleeved shirt, gloves, and eye protection. I consider the eyes safety and gloves the priority.


  1. Work in well ventilated area. Set up fan to move fresh air in. If possible, work outside.


  1. Remove all hardware from object, as required: handles, knobs and so forth.


  1. Liberally apply stripper, covering surface with an even thickness.


  1. When paint or clear finish film starts to craze (slightly crack), the chemical is beginning to soften the underlying material. When surface has thoroughly wrinkled, use plastic or metal scrapper to remove top layers.


  1. If more material remains, apply additional remover. And wait the designated time for re-activation. When further wrinkling appears, scrape surface until there is little sight of the paint material.


  1. When you are refinishing stained wood, additional remover must be applied to draw out stain color.


  1. Once that is completed and the wood is dry, a bleach and or lacquer thinner can be used to remove more color and to dry the surface.


  1. After stripping application is completed, wash the surface completely with lacquer thinner. Let dry. Once dry, you can initiate the sanding process.


Using a paint stripper is a process which requires good judgment. The job is a whole lot easier if you can determine the rate at which the material is coming off.


Otherwise, like I have seen, a person can take all day trying to strip the varnish off of a door. They don’t know the proper signs to look for. Soon they become frustrated, even impatient, possibly upset.


FINAL TIP: Start with a small project or surface. Take your time. Work carefully. Respect both the characteristics of the surface, and the components of the remover. And, you’ll do fine.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Working with Toxic Painting Chemicals

Protecting oneself from chemical exposure is the key to enjoying a long working life. In the coatings industry this is particularly important since coatings and paint materials contain any number of harmful components. With what they are designed to do, they have to. Paints must withstand the weather, corrosion, rigorous abrasion, and the penetrating rays of the sun.


Paint manufacturers and the chemists do their parts in helping to ensure the lasting quality and endurance of paint.


The painter is the one who applies a coating for a specific situation. Therefore, he is the one subject to the conditions produced in applying the material.


This is to inform you that you are in charge of what and how you are exposed to.


Here’s an example: You are assigned to paint the ceiling deck of a retail store. You assess the situation and realize there is certain equipment you will need. Namely a spray pump, fluid line, a spray gun, and possibly plastic to cover what doesn’t get painted.


If you are a seasoned professional, then you also know you must protect yourself. You know this because you have prior experience with the product you are going to use. The paint is composed of various inorganic solids and evaporative solvents which are dangerous to one’s health. But, that’s what the job calls for.


Under most circumstances, most anyone would say, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Figure out how you can paint the ceiling without becoming seriously ill. This was a major problem in the early 1900’s when there was lead in the paint, and painters had virtually no breathing protection. Their life expectancy was often shorter.


Today, however, the toxicity of the various paint chemicals has met its match. If the painter “works smart”, there is no longer a reason for him to suffer.


This is what’s available to the painter and to everyone serious about their health:


  1. Self- Enclosed Breathing Apparatus. Similar to what firefighters and scuba divers use, it provides the optimum conditions for breathing in a toxic environment. It is composed of a compressed oxygen air tank and a facial mask or a complete helmet.


  1. An Inorganic Vapor Respirator. This is the painter’s most universal tool next to the brush and spray gun. It is a face mask design containing filter cartridges which remove substances in the air before you inhale. The cartridges become filled with contaminants and must be replaced regularly. Caution: When in an enclosed space, the solvent concentration can build up to a point where the cartridges cannot prevent the solvent vapor from coming through. If you know this before hand, opt for the Self-Enclosed breathing system.


  1. Air Flow Mask. This is a simple system in which air is supplied to a transparent type bag mask. The incoming air blows through the mask providing you with breathable air, as well as blowing through an opening the size of your mouth and eyes. This current of air keeps any dust and overspray from entering. It is not recommended for keeping out high evaporative solvent vapor.


  1. Full Body Suit. It is a thin cloth suit which can be used under many conditions. A mechanic could use one to keep the grease and oil off of him. For the painter, it prevents paint overspray, paint platter and a minimal amount of solvents from coming in contact with his skin. In this, it keeps the chemical from being absorbed out into the bloodstream. The body suit is very important to have on hand.


  1. Head Sock, Eye Protection and Gloves. These are accessory items that provide additional protection. They are one of the best precautions you can take, because they protect vital areas. Sometimes these items are taken for granted. You may take them off and forget to put them back on because you’re so busy. Big mistake!


I once was working on a wood striping project, when my gloves became dissolved up by the solvent. I kept on working without them.


Later, when I had finished, I saw that my hands were extremely dry. I then thought to myself, “I wonder how much of that solvent made it into my bloodstream and into my brain. I felt a little queasy and I was wearing a respirator. See what can happen?


Recommendations: Be your own advocate. It’s your health that will suffer if you aren’t.


* When first starting to work with a product, read the manufacturer’s label where it concerns

safety precautions.

*My own personal advice: Have a box or container in your vehicle in which to store only safety


*Always keep a spare set of respirator cartridges. When you can’t find any, you’re likely to

keep working.

*Some products are against the law for use to consumers. This means they are even more toxic.


When working with paints, coatings, and solvents, toxicity is self evident. Prepare yourself so you will live to paint another day, and not one in which your family loses you.



Toxic exposure is everyone’s business on the job.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

See: Real Simple’s August 2016 “How to Paint (Just About) Anything”

RealSimple August 2016 Photo

Article Photographs by Christopher Griffith, Prop Styling by Ariana Salvato, Illustrations by Toby Neilan

Real Simple’s August 2016 issue features a 10-page spread, “How to Paint (Just About) Anything.”*


Check it out. Whether you’re a professional, card carrying painter/decorator, or a DIY painter.

You may pick up a few new tips, or refresh ones that you haven’t thought about lately.





The “How to Paint…” article features:


  1. Stunningly clear “Paint tester app (free)” photo, page. 151.
  2. Overview of types of paints, finishes, applications and supplies, and “helpful helpers.”
  3. Capsule-sized instructions on computing prepping and priming quantities needed
  4. 30-second tips on coating trims, ceilings, floors, front doors, and kitchen cabinetry.
  5. Mini-tutorial on “How to Roll the Right Way.”
  6. Quick steps for painting special surfaces such as brick, metal, laminate, ceramic tile.
  7. Quick tips for panting indoor and outdoor furniture.
  8. A few consumer problem and solution scenarios.
  9. Simple, essential steps for cleaning up tools after completing a project.
  10. Direction tips for deciding what to do with leftover paint.


The copy is clean, concise and easy-to-read. The layout is easy-to-follow. The full-color photos and illustrations of products, supplies and tools are small, very clear and detailed.


“The Paint Experts,” who served as advisors for the article, include:


  • Katherine Kay McMillan, coauthor, Do-It-Yourself Painting for Dummies.
  • Carl Minchew, VP/color innovation and design, Benjamin Moore.
  • Chris Richter, Sr. merchant/interior paint, The Home Depot.
  • Lucianna Samu, color and DIY expert, paint educator, Benjamin Moore and Aubuchon Hardware.
  • Brian Santos, “the Wall Wizard,” author and industry expert.
  • Cheri Sparks, owner, A Painting Company, Denver, Colorado.
  • Stephanie Tuliglowski, artist/decorator, Joliet, Illinois.
  • Dustin Van Fleet, interior designer/owner of Funk Living, Tifton, Georgia.
  • Rick Watson, Dir./product information, Sherwin Williams.
  • Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson/Paint Quality Institute, div. of Dow.


* Written by Amanda Lecky, Photographs by Christopher Griffith, Prop Styling by Ariana Salvato, Illustrations by Toby Neilan; Pages 148-157. Real Simple: Life Made Easier is published by Time, Inc.;



Pro painters and decorators tend to learn something new about their craft every day.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” today.

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 for Fun: Curbside Recycling Contest

An Indiana town ran a curbside recycling contest. The block of residents that did the best job at recycling the most discard items during the one month period would win a month’s free garbage service. That’s every household on the winning block.


An 81-year old grandmother got the idea. Her visiting teenage granddaughter found a wicker nightstand and the curb, and redecorated it in the grandparents’ garage.


How many other useable things were being thrown out, both of them wondered? So, that Sunday afternoon, the teen drove Grandma around town. And, they took a look at all of the stuff that people were putting to the curb, for garbage pickup the next day.


Grandma’s idea related more to the adage, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” than sharply reducing the town’s volume of garbage.


Some interesting things happened during the run of the contest.


1.  The curbs were free of discarded furniture, lamps, rugs, housewares, hardware, small appliances, clothes, books, and toys. So the weekly garbage pick ups were much lighter.

2. Paint and construction supply sales shot up.

3. Hardware sales skyrocketed.

4. Local sores couldn’t keep work and utility gloves in stock.

5. The two grocery stores sold a record quantity of gallons of water, boxes of snack bars, fresh fruit, packaged veggie trays, trail mixes, etc.6.

6. Both restaurants experienced a sharp increase in carry-out orders, and a sharp decrease in eat-in customers.

7. Sunday attendance at all five churches increased, while participation in evening and weekend activities dropped.

8. At the only service-convenience store, all sales increased – including gas.

9. And, every handyman, carpenter, plumber, and painter in town was bombarded with “how-to” questions.


Our cousin’s Easter 2016 e-letter reprinted the news story about the contest in their town. Also featured were “block” photos of some of the recycled discards.


Easter night, my cousin’s son called with a “painter’s” question:

“How do you refinish guestroom furniture? I picked up two complete sets by our hotel’s dumpster…”


“First thing? Thoroughly vacuum out your garage floor.”


I knew that he’d be fine with that. It had been his sister that had swept out their Grandma’s garage, to recycle that wicker nightstand.



Painters recycle surfaces every day. Repairing, prepping and refinishing. Renewing their use.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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

Coating Tips for Warranty-Covered Surfaces and Products

I was tempted. A friend wanted me to “change the surface color” of one section of exterior siding bordering a new wood deck and spa.  No thanks! The siding was under a 15-year warranty.


Another friend wanted me to paint over the clear glass on each of his security system units.I thought about, even experimented by, custom mixing, then painting on a similar piece of glass.

Final advice: I wouldn’t advise it. The security system and units were under warranty.


Cardinal rule: Never paint the surface of any pre-finished product under warranty.

Examples: Exterior siding, security lighting systems, woods, metals, certain roofing, appliances.



  1. Always apply coatings or finishes according to manufacturer’s recommendations.


  1. Always provide the proper surface preparation.


  1. Do not apply a finish on an unstable surface. Examples: Hot, cold, too rough.


  1. Do not apply finishes over incompatible coatings. Result: Early paint failures.


  1. Make sure the primer and finish combinations are compatible.


  1. Do not use paint to alter a product, which at some time you may need or want to return.



Coating warranty-covered surfaces and products calls for special vigilance, and a keen eye.


Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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

Painter’s Tips: Adapting for the Environment


It is easy to paint, when the environmental conditions are optimal. The sun is out; and the air is dry and moderately cool.


On many occasions, painting must be done in less than suitable conditions. It may be overcast, humid, or confined.


Some of it is a matter of choice. Also, the pressure to get the job done promptly.


The ability to adapt to environmental changes and conditions allows a painter much greater flexibility, that he or she might not see in set conditions.




TIP 1. When work is to be done outdoors, and whenever possible, select days that allow for the paint to dry properly, and you to work efficiently.

Example: I’ve worked under humid conditions before only to see the paint run off the walls. The employer ignored recommendations to wait till conditions had improved.


TIP 2. It is possible to enhance your working environment. Wear a hat when working in the sun.


TIP 3. When working indoors, use a portable fan or air conditioner to improve air circulation.


TIP 4. Some conditions, coupled with certain products, require the use of an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.


TIP 5: The driest possible air is essential for painting. At times, however, it is not possible.


TIP 6. Minimize toxic exposure by wearing protective head-to-toe clothing, gloves and safety goggles. Also, use a organic vapor respirator/fresh air supply system.


TIP 7. Limit skin and breathing/respiratory exposure. Especially, chemicals, industrial solvents, and mold and mildew.


TIP 8. Provide adequate ventilation, when working with chemicals. Even latex paints can cause breathing problems, and oxygen levels in the blood to decrease.


Working conditions can be altered in such a way as to not affect the quality or productivity of your work.


KEY TIP: Take some time, forethought, and planning to improve where you work. And, to maximize the safety and health conditions in that work environment. On a daily basis.



Everyone in a painter’s  work space plays a role in the health and safety of that environment.


Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s 28 Tips for Adapting to Ability Changes


On a warehouse store project, I needed to paint miles of stripes on the concrete floors. Using a small supply cart, with lockable wheels, was the most effective and low-stress way to get it done.


A painter’s ability changes with age, injury and illness.


So what’s new? You will still be able to plan and carry out a job very successfully.  And, when something not in your control is added to the job? Adapt and adopt!


KEY TIP: Know what your abilities are before you begin a new project, or sign on with a new employer. And, “suit up” – prepare – accordingly.


KEY TIP: Find creative ways to perform the work.


KEY TIP: Get 21st century savvy in project scheduling, completing under budget, and meeting – even exceeding – your employer’s and customer’s/guests quality expectations.




1. Is pain involved? Can you take it? The no. 1 deal breaker.

Example: Periodic knee pain from a college football injury hampers your endurance.

TIP: Change the way you stand, walk, bend, climb, etc.

TIP: Apply common strain-relieving techniques, taught by occupational and physical therapists.

TIP: Wear a light-weight, unnoticeable brace when you’ll be using those knees a lot.

TIP: Follow preventive and strengthening strategies recommended by sports’ medicine pros.


2. Is accessibility involved? Are you mobile? Can you drive, walk, reach, bend over, climb?

Example: You can’t reach surface areas that require unusual body positions for long periods.

TIP: Improve how you reach – eg. turn your upper torso differently.

TIP: Improvise. Find creative ways to reach the surface – eg. bendable double extension poles.

TIP: Build a small cart, with wheels, to roll along for hours, and help get painting done.


3. Is dexterity involved? Can you hold a paint brush for an extended period?  Can you manipulate it for an entire day?

Example: It will take you all day to brush on a special coating over a large exterior surface.

TIP: Build up those muscles, joints and tendons with break-time and off-work exercises.

TIP: Apply thin coat of muscle/joint cream to hands and wrists under inexpensive cotton gloves.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that maximize grip and free-motion, and minimize strain.

TIP: Outfit your brush handle with a removable grip pad, designed for that purpose.


4. Is dexterity and grip involved? Can you hold a spray gun all day, and spray effectively?

Example: You need to spray out the exterior corridors and walkways of all guest buildings.

TIP: Schedule 2-minute relaxation “un-grip it” break every 30 minutes.

TIP: Do “finger flexing” every 45-60 minutes, or more often if possible.

TIP: Take advantage of between times – walking to-and-from, standing in line, talking on phone to boss or supplier, eating lunch, etc.

TIP: Outfit your spray gun with a removable grip pad, designed for spray gun handles.

TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that are washable. (Most affordable are sold online.)


5. Is a chronic illness involved? Can you work around its symptoms and medication side effects?

Example: Your asthma kicks in big time when you’re painting areas with heavy toxic mold.

TIP: Use an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.

TIP: Take regular breaks, and leave the area. For at least 5 minutes each time.

TIP: Pick your paint times, as much as possible. Sun-exposure, no/minimal moisture.

TIP: Work with an oscillating fan running – lower speed, clean air flow.


Hopefully, you know your own body better than anyone. That is, if you’re really living inside that intricately-designed structure.


TIP: Periodically, tune in to what it’s telling you.

* Aches, pains, cramping, twitches, burns, blurriness, fatigue, etc. – all messengers.


TIP: Study your own job, and what it entails.

* Movements, positions, extensions, loads, time lengths, etc.


TIP: Find easy ways to adapt to those changes with yourself.

* Convenient, convertible, un-costly.


TIP: Experiment. Try a different method, position, grip, device, etc.

* And, if one doesn’t work for you, try another. And another.


TIP: Seek input from others that may have tips that will work for you.

* Painters in the trade longer than you can be superb, and private, advisors.



Adapt to change, and change how you adapt to avert extinction.



Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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


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