Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘Paintshop practices’

Paintshop Policies and Practices, Part 1: Communications

A former U. S. official’s unprofessional, and potentially unlawful, use of personal electronic devices and addresses for official/ business purposes should remind everyone else to watch their steps.

In all areas of life, including our work lives, certain communication rules must be followed. And certain precautions must be taken to protect the privacy and integrity of all data and information placed into our hands. And, under our watch.

Five Polices to Keep Your Communications Static-Clear, Squeaky Clean

1. Use only company/employer-issued mobile and electronic devices to conduct and carry out all work-related communications via electronic means.

Example: Politely turn down a chief engineer’s request to use your personal cell phone
for work-time communications and texting.

Note: Many companies do not allow staff members to use their cell phones at work, except during breaks. For emergency use, you need authorization from your supervisor, or someone else in management.

2. Use only company/employer-authorized e-mail addresses, social networking pages, web sites, blog sites, etc. to send, exchange, and receive work-related communications, data, records, etc.

Example: Your personal-professional electronic media sites such as,, (or .org), are hands-off for work-related/company/employer purposes.

3. Even during off-hours, keep all work/business and personal communications activities, including electronic, separate from each other.

Example: Insist that your employer furnish and expense out any work cell phone, I-Pad, tablet, notebook, and other devices that you need to use during off-hours.

4. With your employer, set up authorized and secured the electronic devices, websites, e-mail accounts and addresses, fax numbers, blog sites, etc. that you need to conduct their business whenever and wherever you need to do so.

Example: Even on vacation, reserve the use of personal electronic devices, sites, pages, links, etc. for your personal use. No exceptions!

5. Do your Paintshop scheduling, estimating, ordering, invoicing, phoning, texting, faxing, messaging, project managing, banking, recordkeeping, etc. on company/employer-owned or leased devices only.

Example: Technically, any paintshop device must be checked-in and stored at your department, or other designated spot, each time that your shift ends. This includes credit and debit cards.

Five Practices to Protect Your Job-and your Reputation

1. Don’t share or publicize your access codes and passwords for any mobile or electronic device that you use for your work.

Example: Even if your boss and/or teammates need to use your device(s) when you’re off duty, make certain the devices are set up so your boss and each teammate has his or her own access code and password. No exception!

2. To limit another’s access to your inputs and content, have your employer install security programs on all devices that you use.

Example: If no one else needs to use certain data, files, schematics, estimates/comps, paint requisitions, etc., still see that your boss sets up every device that you use as company-secured property.

3. Only take work home after or off your shift if (a) you have authorization to do so; (b) you have left an identical set of materials at work; and, (c) you have the work stored on a company-owned/leased device with tight security protection. And backup.

Example: Any materials removed from your place of employment are considered 100 percent company-owned property. Even if and when removed temporarily.

4. Follow a full transparency practice when performing any work-related communication task, project, transmission, etc. – whether oral, written, fax, computer, IPad, mobile phone, audio-visual, etc.

Example: Be ready and able to share and justify any part or aspect of any work-related communication that you handle, generate, transmit, receive, etc. Regardless how brief, incidental or unimportant it may seem to you, or another person.

5. Say, write, ext, post, record, tape, film, or notate nothing that you do not want to, and/or cannot explain to more than one other person. A teammate that has your back, for instance.

Example: Holding yourself accountable first helps you approach all work-related communications with an honest and accountable commitment to others. Also to both short-term objectives and long-term goals, the bigger picture, and the greater mission.

A painter’s job description requires that he or she put himself or herself out there on a regular basis. It also requires that the painter communicate in ways that matter, and that will stand up to scrutiny.

Closing note: Working with different contractors/employers, professionals and tradespersons, crews/teams, vendors/suppliers, and, customers/clients is great. And, the opportunity can provide any professional painter and decorator with benefits that are priceless, transferable, and timeless.

Be able and willing to justify all work-related communications to anyone.

Thank you for serving others, and for accepting this link to “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Expanding your space

Every Paintshop Has Space to Expand. Somewhere!


It falls under the lead painter’s job description. And, it requires every engineering team member to keep it in shape.


Usually, the paintshop space is smaller than the volume of things that must be housed there. The amount of open floor space is limited. The size of the area available for in-shop work must compete with the space needed for traffic flow; moving supplies, tools and equipment in and out; and tool and equipment maintenance.


Thirteen ways to stretch your paintshop’s space


1. Every three months, take photos of the paintshop. Print and post on the department bulletin board. How does the place look? Can you see where improvements are needed?


2. Monthly, clean house! Get rid of everything that (a) does not belong there, (b) is no longer used, and (c) is too dangerous and unsafe to store there.


3. TIP: Discard each item properly and safely, according to MSDS instructions, EPA standards, and your department’s/company’s policies. No exceptions!


4. At the end of every day/first shift, pick up after yourselves.

A. Put supplies, tools and equipment in their proper storage places.

B. Tightly close/seal all product cans and containers; place them in designated areas.

C. Into trash receptacle, throw used sandpaper sheets, rags, disposable masks and gloves, etc.

D. Close all drawers, cupboard doors, fold-outs, etc.

5. Regularly, assess how you are using the paintshop space. What kind of space is running short? Shelving, drawers, wall, open work area?


6. On 1-inch to 1-foot grid paper, draw a layout of the painshop.

A. Measure each use area; sketch into its proper place on the layout.

B. Examples: Paint can shelving – 12 ft. long; Hazardous chemical steel cabinet – 6 ft. wide; Closet 1 – 4 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; ladder loft – 6 ft. deep by 8 ft. wide; compressor area – 6 ft. by 6 ft.


7. Jot down which spaces are crammed.

A. Make a note of the items in each of those spaces that can be moved to a bigger storage shed or outbuilding on the property.

B. List the types of items that you will still need more space to store.


8. Go back to your gridded layout.

A. Where do you have room to make more room? For what kind of inventory?

B. Measure the running feet available to add another shelving section.

C. Measure the area where you can fit a second, smaller cabinet.

D. How can the tool and supply drawers be re-compartmentalized? Cut clutter.

E. Do you have any open wall space, even 4 feet long?

1. Can you build in a counter there? What about installing a few shelves above?

2. What about building shelving underneath, or adding cabinetry (with doors)?

9. Keep a chart of what improvements you want to make; the supplies and estimated costs for each; proposed location for each. (I code each into the layout, using letters. Examples: SB= Shelving below); HTS=Hand tool storage; P=Priority (eg ASAP, by December).


10. Keep your chief engineer in the loop. Brainstorm with him or her about available budget, necessity of addition, scheduling.


11. Get everyone that uses the paintshop involved in its upkeep.


12. Regularly, post messages on the department’s bulletin white board. Keep them upbeat and to the point.


13. Let your teammates and boss know that you appreciate their efforts to help keep the paintshop organized, neat, safe, and useable.



Motivating Tip: In the dark… in an emergency, how easily could you, or your boss, find something in the paintshop?


Look at it this way: Your paintshop says a lot about you as a professional. How you approach your work. And, the quality of the job you leave behind each time.



Keep your paintshop in top shape, and it will help you do your job right – and in timely manner.



Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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




1. Matching paint color for brush-ups.

TIP: Use the same paint made by the same manufacturer as used on that surface before.


2. Removing toxic Black mold infestations.

TIP: Use bleach and hydrogen peroxide mixture.


3. Cleaning dried paint from brushes

TIP: Latex/water-based. Soak brush in paint/varnish remover for 15 minutes only.

TIP: Oil-based. Soak brush in lacquer thinner for 1 hour.


4. Removing paint splatters from carpeting.

TIP: Use lacquer thinner, acetone. Caution: First test on splatters in least visible spot.


5. Camouflaging dents in the wall.

TIP: Feather edge compound. Match existing paint texture. Test with various tools.


6. Covering up major damages to headboards and table tops.

TIP; Use colored wax pencils; markers for scratches.

TIP: Apply colored varnish or clear finish.


7.Refinishing guest room furniture.

TIP: Stain bare spots. Touch up varnish or paint finish.

TIP: Clean all wax, polish or grease.


8.Revitalizing furniture in public areas.

TIP: Sand item. Then completely paint or apply new clear finish.


9. Drawing attention away from surfaces/areas in worn condition.

TIP: Paint some areas with accent colors.

TIP: Thoroughly clean surfaces which are worn.


10. Upgrading area’s appearance by creating accent finishes on surfaces.

TIP: Using least used and strongest hue/tint/shade in color scheme, apply a faux design to smallest wall in area.

TIP: Create dado/wainscoting effect by faux finishing part of small wall in area.





1. Matching paint color for touch-ups.

TIP: Same color, with different sheen, will not match when viewing surface from an angle.

TIP; Don’t use a different manufacturer for same color.

TIP: Don’t try to match surfaces which have oxidized or become faded from sunlight or other elements.


2. Removal of toxic Black mold spores.

TIP: Soap and water will not kill mold spores of fungi.

TIP: Hot water will not kill mold spores.


3. Cleaning dried paint from brushes

TIP: Latex/water-based. Do not soak brush in lacquer thinner, or paint remover.

TIP: Oil-based. Do not use soap and water. Do not use paint remover.


4. Removing paint splatters from carpeting.

TIP: Don’t use paint or varnish remover, or volatile solvent.

TIP: Don’t use carpet cleaner.


5. Camouflaging dents in the wall.

TIP: Don’t try to repair/fix area in one application.

TIP: Don’t use products that are incompatible, especially if it is something which can’t be sanded nor smoothed.


6. Covering up major damage to headboards and table tops.

TIP: Don’t re-stain only.

TIP: Don’t apply new finish without first cleaning surface.


7. Refinishing guest room furniture.

TIP: Don’t touch up with brush; use an air brush.

TIP: Don’t skip sanding between finish coats.

TIP: Don’t use “painter” paint rags to dust surface; use tack cloth.

TIP: Don’t apply color only; top coat with clear finish.


8. Revitalizing furniture in public areas.

TIP: Don’t touch up multiple areas. It will show.

TIP: Don’t use bright colors on the majority of surfaces in the area(s).

TIP: Don’t touch up spots which are bare or rusted.


9. Drawing attention away from surfaces/areas in worn condition.

TIP: Don’t use gloss paint materials. Imperfections will look magnified.

TIP: Don’t use incompatible paint products.


10. Upgrading area’s appearance by creating accent finishes on surfaces.

TIP: Don’t use flat, dull finishes.

TIP: Don’t skip on surface preparation.


FINAL TIP: Keep some kind of simple notebook or log – eg. on your hand-held device. Most professional painters and decorators wish that they’d done so in the past. I remember a few projects when it would have saved me valuable time and hassle, if I’d been able to refer back to some notes. Rather than, under stress, try to pick it out of my memory bank.



Painters: Thank you for making it a part of your standard practice

to seek out better, safer and easier ways to do your job.


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

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

Stress Management in Poorly Managed High-Stress Environments

Managing your own stress is very doable. You concentrate on your own job, how you do it – and how you relate to teammates. While you’re doing your job.


Some workers, including painters, switch their priorities: people first, and their job second.


Whichever works for you, stress-wise, is fine. Hopefully, it will be fine with management, too.

As long as you get your job done right.


Tips to manage your own stress


1. Identify what is stressing you out at work.


2. Decide which stressors you can control. Which stressors do others control?


3. Create a flexible plan for changing those controllable stressors.


Example: Tense workday start? Get to work ten minutes early. Relax before going into gear.

Example: Headache, tense muscles? Walk whenever possible. It relaxes your muscles and brain, and improves your outlook. Note: So what if you need to wear your tool belt, and/or pull along a small supply cart.

Example: Isolation of job? Say “hello” or acknowledge teammates that you run into during the day. You do not need to stop and visit. They have their own jobs and time schedules to keep.

Example: Out-of-loop supervision? Allow 15 minutes a day to catch up with your supervisor. Separate from the time spent working together on a project or order.

Example: “Self-sufficiency syndrome”? Ask for or accept a little teammate help, at least once a week. It helps both of you feel like you belong.

Example: Teammate support? Offer to help a teammate out, at least twice a week. It helps both of you to feel needed.


4. Create an open plan for approaching stressors that are out of your control.


Example: Slow delivery of essential supplies? Let the purchasing manager know why you need certain supplies A.S.A.P. Eg, No-Traffic Zone paint; pool skirt tile grout and sealer.

Example: Frequent toxic mold exposures daily? Offer supervisor and housekeeping a clean-up schedule, that, respectfully, limits your daily heavy exposure to once a day.

Example: Manager criticism? Ask for a 10-15 minute appointment to discuss privately. Quietly and politely, decline and walk away from any public confrontation. It can be done.

Example: Manager and supervisor disagreement over your task? Suggest a three-way break time chat. First, listen to each of them express concerns and ideas for resolving. Then, offer a compromise, or your solution(s), if still relevant.


Your work stress can be managed simply and promptly. Whether its causes or triggers start with you – or someone or something outside of your control. The real choice is always yours!


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

Decide to be wise. Develop common sense and good judgment. And, be kind.

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

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





Tag Cloud