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Posts tagged ‘Paintshop’

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips, Part 1: Be Advised, Be Aware

The people along the east-southeast coastline of Texas are still in shock. Unable to begun their recovery from Category 4 Hurricane Harvey’s direct hit less than two weeks ago. Unable to calculate their devastating losses.


Floridians, on the other hand, just went into their shock-mode on Monday, September 11. (Yes, exactly sixteen years after that September 11.)  Hurricane Irma had hit Florida.


One week earlier – Tuesday, September 5, everyone in all 73-76 counties had been put on high alert by Governor Rick Scott. The National Hurricane Center in Miami had rated Hurricane Irma a Category 4-5. It would arrive in Florida some time between September 8 and 10.




It did not matter which coast the hurricane hit. The state is narrow enough, and Irma’s diameter and circumference were massive enough that, peripherally, it would paralyze a large part of the state.


Between September 8 and 10-11, Hurricane Irma hit every coast of Florida. And, it has paralyzed every county in Florida.


Until the hurricane actually hit The Keys, my sister in Southeast Broward County sat in Irma’s direct path. I was concerned, but not worried.


Before the hurricane reached Puerto Rico, Donna went into high gear. She activated a system that she developed in 1992, as Andrew approached. She is a veteran preparer for and survivor of Category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes.


A lot of people were counting on her to jump right in. She’s responsible for a lot of stores and a lot of workers, and to some extent, the welfare of the workers’ families. She’s answerable to the leaders of an international corporation that had just lost a lot of stores in Southeast Texas.


When it comes to major hurricanes, I tend to listen to my sister more than anyone else. I knew that her advice would come in handy. Hurricane Irma was described as much bigger, much more dangerous than even Andrew had been.


A week ago, I had four big hurricanes under my belt. Until September 9, only the peripherals of hurricane number five – Irma – were supposed to skirt the Orlando area.


I was finishing this blog




I was working at Seralago Hotel and Suites, Kissimmee, when two severe tropical storms caused cyclone-like whip-lashing winds, torrential rains and hundreds of land-hugging tornadoes.


Between August 19 and 21 of 2008, Tropical Storm Fay repeatedly plummeted the area. On June 23 and 24, 2012, Tropical Storm Debby pounced on the area with vengeance.


At the hotel, we took the threat of every potential Florida-bound hurricane and every tropical storm very seriously. Our two top priorities were (1) our guests and staff and (2) the structural areas being used for shelter.


The storms in both 2008 and 2012 left behind extensive wind and rain damage to the exteriors of buildings and around the grounds. It caused heavy water damage to many guest rooms; the main lobby, kitchen and food court, and public restrooms; and conference center. Also, it damaged both indoor and outdoor recreation areas including both swimming pools and the gazebo. It ravaged our beautiful gardens, nature sanctuary, and walkways. It uprooted flowering shrubs, bushes, trees, and vines indigenous to Florida Tropics – and the Caribbean.


Every person and pet on the property made it fine.


Everyone there helped it come out better than worse. Management, especially department directors and supervisors, pulled together. They led the staff of over 100 in disaster preparedness, survival and recovery that saved many lives, and the property. They followed a plan, somewhat similar to the one that my sister created.


Major hurricanes – major disasters – deserve our full attention from preparation-to-recovery. They warrant our participation. They require our joint commitment to see things through.


“This is going to be a very long haul,” said a long-time resident of Lake Jackson, right after Hurricane Harvey plummeted Southeast Texas. An old classmate of my mother, the man choked as he talked on a mobile phone. He and his wife were returning early from their summer home in New Mexico.




Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 2: “THE DIRTY SIDE OF THE STORM”


Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 3: In the Paintshop


Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 4: Creating a Make-Shift Shelter


Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 5: Packing for Riding Out Storm


Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 6: Securing Inside of Your Home


 THE BOTTOM LINE: First protect lives, Second protect valuables. Third, if there’s any time left, protect whatever else really matters, most essential things first.



Major disasters swoop in, then leave. People and pets are meant to stick around awhile.

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Stay alert, smart and safe. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Equipping Engineering Techs with Right Paint Colors

My biggest staff painter challenge was ensuring that the other engineering techs to use the correct paint products for handling “painter” work orders on my days off. Mainly touching up surfaces in guest rooms and visible public areas.


They had neither the “eye” nor the time to match paint products in the shop to the paint colors of smaller areas needing repainting.


Yes, it was easy for them to find all of the cans of yellow latex paint, for instance. A paint chip was displayed on the lid of each container. And, it was easy to identify which cans of yellow paint had been used in the guest room originally in Building Two.


However, it was difficult to select the exact matching tint of yellow latex needed to touch up a particular spot or wall in a particular room. One reason: Over time, the original paint color on the wall would have faded or discolored. Why: Due to sun exposure, repeated household chemical cleanings and/or surface damage.


In most instances, after returning from days off, I’d quietly re-touch up the “touch-ups.” No big deal was made about the error in paint color selection. Nothing was said about the added time that it took to back pedal, and redo painting work orders. And, I’d never say a word to the tech about the chief engineer’s or general manager’s related complaints.


Painters, here’s one method to simplify the paint color selection job for your techy teammates.


  1. Go through all of the paint cans in the shop.
  2. Create a chart showing a chip for every paint can you have.
  3. Take the paint chip chart along as you make your daily rounds – eg. guest rooms, public areas, activity rooms, offices.
  4. Match each chip to the surface/area that it matches, and notate information.
  5. Back in the shop, add surface, area/wall and room information to every paint can label in the place. Write date that you matched the paint chip to surface.
  6. Group and shelve the paint cans according to building and room/area.
  7. Put up a small “poster” to identify those products by area.
  8. Make up a quick-reference wall chart for your engineering teammates.
  9. Give each guy a little one-on-one tour of the paint can setup. Show how to use the set up to their advantage.


NOTE: My engineering teammates made it clear that they did not like the hassle they got from the bosses, hotel management and guests  about the use of the wrong paint products and/or colors.


FOOTNOTE: You are bound to run into this type of problem. It really can’t be prevented totally.


BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: Do your best to keep the paint products in the paintshop organized and easy to access. Also, go easy on your teammates. They’re just trying to cover for you when you’re unable to be there.



Train your engineering teammates in the paint touch-up methods that work for everyone.



Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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


Periodically, a creature of nature wandered into the hotel’s engineering department – and the paintshop.


One morning, I surprised a small green iguana stretched out on the workbench. Another day, a large raccoon sat inside an open metal cabinet. During a big rain storm, an Amazon parrot had taken refuge on a shelf of spray paint cans. One afternoon, I returned to unload the golf cart, and surprised two mice, contentedly nibbling on food crumbs dropped by a teammate.


A few visitors were not welcome. And, they were corralled and escorted from the premises by skilled wild creature-handling teammates. A huge rat. A poisonous snake. A baby alligator. A young white tiger cub.


Our main objective was to keep the area safe for anyone that might enter. Our other objective was to promptly relocate the creatures to more likeable and suitable spots.


Among ourselves, department teammates discussed ways to keep our area creature free. We decided that most of the visitors were harmless, and actually pleasurable. Besides, the ccreatures never damaged anything, or caused any costly mess.


My last day of work, a huge white cockatoo met me in the paintshop. He looked on as I completed my checklist of things to do to help out the new man. I enjoyed the bird’s company. We “talked” a little. We were the only ones there. It was a Saturday.


Shortly before clocking out, I got him into an empty box. And, I escorted him to a large area of beautiful foliage on the neighbor’s property. He watched me climb into my Blazer, and drive off.


I didn’t know about him. But he ended my day on a very positive note.



Wild creatures have a mystifying way of taming the species called humans.



Thank you, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


Copyright 2016. 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.

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