Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘paneling’

PAINTING AND DECORATING: THE HOTEL PENTHOUSE

A Central Florida hotel gave me the choice of three redecorating projects:

 

  1. larger penthouse,
  2. front lobby, or
  3. outdoor children’s play-town.

 

I opted for the penthouse. The other two projects were put on hold by the property management company.

 

Why the penthouse project got my vote: The diversity of creative decorating opportunities.

 

  1. Interior work – A/C, controlled environment.
  2. Fine finishing surfaces: paneling, columns, furniture.
  3. Lots of wallcovering installation, including mural.
  4. Custom color matching: paint-to-patterned wallcoverings.
  5. Faux finishing.
  6. Minimal traffic
  7. Management’s style, commitment and candor.

 

I scheduled the project into twelve main phases:

 

  1. Needs assessment by room, area, square footage, surface conditions, and preparation requirements.
  2. Products, materials, supplies costing-to-budget allotment; selection and coordination; quantity estimating and computation; requisitioning to purchasing.
  3. Wood furniture and woodwork stripping or bleaching.
  4. Wallcovering removal.
  5. Ceilings, walls, doors repairing, patching, filling.
  6. Wood repairing, filling, sanding, sealing.
  7. Ceilings, walls priming.
  8. Woodwork, doors, furniture re-staining and light sanding.
  9. Painting.
  10. Woodwork, doors, furniture finishing.
  11. Wallpaper and mural hanging.
  12. Faux finishing.

 

I was responsible for all aspects of the project except:

 

  1. delivery delays of custom wallcoverings and murals,
  2. purchasing department delays, errors, etc.

 

The one twist: The hotel president’s wife, a retired ASID member, would be included in the selection of the wallcoverings, and murals. In reality, the lady showed up on site once a week during the entire project. She put herself “to work.” She helped whichever hotel maintenance technician may have been assisting me on that day.

 

The project moved right along.
Complete shutdown was needed only two days – carpenter, plumber, tile man. The flooring people installed new carpeting after I completed my work. Note: I waited to re-install the re-finished baseboards until after the flooring was installed.

 

A FEW TIPS FOR ANY SIMILAR PROJECT THAT YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING

 

Before you sign on, you might want to do the following:

 

  1. Find out where the hotel’s purchasing manager orders the bulk of paint products and wallpaper materials.
  2. Clear with management – get it in writing – for YOU to be the person that visits the paint store and communicates with product/material representatives.
  3. Set it up so that YOU are the person that puts together the actual requisition order schedule and lists, for the purchasing manager to follow.
  4. Get a list – in writing – of all other work that will be taking place in the area. See that it includes the approximate “schedule blocks” of work days for every other craftsperson. Examples: carpenters, electricians, plumbers, tile installers, drywall installers.

 

BEST CASE SCENARIO:

 

  1. Hotel management sets it up and authorizes YOU to actually do the ordering from suppliers.
  2. You work under ONE member of management.
  3. You have access to other members of organization – supervisors, managers, staff – as needed.
  4. Feedback from managers is limited, and direct. No filtering through a chain of people.
  5. Project inspections are limited, and conducted by person(s) with authority to assist and act.
  6. “Sightseeing” visits by managers and staff members are kept to minimum, even discouraged.

 

HOW THINGS WENT:

  1. The hotel’s staff was friendly, helpful and totally enthusiastic. Especially the staff painter, and the engineering department, as a whole.
  2. The project came off without any major glitch – eg. shipment delay of custom wallcoverings.
  3. The project came in under budget – a surprise, even to me.
  4. The project was completed one week early. (Another surprise.)
  5. The carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywallers, and tile installers stuck to the master schedule – and theirs. Great teams!
  6. Final inspections came off with only minor changes.
  7. The hotel management company signed off promptly.
  8. The hotel’s principal owner flew in for a final walk-through – and “staff only open house.”

 

Would I pick that “penthouse project” again? Yes! Though it was the first one that I’d worked on solo. And, it was the largest: over 4,000 square feet, including the veranda.

 

TIP FOR TOP QUALITY INTERIOR FINISHERS:

 

Ask around. There’s bound to be a hotel, resort, or residential penthouse somewhere that needs your special, fine touch. If nothing else, offer to help the staff painter get it into shining shape again.

 

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Special thanks to everyone that has helped others do a great job at their chosen work.

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

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

Dream Project: The Billiard Club Restoration

For over twelve years, I’ve toyed with the idea of opening a “Billiard Club.” Most recently in 2013, when a sizeable space became available – in a local small shopping mall.

My only question: Could a billiard hall, located in Osceola County, Florida, generate enough income to sustain itself? To cover basic operating costs: licenses and permits, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes. I never thought about earning enough to cover my own basic living expenses.

A recent job posting reminded me of that dream. In a big way. The expansive resort boasted over 1500 rooms and suites – and featured a “Billiard Club.” Originally designed to replicate the mid-1800s men’s billiard clubs of western Europe.

The private posting stated that the “Billiard Club” was slated for restoration, and some upgrading. And the painter’s first major project would entail (1) repainting all painted surfaces; (2) refinishing all wood paneling, trim and built-ins; (3) installing custom wallcovering – period flock, floral, stripe, frieze – in every room of the club; and (4) hanging a wrap-around mural in the main rotunda.

With a click, I was taken on a virtual tour of the property. My first main focus: that “Billiard Club.” I was neither disappointed nor discouraged at what I saw. If anything, the close-up tour reminded me why I’d chosen painting and decorating instead of medicine.

At every turn and every click, I saw the marks of age, and signs of improper treatment. Unusual considering the exclusivity and location of the resort.

The club’s “lobby” looked drab and tired. Its crimson-on-ivory flocked paper was faded and discolored, also torn in more obscure spots. The fox hunting mural in the “Cloak Room” looked washed out and cleaned inappropriately. The wrap-around mural – a complement to the hunting mural – behind the front desk, showed signs of past major mold and mildew damage. And, cleaning with chemical solutions that had been too strong for old wallpaper.

Views of the individual billiard rooms – five of them – showed signs of surface abuse. Expensive ceiling-to-floor wood paneling – walnut, cherry, ebony – bore water damage, uneven and “spot” re-staining, long scratches, and even gouges (from billiard cues hitting into walls?).

In one room, it looked like sections of the wood chair railing had been scraped with steel wool or a wire brush. Once exquisite wallcoverings had been cut, torn, even frayed. A one-wall mural, that depicted a boat scene on the Siene River, had odd vertical shiny areas. Like clear, yellowed varnish.

The main and largest room – the “Billiard Gallery” – appeared in fairly good condition. Still, the paneling needed restoring. The wallcovering needed to be removed very carefully, then replaced.

The rotunda ceiling mural – actually a hand-painted scene of The Themes River – needed a thorough cleaning before any repairs and restorative painting could be done.

The “Tea Room and Lounge” and the three bathrooms appeared to need the most work. Color-coordinated wallpapers and decorative finishes covered the walls and ceilings of each of these rooms.

In the “Lounge” area, the half-wall cherry paneling and built-in bookcases needed to be stripped, filled, sanded, re-stained, and wax-treated. The burgundy-on-ivory flock paper needed a soft, damp rag cleaning.

The muted forest green houndstooth-patterned wallpaper in each bathroom was very faded and worn – not worth saving. In fact, much of its nubby texture was simply gone. All of the frieze-faux ceiling designs had been damaged by water leaks, in some areas more than others.

As it turned out, neither the “Billiard Club” nor I were to get the opportunity to benefit from each other. About 9 am one morning my letter of interest, resume and photographic samples of my work reached the hands of the resort’s director of engineering and facilities. He called. We discussed our mutual interests and goals – including “billiard clubs.”

On the same day, about 4 pm, he called again. Clearly disheartened. The resort corporation’s president had notified him that, at two that afternoon, the board had voted to (1) close the “Billiard Club” and two restaurants; (2) cut the facilities management staff by one-fourth; and (3) reduce all departmental budgets by 25-30 percent.

The resort painter position was to be eliminated by May 30, 2014. The remaining “maintenance team” would be expected to take care of all paint-related duties and work orders.

On the same day that I drafted this blog, the same director of engineering called again. He said, “I checked you out with a hotelier friend in Miami. He met you when you worked on an Art Deco hotel restoration on Lincoln Avenue. You didn’t mention that in your résumé.”

Trying not to sound complacent, I explained that the project had been done over twelve years ago. His response to that was enlightening. “These resume people and tracking system people are losing people like me a lot of great workers.”

We exchanged a few humorous “billiards” stories. And, we agreed that, the next time I was in his neighborhood, I was to stop in and introduce myself.

I wanted to tell him, “It’s a shame we won’t be able to go upstairs and enjoy a short game of pool – billiards.” But, frankly, I didn’t have the heart to say one word about “The Billiard Club.” That type of conversation was reserved for between friends. Especially at a time like that.      

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