Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘Residential painting’

WHY PAINT?

Artist Bob Ross used to say, “Painting should not be agony.”

I agree.

Over the years, I’ve met and/ or worked with construction industry painters that fit into one of these categories:

1. Some painters loved what they were doing; and it showed in their work, and their attitude about life.

Example: “Bob, the Painter,” my father, smiled a lot on the job. And often he stopped to admire others’ workmanship… to watch a bird in a nearby tree…to double check his own work.

2. Some painters, overall, liked to paint, and seemed to be fine with the likelihood that they’d be doing it for years in the future.

Example: Jesse hummed on the job… drank, and tried to share, cantaloupe juice made by his wife… took on any task that needed to be done.

3. Some painters liked to paint and did a good job; but they wanted to do something else career-wise, and to earn a living.

Example: Larry and Wayne wanted much more independence than a foreman painter had. So both went into contracting, and demonstrated that they were okay with the added responsibility that entrepreneurship required.

4. Some painters really didn’t like to paint; but they lacked the will, nerve and resources to try anything else.

Example: “W” dreamed of doing something where he could visit more with others on the job, and get paid for it. But, he had no real support system in the U. S. to help him try something new.

5. Then there were a few painters that had an intense dislike for painting, and much associated with the trade. And, increasingly, they demonstrated their disdain and discomfort.

Example: W.R. complained about everything, it seemed. He showed up intoxicated… violated safety rules…put crew members at risk…misused products.

What each of those painters knew about their jobs was complemented, or contradicted, by their respective attitudes about painting, and their own lives.

Which painter would you like to work with on a regular basis?

Into which category do you think that others might place you?

Into which category do you believe that you really fit?

Something to think about, right?

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Whatever you do for a living, including painting, give it your 100 percent at least 85 percent of the time. The remaining 15 percent? Take a good look at how you’re doing, and why.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: On Being a Paint Superintendent, or a Boss

One time, I jumped all over my father for coming down hard on a new painter.

Dad said, “He deserved it.”

I said, “No, he deserved some respect. He deserved a chance to learn, then to get it right.”

Less than fifteen minutes later, my dad took the new crew member aside. He apologized and showed the man the correct way to do the job that he’d been assigned. Then Dad stepped away.

It was the first and last time that I ever heard him yell at a crew member. And, after he died, many painters told me that they had never heard him do that.

Yes, he raised his voice. Yes, he called out the painters when they deserved it. Yes, he corrected them. And yes, he even told them what to do.

But, when a painter was not getting it – or not getting it right, Dad would help him rectify the situation. Often cutting into his own time schedule that was already under tight constraints.

When more than one painter was not getting it at the same time, Dad stopped everything. And he conducted a little, on-site crash course. Whether the problem was a new product, a stubborn piece of equipment, a resistant surface, uncooperative weather conditions, etc., he showed the entire crew that was there what needed to be done. Or not.

During Memorial Day week-end, a retired and former member of our old crew e-mailed me the following…

“Bob, your dad was a commanding force wherever he went. Wherever he stood. I knew him for over forty years. We joined IBPAT (IUPAT) about the same time.

“He was a man to be reckoned with, but never a man that insisted on it. He knew the painting trade backward and forward, inside and out. He was so blamed skilled and experienced in the trade that he could do anything that he tackled. A top rate superintendent or foreman, a ‘take charge’ person that everyone respected…”

Working under my dad was overwhelming at times. His six-foot, 200-pound frame served him well for the job he was given in life. It partnered well with the way that he needed to run a job, paint crew, powerful piece of equipment, or even dealings with a client or architect.

And the nickname “Moose” suited him like a custom pair of whites. His caribou-like walk sort of shook the floorboards when he charged through a job site. More than once, I tensed up waiting for him to bellow.

Some painters and decorators are cut out to be superintendents or bosses. You just look at them, and you know that. You see it. You hear it. You sense it in the way that they approach even basic, mundane tasks. With a unique command of and presence in everything they do.

One more thing: Commanding forces such as my father often attract equally commanding forces. People just like them. In my father’s case, it happened to be very successful entrepreneurs and founders of established enterprises. Men and women whose natural inclination was to take charge… to assume responsibility… to accept accountability for how things turned out.

Being a superintendent or a big boss was never my thing. Thankfully. For one thing, I don’t know if my father could have taken the strain, or competition. (And my mother? Forget it!)

Early in my painting career, I found my niche: serving as the go-to guy for those superintendents and bosses. Their back up when trouble loomed, and things got tough. Fortunately, every one of them, including my father, has been more than glad to turn things over to me. And to trust me with them.

Being able to fulfill – and to exceed – their expectations and needs on a consistent basis has been so worth all the effort. And the hard knocks.

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Great leaders must have great people to lead.
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Thanks to all visitors to “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: The Future of Painting and Decorating

In the future, which most of us have not thought much about, the painting of surfaces will no longer be needed.

 

All construction and building materials will be coated at the manufacturing plant. Even touch-ups on the construction sites will be unnecessary.

 

If you’ve been paying attention, that’s the case more and more today.

 

So, where will that leave the experienced painter? Will he or she become extinct?

 

A number of occupational pilot programs offer training in things like “paint coatings technology,” for example. Painters learn skills used at the product design and manufacturing levels.

 

  1. Design, development and maintenance of computer systems that run assembly coating systems equipment.
  2. Operation of assembly painting computer system equipment.
  3. Research and development of painting and coating products applied at building products manufacturing plants.
  4. Manufacture of manufacturing equipment that applies coatings.
  5. Installation and maintenance of manufacturing equipment that applies coatings.
  6. Quality control.
  7. Sales and marketing of above mentioned computer systems, manufacturing equipment, and pre-coated construction materials and products.
  8. Risk management.
  9. Accounting, credit and collections.
  10. Training of construction workers in installation of pre-coated materials and products, etc.

 

You get the picture.

 

Painting science and technology. Not a bad choice, actually. Generally, technology jobs pay more per hour. They offer more job stability, and mobility. They offer access to job, and volunteer, opportunities not available outside the realm of science and technology (STEM).

 

By this time, the old structures and pieces will have bitten the dust. I’m referring to the homes, office buildings, stores, schools, restaurants, manufacturing plants, etc. that required painters on site, or a paintshop, for brushing, rolling or spraying on product.

 

The panorama of our residential, commercial and industrial landscapes and skylines will be occupied solely by surfaces pre-coated at the plant. Sleek, clean lines. Toxic-free, hazard-free.

 

Recently, I got out “Star Wars” from my Star Wars Trilogy Special Collection. I popped it into my DVD-VCR system. I looked more closely at the sets used in the movie. Awesome!

 

There, in full view, was a vivid picture of future surfaces. Those construction/building products and materials precoated at the manufacturing plant.

 

I took my first class in Painting Technology 101, I guess you could say. Food for thought for certain.

 

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It’s amazing the trade lessons that science/futuristic fiction authors, artists

and filmmakers have been teaching us, probably without thinking about that.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: Memory in the Workplace and Workspace

No one remembers everything. Only occasionally, do we remember all that we set out to do.

 

The brain is an information highway, full of stop signs and high speed passing lanes.

 

At leisure: The brain is under minimal stress.

 

At work: The brain is subjected to and bombarded with multiple assignments and procedures, throughout the day. And, each tests the brain’s capacity to remember.

 

Relying on your memory to help you complete tasks at work is selective at best. Say that you have determined the steps in doing something. When the time comes, you may be able to remember only certain things – and will forget other things.

 

TIPS FOR PRESERVING AND MAXIMIZING YOUR MEMORY AT WORK

 

1. Create mental cues.

TIP: Use key imagery hints related to what you want to remember.

TIP: Form associations. Eg. To file a report, set a time and place.

 

2. Make it noteworthy.

TIP: Write yourself a note to remind yourself. And, keep it very handy!

 

3. Involve others.

TIP: Several persons remembering the same thing is insurance that the information or task will not be forgotten. Note: This is team playing, first class!

 

4. At work station.

TIP: Create duty/memory board. If it’s critical, write in big letters. And, vary your colors.

 

5. Messaging.

TIP: Place notes at strategic spots where you will see them. More is better.

 

6. Prioritize.

Example: When your day begins, write a brief description of your duties, in order of importance or scheduling priority.

TIP: The most essential items always go at the top of the list.

 

7. Minimize.

Example: Distractions can undo your working and short-term memories.

Your thoughts become fragmented, and you are less likely to finish what you start. You are much less likely to do it well.

TIP: When at work, FOCUS.

 

 

When trying to remember? Keep your mental list short, and your notebook list detailed.

 

Hope your painting world is working for you! Thank you, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Painting It: Paint Brush Budgeting

 

The realm of paint brushes is varied and highly specialized. This, of course, depends on the surface you are painting.

 

At the bottom are the chip brushes. They are low in quality and price, and also disposable if you choose not to clean them.

 

Located at the top are the faux finishing brushes. They can be expensive. And, they are designed for specific surfaces, materials, and effects.

 

Generally, if you care at all about the final results of your work you will choose the most appropriate and highest quality tool available for the job.

 

In some cases, the purchase of a brush should be viewed as an investment. That’s especially true when the cost reaches in excess of two hundred dollars.

 

When it comes to a typical good quality brush, expect to pay anywhere between fourteen and twenty three dollars.

 

Why the difference in cost? Brushes are specialized tools. They are manufactured using different types of materials and processes. The cost of the brush depends on what went into making it.

 

List of typical brushes, their material and their designated use:

 

  1. Nylon: Use with latex products only.
  2. Nylon/Polyester: Use with waterborne and oil based products.
  3. China Bristle: Use with oil, epoxy, and polyurethane based products.
  4. Badger: Use with oil-based paints and glazes.
  5. Sable: Use with acrylic latex products.

 

Paint Brushes in a Commercial Sense

 

Residential, decorative, commercial, and industrial painting each require a variety of brushes to complete  the task, and project.

 

Residential painting and decorating, often considered to be more specialized, can incorporate the use of fine artist brushes to larger size brushes for big wall painting on drywall, masonry and so on.

 

Decorative painting and decorating, considered the most specialized in the field, incorporates a wide variety of specially designed fine artist and creative brushes, also other applications tools.

 

Commercial painting and decorating is designated by the use of waterborne and solvent born products. Here, you use brushes primarily for high production purposes.

 

Industrial painting usually requires the use of specialized types of coatings. Thus, brushes containing natural hair are used. Example: China bristle,the main choice.

 

An old adage applies here: ”You get what you pay for.”

 

In any sense, look for a brush where the bristles are (1) tightly compacted and (2) tapered at the end. This makes for a quality brush. One which holds a reasonable volume of paint and produces very fine cut lines.

 

JOURNEY PAINTER’S TIP: You will be using most of your brushes quite often. So, it is important to have a brush which feels real good in your hand.

 

Don’t laugh. I once used a brush which caused my hand to ache every time I used it. Finally, I beveled the handle, sanded it and applied a polyurethane clear coat. It turned out to be better than new.

 

Remember: Buy only the best brush that you can, when quality is your greatest concern. Besides, a $25.00 brush can last a long time. Especially, if you treat the brush right!

 

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Don’t forget: Your teeth aren’t the only important items that need brushing.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Painting Them: Colors in Amish Homes

Normally, the interiors of Amish homes are painted in plain, muted colors. Examples: Eggshell white, light grey, pale blue, mint green.

 

They are decorated in equally plain and simple lines, colors and patterns. Every element is meant to uphold the Ordnung of that community. The written and unwritten rules, and beliefs, of the Amish faith.

 

One room may be the exception: the kitchen. There, you may find walls painted in cheerful, pastel yellow, green or blue. Even pastel violet or lilac.

 

Sarah Ann’s kitchen in Indiana is painted a pastel Baby Pink. So was the same kitchen, when it belonged to her mother, Anna. Before then, her mother. My grandmother’s second cousin.

 

The same soft pink covered the kitchen and pantry walls even before then. When the huge farm house belonged to her mother. My great-grandmother’s first cousin.

 

Four generations of pink on the walls of the same Amish family’s kitchen.

 

The kitchen in Sarah Ann’s winter home at Pinecraft, Florida, is painted the same pastel Baby Pink. The other rooms – living, dining, two bedrooms, bathroom, and enclosed sun porch – are painted a light, flat latex grey.

 

Over a cup of hot “sweet tea” (made by steeping dried peppermint leaves), and huge lemon cookies, she told me a “not-so-secret” truth.

 

“If I could get away with it, I’d have my little cottage’s every room and outside, too, painted in the same tender pink.” A playful grin sweeping across the woman’s peach-smooth, round face.

 

According to plan, 85-year-old Sarah Ann accepted the offer of a fresh coat of paint on the outside of her cottage. White exterior acrylic latex. On the frame and trim, also porch rails.

 

Still, inside that airy and “homey” place…

 

In every room, beyond the kitchen, one or more items picked up that same pastel Baby Pinks.

 

* Handwoven rag area rugs in pale lt. green, medium forest green, cream, light pink, blue-grey.

* Throw pillows and armrest covers in shades of green, edged in pink piping.

* Crocheted doilies and dresser scarves in white, edged in pink.

* Bathroom hand towels and “wash cloths” in pale pink.

* Bed pillowcases embroidered in dainty pink daisies, with light green stems and leaves.

* Traditional dark green window shades, with knitted pull chords in Baby Pink.

* Oilcloth tablecloth in pink and white checks, with bright yellow daisies.

 

True, times have changed for many Amish orders. Their Ordnung rules have bent a little in a few areas. 

 

Such flexibility encourages the rumschpringe* generation to choose baptism eventually, and to stay in the community. * (Also spelled rumshpringe, rumschpringa, or rumspringa, it refers to the “running-around period,” when a teen turns 16 to age 20 or 21).

 

The distant relative told me about one area. “They allow a little larger choice in plain colors in clothing.” Also in the homes, as I noticed in Pinecraft.

 

“There’s less grey in those dye vats,” Sarah Ann joked. “Yah! For certain sure.”

 

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What colorful clues live in the “modern-day” branches of your family tree?

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A big, big THANK YOU for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

 

 

 

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