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Posts tagged ‘special projects’

Disaster Recovery, Part 3: When Painting Is Not Enough

Time: 9:00 am; Date: Monday, September 11, 2017. Seven hours after Hurricane Irma moved northward, residents of Central Florida assessed the damages and described their problems.

1. Problem: New, high-durability exterior paint stripped from much of exterior wood. Curled strips of paint hung from the rest of the structure. A dream home, completed three months before storm.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace wood if it’s been soaked by water. When surface is dry, apply two full coats of oil-based primer, using exterior wood filler and caulking where needed. Apply elasmeric coating if the surface is rough. Apply acrylic latex finish if the surface is typically smoother.

2. Problem: Over one-third of wooden rest areas dismantled, including seating, floors, banisters, rails and steps.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace entire area with pressure treated woods. Then stain or paint with oil-based exterior product.

3. Problem: Pool gazebo blown apart, looks like broken Tinker Toy or Lincoln Log set.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace wood, and match existing finish. Or replace the entire gazebo. Then apply a semi-transparent stain for a fast finish.

4. Problem: Ceiling over exterior, three-bay drive-through of hotel lobby’s entrance ripped off. Everything destroyed.
Painter’s recommendations: Install gunite system, then paint using exterior acrylic latex. Gunite is an optimum application, applied by an construction finish expert.

5. Problem: 75 percent of property’s fencing loosened from post braces. Sticky residue
covered manufacturer’s finish.
Painter’s recommendations: Reattach fence sections with fasteners, or use epoxy glue.
Remove residue with lacquer thinner, or non-acetone nail polish remover. Either has less chance of dulling the surface finish.

6. Problem:
Windows of 45 upgraded guest rooms blown out or broken. Rooms a big mess.
Painter’s recommendations: Clear each window frame of glass. Clear debris out of the room. Install temporary wood panels until new glass can be fitted. Repair wall or ceiling damage as necessary.

7. Problem: 130-year old tree uprooted, then toppled onto guest cottage.
Painter’s recommendations: This is an insurance job. Remove tree and cottage. Use part of tree to build something, maybe a custom table top with a rustic appeal.

My message was the same essentially for everyone:

“You’re going to need a lot more than painting. Before any painting can be scheduled.”
RECOVERY TIP: People need to identify and list damages, especially construction-wise. Before their insurance adjusters come to inspect and offer settlements.

PROBLEMS TO RESOLVE BEFORE PAINTING

1. All structural areas, exposed to flooding, water, and/or rain, had to be inspected for toxic
black and/or green mold/mildew; thoroughly dried out by industrial fans, then re-inspected.
Remove or thoroughly clean mold-infested surfaces. Then rinse with warm water. Let dry.

2. Structural areas, construction materials and substrates that emitted odors and/or fumes,
contained hazardous elements, looked discolored, and/or showed signs of 50 percent or more damage, had to be torn out, then removed from the property. According to EPA standards. NOTE: Hazmat (hazardous materials) specialists must be used to handle these removals.

3. Drywall surfaces which have gotten wet through the core must be cut out and replaced.

4. Water infiltration can also leave health-related contaminants which must be properly disposed of. Caution: This job may fall under EPA removal requirements.

5. When cleaning: Protect all skin, hands, face, eyes, etc. from exposure. Provide breathing protection to prevent illness and permanent damage. Example: Full-face breathing apparatus.

6. Limit exposure to paint and finishing chemicals, particularly if you have any breathing or respiratory problem such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, or COPD. Use a full-face breathing apparatus, particularly if you must work around paint chemicals for an extended period of time, and/or frequently.

7. Rebuilding and upgrading is a job for licensed and insured outside contractors. Particularly, heavily damaged areas as described here. Examples of extensive work needed include: new electrical work and plumbing; ceiling and wall joists, drywall/plaster board; window and door frames, doors, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring; etc.

Structures and areas heavily damaged by wind, rain, flooding, toxic contaminants, spillage, waste seepage, etc. require a lot of work before any painter can come on board.

Rejuvination tends to be a long and expensive process. It cannot be rushed or done haphazardly. Many building codes, safety and health standards, and laws are involved. Also inspections.

Bottom line: If you’re a staff painter, you may not become involved at all in the major rebuilding of your hotel or facility. You may not want to be involved.

FOOTNOTE: After a tornado hit my grandparents’ large farm in 1946, they discovered that more than shingles and chimney bricks had disconnected from the house. Sections of plaster had popped (dislodged) from the ceilings and walls in every room. Behind painted and also wallpapered surfaces. My grandfather called it a “farmer-painter’s nightmare.”

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Volunteering Your Painting and Decorating Skills, Part I: Where You’re Coming From

Whatever your painting capabilities – and specialty areas, there’s a cause or program out there that can really use your help. From the local, loosely formed grassroots organization to the international non-profit corporation, the need for skilled craft persons is basically the same.

It’s up to you to find that niche – and then help to fulfill it.

So, how do you volunteer your painting skills and abilities toward a good cause? One that you’ll feel good about while you’re working on it, then after you leave.

TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED ON YOUR VOLUNTEER PAINTER’S PATH

1. Your interests. What grabs your attention – and won’t let go?

Examples: Neighborhood park; local school/ learning center; pets, animal shelters, zoos; people: elderly staying in own home/ ALF, or skilled nursing facility, children with chronic diseases, disabled adults, homeless families; churches, church fundraising arms, youth programs; historic preservation properties, museums, art/theatre/culture centers; community/ civic centers.

2. Your obligations. How often can you help out?

Examples: 1 hour a week, two hours a month, one-half day (4 hours) a month 1 week (5-7 days).

3. Your schedule. When can you help out?

Examples: Mondays only; mornings (8am-12 noon); week-ends (Saturday and/or Sunday); vacation/ break/ sabbatical.

4. Location. Where can you help out?

Examples: A. Locally/ close to home (within 10 miles); B. In this half of county; C. Anywhere in county; D. Within my state/ region of state; E. Region of country: Northwest, West, Southwest; Plains, North Midwest; Northeast, East, Southeast; South; F. Anywhere in U.S. mainland; G. Foreign country – eg. Sudan.

5. Your availability. Are you available to live on-site – say for 7 to 10 days?

Examples: New school construction, third-world country; hurricane disaster community in U.S.; remodeling of free medical clinic on Indian reservation; restoration of historic estate; rebuilding of burned out orphanage in Appalachians.

6. Your accommodations. What, if any, special accommodations do you need in order to be able to help?

Examples: Good HVAC system (heat, ventilation, A/C); building access ramp and entry/exit, handicapped parking; assistance with lifting, carrying, moving anything over 10 pounds; limited walking; special diet. (For extended stay, on-site projects); sanitary sleeping/ restroom facilities.

7. Your tasks. What specific painting tasks do you want to help with, or handle?

Examples: New construction only; Brush/roll only; spraying; surface/ area prepping; powerwashing; mixing/ matching paints; wallpapering; cleaning up graffiti; cleaning high-sanitation area; decorative finishing.

8. Your environment. Which works better for you: interior or exterior work?

9. People. Do you want to work on a small crew? Or, with a large group of volunteers?

10. Your role. Are you interested in supervising others? How many persons? Which skill level(s): skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled?

11. Entity. Do you want to help with the same group or organization each time? Or, do you like the idea of working on projects for different groups/ organizations? OR, do you want to work on special projects only?

12. Your Transportation. How will you get to-and-from each volunteer site?

Examples: Your car/truck/SUV/van; public transportation – commuter bus or train; plane; boat.

13. Your finances. Can you afford to volunteer any time, without pay? Will you need financial help to pay for getting to-and-from each volunteer site?

Examples: For gas, oil, parking fees, road tolls; tickets, fares, fees.

14. Your personality. What type of volunteer opportunity, as outlined above, really matches who you are? Under less than perfect circumstances? When very little is in your control? When the other people involved are very different from you?

15. Your health. What health issues, if any, do you need to consider when choosing a volunteer outlet for your skills and interests? Which volunteer opportunity(ies) will be very doable for you? Which needs will you be able to fulfill while helping to provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for yourself and others?

16. Your commitment. How serious are you about volunteering your painting capabilities? Are you willing to switch around your current priorities to make room for this new one? Or even let something else go?

17. Your reasons. Why do you want to volunteer at this time in your life? Examples: Have more time; see need for your kind of help; recent experience raised your awareness level; social consciousness want to pay back kindness you/your family received; realize what you’ve been missing by not volunteering.

18. Your ultimate goal. What do you need to get out of the experience? What do you want to leave behind? What, if any, personal motive do you have?

Here, I’d like to add one more thing:

19. Your “what ifs”. What if you can’t find a fit? What if the volunteer opportunity you chose turns out to be less than anticipated? Or more than you can, or want to, handle? Or very different than what you signed on for?

THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS

Volunteer where you feel you’re needed.
Volunteer where you believe you’ll be appreciated.
Volunteer where you see that you can make a positive difference.
Volunteer where you know that, later, you’ll still know that it was the right thing to do!

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A special “thank you” to all painters that have stepped up to the plate and volunteered.
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Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. “Painting with Bob.” All rights reserved.

Creating and Painting: Murals by G.B. – Part II

Do you remember the muralist, G. B., that I blogged about in December of 2015?

Well, G. B. – Gerard – resides now in an “elder care home” located in South Florida.

His knees click when he stands or bends. His arms won’t reach overhead without a painful struggle. His fingers crimp when he tries to grasp an artist’s brush for longer than three minutes. And, many tiny black dots dance through his narrowing view.

Has he given up painting?

“NEVER!” he cheered on the telephone.

Instead, guess what the 72-year old artist is doing:

He’s painting small murals on different walls throughout the facility where he resides.

He paints small flower gardens – of their choice – in the rooms of neighbors in his wing. For Marlene: a patch of red, yellow, orange, pink, and lilac Tulips. For Clara: tall Gladiolas in bright peach, coral, yellow, orange, and scarlet. For Harry: three Rosebushes full of young blooms. For Jen Lee: a garden of wild flowers: Tiger, Peace and Day Lilies; Daisies, Iris, Goldenrod, Roses.

He’s painted an herbal garden on the wall along a short hallway near the main kitchen’s pantry. In the main dining hall, he painted two wrought iron café chairs and a table, complete with a setting of Limoges Haviland tea service.

At the end of one corridor, he created a “wall” bird sanctuary. He painted in three birdhouses, a bird bath, a large ceramic frog, and “a squirrel that has seen better days.” Along another corridor, he painted butterflies. A variety of species, colors and sizes.

In January, the facility’s administrator “commissioned” Gerard to design and paint a music staf half-railing along one wall of the music and band room.

What’s next? Gerard is designing an “open-themed” half-wall mural for the “Activities Room.” He’s recruited fellow residents who want to help paint it. A group project, complete with snacks and lunch – furnished by the kitchen staff, and the administrator.

I think that G.B. – “Gerard” – is a fine example of life after life alters the way a painter – a person – must pass through it. Tweaks here and there. Some adjustments.

And changes. A part of life from birth.

Like Gerard’s 15-year old grandson e-mailed, “So what’s the big deal? Grandpére is amazing!”

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting in Purple: Rooms for Three Pals

Within a two-block radius live three elementary-age girls. Each is being reared by her natural father or grandfather, or an adoptive step-grandfather.

 

They’re the type of children for whom you want to do what you can to brighten their lives. And, they have the type of guardians you want to help, too.

 

So, what can a painter do for remarkable neighborhood girls like them?

And, how can a painter help out their caring and hardworking parental figures?

 

WELL, HE OR SHE CAN PAINT!

 

All of the girls lived in rented duplexes. Thus, redecorating needed to conform to the tenant rules of the respective property owner. Paint colors and products had to be selected and used that would be (a) easy to recoat when the current tenants moved, or (b) color-compatible with a new tenant’s needs.

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And, the products had to be child-safe. Non-toxic, non-flaking, non-flammable, non-“rub-offable.” Washable, too!

   

STARTING POINT: CHOOSING THEIR COLORS

 

All three girls loved the color “PURPLE!”

 

All three girls chose their paint colors from Glidden’s® “Make It Magical with Disney” line.

(For information: www.disneypaint.com.)

 
Girl No. 1’s Room:

  1. WALLS: Base Color no. WDMN05, Color name: Minnie’s Gloves (white).
  2. Special effects: 3 horizontal wrap-around stripes, two adjacent walls. Top/4-inches: Color no. WDMN04, Color name: Adorable Daisy. Middle/6-inches: Color no. WDMN08, Color name: Bow-tique Beauty. Bottom/12-inches: Color no. WDMN09, Color name: Purple Cuteness.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDMN04. Color name: Adorable Daisy.

 

Girl No. 2’s Room:

  1. WALLS: 3 walls: Color no. WDFY04, Color no. Vidia Purple; 1 wall, bookcase and closet: Color no. WDPR03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.
  2. Special effects: 4 to 8-inch diameter circles, positioned in shooting star effect from white wall onto adjoining right-hand closet wall. Color no. WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight; Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight.

 

Girl No. 3’s Room:

  1. WALLS: 4 walls: Color no. WDPR03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.
  2. Special effects: 2-inch wrap-around border: Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  3. DOORS/TRIM: Color no. WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.
  4. WOOD FURNITURE: Color no. WDFY03 (white), Color name: A Wave of the Wand.

Special effects: Tops of desk, 2 nightstands, 6-drawer dresser: Faux Swirl Pattern: Color no. 1: WDFY05, Color name: Fairy Flight (pastel lilac); Color no. 2: WDFY01, Color name: Tinker Bell (mint green); Color no. 3: WDFY09, Color name: Pixie Purple.

 

Paint and finishing products

 

Paint products: Semi-gloss and Gloss latex. Manufacturer: Glidden’s.

Stain and finish coat products: Miniwax.

 

First Things First: Scheduling and Clearing Out Rooms.

  1. Painting schedule: Week days (for each), when respective family gone for day.
  2. Clearing out: Adults (household and friends) removed wall posters, banners, pictures. They also removed table lamps, small chairs, mirrors, small shelving units; toys, stuffed animals, games; clothing and personal stuff; bed linens, pillows, curtains, small area rugs, etc.

 

Paint Project Process for Each Bedroom.

  1. Vacuuming: Room and closet. Thoroughly! Also, cleaning/dusting all furniture to be painted.
  2. Prepping: Minor patching, filling small cracks and nail holes; light sanding.
  3. Finish painting: One coat.
  4. Paint method: Smooth.
  5. Desired finish effect: Fresh, color-chip match; distinctive. New!

 

Special touches for each girl’s room, donated by groups of neighbor ladies.*
* New coordinated and washable cotton blend curtains.

* New quilted coverlets or bedspreads, and decorator pillows with removable covers.

* Two complete sets of coordinating bed linens, and 1 set of bath linens.

 

Large area rugs, donated as follows:

Girl No. 1’s Room: 9-ft. x 12-ft., Donors: Out-of-town relatives.

Girl No. 2’s Room: 12-ft. x 12-ft., Donors: Deceased mother’s aunt.

Girl No. 3’s Room: 12-ft. x 15-ft., Donors: Group of grandfather’s friends.

Biggest reason to take on a joint project like this?

Three girls starting out in life, and their three guardians who are willing to sacrifice a lot help them take each step into the future.

 

Thanks for doing what you do, including painting, to make life better for someone else.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s View: The Finer Essence: A View of Fathers

The Finer Essence is part of the title of a 32-page booklet, written and published by my mother for her cousins and children, my sister, and I.  It’s a collection of biographical stories about some of the fathers in our family. (Including my father, grandfathers, great uncles, great-grandfathers, etc.)

 

Originally, the plan called for the soft cover publication to be ready for distribution near Father’s Day of 2008.

 

However, the publication date got moved back when I suffered my first adverse reaction to exposure to very high levels of major myotoxins. Specifically, black mold infestation.

 

Eight years, and a lot more genealogical research, later the illustrated, full-color book – expanded to 40 pages – rolled off the press. Well, out of the printer.

 

Last week-end (four days ago), its pages got collated into sets, flat stapled, and folded. Then inserted into white 10 x 13 envelopes. And, as I write this post, they’re being weighed, meter posted, and mailed at the nearest U. S. Postal Service counter.

 

The books will not arrive (except my copy) in time for Christmas. Close enough, though.

 

It’s one of those gifts – about ancestry – that can keep on giving. Every time someone opens the book’s front cover.

 

What kind of gift can you give that will keep on giving? For generations, perhaps?

 

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Best wishes for a safe, healthy and joy-filled holiday season.

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Many thanks to everyone for visiting “Painting with Bob” – and for doing what you can to make the work world a better place.

 

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

 

Hotels and Resorts: It’s Halloween Time!

For their young Halloween guests, most hotels and resorts host some scary activities and events.

 
A lead painter friend is on the staff of a 350-room hotel that goes all out.

 

Four years ago, Marco and the rest of the engineering staff converted a 12 feet by 24 feet wood and steel storage shed into a 3-room children’s playhouse.

 

For Halloween each year, the “residence” is turned into a “Haunted House.” Complete with ghosts swinging from the chandelier, skeletons jumping out of closets, witches brewing huge round caldrons of brew – Apple Cider – for the young guests.

 

Originally, the storage building was purchased with money raised through fundraisers.

 

Marco and Ben, the night painter, had painted and decorated the playhouse.

 

For the “Haunted House” project, they put together a team of very enthusiastic helpers.

 

  1. Front desk host and two housekeepers sewed sheer, glittering nylon net gowns for the lady skeletons, and outfitted men skeletons in sea captains’ uniforms. Note: Also they made a giant octopus with an eye patch and crutch, and a shark with a mouth that opened.
  2. Two maintenance techs made a guillotine that slammed shut over a long-haired skeleton. Note: Also they created creaking, tipping floorboards and wobbly, levitating outdoor  and fence sections.
  3. Chief engineer and hotel concierge built an ingenious ladder that lowered from the ceiling with a massive growling bear-headed skeleton.
  4. G.M. and I.T. director installed a weird combination music and eerie sounds’ system.
  5. People in sales created scary 3-D posters and banners advertising the “Haunted House.”
  6. Purchasing director and assistant engineer made the ceiling fixtures sway and turned two candleabras into dancing, shrieking ghosts.
  7. Several housekeepers turned old sheets into ghosts that stood on the roofs, or swept down into the paths of unprepared children.
  8. A large group of staff turned out on a Sunday afternoon to help bake hundreds and hundreds of pumpkin sugar cookies, mini cinnamon bars and multi-colored mini sandwich cookies.
  9. The day before the Haunted House was to open, the engineering team fixed it so the playhouse couch and chairs would rock back and forth, even levitate from the floor.

 

This year, Marco and Ben have added a few knee-jerkers and blood-curtlers to the “Haunted House.” They painted the walk so it appears that it is dipping, moving and disappearing under the children’s feet as they try to walk to the House. Also they’ve created a tub of bubbling apple heads that rise out of the water and swoop around in the air.

 

An old ladder has been splotched and splattered in reflective Bright blood red paint. And half “heads” and finger-missing “hands” rise out of table tops and the countertop.

 

Marco calls this year’s “Haunted House” a staff masterpiece.

 

“We’re open evenings only, from 6 to 9. Our “Haunted House” welcomes all children to ages 14, or 5 feet height. And, every guest leaves with a “Trick or Treat Bag” that contains two large cookies, two snack-sized candy bars and a juice box. We have ‘Apple-Head’ or ‘Grape-Blood’…”

 

Do you need any helpers, Marco and Ben?

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Have a super fun and memorable Halloween, everyone!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: Painting Unusual Projects

What are the most unusual paint projects that you’ve ever done?

 

10 Unusual Paint Projects Worked on By Other Painters

 

  1. Exterior and interior of Doberman’s custom dog house
  2. Tennis equipment storage of retired athlete
  3. Children’s-sized 3-room playhouse
  4. Garage interior room for small antique tool collection
  5. Miniature apartment interior for training city dogs “how to live in an apartment”
  6. Built-in notions and supplies closets for professional designer and seamstress
  7. Huge storage closet for tech geek
  8. Children’s 2-level treehouse
  9. Agri-seed museum
  10. School’s double flagpole and connecting platform

 

10 Unusual Paint Projects that I have Worked On

 

  1. Sandblasting and spraying vinyl coating on structural steel frame for train scale
  2. Painted geometric graphics in fluorescent colors in day care center
  3. Applied genuine grasscloth wallcovering to entire room – ceiling, walls, doors
  4. Painted piping and talk system that was being shipped to China
  5. Sandblasted and painted semi-tractor wrecker
  6. Stained woodwork for molded panel ceiling
  7. Painted church dome with Metallic Gold
  8. Sandblasted and epoxy-painted Olympic-sized swimming pool
  9. Applied foil wallpaper to large ceiling
  10. Brush and rolled steel tub frames for Wild West display

 

Probably, my father’s most unusual painting project was the interior of an underground bomb shelter. In particular, he painted the vertical wood panels inserted into the walls of the pre-cast 12-feet by 18 feet vault thick steel shell. The agri-businessman’s wife refused to even step in the security structure unless it “looked inviting and homey.”

 

Unusual painting projects tend to stretch our creativity, agility and patience. They also give us the opportunity to have lots of fun. To use colors in exciting, unexpected ways. To reach into our greater selves as craftspersons and artisans.

 

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Unusual painting projects can open the door to new, specialty career opportunities.

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Thank you for including “Painting with Bob” in your busy day.

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.

 

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

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Fine Finishing: Custom Walking Sticks

 

My grandfather woodcrafted fine walking sticks after he retired. He cut most from Cherrywood; some from Walnut (Black and European); a few from Ebony; also Brazilian Mahogany, Teak, and Rosewood.

 

Each featured distinctive characteristics:

 

. custom-cut, solid shaft in length and diameter;

. custom-designed, molded and etched brass head, and tip;

. custom-designed, turned and etched brass shaft rings;

. custom-etched owner’s monogram, in brass head.

 

The wood for each piece was hand-selected for its unique and suitable qualities: hardness, color, grain, texture, etc.

 

He ordered the wood for each piece individually, and directly from the mill. Two mills were located in the United States. The others were located in France, Italy, South America, India, and Australia.

 

Upon arrival, Grandfather Boyd cut the wood piece to customer specifications (length and diameter), allowing extra millimeters for working it. Next, the piece was formed. Then shaped and planed, and rounded. It was sanded many times. Each time to flawless smoothness.

 

When the finishing phases were reached, the walking stick was rag-stained twice, and rubbed twice. Grandfather applied many coats of final finish. He allowed as many as 20 days of drying time between each coat. A lacquer finish was the favorite. Known for its distinction and elegance, and its astounding durability.

 

Grandfather advertised his custom walking sticks in only two magazines: The New Yorker and Esquire. For a short period, he advertised also in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Christian Science Monitor.

 

Here’s how the purchasing process worked…

 

A person saw Grandfather’s walking stick ad. He or she phoned him at the listed “812” area code phone number. Grandfather described the walking sticks. He asked a few questions about the person’s background and interests. He asked how and where the walking stick would be used. He asked about the person’s wood preference. He offered an estimate of the handcrafted accessory.

 

Each interested person was sent two distinctive business cards and a matching note card. Both were printed on pale blue linen, and featured an India-ink sketch of a walking stick. Enclosed was a Polaroid photo of a finished walking stick, a simple order form, and the terms of sale.

 

On the order form, the client selected his or her choice of wood. The person provided his or her measurements: overall height, overall weight, whether left-or-right-handed; waist-to-floor height; hands-open palm width; also length from wrist-to-finger tips; etc. The client listed any physical handicaps that he or she might have had – relative to the need for and use of a walking stick.

 

By phone, Grandfather confirmed the client’s wood preference. They agreed upon the finish delivery date. They agreed upon the total cost, including shipping. They agreed upon the actual packaging and shipping preference.

 

Every client left the brass head and tip design to my grandfather. Most also left the stain and finish to my grandfather’s discretion.

 

Between 1972 and 1987, he handcrafted over 70 distinctive walking sticks. Starting in late 1975, he offered clients a beautiful accessory: a custom-made satin-lined, plush velvet carry bag. Also, it featured a custom monogram on the outside, and a distinctive, hand-sewn identity label inside.

 

His clientele were stars of film, television, and the stage; comedians; best-selling authors; artists, musicians, opera stars; entrepreneurs and executives; leaders in medicine, science, government.

 

Grandfather moved to Florida in 1988. He also moved some prized woodworking tools and equipment. Also, his walking stick materials, forms and molds.

 

He planned to handcraft more walking sticks. It didn’t work out. The workshop on his lovely second wife’s lakefront property lacked climate-control. And, it lacked the ample workspace.

 

In August of 2015, a letter addressed to Grandfather Boyd was forwarded to my mother. The writer stated that, in 2014, he had purchased “two exquisite walking sticks.” Still in their monogrammed velvet cases. They’d been sold at an estate auction in Southern California.

 

The writer explained that, inside each case, the original owner had kept one of my grandfather’s blue linen business cards. That’s how the new owner knew the name of the woodcrafter. And, then “Goggled” to reach him.

 

Isn’t ISP and social media wonderful? Almost as grand as Grandfather Boyd’s distinctive walking sticks.

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Have you walked lately in another person’s shoes? How did they fit?

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

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

PAINTING IT: NIGHT SKIES OVER BED

Retired sign designer and painter Steve and his wife, Sara, were going legally blind. Their shared passion, since college, had been astronomy.

 

One of their prized telescopes was an ED 127MM Apochromatic refractor. A favorite for its astrophotography capabilities. Steve and Sara’s model had been equipped to capture, enlarge and edit what they were no longer able to see clearly, even with corrective lenses.

 

Trying to look at narrow framed close-ups was not the same as gazing at the panoramic span of the heavens. Especially at night. From their back porch.

 

So, two years ago May, the couple convinced me to paint the night skies onto their 18 by 24 foot bedroom ceiling. They knew that, at the time, my vision wasn’t much better than theirs. (I still had problems with focus, blurriness, redness, and burning caused by repeated exposure to toxic levels of mold, and concentrated chlorine bleach solution.)

 

The “Skies the Limit” Layout Decision

 

Steve and Sara thought about extending the “galaxy grid” down each wall, 8-10 inches. I questioned the idea. “Too dark…could cause sensations that the ceiling/roof/sky was falling in…”

 

To help them decide, I convinced them to allow their son and me to stretch dark king-sized flat bed sheets across the entire ceiling. For one night. By eight o’clock the next morning, at least half of the sheets had been taken down. Steve said, “The walls were shrinking in on us…”

 

Pre-Painting Step: Gridding in the Galaxy

 

As a template, I used the big enlargement of a photo taken by Sara for Steve’s 60th birthday. When both of their green-eyed sights were perfect: 20/20 vision.

 

Using her MacBook Pro and a projector, Sara transposed the image onto the ceiling. That helped me to “grid” and mark the location of stars, planets, etc.

 

The Painting Process

 

Note: Unless noted otherwise, I used Sherwin-Williams paint and finishing products.

 

1. A thinned-down coat of color no. SW 6565, Rarified Blue matte latex ceiling paint was rolled on, serving as a primer. Allowed natural drying time: 24 hours.

 

2. The ceiling was “feather-sanded” with no. 400 sandpaper. A thorough “rag-wipe” followed, using absorbent NEW cloths.

 

3. Next, I rolled on a base coat of Cosmos Blue semi-gloss latex paint, to which I’d added 3 drops of Iridescent Ivory Black acrylic. Liquitex artist paint. Allowed natural drying time: 3 hours.

 

4. Then, I damp “feather-sanded” the ceiling, working toward each galactical marking. Drying time: until the next morning.

Note: To preserve those galactical markings, I covered each with an uncut stencil, made from poster board. Each stencil was grid-numbered, and affixed in place with a small, finger-rolled strip of blue masking tape.

 

5. With the stencils back in place, I sprayed a thin coat of Indigo (midnight) Blue semi-gloss acrylic latex. Used sometimes for set/scenic painting. Drying time: 4 hours.

 

6. Using artists brushes, I detailed in all of the stars, planets, rings, etc.

A. Undercoat paint: Cadmium Yellow,* high-gloss mixed with Gesso.

B. Overcoat paint: Iridescent Titanium White,* semi-gloss.

C. Linings/indents: Yellow (deep) Gold matte.* Also used: Hansa Yellow Light.* Manufacturer: Liquitex heavy body acrylic paints. Note: Excellent for experimental techniques. Natural drying times: Under coat, overcoat – 3 hours each. Lining work: 18 hours.

* Note: This process took only two-and-a-half days, surprisingly. (My eyes watered and ached, though I used, at all times, either safety eye goggles and a breathing mask, or a full-face breathing apparatus.

 
7. Next, I rag-wiped the ceiling. Fabric: 12 by 12 inch squares, Natural muslin, used in quilting.

 

8. Stars Finish Detailing: Using artist brushes*, I dotted and dabbed Iridescent clear glitter into each star. Glitter mixed 4-to-1 parts with Hansa Yellow Light (tinted with Iridescent Titanium white low gloss. Mfgr: Liquitex acrylics. * Detail brushes used: No. 2 bright; Nos. 2 and 4 Filbert; No. 2 flat.

 

9. Feather finish: Using artist brushes,* I blended three colors of Liquitex heavy body acrylic paints from outer edges of stars, planets, etc. into surrounding skies. Colors used: Cobalt Blue Dark; Cobalt Blue Light; Ultramarine Blue. * Detail brushes: Universal angle 1-inch flat; 2-inch flat; 1-inch Universal flat freestyle.

 

10. Ceiling finish coat: Spray painted a fine coat of Clear semi-gloss latex Into the paint pot mixture, I’d added 5 drops of Iridescent Rich Silver.

 

Technique used: I sprayed with a pin nozzle. I used a subtle arc movement with my arm. And, I released the spray gun’s lever, for a few seconds, over each galactical element. I did not spray with any steady back-and-forth motion.

 

THE EFFECT:

Beyond imagination! Reflective, with sensation that either the stars and constellations, or the viewers, were moving or rotating slightly.

 

SARA and STEVE in 2015.

Sara is totally blind. Every evening before bed, she and Steve sit together, in their leather Lazy-Boy loungers, or in bed. Under their stars.

 

Hotel/Facility Painter/Decorator Footnote:

This ceiling treatment can make an awesome addition to any ceiling in a hotel. Examples: KidsSuite, “Honeymoon Suite,” club/entertainment stage, game room. That is, if the budget allows for the purchase of the variety of products and supplies needed. And the hours of detail work by a creative, detail-oriented staff painter can be justified.

 

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Friends’ favorite rooms deserve special treatment from friends.

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

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