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Painting It: “627” Bathroom

Some persons are so creative, that it flows into every area of their lives. Even to the most unchangeable things. Where nothing could be done to improve it. Or, so it may seem to you, or I.

 

In one quiet week-end, one of these creatives turned what was once a small, service station bathroom into a comedic conversation piece. And, a great place to hide!

 

Room: Utility bathroom.

Overall dimensions: 8 ft. length by 6 ft. wide by 8 ft. height.

Features: Solid knotty pine paneled wall (30-inches length); 26-inch sink vanity cubicle, built-in corner shower stall, lavatory cubicle, knotty pine paneling built-in wall.

Basic construction: Concrete block walls, and shower stall walls, poured concrete floor, drywall ceiling.

Post-construction upgrade: Pink and White, alternate set, 3-inch tiles glazed ceramic over: vanity wall, shower stall walls (inside/outside) and entry, also room’s floor; pink and white, alternate set, frosted ceramic mini-tiles on shower stall floor. Knotty pine paneled wall (8-ft length): built-in lounge seat (36-inches), 2-30 inch one-half closets, overhead blanket cupboard.

 

PREP WORK

 

1. Removed all door knobs and movable fixtures.

2. Gently washed all knotty pine paneled areas, baseboard, built-in mirror frame; also entry door.

3. Once dried, sanded above surfaces with No. 220 sandpaper.

4. Thoroughly dusted all surfaces with clean, soft cloths.

 

SURFACE APPLICATIONS

 

5. Brushed and rolled thin coat of red semi-gloss interior enamel (Gliddens) on all knotty pine surfaces.

6. Once dried, lightly sanded wall surfaces and door. Re-dusted all areas with clean, soft cloths.

7. Glued over twenty, 6-inch by 8-inch black and white newsprints of British ZIGGY cartoons on paneled walls and door interior.

8. Areas were left to dry.

9. Carefully brushed thin coat of clear gloss varnish, slightly tinted with same red paint coloring used in thin first coat application.

 

SOME POPULAR, AFFORDABLE DECORATING OPTIONS FOR AN OLD BATHROOM

 

1. Stenciling – Graphic shapes, large letters, silhouettes, on the ugliest wall.

TIP: First, lightly sand with No. 220 sandpaper. Then, brush on a fresh coat of paint. Examples: white, off-white, or white ivory interior latex. (Or acrylic latex).

2. Sponge random pattern onto that same painted wall and baseboard.

TIP: Add 1-2 drops of acrylic paint – a favorite color – to one-half gallon of the white base paint.

3. Do the reverse: First paint the entire wall, or half wall, with the tinted paint.

TIP: Then, mark one horizontal line one-half distance between floor and ceiling. Mark a second horizontal line 3-4 inches below that line. Use BLUE masking tape to tape along each line, with one edge of tape on line, other outside of stripe area.

4. Create your own vertical half-wall/board effect.

TO-DO TIP: Use yardstick, or metal tape measure to mark space, horizontally, into 4-to-6 inch vertical “wood” planks.

 

The Homeowner’s True Story…

 

January, 1972— Thirty-five stranded semi-truck drivers enjoyed the cozy and clean accommodations of that colorful bathroom. For nearly three days, they huddled together inside the concrete block house under major reconstruction and expansion.

 

The truckers drank hot, black coffee and ate thinned down, home-made chili or chicken-noodle soup from small Styrofoam cups. They made quick, long-distance calls home, to let their families know they were okay. They leaned against bare wall joists, and dozed off. Totally exhausted, and feeling unsettled.

 

Every hour or so, the truckers bundled back up and braved the miserable weather to check on their diesel-powered rigs. Kept running –in place on U. S. Highway 30 – to prevent the engines from freezing up.

 

Northwest Indiana was a living nightmare for those, and thousands of other, long-haul truckers. The massive ice storm and subzero temperatures had paralyzed the area. Closing all major north and south traffic: I-65, seven miles to the west, and I-149 to the east. Nothing was moving!

 

For over fifteen years after their unplanned visit, semi-drivers whizzed and roared by on U. S. 30. Saying “HI” with their loud TOOT! TOOT! TOOT! They filled the property’s mailbox with cards and notes. They told their own extended stories of the adventure in 1972. Ones they shared with their families and friends.

 

More than one-half of the truckers joked about the little red “cartoon” bathroom. They recalled their favorite cartoons. And, they told the homeowners: “Keep that bathroom just the way it is…Don’t touch it.”

 

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Family friendships are the best! Especially when made, or rekindled, unexpectedly – and/or when especially needed.

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Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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Painting It: YOLO!

A favorite part of being a painter and decorator: Trying new things.

 

New projects. New surfaces. New spaces. New products. New materials. New techniques and methods. New supplies. New tools. New equipment.

 

Applying an old product or material in a new way. Using a standard tool in a crazy, unique way.

 

Re-painting a surface or space in an unusual, unheard-of color or effect. Installing wallcovering on a surface, or in an area, where wallcovering is never installed.

 

Applying a faux finish where it’s never applied. Texturing a surface that is not conducive to texturing. Spraying popcorn texture where it is very inappropriate.

 

Restoring a circa 1785 piece of badly damaged antique furniture, classified “total loss.” Refinishing a hotel full of guestroom furnishings, earmarked for the dumpster.

 

Brushing on a product that, according to the label, has to be sprayed on.

 

Spraying on a finish that demands brush application.

 

Applying a paint finish that’s reserved for an underwater surface. Spraying an industrial coating on a residential surface.

 

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

 

I’ve used much of the last two years to do that. And, more!

 

The diverse use of my skills and abilities was not part of my plan in 2013. When extreme and extensive toxic exposure delivered a one-ton truck load of lemons…then a truck load of limes…at my doorstep.

 

However…

 

YOLO! (You only live once!)

 

So, why not? Let’s get to it!

 

Each new anything/anywhere – painting and decorating wise – will ignite your creative soul, at its core. Each new anything – in the other areas – will create a new world. Within you. Very possibly, within others, too.

 

Whatever you’ve been given:

 

Run with it! Charge up the hill, or down if that’s the direction you’re facing.

 

Forget about making lemonade with that ton of lemons. Squeeze enough to help the neighbor children run a little lemonade  stand. Pass some  out. Give some away. Return some. Sell some. Let some rot. Use some as fertilizer, or compost.

 

Do something different, or differently.

 

You’ll smile at the end of the day. At yourself. At others. At the universe.

 

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Thank you for taking an interest in “Painting with Bob.”

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

Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter: Part 1

Hotel/facility painters get noticed. Often! In their “whites,” they are recognized easily. During any work day, they are watched by various teammates. Certain teammates or managers tend to be regular observers.

What can you learn from your hotel or facility painter? Here are some possible clues – and tips.

 

1. How to select the right products or materials for the job.

 

A.  Surface/”substrate” type: New, bare wood; old, painted wood; varnished wood; metal, brick, stone, concrete; covered with wallcovering ( paper, vinyl, flock, foil, etc.).

B.  Surface’s current color: Light, dark; bleed-through; solid, patterned; new, faded.

C.  Area’s purpose: One-person use; high or low traffic; interior or exterior; kitchen, children; entry/exit; garage; basement, stairs, stairway.

D.  Budget: Tight-One coat of paint! Flexible-Primer, one finish coat. Big-Top-quality job.

E.  Job’s required life-span: 1 year or less; 2-3 years; indefinitely.

 

2. How to determine and estimate amount of paint needed. Be on the safe side: Buy extra.

 

A.  Walls: Measure two walls. Multiply numbers. Example: 10-ft. x14-ft. = 140 sq. ft. room

(1)  To paint light color over light, or dark over light:

Coverage needed: 140 sq. ft. + 50 sq. ft. (1/3) = 190 sq. ft.

(2)  To paint light color over darker, or over wallcovering:

Coverage needed: 280 sq. ft. (double sq. ft) + 140 sq. ft. (1/2) = 420 sq. ft.

B.  Molding or trim: Measure running length (linear feet). 3 lin. ft. = 1 sq. ft. wall space.

C.  At the paint store, read the label on the pain can that you plan to purchase. Look for “Covers” or “Coverage.” Compare to your estimate, also the type of area you’re painting.

 

3. How to set up the area to be painted.

 

A.  Protecting floor, carpet or tile with dropcloths or old sheeting.

B.  Moving furniture, lamps, plants out of way; cover with dropcloths or sheeting.

C.  Using masking paper and tape to protect windows, trim, brick/marble, special surfaces.

 

4. How to prepare – “prep” a surface to be refinished.

 

A.  Covering and protecting adjacent surfaces and areas with masking paper and tape.

B.  Selecting products based on surface/“substrate.”       See No. 1 above.

C.  Considering surface damage amount and type – eg. scratches, gouges, holes, cracks.

D.  Choosing caulking product. Running smooth, full beads with caulking gun.

E.  Repairing small gouge in the wall – product and tool(s) to use.

F.  Filling holes, cracks, etc. How much product to use?

G.  Using a putty knife to smooth filler even with the surface

H.  Holding/grasping tool for maximum control and flexibility; making right strokes.

 

5. How to apply a primer paint on a new surface, before finish coating.

 

A.  Selecting primer product and color suitable to finishes- white, tan, gray, black.

B.  Applying spray primer versus primer from a can. Which to use when?

C.  Painting up and down? In same direction? Back and forth? At an angle?

D.  Taking short, light strokes, or long strokes? Or, plastering it on?

E.  Waiting between coats, if one coat does not cover. How long?

F.  Finishing “prep” area, so the finish coat will adhere well – and last.

 

6. How to apply a finish coat of paint.

 

A.  Checking paint in can for lumps, clumps, paint strings, etc. Mixing paint again.

B.   Testing can of spray paint for flow, consistency, viscosity.

C.   Selecting brush(es): nylon/polyester bristle, China bristle, etc. (Many choices!)

(1)  Bristle width that will fit area: 2-inch, 2 ½-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch.

(2)  Bristle edge that fits surface: squared, curved, angled, sharp corner, dipped.

(3)  Brush handle length and “gripper” that you can manage.

(4)  Checking for loose or worn bristles in brush – used and new ones.

D.  Selecting rollers: Short or long handle; narrow, middie, or wider base roller.

E.  Choosing cover and nap type, density. Basing on product and surface traits. See No. 1.

(1)  Cover nap: New rollers before buying; used rollers before using again.

(2)  Brushing/rolling methods: Suit to surface, area size/layout, product, drying time.

F.  Cleaning up as-you-paint: spills, drips, splotches, trails, etc.

**  Note: Using a spray gun system calls for a completely different set of skills, abilities and savvy.

 

7. How to prep a used surface for re-painting.

 

A.  Washing all old surfaces first.

B.  Fully sanding, caulking and patching surface/area as needed.

C.  Applying primer, or first coat of the finish product.

 

8. How to re-paint a previously painted surface.

 

A.  Assessing condition of the surface – and area.

B.  Lightly sanding, also caulking and spackling imperfections in, the surface.

C.  Selecting and using roller cover with a nap size similar to the one used before.

** TIP: Looking at roller “stipple” (pattern left on surface before) to determine size used.

D.  Brushing: Using long strokes, and laying paint on evenly.

E.  Rolling: Using uniform motion; slightly overlapping each previous edge (stroke).

 

9. How to prep a used surface for re-finishing – eg. varnished wood.

 

A.  For painting:

(1)   Completely sanding surface to dull existing finish.

(2)  Wiping down surface with liquid sandpaper, or rubbing alcohol.

B.  For staining:

(1)  Using different color: Removing clear finish with paint stripper. Then, sanding surface in multiple stages.

(2)  Removing darker color before staining with lighter color. Doing what’s needed.

(3)  Protecting the wood’s integrity. Doing your best.

(4)  Be careful – and patient!

 

10. How to stain and seal a new wood surface.

 

A.  Choosing stain product: Depends on extent – size and complexity – of project.

B.  Sanding lightly. Making certain that all marks or discolorations are sanded out.

C.  Applying stain heavily to surface. Using rags, cotton towel, or sponge.

D.  Letting stain soak in.

E.  Waiting till the stain feels slightly “tacky” – sticky.

F.  Applying sealer with a brush, roller or spray gun.

 

11. How to varnish or finish coat a new wood surface.

 

A.  Using spray finishing system for optimum finish.

B.  Spraying multiple thin coats, rather than one heavy coat.

C.  Letting solvent evaporate before applying second coat of finish. A MUST!

 

Whatever information or tips you glean from your hotel/facility painter is really up to YOU.
Fact-finding TIPS:
1. Be specific. Tell your painter about the project: room/area; layout, approximate square footage; type of surface/”substrate,” surface age and condition; area’s main uses; budget.

2. Be honest. Tell your painter who will be doing the work. Will it be YOU? Let him or her know what painting, refinishing, and/ or papering projects you’ve done. How did they turn out?

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Read Part 2: “Every Hotel’s/Facility’s Team Member Can Learn Something from Its Painter”

Wallcovering Tips; Special Things to Look For; Questions to Ask, and Not Ask, Your Painter.”

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Have a “fresh outlook-ing” day. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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