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Posts tagged ‘wallcovering’

Creating and Painting: Murals by G.B.

A small group of boutique hotels (7) keeps a second painter on the payroll for one purpose. To paint “realism murals.”

 

G.B. sketches what he wants to re-create in a specific area, at a specific hotel. A graphic designer formalizes the painter’s sketches, including chip colors; textures and patterns; depths and reflections.

 

Then, the designer projects, or hand-draws the images onto the surfaces.

 

And, G.B. hand-paints and details the reproduced design. Ten years ago, he still handled every phase, from conception-to-completion. Today, at seventy, he’s content with what he can do.

 

The hotels’ owners keep G.B. very busy. It takes time to create an original mural. Sometimes months. Even when working at it full-time.

 

The finished effect is always captivating. Like his re-creation of the sandy Bal Harbour beach in South Florida. You have to watch where you walk (on the hotel’s sidewalk). That you do not step on a sea turtle, or a live crab, or a washed-up shell. The mural is that real.

 

One of my favorite “Scenics” depicts the tree-top scene from the 1992 film, Medicine Man, starring Sean Connery. The scene overlooks the Amazon jungle, and the winding, densely bordered river thousands of feet below. The hand-painted mural so real that you feel the mist gently pricking your cheeks, and the breeze brushing through your hair.

 

G.B. belongs to an elite group of painters. Commercial painters that sustain a good living as full-time muralists.

 

Sears, Roebuck and Company used to employ a painter to design and hand-paint graphics murals at their high-revenue stores. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and others did the same.

 

Karen, an Indiana graphics and advertising artist, designed and hand-painted her first mural in the 1980s. A jungle/animal scene that “grew” along a long corridor in a pediatrician’s office. She applied a special-formulated clear coat over the finished mural. To protect the surfaces from all of the “touches.” By little and big people!

 

I’ve worked on a number of original murals. Mainly graphics, objects, and architectural structures. Each design concept was sold to, or conceived by, the client: hotel/resort, hospital, store, corporation, school, home owner, etc.

 

Artists like G.B. and Karen are the real pros, though. Gifted with the ability to re-create the finest details of any part of nature. A tiger’s coat and claws and a parrot’s feathers and beak. An acacia tree’s small, yellow, puff-ball-like clusters of flowers. A grape vine’s veins and nobs.

 

On Thanksgiving Day, G.B. called from the boutique hotel, where he just started painting a scene from the southwest section of the Florida Everglades.

 

The mural will measure 80 feet long. Wrapping around the lobby like years of “free living and un-tampered overgrowth.” G.B.’s little catch phrase to describe the design, based on his first visit to the Everglades. When he was only nine!

 

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“Free living and un-tampered growth…”

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

 

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

Painting Them: Food Courts and Snack Bars

A commercial food facility, above all things, must serve food and beverages that are widely known, and appeal to the diverse tastes of the public.

 

What type of atmosphere works best to stimulate that hunger for food, or thirst for a beverage?

 

Do you have an established theme? The 50s décor with its juke box, vinyl-cushioned booths and roller skating servers, was a popular style in its day. A well-established theme will keep the patrons, guests, and visitors interested. Coming back for more! And, create a great place for conversation and socialization.

 

Most food courts, whether at a hotel or a mall, are designed for guest comfort. The design should correspond with the surrounding décor. It should incorporate some of the same elements in décor, color, textures, tone, etc. And, all elements used should stimulate the appetite.

 

“Spaces” within the food court: Eating/drinking, socializing, studying, resting.

Special construction elements: Solid woods, steels, metals, laminates; glass, heavy plastic; slip-proof flooring; one level, no steps.

Special features: High traffic, specialty clusters in bigger space, opps. for lots of mingling.

Special needs: Smooth surfaces and corners; no residual fumes/odors; pleasing aesthetically; high durability; easy cleaning and sanitizing; obstruction-free traffic areas;

Exposure: Water, cleaning agents, grease, high heat, etc.

Design elements: Graphics, stripes, geometrics; inlay pieces; food-inspired paintings/murals; original paintings; illustrations.

Color schemes: Bright accents; subtle touches. Inviting, and conducive to dining. Welcoming! Uplifting, cheerful, and relaxing. Also, great for conversation, reading, listening to music.

 

Bring life to your food service area. Here’s how!

 

1. Utilize scenic paintings or photos related to leisure and travel. People love to envision themselves there.

TIP: Hang printed and enlarged photos of enticing scenes on the hotel property. Flowers, plants, brook, fountain, rest area, etc. Hang small paintings found/donated by staff members.

 

2. Paint wall graphics to increase the element of creativity, and to reduce blank wall space.

HINT: An original wall graphics was hung on the walls of two adjoining restaurants, and corridor that connected them. It was the creation of a local paperhanger/patron.

 

3. Vary wood tone colors used on tables and chairs.

TIP: Tables in light oak with laminate, tile, or block tops, chairs in dark oak or even painted.

 

4. Use track and neon lighting with various combinations of colored lights to create mood appropriate for area’s theme. Examples: Friendly, business-like, folksy, formal, romantic.

TIP: The right lighting also enhances the appearance and appeal of the food and beverages. And, the entire area!

 

5. Heavy-textured vinyl wall covering adds to the atmospheric mood.

TIP: Commercial-grade wallcoverings clean well. They’re very durable. They retain color and finish/texture longer.

 
6. Surrounding guests with a sense of memorabilia tends to instill sentimentality and comfort.

HINT: Old kitchen utensils and cooking pots, laundry aids, photos, tools, small implements, etc. lined the walls of The Wagon Wheel in Merrillville, Indiana. Eating there was like eating at a grandparent’s circa 1800s kitchen table.

 
7. Convey a sense of realism by using a system of murals.

TIP: Continuous murals are fun. Example: A walking trail, or farmer’s market, or big garden.

 
8. Refer to the “psychology of colors” to see what colors stimulate an appetite best.

TIPS: Red – Hot foods, romantic drinks; Blue – Cool foods, relaxing drinks; Green – Nature.

 

Above all, you want the food court and/or snack bar to make every patron feel comfortable, and unrushed. Totally welcome there!

 

It’s all about atmosphere. The service. And, definitely, the food, beverages and snacks.

 

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“Food without atmosphere is like tacos without spice.” Rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015.  Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

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.

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.

Painting Projects: “Let’s Do It” and “Let-Me-Think-About-It”

Every project features certain elements and parameters that must be considered before it’s taken on by the painter/decorator.

 

Every project requires certain resources for the painter/decorator to achieve satisfactory results.

 
Ten “LET’S DO IT” Projects.*

 

* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Projects require definite deadline; doing projects around other things unfeasible.

 

“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 1  (Basic stuff, piece of cake!)

1. Refinish picture frames.

2. Caulk cracks in ceiling edges, and wall corners.

3. Paint an accent wall.

4. Apply wallpaper border.

5. Wood-grain a metal door.

6. Do a simple faux-finish to wall, using sponging or rag rolling technique.

7. Paint ceiling in large office.

8. Paint metal door frames.

9. Hang wallpaper in room, or office.

10. Refinish pieces of wood furniture.

 

“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Need to do project safely!)

1. Paint exterior of home or office building.

2. Install commercial wallcovering in offices.

3. Paint concrete floors vs. floor.

4. Refinish large number of wood doors.

5. Paint interior walls of office/business complex.

6. Repaint acoustic ceilings.

7. Apply texture to interior walls of housing development, or business complex.

8. Apply faux finish to walls in 8 or more large offices, or multi-housing complex.

9. Hand-paint large wall mural.

10. Repaint residential development exteriors.

 

I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish, on my own, also as part of a crew. Upon completion, every project received an “excellent” rating.

 

RELATED TIPS:

  1. Always begin a project with all of the necessary products, supplies, tools, and paint equipment readily available to you.
  2. Avoid need to leave the job multiple times. It can distract you, and slow production.

 

 

Five “LET ME THINK ABOUT IT” Projects.*  

 

* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Most projects require definite deadline; doing project around other things unfeasible.

 

“Let Me Think About It” ProjectsCrew size: 1 (Take a closer look, some red flags! )

 

1. Refinish antique furniture in faux finish application.

2. Apply stencil design to bathroom.

3. Clean and paint driveway surface.

4. Apply faux plaster finish to interior  walls in very large, older residence.

5. Texture ceilings, presently with smooth surface.

 

“Let Me Think About It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Check out closely. Might not be a good idea to take on!)

1. Paint exterior of multi-floor building.

2. Remove ceiling tiles, and paint ceiling metal grid.

3. Repaint moldings and doors in multi-housing complex.

4. Repair, prep and repaint all walls in residential or business complex.

5. Paint accent colors on walls throughout entire office or business complex.

 

 

I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish – on my own, or as part of a small crew. Every project, upon completion, received an “excellent” rating. So, it can be done. Still, especially if you have a choice. . .

 

Food for thought: If any painter/decorator’s “Let-Me-Think-About-It” list is longer than five, he or she might want to consider specializing – whether he or she works for someone else, by the project, or for himself or herself. Or, re-think this career choice.

 

A painter and decorator needs to manage and operate his or her “project career” (my term), according to a basic set of rules and limits. One that works for that person. That includes working on projects with elements, parameters and requirements that coincide with the painter/decorator’s rules and limits. And, his or her innate value system.

 

This modus operandi, especially in the long-term, benefits everyone concerned. The guest/ visitor/ customer. The client/property owner/stakeholder. The employer or contractor. The staff or employee group. The paint team/crew. The painter and decorator.

Everything Looks Different Up Close – Even a Great Paint Job!

Notice the term, “great” paint job, not “good” paint job.

 

Up close: The 12-inch appearance surface test.

 

That means: Up close, the painted surface will look at least as good as it does less than twelve inches away.

 

That means: Up close, an inspector will see no paint runs, holidays, brush strokes, uneven tones (spread of paint), splatters, roller streaks, etc.

 

That means: Up close, the pattern of every panel of the wallcovering will match, “magnifying glass close.”

 

That means: Up close, the wallcovering panels will be smooth. Wrinkles will not be present. Small bubbles will disappear after the adhesive dries and the wallcovering shrinks (2-5 days).

 

That means: Up close, the seams of side-by-side wallcover panels will be “seamless seams.” No gaps, mismatches, stretching, etc.

 

That means: Up close, the seams of natural-fiber wallcover panels will show slightly, because of the natural variation of color.

 

That means: Up close, the patching and sanding of the surface will be smooth, or appropriate, for that surface – and area.

 

That means: Up close, the touch-up of any patched and sanded surface will blend in with the surrounding surface(s) and area.

 

That means: Up close, the drywall that has been replaced, taped and mudded will fit flush with the surrounding drywall – on all sides.

 

That means: Up close, the entire area, when primed, will look – and feel – uniform, even and smooth.

 

That means: Up close, a textured surface, with an evenly applied coating, will blend consistently with the areas adjacent to a random textured area.

 

That means: Up close, a spray painted finish on a smooth surface will have a well-blended sheen. The film thickness will be applied evenly, absent of runs and orange peel on the surface.

 

That means: Up close, wallcovering seams will be tight, blending in with the surface. The pattern will match exactly. No bubbles or paste will remain along any seam line, or on the surface.

 

That means: Up close, a gilded finish, such as metal leaf, will reflect very little through the surface. The metal leaf will be wrinkle-free, with no tears. And, the surface will be bubble-free.

 

That means: Up close, the drywall compound will lay smooth, eliminating all ridges from the knife pressure. The overlapping edge of compound and drywall will be ultra smooth.

 

That means: Up close, the gloss paint finish will be ultra smooth, and show no imperfections in the surface of the substrate – whether it is wood, metal or drywall..

 

That means: Up close, the body filler application will leave a smooth finish, that is visually non-porous, and shows no high and/or low spots.

 

That means: Up close, the stain finish will be applied evenly, with no visible wipe or drip marks, or floating pigment.

 

That means: Up close, a properly sanded surface will show no deep sanding marks. With wood, sanding will be with the grain. With other substrates – eg. metals or painted wood – sanding marks will overlap in a subtle crisscross pattern.

 

 

That means: Up close, every time, on every surface, the painter makes every effort to leave behind a great job! Actually, both up close, and further away than 12 inches from the surface.

 

 

TIP: “Take your time and get it right!” Brian Santos, The Wall Wizard.

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Painting It: Game Room Fun

When a person plays a game in an arcade or game room, he or she pays little attention to what the walls or other surfaces look like. One sees how the space is designed, and what colors have been used,. Whether entering the room, or standing back from the game equipment and devices.

 

The games attract the primary attention. Thus, the overall decorative scheme is never crucial to the enjoyment of the amenities there.

 

Add a few special touches. And, your game room will appear more exciting to the average player, and the novice, too.

 

The following touches are sure to raise some eyebrows:

 

* Paint the ceiling a Chalk White. It reflects light, and makes it easier to see the games.

Special effect: Add glitter to quart of the white paint. Then, use 2-inch brush to create “streaks” across the ceiling. Example: On one project, I ran “streaks” from the center ceiling fixture, outward to corners and half-point.

 

* Paint the walls a dark color. Examples: Royal Blue, Violet, Hunter Green. It creates a subdued, laid back effect.

Special touch: Add glitter to the walls. Create a cosmic-like effect. Note: Do walls OR ceiling.

 

* Paint the walls Bright, Snow or Soft White. Use semi-gloss or gloss paint.

Special touches: Paint stripes and/or graphics. Create an energizing sports design.

 

* Apply a decorative finish to add special benefits. Example: Create a multi-layered effect, or textured surface. Game playing becomes very imaginative, because of the visual effects in the room.

 

* Get creative with the floor covering. Choose a design and color combo that adds excitement to the overall theme, and purpose, of the room.

 

FIVE FUN WAYS TO USE CARPETING:

 

1. Install carpet tiles in alternating colors, monochromatic or complementary.

Example: A Central Florida hotel turned to this solution, when the game room carpeting needed replacing, after a surprise water pipe burst and flood. They purchased boxes of left-over carpet tiles from three different floor covering stores.

 

2. Create “game trails” by laying solid tiles in one direction of the room, and striped tiles in another.

Note: This trail was laid out in one of the game rooms in a children’s hospital.

 

3. Install both solid and geometric tiles, in alternate or random pattern.

 

4. Create a “space walk” effect.

Example: Install carpet tiles with Medium-to-Dark Blue and silver iridescent fibers, woven into a cosmic/space pattern. Note: This “walk” was surrounded by a mass of solid dark blue tiles.

 

5. Run a “walk” or “trail” up one long wall, turn left or right, wind it a few feet, then “move” the “walk” or “trail” back down to the floor. And, tie it into optical “ground.”

Note: This fun volunteer project, that I designed, was pulled off by using remnant carpeting, that we cut into square, oblong, and angular tiles. A major design/measure/cut/layout accomplishment!

 

Floor covering is more expensive than the average paint job. Combined with the wall finish, carpeting or tile adds immense value and atmosphere to the entire area. Its acoustics tend to be superb!

 

YES! A game room needs to include modern games, which are familiar to the guests and visitors.

 

A well thought out design and color scheme adds to the enjoyment of the area. It’s a smart investment.

Guests and visitors will thank you for it.

Guests, visitors, staff, and management will be motivated to “recommend” or “like” your hotel, spa, resort, or inn to others!

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting and decorating is a very multi-faceted job. It requires an extensive knowledge of and experience with both trade and construction industry methods, products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment. Also, it requires the ability to deal with a variety of factors: weather and climate, property (age, condition, use, size), budget, schedule, etc.

Any hotel or facility team member – teammate of the property’s painter – is in an enviable position. He or she has access to this skilled craftsperson. All kinds (of helpful information is in his or her head. And, at his or her fingertips.

Tap into this valuable resource. Your friendly team painter – and teammate – could be your best painting and decorating advisor ever!

Continuing from Part 1, here are some other things that you can learn from the painter with your hotel or facility.

 

12. How to inspect a wallcovering shipment before using it.

 

A. Carefully! Completely! Every roll! From beginning-to-end of roll!

B. Multiple rolls: Make sure the numbers are from the same run or batch. If not pattern or color may be different.

C. Check if pattern aligns properly from roll to roll.

D. Reversed vinyls: Check for color matching, especially for darker colors.

 

13. How to cut wallcovering sheets to match the room’s layout.

 

A. Full sheets: Cut all of the full sheets first.

B. Cut pieces above and below windows or doors, measured to match.

C. In-sequence sheets: Mark them, if necessary.

D. Tops of sheets: Label, if needed.

E. Corners of sheets: Mark for commercial vinyls, or for solid color non-patterned papers.

 

14. How to prep a surface or area for applying wallcovering.

 

A. Sand surface smooth.

B. Patch surface where necessary, using a chemical-cured, or powdered joint compound.

C. Apply sizing or oil-based primer to the walls.

D. Sand primed surfaces when fully dry.

E. Mark vertical lines at corners of walls so sheets are plumb.

 

15. How to set up a work area for applying wallcovering.

 

A. Protect floor with dropcloths, particularly where cutting and paste table(s) will set.

B. Set up pasting and cutting area: tables, blades/knives, level, sponges.

C. Place necessary materials and supplies in area: paste materials, rolls/boxes of wallcovering (inspected previously), tools (measuring tape and ruler, cutting/trimming knives, pasting brushes, smoothing knife, seamer, etc.)

D. Put bucket of warm, clean water at paste table, for cleaning it as needed.

E. TIP: Keep a second bucket of warm water nearby, for cleaning tools – as necessary.

F. TIP: Have a small bucket of very clean, cotton rags nearby, too.

G. Place sizeable, lined garbage container nearby for scrap wallcovering.

 

16. How a painter/paperhanger actually applies wallcovering.

 

A. Apply adhesive to wallcovering sheets, if product is not self-adhesive.

B. Unfold top section of sheet, aligning in proper place; then smooth down using a brush, or plastic edge smoothing tool.

C. Hold onto sheet with one hand, and smooth rest of sheet into place.

D. Seam sheets either by butting or overlapping seams. “Seamless seams.”

E. Fit and trim wallcovering around moldings and fixtures on wall or ceiling.

 

17. How to clean up after finishing wallcovering job.

 

A. Remove paint, filler, polyurethane from rim of can, also spray can nozzles

B. Reseal/re-closing and storing paint cans, caulking tubes, filler/putty tubs.

C. Soak tools used to apply wallpaper paste

(1) Wheat/cellulose/clay water-based paste: Soak brushes in bucket/can of clean, warm water.

D. Clean tools:

(1) Soak in warm, soapy water; then rinse.

(2) Residual paste can be removed with warm water and carbonated water for hard-to-clean vinyls.

E. Read blogs: “Paint Shop 1: Organizing…” ”Paint Shop 2: “Policies and Guidelines.”

 

18. How to protect and store your tools.

 

A. Brushes: Stand upright, bristles down. Read blog: “Paint Shop 1: Organizing.”

*** TIP: In a rush? Wrap brush or roller in newspaper, or wax paper. Secure with sturdy rubber band till you can clean brush thoroughly.

B. Roller covers/naps: Air, till nap dry. Store upright in tool box, or clean 1-gal. paint can.

C. Artist brushes: Air, till bristles dry. Store, bristles up or flat in brush case. Never down, unless you’ve wrapped brush.

D. Spray equipment: Flush properly with compatible solvent (water, mineral spirits). Clean spray tips. Remove any dried paint.

E. Central storage container: Store all hand tools together creates immediate availability. Also it reduces time looking for tools in different locations.

 

SPECIAL THINGS TO LOOK FOR…

 

1. Darker wallcoverings: Wash with baking or carbonated soda-based water wash. Remove paste thoroughly.

2. Pasting: Apply adhesive evenly and very smoothly to back of wallcovering.

3. Pasting option: Apply adhesive to the wall.

4. Watch carefully: Do not UNDERCUT wallcovering when trimming around something.

5. Hanging multiple sheets vinyl on new drywall: Cut seams before you go too far.

—- CAUTION: Drywall paper may pull loose if you wait too long.

 

A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PAINTER WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT

 

1. Which paint is better: flat wall paint, semi-gloss, or gloss?

2. How can I get something painted when I have a low budget?

3. Would you consider bartering? Eg. Painting our house for design help with website?

4. I have a friend that needs some painting done. Can I give him your cell phone number?

 

QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK YOUR PAINTER IF YOU WANT TO KEEP AS A FRIEND

 

1. Can you recommend a painter? I need some work done in my home.

2. Can you paint my house for free? TIP: Ask about “bartering.” See last section.

3. Is it all right if I don’t recommend you, or act as a reference?

4. Can you fix my week-end wallpapering mess – as a favor?

5. If you have a stain-finished door, what can I do to prepare it for finish painting?

 

A Painter’s Point to Ponder:

 

Being asked by co-workers, at whatever levels, to share tips from one’s trade is an honor. Especially, when done with genuine respect and interest.

It gives added meaning to the “team”-anything connection. And, it deepens the mutual, and individual, sense of worth and belonging.

 

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Please find a way to help someone else enjoy this day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Wallpaper and Hidden Black Mold Treatment

In 2013, I ran into a serious environmental problem on a hospitality property. Black mold lined the wallpaper and covered the drywall in a busy front office. An office whose primary occupant suffered from chronic asthma. The budget did not include the services of a certified mold mitigation and remediation specialist. So, the job came my way.  

What led to the initial investigation for black mold and mildew?

A musty odor filled the room, and filtered into the hallway. The air seemed stuffy. The occupant reported constant irritation, and severe difficulties with breathing, chest tightness, itching and burning eyes, fatigue, etc.

How was the black and green mold discovered?

I pulled back a corner of one panel of wallpaper on every wall in the room. Dense black mold covered the back of each panel. Similar black and slimy green mold and mildew covered over 80 percent of the drywall itself.

What needed to happen as soon as possible?

The wallpaper had to be removed in an environmentally-safe manner. The black mold on all surfaces needed to be stopped (mitigated) from growing further. Then, the spores had to be removed completely (remediated.

Prior to treatment, what was done?

1. All small items were removed from the room.                                                                                2. The office furniture and equipment were moved into the center of the room, and covered with plastic sheeting, then old cotton sheets.                                                                                            3. The floor was covered with 2-5 ply plastic sheeting, then more old cotton sheeting.

The main objectives were (1) to protect everything else in the room from additional exposure and damage, and (2) to prevent seepage of the chlorine bleach and water solution, also rinse water, onto the surfaces.

How did you protect yourself?

I “suited-up” before performing each step. The protective gear included the following: disposable hooded paper suit, shoe booties, and particle mask; disposable plastic gloves; also eye goggles, breathing respirator with an organic filter.

How was the contaminated wallpaper removed?

First, the infested area was confined from the other areas,  and from other persons in the office complex. Next, each sheet of wallpaper was pulled off, carefully, from the drywall. Then, each sheet was rolled up, and placed on the floor out of the way.

Key considerations included (a) the toxic conditions; (b) density of toxic black mold;(c) amount of moisture on the paper’s back and drywall surfaces; and (d) time, budget and exposure limits.

How was the infested and contaminated wallpaper disposed of?

The paper was wrapped into 3-4 roll bundles, using masking tape. Then, per supervisory instructions, the bundles were placed into large heavy-duty trash bags. And, they were placed in the commercial solid waste dumpster at the back of the property.

How was the black mold killed (mitigated)?

1. The management-approved solution of 3 parts chlorine bleach to 1 part clean warm water was mixed in a 2-gallon garden sprayer.                                                                                                   2. The chlorine bleach-water solution was sprayed lightly onto one small at a time. And, it was allowed to set 8 to 10 minutes.                                                                                                          3. To keep the job running smoothly, the solution was applied promptly to adjacent areas.             4. Steps 1 through 3 were repeated until all wall, ceiling, woodwork, door, and trim surfaces in the room had been treated.

How was the black mold removed (remediated) from the drywall panels and other areas?

1.  The black mold residue, that hadn’t evaporated, was wiped from the area, with a moist sponge. 2.  On many areas, the application of the chlorine bleach and water solution had to be repeated two to three times.                                                                                                                              3. The walls, ceiling, woodwork, door, and frame were washed thoroughly with clear, warm water, using a fresh sponge. This prevented re-infestation and re-contamination.                                       4. The drywall had to be inspected for left over wallpaper adhesive. Any remaining residue needed to be removed completely before proceeding.                                                                                    5. All furniture, equipment, fixtures, etc. were checked carefully for any sign of black mold and mildew. None was found.

How were used supplies, materials and tools disposed of?

The plastic sheeting, cotton sheeting, heavily-used sponges, cleaning rags, etc. were placed together in large, thick-ply plastic trash bags and tightly tied closed. The disposable hooded paper suits, shoe booties and masks, also plastic gloves were placed into a separate thick plastic trash bag. Then, per instruction, all bags were placed in the commercial dumpster at the back of the property.

How were salvageable supplies, tools and equipment cleaned and dried?

Salvageable items included buckets, lightly-used sponges, eye goggles, respirator, etc. All items were washed thoroughly with strong detergent and water. Then, they were rinsed at least twice with clean warm water. And, everything was air-dried, overnight (24 hours).

How were the drywall and other surfaces dried?

A large fan was placed in the room. The door closed.  And, the room was allowed to dry overnight (24 hours).

How were the drywall panels and other areas prepped for refinishing?

1. For prep sanding, I covered my mouth with a dust/particle mask. And, I wore eye goggles.        2. Products and materials used included sandpaper, joint compound, caulking, etc.                       3. Tools and equipment included paint rollers, covers, frames, roller pole, and roller screen; also, brushes, buckets, ladders, etc.                                                                                                          4. Before proceeding, the floor, and the grouping of office furniture, were covered with clean plastic dropcloths.                                                                                                                                         5. Then, the walls, woodwork, molding, and door were sanded. Cracks were caulked and filled. Drywall irregularities were patched. Some areas were re-sanded, as needed.          

Ordinarily, the removal of wallcovering is relatively easy and fast, as well as very safe. The removal of contaminated wallcovering from an environmentally-compromised area requires more time and care.

Special recommendations: Difficult-to-remove wallcovering requires special techniques and expertise. Depending on the complexity of the area’s layout and the quantity of infested wallcovering, calling a wallcovering removal specialist, with mold remediation experience, may be a wise and safer choice.

Special caution: At all times, the conditions in the area must be respected. And, the health and safety of any person that comes in contact with that area must be protected.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *                                                                                                                          For a technical explanation, read:  (your state) “Florida – Indoor Air,” Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov),  or call 1-404-562-9143                                

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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