inPAINT Magazine May/June 2023 Issue

Page 1

What it takes: kitchen cabinets
the entrepreneur’s trap
on their
exterior coatings RESULTS OF OUR 2023 READERS SURVEY
3M ™ HAND-MASKER ™ 4X faster than the paper/poly method © 3M 2023. All rights reserved. 3M is a trademark of 3M. *Brand of Masking Tools, Film or Boxed Plastic in the US and CA. Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., July 2021. PREFERRED built to perform

If you’ve spent any time with me, you know I like to talk. But do you know what I enjoy even more? Listening. Which is why I so love spending time at events like the PCA Expo.

This past February, I attended the 139th annual event and spent three days mixing and mingling (and maybe doing a little dancing) with over 500 pros. Every morning, I’d watch as they made their way down to breakfast and consider which daily sessions to attend. Some took a divide-and-conquer approach with members of their team while others went all-in on key presentations. At the close of each session, they’d often linger and share over the backs of chairs what really resonated with them, or things they’d consider trying. Those conversations continued over lunch and during breaks. That’s when I’d do my listening.

What struck me—and always strikes me—is how unique each pro’s experience and journey is. There’s no one definitive path to success. I heard talk of plans that ranged from doubling books of business to expanding off-season offerings with the sole purpose of keeping crews employed yearround. Others were focused on mastering a particular niche service, while one ambitious gentleman has his sights set on franchising his business nationwide.

While their visions of what makes for a thriving business varied dramatically, they all had one thing in common: they were actively taking the steps necessary to make their goals a reality. I can’t overstate how much I admire their courage and conviction.

Proof that there are “many ways of going forward” can also be found in the 2023 inPAINT Readers Survey inside this issue. From how pros are tackling staffing shortages to preferences for products that deliver the best results, it’s clear there are many ways to define and achieve success.

Cheers, Amanda Haar, Managing Editor, inPAINT


Ryan Adamski

Production Manager, CertaPro Painters

Bryce Benfield

Owner, South-East Paint & Protective Coatings Co.

Peter Berke

Lauren Fink Owner, Apex Painting

Jeremy Fyfe Owner, GLS Painters

Larry Marler Owner, The Works Remodeling and Finishing

Rich Purnell

Steve Spinelli Owner, Uni Pro Painting

©2023 REM Publishing Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Publisher assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use, misuse or inability to use the materials or information contained in this publication. All material and information appearing in this publication is distributed and transmitted ‘as is,’ without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.


Edward McAdams


Amanda Haar


Carl Bezuidenhout


Cindy Puskar


Brian Sodoma


Marisa Crumb


Lia Allen Allen Brothers Painting

Heather Aughenbaugh Realty ONE Group

Brooke Cambridge BLC Painting

Brayden Cohen Hootsuite

Andy & Aaron Dupuy A.L.D. Painting

Denny Jahnz Cabinet ReNu

Jim Johnson Contractor Coach PRO

Corrie Leister Inspired By U

Jason Lunn 3M

Dave King Home Improvement Research Institute

Bernie & Frank Mohr Mohr Painting

Chris Moore Elite Business Advisors

Ray Rahni Paint Track Painting Services

Luke Reynolds ALL IN Painting

Nichole Rosen The Magic of Paint

Brandon Turner Flying Colors Painting


ADVERTISE 602-296-5391


publishing group REM Publishing Group LLC  8924 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Suite G5 #575 Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, American president

inPAINT Survey Results

5 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT TRENDS inPAINT ® May/Jun 2023 DEPARTMENTS 6 The News Industry ins and outs 8 5 Good Questions A social media pro on must-do strategies 9 Tools of the Trade What’s in today’s professional toolbox? 10 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry 11 Trend in Focus Tapping into the home-buyer and -seller pipeline 27 Teach to Fish Choosing reusable respirator cartridges or filters 30 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events 31 Bottom Line Is a hybrid subcontractor model right for you? 12 16 24 28 Escaping the Entrepreneur’s Trap How to run your business instead of having your business run you
Kitchen Cabinets Two pros share the opportunities and challenges Pro Picks Exterior coatings pros trust for different climates and substrates Project Snapshots Challenges, coatings and color choices for two unique projects FEATURES 24 Cover Photo Courtesy of Inspired By U CONTENTS 20
preferred brands—both
practices and projections Courtesy of ALL IN Painting
nationally and regionally—plus their

Paint it greener with biorenewable coatings

T In a big win for planet Earth and potentially the collective wallet of pro painters everywhere, researchers at the University of Minnesota have found a way to duplicate a key component of paint normally derived from nonrenewable fossil fuels using a very renewable source: plants. The breakthrough relies on a catalyst technology that converts the glucose in plants to the identical molecule as acrylic acid and acrylates, derived from propane, ensuring the same performance. Besides being kinder to the planet than previous technologies, the new catalyst is also highly efficient, which means lower manufacturing costs.

Recognizing the potential of their discovery, researchers patented the technology and formed a startup company, Lakril Technologies, that’s actively working to commercialize the production process. They hope to make the biorenewable ingredient available to paint manufacturers to incorporate in their formulations in the near future.

Magnetic paint removes stains and destroys pathogens

T Polish researchers at Gdansk University of Technology have developed a magnetic paint that can protect surfaces from potential pathogens, dirt and stains.

According to the coating’s developers, the paint has a light-activated catalyst that enables it to remove stains by itself. When activated, dirt, grease and pathogens are broken down and essentially shed from the surface. Developers note that artificial light is sufficient for the protection to work and that the protection remains active even when the light goes out.

The paint can be applied to interior substrates that include drywall, wood, metal and plastic. In addition, the technology can even be added to existing paints.

Robotic graffiti removal

T Italian design studio V12 Design is declaring robot war on graffiti artists. The studio recently unveiled a robotic tag removal system, referred to as T.R.S 001, that uses cameras to analyze exterior facades, taking into account the placement of doors and windows, and detecting the primary paint colors on the structure. Using this information, the wheeled robot goes to work mixing the appropriate colors from a supply of colors and then deploys a series of nozzles to apply the paint up to heights of nearly 10' to cover any detected graffiti. The built-in-camera technology can detect if additional paint is needed and prompt the T.R.S 001 to continue painting until full coverage is achieved.

That’s quite the additive

T In early January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in northern Kentucky made an unexpected discovery in a shipment of acrylic waterproof paint. Upon detecting a white crystalized substance on the lids of the 5-gallon buckets, the agents dug a little deeper and found 140 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a street value of nearly $1 million. The shipment, which originated in Mexico, was unknowingly being transported by DHL through its hub in northern Kentucky with an intended destination of Cleveland, Texas.

The joy of painting

T The National Association of Realtors released the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report late last year. For the first time ever, the report included a project Joy Score based on the happiness that homeowners experience from the completed work. Among the interior projects achieving perfect 10s were:

■ painting the entire interior of the home

■ painting a single room of the home

The project that garnered the lowest Joy Score was adding a new bathroom.

6 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023 THE NEWS
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BRAYDEN COHEN has spent 7-plus years helping disruptive brands scale their marketing strategies through digital channels. He’s worked on and consulted for small and large teams at startup and enterprise direct-to-consumer (DTC) and software as a service (SaaS) organizations building integrated social, content, influencer and employee advocacy campaigns and programs to scale globally.

Which social tactic is a must for businesses?

Leveraging existing customers to increase reach and to build brand credibility is an incredibly effective tactic for scaling business growth. Businesses that are leveraging their customer base are building brand advocates—and, ideally, these advocates would organically share their experiences with a business’ work performance, amplifying their overall satisfaction to their networks on their social channels.

Now is not the time to be shy. When the job is done, ask for the review, video testimonial or for the ‘follow’ on Instagram. Be honest and share how important these types of endorsements are to keeping your business going and employees busy. But also feel empowered to take the lead by capturing your own work, sharing it on your own company social platform and tagging customers where you can, as this will encourage them to re-share the work you did for them on their own social accounts, ultimately increasing word-of-mouth referrals from social media.

1 4

How can brands show up authentically on social platforms?

3 2

First and foremost, by establishing and following your company’s brand guidelines. Think about who your business would be if it was a person and use those attributes to fuel your brand guidelines. Would they be buttoned up and serious, or would they be more casual? What would their tone be like? Authoritative or consultative? What are they promising: fast turnaround or painstaking craftsmanship?

Whatever you land on should serve as the lane lines for your social messaging. Staying consistent with your messaging will help define your business for potential customers and instill comfort and confidence around your brand. But most important, make sure that your brand guidelines are a reflection of your brand values, the work that you do, and what makes you different from competitors. The key to being authentic on social media is just showing up in a truly genuine way.

What are effective ways to engage with customers on social media?

First, follow your customers and join any groups where you might find prospective customers on Facebook. Keep an eye on what they’re posting and doing and insert yourself in conversations where relevant. This might look like a like, a share, or if appropriate, a comment. If you can create a meaningful, helpful conversation, go ahead.

You may even want to follow other painters who offer services in your area. Don’t hesitate to provide feedback, such as a ‘great job!,’ as this can help build affinity and could even lead to a referral.

Most important, schedule a time each week to go through all your feeds to stay on top of the likes and comments, as this is the ultimate and most organic way to engage with customers. When you fail to engage with a customer who has engaged with you, you are missing an opportunity to foster a long-lasting professional relationship.

What should businesses steer clear from doing on social platforms?

Avoid inserting yourself into risky and topical conversations, as your goal should always be to ultimately add value to conversations—not risking tarnishing your brand identity. If you see something viral going on, think before you act. Consider how it got started and by whom. Look at how other brands—local or national—are responding. And get a gut check from someone you trust about it and how you might respond, if at all.

What skill is most important for social marketers in the painting industry?

Content creation is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to become a writer or videographer. Just show what you’re working on and explain your process or time line. This demonstrates your skills, builds credibility, makes people trust you before they even meet you, and creates an opportunity for customers to engage with you on social media.

8 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023

What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

3M™ Pro Grade Precision™ Faster Sanding Sheets

#1 Sanding Performance. 3M™ Pro Grade Precision™ Faster Sanding Sheets with enhanced mineral technology resist clogging and sand faster. Fold once and the NO-SLIP GRIP™ durable backing grips together to prevent slipping, so you can sand longer with less hand fatigue. Superior cut durability from start to finish. For when endurance matters.

3M ™ Hand-Masker ™ M3000 Dispenser

The 3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Dispenser applies painter’s tape to masking film, plastic or paper in one continuous application, saving you valuable prep time. Use when preparing for painting, ceiling texturing, exterior wall finishing or floor sanding. For all the basics in one kit, choose the 3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Starter Pack.

Learn more about 3M™ Hand-Masker™ Masking Products at

If you have a product, service or tool that you think professionals should know about, contact:


Kicking kitchen colors

According to the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, homeowner color preferences for kitchen walls are holding nearly steady compared to 2022. Here’s what has—and hasn’t—changed.

Before-market opportunities

According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, 75% of homebuyers who sold their previous home in 2022 made improvements before putting it on the market. These homeowners spent a median of $5,000 doing so, usually to increase their home’s value and to help it sell faster.

Why they go, why they stay

iHire’s Talent Retention Report 2022 offered the following insight into why people voluntarily leave their jobs and what employers could do to make them stay.

Why they leave:

43.7% Unhappy with manager/supervisor

43.4% Unsatisfactory pay/salary

35.4% Poor work/life balance

29.7% Lack of recognition/appreciation

28.3% Few growth/advancement opportunities

Is it getting crowded?


The number of painting and decorating businesses in the U.S., an increase of 2% over 2022.

SOURCE: IBIS World House Painting & Decorating Contractors in the US 2023

Buckle up, remodelers

The new home construction data company Zonda estimates residential remodeling activity will decrease 2.3% in 2023; decrease 1.7% in 2024; and decrease 0.1% in 2025.

What would make them stay:

71.8% Pay raise

38% Growth/advancement opportunities

36.4% More flexible schedule

35.8% Additional paid time off

33.6% Meaningful employee recognition

TRENDS 10 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
White 35% 32% 24% 27% 18% 19% 6% 5% 5% 5% Gray Beige Blue Green 2023 2022

The rewards of working with realtors

Whether they’re moving in or moving out, consumers are investing in before- and aftermarket home improvements.

According to Dave King, executive director at the Home Improvement Research Institute, the median amount for home sellers looking to spruce up their property prior to sale is $5,000 while the median amount for buyers aiming to turn their new house into a home is $6,000.

“Not surprisingly,” adds King, “The products most often purchased for improvements by both contractors and consumers is paint and paint accessories.”

While home sales in 2023 are projected to only reach 4.5 million units (versus a pre-pandemic 5.34 million in 2019), there’s still plenty of opportunity for pros to make revenue gains in this market. Some say the key to their success is a realtor connection.

Make the most of opportunity

For Brandon Turner of Flying Colors Painting outside Concord, NH, realtor relationships are a huge part of his business. “More than 50% of our work comes through realtors,” he says. “They provide a steady supply of jobs that range from lots of neutrals for houses going on the market to more creative colors for those moving in.”

Turner’s introduction to the lucrative realtor pipeline began when he purchased an investment property in 2012. He picked up a few jobs through the selling agent and discovered he liked the nature of the work.

Since then, he has networked his way into relationships with other realtors. “We bought an ad in a local magazine. Part of the buy included a networking event with realtors. I was able to mention I worked with another agent, which provided the comfort and confidence other agents needed to hire me. I haven’t looked back.”

Converting connections into work

Like Turner, networking was key to building the book of business for Lia Allen of Allen Brothers Painting in York, PA. She says, “We launched the company in May 2021, and I spent June through September networking hard, including at an all-women’s networking group. It was there I met Heather Aughenbaugh with Realty ONE Group. She called us in to help with a customer who was closing on a house. She liked our work so much she had us work on her own home, and now we get a steady stream of

leads from her agency.” Today, Allen works with five to six realtors. “The scope of work varies from a single bedroom or bathroom to repainting an entire floor. Obviously, when there’s a closing, we have to turn bids quickly and get the work done on often tight time lines. But because they’re such reliable sources of business, we prioritize their projects; sometimes leaving other jobsites for a day or two to get them done.”

Many of today’s buyers are not DIYers. According to Aughenbaugh, “More than ever, many of today’s buyers are not DIYers.” She adds, “For young families where both parents work full time, move-in ready is a must. I’m regularly asked for referrals. They’re quickturn projects but there are a lot of them.”

As for pros looking to connect with realtors, Aughenbaugh notes that many agents work from home, so they can be hard to track down. “That said, I’m happy to take calls and meetings with painters,” she says. “Once we’ve connected, I look to their website or Facebook page for any before-and-after photos and reviews. And, of course, networking groups are a great way to make an introduction.”

The realities of real estate work

Both Turner and Allen recognize how important responsiveness is to keeping the pipeline full. Turner says, “The downside of this type of work is it’s almost always a crunch-time situation. But given the volume of work we get, it’s worth the effort. The reality is there’s always somebody else ready to take the work if you can’t.”

Allen adds, “If you dip your toe in this market, make sure you’re always clear on who’s paying the bills. Things can get muddled with escrow accounts and mortgage companies. Establish who the customer is early and communicate directly with them.”

TREND IN FOCUS 11 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
It’s a buyer’s and seller’s market for paint pros
“The products most often purchased for improvements by both contractors and consumers is paint and paint accessories.”



Escaping the entrepreneur’s trap

For years, there has been a lot of content in our industry about why some contractors fail. With stats from the U.S. Department of Commerce like 29.1% failing in year one, 56% within three years, and 72% within five, you can see why it is a hot topic.

12 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023

The most concerning stats though— and the ones that really should catch your attention—are the revenue and profit stats of those who do stay in business. According to Fundera, a finance company for small businesses, a staggering 98% of home service contractors generate less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue with a net income of less than $80,000.

These numbers reveal that relatively few pros have figured out how to scale their operation in a manner that allows them to create a business that works for them instead of a business they work for—the classic entrepreneur’s trap. But the numbers also reveal that it can be done, which should indicate to you that you can do it too.

Understanding the trap

What many pros don’t realize when starting a business is that there’s an immense number of responsibilities that suck up time and put a cap on the amount of work that can be done and revenue that can be generated. These things don’t seem like much at first but, before you know it, half your time—or more—is sucked up in marketing, finance, project management, recruiting, training and customer service. Each of these aspects of business go deep, too.

For example, finance is so much more than what goes in and what comes out of a bank account. Accounts receivable and accounts payable are important but just as important is the understanding of balance sheets, cash flow, work in progress—not to mention taxes, overhead, audits and risk management.

Finance is usually—and should be—the first area we know we need help with, so we look at hiring a professional to relieve some of the burden, ideally in the form of a part-time or full-time bookkeeper or CPA. I say ‘ideally’ but the truth is, far too few business owners hire a professional. Instead, they recruit a family member or friend, which leads to not just trying to figure it out but having to work it through with someone who has little more experience than you, creating a time-suck trap that prevents you from focusing on what you do well and making money at it.

We make similar decisions in all areas of our business without realizing there is an actual sequence to the order in which we should do things in order to scale our business. Instead, we address those aspects of our business from a reactive, best-guess approach without a plan to follow, which ends up creating extra work that makes us feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. This is the entrepreneurial trap you need to escape to not just survive but to thrive.

Getting out of the trap

After coaching contractors for several years, I realized that, despite there being an abundance of information about how to run a business, what was missing was a big-picture blueprint of what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

Without this blueprint, you end up staying reactive in your decisions and often fail to appreciate the specific sequence of actions you need to take to effectively scale your business.

Let’s say right now you’re thinking the only thing standing between you and more work (and revenue) is leads. So, you consider buying an established marketing software or hiring a lead-generating service. That’s a great step but before you invest, you need to look at the bigger picture (that is, your blueprint), and make sure you’re really ready to seize this opportunity. Ask yourself, if you get more leads, do you have a sales process that optimizes your investment? Is that process repeatable? If you convert those leads, do you have the processes in place to handle the additional volume?

If you don’t have solid answers to those questions, buying a software or service won’t solve your problems. In fact, it may just create new ones, and once again, you are falling into the trap of putting out fires instead of preventing them in the first place.

Here’s another example:

At ContractorCoachPRO, more than 90% of the contractors who contact us say they want us to help them recruit and hire an elite team, thinking this is the best way to scale their business. We can certainly do that, but we always ask: How will you train them quickly and effectively? How will you generate enough leads to support the new team members? What technology will you use to market, manage and track all those new prospects and customers? And so on … following the blueprint back to the beginning. Are you skilled enough and have enough capacity to lead these new team members in a culture that fosters growth and maximizes team performance?

Those two examples highlight just how important sequence and planning are to the operational side of your business. But to be truly successful, your blueprint also needs to incorporate foundational aspects of your business.

13 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
A staggering 98% of home service contractors generate less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue with a net income of less than $80,000.

JIM JOHNSON is the founder of ContractorCoachPRO, the author of the best-selling book Contractor’s Blueprint and host of the Contractor Radio Podcast. Johnson and the elite coaching team at ContractorCoachPRO have helped thousands of contractors achieve their version of success through a mission-focused coaching methodology.

Visualizing your business blueprint









Recruiting, Hiring & Onboarding

Leadership Culture


Organization & Human Resources



The foundation of your business includes leadership, culture, process, organization & human resources, finance and accountability.

Your blueprint needs to clearly outline the standards you expect of your entire team as well as yourself, and how you will hold yourself and the team members accountable for performance. It should include items such as:

which key performance indicators you’ll use to track performance

how you’ll manage finances to support team development and ensure your budget supports growth goals

written standardized and repeatable processes how you’ll create an environment that fosters and reinforces your defined culture

what you will do to develop leadership skills and capacity to support that culture

It’s helpful to think of your blueprint as the DNA of your business. Just like human DNA, your business DNA has both foundational and operational backbones. Those backbones are linked together by the components of your business that work together in a specific sequence to determine how your business performs.

As you make decisions for a component of your business, you can refer to your blueprint to appreciate the impact that decision will have across all the other components. You can drill down and determine if you’re truly ready to take action or if more work needs to be done. Similarly, if problems arise, you can again refer to the blueprint to determine where the disconnect or improper sequencing is occurring.

Certainly, creating a comprehensive blueprint takes work, vision and patience, but that work pays off in several ways. First, it’s the basis of building a great culture that fosters an environment of growth and team performance and is led by an amazing leader(s). Second, it allows you to make solid decisions driven by a defined culture, repeatable processes, and your finances and measurables—no more reactionary decisions that trap you. Third, it affords you more time to work on the business because all the questions you’re mentally asking yourself now have been answered in writing and can be referenced by anyone on the team.

It’s time to start working ON your business, not IN it

What I’ve learned from running my own businesses as well as the experiences I’ve shared with the thousands of contractors I’ve coached is that without an understanding of your blueprint, it’s easy to get trapped. If you don’t recognize how the sequence of your decisions and actions affects the foundational and operational sides of your business, growth is hard—if not impossible—to come by.

It is simple to escape the trap, but you must dedicate time each week to working on your blueprint. If you do this consistently, in a relatively short period of time you will find you’ve transitioned to working on your business instead of in it. You’ll become a strong leader who has developed a great culture with repeatable processes that are easy to market and sell. You’ll be able to train better and recruit the best talent to fit that well-oiled machine that is now giving you what you wanted from the start: the personal and financial freedom to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want. -

14 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
Your blueprint needs to clearly outline the standards you expect of your entire team as well as yourself, and how you will hold yourself and the team members accountable for performance.
15 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT Visit ©Shurtape Technologies, LLC 2023/ASW00491 FrogTape® performance priced for the pro FrogTape® Pro Grade: The only blue tape good enough to be FrogTape ®


Whether it’s thanks to the popularity of HGTV or the extended hours spent at home staring down nasty cabinets during the pandemic, there’s no denying that kitchen renovations are on the rise. Central to the majority of renovations— 65% of all kitchen renovations, according to HouzzPro—is refinishing cabinets. While this is a tempting opportunity for any pro skilled at interior painting, as we learned from two veterans of the trade, there’s an art, science and bit of expense specific to kitchen cabinets that can’t be taken for granted.

Kitchen cabinet refinishing


Estimated initial expenses; cost will vary by market and equipment; larger pieces of equipment are available to rent:


Liability insurance. Recommended you inform your provider when adding this service, as you may want to adjust your limits, especially if applying solventbased products.

Assorted sundries Costs will vary. (Includes foam brushes, plastic sheeting, caulk, tape, cleaning products, rags, denatured alcohol, floor protection, filters, respirator cartridges)


16 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
recommended: ■ Sprayer ■ Product-specific application
Sprayer $1,000–3,000 Sanders $250–700 Extraction vacuum $200–500 Air scrubber $500–1,000 Fans $55–200 Dust barrier system $300–1,500 Heat gun $30–100 Spray booth $800–5,000 Drying racks $200–700 Infrared curing lamp $250-500 Downdraft table $2,000–6,000 Heater $50-150 Humidifier $200 Respirators $150–250 Caulking gun $10–30 Brad nailer $150–300 Cordless drill/screwdriver $50–200 Van, box truck or cargo trailer $5,000–50,000

By her own admission, Corrie Leister made the rookie mistake of thinking ‘how hard could it be?’ when taking on her first cabinet painting project in 2015.

“I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life when a family friend asked me to take on painting her cabinets,” she says. “I had painting experience as an artist, so I wasn’t intimidated. That was until I visited the local specialty paint shop and realized there was a LOT more to cabinets than most walls. I was fortunate that my client paid for me to take a training offered at that store. At the same time, I dug in to social media forums and found an abundance of information and people willing to share their knowledge. All that combined to flatten a rather steep learning curve.”

Today, Leister runs Inspired By U Cabinet & Furniture Refinishing in Mechanicsburg, PA that offers cabinet refinishing, markets a proprietary industrial coating line, and provides refinishing training for pros via Inspired By U-niversity. What started as a team of one operating from her garage has grown into a full-fledged business with a shop, a retail store and a team of nine part-time painters (all moms), a parttime carpenter, a shop/crew lead, plus her husband who handles sales and scheduling. The team typically completes three kitchens every 10 days.

Unlike Leister who was at the bottom of the learning curve when she got her start, Denny Jahnz of Cabinet ReNu in Mankato, MN, launched his cabinet business in 1999 after spending 2-1/2 years working for Kitchen Tune-Up, a kitchen remodeling franchise.

“I was pretty much up to speed when I went out on my own. I knew what equipment I needed and what coatings I liked to use and why,” he says. Today, Jahnz employs a team of six who split their time between custom builds and cabinet refinishing. He says his operational sweet spot involves tackling one refinishing job and one custom build a week.

Process is paramount

Leister and Jahnz have similar approaches to refinishing work that involve taking doors and drawers back to their shops for cleaning, prep, priming and painting while boxes are handled on site.

Jahnz notes they typically turn refinishing jobs around in five days or less. Here’s his process:

“Day one is dedicated to tear down and prep, including removing doors and drawers. Day two we clean, prep and prime the cabinet boxes on site. We also begin cleaning and prep of doors and drawers back at the shop. Days three and four we paint the boxes and remove all plastic and tape from the kitchen. We also finish priming and painting doors and drawers in the shop. On the last day, we install the doors and drawers and do a full cleanup.”

While that may sound like easy work, Jahnz notes there’s years of experience packed into every step of the process.

“Cabinet work is not for the lazy or disorganized,” he says. “Every door has to be labeled when it comes off. You have to pay attention to the hinges. If you don’t know how they work—and there are lots of different kinds of hinges—you’ve got to learn so that when you rehang the doors, they sit level and flush. And you have to be thorough in prepping the area. Not only to avoid overspray landing on the floor or counters but also to ensure the safety of your crew and the homeowners.”

Both pros utilize ZipPoles and plastic sheeting to tent the work area. In her workspace, Leister adds a humidifier, heaters, air scrubbers and a vent fan aimed out a door or window. Jahnz is partial to air scrubbers with a three-stage filter system that takes particulates out of the air. “We position an air scrubber with either a furnace, carbon or HEPA filter outside the tent and cut a hole in the plastic sheeting to vent directly to the scrubber.” Both setups incorporate fans to increase circulation and to hasten drying. Jahnz also utilizes infrared curing lamps when he’s looking to speed up the dry time on primer or paint.

Surface and product considerations

“The biggest mistake you can make when taking on a cabinet project,” says Jahnz, “is treating it like any other

17 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
“Cabinet work is not for the lazy or disorganized. Every door has to be labeled when it comes off. You have to pay attention to the hinges. If you don’t know how they work—and there are lots of different kinds of hinges—you’ve got to learn so that when you rehang the doors, they sit level and flush.”
Courtesy of Inspired By U


“If you get a spot sprayed

surface, especially in the prep process. Honestly, you never know what people have used to clean the surface … it could be Pledge, it could be Murphy’s Oil Soap. And you can’t make assumptions about the existing topcoat or what’s underneath it. It’s really a bit of forensic work to get things figured out and prepped properly. But if you don’t do it right, you’ll be doing the whole job again.”

Leister agrees and notes that getting the prep right alone doesn’t guarantee success. “You absolutely have to be on top of what you’re painting,” she says. “There are a lot of substrates out there and you have to understand their quirks and qualities. For example, an open-grain substrate can take three times longer to complete than a closed-grain one. If you charge a flat linear square-foot rate, you can lose a lot in labor costs.”

She adds there are always new substrates coming out so the learning never stops. “I love the learning, but the constant change is a challenge every pro in the business has to be prepared to endure.”

When it comes to product preference, Leister’s a big fan of the Milesi Waterborne Polyurethane Coatings.

“The oils in skin will break down traditional enamels so you’ve got to choose your product wisely. I’ve found Milesi’s formulation stands up to the repeated handling, plus the products go on like a dream and look great.”

Jahnz isn’t as brand loyal as Leister, happily working with Envirolak, Ilva, Milesi and General Finishes, but he is committed to water-based, two-component paints. “In my opinion, they offer the best durability, adhesion and performance. And being water based, they’re safer to deal with and easier to dispose of.”

Training and tool talk

For pros new to water-based coatings, Jahnz strongly encourages training. “Everyone—including those with sprayer experience—can benefit from training specific to water-based coatings. Hands-on training with plenty of practice opportunity will help get your pressure and technique dialed in before you start tackling jobs.”

To that point, the Cabinet ReNu team participates in three to four trainings a year.

Jahnz encourages pros to tap both their equipment and coatings manufacturers for training. “They’re interested in you having the best possible experience with their product and do what’s necessary to ensure it,” he says. “In my experience, SurfPrep and TriTech reps offer some of the best hands-on training. All you have to do is ask.”

As a trainer herself, Leister makes sure her team is trained in industrial coatings handling, customer contact, teardown, prep sanding and masking, application of primer and topcoat, setting up an on-site spray booth, and unloading doors. “There’s a system to everything,” she says, “and it pays to make sure everyone is following it.” -

18 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
RESOURCES Painting Contractors Association Cabinet Refinishers Network Professional Finishers Development Group
Fresh off of training, Inspired By U team member Ali Makowsi applies her first-ever prime coat on an actual job.
too heavy, hit it right away with a heat gun to dry the paint and to keep it from running. Once it’s fully dry, sand it down and clean it up.”
—Denny Jahnz, Cabinet ReNu
… there are always new substrates coming out so the learning never stops … “I love the learning, but the constant change is a challenge every pro in the business has to be prepared to endure.”
Courtesy of Titan
19 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | MAY/JUN 2020 ® 2 pros’ approach to the same bid Elevating the customer experience through employee engagement + Pros on exterior coatings OUR 2020 inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | SEP/OCT 2020 ® Caulk: prep, application & avoiding common failures + Business UNusual 4 pros respond to COVID-19 PROS ON THEIR GO-TO STAINS FOR BEAUTY AND PROTECTION SUBSCRIBE Painting Contractors | Remodelers | General Contractors Property Managers | Architects | Designers IT’S FREE! inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | NOV/DEC 2020 ® Wish lists: what pros are Pros talk specialty coatings SPECIAL SECTION How the industry is supporting the pro through products and services inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | JAN/FEB 2021 ® What makes a paint tool right for the job + Interior coatings preferred by 5 pros WINNING HOA WORK What it takes and how manufacturers can help



Last month, we again reached out to 35,000 online readers of inPAINT magazine and asked pros which brands they’re finding the most success with in a dozen product categories. This information is of interest to other pros who might be considering new options, and serves as a valuable resource for manufacturers, consultants and other industry service providers who are also looking to stay abreast of the ever-evolving needs of the pro.


In our Survey, we asked participants to answer questions about their businesses. For some questions, respondents could select more than a single answer, thus some percentage totals exceed 100%.

20 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
WHAT IS YOUR AGE? 35 and under 5% 36–50 29% 51+ ............................................................................................................ 66% IN WHICH BUSINESS SEGMENTS DO YOU WORK THE MOST? Residential: Single Family ...................................................................... 84% Residential: Multifamily 36% Commercial: Office 32% Commercial: Retail 24% Other 30% NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES? 5 or less 69% 6–10 14% 11–20 ........................................................................................................ 10% 21–50 3% 51 or more 4% YEARS YOU’VE OWNED YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS? 5 or less 11% 6–10 12% 11–15 14% 16–25 20% 26 or more 35% I do not own a business 8%






What has been your best strategy to tackle the staffing shortage?

■ Provide a good wage, good work, and be a good leader

■ Subcontract more

■ Pay good employees well and treat them with respect so they'll stay and/or be a future referral resource

■ Seek referrals from friends, previous good employees, and other business owners and groups

■ Hire for fit (not experience), and train

■ Build a company culture that attracts like minded team players

■ Hire younger men and women straight out of high school

■ Pay bonuses for incentive and/or referrals

■ Search through ZipRecruiter and local magazines

■ Keep current employees happy

■ Train internally and externally to up-skill current employees

■ Be actively recruiting and always on the lookout for potential employees

■ Keep jobs small enough to handle myself and/or work more hours

■ Network with other painting contractors

■ Allow for days off

■ Do lots of interviews

■ Find flexibility in project assignments

■ Search for people who are willing to work hard and grow their knowledge while acquiring experience

■ Maintain a positive work environment

■ Develop a quarterly bonus structure and increase employee referral bonuses

■ Hire older hungry workers!

21 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
Referrals 80% Website 40% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)............................................................ 34% Print advertising (newspaper, magazines) 19% Networking events 17% Brochures/Flyers .................................................................................................................. 15% Online service companies (Angi, Houzz, HomeAdvisor, etc.) 10% Other 9%
Increasing 21% Holding steady 48% Decreasing ............................................................................................................................ 5% Never use them 26%
DO YOU MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS? (ESTIMATING, BILLING, SCHEDULING, ETC.) Exclusively through digital tools/apps/software ............................................................. 17% Mostly through digital tools/apps/software 21% An equal mix of digital tools/apps/software and manual/paper 27% Mostly through manual/paper ........................................................................................... 27% Exclusively through manual/paper 8%
Flat 20% < 10% 0% 10% – 15% 55% 16% – 20% 15% > 20% 10%
Trade magazines/books 73% Websites 73% Videos (e.g., YouTube).......................................................................................................... 41% Professional associations (e.g., PCA) 38% On the jobsite 34% Online forums ....................................................................................................................... 30% Coworkers 19% Online training classes 19% Podcasts ................................................................................................................................ 16% Family and friends 12% Trade school 5%
Time management/scheduling 36% Getting products and supplies 28% Customer demands .............................................................................................................. 25% Business management/financial worries 19% Winning business/not enough leads 19% Estimating ............................................................................................................................. 17% Estimate-to-close rate 16% Training 14% Lack of access to industry information .............................................................................. 4% Unreliable equipment 3% Regional business permitting/licensing requirements 2%



EDITOR’S NOTE: For the purpose of this Survey, product lines and brands such as Glidden, FrogTape, Sikkens, etc. are included under their manufacturer’s name, with a few exceptions. The ‘Other’ category includes all brands receiving a response of less than 5%.

22 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023 2023 SURVEY INTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 33% Benjamin Moore ..................................................................................... 24% Behr 19% PPG Paints 8% Other ........................................................................................................ 16% EXTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 41% Behr ......................................................................................................... 20% Benjamin Moore 17% PPG Paints 6% Dunn-Edwards ........................................................................................ 5% Other 10% PRIMER KILZ 23% Zinsser 23% Sherwin-Williams 20% Benjamin Moore 12% PPG Paints 6% Other 16% STAIN Minwax 26% Sherwin-Williams ................................................................................... 19% Old Masters 10% Cabot 8% Benjamin Moore 7% PPG Paints 7% Other 23% TAPE 3M 53% ShurTech 35% Other ........................................................................................................ 12% CAULK DAP 37% Sherwin-Williams .................................................................................. 21% Tower 11% White Lightning 6% Big Stretch ............................................................................................... 6% Other 20% BRUSH Purdy 47% Wooster ................................................................................................... 35% Corona 7% Other 12% ROLLER Purdy 40% Wooster 28% Sherwin-Williams ................................................................................... 9% Other 24% PAINT SPRAYER Graco 61% Titan 23% TriTech 5% Other 11% PRESSURE WASHER Mi-T-M ...................................................................................................... 28% Honda 19% Graco 10% DEWALT .................................................................................................... 8% Simpson 8% Other 26% POWER TOOLS DEWALT 41% Milwaukee 21% Festool ..................................................................................................... 9% Makita 8% RYOBI 8% Bosch ....................................................................................................... 6% Other 8% WORK VEHICLE Ford .......................................................................................................... 46% GMC 23% Dodge 12% Toyota ...................................................................................................... 10% Other 9%


EDITOR’S NOTE: For the purpose of this Survey, product lines and brands such as Glidden, FrogTape, Sikkens, etc. are included under their manufacturer’s name, with a few exceptions. The ‘Other’ category includes all brands receiving a response of less than 5%.




At inPAINT , we appreciate that your time is valuable and thank all participants for their insights. The following Survey participants were randomly selected from all respondents to each receive a prize valued at $200 or more from our generous 2023 Survey sponsors:

Datacolor – Benjamin Moore ColorReader Pro

Joel Hamberg, Oregon

FrogTape – Tape Bundle

Nelson Martin, Pennsylvania

Hyde – 5.5'–8.5' QuickReach Telescoping Spray Pole

Neil Sandor, California

Mr. Speed’s Painting Tools – 12 Pairs of Door Deckers

Marcel DeBlieck, Illinois

Purdy – Storage Box

Chad Jeffries, Missouri

Tower Sealants – Caulk

John J. Murray, Arizona

23 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT 2023 SURVEY
INTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams ................................ 29% Benjamin Moore 23% Dunn-Edwards 19% Behr ...................................................... 10% Kelly-Moore Paints 6% Other 13% EXTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 31% Dunn-Edwards 21% Benjamin Moore 17% Behr 10% Kelley-Moore Paints 7% Other ..................................................... 14% MIDWEST INTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams ................................ 43% Behr 33% Benjamin Moore 13% PPG Paints ............................................ 7% Other 3% EXTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 52% Behr 24% Benjamin Moore 14% PPG Paints 7% Other 3% SOUTH INTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams ................................ 34% Benjamin Moore 25% Behr 22% PPG Paints ............................................ 13% Other 6% EXTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 43% Behr 20% Benjamin Moore 17% PPG Paints 13% Other 7%
INTERIOR PAINT Benjamin Moore .................................. 43% Sherwin-Williams 29% Behr 14% PPG Paints ............................................ 11% Other 3% EXTERIOR PAINT Sherwin-Williams 33% Benjamin Moore 26% Behr 22% Other 19%


Four pros share their top exterior coating picks

Whether you’re a pro in Phoenix painting sunbaked stucco, a New Yorker staring down mildew-ridden cedar planks, or a commercial contractor in the Midwest specializing in metal buildings, you know that Mother Nature and surface type are the two primary factors influencing your exterior coating choices. Then there’s budget to consider as well. All that said, every pro also knows there’s always a project or situation that can push you out of your comfort zone and force you to try something less familiar. Here, four pros talked to us about the exterior surfaces they typically (and in some cases, less typically) work with and the coatings they rely on to deliver consistently great results for their customers.

24 inPAINT


This fifth-generation, Indiana-based pro’s breadand-butter projects are residential repaints; however, he also sees his share of commercial exterior work.

Many home exteriors Reynolds works with in this section of the Midwest are constructed with roughsawn cedar wood or Hardie plank siding materials. If the surface has been previously painted, he uses Sherwin-Williams SUPERPAINT Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint in a satin sheen. He likes the product because it comes with the same lifetime limited warranty included with the manufacturer’s premium Emerald and Duration products, but the cost for SUPERPAINT is lower.

“From a marketing standpoint, my customers like knowing they have a lifetime limited warranty on the paint product I’m using, and it also helps me keep the cost down for them,” he said.

Reynolds also says there are a couple of keys to getting the best performance out of SUPERPAINT. For example, he only uses it if the surface was previously painted, and he always sprays then backrolls all his jobs. He turns to Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint if the surface has not been previously painted. He also likes it in situations where the customer wants a darker color, or if the surface is worn and has excessive peeling.

“If I have a customer going with a darker color, I recommend Duration because it does have better retention and it resists excessive fading better,” he said. “Duration is twice as thick, too; it’s 7 mils versus 4 mils with SUPERPAINT.”

For commercial projects, he often works with brick or cement-block surfaces. For these, he likes Sherwin-Williams LOXON XP Waterproofing Masonry Coating, which offers the benefit of using one coat for a primer and a second coat for a topcoat. “It’s a high-quality product, and the painter benefits from not having to do primer plus-two.”

“[Sherwin-Williams LOXON XP Waterproofing Masonry Coating] is a high-quality product, and the painter benefits from not having to do primer plus-two.” —LUKE REYNOLDS, ALL IN PAINTING

25 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT 4 1
NICHOLE ROSEN The Magic of Paint
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This Idaho-based pro says residential repaints make up the majority of her workload, but she has also recently ventured into residential new construction and small commercial projects such as retail stores. Rosen works with a lot of wood-siding surfaces and prefers Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint for its durability and easy application. She also likes the satin sheen, which she says has a matte look and provides extra protection from the elements when compared to a flat.

“I just really love Duration. It goes on really smooth and sprays well … it’s the consistency of the product. I use more satin than flat just because we get such crazy weather, and the durability and the washability is excellent,” she said.

Surprisingly for her location, this pro also sees her share of stucco surfaces. For a recent commercial theater renovation project whose surfaces were primarily stucco, she turned to Sherwin-Williams SUPERPAINT Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint in a flat sheen. “It covers really well. It back-rolls easily and it’s a better price point when you’re putting 100 gallons on a building,” she added.

For a premium option, Rosen suggests the manufacturer’s EMERALD Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint in satin, and for aluminum siding projects she likes their Pro Industrial DTM Acrylic Primer/Finish . With the assistance of a carefully chosen primer, she will sometimes use Duration on metals, too. For painting brick, she starts with their LOXON Concrete & Masonry Primer/Sealer and follows that up with Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint for the topcoat.


This Massachusetts-based pro has been in business for 16 years. Her company tackles both commercial and residential work but the workload skews much more toward residential. Wood clapboard and cedar shake siding are the most common exterior surfaces Cambridge paints.

Her workhorse coating is Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior High Build Paint. She prefers to use a low-luster sheen on the building’s body surfaces and soft gloss on the trim. Whether she’s rolling or spraying, Cambridge always back-brushes and sees the most optimal results when she pairs it with an oil-based primer base coat.

“Regal Select is a solid product; we’ve never really had any issues with it failing,” she said. “It’s also not finicky. We don’t need to be constantly thinning it out or adjusting it. We can throw it in a sprayer and it lays out uniformly and smooth, and delivers a thicker mil than most.”

Cambridge likes the manufacturer’s Aura Exterior Paint when she needs something with heavy pigment to block out another color.

“With Aura, you will find maximum coverage with fewer coats than using another product. In the end, it’s a money-saver; even though the paint costs more, our customers are saving on labor,” she noted.

For metals, including steel, she has found success by using Benjamin Moore Super Spec HP DTM. “It’s more durable and just holds up longer, especially with the extreme weather we experience in New England.”


This New York City-based pro has been in business for more than two decades. With most of his work being residential repaints, cedar wood shake and shingle siding are some of the most common surfaces with which his teams work. If the surface has been previously treated with a transparent or semitransparent stain, his crews take on the time-consuming process of stripping it down to bare wood before applying waterborne Sansin SDF Topcoat

“The previous oil stain gets broken down by UV rays and you have discoloration and mildew, so you have to neutralize it for tannin bleed,” he explained. “The waterborne Sansin stain will keep its color, it’s easy to apply, so it withstands the UV rays and resists mildew. The biggest benefit is that in four or five years when it’s time to recoat, you can apply a new coat right over it. You don’t have to do all that work again.”

If the cedar boards were previously coated with a solid stain, Rahni uses Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Exterior Stain For solid-color trim, he turns to the manufacturer’s Aura Exterior Paint. He also uses it on exterior wood doors, aluminum siding and Hardie plank siding.

“Because of Aura’s Color Lock technology, it doesn’t fade. I can use a flat, and Aura retains color really well,” he added. Rahni’s crews spray and back-brush all exterior surfaces, too. “These are very rough substrates, so you want to work the coating into the wood. That’s why it has to be brushed.”

Smaller sections of exterior jobs often include railings or the occasional section of stucco. For steel railings, Rahni turns to Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer and Pro Industrial DTM Acrylic Paint. For stucco, he uses their LOXON XP Waterproofing Masonry Coating -

26 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
The Palace Theatre in Chubbuck, ID got the royal treatment from the Magic of Paint team who used Sherwin-Williams SUPERPAINT Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint to give the stucco exterior a durable, flat finish at a good price point.
“With [Benjamin Moore] Aura Exterior Paint you will find maximum coverage with fewer coats … even though the paint costs more, our customers are saving on labor.”

JASON LUNN is a 3M application engineering specialist for consumer safety products. He oversees the training and educational aspect of a wide variety of safety products, including respirators. Here, he tackles a question painting professionals may have about cartridges and filters for reusable respirators.

Q:How do I know which reusable respirator cartridge or filter to select for a job?

A:In order to make the right decision, you’ll first need to conduct a hazard assessment to determine what you are being exposed to and in what concentrations. To do so, you have a couple of options: you can either hire an Industrial Hygienist, or have one done for free through OSHA’s consultation services. The hazard assessment will help you determine if you are being exposed to gases, vapors, particulates, or a combination of those. Regardless of who does your assessment though, basic information about both cartridges and filters will help you understand what they are and why you should use certain ones.

Here’s a brief overview: Cartridges are designed to help filter out certain gases and vapors, while filters help filter out particulates.

For the painting professional, solvents in paints or from cleaning solutions can evaporate as ‘organic vapors.’ Particulates include dust from sanding and buffing, and mists from spraying. Let’s first tackle the question of how filters help protect you from potentially harmful particulates.

Filter ratings use letters and numbers to help determine what type of filtration they can provide. There are three letters (N, R and P), and three numbers (95, 99 and 100). The letters speak to a filter’s ability to help protect against oil-based particulates. N stands for ‘not resistant,’ R for ‘resistant’ and P for ‘proof.’ If you have an N-rated filter, for example, it is not resistant to oil-based particulates, but works well for things like dust, debris and most painting applications. R- and P-rated filters may be used for both oily and non-oily aerosols.

Filter ratings also include a number, which is the filtration efficiency per the government certification test. A 95-level filter is typically used to filter most types of dust as well as the aerosolized mist associated with paint spraying. A 100-class filter is required by OSHA for substance-specific hazards such as lead and asbestos.

Cartridges can help protect against many types of gases and vapors. Organic vapors typically can be found in products like paints, thinner, solvent-based epoxy and urethanes. Cartridges approved for filtering organic vapors have a black label. Cartridges approved for filtering both organic vapors and acid gases have a yellow label.

When spraying solvent-based paints, you will need both a particulate filter and an organic vapor cartridge. The particle filter is sometimes called a ‘pre-filter’ because it sits on top of the cartridge and helps filter out the particulates before the air moves into the cartridge. They are often made with non-woven strands of material that have been electrostatically charged to help attract and capture particles as air is pulled through the filter when you inhale. The air then passes into the chemical cartridge, which is filled with carbon granules that may also have been chemically treated to help absorb specific gases from the air. As you can see, these are two completely different filtration technologies, which is why it’s important to use both a filter and a cartridge when your hazard assessment calls for both.

Keep in mind, if your airborne hazard consists only of particulates (for example, from sanding drywall), you can use a standalone particulate filter that attaches directly to the facepiece. On the other hand, if your exposure only consists of organic vapors (such as rolling and brushing paint, where you don’t have the spray mist), an organic vapor cartridge can be used by itself.

Last, but not least, the right filter and cartridge choices are wasted if the respirator is not assembled correctly, does not fit properly, is worn over a beard, etc. So, make sure to read and follow all user instructions for your specific respirator.

To learn more, visit the 3M Center for Respiratory Protection or to find product, visit

27 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
inPAINT ® presents an industry-specific question and invites an expert to share their insight.



Location: Fort Washington, PA

Paint contractor:

Bernie and Frank Mohr, cofounders and owners

Mohr Painting

Time frame: 3 days

Crew size: 3 people

Equipment used:

■ Floor sander

■ Roller

■ ShurTape FrogTape Pro Grade Painter’s Tape

■ Brushes


■ More than 450 tiles had to be taped out and hand painted (see image top right)


STIX Waterborne Bonding Primer

COMMAND Waterborne Acrylic Urethane (satin) in: COMMAND Black

Custom-matched gray

Pro project comment:

“We used COMMAND because of its adhesion and durability. We chose a satin finish because the room is used for weddings and banquets, and slipping was a concern.”

Pro project comment:

“We were asked to paint over an existing linoleum floor in a historical home that serves as an event venue. We used a floor sander to remove several layers of paint and spotprimed as needed. We then rolled out two coats of COMMAND over the entire floor in a gray matched to other elements of the home. Then came the backbreaking work of taping out 450 individual ‘tiles’ and hand painting them black.”

28 inPAINT | May/Jun 2023
Courtesy of Dana Dorsey, The Highlands

PARK 303

Interior/exterior painting of a speculative warehouse build

Location: Litchfield Park, AZ

Paint contractor: Andy and Aaron Dupuy, owners A.L.D. Painting

Time frame: 194 days

Crew size: 5 to 10 painters per day

Equipment used:

■ Graco 3900 and 5900 gas spray rigs

■ Boom lifts: 40,' 60' and 65'

■ Scissor lifts: 32' and 43'


■ 1,192,719-sq.-ft. property with 53'+ walls

■ Multiple visits by prospective buyers of the property throughout the building and painting processes

Pro project comment:

“The project consisted of two massive cross-dock, tilt-up warehouse buildings. With a project this big, it was imperative to continually have paint delivered to the site, and there was never a time when we were waiting for product.”



Interior/Exterior Primer: EFF-STOP Select Interior/Exterior Masonry Primer Sealer

Interior Paint: AQUAFALL Interior Dry Fall Coating (flat) in:

Pro product comment:

Exterior Paints: ACRI-HUES Professional Exterior Paint (flat) in:

When Walmart indicated they wanted to visit the property during the build, Dunn-Edwards provided a quick color match of Walmart Blue, which was applied over the originally specified Beautiful Blue.

EVERSHIELD Ultra-Premium Exterior Paint (semi-gloss) in:

“After our rep showed us a volume-solids comparison, we chose to work with ACRI-HUES for the exterior. It provides a uniform, smooth finish with a very good balance between sag resistance and flow and leveling, which helped us get the project done quicker."


ARISTOSHIELD Ultra-Premium Interior/Exterior Paint (semi-gloss) in:

29 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT
DEW340 Whisper DE6368 Walrus DE6368 Walrus DEA136 Beautiful Blue DE6366 Silver Spoon Custom color match: Walmart Blue DEW383 Cool December DE6366 Silver Spoon DE6370 Charcoal Smudge DE6368 Walrus


3M Pages 2 & 9 Behr Back Cover FrogTape

Page 15


Page 7


Page 3


Page 25

What, Where & When


24–27: 2023 BOMA International Conference & Expo, Kansas City, MO


17–19: The Fundamentals of Professional Resurfacing Tub, Tile & Countertops, Wheeling, IL


15: The Retreat with Nick Slavik, Nisswa, MN


11–14: CPIA Leadership Conference, Chicago, IL

27–29: Mile High Profit Summit, Denver, CO


11–14: 2023 PowerClean Convention, Glendale, AZ

18–20: PCA Craftsmanship Forum, Savannah, GA

The Fundamentals of Professional Resurfacing Tub, Tile & Countertops

Presented by Hawk University, this class is ideal for individuals new to tub, tile and countertop resurfacing, or for resurfacing professionals looking to sharpen their skills. A blend of classroom instruction and interactive break-out sessions, the class is limited to four to six people and includes five critical modules:

■ Surface preparation

■ Basecoat, additives and topcoat application

■ Decorative finishes

■ Business operations

■ Regulatory and safety issues

Take-home training supplies, including personal protective equipment, a Halcon 3 HVLP turbine, a Halcon Thunder HVLP spray gun with quart cup and two fluid sets, are all included in the course fee.

2 1 3 5 4 6 7
INDEX 1 6 7 3 5 4 2

Hybrid subcontractor model

Is it right for your business?

If you’re like a lot of business owners, you may be scrambling to bring on new crew members to handle a growing volume of exterior work. While it may feel impossible to look beyond two or three weeks or even a month out as the busy season unfolds, thoughtful business owners need to be looking well beyond that and to consider how they’re going to handle things if work slows in the winter. Will you cut loose team members only to go through the whole exercise of bringing on people again next spring? Or will you consider a new approach to hiring … specifically, a hybrid subcontractor model?

A hybrid subcontractor model is one where you have both in-house W-2 employees and subcontractors to turn to on an as-needed basis.

With a team of trusted subcontractors consistently at your allocation, you’re able to take on projects that either aren’t a core focus for you and your team, and/or could complete projects that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do with just your W-2 crew.

It’s a great way to build up your bank account during your busy season and have a nice cushion of capital heading in to the slower season, or to help navigate your slower periods by profiting on work that you would otherwise refer out. Imagine the financial difference if you could net 20–40% on projects that you would have turned down.

How can this be beneficial?

There are two main ways in which subcontractors can be an asset to you and your business:

1: To do projects that are outside you and your team’s expertise and core focus. For example, if you frequently turn down projects related to drywall repairs or hanging, finding a reliable sub who specializes in this work could be a great way to supplement some additional income rather than just referring it out.

2: To do projects to meet deadlines that you and your team could not meet. For example, if by August you’re fully booked for the exterior season with your crew, using a subcontractor to complete the work in the final months of the season can increase the cash reserve in your bank account. Heading into winter, you’d profit on work you would have lost to a competitor because you couldn’t get to it this season. Imagine heading into winter with that income in your business bank account!

What’s the downside?

I know what you’re thinking: this sounds too good to be true, and you wonder what the catch is. We advise our clients to really make sure they find good-quality subs who align with their values, quality and beliefs. Every relationship must be a win-win for both parties, and this is no different. Another challenge can be managing production at a much larger level if you are used to only overseeing two crews totaling six painters. Remember, you’re better off testing the water with one, maybe two sub crews, and growing from there as you find your true capacity.

Who’s a good subcontractor?

Anyone who is great at what they do and provides good customer service but hates the business aspect of marketing, estimating, scheduling and financial risk. They exist, you just have to find them. Many of them will make just as much if not more money working for you as a subcontractor than what they’re pricing jobs at currently.

How much do you pay them?

A good range is 35–50% of their portion of the total job cost. Their pay should be based on how reliable and trustworthy they are and if they have insurance or not. The more you must ‘babysit’ them, the more you should be making on the job. The more independent they are, the more you can afford to pay them. Regardless, you should always check in on their jobsites. Once a day at a minimum and two to three times a day the first few projects they work on with you.

It’s important to make sure that you or your production manager is always there when they finish jobs to do a walkthrough and to collect final payment from the customer. This ensures that the quality of the work is up to your standards and that the customer is happy. While this model may not be for everyone, it can make a big difference in how easily you navigate your slower seasons.

CHRIS MOORE has spent the last 10 years advising painting business owners in a variety of areas. He owned his own painting business before transitioning to a full-time business consultant for the painting industry.

31 May/Jun 2023 | inPAINT BOTTOM LINE



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