Page 1






Pros talk tape Spray tip selection Talking color with customers

April 2019 | inPAINT


SW 6697 Nugget

It puts the


in gold standard.

Emerald. Another word for best-in-class. Discover EmeraldÂŽ paint and primer in one from Sherwin-Williams.ÂŽ A brilliant paint offering exceptional washability, durability and hide. Emerald delivers outstanding overall performance. Learn more about Emerald at swemerald.com.

Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex has achieved GREENGUARD GOLD certification. GREENGUARD Certified products are certified to GREENGUARD standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage. For more information, visit ul.com/gg.


“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and so gorgeous in the end.” —Robin Sharma, author and leadership expert


had the opportunity to attend the PDCA Expo in March and I can’t tell you how many times I was reminded of the quote above. I met contractors from all over the country with businesses of all sizes and at all stages of the change trajectory. It was interesting to listen as they shared their challenges. Those at the early hard stage spent most of their time discussing obstacles; those in the messy middle stage focused more on what’s next; while those who had already emerged out the gorgeous back end provided reflective advice and encouragement. One wise soul currently savoring the back-end stage even offered up the notion that some problems are progress in wolves’ clothing. They feel unwelcome while you’re dealing with them, but they’re actually evidence that you are moving forward. How’s that for a welcome mind shift? As with every PDCA event, there was tons of information and idea sharing. More than once, I was happy to hear someone bring up a topic and to be able to say, “we covered that topic in a great article featuring that guy—or gal—over there” and later sent them a link to it. I was also grateful to those who took the time to share ideas for future articles. Now I’m home with a folder full of great article ideas and new contacts. Making sense of it all will be hard. Pulling it together will be messy. But in the end, we’ll produce another solid issue, thanks to the encouragement and participation of so many of you, our readers. One last thought: if you’re not yet a PDCA member, now is really the time to consider joining. The organization is expanding its service offerings in many and new and exciting ways, continuing to raise the professionalism and skills of their members, and also raising the profile of the trade. You’ll want to be in on it. Cheers,

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

2019 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Steve Burnett President, DYB Coach Nigel Costolloe President, Catchlight Painting LeAnn Day President, Paint & Decorating Retailers Association


inPAINT | April 2019

Doug Imhoff Owner, Imhoff Fine Residential Painting

Tom Reber President, The Contractor Fight

Jim Kaloutas Owner, Kaloutas Painting

Nick Slavik Owner, Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co.

Marge Parkhurst President, Painting by Marge, Inc.

Art Snarzyk Owner, InnerView Advisors, Inc.

This issue’s contributing experts PUBLISHER Edward McAdams MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Haar  DESIGN Carl Bezuidenhout CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR Cindy Puskar

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meghann Finn Sepulveda Brian Sodoma

EDITORIAL amanda@inPAINTmag.com ADVERTISE 602-296-5391 ed@inPAINTmag.com SUBSCRIBE inPAINTmag.com/subscribe inPAINTmag.com

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

Paul Belliveau Arthur Cole Painting Corp. Jess Bjorling BambooHR Susan Bunting Datacolor Monty Byars Byars Painting & Drywall Finishing Ricky Cisco Cisco Paint Co. Tony Drew The Home Depot Yanni Fikaris Custom Renovations Tristan Hamberg Refined Painting Services Tom Henman Decorative Painting, LLC Rick Holtz H.J. Holtz & Son Scott Lollar DYB Coach Jeff Malmer 3M Lucas Marry Luke’s Painting and Faux Finishing, LLC Christian Militello Militello Painting & Powerwashing Chris Noto Titan Matt Pisaeno Pisaeno Painting & Construction, LLC Nick Slavik Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. Steve Smith The Angard Arts Hotel

©2019 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 express or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

Ryan Turry Headwaters Painting Alyssa Usrey Sisu Painting Justin Wilkins Kimmel & Associates April 2019 | inPAINT



inPAINT® April 2019



Color Crisis


Pro Picks


Spray tips: choosing the right one for the job

Working the color conversation with customers

5 Pros on their go-to tapes

The inPAINT Interview

Paint pro’s keys to three generations of success


Photo Courtesy of FrogTape Painter’s Tape



DEPARTMENTS 8 The News Industry ins and outs

26 Tools of the Trade What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

10 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

28 Teach to Fish Techniques for preventing tape bleed and ragged lines

11 Trend in Focus Onboarding with intention

30 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events

12 5 Questions Professional painter on being ‘elite’ 18 Ask a Pro What are the challenges of running a two-specialty business?


inPAINT | April 2019

31 Bottom Line Hiring rock stars to take you to the next level

Cover Photo Courtesy of Ken Penn and H.J. Holtz & Son; This Page’s Background Photo Courtesy of Militello Painting & Powerwashing


The hardest working family of sprayers has a tough new addition. The all new Impact 410 brings you dependable productivity, plain and simple. Find out more at TITANTOOL.COM/410


Designed by a painter for painters T As a professional painter and business owner, Scott Winchester is always looking for ways to make painting faster and easier. That desire drove him to create the PaintersAnchor. “The PaintersAnchor features a super-simple design that holds either a cut pot or paint can and secures it tightly to either side of, or the top of, your ladder,” explains Winchester. “The design keeps the handle out of the way, eliminates swinging, and frees up both of your hands for better production and increased safety.” PaintersAnchor.com


inPAINT | April 2019

Beating corrosion above and below ground

Photo Courtesy of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

T Farrow & Ball recently introduced new colors to its curated palette. Selected to ‘rebalance’ the existing palette, the new colors range from their deepest red ever to School House White—which was created to look white when paired with a deep shade—and will replace nine existing colors to preserve the 132-color offering. Like the existing shades, the collection is low odor, eco-friendly, and available in a range of high-performance finishes. us.Farrow-Ball.com

Photo Courtesy of Paul Benson, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Farrow & Ball introduces 9 new colors

T To the naked eye, Mark di Suvero’s Rumi sculpture appears to be battling the elements in the same manner as the other 33 works at the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. But what you can’t see is a two-part corrosion-fighting approach working both above and below ground. Originally installed in 1996, the 24' steel sculpture, made up of three I-beams, had to be taken down in 2005 to make room for construction on the museum’s campus. Conservators at the museum seized the opportunity to address a rust issue on the sculpture’s base. The team at Goens Brothers Painting Co., Inc., in Gladstone, MO, first sandblasted the piece, then applied a four-part paint system from Tnemec (Series 90-97 Zinc Primer, Series 27 F.C. Typoxy, Endura-Shield II Series 1075 Paint in ‘Rumi’ orange (its signature color), Endura-Clear Series 76 Polyurethane). While all agreed that would provide the desired look and corrosion protection for the bulk of the sculpture, the base was still at risk of future rusting. Enter cathodic protection. Used to prevent corrosion on pipelines, ships and offshore oil platforms, cathodic protection works (in not-so-sciency terms) by rerouting the corrosive activity from the desired steel structure to another ‘sacrificial’ material via electrical current. In this case, eight 20-lb bags of magnesium were buried around the sculpture and then connected to it by means of low-current-carrying wires. The wires serve to conduct the corrosive activity away from the sculpture and to the magnesium. Developed by Corrpro of Sand Springs, OK, the system is expected to provide corrosion protection for 20 years.

PPG improves the puck T Working in partnership with the National Hockey League, PPG Paints tested a thermochromic coating for hockey pucks throughout the 2018–19 season. Because hockey pucks glide smoother and faster when frozen, it’s important for officials to know when a puck has warmed to temperatures above freezing. According to PPG, the coating, which was screen printed onto the pucks, changed from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature inched above freezing, giving officials a visual cue that it should be replaced. While the custom dye pigment was developed specifically for this application on hockey pucks, the company believes the solution represents an opportunity for other applications where an easy, visual reference could serve to improve the performance or use of an object.

Nygra Coatings launches with a new cool-roof coating T There’s a new coatings manufacturer in town and they’re playing it cool. Launched in late 2018, Nygra Coatings’ sole product is a coating that repels heat-causing IR radiation, reducing both surface and internal ambient temperatures by 35° F. Applied using a standard gravity-feed spray gun, the coating requires just a single application at a recommended thickness of two millimeters. It can be applied on top of existing paints, other coatings and smooth surfaces, including concrete and rubber. Available only in black and white, Nygra will remain intact and fully effective for eight to 10 years. BambuGlobal.com/nygra-coating

Your mood room is ready The Home Depot Pro Referral program covers painters T In an effort to bring new leads to paint professionals, The Home Depot now offers the Pro Referral program, designed to match customers with qualified and trustworthy professionals in their area. According to Tony Drew, paint merchant at The Home Depot, the program is free to both the pro and the customer. “The program works by pairing pros and customers based on their need and location,” says Drew. “Customers can work with an in-store associate or through the website. In either case, the program connects homeowners with up to three pros via a mobile app, text or email who are charged with responding to requests within 48 hours.” In an effort to keep quality at its highest, The Home Depot confirms the identity, conducts background checks, and verifies the trade licenses and general liability insurance of all participating pros. For their part, pros participate in the program by earning points on purchases made in-store and online. Points can be redeemed for access to leads. To learn more, visit proreferral.com and select ‘Become a Pro’ or call (855) 723-2266.

T Think painting hotels can be monotonous? Think again. The Angad Arts Hotel in St. Louis features 146 guest rooms, each themed around a specific color designed to evoke a mood. Housed in the former historic Missouri Theater building, the 12-story hotel offers rooms in four colors: tranquility blue, rejuvenation green, happiness yellow and passion red. “When we were considering ways to make our boutique hotel truly unique, we realized that the majority of hotels in the world are neutral,” says Steve Smith, owner and developer of the property. “We decided this is where we’d make our break from the pack—with color.” While the colors of the halls and lobby are all neutral, the guest rooms are anything but. Three walls and the ceiling are all painted in the same color, and one wall is white but features a large piece of art in the room’s color scheme. The bedding, drapes, flooring, furniture and accents are all variations of the wall color as well. “Once we had the rooms painted, we realized how much they influenced our mood,” says Smith. “It was then we realized that we had the opportunity to offer guests not just a room with a bed size of their choosing, but a room with a mood option, too.” A few weeks after opening, Smith reported that, so far, blue and green rooms were outselling the red and yellows. AngadArtsHotel.com

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … OSHA? T In 2018, OSHA began using drones to conduct safety inspections of employer facilities—but only if the employer consents. The drones were most frequently deployed following accidents at worksites that were considered too dangerous for OSHA inspectors to enter. Sites included an oil drilling rig, a building collapse, a combustible dust blast, a television tower and a chemical plant. While employers currently need to consent to the drone usage, OSHA is exploring the option of obtaining a Blanket Public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate drones nationwide. April 2019 | inPAINT



Back in black

One on one for the win LEFT: Photo Courtesy of PPG Paints RIGHT: Photo Courtesy of Behr

Pinterest reports that ‘saves’ for black houses have grown 774% since spring of 2014 with a significant spike occurring in March of 2018.

What a difference a decade makes (or not) Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular interior paint colors from six manufacturers from both 2009 and 2019. 2009




Thin Ice PPG1001-3 PPG Paints

Night Watch PPG1145-7 PPG Paints

Navajo White DEC772 Dunn-Edwards Paints

Swiss Coffee DEW341 Dunn-Edwards Paints

An employee’s odds of staying with a company for the long haul partially depends on one thing: whether their managers had a one-on-one meeting with them during their first week.

SOURCE: Harvard Business Review, June 2018

Bathed in gray According to the 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, gray continues to be the color of choice for bathroom walls. 2016


Top Wall Colors 32% 38% 32%

Gray Swiss Coffee KM 23 Kelly-Moore Paints

Peacock Blue KMA29 Kelly-Moore Paints

Kilim Beige SW 6106 Sherwin-Williams

Cavern Clay SW 7701 Sherwin-Williams

Classic Taupe 290E-3 Behr

Elephant Skin PPU18-16 Behr

White Dove OC-17 Benjamin Moore

White Dove OC-17 Benjamin Moore


21% 21%

White 15% Beige

15% 17% 20%

What cabinets command According to Porch.com, the national price range for refinishing Bedford, WY 300 sq. ft. of cabinets $1,100 (national low) (approximately 15 to Grosse Pointe, MI 20 cabinets) in the Woodside, CA Minneapolis, MN $2,681 U.S. is somewhere $5,307 (national high) $2,251 between $1,374 and Dallas, TX $3,063, depending $2,302 upon your location. Here’s how six locations priced out: 10

inPAINT | April 2019

Portland, ME $2,218

Interest in vocational schools on the rise According to the How Youth Plan to Fund College survey conducted by the College Savings Foundation, interest in trade schools is growing among high school students. In 2014, 5% of responding students said they planned to attend vocational school after high school. That number jumped to 8% in 2018 with another 1.39% planning on apprenticeships.


Onboarding with intention Making the right first impression offers long-term rewards


ost business owners recognize that the onboarding stage is an important part of the hiring process, but many still underestimate how important it is to do it right. First impressions matter A recent survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that helping new hires make connections within the organization early on is critical. Specifically, the survey found that new employees who had one-on-one meetings with their manager in their first week were more successful than those who didn’t. According to the researchers, that connection helps establish a sense of belonging and can influence a new hire’s decision to stay. Jess Bjorling at BambooHR, a human resource software provider, couldn’t agree more. “The goal of the first day should be to reassure new employees that they’ve made the right choice,” says the HR generalist & benefits specialist. “In our own onboarding, we make sure the focus is about making the employee feel welcome. We provide one-on-one time with their manager and team members, reinforcing throughout that we hired them because we know that they have a lot to offer and will provide great value.” One way BambooHR helps keep the focus of the first day on the new hire and their fit within the company is by enabling them to complete as much necessary paperwork as possible in advance. “Not only does this make the first day more engaging, it also gives us reason to stay in touch with them between the offer point and the time they start. This helps build the sense of belonging before they even arrive,” says Bjorling. Onboarding as part of a retention strategy Justin Wilkins, VP at Kimmel & Associates, the country’s largest recruiting firm with a specialization in construction, sees value to onboarding that goes beyond the first-day feel-goods. According to Wilkins, “The research states that 31% of employees will quit within the first six months. I’d actually argue they’ll quit within 90 days. But with a solid onboarding program, you can buck that trend if you recognize and invest in it as a critical part of your retention strategy. A good program doesn’t take that much effort to execute, but a bad one can cost you good employees and even your reputation in the field.”

Lest business owners think onboarding is strictly for newbies, Wilkins reminds them that, “Even the most seasoned pro making a lateral move needs guidance. Just because it’s the same title doesn’t mean things are done the same way. Change is stressful. If you don’t let that person know you’ve got their back and are there to support them, you could let some experienced talent slip away.”


One pro’s approach Nick Slavik of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. in New Prague, MN recently fine-tuned his onboarding process to focus, first, on building relationships and, second, on teaching skills. “On an employee’s first day, they attend our weekly company meeting. This exposes them to the company culture and brings them into the fold,” says Slavik. “We talk about projects, personal issues, etc. At the close of that meeting, I pair them with one of our senior craftspeople who provides the formal safety training and then mentors them in the weeks that follow. During the first week, and every week thereafter, I’ll connect with them on the jobsite at least once or twice. And it’s not just a ‘how are you?’ I work side by side with them, sometimes offer high-level training, and connect through conversation and interaction.” In addition, new employees receive an apprentice handbook on the first day that outlines company policies related to everything from cell phones and core values to employee vehicles and how to get a raise. Slavik admits that it took more than a bit of effort to put all the pieces in place for the new approach but when asked how it has impacted retention and morale, he says, “It’s night and day. All employees want structure and we’ve given them that. Retention has definitely improved and morale has never been higher.”

Effective onboarding ■■ ■■


Increases retention Reduces employee ramp-up time Increases likelihood of employee engagement

April 2019 | inPAINT



5 YANNI FIKARIS, owner of Custom Renovations in Haddonfield, NJ, is a proud Penn State University grad who maintains his family’s name in the painting industry. His company is dedicated to superior customer service, product knowledge, expert application, and developing the passion of excellence in the next generation. CRFinishing.com




What drove you to become an ‘elite’

painter versus a ‘commodity’ painter? Painting is a commodity industry. Anyone can pick up the phone and find one of three types of guys: the cheap guy who’s always busy, the middle commodity guy who’s not so busy, or the ‘elite’ guy who is also busy. Nobody of character wants to be the cheap guy. And if you’re the middle guy, you’re always competing on price and availability. If you’re too high or too tied up, they’re off to the next guy. But, if you’re an elite guy—offer something truly special, something the middle guy can’t offer—people will wait, and they’ll pay for it. When I came to that realization, I knew I wanted to be an elite painter.


What’s the hardest lesson you’ve

had to learn? Offering my services for an undervalued price. We’ve all done it. A job goes sideways and you’re losing money simply by showing up. Your fail-safe mechanism gets blown out and you do the work, but you hurt yourself, your company and your family in the process. It’s a tough lesson. Hopefully, you only have to learn it once. Or twice.


What does your apprenticeship

program look like? I try to find people before they make a college decision and offer them an alternative. I look for people with a good work ethic, customer service skills, direction and, above all, drive. My program is different in a few ways. Most notably, it’s a six-year program. The idea is that by the fifth year, you’re going to start your own company. I’m going to


inPAINT | April 2019


help you get licensed, started, and send you sub work. I don’t want to be anyone’s employer for life. The first few months are devoted to the most basic of basics and have nothing to do with painting—how to shake hands and engage a customer, how to show up to work with a belt on and your shirt tucked in. Once they’ve mastered that, we introduce skills like masking counters and cabinets. They won’t touch a brush for six months. We’re not just training painters, we’re building people of character that I’ll be happy to hire as subs in the future.


What’s next on your radar in terms

of things to learn or master? I’m not focusing on anything new but, rather, taking on an even more narrow slice of higher-end clients. There’s a resurgence in custom finishes like lacquers, specialty wallcoverings and exotic finishes, metallics, layering glazes and transparent reflectives, and metal gilding that have my attention.


What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you early in

your career? Do it bigger. No matter where you’re at, do it bigger. Every time. Once you’re accomplished at one level and don’t go bigger, you’re putting a ceiling on yourself. Always be looking six to 12 months out. You have to know where you want to be then, when you get there, keep moving.

the right way q: What’s to hold a joint knife?






with hyde tools, it’s always all of the above Ask four pros the best way to hold a joint knife and you may get four different answers. Fact is, there are as many ways to hold a tool as there are pros. But they can all agree that using the right tool is the key to a job well done. That’s why pros agree on HYDE® products.

HYDE® Black & Silver® and Pro Stainless™ Tools are guaranteed forever.

800.872.4933 / hydetools.com ©2019 Hyde Tools, Inc. All rights reserved.

SPRAY TIP SELECTION The perfect finish starts with the right tip


inPAINT | April 2019

Photo Courtesy of Titan



f you’ve been a paint contractor for any number of years, you understand that for all intents and purposes, tips are the ‘brains’ of airless paint systems. They control just about everything from the width of the spray pattern and paint flow rate to regulating how hard the pump needs to work. Results can vary widely depending on which tip is used, so choosing the right one for the job is really important. As a manufacturer of sprayers and tips, we field many questions from professional painting contractors about tips. In recent months, we’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of questions related to advancements in lowpressure technology. Given that, we’ve compiled some general guidelines about choosing tips that can benefit newbies as well as the seasoned pros responsible for training those newcomers.

Fine-finish airless tips Specialty tips for super-fine atomization and precise control at lower pressures when spraying stains, lacquers, varnishes, urethanes and clear topcoats. When used correctly, fine-finish airless tips produce a deeper, glass-like shine. With double orifices (a pre-orifice and a finish orifice), coatings are atomized twice, producing smaller droplet sizes. ■■ Types of jobs: cabinetry, trim, doors, crown molding ■■ Coatings: stains, lacquers, sealers, enamels ■■ Orifice sizes: .008" to .014" ■■ Numbers: last digit is always even (308, 310, 312, 314, etc.) ■■ Fan pattern: 4" to 12"

PRO COMMENT For decorative and faux-finish painter Tom Henman of Lancaster, PA’s Decorative Painting, LLC, fine-finish airless tips are the workhorse of his spray-tip arsenal. “I do a lot of lacquer cabinets,” says Henman, “and nothing beats the finish you can achieve with a fine-finish airless tip. I like the 310 size. I keep the pressure down low and get a nice 6"- to 8"-wide pattern. The ability to control the paint and airflow is key to getting a great finish and minimizing overspray.” In addition to lacquers, he also uses the tip for metallics and enamel finishes.

April 2019 | inPAINT


Standard airless tips Traditionally, these are the most common tips used by paint contractors (though this is changing due to advancements in low-pressure tips … more on that below). Available in the broadest range of sizes, standard airless tips are all-purpose, single-orifice tips. Typically, the least expensive of tips, there are two types: high-quality standard tips (such as the Titan SC-6+) and premium standard tips (such as the Titan TR1). Premium standard tips are the best overall performing standard tip, as they hold the fan pattern wider longer. ■■ Types of jobs: decks, doors, Sheetrock, interior walls and ceilings, exteriors, cinder blocks, stucco ■■ Coatings: stains, lacquers, enamels and oil- and water-based house paints, as well as extremely thick block filler, joint compound and waterproofing coatings ■■ Orifice sizes: widest range of sizes: .007" to .055" ■■ Numbers: last digit is always odd (313, 415, 517, etc.) ■■ Fan pattern: widest range: 2" to 24"

PRO COMMENT The bulk of Minneapolis-based Headwaters Painting’s work is in the residential and interior sector. Ryan Turry relies on three spray rigs to get the work done and finds he turns to 515 and 517 tips for a lot of projects. “We try to keep things pretty simple,” says Turry. “The 515 and 517 are our go-to choice for exterior body work. They allow a higher volume of paint to go through the tip, which is needed when spraying thicker coatings. We also spray ceilings and use those same tips unless we’re using an oil-based primer.” For interior cabinet work, Turry notes he’ll switch out the tip for a fine-finish, low-pressure (FFLP) 310 or 312. “I call those our bread-and-butter tips for interior enamel work like cabinets, baseboards, doors and trim. The narrower spread and reduced overspray help keep things controlled and moving.”

Low-pressure, high-efficiency airless (HEA) tips Spraying at pressures as low as 1000 PSI with the same production rates as standard tips, low-pressure HEA tips are replacing standard tips as the tip of choice for paint contractors. Benefits of these tips include minimal overspray, reduced paint consumption, less prep, and less wear and tear on sprayers. These tips are slightly more expensive than standard tips, but they last at least twice as long. Use the same tip sizes you would choose for jobs using standard tips. ■■ Types of jobs: decks, doors, Sheetrock, exteriors, cinder blocks ■■ Coatings: stains, lacquers, block filler, enamels and oil- and water-based house paints ■■ Orifice sizes: .011" to .021" ■■ Numbers: last digit is always odd (313, 415, 517, etc.) ■■ Fan pattern: 6" to 12"

CHRIS NOTO is the director of professional products at Titan. He has been in the painting business for 27 years in sales, training and product-development functions.


inPAINT | April 2019

The advancement of low-pressure tip technology is really the most prominent change the industry has seen for 20+ years. In the past, many contractors viewed the pressure gauge as a speedometer—the higher the pressure, the higher the production rate. Low-pressure tips have drastically changed that perception, since spraying at 1000 PSI with a low-pressure HEA tip has the same production rate as a standard tip, but with the many benefits listed above. So, when does it still make sense to use a standard tip? We get this question a lot. Standard tips are the best choice when the job requires a longer hose length of 150' to 300' (the longer the hose, the less pressure there is at the gun), and when spraying thicker coatings that require larger tip sizes. Here’s the bottom line: tips directly affect the quality of the finish, the success of your jobs, and your bottom line. Choose wisely! -

PRO COMMENT Handling mostly commercial work, Matt Pisaeno of Pisaeno Painting & Construction, LLC in Clark, NJ is a big fan of HEA tips. “We do a lot of 10,000—15,000-sq.-ft. spaces with door jambs numbering up to 45 or so,” says Pisaeno. “For that kind of work, HEAs are awesome. We use them on the walls and door jambs and boxes; just switching tip sizes as we go. We don’t have to bring in a second rig, and we save the time of cleaning up two rigs as well.” Pisaeno’s preference is a 211 or 213 for door jambs and a 417 or 419 for walls. “These are perfect for our applications, as there’s very little overspray,” he says. “Because our work is commercial, we don’t get to pick the product and, a lot of times, it’s expensive. The flexibility of the HEA and the ability to control overspray keeps my materials and time costs down and helps me win bids. Plus, the HEAs last twice as long as other tips. I’ll run 50 gallons of primer followed by 50 gallons of finish through one in a day with no problem. It maintains the same efficiency and quality spray pattern. Other tips start to waste product around the 50- or 60-gallon mark. Best of all, it levels out really nicely. No mess, less product used, great finish … everybody’s happy.”



GUARANTEED Our legendary waterproofers are guaranteed to stop water on exterior and interior surfaces.









V i s i t U G L . C O M for i ns pi r at i o n a l p h o t o s, h o w - t o v i d e o s a n d b r o c h u r e s



What are the challenges of operating both a painting business and a power washing business?

CHRISTIAN MILITELLO owns and operates Militello Painting & Powerwashing with his wife Angelina in their hometown of Ambler, PA. They are committed to learning as much about their industries as possible and sharing that knowledge with their 10-person crew to ensure they deliver the best possible service to every customer. Christian is the VP of his local PDCA chapter and serves on the education committee for PDCA national. MilitelloPainting.com


inPAINT | April 2019


When I started our business in 2001, I began with both power washing and painting. I thought it made sense to be full-service in the offering. But because of where I’m located, painting is our yearround service, while the power washing is really only an option seven to nine months of the year, as many of the chemicals don’t perform below 50˚ F. While the two businesses exist under the same umbrella, my goal is to operate them as separate and distinct entities. When I started, information and resources for power washing were limited. Anyone with a ladder and a power washer could clean a roof or prep a house. But today, there’s a lot more science and

… having a power washing capability does make for a natural opportunity for future contact with our paint customers. education to it. I belong to both the Power Washers of North America (PWNA) and Pressure Washing Resource Association (PWRA). PWNA actually offers training in best practices and certification. Related industries like siding and roofing manufacturers are taking note, with some voiding their warranties if their products are not cleaned to certain specifications. Right now, about half of our crew is trained to those specifications for power washing as well as trained as painters. The number of crew trained may change as the power washing side of the business grows and we begin to separate the two businesses.

While I include a power wash in every exterior paint bid, I don’t always push it hard with my other painting services. The bulk of the power washing work isn’t tied to our paint work. We do a lot of house washing, roof cleaning, driveway and walkway cleaning and, believe it or not, prep washing for other painters. That said, having a power washing capability does make for a natural opportunity for future contact with our paint customers. I think a lot of people look at power washing as a nobrainer. You hook your rig to a hose and off you go. But in truth, if you’re going to do it right, there’s a lot more to it. Anyone thinking of adding it as another service has to recognize that it’s another full-time job that requires a good bit of education. For one thing, you’re working with some pretty powerful chemicals. You and your crew have to become mini-chemists. If you mix together the wrong stuff, you can actually create some dangerous combos, including Agent Orange. And there are other serious factors. For example you need a medical examiner’s certificate (obtained from a licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration National Registry) if you are driving a vehicle over a certain weight; you need your MSDSs on hand at all times; and you need to register your vehicle with the DOT based on the size of the vehicle and how much chemical you’re carrying. Plus, if you have a spill, you have to know when to call in the EPA. Like I said, it’s a lot. But it does provide 10% of our total billings and is growing. Last year, I set a goal of increasing my power washing billings by 100% and hit that target. I aim to do the same again in 2019.

SUBSCRIBE Painting Contractors | Remodelers | General Contractors Property Managers | Architects | Designers




LS | MAY 2018


LS | JU NE 201 8





2017/JA NA LS | DE C





The inPAINT Product Guide Coatings & Applicators





APR IL 2018

The brands pr trust most os



Rewarding referrals


Pros talk deck coatings

Pros talk marketing tools Is ‘green’ still re

N 2018


ifts for Must-do mind sh future ble ta ofi pr re a mo


The realities of #DeleteFacebook May 2018 | inPAIN T

Managing overspray 1

Pros talk work vehicles Business financing options



Pros on their go-to



How brush manufac tur are meeting your ne ers eds June 2018 | inPAINT





BY SUSAN BUNTING As a painting contractor, helping your customers select the ‘right’ paint color can be a tricky proposition: get it right, and you’ve provided a helpful additional service; miss the mark and you’ve made an unprofitable investment of your time and possibly risked an unhappy customer. Fortunately, there are a number of readily available tools and resources, as well as approaches to the color conversation, that can help you guide your customers in making a selection with confidence.


inPAINT | April 2019

Photo Courtesy of Datacolor

You don’t actually need to be a color expert to help your customer make a confident color decision. Ask the experts One of the most popular resources for color and design tools and services is your local paint retailer. Along with having a seemingly unlimited number of palette options from manufacturers, many stores have in-house color consultants, or can direct you to reputable ones in your area. In addition to assisting your current customers, aligning with color consultants might also lead you to potential new business down the road.

Eliminate the guesswork If your customer has a color in mind but can’t determine exactly which white, blue or magenta they want, color readers can help. Color readers not only help in color identification, some also allow you to share color selections and palette ideas directly with your customers and keep a record of colors for each project.

Color conversation starters For customers who are really struggling with color, you can help get the ball rolling with some color conversation starters that can help them tackle the decision-making process from a new angle and feel more confident in their choices: Consider the entire house. Encourage your

customers to look at the flow of their house and consider how that influences choices. Does one room transition seamlessly into another? Is another room visible from one room? If so, you’ll want these room colors to work together. Using shades and tints of a core, base color is an easy way of ensuring color cohesiveness. As a general rule of thumb, interior house colors should be limited to no more than five core hues, with additional tints and shades of those colors. Focus on the fixed. Begin the color-selection process

by identifying the fixed colors in a room; the flooring, rugs, furniture, cabinetry and, sometimes, appliances. The right wall color can pull room elements together for a finished look. A color reader can help streamline the process by providing an instant reading of a color from a surface and suggesting complementary hues from which to build a palette.   Break color down. While it may sound over the top, helping customers understand undertones can lead to harmonious color choices. Paint colors are a blend of hues—there is a mass color and an undertone. The mass color is the color you first see. The undertone is the underlying hue. The closer an undertone is to a mass

color, the truer the color. For example, magenta has a mass color of red with a blue undertone. To determine an undertone, compare the color to a pure example of the hue. Choosing colors that have similar undertones will ensure that they’ll work well together. Take color for a test drive. Use large paint-sample

boards instead of painting small swatches of color directly on the wall. This will ensure a truer color rendition, plus allow you to move the boards easily throughout the room to determine how the color will read in corners, different lighting conditions, etc. Be sure to use the type of paint finish (matte, semigloss, etc.) on your test samples that you intend to use for the actual job since sheen can also affect how the color shows.

PRO TIP Tristan Hamberg, president of Refined Painting Services, says he considers versatility and coverage when he speaks to customers about color. “The current trend of brighter whites for walls can be challenging as far as coverage is concerned. I’ve advised customers that going with such hues can require an extra coat or two of paint, depending on the white selected. In these cases, I’ll have the pigment adjusted at the paint store to provide better coverage.”

Show them the ‘light.’ Many customers aren’t

aware of how light influences the appearance of color. Educating them on metamerism—the phenomenon of color seemingly changing hue under different lighting conditions—can help them avoid surprises such as seeing that the shade of taupe they loved in the light of day isn’t the same hue under artificial light in the evening. Some colors are more prone to metamerism than others, such as taupe, tan, lilac, gray, gray/blues, mauve and celadon. Get familiar with a color wheel. It’s a great tool to

understand how colors work together. Along with colors being organized into warm-, cool- and neutral-temperature groupings, colors can also be organized into schemes that help you pair them in a balanced way. You can create palettes that are calming, energizing—or a balance. Color is just one aspect of a successful paint job. Offering great tips on color choice considerations can help demonstrate your professionalism and add to the overall experience for your customer. -

SUSAN BUNTING is the director of marketing, consumer solutions for Datacolor. Having 10-plus years of experience in the paint industry, where she built programs for pros, enables her to help contractors find new ways to grow and differentiate their business.

April 2019 | inPAINT



Go-to tapes for pros OUR PROS

When you delve into the subject of tape, it’s amazing how complex things can get. One size (and brand) certainly does not fit all preferences and situations. Here, five pros shed light on a variety of painting scenarios and which go-to tapes help them get the job done right.



Based in Rives, TN, Byars Painting & Drywall Finishing’s work is primarily residential, with some light commercial as well. For years, owner Monty Byers had been loyal to blue painter’s tapes, but had been hearing good things about FrogTape brand. Then, about a year ago, he made the switch himself. Byars uses FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape (green) for interior baseboard masking and FrogTape Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape (yellow) for trim where he uses enamel paint. He also uses the yellow tape for more intricate work, like creating stripe patterns on walls, where he needs the combination of strong enough adhesion for a crisp line—while keeping existing paint intact, too. “The yellow is more like an easy release for delicate surfaces,” he explained, “so you’re less likely to pull up any existing paint.”

inPAINT | April 2019


1 2 3 4 5

MONTY BYARS Byars Painting & Drywall Finishing ByarsPainting.com ALYSSA USREY Sisu Painting SisuPainting.com PAUL BELLIVEAU Arthur Cole Painting Corp. ColePainting.com RICKY CISCO Cisco Paint Co. PaintMyCabinets.com LUCAS MARRY Luke’s Painting and Faux Finishing, LLC Facebook.com/lukespaintingandfauxfinish

An estimator for Beaverton, OR-based Sisu Painting, Alyssa Usrey prefers Scotch and 3M Painter’s Tapes. Scotch General Purpose Masking Tape 2020 offers a strong hold for exterior siding and trim, as well as on bricks and carpet areas, she said. Her team also uses ScotchBlue ORIGINAL Painter’s Tape for exterior windows “as it does not leave a sticky residue on vinyl. General purpose tape would leave a residue that attracts dirt, ultimately causing a dirty finish,” she added. Her team also uses 3M Safe-Release Painter’s Tape Advanced+ Delicate Surfaces With Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector 2080 for hardwood floor surfaces, cabinets, interior windows and trim. The product’s Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector “allows the tape to adhere firmly to the surface without gaps, and has less chance of paint bleed,” Usrey has found.


A lead painter at Arthur Cole Painting Corp. in Worcester, MA, Paul Belliveau has been in the field for more than 20 years. He is sometimes tasked with intricate interior paint jobs that involve creating stripes or circle designs in conference rooms and other office spaces. For those creative efforts, he turns to FrogTape Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape, and will use Scotch Fine Line Tape 218 at times. “These tapes are very smooth. They’re not textured like some blue ones that have more of a grainy feel to them. That smoother tape makes it so the paint doesn’t crawl under it,” he said. For a durable solution to outdoor surfaces like stucco or brick masking, he uses Shurtape Specialty Grade, Outdoor Stucco Duct Tape PC 667, a red-colored tape that adheres without leaving a residue, he said. “I used a silver tape in the past, but it left too much residue,” Belliveau added. Shurtape Specialty Grade, Outdoor Stucco Duct Tape PC667


Scotch General Purpose Masking Tape 2020


Based just south of Detroit, Ricky Cisco does quite a bit of cabinet refinishing work. For these jobs, he uses two tapes. His workhorse is the Sherwin-Williams Professional Grade Masking Tape CP-66. With a 3" width, it’s great for masking the inside of cabinets, the pro says. “It’s super sticky and super reliable. I never have any overspray with it,” he said. “This, by far, is the best tape I have. I buy it in bulk.” For cabinet work, he also uses FrogTape’s Delicate Surface Painting Tape (yellow) on the floor below the cabinets, especially if the job involves a finished-wood floor. “The yellow FrogTape is the only tape that touches the floor on hardwood,” he said. “I’ve seen other tapes pull up stain.”

The owner of Plainfield, IL-based Luke’s Painting and Faux Finishing, LLC uses ScotchBlue ORIGINAL Painter’s Tape or Scotch Performance Green Masking Tape 233+ on 3M Hand-Masker PAINTER’S PLASTIC PLUS tarps to mask wood floors. When it comes to masking concrete and brick, he looks to Zip System Stretch Tape. “It even adheres to dusty, loose or porous surfaces. It has a high amount of glue and holds up really well,” Marry noted. For faux finishes and accent walls, which is a big part of his work, he likes FrogTape Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape (yellow) and will use the company’s green Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape as well, making sure to run a damp rag along its edges to help with adhesion. For interior baseboard masking, the pro says the simple 3M General Use Masking Tape 201+ does the trick. When the summer heat and humidity kicks in, Marry says it’s difficult for tapes to adhere to concrete or brick for exterior jobs. So, he’ll turn to InterTape Rust-Oleum Automotive Masking Tape. “When it gets up to 70% or 80% humidity it’s hard for glue to stick to anything. … This is a real high-heat-, high-moisturetolerant tape that works,” he said. -

3M Safe-Release Painter’s Tape Advanced+ Delicate Surfaces With Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector 2080

April 2019 | inPAINT



Some of H.J. Holtz & Son’s 60 employees, all of whom enjoy year-round employment and benefits

Family ties: 3 generations and 80+ years in residential painting How maintaining relationships and making a commitment to employees have led to success BY MEGHANN FINN SEPULVEDA When Herman Holtz founded H.J. Holtz & Son in 1936, the small business was primarily focused on wallpapering. But as the years went by, Herman began offering painting services to meet the needs of his customers in the Richmond, VA area. His son, Richard, joined and eventually purchased the family business from him in the early 1970s. Years later, Richard Jr. (Rick) took the helm, building on the business’ foundation and reputation established by his father and grandfather. As president, Rick has expanded the scope of services and modernized the business to stay current with market trends.


inPAINT | April 2019


What influenced your decision to join the family business?

I worked for my father every summer since I was 13, but my plan was to attend college, earn a degree, and choose a different career path. After high school, I attended Virginia Tech and graduated with a degree in public administration. I quickly got a job but, after two years, I realized I was miserable. I vividly remember the conversation I had with my grandfather when I told him I wanted to join the family business but had hesitations about becoming a painter. When he said I was going to be a business owner, not a painter, I felt more confident with my decision and approached my father, who shared my excitement.


What do you think has made your company so successful?

We’ve been in business for 83 years. I believe the secret to our success comes from following my father’s philosophy of creating and maintaining close relationships with customers and establishing us as the go-to residential painting company. Over the years, we have evaluated the needs of our customers and added team members to meet those needs. We expanded our high-demand services, such as cabinetry and furniture painting, carpentry, wall art and murals, faux finishing, high-gloss ceilings and decorative flooring. What makes us a unique residential painting company is that we seamlessly manage all tasks from start to finish, so customers don’t have to hire additional contractors to complete their design vision. We communicate with both past and present customers via monthly newsletters and regular blog posts that highlight projects and other company news. This helps us stay in contact with them—and stay top of mind for repeat business.

What makes us a unique residential painting company is that we seamlessly manage all tasks from start to finish, so customers don’t have to hire additional contractors to complete their design vision. All Photos Courtesy of Ken Penn and H.J. Holtz & Son

We also have a Design Studio for customers to get a better idea of the styles, techniques and materials we have to offer.


How does your Design Studio serve your business?

Three years ago, we purchased a small home around the corner from our shop, renovated it and turned it into a space for our customers and partners to view design ideas for walls, floors and furniture on a large scale. It has been a great way for customers to get a better understanding of our abilities, feel more confident in their decisions, and gain inspiration. We also welcome and encourage interior designers and decorators to utilize the Design Studio to meet with customers and discuss ideas for their homes, which also sometimes generates new business for us.


What’s the magic in maintaining a company for 80+ years?

Customers like a personal touch, and that desire has grown even more in recent years. We achieve that by focusing on our employees. To date, we have 60 employees on staff, some of whom have been with the business for 20 years. Our customers appreciate seeing familiar faces. We are very relationship-oriented, which often leads to repeat business, which in turn leads to job security for our staff. We keep our employees busy year-round, pay them well and offer benefits. We also provide the vehicles, clothing and tools so our staff has everything they need to do their job thoroughly and well. We meet regularly to set goals and evaluate areas of improvement. And our profit-sharing program gives employees an incentive to benefit from our

earnings, and also encourages them to identify areas of improvement and work hard because they know their efforts can ultimately contribute to our bottom line.


What is your focus for 2019?

I hope to concentrate more on high-level objectives that will grow the business. Specifically, I am looking at expanding our services into other towns, and possibly opening a satellite office. I’m also motivated to invest more in employee development and help new pros learn the skills that will enable them to be successful in the industry. -

RICK HOLTZ is a thirdgeneration painter and the president of H.J. Holtz & Son, Inc. in Richmond, VA. Under his leadership, the residential painting company has earned numerous awards and accolades including PDCA PiPP Awards for decorative finishes, the Best of Houzz Award for service (2015, 2016 and 2017), and the 2017 Best of Richmond Award for top painting contractor and top wallpaper contractor. HJHoltzAndSon.com

April 2019 | inPAINT




inPAINT | April 2019

Photo Courtesy of Ken Penn and H.J. Holtz & Son

What’s in today’s professional toolbox? FrogTape® Pro Grade Painter’s Tape What happens when you combine traditional blue painter’s tape with the patented PaintBlock® Technology that makes FrogTape Brand #1 for sharp lines with no paint bleed? You get the only blue tape good enough to be called FrogTape. Available exclusively in a contractor multi-pack, FrogTape Pro Grade Painter’s Tape gives premium paint line performance with the value painting pros have been asking for. FrogTape.com/ProGrade

HYDE® Black & Silver® Putty Knives and Scrapers This line of Black & Silver® tools is made with full-tang, high-carbon steel blades that are .055" thick before grinding. And with a durable nylon handle and chisel edge, HYDE® scrapers are ready to dig under stubborn paint and debris. These are time-tested tools—and HYDE® guarantees them forever. Watch the video! HydeTools.com/How-To-Videos

Mi-T-M Corporation Job Pro 4000-PSI Cold Water Pressure Washer The industrial, lightweight Job Pro Aluminum Series pressure washer is a high-powered machine that delivers performance on a routine basis. Perfect for removing old and peeling paint and mold and mildew from most any surface. Even the toughest stains on brickwork and concrete are no match for this workhorse. Visit mitm.com for more information on this and all their industrial equipment manufactured in Peosta, Iowa.

April 2019 | inPAINT



inPAINT ® presents an industry-specific question and invites an expert to share their insight.


What techniques do you suggest for preventing tape bleed and ragged lines?


JEFF MALMER is an Advanced Application Engineering Specialist for 3M. He has 38 years of experience in developing and improving adhesives and tape products for a variety of applications. He also trains 3M customers, end-users and sales and marketing professionals on the various tape products the company produces. Here, he answers a question that has plagued pros and DIYers alike for years.


inPAINT | April 2019

Taping for a painting project seems pretty straightforward, but there are some small details that can be the difference between creating a crisp line and grappling with a ragged one. Tape bleed that results in ragged lines leaves an unprofessional appearance and can lead to callbacks. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this problem: Avoid having one go-to tape; get the right tape for each surface. Painters can be creatures of

habit. Some fall in love with their tools and techniques, and can be resistant to trying new products. When it comes to avoiding tape bleed, you need the right tape for the surface you’re prepping. Certain tapes are designed with gentler adhesives that are better for delicate surfaces, and there are a host of others that are very sticky and can even adhere to stucco and brick. Then there are those perfect for baseboards and general interior painting environments, offering enough adhesion to avoid bleed while still going easy on the surface. Make sure you understand the tape needs for each project before you choose your tape(s). Clean thoroughly. Pros know a clean surface is important for a coating to adhere. The same holds true for tape. But, too often, cleaning surfaces can be a rush job, much of it done with a damp rag. We recommend lukewarm water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). There are other cleaners that work well, too, but the main point here is that when we say ‘clean,’ we mean doing more than just wiping a surface off with a damp rag. And then, of course, don’t forget to allow enough time for the surface to dry adequately. This is a small detail that can go a long way with adhesion. And with better adhesion, you have a better chance of getting a crisp line. Use a putty knife. It’s common for people to simply run their finger along tape to assure that it adheres to the surface. We recommend a putty knife

be used to assure adherence, too. The flat surface of the blade provides a better opportunity to press on all areas of the tape, especially along baseboards or challenging areas where a finger may have difficulty accessing. Think about your environment. Tape can be effectively applied in a wide temperature range, but 50˚–100˚ F is ideal. Avoid cold weather, if possible, as that can affect adhesion. Extreme heat (over 100˚) and high humidity can also negatively affect tape performance. Pay close attention to how your tape is performing early on; if you’re running into problems, you may need to switch to a different product with different adhesive properties to help with clean lines. Score when possible. Some think that removing the tape while the paint is still wet helps produce a clean line. I think that’s a messy approach that doesn’t always assure us of a clean line. As a best practice, I prefer scoring the tape edge whenever possible. When scoring, allow the paint to dry and run a putty knife or razor blade along the edge of the tape where it meets the painted surface. Scoring is best done where trim and the wall come together, other situations don’t always allow for it. It’s important to recognize if you’re dealing with a situation where it’s not possible. Don’t flood the tape edge. Some painters flood an edge with a coating to make sure they are getting the paint all the way into the corner where the wall meets the trim. The practice is unnecessary and can make the job messy, as it increases the likelihood for paint drips. Making sure you knife down the tape so that it adheres—and then apply enough paint without flooding —are the best ways to avoid bleed and ragged lines. In closing, taping can be tedious and frustrating to some. If you’re having trouble getting those crisp lines, slow down. Rushing only leads to bad habits—and also callbacks.

April 2019 | inPAINT



ADVERTISER INDEX 3M 3M.com Page 3 FROGTAPE FrogTape.com Page 27 HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Habitat.org Back Cover

What, Where & When 1

TITAN TitanTool.com Page 7



6 9


22–26: AWCI’s Annual Convention, National Harbor, MD awci.org

M AY 2


PDCA PDCA.org Page 29 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Sherwin-Williams.com Page 3




HYDE TOOLS HydeTools.com Pages 13 & 27 Mi-T-M MiTM.com Pages 15 & 27

4 2

7–9: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV nationalhardwareshow.com 13–18: 47th Annual Society of Decorative Painters’ International Conference & Expo, Wichita, KS decorativepainters.org

J U LY 6

26 & 27: PDCA Residential Forum Advanced Shop Talk, Philadelphia, PA pdcaresidentialforum.org


1 & 2: 2019 Southeast Building Conference, Kissimmee, FL sebcshow.com


22–25: 2019 BOMA International Annual Conference & Expo, Salt Lake City, UT boma.org


8 & 9: The HUGE Convention: 7th Annual Pressure Washing & Window Cleaning Convention, Branson, MO thehugeconvention.com


26–28: Apartmentalize, Denver, CO naahq.org/apartmentalize


19–22: NPMA National Education Seminar, Washington, DC npmaconferences.org/NES

UGL UGL.com Page 17

August 8 & 9, Branson, MO

Regardless of the phase your business happens to be in, this event offers something for you. Choose from dozens of daily business and hands-on classes, attend the Mega Trade Show, hear from inspiring speakers, and connect face to face with more than 1,000 professional window cleaners and pressure washers. You will leave inspired, motivated, and with the tools and information you need to supercharge your business!

To register, visit thehugeconvention.com 30

inPAINT | April 2019


Hiring rock stars: finding and inspiring talent to take you to the next level


s a business owner, you should be constantly setting goals for your company’s growth. As you plan ahead, you’ll recognize that there will be times when your current staffing levels won’t support your growth goals. Because hiring is so time-consuming and potentially costly (especially when done in a hurry), it’s important to start thinking about the roles you want filled in the future and the type of people who will best fit those needs. In other words, what YOUR rock star hires should look like. Getting rock star-ready The first step in getting rock star-ready is to develop a list of the potential positions to be filled. This is a time to think big. Look at the most critical need all the way to the luxury person. It’s not uncommon for owners to think their next key hire should be a salesperson. But if this is your own strength area, don’t duplicate the skill set. It may be that you really need a project manager to take the handoff from you after you close a sale. Or maybe you need admin or accounting support. Again, start with the most critical need then expand your list to include the ‘it would be nice to have’ positions. Calculating the hard costs of a good hire The second step is determining what rock stars cost. This is where many people I consult with miss the mark. Again, do you want a rock star or a roadie? If you want a rock star, be realistic. Determine what level of person you are looking for, and be willing to pay the amount required to get the best person—not an okay person. If you are willing to compensate at the top end of what is customary, you will attract a higher caliber of candidate and, in turn, get more for your money. For sales positions, I always recommend a commission structure with a draw. A solid salesperson wants an upside and will typically do what it takes to perform to the level of their desired compensation. If you put limits on their earning potential, then you are most certainly putting limits on yours as well.

Managers should be paid a reasonable salary with potential for bonuses for excellent results. Their salary should give them a reasonable living but not well enough to ignore the bonus structure. You want this to be an incentive for a better income and a better quality of life. Make it attainable. If this person is not motivated or competent to hit benchmarks, then they are not what you are looking for. Admins should be paid hourly, or a salary if you have sufficient work for them, and can be bonused, depending on the value they bring to your organization. The other salary question to ask yourself is if you have the ability to pay these wages for one year even if your organization doesn’t grow at all. It will very likely take 3 to 6 months to start seeing much return on a new hire, and a full year before they really have their legs under them. Don’t be dependent on these folks moving the needle in a big way right off the bat. Coach them and set small, incremental goals to help them flourish. Define and communicate I am constantly amazed at the number of owners who hire key individuals and never tell them what their job is. No one should be hired without a clear, concise job description. This includes how to act, how to dress, what their hours are—as well as what they are supposed to produce and when. And coach them on interacting with customers, employees and vendors. From day one, you’ll want to set expectations and goals, and plan to meet regularly so they can report to you. Review their successes and failures; coach them around their weaknesses, and correct them as needed. The worst thing you can do is leave them to figure things out for themselves. Make regular interaction a priority. After all, if they fail, so do you.

SCOTT LOLLAR is a 30-year veteran of the painting industry. As a DYB Coach, he works with mid to large residential and commercial companies that desire calculated and accelerated growth.

April 2019 | inPAINT


Profile for REM Publishing Group

inPAINT Magazine April 2019  

The Magazine for Professionals

inPAINT Magazine April 2019  

The Magazine for Professionals