inPAINT Magazine Jul/Aug 2021

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J U L /AU G 2021




Challenges and coating choices on three repaint projects Cultivating and managing quality leads: how two pros do it Posting videos to build trust and engagement Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT


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“While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others.” —Rick Warren, American pastor and author


ne of my pastimes outside of work is keeping bees. Now that people have started to gather again, I recently made my way to a meeting of our local beekeepers’ club. Like most meetings, this one included a presentation by an expert on a specific topic, followed by Q&A and an open forum for discussion on anything related to beekeeping. While the presentations are often very interesting, the open forum is my favorite part of every meeting. There, newbies—like we all once were—reveal what they’re struggling with or what they simply don’t understand, and veteran keepers step up to offer guidance, suggest actions, or even share how they once failed at the same task. That’s the thing about beekeepers—they’re invested in everyone else’s success. Every hive that succeeds helps ensure the future of bees and agriculture in our community and beyond. So, while it’s humbling to stare into your hive and realize you have no idea what to do, it is heartening to know that there are lots of people you can turn to for answers. More than once, fellow beekeepers have taught me things that have kept me from making mistakes that could have hurt, or even knocked out, my hive. That same spirit of lifting each other up is one of the reasons I so enjoy working on inPAINT magazine. For every issue, I reach out to dozens of pros and ask if they’d be willing to share their experience and expertise for the benefit of other pros. More often than not, they say ‘yes’ and, when they do, they help create a ‘hive mind’ in which we all do our part to ensure the success of others and strengthen the community. My sincere thanks to all the pros who contributed to this issue (see right for contributors). If you’d like to share your experience and ideas with the hive, please reach out. I, like our readers, am eager to learn from you. Cheers,

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT p.s. To see what other pros have been working on recently, be sure to check out Project Snapshots found on page 28. If you’ve got a job you’d like to see featured in a future issue, feel free to reach out to me at

2021 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Brooke Cambridge Owner, BLC Painting

Zach Kenney Owner, ZK Painting

Ray Rahni Owner, Paint Track Painting Services

Doug Imhoff Owner, Imhoff Fine Residential Painting

Larry Marler Owner, The Works Remodeling and Finishing

Steve Spinelli President, Uni Pro Painting

Rich Purnell Owner, BASE Painters


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

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



Chris Bishop Cherry Coatings Louie Boncyk Benise-Dowling & Associates Adam Brown PROS Floors Eugene Brown, III Bristled Patina Kevin Brown Brown Bear Painting Dmitry Deykhin Sleek Floors Concrete Cleaning & Polishing Paul Dybdahl Dybdahl Decorative Painting Chris Elliott ONiT Painting Jeff Malmer 3M Krystal Mindeck Valspar Nate Oland Federated Insurance Kyle Richard Neptune’s Artistry & Handyman Services

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

Mike Ricker Crash of Rhinos Painting Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas United Suicide Survivors International Bob Swanson, Retired Swanson & Youngdale Ben Taff Grit City Painters Amy Woolf Amy Woolf Color & Design

©2021 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. Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT


inPAINT® Jul/Aug 2021


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Their processes for cultivating and managing quality leads

Pro Picks

4 Pros talk concrete floor coatings and their choices for reliability and durability

Color Consultants

A valuable resource for your customers —and your business

Project Snapshots

Challenges, coatings and color choices on three repaint projects This Page’s Background Photo Courtesy of Cherry Coatings


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


24 28

Courtesy of PROS Floors

Two Pros Talk Lead Gen

DEPARTMENTS 8 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

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

9 Trend in Focus September is National Suicide Prevention Month

36 Teach to Fish Tips for training new painters to use a 3M Hand-Masker M3000 Dispenser effectively

10 The News Industry ins and outs 14 5 Good Questions Residential painter on leveraging short video posts to garner engagement 32 Ask a Pro Video-based sales approach builds trust and relationships

38 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events 39 Bottom Line Tips on preventing vehicle claims that wreak havoc on a business

COVER: Cherry Coatings’ industrial flooring team installing HangarSpec from Protective Industrial Polymers to attain a durable, slipresistant, yet high-gloss finish that’s easy to clean and maintain in high-profile hangars across Texas. Cover Photo Courtesy of Travis Wright, Cherry Coatings.


Purdy® brushes are assembled by hand in Portland, Oregon. Each brush has a personalized sticker displaying the name and signature of the skilled brushmaker who handcrafted it on the ferrule. These little stickers stand for the hand craftsmanship behind every Purdy brush, and the big difference it delivers for Pros, job after job.

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#1 BRAND PREFERRED BY PROS. Source: 2021 inPAINT Magazine Brand Preference Survey, Brush and Roller Categories. May/June Issue.

© Purdy PURD 756/21


All is not well More construction workers die by suicide each day than all workplace-related fatalities combined. SOURCE:

Happy employees, happy customers A survey by Forbes, in association with Salesforce, found that 70% of business leaders agree that improved employee experience leads to improved customer experience, which in turn leads to rapid revenue growth.

Summer garden bounty Behr Oriental Eggplant PPU17-2

Sherwin-Williams Kale Green SW 6460

PPG Paints Crushed Tomatoes PPG13-09

Dunn-Edwards Sweet Potato DE5201

Farrow & Ball Radicchio No. 96

Here are this year’s most listened to PCA paintED podcasts (so far): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Two-Day Painting: ZK Live A Family Business: ZK Live Get Out of Your Own Way: PaintED Show Profit First for Contractors: PaintED Show Finding the Folks to Do the Work: PaintED Show The Standard: Ask a Painter The Leadership Flywheel: PaintED Show Scaling Craftsmanship: SoundCloud All About SEO: PaintED Show Grow Your Painting Business NOW: Learn. Do. Grow! 8

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline A hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak to a certified listener, call 1.800.273.8255. Free and confidential 24/7. A texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HOME to 741741. Free and confidential 24/7.

Benjamin Moore Vegetable Patch 062

Top 10 podcasts for pros

Suicide prevention resources Dedicated to helping construction companies and professional associations build strategies for suicide prevention, mental health promotion and resilience. Provides leadership training, workshops, resources, and more. Focused on raising awareness about the risk of suicide within the construction industry and providing suicide prevention resources and tools to create a zero-suicide industry. Resources include toolbox talk outlines, screening tools, workplace awareness materials, and more. Working to change the culture of workplaces to reduce job strain and negative, prejudicial thoughts, behaviors and systems regarding suicide and mental health while promoting psychologically healthy norms and environments. Information and programs related to screenings, response planning, gatekeeper training and more.


Suicide prevention in the trades It’s time to make mental health a priority


eptember is Suicide Prevention Month—a time to raise awareness of this serious and preventable public health concern. The concern is especially great for those in the construction trades which, according to the CDC, has the second highest suicide rate of all industries.

Why are those in the trades so vulnerable? According to Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, president of United Suicide Survivors International and lead author on the National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention, a lot of factors put construction workers at risk. “First, males account for 70–80% of all suicides,” she says. “Because construction is so male dominated, the numbers skew high for the industry. Second, the industry has a culture of stoicism. Workers project an ‘I got this’ attitude, even when things are challenging. While that may serve them well at work, it’s not helpful when dealing with mental health issues like depression, stress or addiction. Over time, that attitude actually compounds things as it discourages asking for help.” In addition, Spencer-Thomas notes, many in the trades turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with stress. Problems arise when occasional use escalates to a substance use disorder which, in turn, can lead to family problems, financial trouble, legal issues—including DUIs, etc. Substance use disorders can also emerge when the physical toll of the trades leads to chronic pain. “Even today,” says Spencer-Thomas, “opiate-based drugs are the most typically prescribed medication for this type of pain. The window for addiction with these medications is very small. Unfortunately, longtime misuse or the use of other drugs just puts another layer of stress and challenge on individuals who are already struggling. It’s easy to understand how all those layers can begin to feel unmanageable.” How YOU can help When it comes to helping those struggling with mental health issues, Spencer-Thomas emphasizes that there is a role for everyone. “From coworkers and managers to owners and peers, everyone is in a position to help.” She encourages businesses to begin by creating a culture of caring. “From eliminating any hazing activities

and creating self-screening opportunities to training supervisors and peers on how to recognize and support those in trouble … every action sends a message that the workplace is a safe space where individuals can deal with mental health issues as openly as they might a physical health issue like diabetes or migraines.” A message from a pro who has been there Now retired, Bob Swanson spent 45 years in the painting industry, 25 as president of Swanson & Youngdale in Minneapolis. But it wasn’t until he lost his own son to suicide that he began to recognize problematic signs in his crews. “My son Michael dealt with mental health issues throughout his adult life. I knew firsthand what the struggle looked like but, for whatever reason, I never looked at my employees through the same lens,” says Swanson. “But after he died, a switch went on in me. I really started to listen to the answer people gave when I asked, ‘How are you doing?’ I started to recognize that those who answered, ‘Living the dream’ were often hiding something. I learned to dig deeper and ask what they meant by that, and encouraged them to share their struggles.” In addition, Swanson began to recognize and respond differently to troubling behaviors. “In the past, if someone blew up at others or if the quality of their work dropped, I’d have said, ‘Get your act together or I’ll need to let you go.’ After Michael’s death, I responded by pulling the person aside and saying, ‘You’re not on you’re A-game, and I need you to be there. Let’s talk about what’s going on.’ By changing my response, I changed the outcome, and I kept a lot of really good employees who I might have laid off before.” In short order, Swanson’s team came to appreciate that the company was truly interested in their well-being. Eventually, mental health became a part of the company’s regular safety talks. “All mental illnesses are treatable,” says Swanson. “There are a lot of resources available to help businesses of all sizes address the issue, many free or inexpensive. Even if it costs you some money, it’s an expense you won’t regret making—but you might regret not making.”

September is Suicide Prevention Month: What action will you take to save lives?

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT



Drywall sander brings a new light to every surface

Canvas makes interior estimating easy T Get ready to say goodbye to your tape measure and the hassle of taking notes when preparing interior estimates. When you pair the 3D scanning app Canvas with your LiDAR-enabled iPhone or iPad, you don’t just capture one measurement or photo at a time—you capture every aspect of the room. Specific features of the room can then be measured, annotated, and even shared with any other device. Canvas is so easy to use that even customers can use it to scan a room and share the image and info with you so you can develop accurate estimates remotely. Available for free on the Apple Store.

Valspar introduces ‘overly protective’ paint and primer T Valspar recently introduced Reserve, a new line of interior paint and primer. Engineered to deliver the company’s most advanced protection in just one coat, 100% acrylic Reserve provides outstanding resistance against scuffs and stains, and holds up to scrubbing. According to Krystal Mindeck, Valspar senior product manager, “Reserve is overly protective so you can cross touch-ups off your to-do list.” Sold exclusively at Lowes. 10

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

T Featuring a built-in LED light ring, the new Festool PLANEX LHS 2 225 Drywall Sander brings visibility to whatever surface you’re working on and highlights surface irregularities, saving you time on the job. In addition, the new sander uses a random orbit sanding motion to eliminate grooves and ensure a flawless finish. Designed for both high ceilings and tight places, the unit features adjustable suction and an ergonomic T-handle, both of which reduce the workload placed on the user’s arms and back. Like previous PLANEX models, the tool connects to the Festool CT 36 E AC HEPA Dust Extractor for a nearly dust-free sanding solution. Backed by Festool’s 3-year all-inclusive warranty.

Benjamin Moore introduces coating for commercial and industrial spaces T The latest addition to Benjamin Moore’s Corotech line of high-performance coatings, COMMAND is a singlecomponent, multi-substrate solution that saves time and enables painters to tackle commercial and industrial jobs with speed and confidence. A waterborne acrylic urethane enamel, COMMAND dries to touch in just 15 minutes and enables return-toservice traffic in 24 hours (vertical surfaces in just one hour). A block-resistant, tack-free formula that resists cracking and peeling, it can be applied in temperatures as low as 35˚F. Specially formulated for use on substrates such as galvanized steel, non-ferrous metals, wood, tile, concrete/masonry and more, COMMAND simplifies maintenance and allows for a quick return to service to minimize disruptions. Recommended areas for use include safety markers, handrails, stairs, doors, windows, shelving and concrete floors subject to heavy pedestrian and forklift traffic and more.


BEHR ULTRA® SCUFF DEFENSE™ Interior Paint sets a new standard for paint durability. SCUFF DEFENSE features an innovative paint formula that delivers advanced burnish, scuff and mar resistance for high-traffic areas.

Never hand pump again Available in Flat, Eggshell, Satin, and Semi-Gloss finishes. T Graco just introduced the industry’s first cordless, powered loading pump designed to fill all automatic taping and finishing tools. PowerFill 3.5 totally eliminates the need to manually pump, allowing you to quickly fill with For visita hi-rise just themore push of ainformation, button. Designed with fill port, the single-button pump eliminates repetitive bending and provides up to 3.5 gpm for lightning-fast filling and pumps up to 55 gallons on a single battery charge. Available in two Series sizes for®buckets ranging from 5 toby 30 gallons. Representative visiting Contact a Pro BEHR PRO


New podcast series T If you or a customer are struggling with color choices, a new podcast series from architectural color experts Amy Krane and Amy Woolf may provide the help you need. The podcasts feature discussions on topics related to exterior and interior color choices, including trending colors for kitchens and choosing the right white. Each run about 30 minutes and are available via Apple podcasts, Spotify, Audible and Google podcasts.

Single-button pump saves your back T Graco just introduced the industry’s first cordless, powered loading pump designed to fill all automatic taping and finishing tools. PowerFill 3.5 totally eliminates the need to manually pump, allowing you to quickly fill with just the push of a button. Designed with a hi-rise fill port, the single-button pump eliminates repetitive bending and provides up to 3.5 gpm for lightning-fast filling and pumps up to 55 gallons on a single battery charge. Available in two Pro Series sizes for buckets ranging from 5 to 30 gallons.

Flaw-spotting made easy Sherwin-Williams launches new pro program T In an effort to help paint professionals grow and manage their business, Sherwin-Williams recently launched a time- and money-saving program: SherwinWilliams PRO+. Available at no cost to new and existing customers, the program features 0% interest credit; PRO+ savings (15% off paint supplies, 20% off list price on case lot quantities, and preferred pricing on select coatings); business tools (including bidding and marketing tools and customizable marketing materials) and 24/7 online access to purchase history, online ordering, and free online courses and industry resources. 12

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

T Two new products from Shur-Line are bringing some literal light to the painting experience, making it easier to spot flaws on any surface: the LED Pro Extension Pole and LED Pro Painter’s Pole Light. The LED Pro Extension Pole extends from 4' to 7-1/2' and features 5 built-in LED lights. Designed with universal threads to accommodate a variety of frames and poles, it offers 7 hours of continuous run time and features 8 LED lights. Both units are powered by AAA batteries.

PaintCare announces new minimum pickup T Good news for paint pros and property managers operating in California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. PaintCare recently adjusted the minimum amount for its FREE large-volume pick-up (LVP) service down to 100+ gallons of leftover architectural paint. Consult the fact sheet for details at

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT



1 PAUL DYBDAHL is the owner of Dybdahl Decorative Painting, based in Southern California and specializing in decorative and fine-finish painting. He has been painting for over 27 years. Being in the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades for 12 years, Dybdahl was able to acquire impeccable techniques by working alongside master craftsmen.




What do you post to social media and to which platforms? I use Facebook (FB), Instagram and YouTube, but most of my activity is on Instagram because I tend to get more views and engagement on that platform. That said, FB Messenger is always busy, and FB is good for getting into local groups and cultivating referrals. In the early days, I posted still images. But when I got an iPhone, I moved to video using iMovie. My first videos were about 10 minutes long and featured me explaining and showing off what I was doing. I thought it was pretty cool until my oldest son said, “Frankly dad, it’s too long and it’s boring. Keep it under a minute and stop talking behind it.” I took his advice so now all my videos are under a minute. If I want to explain anything, I use text within the video editing app and choose a bed of music to put behind it. In all, it takes about 20 minutes for me to edit and complete a video.


How do you determine what and when to post? I post at different times of the day and I post all phases of jobs. I’ve found that if you’re consistent about posting jobs in various stages of progress, people will wait and look forward to the next video—sort of like a TV show. The timing doesn’t really seem to impact what does and doesn’t get viewed. The most important thing is to not just think about posting, but to do it! I try to post once or twice a day. I found that video works better than still pictures, but I think it’s the fact that I post every day that’s proven more key than the content of what I post.


How do you leverage posts to land business? I don’t have a formal strategy for leveraging posts; it just happens. I am constantly getting message requests on my Instagram page, and I see some come through Facebook.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


That said, because our videos are under a minute, they’re easy to send via text message. We typically text customers regarding our comings and goings. At the end of the day, we’ll send a video of the progress made at their house with a little bit of music behind it. It looks super professional, and they love the update. Very often, the customer shares it with friends and family. At the end of the job, we compile and text a before-and-after video of the project. That one gets shared a lot via text. It’s really the best kind of advertising possible—a happy customer showing off how great their house looks—and it costs me nothing but the time to compile and send it. Plus, I can use the same content on every social media platform.


What do you consider the biggest key to your social media success? Consistency. I stick to the platforms that work for me with the types of posts that get attention and I follow through on every story I start to tell. If you’ve got someone’s attention, you don’t want to lose it by taking too long to deliver the next chapter.


What changes to your social media strategy do you anticipate making in the future? Hard to say. I’m just trying to play the game; I think that there will be newer platforms popping up and it will be more of a text message kind of platform. Honestly, I’m not a techie guy. If it weren’t for my kids, I would have no clue. My advice would be to listen to your kids or talk to some younger people in your company and start utilizing their insights. Ultimately, the name of the game is post! Put it out there. If you aren’t posting, you aren’t putting it out there and no one is seeing what you’re doing.



For over 40 years we’ve listened to what pros need. Today we offer a full range of hardworking primers created to solve common problems and meet the demands of real job sites. From general-purpose, to specialty, both indoors and out, you can count on KILZ® Primers for results you can be proud of for years to come. KILZ 2® ALL-PURPOSE is our most popular general-purpose interior/exterior primer. It will block light to medium stains but its real superpower is its balance of flexibility, performance and value in terms of sealing, hiding, stain blocking and adhesion. KILZ 2 is also an excellent choice when making dramatic color changes. KILZ 3® PREMIUM has all the attributes of KILZ 2, but it’s fortified with an even greater ability to block stains. Its superpower is the ability to block medium to severe stains with excellent adhesion to multiple surfaces. If you have tough stains inside or outdoors, KILZ 3 is the one you want. KILZ RESTORATION™ is an innovative technology that delivers stain blocking, odor blocking and adhesion performance of an oil or shellac but with the application and clean-up convenience of a water base. Its superpower is its ability to eliminate odors - something water base primers don’t typically do. If you have unwanted odors from smoke, nicotine, food, mustiness or even pet urine, priming with KILZ Restoration is the solution.

KILZ® ORIGINAL is our very first primer and has been trusted by pros for over 40 years. It’s an excellent option for wood, but the real superpower of KILZ Original is its ability to block nagging, recurring stains, like tannin and water stains. Think of it as the nuclear option of interior primers. KILZ® MOLD & MILDEW is formulated with the strongest mildewcide in the KILZ family. Its superpower is drying to a very tough mold and mildew resistant finish on the primer film. If you’re painting an area with high humidity and heat, start with this.

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT





ne of the key functions of a successful business, lead generation and management has a profound impact on growth and profitability. Done right, it can create a steady flow of qualified leads and ensure growth. But just as there are lots of different types of customers and projects to land, there are also lots of different ways to capture their attention and business. What follows is a look at how two pros—Chris Elliott of ONiT Painting and Ben Taff of Grit City Painters—approach the challenge. In addition to sharing their process for cultivating leads that deliver the right kind of customers for their company’s strengths and goals, they also offer some thoughts and takeaways on each other’s efforts.



inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

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About our pros and their lead generation & management process

Based in Indianapolis, Chris Elliott and his wife Emilie have operated ONiT Painting since 2015. Specializing in residential and commercial repaints, the company has 10 administrative employees and 40 crew, all who contribute to $3 million in annual revenue.

The ONiT approach to lead generation ONiT has two very different approaches to lead generation for their residential and commercial markets. “We have a very specific buyer persona that we target on the residential side,” says Elliott. “We’re going after very busy professionals and retirees. On the digital side, we do pay-per-click campaigns and post regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Posts include videos, before-and-after shots and, lately, more stories about our team and our successes. We’re not sure why, but the personal v. project posts seem to be getting a bit more traction. We also develop a lot of content for SEO, including two blog posts per week, which we optimize and upload to our website. For these, we focus on a project … any obstacles we faced—that could be a substrate failure or a super-tight time line—and how we overcame them. We build the article around that and support it with lots of photos. We also have a database of 10,000 names that we hit with targeted emails. We look at the cadence of work in the past, and send emails designed to reactivate past customers or follow up with anyone who got a bid but didn’t convert. The messages are very narrow and specific.” To handle their residential lead generation activity, ONiT relies on AccuLynx, an all-in-one business software. “It’s really more of a workflow tracking software, rather than a contact management software,” says Elliott. “But it works in that it follows a contact from lead to job to invoice.” Residential leads—which can number as high as 300 per month in peak season—are followed up on by ONiT’s office coordinator, who qualifies the prospect based on scope and time line. Qualified leads are then scheduled into a sales rep’s calendar using Acuity scheduling software. Elliott notes, “This is the same scheduling software that runs on our website, which helps keep things clean and easy on the scheduling front.”

The ONiT approach for commercial lead generation looks quite different. “We’re aiming for two market verticals: multifamily and managed commercial property repaints. That’s it. Our efforts are all aimed at getting our name in front of busy property managers and building a relationship.” To do that, ONiT belongs to numerous associations, including BOMA and the Indiana Apartment Association. “Our reps are super active in these associations. We sponsor events, golf outings, luncheons, and basically pay to get our logo on everything we can. Whatever we need to do to be front of mind to the property managers, we do. Even so, we spend less on commercial lead generation than we do on the residential side, but the ROI is much higher with commercial work,” says Elliott. Because the commercial sales process is so much longer than residential, and the fact that reps are managing prospects with comparably higher long-term value, ONiT manages these leads with Pipedrive. “It’s a really solid CRM,” says Elliott, “But once it’s a job, we bounce it into AccuLynx to manage it.” Reflecting on the evolution of the company’s lead generation and management process, Elliott notes, “When we started, we used Jobber, which was initially fine. But once we broke a million in sales and took on more reps, we needed something more robust that would accommodate multiple users. At this point, we have a good system for our size and needs. But, of course, we’re always looking to make marginal improvements over time.”

While Grit City Painters has only been in business since early 2020, owner Ben Taff has decades of industry experience. The Tacoma, WA-based pro started stocking paint at a hardware store at the age of 17; got recruited to work in a paint store; started and shuttered a paint business in two years; worked as a field rep for a paint manufacturer; joined a franchise; and then launched Grit City Painters. “Every job,” says Taff, “taught me something that contributed to the successful launch of Grit City.” With an 80/20 mix of residential and commercial work respectively, the company billed over a million its first year and now employs 10 full-time staff.

The Grit City approach to lead generation While they take on some commercial work, all of Grit City’s lead generation efforts are residential-focused. “Our efforts really fall in three camps: social media, Google, and word-of-mouth (WOM),” says Taff. “This keeps our cost per lead very, very low. It’s almost no money, just time, and it generates 50–60 leads a month of which 85–90% are qualified.” As for his social media efforts, Taff says, “I really enjoy social media and like watching what the influencers are doing and adapting. 18

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


We’re heavy on Facebook and do run some campaigns targeted to specific zip codes or demographics. We’re also big into Instagram and are very consistent about how we tell our story—lots of images of work-in-progress and finished projects.” Taff also includes lots of images on his Google My Business page. “In addition to filling the page with the content Google wants—hours, service area, etc.—we have at least 700 photos on there and nearly 40 reviews, and I consistently refresh that content. That keeps us in the top 3 or 5 of what I call their ‘leader board’ for searches. There’s no fee for that. You just have to keep it relevant.” But by far, Grit City’s biggest source of leads is WOM, says Taff. “At least 50%, if not more, of our business is WOM. I have a strong personal and business network, and I belong to a local realtor group and other business networking groups. Again, the cost for this is almost nothing but it’s a huge source of business for us.” When it comes to managing leads, Taff leans hard on CRM software Jobber. “Every lead, whether it’s from the website, an email, or me picking up a phone, gets fed right into Jobber,” he says. “We’re able to track them through the entire ready-to-bid stage to waiting for response to a bid, and, hopefully, getting them scheduled. Even bids that we don’t pursue, along with projects that wrap up, are maintained in an archive area. And being a CRM, it has job status, scheduling and invoicing features. I like the all-in-one approach.”

“ Keep repeating your message and educating your customers about all that you do.” —CHRIS ELLIOTT, ONIT PAINTING Taff notes that Jobber recently added a customer re-engagement feature. “I haven’t had a chance to dive into that yet, but I think it could be really useful, especially when we start taking work indoors again in the fall.” As for future efforts, Taff hopes to get a better handle on the specific data attached to lead generation sources. “I know WOM is highest, followed by Facebook, Instagram, then Google—but I don’t have the supporting data. I need to get my arms around that so that I invest my time in the right places. Plus, I’m completely lacking a referral program. I see other painters have nice follow-up thank you campaigns, and I think that’s a channel I should be tapping into. For sure, that’s going to be a focus for me soon.”

Points and counterpoints on lead generation & management In compiling this article, we shared each pro’s approach with the other and invited them to comment on what they liked about the other’s approach and what wouldn’t work for them. Here’s what they had to say:

Ben on Chris’ approach: Chris appears to have a great understanding of who their target customers are and how to reach them effectively in a short period of time of being in business. I would also concur that, through social media, telling your story and showing what it would be like if a customer hired you is WAY more effective than a generic 10% off early bird coupon approach. I really like that Chris mentioned Jobber here, as it appears that I am on a similar growth track in my first year going into year two. With that said, I plan to find a sweet spot in the $1.5–1.8 million range, and I’m not exactly sure if or when I will outgrow the Jobber CRM. I will definitely look into AccuLynx. Maybe he should send me a referral link and get a free month …

Chris on Ben’s approach: Overall, I think Ben’s on the right track. I see some similarities in his current approach with what we did in the early stages. He’s got a good system in place, and I think his focus on organic traffic is smart. Like him, we worked hard at keeping our marketing costs low and leaned hard on our personal networks to get referrals. I would caution him that, depending on how far you want to scale, it is possible to max out what you can do with WOM. But he’s got a good balance across other channels, so I don’t think it’s a huge problem; just something to be aware of. I think he’s putting the right amount of focus on his Google listing and, especially, reviews. On over 50% of the estimates we do, a customer will reference our Google reviews. I’d 100% tell him to stick with that effort. Again, I think he has a good balance of marketing channels. I would encourage him to measure everything and keep at the areas where he’s getting the best return. One thing we’re paying attention to as we measure our channels is which one is yielding the highest average job size, and which yields the highest success rate in terms of estimates v. closing. We’ve had channels where the ROI was great, but we had to do a lot more estimates to get it. The last thing I would suggest is to keep up with customer re-engagement. It’s so powerful for us. We offer some basic carpentry and wood repair services. Every time we do a mass email to past customers that mentions that, our phones blow up. Keep repeating your message and educating your customers about all that you do. -

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT



Four experts weigh in with their concrete floor coating preferences BY BRIAN SODOMA

Cherry Coatings installed Sikafloor’s 161 primer, 264 pigmented (A & B epoxies), and 316 N polyurethane products, along with UV-stable coatings, for natural light and a non-skid, slip-resistant finish to lessen slips or falls for the firemen in Prosper, TX.


1 20

CHRIS BISHOP Cherry Coatings

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


DMITRY DEYKHIN Sleek Floors Concrete Cleaning & Polishing




KYLE RICHARD Neptune’s Artistry & Handyman Services

Painting contractors all have their niches but working with concrete floors is a truly specialized field. Whether residential or commercial, concrete floor jobs involve very visible and/or highly used spaces. Results need to be impeccable and coatings extremely durable because failures require expensive fixes. Here, four concrete floor pros talk about their work and the coatings they prefer.


Headquartered in Texas, Cherry Coatings has operations across the state as well as in Arizona and Tennessee. Concrete floors are a specialty the company is known for, Bishop says, particularly resin systems that handle moisture, spills and heavy use. You’ll see the company’s work in places like airport hangars, stadium concourses, data centers, and numerous public buildings. Bishop’s teams have elite certifications to apply coatings from General Polymers, Sika, Dur-A-Flex and Protective Industrial Polymers. He particularly likes his relationship with Sika and frequently uses its Sikafloor-22 NA PurCem FS and Sikafloor-24 NA PurCem FS resin systems. More importantly, his rep’s ability to handle unique requests sets the supplier apart. “They’re a good sounding board for us. They respect us as installers and they know there can be a lot of liability on these jobs if something is not applied correctly,” he said. Cherry Coatings’ teams also see their share of clean room work. For those, Protective Industrial Polymers 200 ESD Conductive UR, a low-odor, three-component system is a preferred choice. “It is probably the best system in the industry,” Bishop added. “It goes down easily, and the rep even comes out to do physical testing to show the customer they’ve gotten what they paid for.”


This Las Vegas-based pro specializes in polished floor systems in commercial and industrial settings. He uses those same environments’ coatings for residential garage floors as well. Deykhin is known for restoring failing floors. He tackles this work with the help of densifiers to harden the concrete and seal its pores after cleaning and proper prep. He turns to Prosoco Consolideck LS or LS/CS densifiers for this part of his jobs. LS/CS is good for customers with environmental concerns; using it can even earn LEED certification credits for certain jobs. After applying densifier, he polishes and refines the surface and adds two coats of either Prosoco PolishGuard, a UV stable option guaranteed not to yellow, or the company’s LSGuard for color-stained concrete. He finishes by burnishing the surface. “I like Prosoco’s performance and durability,” he noted. “If I have a bad floor and follow all the stages needed to bring it back, then I put LSGuard or PolishGuard on it, the end result is going to be what I know works. I don’t want any surprises.”

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This Alabama-based pro primarily works on new commercial construction and industrial projects. In the past two years, he’s seen more home garage floor work as well, but he’s turned to his go-to General Polymers concrete coatings used in commercial work for those jobs, too. For many residential garages and commercial jobs, he likes Sherwin-Williams line of General Polymers products. He starts with Resuprime 3579, a two-component epoxy primer and binder resin for his base coat before using Resuflor 3746 High Performance Epoxy, a two-component recoatable epoxy resin, for his seal coat. For rapid-turn projects, he’ll use Elladur 4850, a polyaspartic two-component topcoat that can handle some foot traffic within an hour, he said. These systems work well in industrial settings like manufacturing, food processing, public works, nuclear reactors, even animal shelters … places you might find forklift activity, assembly lines, heavy foot traffic … and those that have the potential for spills. For porches, patios and decks, he’ll turn to General Polymers Resuflor Aqua 3460 water-based epoxy primer, its 3461 AquArmor Topcoat and Resutile 4410/4411 for a final seal coat. “That application is good for exteriors because it’s UV stable, and it’s good for a breathable system. You don’t have to worry about anything popping up if water gets underneath the concrete,” he noted. Brown also sees his share of custom metallic epoxy floor work. Recently, he used three products on a new police and fire training facility floor for the City of Huntsville. His lineup started with Hi-Tech Polyurea Joint Fillers to give the floor a seamless look. After that, his teams applied Rust-Oleum Seal-Krete Epoxy and PPG PSX 700 for a topcoat. “The PSX 700 is one of my favorites, too,” Brown said. “It’s easy to work with and, if you feel like you need to add another coat, it’s pretty easy to do.”

“ [General Polymer’s system] is good for exteriors because it’s UV stable, and it’s good for a breathable system. You don’t have to worry about anything popping up if water gets underneath the concrete.” —ADAM BROWN, PROS FLOORS



This Florida-based pro is known for his artistry in residential environments. Richard is a vinyl flake expert who can give you a plain color or clear coating on a garage floor, pool deck, driveway, patio or pavilion. But he’d prefer to create an ocean shoreline scene or something a little livelier on your concrete instead. Richard embraces pointillism, an artistic style from the late 1800s that’s an offshoot of impressionism. With it, dots, or vinyl flakes in this case, are integrated into a coating to create patterns. A big request of him today is to weave a blend of dark and light blues with sand and white colors to build ocean shoreline scenes on driveways and walkways. Richard’s go-to coatings for this work is Tuf-Top Duraplate 289 High Performance Enamel and the company’s Crystal Seal Clear Sealer. For artistic driveways and walkways, he starts with a base coat of 289 and a second coat of the same product for what he calls his ‘stick coat’ for the flake. He then blends in flake, glitter, and any or other materials into two coats of Crystal Seal. After getting the flake pattern he wants, he finishes with two more coats of Crystal Seal as the final topcoats. “We’re the only company utilizing flake in such a way; we’re creating art with it,” he said. “You can really get a great range of coloration that I like with these products.” Richard is also tapped for garage floors without artistic designs. He likes Tuff-Top WT-113 Two-Part Water Based Epoxy Enamel after a primer coat of 289 for these jobs. He’ll also add durability with their WBU Waterbased 2K Urethane, a clear coat for his final topcoat. -

“ [PIP’s 200 ESD Conductive UR system] goes down easily and the rep even comes out to do physical testing to show the customer they’ve gotten what they paid for.” —CHRIS BISHOP, CHERRY COATINGS

Kyle Richards achieves realistic ocean effects with a combination of Tuf-Top Duraplate 289 High Performance Enamel and Crystal Seal Clear Sealer—and a blend of flakes and glitter. 22

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

390 PC CORDLESS Airless Paint Sprayer



3300 psi / 0.47 gpm /.021 Max Tip







Learn more at ©2021 Graco Inc. 344444E 5/21 Printed in U.S.A. Product covered by issued and pending patents, see DEWALT® and the DEWALT Logo are trademarks of DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. and are used under license. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT



inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

All Photos Courtesy of Amy Woolf Color & Design

Incorporating Color Expertise Into Your Business Build your brand—and customer confidence—with this value-added service


ow many times have you arrived at a jobsite, ready to paint, only to find your customer still struggling to settle on the right paint colors? How many valuable hours have you spent flipping through a fandeck, painting up samples, or rescheduling a job because your customer did not have their colors finalized? Using the services of a skilled architectural color consultant can help you stay ahead of these problems and even bring about a better overall project outcome. When a customer gets their colors right, they feel empowered and excited to return for another round of painting after the first project is done. What starts as a living room, kitchen and half bath may turn into a full exterior next season. And when friends and family love the new colors, they’re more likely to ask who the painter was. Conversely, when color selection goes wrong, homeowners become paralyzed by the fear of making another mistake and put off future painting projects. We all know that keeping good customers is a lot easier than finding new ones, so everything you can do to make the process a total success—including good color selection—will pave the way to repeat business and more referrals. The field of color consulting has grown exponentially over the past decade and most cities now have at least a few professionals who can provide their expertise to your customers. A valuable resource for your customers—and for you Today, many consumers—immersed in design via TV, social media, podcasts and magazines—are aware that a good color scheme can make or break the overall look and feel of a home. Interest in paint color has grown beyond just looking for the perfect color to creating a sense of harmony and flow from room to room. A skilled color advisor can move your customers

beyond a simple color match to an overall color palette personalized for the way they want to live. Specialized color consultants can help those with historical projects to stay true to the architecture and period—or bend rules just enough to introduce colors that bring a building into the modern era. Others may have expertise in commercial jobs, where branding colors and customer psychology come into play. Bringing in professional help can be particularly useful for multifamily residences, where gaining consensus among board members or property owners can present a challenge. Whenever color is being decided by committee, having a professional involved in the process can get your customers to a decision quicker, which gets the project rolling and the dollars flowing. Resources abound, but do your homework first The first step is to understand what level of help your customer needs, then match them with the level of professional who can best fulfill their needs within their budget. You’ll find a variety of price points ranging from $99 per room to multiple hundreds of dollars, depending on the size of the project and experience of the consultant. For residential projects, some manufacturers and paint stores offer in-home and online consulting either for free or a small charge (often crediting back the fee toward the purchase of paint). Store consultants may range from multiple-generation independent retailers with deep experience in color to recent design

A skilled color advisor can move your customers beyond a simple color match to an overall color palette personalized for the way they want to live.

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT


AMY WOOLF is a color consultant, trend forecaster and developer of colors for brands and product manufacturers. In business since 2006, she works in the residential and commercial sectors both in person and virtually.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

school graduates or store clerks with little more than the list of top-selling colors in hand. Before you refer your customers to your local paint store for help, be sure to ask questions so you know what level of expertise they will encounter. You can also ask at the paint desk for a list of independent color experts in your area. Some of those will have been trained and accredited; others may just have a knack for color but have built a successful practice over the years. Certification is one helpful clue that the resource may be qualified, but still doesn’t guarantee your customer will receive skilled advice. It pays to dig a little deeper and know who you’re referring. Most reputable color consultants will have an online presence—probably a website, but at least a page on Facebook or Houzz, and their reviews will tell you a lot about their reputation and how they are to work with. And don’t forget Instagram! You won’t find reviews there, but search hashtags like #colorconsulting or #colorexpert to find leads for color professionals. Additionally, even if you do not have access to a local color advisor, you can find one online who can help your customer from afar. One positive outcome of the pandemic is the normalization of all kinds of online services we formerly believed could only be done in person, color consulting being one. While in the past, only a select number of color designers consulted virtually, now many have added virtual work to their service offerings. Set yourself apart to attract a certain customer After referring a few customers to a color consultant has yielded positive results, you may decide that a more formal partnership is in order. This can be as simple as regular referrals back and forth between your business and theirs. Or you can consider building the cost of their services into your bids for higher-budget projects. Chances are that your competition will not offer this value-added service; doing so will help set you apart. And building a focus on color into your service offerings will help you attract higher-end, design-minded customers. Keep in mind that a good color consultant is just as busy as you are. Don’t wait until the last minute to bring someone in. In addition to lead times for booking their services, the color selection process can take a week or more, including time for color samples to ship, possible revisions to be made, and decisions finalized. I tell my customers that a good painter is worth waiting for. The same is true for a good color consultant.

The next level for the do-it-yourself route You may already have someone on staff or in the family business who helps your customers with their color decisions. As interest in interior design grows and more people are looking to make bolder or more sophisticated color choices, it makes sense to have that staff or family member grow their skills with formal training in color. The added layer of color knowledge will be a selling point when you pitch your services to prospects. Credentials can go a long way in establishing your professionalism and dedication to the best possible outcome for your projects. As the field of architectural color consulting continues to grow, so does the number of sources for education and certification. Major paint manufacturers offer education and CEUs through webinars and inperson training, and they are a great place to start. To dig deeper, look online for training courses that have been around a long time or have plenty of former students listed on their websites. It’s important to distinguish those training courses that focus on staging vs. interior design. Color for staging usually involves neutralized hues that make a home easier to sell. If most of your customers are repainting because they’re staying put, they’ll want colors that reflect their personality and bring them joy. It is said that color consulting is an art and a science, so look for training that focuses on both rather than merely providing you with a collection of tips and tricks.

Whenever color is being decided by committee, having a professional involved in the process can get them to a decision quicker, which gets the project rolling and the dollars flowing. You’ve spent years developing your technical expertise and trained your employees in your own brand of work ethic, and it is the final work and the experience you deliver that repays you with recurring work. Giving customers a space full of color they connect with adds to that experience and acts as your calling card long after the last drop cloth is folded away and ladders are stowed. Making the extra effort to connect your customers with expert color advice can deliver a big return on investment for years to come. -





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Residential interior repaint Location: Chicago, IL Paint contractor: Kevin Brown, owner Brown Bear Painting Time frame: Two months Challenges: ■ Drywall repair due to water damage ■ Extensive wallpaper removal ■ Painting over an existing mural Sherwin-Williams coatings and colors: Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in:

Pale Yellow

SW 7691

Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in:

Dirty Martini

SW 9119


SW 7002


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

Anew Gray

SW 7030

Eminence High Performance Ceiling Paint in:


Courtesy of Sarah R. Peterson Photography

Pro product comment: We always recommend Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint as it provides washabilty and a good appearance. Durability is what makes Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel our go-to for trim and kitchen cabinets.

Bright White

“ This is one of the largest homes in our area and was a great opportunity to put our small business on the map. We faced several hardships during the project—a pandemic, workforce issues, and a flood on the last day that closed all the roads to the site. But in the end, our hard work paid off; the job looks great, and the customer was very happy.” —KEVIN BROWN, BROWN BEAR PAINTING


Stadium repaint Facility: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech Location: Atlanta, GA Paint contractor: Louie Boncyk, director of sales and marketing Benise-Dowling & Associates Time frame: Six months Challenges: ■ Creating a schedule for a multipurpose venue that accounted for planned and unplanned events, including weather delays ■ Rigging every side of the stadium ■ Operating in the midst of COVID-19 while maintaining a hard close date for the start of football season ■ Flooding in locker rooms due to broken pipes mid-project Sherwin-Williams coatings and colors: LOXON SelfCleaning Acrylic Coating in:

Extra White


Extra White




SW 7006

Macropoxy 646 & Pro Industrial Water Based Acrolon 100 in:

Rustic City

SW 7067

SW 6244

Georgia Tech was looking for a product that could maintain its freshness over time. LOXON SelfCleaning Acrylic Coating does exactly that. We also knew through our experience working on the Florida coast that it would hold up even under harsh conditions. With the steel system, the SherwinWilliams Industrial team came out at every step of the project and performed adhesion tests throughout the facility, which was very reassuring to our customer.


Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

“ The stadium was built in 1913 so, as you can imagine, it required special attention regarding preparation. Much of the steel needed to meet SSPC-SP3 requirements. Having expertise in this area allowed us to keep to the schedule. There were a lot of unexpected twists to this job. But we always do what we can to keep jobs moving and our field team positive. They represent our company every day both in the field and in front of customers. Any contractor can do one job with a client. It’s the repeat business that keeps a business thriving for decades.” —LOUIE BONCYK, BENISE-DOWLING & ASSOCIATES

SW 7674

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

SW 7699

SW 7006

SW 6244

Pro product comment:

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT




Historic residential exterior repaint Location: Kansas City, MO Paint contractor: Eugene Brown, III, owner Bristled Patina Time frame: 15 working days Challenges: ■ Working with and around other trades, including landscapers ■ Early spring weather fluctuations PPG Paints coatings and colors: SEAL GRIP Alkyd Universal Primer/Sealer PERMA-CRETE Concrete & Stucco Primer PERMANIZER in: Winter Wheat

Delicate White


Night Rendezvous




inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

Courtesy of PPG Paints

Pro product comment: The homeowners specifically wanted products that provided superior color payoff and long-term durability. Preventing color fade from sun exposure was certainly top of mind throughout this revival process. We chose PPG PERMANIZER as we knew it offers the best sun-fade warranty.

“ The homeowners spoke fondly of the beauty of their historic home and their desire to preserve the gorgeous, original exterior … They had a great experience working with their PPG color and design consultant, who proved to be a trustworthy resource, helping make the color and product selection process seamless.” —EUGENE BROWN, III, BRISTLED PATINA



Courtesy of PPG Paints

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT




What inspired you to incorporate video into your proposals and how does it work?

Arizona native MIKE RICKER is the owner of Crash of Rhinos Painting based in Phoenix, AZ. A Search and Rescue Mission pilot with the Civil Air Patrol, Ricker also loves to fly-fish, but fully acknowledges he isn’t very good. Crash of Rhinos Painting What’s with the name? A group of rhinos is known as a ‘crash.’ They run together at full speed, despite not knowing what lies ahead. We move with the same determination.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


To be honest, I had been thinking about incorporating video for a while but simply wasn’t getting around to it. When COVID got real last March, I took the opportunity to act and haven’t looked back. What I’ve found over the years is that homeowners tend to have a general distrust of contractors. I’m always looking for ways to break that down or overcome it, including not taking deposits for jobs. And I wasn’t a fan of the traditional sales process with the 2-day, 10-day and 28-day follow-up asking for the job. It just felt pushy to me. I was looking for ways to build a rapport and relationship that gave the customer confidence that our transaction would be a good one. Plus, I think it’s really hard to communicate complex ideas quickly and efficiently in writing. So when COVID hit and we were no longer going out in the field, I decided to implement a video-based sales approach and see if I could overcome that obstacle and establish the desired relationship. Due to all the variables COVID introduced, it’s hard to tell how this approach alone has impacted close rates, but I do know it’s a huge time-saver for me. We use the video app BombBomb and HubSpot for our CRM. The whole process begins when a proposal is ready and I push out the first email video with a link to the proposal. The video is basically just me at my desk thanking the customer for the opportunity to bid and explaining what’s included in the proposal. That email triggers a drip campaign. From that point, 10 videos are queued up to go to the customer. None of them are about asking for the job. They’re really focused on educating the customer and building trust. They cover things like ‘What questions should I ask my contractor?,’

‘What’s pressure washing, and does my house need it?,’ ‘Should I give a contractor a down payment for my residential painting project?’ and so on. Each video runs about 60–90 seconds and the email includes a link to the customer’s proposal, a ‘yes, I’d like to move forward’ button, an ‘I have more questions’ button that lets them schedule a call, as well as a ‘I’ve decided to go another direction’ link that lets them unsubscribe. Timing for the videos works this way: the first goes out two days after the proposal. The next three are spaced three days apart, and the remaining ones five days apart; so roughly 5–6 weeks. Most jobs—60%— close within the first two weeks, 30% close in the next two weeks, and the remaining 10% close somewhere between 1 and 18 months later. Whenever they close, they get pulled from the drip campaign and receive an onboarding video email where I explain the next steps and timing of getting started. Again, none of the videos to this point are customized. The day the project begins, we send a Pre-Production Report video two hours after work starts. This provides a nice touchpoint with the customer, but is also a bit of a CYA video. We document the condition of the property, note any preexisting damage onsite, etc. After that, the project manager provides daily video updates. He might acknowledge a conversation with the customer, note what we’ll be working on next, and include images of work in progress. When the job closes, I send a personalized video thanking the customer for the work and asking for a review. Thirty-five percent of customers go on to write a review. I’m really happy with the process and customers respond really well.

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Business UNusual 4 pros respond to COVID-1 9

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stomer Elevating the cu gh experience throu nt me employee engage

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inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

What’s in today’s professional toolbox? Scotch® Painter’s Tapes

Learn more at

Mural Created by Matt W. Moore

The best painters know that every job is unique, but they all start the same way: with the right preparation. Prepping with a painter’s tape from Scotch® means you have a family of tapes specifically designed for your surfaces. By choosing to use the right tape, you’re choosing to end up with a better result. The best paint jobs start with Scotch® Painter’s Tape. © 3M 2020. All rights reserved. Scotch is a trademark of 3M.

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

The Purdy® Painter’s Pail It does more so Pros can, too! Need a hand? The Painter’s Pail has you covered with helpful features like multi-grip options to help reduce hand fatigue, hands-free hanging when adding a ladder pail hook, a mini-roller ramp and rest for up to 4.5" rollers, and a brush magnet to keep your tools in place. Perfect fit liners available separately for quick cleanup. Visit for retailer availability and to learn more.

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT



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

Q: A:

JEFF MALMER is an advanced application engineering specialist for 3M. He has 40 years of masking product development experience and regularly trains 3M customers, end-users, and sales professionals on proper use of the many masking products the company produces.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021

What are some tips for training new painters to use a 3M Hand-Masker M3000 Dispenser effectively?

Prep is key to the success of any paint job and masking is a big part of that. Using the 3M Hand-Masker M3000 Dispenser, or a similar masking tool, can turn a multi-person task into a single-person effort if the pro knows how to use it correctly. Our 3M dispenser applies Scotch and ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape to plastic or paper in one step, and can help you mask up to four times faster. Here are a few tips for anyone using the tool for the first time: Get comfortable with assembly. It’s a relatively simple three-step process. Start by inserting the cutting blade into the hand piece. There are four tape width options and a pin-hole slot for each one. Insert the blade into the correct slot for your tape width. Make sure you hear a click so you know it’s locked in place. Then, slide the film roll on and attach the stabilizing bar by sliding it down until it connects with the roll. Third, place the tape on the hub and track it onto the tool. You can now pull the tape to marry it to the film. Once the tool is correctly assembled, have your crew member reassemble it several times until they’re comfortable with the process. You should also know the masker is a right-handed tool. A left-handed crewmember may need a little more time to get comfortable with it. Practice tearing the tape. Once the device is assembled, practice tearing the tape and film—but don’t do it on a wall surface yet. First, practice tearing away from you with the tool in your hand. The biggest thing to remember is once you start, you need to commit and pull all the way through the material and tape. Never stop halfway through or you could damage the roll. Practice on a window or wall. When going across the top of the window, move from left to right

and push down the tape with your left hand as you go. For the last 12"–18," grab the tape and film with your left hand and rotate the masker out 90° toward you so you don’t cut into the wall or window. This also allows you to use the space behind the film and tape, adjacent to the wall, to rotate the tool to fully tear through both the tape and sheeting. People typically extend their right hand out fully when moving from left to right. For more control, keep your right elbow at 45,° then let your elbow and hand roll—in one motion—away from you. This better assures an even cut through the tape and sheeting. Again, this takes practice. Practice with different films. Our 3M HandMasker M3000 Dispenser works with different masking film, plastic and paper widths. Some rolls extend to 99" to cover something like a patio door, but come in 9"–12" width rolls so they can fit on the masker. After you make your cut, you can then pull down the film to its full length. Crews should have more than one hand-masker available to them. If you have several already set up in the toolbox with different film and tape widths, your teams won’t need to swap out materials more than necessary in a day. A final note. The hand-masker saves time. It prevents from needing one painter to hold plastic or poly in place while another tapes around the edges. With a masking tool, one person can mask off a large window or wall in minutes while another focuses on other prep tasks. Allow for a little extra time so crewmembers can get comfortable with the hand-masker. They’ll reward you with improved efficiency and time savings.

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Teach to Fish eBlast

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med with inPAINT


This wise adage served as inspiration for a new type of communication that offers industry professionals education and instruction to learn from—and build on. Here, we present an industry-specific question and invite an expert to share their insight. Prepare to sharpen your skills.

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Our monthly e-newsletter delivers industryrelevant articles to your inbox—many expanding on our magazine articles—offering additional valuable content professionals find essential to continue to learn and grow. Stay informed. Watch for it monthly.

Our monthly e-newsletter delivers industry-relevant articles to your inbox— many expanding on our magazine articles —offering additional ls, subscribe to inPAINT magazine. They’re all FREE! valuable content professionals find essential to continue to learn and grow. Watch for it monthly and stay relevant.

Teach to Fish eBlast

Video of the Month

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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This wise adage served as inspiration for a type of communication that offers industry professionals education and instruction to learn from—and build on. Here, we present an industryspecific question and invite an expert to share their insight. Prepare to sharpen your skills.

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This communication delivers video instruction and product and service awareness via your inbox on a monthly basis.



3M Pages 2 & Back Cover Behr Page 11 Dunn-Edwards Page 27

What, Where & When

FrogTape Page 31 Graco Page 23

National Hardware Show Page 3 Purdy Page 7



5 4 8 1


Due to COVID-19 regulations regarding gatherings, many events have been cancelled or rescheduled. Visit the event websites listed below for the latest information.


12 & 13: PCA Residential Forum, San Antonio, TX


31–Sept 2: Apartmentalize, Chicago, IL

KILZ Pages 13, 15 & 17 Mi-T-M Page 21


O C TO B E R 6

21–23: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV

N OV E M B E R 7

1–3: Design-Build Conference & Expo, Aurora, CO

S E P T E M BE R 3

8–11: PowerClean Convention 2021, New Orleans, LA


16–18: International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo (PSP/DeckExpo), Dallas, TX


21–23: 21st Century Building Expo & Conference, Charlotte, NC


17–19: Eastern Coatings Show, Atlantic City, NJ


22–24: The Mile High Profit Summit, Denver, CO 24 & 25: 2021 Wallcovering Installers Association Unmasked

October 21–23 • Las Vegas, NV Marking its 75th year of connecting the industry, the 2021 National Hardware Show has reimagined its approach to bring you new products and offer trend discovery and education that will power the growth of your business. This year’s event will feature 1,000+ exhibitors, 90+ inventors, 300+ new products, and a new HABITAT installation, where you will learn about the trends shaping the future of the home improvement industry. 38

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2021


Protect your business by preventing auto crashes


uto crashes continue to wreak havoc on our nation’s roads and on businesses that rely on vehicles to move people or products. The devastation is apparent in employees and their families, who must cope with tragic consequences, and in courtrooms where businesses are held responsible for the behavior of employees driving for company purposes. Jury awards designed to punish businesses are becoming more and more common. Your best chance to avoid a nuclear verdict, a ruling that could reach into the tens of millions, is to proactively address the common issues that arise in auto crash claims. Do your driving policies address the right factors, such as substance use and mobile device distraction? Are you doing your homework on your drivers? Can you demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to help prevent a crash? Strong policies and effective communication are a great foundation, but you have to go further. Who’s behind the wheel? Understanding your drivers’ driving history is key to strong hiring practices. Where appropriate and in accordance with applicable law, it is important to thoroughly evaluate your drivers before they start driving for your company. Do they have a record of crashes or driving-related violations? If so, is it worth the risk to put them behind the wheel of a company vehicle? Even if a driver has a satisfactory driving record, it might not stay that way forever. But how will you know if that happens? Where appropriate and permitted by applicable law, consider a monitoring service that automatically orders motor vehicle records (MVRs) periodically. It may help reduce the likelihood that you will potentially miss a change in an employee’s driving record.

An eye on your fleet Technology can help you monitor your vehicles. Telematics systems give you a set of eyes in the cabs of your vehicles and on the road ahead of them. The data they collect can help you discover risky behavior, optimize productivity, reduce fuel costs, and increase uptime, among other benefits. Drivers might be nervous about this constant surveillance at first, but the point of the systems is not to babysit your employees. Rather, they help you coach your drivers to be at their best. They also help you and investigating authorities understand crashes, which could help exonerate innocent drivers and reduce claims. Prevention is protection Auto crashes are not going away, and their financial consequences keep growing. The best thing you can do as a business owner is realize that you could be a target for high-stakes litigation. Sitting back and hoping that your drivers will stay safe on the road just won’t do anymore. Take the initiative. Evaluate your company’s policies, look for opportunities to reduce distractions, reinforce your safety culture, and help make our roads a safer place for everyone. Showing a judge and jury that your business took steps to help prevent a crash will go a long way toward helping you defend your business if you find yourself in a courtroom. This article is for general information and should not be considered an offer of insurance or legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all risk of loss. The information herein may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. All products and services not available in all states. This information is current as of April 2021 and is subject to change. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2021 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.

NATE OLAND is a senior national account executive in the Association Risk Management Services department for Federated Insurance. His primary role is working with Federated’s national trade associations and buying groups on their members’ underwriting, risk management, and claims services.

Jul/Aug 2021 | inPAINT


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© 3M 2021. All rights reserved. 3M, Scotch, ScotchBlue, Edge-Lock and the BLUE color of the tape are trademarks of 3M.

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