inPAINT Magazine Jul/Aug 2018

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The interior paints pros are talking about


Advances in prep products

Commercial vehicles: rent vs. lease Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT



We’ve redefined spraying with more practical innovations that keep you spraying longer with less fatigue. Find out more at TITANTOOL.COM/RedSeries

For the good kind of callbacks. Choose your paint like your reputation depends on it. Because it does. Only Sherwin-Williams can help you grow your business by delivering the quality and long-lasting great looks your customers demand.

Š2018 The Sherwin-Williams Company


“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” —William Pollard, author


nyone who reads inPAINT (and specifically this opening letter) with any regularity knows that I love a good quote. The thing I particularly love about the quote above is the timelessness of it. Attributed to William Pollard, a Quaker minister and author who lived from 1828 to 1893, it’s well over a century old but still relevant today. It also reinforces the idea that innovation isn’t just about adopting the latest technology. It’s about finding better ways to do things in the future that, in the specific case of running a business, can help you generate more profit. From handling incoming phone calls and choosing Earth-friendly products to discovering new ways to deal with rot and building a healthy company culture (all covered in this issue), the simplest changes to your business can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line. And one of the great things about innovation is that it can come from anywhere. Ideas for change can be found in customer requests, employee observations, tales from fellow painters and, yes, trade magazines like this one. The key is to pay attention, to learn, and to innovate. As always, we thank you for reading. And, please let us know what you’d like to learn about next. Cheers!

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

2018 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Ciro Affronti Operations Manager/Field Supervisor, Affronti Property Solutions, LLC

Cliff Hockley President, Principal Broker CCIM, CPM, Bluestone & Hockley Real Estate Services

Steve Burnett President, DYB Coach

Doug Imhoff Owner, Imhoff Fine Residential Painting

Darylene Dennon Owner, Solid Energy, Inc.

Mike Kelly VP & General Manager, Crestwood Painting Scott Lollar DYB Coach


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Nick Slavik Owner, Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. Art Snarzyk Owner, InnerView Advisors, Inc. Michael Stone President, CertaPro Painters, Ltd.

Quality you know, ENDURA-nce you can trust. ENDURAPRIME™ is a high performance, ultra-low VOC, single component, water-based, acrylic metal primer. Ideal for use on interior and exterior ferrous metal, ENDURAPRIME™ provides superior resistance from corrosion and early flash rust in high humidity environments, outstanding adhesion, and a fast-drying time. Prepare for an unparalleled performance every time with ENDURAPRIME™. For more information, please visit Follow Us @dunnedwards





DUNN-EDWARDS CORPORATION (888) DE PAINT® (337-2468) | 4885 East 52 Place, Los Angeles, CA 90058 ND

Dunn-Edwards®, The #1 Choice of Painting Professionals®, (888) DE PAINT® are registered and/or trademarks of the Dunn-Edwards Corporation. ©2018 Dunn-Edwards Corporation. All rights reserved.

This issue’s contributing experts Joseph Camberato National Business Capital PUBLISHER Edward McAdams MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Haar DESIGN Carl Bezuidenhout CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR Cindy Puskar SOCIAL MEDIA Jillian McAdams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Stephanie Conner Meghann Finn Sepulveda Jim Williams

Darylene Dennon Solid Energy, Inc. John Dixon Painting Unlimited Plus Tom Droste Estimate Rocket Jay Emery Fred Hamilton Contracting Inc. Mike Freeman Mike’s Quality Painting, Inc. Dan Frost H.D.F. Painting, Inc. Lee Hackmeyer Associated Paint, Inc. Chad Jeffries Brick City Painting & Drywall Marcelo Orchon Purdy


Jason Paris Paris Painting, LLC John Petersen 3M Zach Poland Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting John Stahl Next Generation Systems Julia Stead Invoca

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

Corey Talbot Hyde Tools Joshua Voigt Paintworx, Inc. Don Vrana WonderPaint Distribution, LLC Bruce Widener WonderPaint Distribution, LLC James Williams CertaPro Painters of the Main Line

©2018 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. 6

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Kevin Wooten Carolina Painting & Pressure Cleaning, Inc. Megan Youngs DAP

CONTRACTOR ROUNDTABLES Contractor-to-Contractor. No Pressure. No Competition. PDCA’s contractor members run successful businesses and recognize the value of collaborating on problems and sharing industry knowledge every month. You are invited to share your problems along with your ideas for innovation and growth. FIND A CONTRACTOR ROUNDTABLE New Business Roundtable Small Business Roundtable Tipping-Point Roundtable Million-Dollar Roundtable Million-Dollar+ Roundtable

businesses businesses businesses businesses businesses

1-to-5 years old under $500K revenue $500K - $1M revenue $1M+ revenue $5M/$10M+ revenue

Paint ED is PDCA’s Education Center to train painting contractors across the globe. Educational resources include Podcasts, Ask-a-Peer Networks, Contractor Roundtable Discussions, Accreditation, In-depth Training videos, and much more! See everything PDCA has to offer from member-exclusive content to FREE contractor resources at

Not a PDCA member? Call 1-800-332-7322 or visit for more. Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT


inPAINT® Jul/Aug 2018


New Approaches to Familiar Challenges


Prepped to Save You Time


How one pro tackles five common prep issues

Pro Picks

Pro-recommended interior paints

The inPAINT Interview

Painting contractor


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

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22 DEPARTMENTS 10 The News Industry ins and outs

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

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

36 Teach to Fish Choosing clog-resistant abrasives

15 Trend in Focus Capitalizing on the consumer click-to-call preference

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

16 Ask a Pro What motivates you to run an ecologically sustainable business, and how do you do it?

39 Bottom Line Commercial vehicles: should you rent or own?

Cover Photo and This Background Photo Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Photo Courtesy of Purdy

Tools and products for expediting prep

Contractor Programs

Sep/Oct Issue

APPLES TO APPLES Many manufacturers offer programs.

What sets their programs apart? quantity discounts convenient locations purchase tracking jobsite delivery marketing support online ordering rep support credit


Watch for this special section in our Sep/Oct issue.


Three U.S. Retailers to Phase out Dangerous Paint Strippers by the End of 2018

T Lowes, Sherwin-Williams and The Home


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Photo Courtesy of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Depot, in that order, all recently announced they will phase out paint removers containing methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), which have been found to pose unacceptable health risks. Methylene chloride has been linked to more than 60 deaths nationwide since 1980 as well as to lung and liver cancer, neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity. NMP, which can be substituted for methylene chloride in paint removers, impacts fetal development and can cause miscarriages and stillbirths. According to Mike McDermott, chief customer officer at Lowe’s—the first major U.S. retailer to commit to ending sale of these products—“As a home improvement leader, we recognize the need for viable paint-removal products and remain committed to working closely with suppliers to further innovate in this category.” NOTE: As these chemicals may be listed under other trade names on a label, you may wish to check the EPA’s website to learn how to identify them in products:

‘In the Paint’ at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame T In advance of its 2018 induction ceremony and 20th anniversary in early June, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, TN decided its world-record-setting basketball and accompanying hoop needed a bit of a facelift. Working on a lead passed to him by his PPG Paints rep, John Dixon, owner of Painting Unlimited Plus, won the bid in conjunction with Knoxville Premier Painting. According to Dixon, “The basketball is the largest in the world. The top of it sits about 110' off the ground and it hovers above a steel hoop from which a rope net hangs. The hoop and net structure actually surrounds a set of stairs enclosed by windows.” The first step to the project involved using a lift to remove the netting and power wash the ball and steel structure. Dixon’s team then used grinders to remove the remaining rust from the steel. Dixon noted, “Sandblasting wasn’t an option given how close the windows are to where we were working.” Next came the painstaking process of hanging 8,000 sq. ft. of 1.5-mil plastic around all the windows and across 90% of the facility’s roof to catch any overspray. The crew then primed the steel using PPG TrueFinish Spectracon 110 Fast Dry Alkyd Enamel and then applied a topcoat of PPG PSX ONE, a protective and marine coating. The ball alone required 21 gallons of topcoat. While Dixon had projected two weeks to complete the job, intermittent rain added a few days to the schedule. Despite the weather, the iconic ball and hoop were unwrapped and ready in plenty of time for the induction ceremony.

Now Enrolling: Cabinet Painting University T For pros looking to learn the art and business of cabinet painting, there’s a new online

resource that fits the bill. Launched March of this year by three professional tradeswomen with a combined 59 years of professional and decorative painting experience, Cabinet Painting University offers comprehensive coverage of this potentially lucrative business segment. Covered in two tracks—Business and Technique—the course is taught at a learn-at-your-own pace through a series of videos. The Business track covers how to brand and market your services, estimating like a pro, and a lot more. The Technique track dives into hands-on topics including removing doors and hardware, prepping cabinet surfaces, and working with various applicators and coatings. Enrollment in the university includes lifetime access to course materials including an array of documents and templates, and an online MasterMinds group where you can tap other pros for immediate insight into common challenges and opinions on product options.

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT



Preventex-HDW: Superior Mold Prevention You Can Actually See DURA-FIX: New Technology Streamlines Old-Wood Repair TThanks to his more than 25 years in the flexible epoxy business, John Stahl knows a few things about the needs of pros when it comes to wood repair. “Pros need a product that’s both fast and easy to work with,” he says. And that’s precisely what his company, Next Generation Systems, created with DURA-FIX. According to Stahl, the high-tech polymer technology used in DURA-FIX allows it to be applied without any pretreatment or primer. “Plus, you can sculpt and shape it on any horizontal or vertical surface and it won’t slump or sag.” In addition, it comes with a 10-year performance guarantee. Two-part epoxy DURA-FIX is available in both slow- and medium-cure options with the slow cure drying in 6 hours and medium in 2–2.5 hours, both at 70.˚

ZipWall Drops New Problem-Solving Solution for Drop Ceilings

TZipWall recently introduced the MagStrip Dust Barrier Fastener, an innovative solution for keeping a dust barrier tight between poles. Designed with commercial contractors in mind, each magnetic strip attaches quickly and easily onto the steel grid of a drop ceiling using a ZipWall Dust Barrier Pole and the specially designed applicator. The reusable MagStrips require no ladders or tape to set up and are easily removed with no risk of damage to the surface. 12

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

TFor years, Indoor Air Quality Management (IAQM) relied on WonderPaint’s clear-based Preventex product for its biggest mold and mildew remediation projects. So when the state of Texas announced that products in this category must now be white based for easier inspection, IAQM turned to WonderPaint for help. According to Bruce Widener, COO at WonderPaint Distribution, LLC. “When we got the call, we recognized that this was a chance to not just change Preventex, but to improve it. So in addition to changing the clear base to a white base, we beefed up the antimicrobial properties so that now it’s impossible for mold, mildew, algae or fungi to grow or thrive. In addition, we decreased the viscosity so that the product doesn’t drip or run. This is especially important in areas like crawl spaces and other hardto-reach areas where these types of coatings are often needed most.” The resulting product, Preventex-HDW (heavyduty white), is a self-priming, bright-white sprayable mastic that contains no VOCs, is free of hazardous air pollutants, is virtually odorless, can be used on most substrates, and is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. “We are very excited about the mold-remediation properties of Preventex-HDW,” said Don Vrana, owner and president of IAQM. Noting it inhibits the growth of stain- and odor-causing mold, mildew and other microorganisms on most surfaces, he added, “This product can truly help communities that have suffered from the devastation of recent hurricanes.”

Faded Murals Revived With Petal Paint Photo Courtesy of JAT Holdings

TJAT Holdings of Sri Lanka has launched a line of paints made with pigments derived from flower petals that are regularly discarded at temples throughout the country. Intended to pay homage to Sri Lanka’s rich heritage of temple art, the paint requires 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of dried petals to make 50 liters (13.2 gallons) of paint. According to JAT Holdings’ Head of Marketing Richard Gunawardene, “The ancient art of extracting color from a natural source like a flower is now being coupled with modern pigment-extraction technology to create a one-of-a-kind paint we’ve named Petal Paint.” In its initial pilot project, which is currently underway, the new paint is being used at a temple to restore faded murals and create new ones. Featured colors include Lotus Red, Pigeonwing Blue, Trumpet Yellow, Marigold Orange, and Temple Flower White. In addition to an interesting origin, the new paint provides a much better match to the colors and textures of the original murals than provided by traditional commercial products.

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT



Average (and Not-So-Average) Exterior Costs

2017 Tax Act Could Fuel 2018 Renovations


65% $24.7 billion

According to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, homeowners could put as much as

in tax savings directly into the American housing market in 2018 through home renovations.

According to, U.S. homeowners spent between $1,687 and $3,904 in the past year to paint the exterior of their home. HIGH COST $6,000

of people prefer to contact a business by phone vs. a web form.

Calls convert at 10x the rate of clicks and are typically much more valuable conversions.



SOURCE: True Cost Guide

Dog Days of Summer As we enter the dog days of summer, here are some dog-inspired colors from six paint manufacturers:

Hound Dog Benjamin Moore TC-47

Golden Retriever Dunn-Edwards DE5318

Greyhound Behr PPU24-21

Salty Dog Sherwin-Williams SW 9177

Puppy Paws PPG Paints 422-4

Shaggy Dog Valspar V133-3

RENOS AND REPAIRS STAY STRONG According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, annual growth in homeowner remodeling expenditure will remain above 7% throughout the year and into the first quarter of 2019. SOURCE: Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, April 2018


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018


Talk Is Powerful Capitalizing on the Consumer Click-To-Call Preference


ou’ve got your website with information on all your services and your coverage area. You’ve made your contact information easy to find. You’ve got an online scheduling program. You’ve even included a webform. What else could a potential customer want? Believe it or not, a good, old-fashion phone conversation.

Dialing for dollars According to M2 On Hold, the global click-to-call revenue in 2016 was estimated at $7.41 billion, and that figure is expected to grow to $13.7 billion by 2020. For Julia Stead, VP of Marketing at Invoca, a company specializing in call intelligence, that number is not surprising. “We anticipate that by 2019, consumers will have called businesses over 160 billion times from their mobile devices,” she says. “The reality is that mobile phones are how today’s consumers prefer to research products and reach businesses. But navigating a mobile website and filling out a contact form is not an ideal experience. So calls and voice interactions are increasing … the clickto-call button is the fastest, easiest way for someone to connect on a mobile device.” She adds, “This is especially true in the world of contractors, where consumers have multiple questions they need answered … you just can’t easily get that kind of information online.”

Opportunity is calling Stead notes that while web forms can provide consumers the opportunity to put questions to contractors, a customer who calls is a much better prospect. “Phone-driven consumers have higher buying intent and a higher likelihood to convert or purchase. Whether it’s getting a quote or booking an appointment, calls convert at up to 10x the rate of web forms,” says Stead. “In fact, our customers in the home services sector often see 70%–90% of their appointments and sales booked over the phone.” Stead also notes that phone-driven consumers also tend to be bigger shoppers. “Once you get someone on the phone, you have the opportunity for a more personalized purchase process and to create trust and, therefore, can present more product or service options.” Tom Droste of Estimate Rocket also sees additional value in a click-to-call caller on the line. “I would argue that someone calling you from their personal cell

phone is the hottest lead you can possibly get,” he says. “First, they’ve self-qualified by visiting your site and determining you may be offering what they need. And second, other sources, including web forms, require effort on your part to make the connection. Effort equals time, time equals money.”

Must-dos in a mobile-friendly world According to both Stead and Droste, the key to success in a mobile-friendly world is having a mobile-optimized website. “In most cases, converting a traditional site to mobile friendly requires a complete overhaul,” says Droste. “However, there are so many tools available online to help you do it—some even free. It’s really not that difficult if you use a pre-built template and repurpose all the text and images you had on your old site.” Stead adds that, “Wherever a phone number appears on your site, it needs to be click-to-call enabled.” She also recommends having intelligent call routing to ensure customers are immediately connected with the most appropriate recipient. “With systems like Invoca, you can set up call routing based on time of day to designate different recipients during peak or ‘off ’ hours.” Droste relies on a cloud-based phone system. He says, “The new systems are very sophisticated and easy to operate. In four rings, a call can literally hit four people’s phones. The goal is to avoid having a prospect go to voicemail.”

“ Whether it’s getting a quote or booking an appointment, calls convert at up to 10x the rate of web forms.” —JULIA STEAD, INVOCA

There’s a service for that Not that long ago, Zach Poland of Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting was fielding website calls from, well, the field. But then he signed up with an answering service. “Yes, it’s an expense,” he says, “but what it saves me in time and in terms of making me available to do the things I need to be doing makes it totally worth it.” Poland’s service works with a wellcrafted script to qualify leads and schedule an estimate. Poland adds, “The click-to-call prospects are absolutely my best prospects so it’s worth it to make sure every single call to our office gets answered.” Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT




What motivates you to run an ecologically sustainable business, and how do you do it?

I decided this was how I was going to operate … I was going to be good to the planet, good to my employees, good to my customers and, really, good to my business.


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2 3 4 5

DARYLENE DENNON is the CEO/officer/owner of Solid Energy, Inc., a successful painting and light-remodeling company in Woodinville, WA, where she handles all phases of sales, customer relations, financials, training, systems, marketing and administrative needs. She is an author and presenter on topics concerning her industry, leadership, business development and sales.

because we didn’t need to buy or dispose of thinners or masks, we had less waste, and washup was super easy. Really, there wasn’t anything not to like. So I decided this was how I was going to operate … I was going to be good to the planet, good to my employees, good to my customers and, really, good to my business. As a policy, we use green products. I never use anything that’s not waterborne unless absolutely forced to do so. We minimize waste. Things get used, reused and used again. I aim to only buy products that can be recycled or repurposed. We use canvas tarps. We clean and dry our paint cans and recycle them. Even our old t-shirts become rags. The goal is to have a full recycling can at the end of the week and nothing in the garbage. And for the most part, we’re very successful at it. One of the really nice bonuses of our business approach is that my crews don’t get sick the way they used to in the past. There Eliminate paperwork by going was a time that painters electronic with estimating, only lasted a few years billing, time tracking, etc. because they’d get a little Reuse, repurpose and/or impaired from breathing recycle everything in the fumes. That doesn’t happen with these new Use water-based products, products. I honestly feel including caulks, when possible good about it and I know Use brushes with natural my crew appreciates it, too. bristles and wooden handles In fact, they now embrace the sustainable Give leftover paint to high approach just as much as I schools and nonprofits to use do. It’s a part of our culture in their projects and they look at the job and the equipment differently. I have one guy who invented this tool that lets you cut the rim out of gallon cans to convert them to cut-in buckets. In the past, that same guy probably would have tossed the can without a thought. And customers really appreciate the sustainable approach. I honestly believe we get more work because customers, especially women, see that the crew is respectful of the environment and their property. They know they don’t have to worry about someone dumping chemicals on their prized plantings. Plus, for builders who are aiming for net zero energy builds, we’re the go-to company. Because of our approach, I get them two points as a painter. It’s an easy choice, as they don’t have to teach me a thing about operating in those parameters. I’m already in the culture. I encourage all pros to embrace sustainability. It’s really not hard. You need some new habits and you need to start looking at your practices with a different lens. For me, there’s zero downside and tons of upside.


Back in the ’80s, I was working in Seattle where a lot of our work was on older homes, remodels and new construction. There was a lot of tearing out of walls, scraping lots of layers of paint, using thinners, lacquer and oil-based products, and all kinds of things that left me with a lot of unease. There was just so much waste and bad stuff going into the environment. Around that time, California started to lead the charge on Earth-friendly products and the government also started cracking down on some of the types of waste I mentioned. Not long after that, manufacturers started testing their first ‘green’ products. My reps knew that I was environmentally conscious and asked if I wanted to be a beta tester. I jumped at the opportunity. So for two to three years, our crews were trying out the first wave of waterborne products. The benefits to my business were multifold—the products were healthier for my crew, our costs were lower




© 2018 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. All rights reserved.





While every property has its own history and quirks, in my experience, there are a number of challenges that tend to pop up more frequently than others. Having a solid go-to plan to tackle these issues at the start of a job is key to creating a finished look that the customer loves when the job is done—and for years afterward. Here’s a look at five prep issues and the methods we currently use to address them at my Concord, MA-based painting company H.D.F. Painting, Inc. These approaches have evolved over time as new products have come to market and we’ve had a chance to witness how each holds up over time—and to the weather and moisture levels in our region. BY DAN FROST 18

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Caulk I once met an old-time Vermont painter who really does not like to use caulk. His philosophy is that the carpenter should be skilled enough to make perfectly connected joints. Unfortunately, in my experience, not all carpenters are equally skilled and a lot of the wood used these days is new-growth stock that is green and full of moisture. When it dries out, the joints are very noticeable. Personally, I don’t know how you get away without caulking, but caulking has to be exact because you can’t sand it. So if you don’t wipe a smooth, clean edge with a wet rag, you are creating a huge problem that no coat of paint can hide. To smooth caulk, you need a bucket of water, a rag, a caulking gun (dripless are best), a good caulk product and your index finger. We prefer White Lightning BOLT. Cut a small, diagonal line on the tube of caulking; the smaller the better. Carefully squeeze out a line of caulk onto the area which you are working. Wrap your index finger with a rag and dip it into the water. Now, follow the caulk line with your finger to create a smooth, straight and consistent finish. But remember, caulk is not sandable so be sure to wipe off any excess from the surface.

Window glazing Nothing looks nastier on a beautiful paint job than window glazing falling out of the sash. Besides being unsightly, energy conservation is a serious issue with improperly or poorly glazed windows. Whether you choose to re-glaze on site or remove and work on windows at your shop, the re-glazing method is similar. Begin by using a painter’s putty knife to scrape out all glazing. I can’t stress enough the need to approach the dig with great care so as to avoid breaking the glass. Do your best to remove as much of the old glaze as possible but if you can’t get it all without risking the glass, don’t stress. It is alright to leave some old glaze in the sash. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, the next step is to prime the wood sash. We use either Zinsser’s B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer or linseed oil. After the primer is dry, we apply Sarco Dual Glazing Compound, which we prefer because it’s easy to use and holds a tight bond to wood. After the glazing has cured, we paint the windows; then when the paint has dried, we clean the glass.

Rot repair Our general rule of thumb is any rot area 6" or less can be repaired with epoxy. Anything larger needs to be replaced with wood or a composite. Our epoxy of choice is Abatron’s LiquidWood & WoodEpox Wood Restoration Kit. The kit comes with equal volumes of LiquidWood & WoodEpox. When the LiquidWood A & B portions are mixed together and allowed to set, they form a consolidant that binds with the dead and decayed wood.

This forms a great foundation and primer for the next application, WoodEpox. When the WoodEpox A & B portions are mixed together, they form a paste for filling holes and gaps in the wood. A couple of nice aspects of WoodEpox are that it’s shrink-free and can be used in any thickness to replace and repair wood. Plus, it bonds permanently and can be painted, stained, sanded and worked like wood.


When using the LiquidWood & WoodEpox Wood Restoration Kit, wear plastic disposable gloves while handling both components. Acetone and Wil-bond both work well to smooth out the products and clean tools. Note that both products go a long way so start with two golf-ball-sized amounts when mixing together. I also recommend getting the ‘squirt’ attachment for the LiquidWood, as it can get very sticky.

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT


Similar to many trades, painting is all about problem-solving in the moment.

Priming bare wood

DANIEL FROST is the owner of H.D.F. Painting in Concord, MA. Opened in 1984, the company specializes in residential and light commercial work. They take pride in delivering on their motto, “The Art of Fine Painting,” on every job.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

As most pros know, peeling paint on exterior substrates is rarely the result of bad paint. Typically, the major problem is either caused by an unsound substrate, excessive moisture, a dirty surface—or is an internal moisture barrier issue. Old-school painters swear by a good-quality oil-based primer on bare wood. While this is a great approach on really dry, bare wood, it can be problematic in high moisture and mildew areas. Because we’re not in an arid climate, we’ve landed on a different approach that we’ve tested over the years with great results. For bare wood, we apply one clear coat of C2 Guard, a nontoxic, flexible polymer that gets absorbed deep in the surface of the wood to form a protective barrier. We top that with a high-quality, 100% acrylic exterior primer. We prefer C2 Paint’s C3000, a pure acrylic emulsion primer that, for our money, seals and blocks stains really well. We then finish the exterior with two coats of a finish paint.

Cracks in plaster We’ve all seen these cracks in older homes with old horse-hair plaster, and in newer homes when the moisture in the framing dries out and causes movement—and small, hairline cracks on walls and ceilings. Even though the causes and age of the issue can vary dramatically, the repair approach can be the same for both situations. When we first started in this business back in 1984, we would dig out the crack, apply new plaster, tape, and

in some instances, use ‘buttons’ (the quarter-sized metal circles that are used to hold plaster in place) to level out the bulges in the old plaster. Over time, we found the cracks returned, even through fiberglass tape. We have since adjusted our approach and now our method includes the following steps: ■■ Dig out the crack with a painter’s putty knife ■■ Apply a thin bead of White Lightning’s BOLT Quick Dry caulk ■■ After the caulk has dried, skim the crack with a layer of DuraBond 20, followed by an easy-sand joint compound; feather it out to form a flush, flat surface ■■ On top of the layer of joint compound, spray a thin coat of Good-Bye Cracks (made by Goof Off) as an added protective coating ■■ After the surface has dried, spot prime and apply the finish coat(s)

Similar to many trades, painting is all about problemsolving in the moment. Most of what we learn is from hands-on experience, trying different ways to complete a task in the most efficient, effective manner. Over time, you may find different methods need tweaking to produce a perfectly executed, long-lasting paint finish. A good paint retailer will point out new products and make recommendations. Be sure to ask questions, try new things, keep an open mind, and continually work on perfecting your craft. -

FROM PREP TO PAINT A look at products and tools designed to save you time and make prep work run smoothly By Jim Williams

Hyde Tools’ Better Finish Nail Hole Filler is made of joint compound, not spackle.


ow’s your prep game? If it’s not topnotch, you could be losing time, money and customers. Professional painters understand how important it is to have the right tools and products for every job, and that begins with the prep work. Thankfully, many of today’s manufacturers also understand how critical it is and continue to raise the bar for great new prep products. Here are some to help you raise your prep game:

Purdy’s 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool folds for safe portability, and its rubberized ergonomic grip helps prevent slipping. 22

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Associated Paint: Masking Liquid H2O Lee Hackmeyer’s Florida-based company, Associated Paint, Inc., has been in his family since 1953. He knows that painters are always looking for products that can save time. And for a pro, time is money. That’s especially true when it comes to prep time. Associated Paint’s Masking Liquid H2O is just that kind of product. An acrylic-modified, water-based clear coating, it may be used for interior or exterior purposes and is formulated to peel from glass. “The key thing about this product is it works as a mask on glass but also as a primer on wood,” Hackmeyer said. “So if you’re painting a French door, you can spray the entire thing, paint the wood, and then peel off the mask on the glass. Ta-da!” Besides being used as a primer on bare wood, it can be used on standard tempered glass, de-glossed painted surfaces, dull-primed metal, and finished aluminum.

DAP: ALEX Plus & ALEX Flex Spackling (and more) Prep product innovation has been a mainstay of DAP products for more than 150 years. And as a leading manufacturer of caulks, sealants, adhesives and repair products, DAP has been deeply rooted in the fabric of paint professionals for generations.

“Historical and notable innovations include pioneering the development of latex caulking compounds; breakthroughs in latex polymer foam technology; innovative wall repair products that have a color-changing dry time indicator; and the introduction of advanced sealant technologies that result in greater productivity,” explained DAP Product Manager Megan Youngs. When it comes to prep products, DAP recently expanded its ALEX brand with two new spackling products: ALEX Plus and ALEX Flex. “These two products provide unsurpassed performance for filling holes and cracks on surfaces throughout the home while also offering exceptional durability to complete larger repairs,” Youngs said. She says ALEX Plus Spackling was specifically formulated to deliver professional strength and durability when making repairs on a range of surfaces including drywall, wood and metal. “It won’t shrink or crack, allowing users to complete a successful repair with just one coat—saving time during paint prep,” she said. “It’s easy to apply, sands to a smooth finished surface, and offers the superior paintability pros need for a finished repair that seamlessly blends with the surrounding area. It provides exceptional strength that can be counted on for durable results that will last for years to come.” Youngs says ALEX Flex Spackling was designed with maximum flexibility in mind to allow for movement with the repaired surface as problem areas expand and contract with changes in weather and humidity. “It combines a flexible solution with the ability to be sanded to a smooth finish and painted for a seamless repair—perfect for eliminating those stubborn reoccurring cracks in drywall.” Other recently released innovative prep products include RapidFuse and DYNAGRIP Construction All Purpose Adhesives, KWIK SEAL Ultra Premium Siliconized Sealant, DYNAFLEX 230 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Sealant, EXTREME STRETCH Premium Crackproof Elastomeric Sealant, as well as Touch ’n Foam and Touch ’n Seal Sealants.

“Multi-tools are always a favorite of our customers but can’t always be carried safely in a pocket. Knowing the benefits of multi-use tools, we developed a folding version, which captures the same functionality of our multi-tools but includes a folding mechanism, so the sharp edge is concealed when not in use.” Orchon says Purdy also added several other functions and capabilities to the tool beyond its more obvious uses, “including the ability to clean rollers, open/clean cracks, spread compound, set nails, open cans and bottles—and also features a flat screwdriver, caulk scraper, cutter and scraper.” Purdy also recently released several other tools to help in the prep process.

“ If there is one tool that a painter should always carry in their pocket, it’s [Purdy’s 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool.]” —MARCELO ORCHON, PURDY

Purdy: 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool (and more) Pros have been turning to Purdy for their professional tools for nearly a century. “Purdy was founded in 1925 on an uncompromising dedication to handcrafting premium brushes,” said Marcelo Orchon, Purdy product manager. “We are constantly paying attention to painters’ needs and how they interact with our products. Based on our rigorous innovation and new-product development process, we deliver to the end-user tools that are built exactly to suit their needs.” It was in that spirit that Purdy launched their 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool last year. “If there is one tool that a painter should always carry in their pocket, it’s this one,” Orchon said.

©ShurTech Brands, LLC 2018/76131

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT



“We have launched a new premium version of our putty and joint knives,” Orchon says. “These premium prep tools are built to be jobsite tough with single full tangs, rust-resistant stainless steel blades and attached tough nail-set ends. We also have a line of premium scrapers that are compatible with our POWER LOCK Extension Poles via a quick-connect feature.” Orchon says this makes the prep work of scraping even easier for pros to reach a surface via the extension poles—whether it’s the floor or a vertical surface. “This not only saves time but also provides more comfort as less bending and reaching is required for common job usages like scraping paint off a floor or a wall surface,” he said.


The Ryobi 4" Drywall Repair Kit makes it easy to repair small holes. Simply cover the hole with the template and, using the template as a guide, drill the hole saw with plug into the drywall. Then spackle over the cover plate, sand and paint.


“A good paint job is at least 50% preparation.” DAP prep tricks for pros Whether an exterior or interior painting job, Megan Youngs, a product manager at DAP, recommends taking the time necessary to prep the surface right. Here, she shares a few tricks of the trade they’ve learned through years of helping pros achieve a properly prepped finish: ■■ Use a flexible putty knife, rather than stiff, for the best application experience when applying spackling compound. ■■ Overfill the repair slightly when applying spackling. This will allow you to sand the repair down to a smooth, flat finish once dry. ■■ For the smoothest finish, dip your putty knife in water and lightly smooth the spackling prior to drying. ■■ Take a dual-grit sanding approach prior to painting, starting with medium grit and finishing with fine-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth, professionally finished repair. 24

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Ryobi: 4 Drywall Repair Kit Repairing holes in drywall is one of the most common challenges paint pros face in prepping for a job. However, Ryobi makes a tool that makes patching smaller holes (4" or smaller) quite simple. The kit uses a 3-step process (see left), which shaves off half the repair time. Available at The Home Depot, the kit includes a drive plate, an adhesive-backed template, hole saw with plug, cover plate, and a mandrel with a black oxide pilot drill bit.

Hyde Tools: Better Finish Nail Hole Filler Another new product that can help save you time when repairing drywall is Hyde’s Better Finish Nail Hole Filler. Containing actual drywall joint compound rather than traditional spackle, this innovative product creates a smoother repair than some patching materials. “Joint compound is both easier to spread and sand, and it also promotes a better finish,” said Corey Talbot, Hyde Tools’ VP of marketing and product development. Talbot says this product comes in a patented container that keeps the compound fresh for a full three years—even after it’s been opened—which eliminates a common complaint from pros. “If you read product reviews, you’ll see continual complaints about patching material drying out before ever being used, or drying so quickly after opening that it’s barely usable,” He said. By contrast, Talbot says Hyde’s compound is optimized to spread easier, and its innovative packaging keeps the filler fresh both on the shelf and during use. The design also allows you to reseal the package and keep the product fresh for later use.

While the tools and manufacturers vary, the desire to create products that solve problems and save time is consistent across the board. Without a doubt, an investment in the right prep tool is one that can pay rewards on every project and for years to come. -


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PRO PICKS 6 pros on interior paints

1 2 3

MIKE FREEMAN Mike’s Quality Painting, Inc. CHAD JEFFRIES Brick City Painting & Drywall JAMES WILLIAMS CertaPro Painters of the Main Line


JOSHUA VOIGT Paintworx, Inc.


JAY EMERY Fred Hamilton Contracting Inc. (845) 453-2108


KEVIN WOOTEN Carolina Painting & Pressure Cleaning, Inc.

They might not have to contend with the elements, but interiors have to stand up to a variety of factors—kitchen smoke, dirty fingers, and furniture scrapes to name a few. Painters and their customers want an interior paint that covers past marks and offers scrubbability to make it easier to keep clean in the future— and look great too.

Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec SCUFF-X Interior Latex Paint resists scuffing, making it a solid choice for high-traffic areas.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018



For repaints in Santa Fe, NM, Mike Freeman is on the case. Managing both residential and commercial jobs, the owner of the Albuquerque-based Mike’s Quality Painting, Inc. turns to Sherwin-Williams as his primary interior paint supplier. He often relies on their ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex. “The ProMar 200 touches up really well over a long period of time,” he says. “I’ve even had clients where we’ve done a portion of the house, then a year later returned to do other rooms … sometimes we’ll touch up the previously painted areas, and those touch-ups look great. For the price and what you get out of the coating, it’s a consistently great product and value.” For higher-end finishes, Freeman looks to the company’s Duration Home Interior Acrylic Latex, which has stainblocking technology, and their Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex, which boasts a silky finish and scrubbability. “Cashmere offers a whole host of different sheens, which we like,” he says, “and the coverage is great.”



“ [Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex] is our big workhorse. It’s got great hide, covers well and touches up great, which is huge for us. Plus, the pricing is where it needs to be.” —CHAD JEFFRIES, BRICK CITY PAINTING & DRYWALL



For eight years, Chad Jeffries has owned Brick City Painting & Drywall in Mexico, MO, tackling mostly commercial jobs with some residential and light industrial work in the mix. For about 80% of his commercial jobs, he uses SherwinWilliams ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex. (It’s also his recommendation for residential new construction.) “It’s our big workhorse,” he says. “It’s got great hide, covers well and touches up great, which is huge for us. Plus, the pricing is where it needs to be.” For ceilings, he likes Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Waterborne Acrylic Dryfall, and for doorframes, other trim and metal beams, he likes the company’s Pro Industrial Waterborne Catalyzed Epoxy. “The epoxy is a one-component product, so there’s no mixing for my guys, and it’s priced very well,” Jeffries says. “And even with the semi-gloss sheen, it still touches up well. We’ll even use it on walls in high-abuse areas for the harder shell.”

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Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT


Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior Paint’s stain-release technology makes it highly washable and durable.



Undertaking both residential and commercial work, this CertaPro Painters of the Main Line serves Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. James Williams, a senior residential sales associate with the company, focuses mostly on residential jobs and says he’s pretty loyal to Sherwin-Williams. “The two interior topcoats I use most often are Cashmere and Harmony,” he says. “We believe you get more for what you’re paying for with them.” The Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex, he notes, gives a smooth, buttery finish, which customers appreciate, and his crews like that it’s easy to apply. And he often recommends the Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex for families with young kids and pets. In addition to the durable finish, he says, Harmony has properties that help promote better air quality and reduce odors. In wet areas, they might mix in additives for mold prevention, and they might go with a satin finish (vs. an eggshell for other areas). For trim, Williams leans on Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel. “It will cover in one coat,” he says. “And it’s a glossier finish, making it easy to clean.” 28

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018



Paintworx, Inc. has done residential and commercial interior and exterior repaints throughout the Seattle area since 2012, when Joshua Voigt started the company. For commercial customers price is a key factor, so his pick for walls and ceilings is Evolution Interior from Miller Paint. “That might be surprising because it’s their premium,” he says. “But we did a blind test and, for a one-coat application, it outperformed anything in its price range. I would use it more on residential projects, too, but it’s a lesser-known brand, which some customers aren’t comfortable with.” For residential repaints, he likes Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex, which he loves the look of, and Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior Paint, which is a durable, highly washable acrylic resin product that is zero VOC. He also likes Ultra Spec SCUFF-X Interior Latex Paint from Benjamin Moore for high-traffic areas. “It’s noticeably mark-resistant,” he notes. And for wet areas like laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens, he appreciates mildew-resistant options like Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa Interior Paint and SherwinWilliams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex.

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With more than 30 years in business, Carolina Painting & Pressure Cleaning, Inc. in Lexington, SC, tackles mostly residential repaints. Owner Kevin Wooten’s go-to for walls is SherwinWilliams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex. “I like it because it touches up really well and covers really well too,” he says. “It’s also low odor and zero VOC.” As part of his services, he offers lifetime annual touch-ups. “So I want something that will touch up year after year, and the Harmony does,” he says. For kitchens and other wet areas, he leans toward the company’s Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex because its super-smooth finish makes it easier to clean. When it’s time to paint ceilings, Kevin opts for the Sherwin-Williams ProMar 400 Zero VOC Interior Latex (flat). “I can touch up ceilings I did 15 years ago, and it still looks great.” He also appreciates that it’s a true flat paint with zero sheen. And for trim, he likes Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint (semi-gloss), which offers a rich, beautiful finish. “It’s one of the most expensive paints I buy, but it’s worth it,” he says. -

Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa Interior Paint is mildew resistant, so a good option for wet areas like laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens.



Fred Hamilton Contracting Inc., which serves the Albany, NY area, has different needs and expectations of interior coatings than other contractors for their apartment repaints and occasional commercial work. Jay Emery, a VP for the company, likes Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 in eggshell for walls. The price point is key for the types of jobs he manages, where residents tend to turn over frequently. “It’s a higher-end contractor-grade paint,” he says, “but it’s still relatively inexpensive compared with homeownergrade paints.” He says the coverage is solid and the odor is pleasant, which is a plus when painting occupied residences. “Some paints stink,” he says. “Call me crazy, but I think this one has a sweet smell.” For doors and trim, Emery likes PPG Paints Manor Hall Interior Latex in semi-gloss. “It gives really great coverage,” he says. “We see a lot of beat-up white doors with scuff marks, crayon, marker, etc. And I have not found any other paint that can cover these doors better in one coat than that.” He says he gets a good deal on the PPG, even though he acknowledges that he might be spending a few more dollars per gallon than he would on another paint. “But that extra expense saves three to four hours’ worth of labor,” he explains. 30

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex delivers a silky finish and scrubbability.

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What was your prior experience in the painting industry?

I painted in the summers when I was in college and also part-time during the winters with my roommate’s dad, who owned a commercial painting business. At the time, I was studying economics at the University of Minnesota and was working to pay my tuition.


The Next Generation of Paint Entrepreneurs Meet the motivated millennial who achieved business success at a very young age BY MEGHANN FINN SEPULVEDA

Jason Paris discovered early on in his professional career that working in corporate America wasn’t his calling. He had bigger plans to one day be a small business owner. That dream became a reality when he left his job in 2013 and launched Paris Painting, LLC, a residential and commercial painting business. Less than five years later, the 31-year-old entrepreneur and busy father of three is now leading a diverse team of hardworking millennials who are managing millions of dollars in painting projects in the metro Minneapolis area.


inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

What inspired you to start your own painting business?

After I graduated from college, I began working at a local Fortune 500 company. I had a cubicle and would wear a shirt and tie to the office. It wasn’t fulfilling, so I began to think about ways to achieve my goal of becoming a business owner. I knew the painting industry had great potential with low barriers to entry and it gave me the best opportunity to compete well in the market. In 2012, I formed an LLC and started managing a small crew of painters. At the time, it was a hobby company I ran on the side. A little more than a year later, I quit my job to put all of my focus into the business and officially launched Paris Painting.


How did you achieve success so quickly?

I think the turning point was when I hired a project manager who had a great deal of painting experience. At the time, he was stagnant in his career and saw potential for growth in this business. I was in my mid20s and, admittedly, not fully aware of the challenges and risks I would face, but I was overly optimistic and eager to work hard. I quickly learned that there isn’t a secret to winning in this business. Instead, you simply need good personal skills, a friendly attitude, and a lot of energy. Ultimately, I was driven to put everything I had into the business which, in turn, helped me get a lot back and I’m very glad I pushed through some of the more challenging times. In this industry, many are just surviving. Not everyone can say they are thriving and building a company that is sustainable. For us, that means we’re not reliant on a single person (the owner) to perform and drive the company.

We’re not fully there yet, but by building an organization with redundant roles, we should have sustainability. There are plenty of small painting businesses that go under when the owner gets injured, sick, disinterested or burned out.


I think the trades are a great place to be for the upcoming generation, as the baby boomers are continuing to retire.

How do you attract and retain employees?

We currently have approximately 40 people on the team. In 2017, we began acquiring really good people—all millennials—to expand the corporate side of the business. We have a great leadership team consisting of estimators and production managers, and those who focus on business development. Some are in their early 20s and it’s cool to see them play key roles in a business that is expected to generate $3 million in revenue in 2018. We recently hired an employee right after he graduated from college, even though he had a promising career opportunity already lined up. He ultimately declined that job offer because he wanted to work with us at Paris Painting. I think the reason our company is so desirable for young professionals is because we built a good culture, one that is very forward-thinking. Our office environment encourages collaboration, open discussion, and group decision-making. It is filled with Apple computers, bouncy ball chairs, kombucha drinks, and even dogs on occasion. We also have great incentives. Employees are well compensated and afforded the opportunity to make a very good living as compared to their peers, even if they are early in their careers. I think the trades are a great place to be for the upcoming generation, as the baby boomers are continuing to retire. This is an exciting time for millennials who are looking to enter the painting profession.


What is your role in the business?


Are you a tech-savvy company?

I would say I mostly fill in the gaps. I go where I’m needed, which changes as we grow. Currently, that means I’m almost always in the office and rarely in the field.

Although a lot of our business is automated through technology, I do think it’s an area in which we can expand on. We are just crossing that threshold and expect to be even more digitally advanced in a few years. Currently, our clients can schedule estimates online. And employees can communicate in real time to the office when they are out in the field through our web-based digital app, which we created and wrote.


What do you foresee in terms of growth?

We love painting and do it well, but we are currently exploring ways to grow the business and are evaluating options that align with our corporate infrastructure. We obtained a general contractor’s license, which we now offer as an ancillary service in addition to our pressure washing and handyman divisions. We are determining if we can do these projects on a larger scale to start servicing clients and cross-pollinate. Although these products are different, they follow a similar business model approach. We have had great success and I’m proud to say we built a multimillion-dollar painting business in a short amount of time. It can take decades for some paint companies to get to this point. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m excited to see where the future takes us. -

JASON PARIS is the owner of Paris Painting, a nationally recognized residential and commercial painting business that is a member of the National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) and PDCA. Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT




inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

What’s in today’s professional toolbox? ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapes If it isn’t just right, it isn’t finished. When your reputation is on the line, choose painter’s tapes that are made to work. With sharp paint lines and clean removal, ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapes help you realize your best work. Get the job done right the first time with a tape for virtually every project. Made by 3M, trusted by pro painters. Because results matter.

Dunn-Edwards Improved Performance ENDURACAT™ Dunn-Edwards has introduced ENDURACAT™, a high performance, interior, ultra-low VOC, pre-catalyzed, single component, water-based, acrylic epoxy. This product is ideal for use in environments where frequent cleaning, moisture or mildew conditions may exist, such as hospitals, schools, hotels and cafeterias. ENDURACAT™ provides superior adhesion, excellent chemical resistance, and outstanding washability, and is available in one sheen (semi-gloss) and three tint bases. Like all Dunn-Edwards paints, ENDURACAT™ does not contain ethylene glycol (EG).

T-Rex® Tape T-Rex® Tapes are designed for projects and challenges that require intense strength, durability and holding power, no matter the application. Whether it’s simple fixes, like hanging poly sheeting, or tough projects on the jobsite, there’s no project too big or too small for these ferociously strong products. Armed with double-thick adhesive and the ability to stick to rough, dirty surfaces, you can conquer the nastiest, most ferocious projects with T-Rex® Tape. To learn more about T-Rex® Tapes, visit

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT


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


I need an abrasive that doesn't clog too quickly. What do I look for?


JOHN PETERSEN is an Advanced Product Development Specialist in 3M’s Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division. Petersen develops abrasives and spends much of his time in the field with painting professionals, where he finds pain points his team of engineers and developers can eventually remedy. Here’s a common question he hears about abrasives.

Anti-clogging technology applies to both hand-sanding and power-sanding abrasives, so it really depends on what’s being sanded. If it’s bare wood, there usually isn’t much of a problem with clogging at all. This surface is dry by nature so you don’t have to worry about clogging. Just make sure the surface is truly clean and dust-free before applying the coating. On the other hand, when you’re trying to remove paint, varnish or polyurethane from wood, metal or another type of surface, those coatings can become gummy and have a tendency to clog up the sandpaper. This is the true pain point you’re asking about. It really doesn’t matter what type of paint (latex or oil-based) you are removing. All will gum up at some point during the sanding process. Polyurethanes and varnishes are mostly solvent-borne, so they have a tendency to gum up more.

Anti-clogging technology Most of the premium abrasive products have what’s called ‘anti-clogging,’ ‘clog resistant’ or ‘anti-loading’ properties, which you’ll see indicated on the packaging. These descriptions all mean one thing: the abrasive is coated with either calcium stearate or zinc stearate, both of which have a soap-like effect to lubricate as you sand, which helps prevent clogging. Look for abrasives with the anti-clogging or anti-loading messaging on them. Also, if you like sanding sponges, look for those with grooves in their face to channel the residue and prevent loading.

The transforming power of grit However, there are other factors to keep in mind when you’re removing a coating from a surface with the help of a clog-resistant abrasive. It’s important to sand along 36

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018

the grain of wood to avoid damaging the surface; and always work from a coarse grit of about 60 to a fine one, around 220, skipping no more than one grit level, until you have your desired finish. Typically, the clogging issues occur with the coarse abrasives because those are the ones needed to remove the majority of a coating. I recommend moving from a 60 grit to a 150; then when the paint is fully stripped, move to a 220 ultrafine for final prep before either repainting or staining. The finer-grade papers will be gentler on the surface and you should be at a stage where clogging should be less of an issue by the time you use them. However, if you are taking paint off steel or metal, you may want to start with a slightly finer grade than 60, perhaps an 80, to avoid scratching.

A word about point loading If you do experience clogging, most often it’s something we call ‘point loading,’ where small spots of a coating get lodged inside the abrasive, though these particles won’t cover the entire sheet. Some pros will dispose of an abrasive because they think these clogged areas can’t be remedied but, most of the time, you can slap the sheet on the edge of a table to loosen the clogged particles. Or sometimes, if the abrasive’s backing has a little flex to it, the clogging material may pop off relatively easily when you bend the backing. With an older sponge, you can often shake the clogging material out of it; and some abrasives can even be rinsed for reuse. By the very nature of this work, clogging is inevitable. But with the right abrasive and good technique, you can minimize loading, use less abrasives, and complete a great prep job.


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To register, visit 38

inPAINT | Jul/Aug 2018


Renting vs. Purchasing Commercial Vehicles: Which Is Right for You?


o painting business needs to be told how important it is to have commercial vehicles handy at all times. The more pickup trucks and cargo vans you have, the more paint, ladders and extension rollers you can carry around, which can lead to more projects—and more revenue. If you’re ready to take the next step and obtain a new set of wheels, only one question stands in your way: Is it better to rent or own? The answer to this question depends on three key factors: how frequently your business rents vehicles, the costs of renting vs. owning, and the ways in which you might use a vehicle. Here’s how these factors can help you decide which option would be most beneficial to you and your business.

Calculating when to make the switch There’s nothing wrong with renting a vehicle as needed to ensure you’re only paying for what you need. In fact, renting extra vehicles every once in a while for specific projects may be your most cost-efficient option. This is especially true for painting businesses that are just getting started, where the need for extra vehicles is low. However, once your company is grounded and fully operational, if you’re still making payments on rented vehicles, the cost can add up quickly. The challenge is figuring out exactly when a switch from renting to owning should take place.

Let’s say your business is routinely in need of extra vehicles in order to take on big projects. If rental fees average $400 each month, you’re looking at $4,800 a year. The monthly cost is low, but over time the fees do add up (5 years = $24,000). Now let’s say you decide to buy a $25,000 cargo van. Assuming you use financing to cover the monthly installments of $500 for five years (including $5,000 for financing), your total cost will be $30,000. But even though you spend more than you would with a rental, after five years you will have a tangible asset and you can start pocketing the money that would have gone to rental fees if you continued on that path. Plus, it’s entirely possible that with the variety of equipment financing options available, you could end up spending less in monthly installments. Meaning even after you factor in the average annual expenses of $3,000–$5,000 related to vehicle ownership (insurance, registration fees, and general maintenance) you will still come out ahead. It’s also worth mentioning that financing commercial vehicles can come with some great tax benefits. If you plan to finance a vehicle, be sure to ask your accountant about Section 179 Deductions.

A vehicle to growth—and more If you’ve grown accustomed to specializing in only a few types of projects, consider how another vehicle might allow you to expand your scope of services or simply work more efficiently. What’s more, there’s a lot of value (and prospects) to be found from parading your company name and phone number around on a commercial vehicle. The more company vehicles you own, the more opportunities your business gets to increase brand recognition.

JOSEPH CAMBERATO is the president and cofounder of National Business Capital, a national leader in alternative business financing. His team is dedicated to innovating the way entrepreneurs grow by simplifying and expediting the funding process for small business owners and providing expert advice and guidance.

Jul/Aug 2018 | inPAINT


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