inPAINT Magazine May/June 2021

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inPAINT T H E M AG A Z I N E FO R PR O FE SS I O N A L S

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®

M AY/J U N 2021

RESULTS OF OUR 2021

READER SURVEY

+

Respirator compliance and safety Pros on their tried-and-true exterior coatings Investing in tools for efficiency and work quality

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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#1 sanding performance For when endurance matters. This is for those who refuse to quit before the job is finished. 3M™ PRO GRADE PRECISION™ Faster Sanding Sheets resist clogging and sand faster. Fold once and the NO-SLIP GRIP™ durable backing grips together to prevent slipping, so you can sand longer with less hand fatigue. Superior cut durability — from start to finish.

built to perform

© 3M 2021. All rights reserved. 3M, PRO GRADE PRECISION and NO-SLIP GRIP are trademarks of 3M.

Find it at The Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams or your local paint store.



CUTTING IN

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin

C

hange is never easy but it is essential to survival and long-term success. No matter the size of your company, you’re constantly changing due to internal or external factors. While COVID-19 is an extreme example of an external factor that required change, it did highlight how important it is for both individuals and businesses to embrace change and adapt quickly. And, as was the case with COVID-19 … then adapt, and adapt again. A year-plus after the start of the pandemic/adaptation cycle, it’s clear that some changes initially instituted as stopgap measures are here to stay. In the 2021 inPAINT Survey (page 18), readers share what changes they’ll be carrying forward into the ‘new normal.’ From performing virtual estimates and digital communications with crews to taking on different types of work and maintaining cleaner shops and jobsites, pros are finding a way forward by reimagining customer relationships, adopting new technology, and simply looking at standard practices through a new lens. The Survey’s focus, though, is related to pros’ preferences in product brands and marketing channels. It also includes insights on how they’re handling the current labor shortage, and more. There’s a lot to be learned from the experience and wisdom of other pros. I hope the Survey responses, as well as the insight shared by the many pros represented in other articles in this issue, inspire you to consider your choices and options. As life constantly reminds us, change is coming. Here’s hoping the resulting adaptation—no matter what the catalyst—helps you better serve your customers and grow your business. Cheers,

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

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

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

CONTRIBUTING WRITER Brian Sodoma

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

Chris Barcomb Five Star Painting Bernardo Benigno Bernardo’s Painting Mike Bennett Honeywell Safety Products USA David Cook D’Franco Finishes Greg Laux MDC Interior Solutions Peter Lawton LeadSMART Training Solutions Jason Lunn 3M Nick May Walls By Design Jim McBrayer McBrayer & Associates Lisa and Peter Moon Paper Moon Painting Kimberly Oderkirk Painting & Disaster Restoration Academy Morgan Ray Bookkeeping For Painters

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

Scott Smith Clarke Painting Nancy Terry Wallcovering Installers Association Wayne Toussaint Wayne A. Toussaint Custom Painting Derek Wolfe 360˚ Painting of Beaverton Stephanie Young Pro Image Painting

©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. 6

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021


May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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inPAINT® May/Jun 2021

CONTENTS FEATURES

18

Readers’ preferred brands by region, plus practices and projections.

Respirator Safety

The importance of selection, testing, training and usage for compliance and the safety of your crew

Pro Picks

4 Pros on the exterior coatings that continue to serve them year in and year out

Business Health

An Rx for keeping your business operating at peak performance levels

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

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24

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

inPAINT Survey Results

DEPARTMENTS 10 The News Industry ins and outs

28

12 5 Good Questions Seasoned consultant on increasing revenue in the commercial sector 14 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

32

15 Trend in Focus Wallcovering installation: a lucrative trend worth training for

16 Ask a Pro Investing in tools yields improved efficiency and work quality 36 Tools of the Trade What’s in today’s professional toolbox? 38 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events 39 Bottom Line One pro’s approach for determining how much to bid jobs

Cover Photo Courtesy of 3M; This Page’s Background Photo Courtesy of Bernardo’s Painting


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eNewsletter

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 AINTmag.com/subscribe professionals find essential to continue to learn and grow. Watch for it monthly and stay relevant.

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“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.

To receive these valuable tools, subscribe to inPAINT magazine. They’re all FREE! inPAINTmag.com/subscribe

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.

To receive these valuable tools, subscribe to inPAINT magazine. They’re all FREE! inPAINTmag.com/subscribe

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THE NEWS

Xtra-Deck for booms gets you in and out of tight spaces T MEC Aerial Work Platforms recently introduced Xtra-Deck for Booms. With a 1-person 250-lb. capacity, Xtra-Deck provides an additional 20" of height and three telescopic guardrails so you can reach confined places without having to stand on mid-rails. The guardrails (featured on three sides), slide up and lock into place, and meet regulation height. This additional protection enables the operator to freely use both hands to complete tasks. When the job is done, the guardrails retract to their original position for storage. The Xtra-Deck can be field-fitted to any MEC Boom platform, regardless of size. MECawp.com

The Brush Wash makes quick work of cleanup T Designed by a seasoned pro, The Brush Wash makes cleaning dirty brushes quick and easy. Made from heavyduty plastic, the device connects to both a standard garden hose and a kitchen facet. Holding The Brush Wash over a bucket/sink, just turn on the hose/faucet and move your brush up and down as the compartment fills with water. The device features drain holes along the bottom for the dirty water to escape, and a built-in brush comb on the backside aids in the removal of dried, stubborn or thicker paint. Measuring just 8" tall x 5.5" wide x 3.5" deep, it accommodates brushes up to 4" and stores easily with other tools. Proudly made in the USA. TheBrushWash.com

Work steady with the Scaffolding Stabilizer T Never a fan of heights—especially shaky scaffolding—David Cook of D’Franco Finishes was determined to eliminate the sway from 2- and 3-tier scaffolding and improve safety. With some help from his crew and family, he developed the Scaffolding Stabilizer. Each tier-set clips onto scaffolding in less than 90 seconds and reduces rocking motion by 75%. Proudly made in the USA, the Scaffolding Stabilizer reduces the fear factor of working at heights; increases productivity; improves safety—and ends arguments about who’ll be on the top tier. Works on most models of interior scaffolding. ScaffoldingStabilizer.com 10

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021


Werner introduces aluminum LEANSAFE X3 T Werner recently extended its LEANSAFE line to include an aluminum model. Featuring the line’s versatile 3-in-1 design that lets you deploy it as a step ladder, straight ladder or leaning ladder, the new model weighs in at just 21 lbs but carries a Type 1A duty rating with a 300-lb. load capacity (combined weight of user and materials). It’s a solid combination of functionality and durability, all at a weight that’s easy to handle. WernerCo.com

Rack ’em up! T PaintLine’s latest heavy-duty rack series provides up to 225' of mobile, horizontal space and 1,800-lb. capacity. Dubbed the ProDryingRack EX Plus (PDREX Plus), the expandable rack has 15 removable shelves and can be configured with up to four towers. Each tower sits above 5" locking casters with anti-torque stabilizers that make it easy to move the rack, even when fully loaded, anywhere in your shop or jobsite. bit.ly/pdrex-plus

Paint and glass manufacturers partner to produce COVID-19killing paint

T In an effort to increase the number of skilled workers in the painting and disaster restoration industries, a new training, placement and recruitment organization has been established. The Painting & Disaster Restoration Academy (PDRA) offers online training and certification in: ■ Core Curriculum (safety) ■ Tools for Success (level 1–3 commercial & residential painting / level 1–2 industrial coatings) ■ Know Your Hazards Founder and CEO Kimberly Oderkirk notes, “Currently, there is no source of training for individuals looking to pursue a career in disaster restoration, and in-depth training opportunities on this subject for paint professionals are very limited. Given the two industries work hand-in-hand, we’re happy to fill the void and ensure future pros have the skills necessary to perform the various tasks safely and responsibly.” Both individuals and businesses can register to participate in PDRA programming and, once training is completed, the organization will serve to connect potential employers and certified candidates. Registration is not required to participate in the ‘Tools for Success’ and ‘Know Your Hazards’ education programs. PDR.academy

T Corning and PPG Paints are working together to produce a paint that incorporates Corning’s Guardiant glass-ceramic technology, which has proven effective at killing 99.9% of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The coating has also been proven to be effective against other bacteria and hard-to-kill noroviruses, and retains its antimicrobial effectiveness even after five-years’ worth of simulated scrubbing. PPG plans to introduce COPPER ARMOR, an antiviral paint product utilizing the technology, following registration with the EPA, and aims to make the product available to customers in the U.S. later this year to help add an extra layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19.

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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5 QUESTIONS

1 JIM MCBRAYER founded McBrayer & Associates in 2009 to teach organizations in the coatings industry how to exceed their revenue goals three different ways: sales training, one-on-one coaching, and consulting. McBrayerAndAssociates.com

5

od GoQUESTIONS

WITH A SALES CONSULTANT TO COMMERCIAL PAINTERS

What is the primary predictor of sales success in the commercial segment? The answer is your ‘execution score.’ That term refers to how well you do in executing specific sales tactics on a weekly basis. Tactics are things like how many proposals you’re generating a week, how many points of contact you’re making, how many appointments you’re setting up, etc. A good tactic is one that’s been proven to contribute to your success and is not dependent upon others to make it happen. You really only want a few—4 or 5—and you need to set a goal for each; say, generate five proposals a week, make 25 points of contact, etc. At the end of each week, you need to see if you’re hitting those numbers. The key is to stick with the strategy and to be accountable to yourself.

2

What is the most common mistake most commercial contractors make that results in losing a sale? Submitting an estimate or bid before fully understanding the criteria for the job. And criteria goes well beyond scope. It’s really important to meet with a prospect not just to go over specs, but to help them determine what, besides price, is important. One way to do that is to share a check-list from previous jobs that identifies things that were important to other clients. It can be anything: working around tenants, the need to be in uniform, not damaging property with scaffolding, etc. If you’re dealing with a GC, you’re asking the same things but on behalf of their client. This list is also helpful to you, as it may reveal some requirement that you either can’t or aren’t willing to meet. The key to landing the job isn’t just the number; it’s figuring out where their pain is and mitigating that pain.

3

What is the most important activity pros should be doing to increase revenue in the commercial segment? Pushing to meet face-to-face with prospects. In-person is ideal, but virtual meetings are gaining traction thanks to COVID-19.

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

INSIGHTS FROM JIM MCBRAYER It’s much easier to build a relationship through personto-person interactions. Phone calls, texts, and emails are a good way for a potential client to solicit a number but it’s not an effective way for you to demonstrate the value you bring to a project. Sometimes you’ve really got to push for that next level of contact. You want that prospect to understand that you’re not looking to sell them but, rather, you want to provide them with the information needed to make the best decision possible for their project.

4

What is the most likely reason a pro might not hit their commercial sales goal? Failing to establish and build on relationships. At the heart of every relationship is trust and credibility. Yes, you need to be likable but, more importantly, you have to demonstrate that you’re someone with the competence and integrity to deliver the desired results. One mistake a lot of pros make is calling up and just throwing out solutions related to a job. If you’re lucky, something resonates with the prospect, but it’s more likely you’ll come across as not fully understanding their issues. Again, you’ve got to help them determine what’s actually important to them. Then, and only then, should you present solutions. That’s how you earn trust and establish credibility.

5

What is the easiest and quickest way to grow an established commercial contracting business? The short answer is this: ask the project manager you’re working with to introduce you to other project managers in the company. Here’s what that requires: You always want to be positioning yourself for the next job. So while you’re working on a job for that project manager, you need to be positioning yourself to get a great recommendation that will lead to another job with them and get a referral. An internal endorsement can be gold.


Paper

Plastic

Paper or plastic? The choice is easy — 3M™ Hand-Masker™ Masking Plastic 3M™ Hand-Masker™ Masking Plastic works just like masking paper, but with no paint bleed-through.* Waterproof and paint-flake resistant. Easy to wrap around objects. Allows light in when covering windows. Plus, you get 2X more per roll.* Use it with the 3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Dispenser for faster, easier prep and high-quality results.

Available in 12"

Learn more at 3M.com/ProPainter.

*

Compared to 3M™ Hand-Masker™ General Purpose Masking Paper.

© 3M 2020. All rights reserved. 3M, Hand-Masker and the BLUE color of the tape are trademarks of 3M. May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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TRENDS

Colors growing in popularity According to Fixr’s 2021 Paint & Color Trends Report, 41% of surveyed designers said they have seen an increased use of natural, plant-inspired colors indoors. Here are 5 manufacturers’ top plant-themed hues:

Dunn-Edwards Grass Root DE5521

PPG Paints Mountain Forest PPG1130-7

Benjamin Moore Mountain Moss 2142-30

Wallpaper is back Behr Back to Nature S340-4

Farrow & Ball Sap Green No.W56

90% of designers agree there is a surge in the use of wallpapers SOURCE: Fixr’s 2021 Paint & Color Trends Report

Poor, forgotten paint A recent survey by Hippo home insurance found that 20% of surveyed homeowners cited paint as the most neglected item on their home-maintenance list. SOURCE: Hippo.com

Ask and ye shall receive In 2020, 73% of consumers were asked to write a review. Of those asked, 72% actually went on to do so. SOURCE: Brightlocal.com, Local Consumer Review Survey 2020

3%

2020 Q4 14

4%

2021 Q4

Remodeling to make modest gains The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects an uptick in year-over-year growth of home renovation and repair expenditure from 3% at the close of 2020 to 4% by year-end 2021.

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

90%

warrantied According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, more than 90% of pro contractors offer some sort of warranty. Quality of work/labor is the most common type of warranty, with more than 80% of companies offering this type of guarantee.


TREND IN FOCUS

Training for success in wallcoverings Consumer demand reveals promising business potential

A

ccording to Nancy Terry, executive director of the Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA), the 47-year-old organization has seen a steady uptick in new members over the past three years. “What’s interesting is that, despite the new members, our overall membership number is flat due to older members retiring,” she says. “For those entering the industry, the moment is ripe for opportunity and success.”

Training for an ancient art goes modern Over his 28-year career (13 as an installer and 15 at MDC Interior Solutions), Greg Laux has watched wallcoverings soar and dip in popularity. “At the height of its popularity,” he says, “there were a number of schools and programs teaching basic installation skills. But when popularity tanked, the schools disappeared. This is bad news for installers looking to expand their crews, as well as for manufacturers and suppliers who have that magic combo of growing consumer demand and amazing product offerings. And it’s why MDC saw the value in supporting the WIA to build a training program that’s accessible to everyone.” Launched in 2018, Wallcovering University is designed to fill the training gap through online programming. “Our initial curriculum is focused on residential installation,” says Laux. The courses consist of a series of lessons with videos that illustrate techniques. He says, “It’s a great introduction to wall prep, pattern matching, and other skills. Anyone completing the program will be really well-positioned to learn the subtleties and last bit of needed finesse under a seasoned pro.” Terry adds that WIA is developing a course lineup focused on commercial installation, and a business skills series for both residential and commercial contractors. “Our aim is to train the next generation of installers in the essential hands-on skills and the basics of running a successful business.” Not a moment too soon For Lisa and Peter Moon of Paper Moon Painting in Austin and San Antonio, the resurgent interest in wallcoverings is a mixed blessing. Lisa says, “While Peter learned the trade in the 80s, the bulk of our

work—especially in the early 2000s—was in painting. We operated just fine with one installer for nearly 30 years.” That changed in 2019, when customer demand required hiring a second installer. “Since then, we’ve added two more to keep up. But it wasn’t easy,” says Lisa. “Training opportunities are hard to come by so we’ve been hiring seasoned pros. I’m trying to hire one more, but it’s a struggle.” Upon learning of the WIA’s new training offerings Lisa’s response was a simple, “Hallelujah!” As she notes, wallcovering is a challenging trade. “Training is essential. If you’ve got someone hanging up an expensive paper in a small bathroom under a set of stairs with a sloped ceiling, they better know how to line up the pattern. Getting it wrong can be very costly.” A viable transition for aging tradespeople Like the Moons, 2019 proved to be a pivotal year for Wayne Toussaint of Wayne A. Toussaint Custom Painting in Charleston, SC, “I trained in installing over 30 years ago but was pretty much 100% painting for most of my career.” In 2014, he picked up a few installation jobs. “Over the next five years, I realized that what I could make hanging paper was better than what I could do painting.” In 2019, Toussaint put down his brush and began focusing exclusively on wallcoverings. “I post my work on Facebook and Instagram and that generates more leads than I can handle,” he says. “I enjoy the variety, plus it’s loads easier on my body. The heaviest thing I haul in a week is a 5-gallon bucket of paste. For older pros looking to make a shift rather than a dramatic change, wallcoverings are a really great option.”

Courtesy of Paper Moon Painting

“ … I realized that what I could make hanging paper was better than what I could do painting … I enjoy the variety, plus it’s loads easier on my body.” —WAYNE TOUSSAINT, WAYNE A. TOUSSAINT CUSTOM PAINTING

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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ASK A PRO

Q:

Which tools do you consider

‘money makers’

for your business?

A:

STEPHANIE YOUNG started Pro Image Painting in 2007 and is well known in southern New Hampshire for her high-end residential work—both interior and exterior painting—as well as cabinet refinishing. She is currently the only certified painter in NH to work with Fine Paints of Europe coatings and takes great pride in investing in innovation and research in the field. She is also the creator of The Brush Wash, a paint brush cleaner that uses less water and creates less mess (see The News, page 10). PIPnh.com 16

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

I am a huge fan of investing in tools that improve the efficiency of our crews and the quality of our work. I worked with a partner for years who didn’t believe in putting money back into the business. When we parted ways, one of the first things I invested in were Festool RO 90 DX Rotex Sanders. It wasn’t inexpensive—especially since we operate with three vans that we outfit with the exact same equipment to ensure consistency across the board—but it was totally worth it. They get used every single day. I also went all in on a Festool Rotex 150 with a CT MIDI I HEPA Bluetooth Dust Extractor for wall sanding. It creates a great finish for paint and there’s no dust. Our customers love the clean worksite and it’s definitely a healthier approach for our crews. For trim work, we use a SurfPrep 3" x 4" Electric Ray Sander. Honestly, it’s the perfect fine sander. We initially bought it for cabinet work but have found it’s a great tool for all kinds of trim. And SurfPrep’s sanding paper is unlike anything else. The pads come in a lot of different thicknesses and last a long time. We pair that with the Festool HEPA VAC and we can knock trim work out in half the time it takes by hand. And I know that because I time everyone and everything. Another time-saver we rely on heavily is the TriTech T4 Airless Sprayer. It’s a portable model, which makes it easy for our crews to take into homes, and it offers a lot of control. We use it for interior woodwork, doors, baseboards and trim. We’re big on site protection so

masking for spraying doesn’t require any more time. We use a 25' hose, which is easy to maneuver and a lot easier and quicker to clean than a 50' hose. I have no hesitation using it even while the homeowners are home. One task that used to take a lot of time was setting nail pops in drywall. We used to use a normal drill but we switched over to a Makita Drywall Gun and it’s increased our productivity like crazy. I have two Makitas and one Festool DWC 18 BASIC Cordless Drywall Gun. They both do a great job.

I would encourage every pro to invest in really good tools. You won’t regret it. The last item I want to mention, and I think every pro should have, is a Festool SYSLITE DUO LED Work Light Set. I’m telling you; I spent more money on those $120 lights from big-box stores that get destroyed in the truck and just plain break. These lights cost more than those but you’ll only have to buy them once. They’re indestructible. Honestly, all the tools I mentioned have paid for themselves several times over and in really short order. They boost our productivity and the quality of our work. I would encourage every pro to invest in really good tools. You won’t regret it.


DESIGNED BY PROS FOR PROS. The Purdy® Pail & Painter’s Backpack

These innovations from Purdy make it easier for Pros to be more productive and organized.

Visit Purdy.com/new-products for more information and retailer availability.

© Purdy

PURD 583/21

Painting tools not included.


®

RESULTS OF OUR 2021 SURVEY

TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR SURVEY

At inPAINT, we appreciate that your time is valuable and thank all participants for their insights. The following Survey participants were randomly selected from all respondents to each receive a prize valued at $200 or more from our generous 2021 Survey sponsors: Dunn-Edwards Store Gift Card Don Alexander, California

Mr. Longarm Extension Pole Bundle Aaron Moore, Illinois

Ames Research Store Credit Ondrej Kubacka, California

Purdy Painter’s Backpack & Roller, Brush, Frame Bundle Eddie Lopez, North Carolina

WE THANK OUR 2021 SURVEY SPONSORS

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

Mr. Speed’s Painting Tools 12 Pairs of Door Deckers David Russo, South Carolina

Datacolor – Benjamin Moore ColorReader Pro Rick Holtz, Virginia

Tower Sealants – Visa Gift Card Brandon Hart, Louisiana

FrogTape Tape Bundle Michael Schwitzer, Wisconsin


L

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

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

35 and under............................................................................................5% 36–50........................................................................................................27% 51+.............................................................................................................68% IN WHICH BUSINESS SEGMENTS DO YOU WORK THE MOST?

Residential: Single Family.......................................................................83% Residential: Multifamily..........................................................................29% Commercial: Office..................................................................................24% Commercial: Retail..................................................................................18% Other.........................................................................................................18% NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES?

5 or less.....................................................................................................65% 6–10..........................................................................................................15% 11–20.........................................................................................................10% 21–50........................................................................................................5% 51 or more................................................................................................5% YEARS YOU’VE OWNED YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS?

5 or less....................................................................................................15% 6–10..........................................................................................................7% 11–15..........................................................................................................15% 16–25.........................................................................................................27% 26 or more................................................................................................31% I do not own a business..........................................................................5%

At Mi-T-M, we pride ourselves on building mighty, damn good equipment. It’s what sets us apart from our competition. When you purchase equipment with the Mi-T-M name on it, you are buying dependable equipment that is designed, built, and tested by good people. Mighty. Damn. Good.

Made in

USA

with Globally Sourced Components

www.mitm.com 800-553-9053

Air Compressors | Portable Generators Air Compressor/Generator Combinations Air Compressor/Generator/Welder Combinations Cold and Hot Water Pressure Washers | Wet/Dry Vacuums Jobsite Boxes | Portable Heaters | Water Pumps Water Treatment Systems May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

19


2021 SURVEY

NATIONAL RESULTS

This year, we've also broken down some of our Survey results by region. See page 22.

PRO READERS’ GO-TO BRANDS

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

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................46% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................23% Behr..........................................................................................................16% PPG Paints................................................................................................6% Dunn-Edwards.........................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................4% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................52% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................18% Behr..........................................................................................................13% Dunn-Edwards.........................................................................................6% PPG Paints................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................6% PRIMER

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................27% Zinsser......................................................................................................25% Kilz............................................................................................................18% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................10% PPG Paints................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................15% STAIN

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................21% Minwax.....................................................................................................20% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................8% Cabot.........................................................................................................7% PPG Paints................................................................................................5% Behr..........................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................34% TAPE

3M..............................................................................................................50% ShurTech...................................................................................................34% Other.........................................................................................................16% CAULK

DAP ...........................................................................................................37% Sherwin-Williams ...................................................................................22% Tower .......................................................................................................5% Sashco ......................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................31%

20

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

BRUSH

Purdy........................................................................................................54% Wooster....................................................................................................13% Corona......................................................................................................13% Other.........................................................................................................20% ROLLER

Purdy........................................................................................................57% Wooster....................................................................................................21% Other.........................................................................................................22% PAINT SPRAYER

Graco.........................................................................................................64% Titan..........................................................................................................21% Other.........................................................................................................15% PRESSURE WASHER

Mi-T-M.......................................................................................................20% Honda.......................................................................................................19% DeWalt......................................................................................................14% Simpson....................................................................................................6% Graco.........................................................................................................5% Ryobi.........................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................31% POWER TOOLS

DeWalt......................................................................................................41% Milwaukee ...............................................................................................20% Makita.......................................................................................................9% Ryobi.........................................................................................................9% Festool......................................................................................................7% Ridgid.......................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................9% WORK VEHICLE

Ford...........................................................................................................37% GMC...........................................................................................................31% Dodge.......................................................................................................12% Toyota.......................................................................................................8% Other.........................................................................................................12%


WHICH MARKETING CHANNELS DO YOU CURRENTLY USE?

Referrals................................................................................................................................. 84% Website................................................................................................................................... 49% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)............................................................ 44% Networking events................................................................................................................ 18% Brochures/fliers..................................................................................................................... 17% Print advertising (newspaper, magazines)........................................................................ 16% Online service companies (Angi, Houzz, HomeAdvisor)................................................... 9% Other....................................................................................................................................... 11% HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

Increasing............................................................................................................................... 22% Holding steady...................................................................................................................... 47% Decreasing............................................................................................................................. 3% Never use them..................................................................................................................... 28% HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS? (ESTMATING, BILLING, SCHEDULING, ETC.)

Exclusively through digital tools/apps/software.............................................................. 12% Mostly through digital tools/apps/software...................................................................... 17% An equal mix of digital tools/apps/software and manual/paper................................... 38% Mostly through manual/paper............................................................................................ 20% Exclusively through manual/paper..................................................................................... 13% OBSTACLES TO YOUR BUSINESS? (OTHER THAN STAFFING)

Time management/scheduling........................................................................................... 38% Customer demands............................................................................................................... 27% Estimating.............................................................................................................................. 25% Getting products and supplies............................................................................................ 22% Training................................................................................................................................... 20% Business management/financial worries.......................................................................... 19% Winning business/not enough leads.................................................................................. 17% Estimate-to-close rate.......................................................................................................... 13% Lack of access to industry information............................................................................... 6% Regional business permitting/licensing requirements.................................................... 6% Unreliable equipment........................................................................................................... 2%

SOURCES YOU LOOK TO MOST FOR TRADE INFORMATION?

Websites................................................................................................................................. 80% Trade magazines/books....................................................................................................... 59% Videos (e.g., YouTube).......................................................................................................... 36% Professional associations (e.g., PCA)................................................................................... 34% Online forums........................................................................................................................ 33% On the jobsite........................................................................................................................ 27% Family and friends................................................................................................................ 21% Coworkers.............................................................................................................................. 20% Online training classes ......................................................................................................... 17% Podcasts................................................................................................................................. 11% Trade school........................................................................................................................... 2% OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

Flat.......................................................................................................................................... 0% < 10%....................................................................................................................................... 0% 10% – 15%............................................................................................................................... 57% 16% – 20%.............................................................................................................................. 22% > 20%...................................................................................................................................... 21%

WITH THE COVID PANDEMIC STARTING TO SUBSIDE, HOW DO YOU SEE WORK SHIFTING FOR YOU?

No interior work.................................................................................................................... 1% All interior work..................................................................................................................... 6% Less interior work.................................................................................................................. 5% More interior work................................................................................................................ 38% All exterior work.................................................................................................................... 4% Less exterior work................................................................................................................. 3% More exterior work............................................................................................................... 17% No change.............................................................................................................................. 53%

Are there any new practices you adopted during COVID-19 that you plan to continue in the future? ■ ■ ■

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

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

■ ■

Active recruiting (observing other retail businesses for top performers) Bonus program for remaining workers Declining certain jobs and refining our focus to better manage available hours Focus on recruiting like we do marketing for new business Having a string of part-timers along with full-timers who are trained and can fill in at a moment’s notice Having current employees recruit new employees. They have a stake in the game if they bring in someone that they can work with and that will make the team succeed. I have offered cash referrals to my current employees Hire unskilled labor and spend time training Hired a full time trainer; offer a bonus to new hires; bonus to current employees who bring in a new hire I scaled back my company size. Less overhead, less headaches, and I have a full schedule. Going lean forced me to reduce scope of work, but has been more profitable and productive. Offering competitive wages and guaranteed work. Emphasizing stability of the profession. Pay them more money and give them more flexible schedules Schedule our jobs accordingly so I have one job on the go from start to finish before starting another job We are bringing in recent high school graduates and training them from the ground up We leave gap days; booking more time for each job. Also hiring neighborhood teens to do prep work.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Doing virtual estimates and ordering more items online A cleaner and more sanitary work environment Explain that supply chains are often interrupted so we [me and customers] are on the same page from the get-go. I need to order product way ahead of time because of increased lead time and decreased availability. I will continue that into the future. Doing virtual estimates and ordering more items online. Make clients comfortable. If that means wearing masks, it means wearing masks. We have added painting custom furniture to our portfolio Kindness Not really. Although on a side note, the size of our projects have grown tremendously since COVID. It feels like a perfect storm of people working from home and staring at their walls all day, stimulus money, and a booming housing market. People are doing complete remodels like I haven’t seen since immediately before the housing market crashed in 2007/2008. I haven’t done a proper analysis of the numbers yet, but 1–3 bedroom jobs have completely vanished, and have been replace by entire floors and entire houses.

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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2021 SURVEY

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN

WEST

MIDWEST

SOUTH

NORTHEAST

OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

Flat......................................................... 0% < 10%...................................................... 0% 10% – 15%.............................................. 67% 16% – 20%............................................. 16% > 20%..................................................... 17%

Flat......................................................... 0% < 10%...................................................... 0% 10% – 15%.............................................. 44% 16% – 20%............................................. 26% > 20%..................................................... 30%

Flat......................................................... 0% < 10%...................................................... 0% 10% – 15%.............................................. 57% 16% – 20%............................................. 15% > 20%..................................................... 6%

Flat......................................................... 0% < 10%...................................................... 0% 10% – 15%.............................................. 69% 16% – 20%............................................. 19% > 20%..................................................... 12%

Increasing.............................................. 24% Holding steady..................................... 58% Decreasing............................................ 5% Never use them.................................... 13%

Increasing.............................................. 24% Holding steady..................................... 50% Decreasing............................................ 0% Never use them.................................... 26%

Increasing.............................................. 20% Holding steady..................................... 48% Decreasing............................................ 2% Never use them.................................... 30%

Increasing.............................................. 26% Holding steady..................................... 32% Decreasing............................................ 3% Never use them.................................... 39%

YOUR GO-TO BRANDS

YOUR GO-TO BRANDS

YOUR GO-TO BRANDS

YOUR GO-TO BRANDS

HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 31% Behr....................................................... 23% Dunn-Edwards...................................... 14% Benjamin Moore................................... 14% Kelly-Moore Paints............................... 8% PPG Paints............................................. 6% Other...................................................... 4% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 43% Dunn-Edwards...................................... 21% Behr....................................................... 19% Benjamin Moore................................... 7% Kelley-Moore Paints............................. 5% Other...................................................... 5%

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OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 50% Benjamin Moore................................... 24% Behr....................................................... 14% Other...................................................... 12% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 56% Benjamin Moore................................... 18% Behr....................................................... 13% PPG Paints............................................. 7% Dunn-Edwards...................................... 6% Other...................................................... 6%

HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 54% Benjamin Moore................................... 20% Behr....................................................... 11% PPG Paints............................................. 8% Other...................................................... 7% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 58% Benjamin Moore................................... 14% Behr....................................................... 11% PPG Paints............................................. 11% Other...................................................... 6%

INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 40% Benjamin Moore................................... 36% Behr....................................................... 14% Other...................................................... 10% EXTERIOR PAINT

Benjamin Moore................................... 41% Sherwin-Williams................................. 35% Behr....................................................... 14% Other...................................................... 10%

-


May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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Respirator safety: staying compliant, avoiding fines

P

BY BRIAN SODOMA

eter Lawton was a contractor on the East Coast for more than 30 years. Today, he kiddingly says that 10 years ago he “went to the dark side of safety.” As the president of LeadSMART Training Solutions, he teaches painting professionals and other contractors how to handle projects involving lead-based paint. Lawton is also well-known in the painting industry for his respirator training. Teaching paint pros how to select, test and use a respirator isn’t the hard part of his job. Getting them to understand the importance of respirator training in the first place is the greater challenge. “Typically, contractors are motivated when there’s a fine. But by that time, it’s really too late,” he said. Compliance isn’t cheap. Lawton suggests contractors set aside between $300 and $400 per employee per year to get the job done. Avoid it and OSHA fines can range $15,000 – $20,000 each, he adds. Here’s what you need to know about respirator training, fit testing and compliance to avoid such a fate:

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

First step: medical evaluation Many painting contractors are surprised to learn that a respirator may be a moot point for some crew members. Each must be medically cleared before they can even use the device. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.134 law requires it. “A tight-fitting respirator puts stress on the heart and makes it tough to inhale and breathe,” Lawton said. “The last thing you want is to put something on that sends you into a seizure.” Employees start by filling out an OSHA occupational questionnaire about their health and potential exposures. Then a qualified health care professional reviews and makes a decision on whether the employee is completely cleared to use a respirator, cleared with certain limitations, or denied. Assessing work situations Next, you’ll need to assess the work environment and possible respiratory exposures. You’ll want to ask yourself what types of jobs


“ We always recommend reaching out to OSHA Consultation ... They want to help you and your crew be safe. And, in fact, working with them on this can help build a good relationship.” —JASON LUNN, 3M

Courtesy of 3M

and environments your crews typically work in and what potential dangers are present. Mike Bennett, national sales manager for Honeywell Safety Products USA, refers to assessments as the ‘pre-snap’ look. There are a variety of factors to consider, including: ■ Indoor vs outdoor situations ■ Types of coating applied and their contaminants ■ Particulates in the air ■ Other PPE being worn and its influence on the fit of the respirator (hard hat, safety glasses, earmuffs) ■ Working at heights with safety equipment and its impact on the PPE you are wearing Your company should also conduct a hazard assessment to identify all exposures to crew members in an 8-hour workday, added Jason Lunn, an application engineer for 3M. OSHA’s Consultation branch may be able to assess for free, or you can opt for an industrial hygienist. Your risk insurance company can provide the service, too.

“We always recommend reaching out to OSHA Consultation. Some pros may not immediately think to do that because they’re concerned about getting a fine, however, they’re not there to cite you. This is the consultation side, not the enforcement side. They want to help you and your crew be safe. And, in fact, working with them on this can help build a good relationship,” Lunn said. Respirator selection APF: assigned protection factor MSDS: material safety data sheet OEL: occupational exposure limit APR: air-purifying respirator

CODES TO LIVE BY

IDLH: immediately dangerous to life or health SAR: supplied-air respirator

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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To choose the right respirator, you need to understand the level of protection needed, also referred to as APF. That starts by reviewing the product’s MSDS to understand the contaminants in play. With that, you or a trainer can calculate a hazard ratio by dividing the airborne contaminant concentration of the coating by the OEL. The APF must be greater than or equal to the hazard ratio figure. Here’s a brief rundown of the APF protection levels. APF 10 (lowest protection level) A half facepiece, either disposable or reusable, should be sufficient. APF 50+ (higher protection level) You’ll need a full facepiece on an APR or a half facepiece with a powered APR. APF 1,000 (highest protection level) This situation is IDLH. You’ll need either a powered APR with a full facepiece, helmet and hood—or a SAR with a full facepiece, helmet and hood. As a general rule, disposable masks are more particulate-driven, Bennett added, while APRs and SARs are better equipped to handle solvents and gasses from lacquers and other coatings. Spraying indoors vs outdoors, because of ventilation, can play a big part in choosing your protection, too. “The biggest misinformation I see out there is when I work with industrial painters or commercial painters who think a half-mask is going to provide superior protection,” Bennett said. “Those are instances where a full facepiece might be a better choice.”

As a general rule, disposable masks are more particulatedriven, while APRs and SARs are better equipped to handle solvents and off-gassing from lacquers and other coatings. —MIKE BENNETT, HONEYWELL SAFETY PRODUCTS USA Cartridge alphabet soup There are also a number of ratings to consider when studying filter cartridges for reusable respirators. For painters, there are two types of chemicals that make up the majority of chemical hazards you’ll likely encounter. These are: organic vapors and acid gases. Organic vapors are sometimes identified by their fragrant smell. Stains and varnishes are a common example. Acid gases, such as chlorine and bleach, can irritate the nose and eyes. There are also N-, R- and P-rated particulate filters that can be used with a reusable respirator facepiece—or prefilters that can be used with chemical cartridges. The letters refer to their resistance to oil-based mist: N = not resistant R = it resists but can’t be used for more than one work shift P = mist-proof, but you must follow manufacturer time-use limitations As a general rule, an N rating is sufficient for dust and debris, as well as non-oil-based aerosols. Today, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we often hear of the N95 respirator. When properly selected and used, that type of respirator will remove at least 95% of airborne dust and debris, but not chemicals or oil particulates. The P100 is the highest available filtration efficiency classification and removes at least 99.97% of dust particles and oil-based mists when properly selected and used.

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

Remember though, you need to utilize your hazard assessment to determine what type of cartridge and/or filters you need for your application, Lunn added. Training, fit testing Training under OSHA’s respirator law involves teaching your crews the basics of how respirators are supposed to protect them, how to wear them and maintain them (if reusable) before fit testing. Once your crews are educated on respirator basics, the fit test is one of the most critical pieces in the entire process. If the respirator does not fit well, it will not protect your crew member. You’re looking for a snug, comfortable fit. Bulky beards have become an issue of late, said Bennett, who does hundreds of fit tests each year. “You have to remember that if OSHA shows up, you can get fined for wearing a NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)-approved respirator with a beard and no fit test documentation,” he emphasized.

[Training is] really a small investment when stacked up against potential fines and illnesses. —PETER LAWTON, LEADSMART TRAINING SOLUTIONS Once the fit is right, a qualitative or quantitative test needs to be done. Qualitative tests involve spraying irritant smoke around a mask. A quantitative test uses expensive testing equipment that attaches a probe to the facemask to examine the seal. It’s a more thorough test—even though OSHA accepts both—but the quantitative test is the only one Lawton uses, as it tests all exposure levels. Comfort is another important factor, Lunn noted. “A lot of small businesses look at comfort as a ‘nice to have’ but it should be a ‘need to have,’” he said. “You don’t want them wearing something that makes it hard to breathe and they’re constantly adjusting it. They may get frustrated and be tempted to take it off and expose themselves to hazards.” Record keeping, staying consistent After your crews have gone through training and fit testing, it’s important to keep records of the experience. And remember, each crew member should also be fit tested and retrained each year. Maintain all documentation in a binder and keep it accessible. Along the way, if there are health changes, a crew member may need another medical evaluation as well. It’s also important to remember that if equipment type or exposures change, you’ll need to retrain for new equipment and fit test again. While he understands how small painting contractors may balk at training costs and time commitment initially, Lawton said it’s really a small investment when stacked up against potential fines and illnesses. “Painters earn their living being surrounded by various dust and chemical hazards constantly. This is one trade that respiratory protection should be the primary focus for their long-term well-being,” he added. -


Sand Faster, Leave a Better Finish 9-inch Radial Sander and Net Abrasive Sanding Discs

09977

09919

HYDE® now offers a 9-inch Radial Sander engineered to allow pros to sand large areas with greater ease. This is the lightest radial sander on the market. It has a unique pivoting hinge and round shape that prevents flipping. HYDE® Net Abrasive Sanding Discs are made with an open weave that minimizes “loading up” of the material, all but eliminating clogging even when used on painted wall preparation jobs. Unlike conventional sanding screens, they leave no pattern or uniform scratch lines that show up after finishing.

custrelations@hydetools.com 800.872.4933 ©2020 Hyde Tools, Inc. All rights reserved.


For Hawaii-based Bernardo’s Painting, Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint is the go-to coating for its ability to resist fading.

PRO PICKS 4 Pros on which exterior coatings deliver the most for them BY BRIAN SODOMA

This time of year, painting professionals turn to their tried-and-true exterior coatings. While some pros are more willing to try different paints than others, most don’t stray much from what they know works. Here, four pros from different regions of the country share which exterior coatings continue to serve them year in and year out—and why.

OUR PROS

1 28

BERNARDO BENIGNO Bernardo’s Painting BernardosPainting.com

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

2

DEREK WOLFE 360˚ Painting of Beaverton 360Painting.com/Beaverton

3

CHRIS BARCOMB Five Star Painting FiveStarPainting.com/katy

4

SCOTT SMITH Clarke Painting ClarkePaint.com


1

BERNARDO BENIGNO

Benigno is an Oahu, HI native who has been in the painting industry on the island since the late 1990s. He focuses on residential interiors and exteriors, as well as some light commercial repaints. HardiePlank siding and redwood tongue-and-groove siding on predominantly older homes are what his crew sees the most, as well as some stucco. For both wood and stucco, Benigno switched to SherwinWilliams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint some years ago and hasn’t turned back. For stucco, he starts with the company’s PrepRite ProBlock Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer, then finishes with Duration. “When I started out, I used SuperPaint on all my residential exterior painting projects, and Duration only on customer request. Over the years, I would go back and see houses fading,” he said. “Since then, I’ve made it my mission to use only the best paint available … I can’t in good conscience use anything other than Duration.” Benigno uses gloss or satin sheens on exterior surfaces; rarely flat. The glossier sheens reflect UV rays so the paint won’t degrade quickly. He also paints certain metal surfaces such as doors and railings at restaurants. For those, he likes Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Waterbased Alkyd Eurethane. “It dries hard like an oil finish, but it’s water-based,” he added. For larger metal surfaces like warehouse siding, he uses SherwinWilliams Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer for added adhesion. After that, he says he can top with anything, often using either their SuperPaint or A-100 Exterior Acrylic Paints.

“ … I’ve made it my mission to use only the best paint available … I can’t in good conscience use anything other than Duration.” —BERNARDO BENIGNO, BERNARDO’S PAINTING

2 DEREK WOLFE

Wolfe focuses primarily on residential repaints, and his crews see a lot of wood and HardiePlank siding substrates in the Beaverton, OR area. With most HardiePlank jobs, he prefers to start with Sherwin-Williams Multi-Purpose Interior/ Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer before applying the topcoat. For both types of surfaces, his go-to topcoat is the company’s Resilience Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint. Oregon moisture is the primary driver behind using Resilience. “It dry-skims within an hour or two … and that helps if we’re caught off guard by rain,” he explained. But because Resilience dries fast, he dials back its use in the dryer months of July and August. During those months, he substitutes Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint or their SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint, both of which, he says, won’t dry too fast in dry weather. He also uses Miller Paint’s Evolution on certain exteriors, an acrylic coating from a local manufacturer. “Sometimes customers will request that product. It’s very good and it touches up well, too.”

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For heavy-use commercial doors, Bernardo’s Painting turns to Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Waterbased Alkyd Eurethane for its ease of use and durability.

4 SCOTT SMITH

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Latex Paint’s self-cleaning technology is formulated so dirt washes away on contact with water or rain, maintaining a fresh, clean look for years.

3 CHRIS BARCOMB

Barcomb’s teams see a lot of stucco surfaces in his suburban Houston community. He prefers Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint for its ability to handle the heat, moisture and everything else the Texas weather throws at it. “It comes in at a great price point and looks amazing. It’s thicker and does a phenomenal job of resisting fading,” Barcomb explained. If the home has a light-colored trim, he’ll use the company’s Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint. “We tend to see a lot of staining and organic materials from the gutters or roof. Emerald Rain Refresh resists dirt. And you can hose it off; it’ll look freshly painted a couple years later,” he said. That washability also serves him on older brick homes as well. For painting brick, he starts with the company’s LOXON Concrete & Masonry Primer/Sealer, then applies Emerald Rain Refresh. “Emerald Rain Refresh helps to preserve the character of the brick and it’s easy to clean,” he said. “Around here, we have a lot of really light, white or cream-colored houses and, when they have caliche dirt next to them, it helps to be able to wash it all right off.” Barcomb’s teams are also called upon to paint metal roofs on barns and metal garage doors. For that work, he still likes to use Duration instead of DTM coatings. If a metal surface has been painted before, he pressure washes first, then applies SherwinWilliams Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer before his Duration topcoat. “Some DTMs will dry really fast; in 20 minutes. Duration gives us one or two hours. It buys us a little time,” he said. 30

inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

This Portland, ME pro has been in the business for more than 20 years. Focusing mainly on residential repaints; he is also known in the area for his work on historic homes. With an older housing stock, some of it dating back to the 1800s, Smith sees a lot of wood clapboard siding and cedar shingle. For these weathered woods, his go-to most of the time is SherwinWilliams WoodScapes Exterior House Stain, either in semitransparent or a solid color, on the siding and shingle surfaces, and the company’s SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint on trim. “We get two coats of WoodScapes on the siding and I also like to prime with their Fast Drying Primer. I’ve been happy with this combination for a long time so I stick with it,” he said. When customers want other coating options, he’ll recommend Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Exterior Solid Stain and their Regal Select Exterior Paint for the trim. “Benjamin Moore’s stain has good depth and I like how quickly it applies, too,” he added. -

For Scott Smith of Clarke Painting in Portland, ME, product selection is key to helping his clients’ historic homes stand up to the region’s snowy winters and coastal conditions.


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An R for business health Monitoring your business’ vitals to keep it performing at its peak performance level BY MORGAN RAY

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021


When it comes to your personal health, you monitor signs and symptoms to keep on track with your desired health goals. You gauge your mood and energy regularly, and are usually aware of pain points. If a symptom crops up, you track physical indicators, get diagnostic screenings, and enlist interpretative help from professionals to identify issues and advise on proper corrective action if needed. Basically, when you think something is wrong, you utilize the tools at your disposal to track down the source and address the problem at its root. You need to do the exact same thing for your business, which is a living, breathing (sometimes struggling) thing, with the same level of complexity (or more) as a human body. It needs regular checkups, diagnostics and prescriptions that treat what is ailing it. Seeking advice from an expert with a trained eye at identifying if a treatment is working as intended couldn’t hurt, either.

M

any savvy business owners seek out solutions and strategies from coaches, consultants, industry associations, and trade publications to help inform their decisionmaking. These are all valuable sources of information, but you also need to administer some self-medicating. A frequently quoted piece of business advice is to remember that ‘cash is the lifeblood of every business.’ This is a great metaphor for discussion. In much the same way you don’t want to wait until you need a quadruple bypass to start checking your cholesterol levels, you don’t want to wait until a financial crisis hits to start tracking your business’ cash flow. The good news is that tracking cash flow isn’t difficult. But, just like staying on top of your health, it requires commitment and discipline.

Analyzing your vitals The first step to getting your business healthy is assessing your vitals—cash in, cash out, expenses, etc. It’s not enough to guess on this front. You need clear statistics so you can accurately diagnose what’s going on. To begin with, you need to separate your business finances from your personal finances. This one small change will make everything easier for you to visualize as you try to get a handle on what your business financials mean. If you’re a smaller business, you need to be strict about this because it will allow you to use some simple spreadsheet skills to get the baseline readings you’ll depend upon before you decide to invest in higher-level screening. If you keep all of your business transactions isolated to a couple of singular bank accounts and credit cards, you can get into the healthy habit of routinely exporting CSVs* or spreadsheets of all of your transactions for some simple accounting. Sort the spreadsheets by the description columns to group all of the ‘like’ transactions together, where you can identify your major expenses and pull out your income. This is the quick and dirty method of figuring your profits. Ramp up your exercise a little by keeping your materials purchases on a specific credit card (with nothing else—and be strict!), and pay all of your subcontractor or employee expenses out of an isolated checking account. Suddenly, you can spend a few minutes and figure your gross profit and net profit margin … the first steps to gauging your business’ financial well-being. Bonus: it also puts you where you need to be for tax time! Employing this method can make it easier for you to job-cost as well, which is the next layer of detailed tracking you want in place to help you identify pain points. If your materials and labor payouts are each in their own designated accounts, you can compare the dates to your production schedule and identify which expenses went with each job—usually an easier exercise than juggling and labeling receipts, then plugging them into a tracker by hand. The key is to make the healthy habits easier to stick to.

Deep-dive diagnostics Eventually, your business fitness journey will take you down the path of wanting more sophisticated stats, perhaps with some nice charts, graphs and key performance indicators to make your heart beat faster and your skin tingle. When you get to the stage where you realize that your time spent sorting spreadsheets

*A CSV (comma-separated values) file is a text file that has specific formatting to allow data to be saved in a table-structured format. May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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The name of the game is building a robust enough health business regimen to sustain you for the long term, which means being careful not to grow too quickly or in a bad direction, and being able to notice when something that was working great before is starting to deliver less consistent results.

MORGAN RAY is an enrolled agent and managing partner at Bookkeeping For Painters, where she and her team help business owners by simplifying their accounting processes and equipping them with easyto-understand information to inform better decisions. BookkeepingForPainters.com

is costing you money because it could be better spent elsewhere, invest in accounting software such as Quickbooks Online. Quickbooks is the de facto accounting software of choice because it is the most widely compatible with the other systems you’re likely introducing into your business at this stage. Through it, CRMs (customer relations management), estimating software, payment processors, payroll software, receipt managers, and time trackers can be linked together with an experienced hand, reducing the amount of manual data entry needed—and the potential for transcription errors. The accounting software pulls most information straight from your bank accounts and credit cards, while the other tools help you properly code expenses or manage your invoicing. You can even job-cost in real time as your crew leads approve hours worked on projects. At this stage though, the readings get a little more complicated. Navigating the chart of accounts used in a double entry accounting system can sometimes feel like you’re reading your own blood panel (which cholesterol is the good type again?). This is where it can be useful to seek the help of a specialist, whether simply to review and improve your setup or to provide full maintenance of tracking monthly or weekly. When that process is done well, it will mean that, at any point, you can pull up a report that tells you how much cash you’ve received vs how much you sent in invoices, and whether your materials or subcontractor expenses were in line or too high (and by how much). Right now, do you know what portions of your operating expenses are eating up those valuable profit margin points that should be landing in your pocket? You could. Once you get familiar with these benchmarks and ratios, the list you’ll find yourself checking every week will start to grow until you know things like your average time to collect on an invoice, or which marketing funnel (Nextdoor or Google Pay Per Click) is offering you the best close rate, highest average job size, and even what time of year they perform the best!

Prescription for a long life Eventually, your business processes should smooth out and you’ll find yourself worrying a lot less about surviving into next year because you’ve identified the 34

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cancers and surgically removed them. You’ve continued to track your vitals, and now you know with each estimate that your billing rates are covering your labor burden with your desired markup. Your project manager is confident that their performance-based profit share will mean a nice year-end bonus because they’ve been hitting the metrics you assigned. And you may breathe a big sigh of relief … and perhaps even take a vacation.

The benefits of a well-designed tracking system don’t stop there though because you’ll always have a little bit of worry, deep down, about how to sustain the good thing you’ve built. When you no longer have to struggle for each little win, you realize that the name of the game is building a robust enough health business regimen to sustain you for the long term, which means being careful not to grow too quickly or in a bad direction, and being able to notice when something that was working great before is starting to deliver less consistent results. In this stage, you can utilize many of the same systems you’ve become familiar with, but you now have the ability to introduce some bells and whistles such as using your historical reports to build out some projections, and additional layers of tracking can split out your revenue streams to help you decide which areas of your business are worth investing more into for future growth. You may consider mapping your projected cash flow, and scheduling particular customers and projects in line with when you know you’ll need those faster-paying jobs to supply cash flow for a tight period. Your balance sheet will be more neatly manicured than your lawn, and your relationship with your banker will be friendly when expanding your line of credit in order to grow. In the end, the best prescription for the health of your business is staying on top of how well it’s actually performing. Assessing the vitals, running diagnostics, and getting the help of a professional when needed will help keep it operating at peak performance levels and avoid crises. -


PaintCare offers free pickups for recycling! In addition, painting contractors and businesses can recycle smaller quantities of leftover house paint, stain, and varnish for free at more than 1,800 PaintCare drop-off locations in nine states and the District of Columbia. To find a drop-off location near you or request a large volume pickup, visit paintcare.org or call (855) PAINT09.

CALIFORNIA | CONNECTICUT | COLORADO | DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA | MAINE MINNESOTA | OREGON | RHODE ISLAND | VERMONT | WASHINGTON

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2021

Courtesy of Bernardo's Painting


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

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 3M.com/Handmasker

The Purdy® Painter’s Backpack From roller frames and covers to brushes, prep tools and extension poles — the Purdy Painter’s Backpack holds everything you need on the job in one place. Plus, it comes with a removable wet pouch so you can transport wet brushes and rollers from job site to cleaning location without making a mess. Purdy.com/backpack

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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UPCOMING EVENTS

ADVERTISER INDEX

5

2 9

3M 3M.com Pages 2 & 13 FrogTape FrogTape.com Page 23 Graco Graco.com Back Cover

What, Where & When

Habitat for Humanity Habitat.org Page 7 Hyde Tools HydeTools.com Page 27

PaintCare PaintCare.org Page 35 Paint Line ThePaintLine.com Page 29 PCA PCAPaintEd.org Page 5 Purdy Purdy.com Page 17

6

4 8 1

AU GU ST

O C TO B E R

1

12–13: PCA Residential Forum, San Antonio, TX pcaresidentialforum.org

5

6–9: BOMA International Conference & Expo, Boston, MA bomaconvention.org

2

31–Sept 2: Apartmentalize, Chicago, IL naahq.org/apt

6

21–23: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV nationalhardwareshow.com

S E P T E M BE R

N OV E M B E R

3

8–11: PowerClean Convention 2021, New Orleans, LA pwna.org/events

7

1–3: Design-Build Conference & Expo, Denver, CO dbia.org/design-build-conference-expo

4

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

8

16–18: International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo | DeckExpo, Dallas, TX poolspapatio.com/en/home.html

9

17–19: Eastern Coatings Show, Atlantic City, NJ easterncoatingsshow.com

The rental housing industry’s largest education and networking event, Apartmentalize has something for everyone—from suppliers to property managers. With recent COVID restrictions being lifted, this year is shaping up to be a great reunion for the rental housing community with four general session speakers like Viola Davis; a variety of educational opportunities; 350+ exhibiting companies ready to solve attendees’ biggest business challenges; and networking and entertainment throughout each day.

naahq.org/apt 38

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3

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

Mi-T-M MiTM.com Page 19 National Hardware Show NationalHardwareShow.com Page 3

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BOTTOM LINE

Production rates Determining how much to estimate jobs

A

s a leader in the painting industry, I talk to contractors all the time, and they always ask questions like, ‘What should I charge per square foot?’ and, ‘For cabinet painting, how much should I charge per door opening?’ Truthfully, you should not be charging your customers based on the square footage of their home or based on what others charge. You’re thinking, ‘I know, I should charge by market value, right?’ Wrong. You need to be able to figure out how much to charge based on what it takes YOU to personally produce a project. But how do you learn to gauge that correctly? Let’s walk through it. Nick’s method I believe there is a system for everything, and that includes gauging time and figuring costs. Here’s what I recommend: First, you need to figure out how long it takes you to paint a standard room. Let’s use a 10' x 10' room with a 10' high ceiling as an example. Time yourself on literally each step of the project … how long it takes you to prep, cut in and roll/spray the 1st coat, and then the 2nd coat (including trim and ceilings)—then time how long it takes you to clean up. Next, do the same test on an averagesized bathroom. Then on an average-sized kitchen. Then, do the same test on a room with a 11'–21' tall ceiling. All of this data will give you the foundation to know how long YOU take to paint all surfaces per square footage of walls, ceilings, and linear feet of baseboard. I know you’re thinking that sounds super tedious and time-consuming! It is, but how invaluable would it be if you knew these numbers?

You’d end up with precise timing you can apply to future projects such as the example below based on a 10' x 10' room with a 10' ceiling: Prep

45 min X $50/hr = $37.50 ÷ 400 sq ft = $.09375/sq ft 1st Coat

75 min X $50/hr = $62.50 ÷ 400 sq ft = $.15625/sq ft 2nd Coat

45 min X $50/hr = $37.50 ÷ 400 sq ft = $.09375/sq ft Cleanup

30 min X $50/hr = $25.00 ÷ 400 sq ft = $.0625/sq ft If you add everything up, it equals about $.40 per sq. ft. of wall space (not of floor space). Keep in mind it does not include material costs. You could add that in, and divide it out by the square footage costs as well. Once you have this number, you can simply multiply a wall’s surface square footage and get a final cost to charge based on real numbers. This number is extremely helpful if you are using a service like Estimate Rocket to create your bids, as all you need to do is input a room’s dimensions, and the system will give you the room’s total square footage. Remember, you need to do this for all surfaces, as well as all types of rooms. And don’t forget, rooms with furniture take more time than empty rooms, so you also need to do this calculation for those situations. Yes, this exercise is tedious, but once you know your numbers, but it will ultimately save you time and money by allowing you to create accurate bids that actually reflect what your team is able to produce. My suggestion is to do this exercise on multiple rooms in order to get an average production rate. The more data you have, the more accurate your numbers will be.

NICK MAY is the founder of the Pro Painter Network, an affiliation helping other painters do more, achieve more, and reach their potential. He also owns Walls by Design, a company in operation for over 20 years, focused on interior painting and specializing in cabinets. ProPainterNetwork.com WallsByDesign.com

May/Jun 2021 | inPAINT

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390 PC CORDLESS Airless Paint Sprayer

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