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M AY/J U N 2019

BASE Painters takes their craft to new heights


Deck prep done right 5 pros talk caulk

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



When you need exceptional color consistency, depend on Sherwin-Williams®, and ColorSnap® Precision — our exclusive system for delivering gallon-to-gallon color consistency for reliable color matching and touch-ups. From initial product formulation to final tinting at one of our 4,300-plus stores, you can count on Sherwin-Williams to make predictability a real art form. Find out more at


You asked. We delivered. The legendary Impact 440 has its sidekick back. Re-introducing the Impact 410 with all the durability and toughness as you remembered. Find out more at TITANTOOL.COM/IMPACT


How you choose to spend your time defines your priorities.


f I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I don’t have time for that,” I would be somewhere far warmer and a lot further from a computer than I am at this moment. The truth is, “I don’t have time” is just another way of saying “This is not a priority for me.” Think about the last time you said those words in the workplace. What were you declaring to be a non-priority … Learning a new software program? Pulling together an employee handbook? Trying out a new product? Writing a job description? Training your crew? It’s important to look at things you are spending your time on (track it) and determine how they align with your business goals. You may need to start shifting your time allocations— possibly delegating responsibilities to others—so that you are putting your energy into things that will move you forward. Remind yourself and your crew regularly of your goals and how they dictate your priorities as well as the pace and sequence of your actions. When you operate with this kind of intent, it becomes easier to say ‘yes’ to the things that matter and not feel bad about saying ‘no’ to the things that don’t. In this issue of inPAINT, we feature several pros who have a clear handle on their priorities (i.e., Aaron Steininger in Ask a Pro, Rich Purnell in The inPAINT Interview, and Kevin Sullivan in 5 Questions). We hope you’ll make taking time to learn from their experiences, as well as all the other pro-offered insight in this issue, a priority. Cheers,

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

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


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

Doug Imhoff Owner, Imhoff Fine Residential Painting

Tom Reber President, The Contractor Fight

Jim Kaloutas Owner, Kaloutas Painting

Nick Slavik Owner, Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co.

Marge Parkhurst President, Painting by Marge, Inc.

Art Snarzyk Owner, InnerView Advisors, Inc.

This issue’s contributing experts


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meghann Finn Sepulveda Brian Sodoma


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

Aaron Andrews Aaron’s Deck Staining Brian Beall Pro Edge Painting Tim Bodine Professional Wallpaper & Paint Co. Dan Brady Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration Mike Clothier CHS Painting Joe Francesconi United Consumer Financial Services Dan Johnson Graco Tim Knaak Mike’s Painting & Sandblasting Miron Lulic Sara McKeon Graco Mike Mundwiller Benjamin Moore Michele Margotta Neary United Gilsonite Laboratories Nicholas Painter Brush & Color Eco Painting Rich Purnell BASE Painters Elias Reyes Kings Painting Caleb Roth Stain & Seal Experts Pete Schermerhorn Triax Technologies Aaron Steininger Sunlight Housepainting Kevin Sullivan Sullivan Painting Service, Inc. Ryan van Schilifgaarde NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab Gail Wallace Light Wave Stripping

©2019 REM Publishing Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Publisher assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use, misuse or inability to use the materials or information contained in this publication. All material and information appearing in this publication is distributed and transmitted ‘as is,’ without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

Jeff Winter Sherwin-Williams Peter Woods Catchlight Painting May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT


inPAINT® May/Jun 2019



Jobsite Safety




Pros offer tips for prep on new and old decks

A safer, smarter future for the construction industry

5 Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Pro Picks

Pros on the best caulk for the job

The inPAINT Interview

A rope-access painting company

24 26

16 DEPARTMENTS 8 The News Industry ins and outs

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

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

32 Teach to Fish Where to find quality employees despite today’s labor shortage

13 Trend in Focus In-home financing as a businessgenerating tool

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

14 5 Questions Pro painter on maintaining standards and keeping promises

35 Bottom Line Increase productivity and profits with new sprayer technology

28 Ask a Pro How do you keep communications open before and after a bid?


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

Cover Photo Courtesy of BASE Painters; This Page’s Background Photo Courtesy of Graco

Photo Courtesy of Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration

Deck Prep


A jolly big paint job

Shurtech introduces FrogTape Pro Grade Painter’s Tape T There’s a new blue tape on the market. FrogTape Pro Grade Painter’s Tape from Shurtech features the company’s patented PaintBlock technology—a super-absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier along the tape’s edge that seals and prevents paint bleed, creating clean, crisp lines. Find it in a four-roll contractor multi-pack exclusively at Sherwin-Williams stores.

Deck the halls with the greenest paint ever T Researchers at The University of Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the UK have discovered a potentially new source of creating paint: Christmas trees. The major component (up to 85%) of pine needles is a complex polymer known as lignocellulose. The complexity of this polymer makes pine needles useless to most industrial processes. However, when heat and solvents, including environmentally friendly glycerol, are introduced, the chemical structure of pine needles breaks down into a liquid product (bio-oil) and a solid by-product (biochar). Acetic acid contained in the bio-oil is often used in the production of coatings additives. While additional research and testing needs to be done, there is hope that there may be a second life for the 25 to 30 million Christmas trees sold in the U.S. annually. 8

inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

T For 40 years, the Jolly Green Giant has stood watch over Blue Earth, MN. Standing 55.5' tall and mounted on an 8'-high base, the fiberglass behemoth weighs approximately 8,000 pounds and sports size 78 boots. But as it turns out, even a giant is no match for Mother Nature. According to Tim Knaak, owner of Mike’s Painting & Sandblasting, which was tasked with restoring the green guy to good form and appearance, the Minnesota weather had taken its toll on the giant. “At the initial inspection,” says Knaak, “the first thing we noticed was about a foot and a half of water in his boots. Cracks and pinholes throughout the structure had allowed water in. Plus, there was a larger hole in his head where he’d been hit by lightning.” Working from a 65' lift, Knaak’s crew tackled the restoration by first drilling holes in the boots to allow the water to drain. The next step was to power wash to remove dirt and debris. The crew then used USC Duraglas for the large holes, Crest Industries Formula 21 Structural Adhesive (a two-part auto body seam sealer) for the large cracks, and Crest seam sealer for small cracks. Next, a coat of SAFE Encasement Systems was applied all over to seal up any and all pinholes. As a last step, two coats of Sherwin-Williams Duration—50 gallons in all—was sprayed, brushed and rolled on. Knaak noted, “While he’s a giant, it wasn’t the biggest project we’ve ever done. But it certainly was the most unique.”

Really bad paint names. Thanks, AI. T A research scientist with a lot of time on her hands and a goofball spirit decided to see if artificial intelligence could be used to generate new paint colors and corresponding names. The researcher, Janelle Shane, began by introducing a list of about 7,700 SherwinWilliams paint colors along with their RGB values to a

recurrent neural network. While the network was ultimately able to generate new colors (and had an apparent affinity for brown, beige and gray), it was less successful at creating names that might actually make it to market. But they’re too good not to share. Burf Pink



Burble Simp

Horble Gray

Stoner Blue

Bank Butt

Stanky Bean

We value your input. (Like $100-value it.) T Our annual reader survey is a chance to share your growth plans for the coming year and potentially be rewarded with a $100 VISA gift card. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to let us know what tech and equipment you’re using, and fill us in on your growth strategies. We’ll share the survey results in our Jul-Aug issue so you can see what your peers are up to. The survey will be available June 4–14:

ZAR relaunches multisurface interior stain line

ZipWall Mat controls dust at the work site T In an effort to help contractors comply with the EPA’s Lead Rule (RRP Rule), ZipWall has introduced the ZipWall Mat. Featuring an adhesive surface, the mat captures dust from shoe soles on contact and is strong enough to remove dust from casters and wheels. Each Starter Kit features a durable, reusable, nonskid base that prevents shifting and sliding, and includes a pad of 30 disposable adhesive sheets (24"x 36") that can be oriented to capture two steps entering or exiting the jobsite.

Courtesy of ASA/JPL-Caltech

T In an effort to reinforce the versatility and performance of its stains, ZAR recently relaunched its interior stain line. According to Michele Margotta Neary, VP of marketing at United Gilsonite Laboratories, “Because pros contend with a lot of different surfaces—wood, rubber molding, embossed doors, and even metal doors—we felt it important to convey that ZAR stains work on all of those substrates. You can achieve the same color tone across a job without switching out product.” Neary also notes a new emphasis on the ability to use the product directly over existing paint or polys without the need to strip. “Plus, for pros handling a lot of custom work, we wanted to make it clear you can use ZAR stains as a glazing material. We’re seeing a lot of beautiful cerusing applications being accomplished with it.” The company has also introduced a new intermixing system that allows you to blend two ZAR stains to create a custom color. In addition, the line’s standard colors have been renamed and reorganized to streamline the selection process based on the desired look customers are aiming to achieve.

Talk about a complicated tape job T When most people think of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, they don’t automatically think about tape jobs. But given the value and importance of the 1,000+ items the lab paints annually, it turns out taping is pretty darned important. According to Ryan van Schilifgaarde, a support engineer, there are locations on the Mars 2020 rover’s chassis where paint is strictly verboten—places where electronics boxes have yet to be bolted on, wiring harnesses are still to be run, and attachment points for hypersensitive science instruments that require bare metal surfaces to perform their best. Last summer, that team logged 500 hours over seven days hand-applying more than 600 pieces of tape to the rover. In addition, 135 temporary sheet metal stencils were also applied to mask larger locations on the rover that require a more rigid cover. According to van Schilifgaarde, “You can find the masking tape we used on 2020 in just about any hardware store. But whereas you would probably tear off a strip with your hands and eyeball it onto the wall you wanted to paint in a house, we used a computer-controlled cutter to make sure each piece was exactly the size and shape we wanted it to be.” van Schilifgaarde says, “The masking team measured success by the millimeter.” After the tape was applied, a crew of three (including one who had been painting houses just a year earlier) applied four coats of definitely not hardware store-variety primer and paint measuring 4–6 mil over the course of a week. The tape was then carefully removed and the rover was placed in a vacuum chamber, where it baked at 230˚F for another week to cook out any contaminants. While a lot of work remains to be done on the rover before it launches in August 2020, its paint job is complete and ready for takeoff.

Premier Paint Roller launches U.S.-made brush lines T After producing quality rollers for more than 50 years, Premier Paint Roller has entered the brush market with four new lines: the Montauk, a Tynex/Orel firm-filament blend; the Riverdale, a Chinex extrafirm filament blend; the Atlantic, a nylon/polyester firm-filament blend; and the Hampton, a 100% nylon bristle brush. Each line is specifically designed for use with the latest zero- to low-VOC, high-viscosity paints sold today and is currently available for purchase at independent paint stores. May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



HYDE Molding Puller puts an end to collateral damage

Light Wave Stripper: the chemical-free alternative to methylene chloride T With the EPA’s recent ban on paint removers containing methylene chloride for residential use, the Light Wave Stripper fills the void with zero chemicals. Designed for pros for whom volume paint stripping is a regular part of the job, the device lifts multiple layers, making it possible to remove them—all in under a minute (20–40 seconds of exposure to light plus 5–10 seconds to scrape). Utilizing advanced infrared technology, the device can be used indoors or outdoors and on substrates including wood, steel, aluminum and some types of plaster. It is available in several sizes ranging from a 15" handheld device to other units ranging from 19" to 58" and is designed to either be mounted on a workstation in a shop, or pole-mounted for use on the jobsite. According to company President Gail Wallace, “The advantages of Light Wave are numerous and include considerable time and money savings. There’s no need to buy chemicals and related protective gear, and no more waiting around for the chemicals to take effect. Plus, the chemical-free approach does not wet or alter the pH of the wood, meaning the surface is immediately ready for production.”

Graco introduces Contractor PC Airless Spray Gun 10

inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

T Taking a cue from its customers, Graco has developed what it calls the ‘longest-lasting, most durable contractorgrade paint sprayer gun ever built.’ Developed in response to customer demand for greater comfort and increased productivity, the Contractor PC Airless Spray Gun features a contoured handle design, an on-the-fly E-Z fit adjustable trigger, and 50% less trigger pull and hold force.

T Tired of dealing with the collateral damage from baseboard, trim and other molding removal? Then you’re going to love the HYDE Molding Puller. Crafted from heavy-duty steel and finished with a no-slip handle, it features a built-in ‘wedge’ on a 90˚ angle that can safely be driven between the materials. It works by spreading the applied force out along a larger surface area and gradually increasing the angle away from the wall to avoid damage. While it was designed to effectively remove molding, it’s also ideal for removing tile, carpet, and other types of flooring materials, as well as pulling nails.

According to Sara McKeon, global product marketing manager at Graco, “The Contractor PC gun is customizable to any trigger length preference—while introducing a new threefinger trigger option. Painters will also reduce downtime with the ability to quickly replace the needle and all wear parts with our exclusive one-part ProConnect Replacement Cartridge. It’s like they’re getting a brand-new gun without having to leave the jobsite.”

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This wiseindustry-relevant adage served as inspiration for a Our monthly e-newsletter delivers articles new type of communication that offers industry professionals and instructionarticles to learn to your inbox—many expanding on education our magazine from—and build on. —offering additional valuable content professionals find Here, we present an industry-specific question and invite an expert to share their insight. “Give a man a fish and you feed him foressential a day. to continue to learn and grow.

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

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“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Our monthly e-newsletter delivers industryTeach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” relevant articles to your inbox—many expanding on our magazine articles—offering additional valuable content professionals find essential This wise adage served as inspiration for a new type of to continue to learn and grow. Stay informed. Watch that for it monthly. communication offers industry professionals education and instruction to learn from—and build on. To receive these valuable tools, subscribe to inPAINT magazine. They’re all FREE!

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The up$ide of financing You get what you ‘paid search’ for According to a 2018 survey by B2B research, reviews and ratings company Clutch: n

More than 3/4 of people (77%) are confident they can recognize paid search advertisements

n 1 n

/3 of people (33%) click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query

About 4 times as many people are more likely to click on a paid search ad on Google (63%) than on these search engines: Amazon (14%), YouTube (9%) and Bing (6%)

Deck costs up, values down The cost of adding a 16' x 20' deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4" x 4" posts anchored to concrete piers climbed $2,300+ between 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, the cost recouped at resale dropped from 82.8% to 75.6%. SOURCE: Remodeling’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report


$2,300+ 2018

That’s billion with a ‘B’ U.S. demand for paint and coatings is forecast to grow to

1.4 billion gallons in 2019. In the architectural market, demand for interior paint will outpace demand for exterior paint due to increased use of siding materials that do not require painting.

When owners tap savings or credit cards for home improvements, the average spend is $3,300 per project. But when they utilize contractor-arranged financing, the amount nearly doubles to $6,500. SOURCE: Improving America's Housing 2019, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

The inside scoop on exterior stains Here are the most popular exterior stain colors as shared with us by six recognized manufacturers. Arborcoat Mahogany Benjamin Moore

Natural Cedar Wolman

Aspen Tan Olympic

Capture Hazelnut Sascho

865 White ZAR

Acadia Blue SW 3011 Sherwin-Williams


DIY regrets According to a recent survey by, 63% of people who have attempted home DIY projects said they regretted at least one of them. Here’s how a few projects placed on the list of most-regretted undertakings: #7 Refinish cabinetry #10 Interior painting


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

#12 Interior wallpaper #23 Exterior painting

According to the NFIB Small Business Jobs Report, in December 2018, 60% of small-business owners reported hiring or trying to hire, but 90% of those reported few or no qualified applicants for the position.


In-home financing A powerful business-generating tool


ales financing is nothing new. Furniture stores, car dealerships, home appliance merchants and other retailers have been using financing for years to help close deals and, in many cases, increase the size of a purchase. Over the past few years, a number of finance companies have begun offering financing options to service industries, including home improvement and painting contractors.

A contractor-consumer win-win According to Miron Lulic, founder and CEO of, a point-of-sale lending platform, “When done correctly, point-of-sale financing is a win-win for both businesses and customers.” One set of research found that companies offering financing (via PayPal and PayPal Credit) saw an increase of 32% in sales,” says Lulic, “and an average increase in order value of 75%. And in many instances, there’s little to no cost to the contractor to make financing available to their customers.” Understand your options In general, financing companies provide a partnering pro with a mobile app or a link to introduce customers to payment options during the estimate process. In most cases, it’s up to the customer to complete the credit application. Once approved—very often in a matter of seconds if done digitally—the partnering contractor is notified that financing has been secured. A few of the ways lending offerings and providers may vary include: ■■ To whom the funds are paid (consumer vs. contractor … as a contractor, you want direct payment) ■■ Terms of payment to the contractor (in-full at the start or close of a project, or split between start and completion) ■■ Fees for businesses, consumers or both (origination fees, discount fees, APR, etc.) ■■ Collection practices (know who is holding the paper for your customer) ■■ Customer support to both the contractor and their customer According to Joe Francesconi, president of United Consumer Financial Services, there’s more to choosing

a financing partner than just fees and terms. “Whoever you work with will, in essence, will be an extension of your company. Look for a partner who helps you grow, helps more of your customers get approved (even those with challenging credit) so they can move forward with the project right away, and who will treat your customers professionally throughout the life of their repayment. Your reputation and referral business depend on it.” A no-hassle differentiator For Elias Reyes of Kings Painting in Archbold, OH, offering financing has proven to be an effective differentiator in the bidding process. A commercial and residential painter, Reyes says he’s been asked about financing in the past, especially for large jobs, but didn’t have a solution. “I’ve been using Joist for estimates for quite a while and liked it, so when they announced they were offering it at no cost to my company, I jumped on board,” he notes. “It’s been really nice and easy to include the financing option in the estimating discussion. When I email the estimate, links to the different payment options are built right in. The customer can click and find out the terms and make the choice that works for them. There’s zero involvement on my part and no cost to me to provide it.” Reyes adds that, in his area, a lot of contractors are still very much “written-estimate kind of guys.” Being able to provide estimates and financing options via email, says Reyes, “really sets me apart from other bidders.”

The percentage of people intending to use a loan to cover the cost of a home improvement grew 29% between 2017 and 2018. —2018 LightStream Home Improvement Survey

Partner for success At a time when more and more homeowners are turning to loans to cover costs, offering financing with fixed monthly payments can make a lot of sense. Be sure you fully understand how an offering works and choose a partner who helps you grow and will respect your customer as much as you do. May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



5 KEVIN SULLIVAN founded Sullivan Painting Service, Inc. in Lakewood, WA in 1983. Offering both commercial and residential services, the company is affiliated with ABC of Western Washington and has been awarded their Gold Level STEP award annually since 2005. In addition, the company earned a Best of Houzz award in 2016 and the National PDCA Industrial Interior Award in 2017. Sullivan has served as the PDCA western regional director and the Washington State Council PDCA president, and was recognized as the State’s PDCA Paint Contractor of the Year in both 2013 and 2014.







What business practices do you think have contributed the most to your success? We’re very committed to keeping the commitments we make to customers and maintaining our standards. If we tell a customer we’re going to send a painter on Wednesday, we will be there. If we promise an estimate on Tuesday, we will do it. If we need to reschedule, we will call and do so. We never leave the customer hanging without communication. We also incorporate the PDCA standards into our work and we uphold them. Always. From my perspective, maintaining standards and keeping promises is the best way to set our painters up for success and, in turn, our company benefits. What bit of technology has had the biggest impact on your company’s performance? I’d have to say estimating software. I’ve been around long enough that I used to push a wheel and tri-scale to measure and, in fact, sometimes I still do … old habits. We use a combination of Microsoft Office and PlanSwift software. Both have really streamlined our estimating process and make information more readily available to everyone who needs to access it. In the field, we also use color-matching apps, group texts and ExakTime to help with different tasks.


How do you measure your company’s success? There are five things I look at: safety, employee satisfaction, customer referrals, spot inspections and profits. If the first four items are in good shape, I really don’t have to worry about the profits.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


What are some favorite questions you ask potential hires? The first is ‘why do you want to be a painter?’ I hear a lot of stories about how it’s in their blood; their dad or uncle was a painter and maybe they helped them out. I’m always excited when they talk about how they enjoy starting with something that’s not looking great and walk away feeling proud at the end of the project. If their answer is ‘I just need a job,’ the interview is over. I also like to try and feel out what they will be good at or where they would fit on a crew. I ask things like ‘what’s your least-favorite aspect of painting?,’ ‘what’s your strongest skill set?,’ and ‘what’s your weakest?’ It’s amazing how these quick questions can help me determine if they’re suited for interior or exterior work, or even commercial or residential jobs.

How have your goals shifted in the past year, and what changes are you making to achieve them? We are changing the way we transition new employees. In the past, we used to do in-person interviews and hire accordingly, followed by keeping an eye on them for five days or so. It was hit or miss with how they performed in the field, so we’re working to address that. We are currently pairing new hires with lead painters to assess their skills and educate where needed. Our lead painters are also helping to design a new training program for painters with very little experience. Also, we have a very specific approach to spraying we set as a company standard and we have two new efforts to help centralize it. First, we’ve created training videos. Second, we’ve built some large models of doors, gable ends, and an offset roof to do hands-on spraying training. We train them in our specific routines, and try to correct any bad habits. The goal is to see results in the field that we’re proud to put our name on.


What makes the stir whip the best all-purpose mixer?


– Flexes to fit through a 5 gallon pour spout – Mixes even the thickest materials without stressing your drill – Reaches into corners of paint cans – Cleans up in seconds


all of the above

For use with 1-quart to 5-gallon containers and a 500-1500 rpm variable speed drill.

The HYDE® Stir Whip™ may be the most versatile mixer on the market, with a unique design that’s effective for mixing materials of any viscosity. Designed with a 3/8” steel hex shank and a nylon mixing head, the Stir Whip™ features flexible “fingers” that reach into the corners of containers for more complete mixing. This mixer is not only versatile – it’s durable and easy to clean. Plus, its light torque requirements will not drain drill battery when mixing thick materials. Whether for worksites or for home use, it’s the perfect all-purpose mixer.

©2019 Hyde Tools, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pros offer prep tips to


Applying stain or paint to a deck still involves the same age-old painter’s axiom: the finished product relies heavily on the prep work. With decks, however, there’s less margin for error than, say, an interior wall. Even the best stains tend to only offer a couple of years of protection, and with inadequate prep or poor coating quality, flaking can start in only a few short months. Here, three painting professionals specializing in deck work share their insights on how they prep to stain a deck or for a paint job.



inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

The finished product relies heavily on the prep work.

New decks, old decks and setting customer expectations Every deck poses its own unique set of challenges. Some may be old and have gone years without a restain or repaint. Others may have mold or mildew issues, while some may even be newer—a year or two old—but may have been left uncoated for too long or a poor product may have been used as a first coat. Aaron Andrews, owner of Aaron’s Deck Staining in Nebraska, has had his share of encounters with homeowners who opted to stain a new deck themselves and used a cheap water-based stain. “Once it flakes up, you have to strip it all off,” he said. “There’s a lot more maintenance and prep work after the deck is stained with a water-based semi-transparent stain. An oil-based stain saves you so much headache down the road, and it’s easier to maintain.” When Andrews and other deck pros interviewed for this article walk a job, asking questions about the age of the structure, the last time it was stained or painted, and gauging the customer’s understanding of the condition of their deck are top of mind. For Caleb Roth, owner of Tennessee-based Stain & Seal Experts, explaining why he uses his own proprietary cleaner, brightener and stain formulas is an important part of those early conversations. “The biggest thing is being able to explain to customers the processes we have in place for cleaning and staining,” he said. “Make them aware of what they’re really looking at,” added Dan Brady, owner of Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration in Traverse City, MI. “A maple or oak they see in the store will probably look darker on the deck because it’s more weathered and porous. The biggest thing, I think, is setting customer expectations.” Sand it right for best results Every pro brings a slightly different approach to deck prep. Climate and surface type can factor into decisions and, for Brady, sanding plays a big role in his prep process most of the time. “I like to say that finishing decks is a lot like working on a hardwood floor,” he added. If the deck is dirty or has mold and mildew, Brady pressure washes the surface first, but he also says a rough grit sandpaper can clean up some dirt or staining. He’ll sometimes use a 40-grit sandpaper instead of a chemical stripper to remove an old coating or grime. In this case, it’s important to gauge whether the sander can effectively clean the surface without gumming up the sandpaper, which can lead to closing the wood’s pores. “There’s nothing like a sanded deck, but if it’s too dirty, it will definitely start to gum up,” he noted. If a surface needs a stripper or cleaner first, after washing it off, Brady then turns to an 80- or 60-grit sandpaper to establish a nice surface profile that is ready to absorb the stain. Like Roth and Andrews, Brady recommends oil-based stains for his customers; and if a deck is in really bad shape and hasn’t been restained for some time, he’ll recommend a solid-color stain.

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May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT


Andrews uses sodium percarbonate mixed with water, which he applies with a sprayer. The solution loosens the mill glaze within 10 to 15 minutes, allowing him to pressure wash the cleaner and the glaze off. After that, he uses an oxalic acid wood brightener. “It lightens the color of the wood to give the stain better color and really opens up the wood’s grain to allow the stain to soak deeper into it,” he said. He’ll still use the sodium percarbonate cleaner on pine wood as well, and a stripper if there’s an old coating to remove. Allowing 48 to 72 hours to dry is key, he adds, and then he uses a 40- or 60-grit sandpaper to remove any white oxidized patches. Before staining, Andrews also looks for a moisture meter reading below 15%. Photo Courtesy of Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration

“The semi-transparent stain is just not going to look the best, even after you sand it,” he said, while adding that good sanding is even more critical in these situations. That’s because a solid-color paint rests on the wood’s surface, whereas a stain wicks into it, he explained. Proper sanding opens the wood pores and gives the stain an opportunity to bond well to the surface.

Paying attention to mill glaze In Nebraska, Andrews commonly sees decks built either with cedar or pressure-treated pine. The cedar wood has a mill glaze on it, which must be removed before a stain can be applied. “If you do not remove mill glaze, what happens is, it will look blotchy and the stain won’t adhere. Then, as you walk on it, you’re basically removing stain with your feet,” he explained.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

Wood deck prep comes down to two fundamental needs: a clean surface and open wood pores that can accept the appropriate coating for the job.



A perfect finish starts with the right prep No matter what part of the country you live in, wood deck prep comes down to two fundamental needs: a clean surface and open wood pores that can accept the appropriate coating for the job. Each pro may have slightly different techniques or products for achieving those goals, but all agree these two elements are critical for anyone prepping a deck for either stain or paint. -

Photos Courtesy of Aaron Andrews

A low-VOC, solvent-free approach Disappointed by product failures when he first started working on decks, Roth hired a chemist and set out to create his own solvent and carcinogen-free stains, cleaners, strippers and brighteners. Today, Roth works strictly with his own uniquely formulated stains and prep solutions. The prep products work so well, he says, that sanding is minimized—often unnecessary—saving time on the job and increasing profitability. Roth’s team simply sprays on his company’s cleaner and allows the solution to soak into the deck for 10 to 15 minutes. Following that with a low-pressure wash usually removes all the stains, dirt and grime, he says. He then applies his brightener, which works to shed any left-over cleaner and neutralizes the pH of the wood. If there is an old coating that needs to be removed, he uses his own liquid stripping product before applying the brightener. “That brightener really opens the pores up and takes the wood back to its original color,” he added.

A look at composites When working with composite decks, all three pros prefer to take on cleaning instead of refinishing jobs. Older composite decks were made with fibers that allowed for recoating, Brady said, but these materials can be difficult to work with, so he prefers to take on cleaning jobs with new materials instead, which is similar to washing off vinyl siding. Some customers have cleaned the newer composites with bleach, Roth has also found, which can harm the color. “You really just want to use a gentle cleaner,” he said. “With composites, I refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations,” Andrews added. “Some allow you to use Dawn dish soap and water.”

Recycle your leftover paint?

Yes, you can! Painting contractors and businesses can recycle leftover house paint, stain, and varnish for free at over 1,700 PaintCare drop-off locations in eight states and the District of Columbia. Most locations are paint and hardware stores. PaintCare also offers a free large volume pick-up service for businesses with 200+ gallons of paint. To find a drop-off location or get details about the pick-up service, visit our website or give us a call. (855) 724-6809


IoT leading the way to a safer, smarter future for the construction industry BY PETE SCHERMERHORN Worker safety remains a top construction-industry priority. Even so, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, construction accounts for just over 20% of private industries fatalities, and the industry’s median days away from work due to injury or illness is 50% higher than all other U.S. industries.


his is due in large part to the physically challenging construction environment with heavy materials and equipment and hundreds of workers working at elevated heights. Until recently, safety leaders have been forced to rely on outdated, manual methods to detect and respond to safety issues, such as visual checks (or audible calls for help) to identify a possible injury—or air horns to trigger an evacuation. New technologies to the rescue The good news is that technology is changing the construction safety landscape, giving project leaders and teams new tools to communicate from anywhere on site, detect and document safety issues, and monitor what’s happening across project sites. The spread of the Internet of Things (IoT) at the jobsite, such as wearable devices, equipment sensors, drones and more, act as extra safety personnel, automatically capturing data and monitoring what’s happening in the field more efficiently and effectively than humanly possible.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

For example, drones can survey a jobsite and gather environmental or other site-specific information (think loose roofing) that would be difficult to detect otherwise. Wearable technology, including devices that clip onto a worker’s waist belt, can quantify worker activity on site (location, fall events, etc.) and provide a direct line of communication between workers and supervisors. In addition, sensors tagged onto equipment/machinery (or placed around the jobsite) can monitor realtime machine location and operation (or environmental conditions such as air quality or temperature) to alert supervisors to unauthorized equipment operators (or high temperatures or substances in the air) that require immediate attention. These technologies are enabling a shift in construction safety and risk identification, management and culture by powering: ■■ Real-time safety reporting. Emerging technologies enable workers to report hazards or signal distress from anywhere on site with the push of a button, eliminating the need to leave the work area or use a cell phone to get help. With real-time alerts, safety

PETE SCHERMERHORN is president and CEO of Triax Technologies, a Norwalk, CTbased technology company that develops innovative IoT solutions for the construction industry. Triax was selected as the 2018 Gold winner for the Best IoT Service—Commercial and Industrial from IoT Innovator magazine for changing the way contractors manage resources, safety and risk across their project portfolios. And its Spot-r EvacTag was named the 2018 New Product of the Year for Emergency Response by Occupational Health & Safety magazine. You can connect with him at

Drones can survey a jobsite and gather environmental or other site-specific information (think loose roofing) that would be difficult to detect otherwise.


supervisors can improve response and help contain risk exposure from nearby workers entering unsafe areas or walking into unsafe conditions to help an injured colleague. Behavior modification. If you can’t measure a problem, you can’t manage it, and emerging IoT-enabled solutions are replacing assumptions or after-the-fact anecdotes with objective, real-time data to develop smarter safety insights. By using technology to report and reveal the factors that contributed to an incident, construction firms can identify the training, tools or practices that are needed to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. Tech tools also help employees check into a safety mind-set each time they step onto the jobsite and provide an opportunity to jump-start other corporate safety initiatives like morning stretchand-flex sessions or toolbox talks to warm up for the day and review site- or task-specific hazards.


Data to identify trends and mitigate risks. By collecting

objective safety data such as time, location, conditions on site or location of nearby workers, IoT tech can add valuable context to an incident and help streamline claims reporting/investigation. With a more accurate picture of site safety and risks, firms can proactively adjust their practices to get ahead of potential safety incidents, better protect workers, and keep projects moving. It’s important to note that technology is just one part of a comprehensive safety program that must involve management buy-in, ongoing education and training, open communication, and regular coaching. With the right organizational mind-set, new technology tools to participate in safety and communicate hazards, and data to identify risks and drive down incidents, contractors can enable new levels of safety and drive the construction industry to a safer, smarter, stronger future. May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT





s a coatings manufacturer representative, I have always taken great pride in working with painting contractors in the effort of building their business, which subsequently contributed to their financial success. When it comes to estimating, no one possesses the ability to look into the ‘crystal ball’ and foresee exactly what the future incurred costs to the contractor will be on any project. However, by being aware of and understanding some of the most common estimating mistakes, contractors can overcome these challenges to profitability. Here are five mistakes that can stand in the way of better profits.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


Not budgeting for travel costs

A common estimating mistake frequently seen is not budgeting for travel costs such as gas, tolls and parking. Naturally, these costs amplify more for jobs in urban areas, so they should always be estimated for, as they can have a significant negative impact on the financial result of a project, especially a long-term one.


Not budgeting for product coverage

Another common mistake is underestimating a product coverage rate with regards to square footage realized. Typically, this happens when the substrate is more porous than previously thought, resulting in lower square footage realized per gallon. Generally, one gallon of product is recommended for every 400 square feet, but covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more coating material. Using a high-quality product that covers in one coat will actually save money in the end, especially when using darker colors.


Not budgeting for a testing stage

communication and problem-solving tactics to complete a job that you will be proud of and they will enjoy for years to come. While you may not have a crystal ball to see into the future, you can save yourself headaches and be more profitable with enhanced communication and attention to detail. -

MIKE MUNDWILLER is the field integration manager for Benjamin Moore, responsible for supporting associates on the Brand and Product Strategy team as it relates to field sales, and also acts as the main liaison between brand, field sales and the lab. He has been with the company for 30 years in many roles: sales, product development, technical support, customer care, dealer development.

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Another occasion where estimating mistakes are commonly seen is when a contractor’s bid does not match the actual job requirements. In some cases, a contractor will bid a ‘spot’ prime, only to later realize that the substrate actually needs a full prime. Ideally, these challenges would be discovered and planned for during a testing/mock-up stage for the project. Adding this testing stage can ensure a better finished result and higher profit, but only if it is planned—and budgeted— for from the beginning.


Not budgeting adequately for labor

Properly and consistently estimating production rates of workers is an ongoing challenge. During strong economic times, when unemployment rates are very low, high turnover—along with lack of experienced trade personnel—can only exacerbate this dilemma. So it is best to estimate on the conservative side until a strong track record of data can be built up and utilized.


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Not budgeting for prep work

Lastly, underestimating the amount of prep work that needs to go into a project is also very common. Whether it is a commercial project, which is ruled by a specification, or a residential repaint project, which tends to rely on meeting the expectations of your customer, the amount and type of preparation that needs to be done can still be the great unknown. This is an area where there cannot be too much communication between you and your customer because, ultimately, they make the determination between a good-enough job and a great job. Focus not only on getting the job done right, but also making it a good experience for your customer by utilizing good

Visit ©ShurTech Brands, LLC 2019/79308

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



5 pros weigh in on the best caulk for the job

It’s a part of the job some relegate to afterthought status, but if you’ve ever had a caulk perform poorly, or taken the cheap road and regretted it, you know that a caulking formula can make or break some jobs. Here, five pros weigh in on which caulks they use for a variety of applications, and why.


The owner of CHS Painting, based outside of Portland, OR, Clothier says OSI QUAD MAX is his go-to for exteriors. Proven to work well even on wet surfaces, this product also comes in 4,600-plus color matches. “Working in the Pacific Northwest has its own type of challenges on caulking with four full seasons, temperature changes, and lots of movement in siding and trim joints, which can cause water-intrusion problems,” he said. QUAD MAX has proven to be the most consistent performer for the pro, with its superior adhesion and flexibility. “It flows and levels nice in all temperatures with little to no shrinkage,” he added. “It is a little more expensive, but we think it is one of the best caulks out there.” For interiors, he uses Sherwin-Williams 950A Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulk. He says that it’s ideal for trim work with great leveling and flexibility, can stand up to moderate weather, and dries quickly.


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inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


BRIAN BEALL Pro Edge Painting (262) 581-3444


TIM BODINE Professional Wallpaper & Paint Co.


PETER WOODS Catchlight Painting


NICHOLAS PAINTER Brush & Color Eco Painting


For McHenry, IL-based Pro Edge Painting owner Brian Beall, rough weather dictates his go-to caulk for exteriors. He relies on Titebond WeatherMaster Sealant because it’s ‘heavy-bodied’ while offering plenty of ‘control and less tooling’ than water-based caulk. “It tacks up and can be painted with water-based paint within an hour; sooner in hotter conditions,” he explained It offers considerable flexibility, even after curing, which he likes for substrates that expand and contract a lot with changing weather conditions. It can also be applied in a wide range of weather conditions, from 0˚ F on up. “This is the best caulk, retailing around $7 a tube. I have my local Sherwin-Williams store carry it so that it’s readily available,” he noted. For interiors, Beall prefers Sherwin-Williams PowerHouse Siliconized Acrylic Latex Sealant. He likes the moderate price range, between $3 and $4, and how the product resists yellowing as it cures.

OSI QUAD MAX caulks are available in 4,600+ color matches.


The foreman for Catchlight Painting in West Newton, MA has been in the painting business for 13 years and, for 10 of them, he has stuck with DAP ALEX PLUS All-Purpose Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone for exterior applications such as window corners and clapboard, among others. “It’s just really easy to work with right out of the gun; easy to shape in any way. It’s a smooth and consistent product,” he said. For interiors, he likes the DAP ALEX FAST DRY Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, which the manufacturer claims is ready to paint within 20 minutes. “It’s great for when you’re trying to be productive. You can set it in and, within an hour … even less, it’s good for painting,” he added.


Sashco Big Stretch’s powerful adhesion and extreme elasticity will stick, twist, bend, compress and stretch more than 500% of original size without cracking.


Bodine’s company, Professional Wallpaper & Paint Co., serves the entire St. Louis metro area. For paint work, his company strictly does interiors. “My most-used, or go-to, caulk would be PPG TOP GUN 200,” he said. “It’s just the right amount of thickness and it grips well, but is easy to tool. It’s always consistent coming out of the tube, and it’s about $1.25 a tube in a case price; that can’t be beat.” Sometimes, when he deals with larger gaps or ones that appear to have shifted over time, he uses Sashco Big Stretch High Performance Elastic Sealant. “It takes a bit longer to dry than normal caulk, but the flexibility is incredible, and I haven’t yet seen a joint crack that I’ve applied it to.” And if he is in a hurry and needs a fast-drying product, he turns to ALLPRO Quick2Coat Sealant. “It’s a bit thicker than your average caulk, but it dries super fast,” he said.

Painter’s Austin-based Brush & Color Eco Painting’s company philosophy centers around finding the best nontoxic products on the market. “It’s easy to overlook a little tube of caulk as being a hazard. Most caulks out there have low VOC content, and can be used safely with proper ventilation and safety gear, but that does not mean they are nontoxic. It’s always a good idea to read the safety data sheet before committing to a product,” he cautioned. He uses AFM Safecoat Caulking Compound for interiors. It’s a nontoxic formula that bonds well in areas like interior window seams and baseboard trim. It’s also water resistant, flexible and easy to work with. Painter also looks to Chem Link elastomeric sealants for damp, dry or cold climates. They are solvent-free and contain no isocyanates, will not shrink when cured, and are used in a wide range of environments, even clean rooms. There are formulas for tile, brick, asphalt, concrete, wood, metal and other surfaces. -

LEFT: DAP ALEX FAST DRY is ready to paint in 20 minutes. ABOVE: DAP ALEX PLUS AllPurpose is easy to apply and tool.

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



The sky’s the limit Highly specialized rope-access painting company takes on new heights BY MEGHANN FINN SEPULVEDA You could say Rich Purnell was meant to get into the rope-access painting industry. A former professional ice climber, he always yearned for adventure. But, his desire to become a business owner trumped his passion for ice climbing, and in 2007 sparked the idea to launch BASE Painters, a highly specialized rope-access painting company. Today, Rich and his crew of experienced ropeaccess painters travel all over the country painting stadiums, roller coasters, towers, high-rise buildings and monuments while maintaining safety, precision and a commitment to protecting and preserving those iconic structures. 26

inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


How did you get into this specialized painting business?

As a young teenager, I assisted my dad on his homeremodeling jobs and would help him paint. After I graduated from high school, I moved from Indiana to Colorado to pursue an art history degree. That’s where I discovered ice climbing in the early ’90s. I would climb four or five times a week and go to school. It started as a recreational hobby, but then I began entering iceclimbing competitions and it turned into a profession. In the early to mid-2000s, I realized I needed more financial stability and wanted a change of pace. I thought about painting towers because I had a painting background and was comfortable with heights, but didn’t know how to get into the market. So I went around the Denver area, identifying structures that needed paint and sent letters offering my services. The new business exploded that first year.


What types of projects do you take on?

Our scope of work is specialized and includes coating services for high-rise buildings, lighthouses, water towers, radio antennas, stadiums, historical monuments and amusement parks. We also offer maintenance height services like caulking and hand-painted logos, banners and signage. Our clients include municipalities, general contractors, the Armed Forces, religious organizations and wireless carriers. We typically have two or three jobs going simultaneously and all are generally planned out a year in advance.


Do the insurance requirements for this type of work differ from more traditional paint contracting?


Safety is our number one priority for our crew and clients. Our painting business is specialized, and the insurance requirements are different—and considerably higher—than a residential or commercial painting company. We carry a $5-million insurance umbrella and a $1-million workers compensation policy. In addition, we must submit a safety plan for every job.


How do you recruit and train your crew?

For the first three years, I did all the physical work myself. Eventually, it became evident that I needed help. However, given the nature of the niche market, I had to find individuals who were experienced and not afraid of heights. I reached out to several of my climbing friends who had rope skills and the proper safety certifications to do the job. Today, we employ eight painters and usually increase that number to 20 in the summers, depending on the workload. All our painters are SPRAT Rope Access certified and OSHA Tower Climbing certified, and stay current with all safety requirements.


How do you find jobs?

In the beginning, I would send out postcards and fliers to advertise my services. Now, referrals come from repeat clients. I also have experience with video production from when I was ice climbing, which played a big role in the success of the business because I was able to use video to promote our services.

Where is most of your work based?

Although we are based in Arvada, CO, most of the work we do is completed in other parts of the country. Some years, all the work is completed in outlying states. We choose jobs that we can easily get to and are financially lucrative. We have a lot of work in California, and recently finished a project for California’s Great America amusement park.


All our painters are SPRAT Rope Access certified and OSHA Tower Climbing certified and stay current with all safety requirements.

What’s the process for tackling work so far from home?

Typically, we bring a trailer with all our equipment on the road, but occasionally we’ll rent the equipment we need. Each job usually requires a minimum of three to four crew members who stay onsite for the duration of the project. I also travel to each job to make sure the crew and the client are happy. Sometimes we rent a house so everyone can stay together or book hotel rooms. The cost of travel expenses is included in the bid.

What are your immediate and long-range goals for the company?


My goal is to get the right people in place, including a general manager and an estimator, and essentially have the business run itself in the next two to five years.

What recommendations do you have for someone who is considering this career field?


First, I would suggest trying rock climbing to see if you like heights. Then, go get the required certifications. Not only do you have to be comfortable in the air, you also need to be a good painter. It’s not for everyone. Finally, be prepared to work hard. The job takes great precision and skill, but it’s also fun and rewarding. The industry has tremendous potential, more than I ever dreamed it would have. -

RICH PURNELL is president and CEO of BASE Painters, headquartered in Arvada, CO. Learn more about the specialized rope-access painting and coatings projects he and his crew tackle at

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



Photo Courtesy of Estimate Rocket


How do you keep communication lines open both before and after a bid?

AARON STEININGER started painting in 1998 while attending college. He later went from applying paint to selling it to contractors as a sales rep for PPG Paints. He founded Sunlight Housepainting outside of Columbus, OH in 2008 and has grown the company from a solo shop to now employ eight+ full-time painters.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


Because the biggest objection we get on sales calls is usually price, we make a big effort to create a connection with customers before every sales call and give them reasons to feel confident we’re the company for them before we even bid their job. To do this, we use the online scheduling tool, which automatically sets up a chain of email communications with prospects. The first email goes out immediately after an appointment is scheduled. It just restates the date and time of the appointment, and notes that I will call the number they provided when I’m on my way. A second email goes out two days prior to their appointment. In addition to confirming the date and time of the appointment, we’ve customized this email to include a bit about our company history and our commitment to customer satisfaction. It also includes a checklist of things we’ll cover in the appointment —a discussion of scope, a guaranteed price, start and completion dates, and documentation of compliance. We also suggest things they might want to have handy, such as color samples and a calendar. Then I thank them for giving us this opportunity and outline our commitment to be an honest and dependable contractor. We send a third email the day before the appointment that includes 20+ questions every contractor should be able to answer. This includes questions about who will actually do the work (employees or subs), insurance issues, materials used, warranty, etc. The fact that we’re putting these questions out there before we even show up suggests that we’re not afraid of these questions because we’re doing everything aboveboard.

They also get a final reminder email one hour before my arrival. And, of course, in every email we include contact information and the means to reschedule or cancel their appointment if needed. The next step is the appointment itself. In 90–95% of cases, we prepare and provide bids on the spot. I use Estimate Rocket to build the estimates and present them on my iPad. I like it because I can incorporate changes on the fly, include any photos I take in the walk-through, and I know the math is always right. Plus, it offers automated email follow-up; the first goes out before I even leave their property, thanking them for the opportunity to bid and includes the estimate and our references.

Since adopting this approach a year ago, I’ve seen our close rates go up. Two days after the quote, another email goes out. Additional follow-up emails then go out 9, 16, 30 and 60 days after the quote. If, at any point, we seal the deal or they indicate they’re going another route, I end the email chain. The system is also set up to send a thank you email one year after the job closes. Since adopting this approach a year ago, I’ve seen our close rates go up. I think the organization and systemized communication that both and Estimate Rocket have brought to my business have helped us achieve a level of professionalism that not only helps things run more smoothly, but also gives our customers confidence that we’re an established company that really knows what they’re doing.

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Photo Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

3M™ 7500 Series Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve The 3M™ 7500 Series Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve helps keep you protected and focused on the job with premium comfort features. Designed for professionals, this reusable facepiece typically can be used for spray painting, varnishing or staining. The lightweight silicone material provides a softer feel on the face and the Cool Flow™ valve helps reduce heat buildup inside the respirator. Big projects start with solid safety plans, so give yourself the respiratory protection of a 3M™ 7500 Series Respirator.

HYDE Stir Whip® This all-purpose tool mixes even the thickest materials without stressing your drill. ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■

Low-drag design for mixing thick materials with less power and torque Flexible and uniquely designed to fit through 5-gallon pour spout and access hard-to-reach corners Quick cleanup Ideal for mixing paint, concrete, adhesives, grout, and more


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

What’s in today’s professional toolbox? HYDE® Dual Head Tip Extension This spray painting tip extension will double any painter’s productivity while also providing better coverage. Two offset tips create a spray fan twice as wide as that of a spray gun, allowing painters to spray twice as fast while also getting superior coverage. Provides a “perfect pass” with feathered overlap ■■ Lightweight, durable, and easy to clean ■■ Fits all “G” thread spray guns ■■ Uses 5 & 6 series tips ■■ Aircraft aluminum construction

Titan RX-PRO™ Airless Spray Gun With an ultra-light trigger pull and advanced ergonomic features, the Titan RX-Pro™ spray gun is packed with new technologies that ultimately increase comfort and profits for paint contractors. Rated for 3,600 PSI, it requires 30 percent less force than the closest competitive gun. In addition to the lightest trigger pull in its class, the FingerPrint Grip® can be customized to fit any hand size. Titan Infinity® Packing doubles gun life, making rebuilding as easy as reversing the seat and changing the ball (approximately $15 MSRP). Learn more at

Scotch® Painter’s Tapes

Mural Created by Matt W. Moore

We are excited to introduce an updated line of Scotch® Painter’s Tapes! The best painters know that every job is unique, but they all start the same way: with the right preparation. Prepping with a painter’s tape from Scotch® means you have a family of tapes specifically designed for your surfaces. By choosing to use the right tape, you’re choosing to end up with a better result. The best paint jobs start with Scotch® Painter’s Tape.

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT



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

Q: A:

JEFF WINTER is the VP of residential marketing for Sherwin-Williams. In his role, he communicates with contractors to better understand the products, marketing and other resources they need to effectively run their businesses. The labor shortage is one topic that comes up frequently in conversations with contractors these days, and SherwinWilliams has deployed initiatives both on and offline to help. Here is a question Winter hears often.


inPAINT | May/Jun 2019

The labor shortage makes it hard to at tract good people. Where are the best places to find quality employees?

This is a challenge for most of the contractors we talk to. Right now, skilled labor is hard to come by, so we’re finding that those who are the most successful in finding talent are hiring for attitude and then training people to their standards. In order to find these people, you have to look in different places than you did in the past. Today, the most successful companies are utilizing digital resources. This is definitely a culture shift. It used to be that you could go to your network of friends and family to find people, and now that has become a pretty shallow pool. Most companies have a Facebook presence for marketing their business to potential customers. That’s also a really good place to market your business to potential employees. Think of any social media channels you currently have for your business and use them to communicate your need for quality people and, above all, your willingness to train them for a good career. You also want to do your best to communicate exactly why becoming a painting professional is a solid career choice. We also see success with new digital employment sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Many painting contractors are overlooking these resources because they think these sites are for office jobs. The reality is that today’s younger workforce—those digital natives —are more technologically inclined, and they’re starting their job search online, so you want to be there, too. Start with a posting on a job board such as Indeed. It’s an employment marketplace where you can let people know you’re hiring and looking for great people to join your team. Since you’re hiring to train those new to the field, you may have to drop the ‘looking for three years of painting experience’ part of your employment ad. There just aren’t many people that can check that box, but there are motivated prospects who can become happy and productive employees.

The thought of hiring someone who doesn’t have painting experience can be a little scary, especially to legacy painting companies who have, for decades, found people through referrals and/or an internal network. Today, hiring requires a perspective shift for these employers who need to ask themselves, “If I am unable to find someone with traditional experience, what are the traits that I would accept as applicable experience, which might even be outside of the painting trade?” Another way contractors have seen success with finding quality employees is in paying attention to the people they interact with every day. Think of that friendly person at the bagel shop, the server that is particularly helpful, the customer service employee who effectively anticipates your needs without you needing to ask. We interact with people all the time and some of them could bring great customer service qualities to the job. Finally, contractors need to be prepared to get new hires up to speed. It’s important to develop training and mentorship programs that encourage a positive employee culture and personal growth. Your new painter may have found you through technology, but he or she values an inclusive workplace that is more than a job. Contractors can also look to online resources for help. For example, is a learning system developed by Sherwin-Williams to help onboard the next generation of painting professionals. Using the platform, painters new to the trade can start to learn the basics and keep track of their progress. While it may seem difficult to find the right fit for your company, the labor shortage is only part of the challenge in play today. Knowing how to adjust expectations around experience, train new hires, and look in the right places will be the keys to building a team to support your growing business.

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT




What, Where & When

PDCA Page 7


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


26–28: Apartmentalize, Denver, CO

S E P TE M B E R 7

10–12: 21st Century Building Expo & Conference, Charlotte, NC


18–20: 2019 PDCA Commercial Forum, Sedona, AZ


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



1 & 2: 2019 Southeast Building Conference, Kissimmee, FL


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


19–22: NPMA National Education Seminar, Washington, DC


14–19: IDAL 2019 Convention, Charlotte, NC


17 & 18: PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, Elgin, IL

N OV E M B E R 11

6–8: Remodeling Show | DeckExpo, Louisville, KY


Taking place July 26 & 27 in Philadelphia, this event provides residential paint contractors the opportunity to come together to share experiences and learn from each other. This year’s event will focus on topics including technology in the workplace, company culture, outsourcing marketing, sales systems and strategies, and more. In addition Jeff Winter, VP of residential marketing at Sherwin-Williams, will present on ‘Paint industry trends and insights on the changing workforce.’ This informative talk will provide an overview of the industry trends from the world’s largest coatings manufacturer, as well as insights on the changing workforce that you can use to drive your business results in 2019 and beyond.

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2019


Increase productivity and profits with new sprayer technology


More precise and efficient equipment saves time Every contractor knows that increased productivity usually drives higher profits. But increasing productivity doesn’t always require adding more employees. In fact, the right equipment can increase productivity without adding a single new employee. Each year, new technology is introduced that provides new features to help boost productivity. Even if it only saves minutes to an hour each day, these increments will add up so you complete jobs faster. For example, some new airless sprayers have high-speed cleaning modes to reduce cleaning time— resulting in more time for spraying, thus higher productivity. And new lightweight, ergonomically designed airless spray guns help reduce fatigue so painters can perform at maximum productivity throughout an entire day. Also, new low-pressure spray tips can now be used on high-volume and largesurface-area jobs; they use less coating and reduce overspray for less mess and shorter cleanup times. Select new sprayers now provide access to a mobile app that works with Bluetooth-equipped sprayers to track a sprayer’s location and hourly productivity information for each job. Features like this can reduce the number of visits an owner or foreman makes to jobsites so they have more time to focus their attention on improving other areas of the business. New technology helps avoid unexpected equipment failures The saying “time is money” is especially true for professional contractors. All too often, ongoing equipment maintenance is ignored, which helps create the potential for unexpected equipment failure, resulting in downtime. This could cause a missed deadline that can hurt your business’ reputation and can potentially even eliminate the chances for future job opportunities. With advanced technologies available on some of the newer spray equipment, staying current with regular maintenance is easier than ever before and can help maximize uptime and ROI on the initial equipment

Photo Courtesy of Graco

unning a profitable contracting business takes a significant investment in time, effort and patience. As a business owner, it’s important to make strategic decisions to maximize profit and keep the business growing. This is especially true with equipment that is relied on every day.

investment. The previously mentioned mobile app provides a way to capture in-field maintenance requests along with the ability to schedule regular maintenance. In addition to new pumps that provide longer life than ever before, some new airless sprayers provide plug-and-play, no-tools replacement pumps for faster, easier servicing on the jobsite to prevent downtime. Select guns even allow painters to replace all wear parts in seconds with a single cartridge without using any tools. These user-friendly repair technology solutions help you finish jobs faster with less hassle. Expanding your offerings through new technology New equipment can also provide the path to grow your business by expanding your service line to secure more applications on each job. For painting contractors, the best approach may be to add the capability to spray other materials besides primer and paint, such as texture and Level 5 finishes or fireproofing applications. While this may seem like a daunting proposition, select new texture sprayers provide the power and performance to spray drywall mud and more viscous materials as well as primers and paints. By offering more applications, you can assure that all surfaces are properly prepped, while experiencing added efficiencies by keeping a full schedule, staying on jobs longer, and reducing transportation costs—further increasing your profitability. An expanded capability set is also more attractive to general contractors, as it helps streamline jobsite information to deliver the customer’s expectations, while using fewer resources. Increased productivity and profitability can be one simple equipment upgrade away—especially if a new piece of equipment is already being considered. Stay on top of new equipment and technologies when visiting your local paint store and browsing online. There is a good chance the equipment needed to transform your business is waiting there for you.

DAN JOHNSON joined Graco in 2007 and now serves as the Global Total Markets Manager for the company’s Pro Paint segment, where he is responsible for developing and implementing market development plans across the professional paint industry.

May/Jun 2019 | inPAINT


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