inPAINT Magazine - Sep/Oct 2021

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SEP/O C T 2021




Pros talk abrasives for sandblasting and hand-sanding Project snapshots: Challenges and coating choices Build a website that serves your business Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



CABINET: Back to Nature S340-4

BEHR PREMIUM® Cabinet & Trim Interior Enamel dries to a hard durable finish and its tack-free film keeps doors from sticking together after just two hours¸. It has excellent flow & leveling and is ideal for use on cabinets, trim, doors, windows, shutters and woodwork. Available in Satin and Semi-Gloss finishes. For more information, visit Contact a BEHR PRO® Representative by visiting

Darker colors may require additional dry time. Longer dry time required in cooler temperatures and higher humidity.


390 PC CORDLESS Airless Paint Sprayer



3300 psi / 0.47 gpm /.021 Max Tip







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



“Knowledge can be borrowed but wisdom cannot because wisdom comes from experience.” —Dr. Debasish Mridha, American physician, philosopher and author


s we roll into the fall season, much of my free time is being spent harvesting the bounty of my sizable vegetable garden. By the time you read this, the onions will be pulled and cured; bushels of tomatoes will have been converted into quarts (upon quarts) of sauce; the garlic will be dehydrated or root cellared; I’ll have dried too many herbs (again); the potatoes will be showing signs that they’re ready to be dug and, because I’m the only person in the house who likes beets and chard, I’ll also be looking for neighbors to share the bounty. Fortunately, I don’t have to look too far for takers. Those ‘takers’ often remark that I’m so good with plants. I smile and take the praise but, truth be told, while I do a decent job of caring for the plants, what I’ve learned to excel at over the years is prep. Like painting, gardening requires you to have a clear understanding of what the desired result is; have a handle on what the working conditions are; be thoughtful about what prep efforts you will or won’t make; and be selective about the materials that will help you achieve your desired result. Like painters, gardeners have a lot of ideas about which methods and materials work best. ‘Throw a couple of match heads in the hole for the biggest peppers ever,’ is a bit of wisdom I’ve often heard, but never found success heeding. What does work for me is growing peppers in a container on a hot deck. To me, that’s a clear reminder that, “Knowledge can be borrowed but wisdom cannot … ” This issue of inPAINT is packed with wisdom from seasoned pros and manufacturers on prep products and processes. From their preferred abrasives and sanding techniques to eliminating dust and masking, it’s an interesting collection of preferences and approaches amassed through years of experience. Hopefully, you can borrow a bit of the shared knowledge to build and hone your own base of wisdom. As always, we’re grateful you’re joining us for another issue of inPAINT. If time permits, reach out and let us know what you like and what you’d like to see more of in the future. Like you, we’re eager to learn and grow wiser. 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


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

This issue’s contributing experts Rick Bush Festool Peter Chacon Pacific Western Painting & Construction PUBLISHER Edward McAdams MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Haar DESIGN Carl Bezuidenhout CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR Cindy Puskar



Brian Coon Painters District Council No. 30 Brian Denlinger Denlinger Painting and Maintenance Katie Jacome PCA Noah Kanter Host of Advice from a Young Tradesman Matt Kuehlhorn Kooler Homes Patti LaPorte Shurtape Technologies Jennifer and Nathan Marmor CertaPro Painters of the West Valley, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale Chris Moore Elite Business Advisors Martin Morgan ProPainter Websites Doug Morris Pacific Western Painting & Construction Justin Mumma Mumma’s Painting Sam Pillar Jobber Ryan Powell RYKA General Contractor

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

Miguel Ramirez Smith & Company Painting Angela Ryan Ware Malcome Ryan Thomas Painters USA Christian Tirado Seamless Drywall Suzanne Vickberg Deloitte LLP

©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.

Joe Wixom Fetzer Architectural Woodworking Chad Woodward Premier Painting Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT


inPAINT® Sep/Oct 2021



Pros and product experts confer on assessment, strategies and execution

Website DOs and DON’Ts


Tips for building a website that works for Google and your business

Pro Picks

4 Pros on abrasives for sandblasting and hand-sanding

Project Snapshots

Challenges, coatings and color choices on 4 projects

14 DEPARTMENTS 8 The News Industry ins and outs

22 26

Courtesy of Painters USA

Proper Prep Key to Success

10 5 Good Questions Architectural woodwork pro on choosing stains 12 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

13 Trend in Focus What it takes to attract and retain talent: it’s not all about money 30 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events 31 Bottom Line E-learning a pivotal tool in the professionalization of the painting industry

Cover Photo Courtesy of Crash of Rhinos Painting; This Page’s Background Photo Courtesy of the PCA 6

inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

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 or call (855) PAINT09.



Ultra-white, ultra-cool T Researchers at Purdue University recently developed an ultra-white paint that pushes the limits on how white paint can be. It is formulated with a very high concentration of barium sulfate, which makes it very reflective—thus, very white. In addition, the barium sulfate particles are all different sizes, which allows the paint to scatter more of the light spectrum from the sun. The paint’s whiteness also means that it is the coolest on record. Reflecting up to 98.1% of sunlight—compared with the 95.5% of sunlight reflected by the researchers’ previous ultra-white paint—exterior surfaces coated with ultra-white have been shown to maintain a temperature 8° F below their surroundings under strong sunlight. At night, the same surfaces remain 19° F cooler than their surroundings.

New sandable primer T Dunn-Edwards recently introduced DECOPRIME Interior Cabinet, Door & Trim Primer. Ideal for use on new wood cabinets, doors and trim, this ultralow-VOC, water-based primer can also be applied over previously painted wood, hardboard and wallboard surfaces that are in good condition. Fast-drying, DECOPRIME sands easily without gumming up sandpaper, providing a smooth, uniform surface for maximum adhesion of topcoat.

Extend the painting season T Keeping jobs on schedule, even when rain or extreme temperatures are in the forecast, just got a little easier thanks to a new coating from Sherwin-Williams. Latitude Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint is formulated with the company’s ClimateFlex Technology, which provides a smooth application in extreme temperatures ranging from 35° to 120° F for air, surface and materials. Plus, it provides exceptional early moisture resistance in as little as 30 minutes, even at 35° F. Available in flat, satin and gloss sheens. 8

inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

You can take it with you T From brushes, spray tips, tape, paint pails and screwdrivers to caulking guns, extension poles, phones and water bottles, The Handy Painters Tool Bag Deluxe makes getting everything you need to the jobsite in just one trip easy. Made from ultra-durable, water-resistant materials, the convenient tote is spacious enough to carry an arsenal of tools including 10–12 brushes and larger accessories. Shoulder and hand straps make for easy transport and numerous storage compartments keep tools organized and protected as you move from site to site.

Jobber integrates With Google Local Services T Booking interested customers is a bit more manageable thanks to a new integration between Jobber and Google’s Local Services Ads. According to Sam Pillar, cofounder and CEO of Jobber, “A lot of small business owners are on the road most of the day and can’t respond to new leads quickly, resulting in lost revenue and a bad experience for customers. By integrating with Google’s Local Services Ads, Jobber users won’t have to worry about bottlenecking the booking process and missing out on high-quality leads. Instead, new jobs can be automatically booked right into their calendars. The integration also makes the booking process easier and more modern for homeowners, so they can book services with confidence.” In addition, Jobber users only pay if a customer books a job through the ad.

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New exterior acrylic latex paint features lifetime warranty T Diamond Vogel recently expanded their exterior architectural coatings line to include Palisade Ultra Premium Acrylic Latex Paint. Formulated to deliver an incredibly durable, long-lasting finish, it offers exceptional flow and leveling by brush, roll or spray and enhanced flexibility defends against cracking and peeling. Advanced acrylic technology delivers exceptional fade resistance, providing years of uniform and beautifully vibrant color. Suitable for commercial and residential projects, it can be applied in temperatures as cool as 35° F and is backed by a lifetime warranty. Available in matte, satin and semi-gloss sheens.

Strip up to 5 layers 5x faster T SamaN recently introduced Ultimate Stripper, a new gel formula that makes quick work of stripping latex and oil-based paints, varnish, epoxy—and even glue. Capable of removing up to 5 coats on interior/ exterior wood, concrete and metal surfaces 5x faster than many popular brands, this formulation does not contain methylene chloride. Available in 1-quart and 1-gallon cans.

New water-based stripper for tilt-up and concrete T Tilt Wash PRO, a new low-toxicity, professional strength, non-caustic cleansing solution from Dumond, makes easy work of stripping bond breakers. Specifically engineered to remove barrier-type form release agents from tilt-up or off-form concrete, Tilt Wash PRO helps to ensure the successful adhesion of paints, coatings and sealers. Available in concentrate and premixed, ready-to-use formulations in 5-gallon containers or 275-gallon IBC totes. Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



1 JOE WIXOM is the president and CEO at Fetzer Architectural Woodworking. One of the largest millworkers in the nation, the company works with architects, designers and contractors to create and install elegant woodwork in commercial, institutional and residential settings.




What are your top considerations when choosing an interior stain? There are a couple of key considerations; the first of which isn’t our choice. Often, architects will spec a stain for certain performance characteristics or appearance. Right now, there’s a lot of demand for white oak with the flattest, lowest sheen possible. There are only a few ways to achieve that. In those instances, and others, customer desire and specs drive the choice. Beyond that, we look for key performance criteria, which vary by job. We constantly test finishes to see how they stand up to certain chemicals. That way, we know that if a surface is likely to be exposed to coffee, soda, certain cleaning agents, or even nail polish remover, we’re picking a stain that will hold up. We also test for durability. If a retail customer anticipates a million hands on their fixtures annually, we know we’re picking something that will last. . How much does the type of wood influence your choice of stain? The substrate is critical. We’re fortunate to have a team of seasoned employees who are well-versed in the nuances of different species of wood. They know that if we’re working with maple, giving it a shot of clear finish is no big deal. But if the customer wants to add a cherry tint, they know they must seal it before adding the color or it will get splotchy. Whereas, if they’re working with oak, they can spray the color directly onto the surface. Each species requires a different process. The material is the biggest consideration. You must understand how it works before you can finish it.

2 3

What drives your choice to use oil- v. water-based stains? Traditionally, we have used a proprietary lacquerbased finish as a topcoat, but water-based topcoats are definitely increasing in importance and popularity among customers looking for eco-friendly choices.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021


That said, there are projects where the desired look pushes us to oil-based options. When a customer wants an opulent, higher-sheen finish, we go with tried-andtrue oil-based options like Nova USA Wood Product’s ExoShield Premium Wood Stain, which produces water- and acid-resistant finishes that enhance wood stability and reduces cracking or warping. In the end, customer preference—be it environmental or appearance—is the biggest driver.


What is the most common stain mistake pros make? Not letting a stain or finish cure between coats. Finishes are the last step of every job and time is often tight. But if you rush it, you end up with subpar work. Before we sign contracts, we make sure customers understand that the finish they want requires a certain amount of time to properly cure. We outline that in the contract and, if we can, we offer alternatives. For example, if they can guarantee us dimensions for a piece, we’ll produce and finish it at our shop and ship it when ready. If doing the work off-site is not an option, we’ll do the work then, if needed, send out team members with exemplary ‘touch-up’ skills to remedy problems. But these are our best guys and there’s a cost to that as well as a proprietary process we use that expedites the curing. Not every business can offer options, so I understand how work ends up not looking ideal. But I think the conversation and contract info on cure times is a great way to avoid subpar finishes.


What’s the most exciting recent development in interior stains? The advancement of water-based products. There’s a tremendous amount of money being spent in this area and advances are coming fast. It’s sort of like LEED buildings 20 years ago. Back then, you paid a premium to get it and today it’s a given. I think waterbased stains will soon become a given product selection.



Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



The power of praise Employees are


What to watch

more likely to stay when regularly acknowledged for good work.

Here are the top 10 most-watched videos in the PCA’s Trade Best Practices series: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Painting Industry Taping Cleaning Masking Spackling


6. Brushing 7. Sanding 8. Rolling 9. Caulking 10. Planning and Sequencing

Marketing spend trends

The entire 15-video series is available for free at

When asked to rank the marketing channels they use most, here’s how 1,000 small business owners responded:

Full corn moon hues

Summer 2021’s final full moon made an appearance on September 20th. Dubbed the Full Corn Moon by Native Americans, it coincides with the annual corn harvest. Here’s how several paint manufacturers offered a tribute to corn in their palettes:

Behr Roasted Corn P290-3

Benjamin Moore Corn Husk 307

Dunn-Edwards Corn Harvest DE5348

PPG Paints Corn Silk PPG12-01

California Paints Buttered Popcorn 0843


Talk about thinking ahead Trend forecasters at WGSN and color experts at Coloro predict that Digital Lavender—otherwise known as Coloro: 134-67-16—will be the color of the year for 2023.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021




Email marketing

Direct mail


52.4% 48.3%



Print ads


Paid search



Paint is popular The 2021 U.S. Houzz & Home Study: Renovation Trends revealed that painters were one of the most common specialty service providers hired in 2020 for home renovations (14%) and that exterior paint was the most popular exterior building upgrade (20%).


Recognition key to employee retention Creating a culture of appreciation to attract and keep talent


ow, when many people are re-evaluating their priorities, recognizing employees for their contributions is more important than ever. Done right, recognition connects individuals to the basic human needs to feel valued, that our contributions matter, and that we belong. But in order to make that connection for employees, employers and managers must first connect with them.

Honoring the effort and the individual According to Suzanne Vickberg, PhD, research lead with Deloitte LLP, “In order to be effective and meaningful, employee recognition needs to work for the individual. A one-size-fits-all solution may be easier for the company, but it’s going to miss out on impact.” Citing a survey conducted by Deloitte Greenhouse Experience (The Practical Magic of ‘Thank You’) in which 16,000 professionals were asked how they want to be recognized, for what and by whom, Vickberg notes, “While there are some general preferences that hold across the board, there are some notable differences in how different employees prefer to be acknowledged and rewarded that deserve the attention of employers.” For example, while 75% of the individuals surveyed are satisfied with a ‘thank you’ for their everyday efforts, more than half prefer a verbal ‘thank you,’ and nearly a third, a ‘thank you’ in writing. In addition, employees have different preferences about the source of the recognition. “Some employees are completely content with recognition from their direct supervisor,” says Vickberg, “while others want to be acknowledged by leadership above their supervisor, and even others would rather it come from their colleagues.” And as for how that recognition is delivered, the survey found that most people prefer recognition that is either shared with a few people or delivered privately, rather than widely shared. “These subtle differences of preference have a big impact on the employee recognition experience,” she says. “Ultimately, an employer who connects with their staff to learn their individual preferences will derive greater benefits from any recognition effort they implement.”

It’s not all about the Benjamins Another finding of the Deloitte study that’s likely to come as a surprise and a relief to business owners has to do with forms of recognition. Vickberg says, “While a ‘thank you’ was sufficient for daily achievements, we were interested in how employees wanted to be recognized for significant accomplishments. Given a choice between new growth opportunities, bonuses, salary increases, or highperformance ratings, employees overwhelmingly (47%) preferred new growth opportunities. Salary increases came in at 23%, highperformance ratings at 21%, and bonuses at 10%. This is great news for employers concerned about the cost of recognition. Not only does offering new growth opportunities come at no cost, but it also validates that the individual belongs in your organization.” Build a culture, not a program According to Vickberg, the key to any recognition effort is the commitment of leadership. “In order to be meaningful, recognition must happen at all levels, all the time. If you manage managers, you need to be asking them, ‘Who’s someone who did something great this week? Did you thank them?’ Those managers and those below them will model their behavior around that and, in time, you’ll build a culture where everyone values the contributions of others.”

“ In order to be meaningful, recognition must happen at all levels, all the time.” —SUZANNE VICKBERG, DELOITTE LLP

Redirecting recognition brings rewards For Matt Kuehlhorn, owner of Kooler Homes in Gunnison, CO, building a culture of recognition has been a process. “Early on, I created the ‘Dipsh*t’ award that was presented to the person who had the most to learn. It took me a while to realize that was the wrong approach to building culture,” he says. “Recently, we changed it up and now invite employees to nominate someone who demonstrates tenacity and pushes us to be better. Dubbed the Tenaz Award, a Spanish translation of tenacious, it’s presented quarterly and winners get a trophy and a $200 tool voucher. I’m planning to recognize all the winners at the end of the year but I’m still nailing down the details.” Two quarters into the new effort, Kuehlhorn says it’s been well received by the team. “They appreciate the opportunity to acknowledge the good work done by their peers, and it definitely contributes to our sense of team.” Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT


Tips from pros and product experts BY BRIAN SODOMA


ros know there are many different paths to great prep but, at the end of the day, all strategies, tactics and tools involved must come together to create a clean surface with some bite for optimum adhesion. That said, some steps and processes are indeed universal. Sanding or de-glossing, proper masking, and an accurate upfront assessment of the surface are still essentials. At the same time, most pros have some unique twists on how they tackle the prep process as a whole. Here, pros and product experts share what it takes to achieve flawless prep and how to avoid common pitfalls that may lead to coating failures.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

Studying the coating and the surface Successful prep weighs what a specific coating needs for the best adherence, while also addressing the current condition of a surface. Knowing the capabilities of the coating is where Brian Coon, a Painters District Council No. 30 pro in Peoria, IL, likes to start. Coon consults the technical data sheet (TDS) of a coating for initial guidance on prep for every job. After studying the TDS, he then draws on his experience with a wide range of surfaces. “You have to understand the products you’re using first,” he said, “but it’s also about remembering failures and successes from the past.” For Coon, the drive for more water-based coatings and primers through the years has posed some challenges, especially for jobs where he may have to strip thick lacquer or oil-based coatings and replace them with a water-based primer and/or coating. Sometimes, he has even seen specs requiring a water-based primer under an oil-based lacquer for the topcoat, which, depending on the surface condition, may not work well. If the surface needs more sanding and primer grip, he’ll often suggest an oil-based primer. Some coatings also call for chemical products to strip and dull the surface instead of sanding, Coon has found. If the surface needs

Courtesy of Festool


a more aggressive approach to either fully strip a paint or open up the pores of wood, for example, he’ll alter course. He may start with the de-glosser, but he’ll incorporate some light sanding to better assure primer and topcoat adhesion. “You have to watch for signs of anything that could cause a failure, and don’t assume it will all be okay,” he added. “I will make sure to test areas before I paint to make sure I’m getting a good hold. If we have our doubts, we adjust with a different primer or more surface sanding, or whatever we think is needed. We don’t think twice about it.”

“ You have to understand the products you’re using first, but it’s also about remembering failures and successes from the past.” —BRIAN COON, PAINTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL NO. 30 Sanding and grit progression In situations where a heavy glossy coating needs to be removed, even a seasoned pro’s first instinct might be to start with an aggressive 60- or 80-grit sandpaper or power-sanding disc. Rick Bush, product marketing manager for Festool, has found that being too aggressive too soon with an abrasive is a common mistake even experienced painters make. He recommends starting with a very fine grit, a 180 or 220, to first test the level of sanding a surface needs. “If you grab that 80 grit, it can be a time-consuming mistake,” Bush warned. “You may be cutting into the surface and going too deep. Then, you will spend more time trying to get the scratches off.” Miguel Ramirez, a crew leader for OR-based Smith & Company Painting, takes a less-is-more approach to sanding and grit progression, particularly with surfaces like wood doors. For those, he prefers to use softer 180 and 220 grits as much as possible. “If I have an older door with a bunch of paint runs, I may drop lower to a 160, but I’m careful because I don’t want to deal with scratch marks later,” Ramirez said. Coon swears by his SurfPrep sander to open up pores in wood, trim and even scuff drywall for primer or a topcoat, but he is careful about grit progression as well. If he’s dealing with a surface with a thick, oil-based coating with paint peel, he’s confident 80 grit is the place to start. But he’s not above testing with a finer 120, 160 or 180 first. And on trim, in general, he rarely drops below a 120 or 180. On most metal, a very fine sanding sponge usually does the trick.

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.

Courtesy of Brian Coon, Painters District Council No. 30

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with Globally Sourced Components 800-553-9053

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“ ... I’ve found that just dipping the sandpaper in water occasionally helps to clean off any caking on the paper and it helps to take the paint off easier, too.”

Courtesy of Festool


Masking Masking off sections of a wall for clean lines and using bulk plastic to protect surfaces, furniture and other parts of the job is also part of the prep conversation. You’ll find your share of long-time pros who only mask off furniture, floors and obvious large items, but then opt to cut in cleanly on edges and corners without taping them off. But as the industry grapples with a labor shortage, company owners and seasoned pros are tasked with teaching less-seasoned employees taping and masking basics, said Patti LaPorte, director of product marketing for Shurtape Technologies, makers of FrogTape. Here, she offers a few tape tips for new painters in the field: ■ Wipe down surfaces, then make sure the surface is dry before applying tape ■ Use a premium multipurpose tape that prevents paint bleed to avoid touch-ups later ■ Use a 5-in-1 tool or a credit card to press the tape’s edges to the surface ■ Remove the tape before the paint is fully dry ■ Store tape properly in a case so its edges aren’t damaged, compromising adhesion 16

inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

Courtesy of Shurtape Technologies

Eliminating dust Dust is a barrier to adhesion and can even factor into an abrasive’s performance and wear. Bush advises pros to develop a dust-management system, both at the tool/sander level and for the overall job. Festool is known for its dust-mitigating systems that work with a variety of power sanders, but it has also advanced abrasive technologies to effectively channel out dust to minimize loading and extend the life and performance of abrasives. Its Granat abrasive is its best-seller with pros around the country for this reason. When the disc design is coupled with Festool’s jetstream technology on its sanders, greater airflow keeps a Granat sanding pad cooler, Bush added. “That large center hole in the abrasive pad and the holes around it create airflow and make the abrasive pad cooler. Heat is the enemy of abrasives. Airflow is key,” he noted. Ramirez uses vacuum systems on his power sanders and even has protocols in place for crews to vacuum surfaces after sanding an area of a job, followed by wipe downs with damp cloths. When hand-sanding, the pro has even developed a technique where he dips sandpaper in water periodically to minimize dust and reduce heat on the paper. “I don’t use a lot, but I’ve found that just dipping the sandpaper in water occasionally helps to clean off any caking on the paper and it helps to take the paint off easier, too,” he added.

LaPorte also says many pros, even seasoned ones, could use a few tips when it comes to tape selection. Choose a tape based on the time you need it to stay on the surface and the type of surface to which it will be applied, she emphasized. You want to avoid using a 14-day tape in a production setting, for example, where it may only need to adhere for a few hours. “I’ll see someone using a blue (high adhesion) tape when they’re masking something off in a production situation where a less-expensive orange tape could be used. Pick a tape based on the job requirements and don’t spend more than you need to,” she said.

Choose a tape based on the time you need it to stay on the surface and the type of surface to which it will be applied. —PATTI LAPORTE, SHURTAPE TECHNOLOGIES A final note about tools and strategies With experience, every pro builds a strategy for assessing a surface and coating, and then becomes comfortable with certain abrasives, tapes and other tools to help them achieve their prep goals for each unique job. Learning from past work is more valuable than having the latest tool or gadget, Coon emphasized. While the seasoned veteran is open to new ideas and tool advancements, he says those newer to the field should focus on a strategy that works for them, first and foremost. Coon advises, “Find a system and stick with it, and only explore other options when you absolutely need to. You want to avoid wasting time and money trying different things when it’s not necessary.” -

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Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT


Painting contractor website

DOs & DON’Ts

Tips to impress Google and attract potential customers BY MARTIN MORGAN


hanks to a seemingly unlimited number of website-building platforms, it’s now easier than ever to create a new website. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to build one that is going to best serve your business. The good news is that there are several things you can do—as well as not do—to create a website that appeals to potential customers and Google search algorithms. Here are some tips for building a site that works for both.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

iStock. All Other Photos Courtesy of Pro Painter Websites DO make it obvious what you do When a potential customer visits your website in a quest to find someone to paint their house, they are going to give you about five seconds to show them that you offer the services they are looking for. Make sure they can find what they are looking for quickly! To accomplish that, use the words Painting Contractor in your website header (the section at the very top of the page), include text with Paint, Painting or Painting Contractor over your feature images at the top, and provide an easy-to-see Services drop-down menu. Be sure to look at your website on a smartphone and tablet to make sure it’s immediately apparent what your company does on those platforms. If it’s not, consider a redesign.

DON’T make it hard to find your service area This goes hand in hand with the previous DO. I can’t tell you how many painting contractor websites I have looked at that made it difficult to find the area they serve or that do not even include their service area on the home page. This is a big mistake! Include the towns and cities that you serve in several places on your home page. Put them in the header if you can (if it doesn’t look overstuffed). Use them in the copy. Add a map that shows the coverage area. If a visitor needs more than a second to figure out if you operate in their area or not, they’ll quickly move on to the next website.

DO include a significant amount of quality content You’ve probably heard the marketing slogan content is king. When it comes to websites and how Google judges their quality, that statement is undeniably true. While only a handful of Google employees know exactly what factors matter most to the company’s search algorithm, many search engine optimization (SEO) experts can point to the technical aspects of SEO becoming less important while content is becoming more important, according to their years of research. So, what does that mean for painting contractors? Write about what you know, and especially your services. Create a separate page for each service you offer. Try to put 300 words or more on each page. If you already have a page for every service you offer, break them down further if you can. Break down house painting into interior and exterior painting pages. Then break down interior painting to individual room pages: kitchen, bath, bedroom … Stuck? Think about all the questions that customers ask you, and use the answers as content to include on your website. Build a FAQs page if it makes sense. Not only will this look good in Google’s eyes, but you might also find you are having to answer questions on the phone much less often because potential customers found the answers on your website.

It’s important to remember that Google evaluates websites for credibility. One of the key ways it does that is by scanning its content. DO request external links to your website Another key way that Google determines credibility is the number of inbound links a website gets from other websites. It makes sense, right? If there are a lot of websites that link to yours, it suggests your website is important and credible. How do you build these links? Ask anybody you partner with to include a link to your website on theirs—general contractors, builders, rental companies, real estate agents, etc. Ask organizations that you are a part of—industry organizations, local business organizations, any not-for-profit associations you may support—to post a link to your website. DON’T fall for link-building schemes If you are searching on the internet for how to quickly build links to your website, don’t believe anyone that tells you they can get you dozens, or hundreds, of links within days. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. They may get you links but, when Google catches on, they will see all those links as bad and they may even penalize your website permanently.

While you can earn points with Google with content and links, the best way to earn points with potential customers is with images. Show off your work!

DO post great images While you can earn points with Google with content and links, the best way to earn points with potential customers is with images. Show off your work! Include as many high-quality images as you can on your home and services pages. If possible, create a gallery full of images. Potential customers really like to see that you’ve already done the job (hopefully multiple times) that they are going to ask you to do for them.

Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT


DO link all your online accounts First and foremost, make sure you have a link to your website on your Google My Business (GMB) profile and vice versa. Also include links to any social media accounts on your website and link back to your site from those accounts. As mentioned earlier, external links matter and links from GMB and Facebook are among the strongest you can have.

Include as many reviews and testimonials as you can … especially the ones that are descriptive and have substance. Reviews that mention a great customer experience are especially impactful … DO include reviews and testimonials In addition to images of jobs similar to the one they are considering hiring you for, viewers like to read reviews from happy customers. Include as many reviews and testimonials as you can on your website. Especially the ones that are descriptive and have substance. Ask every happy customer for a review—and for permission to post it on your website. You can also post the reviews that you’ve gotten on Google or Facebook. Reviews that mention a great customer experience are especially impactful to potential customers.

MARTIN MORGAN is the marketing director for ProPainter Websites, a business dedicated to helping painting contractors enhance their digital image and get found online.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

DON’T forget to update your website Both Google and potential customers like to see recent content. That shows you are actively in business. Take pictures of every job as you complete it and post them on your website. This doesn’t have to be done every day, but don’t go more than a couple of weeks without posting something new. While new images will help you clear the ‘fresh content’ hurdle with Google, it’s also important to update text regularly. Yet another reason to be consistently asking for reviews from happy customers.

DO add calls to action Calls to action tell potential customers exactly what you want them to do; how they can contact you. But you don’t need flashing text highlighting CALL NOW! You can simply create a button with Request Quote, use text that reads Call us today at (phone number), or create a form and ask them to fill it out. And be sure to include a click-to-call feature on your mobile website. Calls to action also serve as a good reminder to post your contact info early and repeatedly throughout your site. Building a website these days is easy but building a website that searches well on Google is more difficult than it has ever been. By following these seven DOs and three DON’Ts, you can set your website up for success by including elements that will help it be found in Google search, and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will contact you once they find it. -

Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



Four pros share abrasive picks for successful prep BY BRIAN SODOMA

Courtesy of Painters USA 22

inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021



CHAD WOODWARD Premier Painting





BRIAN DENLINGER Denlinger Painting and Maintenance (319) 930-8432

JUSTIN MUMMA Mumma’s Painting

Pros knows sanding is essential for just about all prep work. While some like to stick with a single type of abrasive, we found our share of pros who are willing to experiment and try different options. That flexibility may be more important than ever as the industry continues to face a wide array of supply shortages. Here, four pros talk about some of their favorite abrasives to help them achieve successful prep.


Residential repaints and wood furniture are primary focuses for this TN-based pro, but his crews also tackle some light industrial and commercial interiors and exteriors as well. For large wood and drywall surfaces, Woodward’s preferred sanding tool is the Full Circle International Radius 360.° He likes a couple different disc options for the sander—3M Pro Grade Precision Ultra Durable Universal Hole Sanding Discs and Norton ProSand Multi-Air discs. “Both of them are clog-resistant and will take a beating, but Norton is better at not getting marred up from heat and friction. A lot of discs will get gummed up on wood, especially, but the Norton discs seem to last a little longer,” Woodward noted. He also uses RhynoGrip White Line Discs, which he says are great general-purpose abrasive discs for sanders that are widely available, so he keeps them in all of his crews’ trucks. For more detailed wood work on cabinets, doors, door frames and railings, Woodward likes 3M General Purpose Sanding Sponges as well as 3M Softback Sanding Sponges, especially for getting into corners and crevices. He also likes the Dremel Contour Sander to help him in cabinet corners and other tight spots on wood. The tool requires the unique Dremel Sanding Tubes/ Sleeves built specifically for it and he says they do a great job and come in a range of grits. (Editor’s Note: The Dremel Contour Sander has been replaced with the Multi-Max. The noted tubes for this tool are available as an accessory (MM730).)

The Painters USA team readies this expanse of previously coated steel using a Graco EcoQuip 2 Vapor Abrasive blaster with 20/40 garnet.

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Prepping heavy steel with 20/40 garnet blasting media, this Painters USA crew member minimizes dust and achieves the ideal surface profile.


Thomas is the field operations supervisor for IL-based Painters USA and a NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Certified Level 1 Coatings Inspector. His teams take on complex commercial work in his region and elsewhere around the country—chemical plants, agriculture and foodindustry facilities, airports, auto dealerships, office buildings and more. These jobs often involve stripping back old coatings from steel, wood or brick for renovations, additions and other site modifications. Painters USA must turn to pneumatic sandblasting to get the results they want on these jobs. “Our jobs usually require a significant number of mils removed in a short turnaround time,” Thomas said. “Our crews have to move fast to create the proper surface profile for the spec of that project.” For sandblasting, crews use trailer-mounted Graco EcoQuip 2 EQ200T Elite and EQ400T Elite machines. When it comes to the actual abrasive material, it’s more about availability and choosing the right type of sandblasting media. Thomas works with several suppliers in the area, including Grainger, Barton and others. Thomas’ crews use varying levels of fine to course glass garnet blasting media to achieve a high-etch on metal surfaces. He also turns to garnet for vapor-blasting applications where it’s important to keep the dust down while still getting the speed and performance garnet offers. Harsco’s Black Beauty, a coal slag abrasive, is a more aggressive option his teams use to prepare steel with heavy paint and for rust removal. Sometimes, a softer media is required. Thomas’ crews recently completed an office renovation, for example, where the customer wanted previously painted brick to now be exposed for an industrial look. For this type of job, Thomas turns to walnut shells blast media or corn cob blast media for a low- to no-etch finish. For this work, speed is often sacrificed, too. Crews need to move slowly so as not to harm the brick, grout or mortar, Thomas said.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

This IA-based pro focuses on residential repaints and new construction, but also does his share of restoration work on historical properties. This work involves its share of intricate details on wood surfaces, so Gator Premium Sanding Sponges are one of his go-to abrasives. “They’re super soft, so you can pretty much get them into any little groove or tight space,” he said. He also likes to attach Nyalox Cup and Wheel Brushes to an impact drill. The nylon bristles come in a wide range of grit options and Denlinger likes how clean the abrasives leave the wood surface when he’s done. “Sometimes when using sanding paper, there’s a tendency to push the dirt into it when sanding. The Nyalox product seems like it cleans as it goes,” he added. On interior and exterior wood in need of heavy coating removal, he likes the Diamabrush Wood, Decks, and Siding Tool. For drywall and larger wood surfaces with less detail, Denlinger uses several different power sanders. He’s not afraid to experiment with different disc abrasives in these situations. He counts Norton Paper Discs as a great option for his circular sanders and he was recently impressed with Diablo Hook & Lock discs on his orbital hand sanders. He also likes the Full Circle International Radius 360° sander and its Level 360 Sanding Discs between paint coats on drywall. Brian Denlinger used a Diamabrush Wood, Decks, and Siding Tool to remove decades' worth of paint from this historic home, restoring it to its original beauty.


This MD-based pro has a strong background in multifamily interiors and exteriors, but today focuses primarily on residential repaints, kitchen cabinet refinishes, and he also sees some commercial work. For wood cabinets and trim, Mumma loves his SurfPrep sander. He likes the SurfPrep Foam Disc pads because their squishy feel makes it easier to get into grooves and tight areas. For drywall, he uses a DEWALT drywall sander with Norton Sanding Discs to scuff the surface for a coating. He recently refinished a staircase where he had to change the color from a dark finish to a light one, which required heavy sanding. For that, a palm sander with Gator Stick-On Sanding Discs did the trick. “Sometimes you have those jobs where it’s a really heavy removal and you spend a lot of time sanding because you need to completely clear the old coating off. The palm sander and the Gator discs do a great job,” he said. -

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

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

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Robson Ranch active adult community repaint

Photos Courtesy of Dunn-Edwards

Location: Eloy, AZ Paint contractor: Jennifer and Nathan Marmor Owners, CertaPro Painters of the West Valley, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale Time frame: Three months Challenges: ■ Creating a schedule for a multipurpose venue that accounted for planned events ■ Numerous stakeholders including HOA board members and commercial building owners ■ Remote location for product delivery ■ Resident-occupied location

Dunn-Edwards coating and colors: EVERSHIELD Ultra-Premium Exterior Paint in:

Almond Latte

Big Stone Beach



Dark Sepia

Chocolate Chunk

Graham Cracker





Rocky Ridge


Weathered Brown

DEC756 26

Dusty Dream


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021


Tea Bag


Pro product comment: We selected EVERSHIELD on this project due to the quality of the product and the fantastic coverage it provides. We love the flat sheen because of how great it looks on stucco and how well it holds up in our desert heat and sun. And using the semi-gloss on the doors and shutters really made them look brand new.

“ The closest Dunn-Edwards store was about 38 minutes away and with us getting crews down there from Phoenix, it was important the product was delivered on time so crews could get right to work when they got there.” —JENNIFER MARMOR, CERTAPRO PAINTERS OF THE WEST VALLEY, PARADISE VALLEY AND SCOTTSDALE




“ The project was a success because of the amount of coordination, checks and double-checks all parties involved initiated. Dunn-Edwards was always available to offer guidance on best application practices and product specs.” —DOUG MORRIS, PACIFIC WESTERN PAINTING & CONSTRUCTION

Photos Courtesy of Dunn-Edwards

Aviara Seven Community’s Sanderling Townhomes exterior repaint Location: Carlsbad, CA Paint contractor: Doug Morris, director of operations Peter Chacon, master paint foreman Pacific Western Painting & Construction Time frame: Completed in two phases running June to September 2020 and December 2020 to March 2021 Challenges: ■ Extensive full repaint of 41 building and common area structures ■ Multiple substrates ■ Resident-occupied location ■ 20 colors required detailed coordination

Dunn-Edwards coatings and colors: EVERSHIELD Ultra-Premium Exterior Paint in:

Wooden Peg


Weathered Brown


Vintage Ephemera




Trade Winds



Downing to Earth

Pale Beach



Play on Gray

Bay Salt

Renwick Brown

Bison Beige

Old Mill







Fine Grain

San Miguel Blue

Swiss Coffee

Royal Red Flush

Northern Territory



Modern Ivory





ARISTOSHIELD Ultra-Premium Interior/Exterior Paint in: Pike Lake


Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



3 Residential bathroom remodel Location: Central Florida Paint contractor: Ryan Powell, chief operations officer RYKA General Contractor Time frame: Six weeks Challenges: ■ Delays in materials and high demand for projects to be completed ■ A mold and mildew remediation process KILZ & Behr coatings and color: KILZ Mold & Mildew Interior/Exterior Primer BEHR ULTRA SCUFF DEFENSE Interior Paint in: BEFORE

Silver Bullet


Photos Courtesy of RYKA Backstory: A New York resident bought a house sight unseen in Florida. After a video call and providing design guidance and expertise to help the owner achieve her dream home makeover, she awarded RYKA the opportunity to do some major renovations on her entire home including this bathroom.

Pro product comment: It is critical that when there is any sign of mold or mildew, it is always effectively removed from the surface and that the water situation that caused the mold or mildew damage is appropriately remediated as well. After that step, we apply KILZ Mold & Mildew Interior/Exterior Primer, which contains an EPA-registered mildewcide, to prevent mold and mildew growth on the primer film. It is ideal for spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.


inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021

“ We are confident that the client will love this remodel for years to come because we took zero shortcuts to make this bathroom project a success.” —RYAN POWELL, RYKA GENERAL CONTRACTOR



Photos Courtesy of Behr

Seismic Software facility renovation/repaint Location: San Diego, CA Paint contractor: General Contractor: Burger Construction Subcontractor: Quality Painting and Wallcovering Project Architect: Angela Ryan, director interior architecture and design, Ware Malcomb Time frame: Ongoing (Phase II starting soon)

Pro product comment: The paint solution that helped provide the comfort of home with the durability and cleanability of a high-quality commercial project’s walls was BEHR Premium Plus.

“ The focus of the project was to draw people back to the office with a fun, collaborative workspace. The materials and BEHR products sourced for the Seismic office design help create a welcoming, hospitality-like feel and promote employee comfort. Our design focuses on flexibility to support Seismic in their future business needs.” —ANGELA RYAN, WARE MALCOMB

Behr coating and colors: BEHR Premium Plus Paint in:

Diamonds Therapy




Silver Marlin


Night Club


Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT



ADVERTISER INDEX 3M Page 11 Behr Page 2 Datacolor Page 17

What, Where & When

FrogTape Page 21 Graco Page 3 KILZ Back Cover Mi-T-M Page 15




5 1 7 6

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




19–22: Commercial Painting Industry Association Leadership Conference, Palm Coast, FL


21–23: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV Oct 21–Feb 17: Estimate Rocket’s Vision Conference



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


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


28 & 29: EPIC 2021, Las Vegas, NV


PaintCare Page 7

October 21, 2021 – February 17, 2022

27–29: 6th Annual Painting Profits Summit, Weston, FL

2–4: PCA EXPO, Orlando, FL

If you’re looking to create a highly strategic plan to increase sales and profits for the next year, Estimate Rocket’s Vision Conference is your source for insight and guidance. A training program for your company’s executive and sales teams that trains decision-makers, the conference is free and includes 1-hour sessions (every other Thursday) that focus on high-level sales and profit planning. Offered in a workshop style with instructional training and collaboration exercises, the conference launches October 21 at 2 p.m. and is timed to help you tackle any necessary year-end course-correction and get ready for new growth before you're underwater with heavy spring and summer production. Topics covered include sales trend analyses, lead-sale-invoice-payment workflow, P/L reports, customer segmentation, profit trend and actuals analysis, vendor relationships and negotiation, and more.

Register for Vision Conference (it’s free) at 30

inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2021


Elevating the trade through e-learning How technology is revolutionizing professional development today


-learning is one of the fastest-growing educational resources worldwide. It not only increases retention rates by 25% – 60%, but it is also perfect for busy schedules since it is an easily accessible and flexible tool. Industry-specific online educational resources aim to provide a space where contractors and company owners can explore series, webinars and podcasts that will cultivate their knowledge while elevating the trade. E-learning has proved to be an efficient tool for the future of the coatings industry since it allows contractors to continually learn and master their skills. Just this year, there have been new online resources released from organizations like OSHA, XO Safety, and Breakthrough Academy. These types of platforms are not only important for providing education, but also for providing accessibility and self-paced learning. Chris Moore, founder of Elite Business Advisors, says, “I see e-learning as a pivotal point in the professionalization of the painting industry. We will continue to see the trend of educated contractors rapidly develop alongside technology as more contractors look for information to help them grow into skilled craftsmen and seek the ability to learn through headphones while on the jobsite.” Content and resources In the coatings industry, e-learning has taken on an important role and become the main tool to provide companies with resources to train and educate employees. This burgeoning resource has proven crucial in equipping newer contractors with the hard skills and best practices they need to master the trade in a short period of time, which is critical at a time when work is plentiful and qualified help is scarce. Many reputable organizations are actively developing online courses and training programs with the purpose of making the learning process easier and more engaging. For example, the Painting Contractors Association (PCA) recently released PCA Overdrive.

Many painting contractors in the industry use series on PCA Overdrive like the Trade Best Practices series or Advice from a Young Tradesman to train their crews while at the same time learning new skills and concepts in different areas of their businesses. Christian Tirado, owner of Seamless Drywall in Indio, CA and one of PCA Overdrive’s most active users, says he uses this e-learning platform regularly because it offers him the ultimate guide on the business of contracting. He emphasizes the usefulness and convenience of online learning to manage his business, particularly in marketing and sales. His story is an excellent example of how e-learning has increased the industry development and expansion by normalizing the

“ I see e-learning as a pivotal point in the professionalization of the painting industry.” —CHRIS MOORE, ELITE BUSINESS ADVISORS transition from being a contractor to being a business owner. As Noah Kanter, the host of Advice from a Young Tradesman, admits, “I would have killed for this treasure trove of educational and inspirational content when I was coming up because it is an incredible resource for every forward-thinking paint contractor.” Learning is a key aspect of the coatings industry’s talent cycle. Everything from new-recruit onboarding to contractors’ competency depends on the training, knowledge and mastery of the trade. Fortunately, the prevalence and ease of e-learning options makes achieving mastery—and elevating the industry to the benefit of all—easier than ever.

KATIE JACOME is PCA’s digital media specialist, focusing on the logistics of producing high-quality material, developing messages, and establishing a consistent voice and tone for the organization. She concentrates her efforts on creating informative content for both PCA members and the painting industry as a whole to elevate the trade.

Sep/Oct 2021 | inPAINT