inPAINT Magazine - Sep/Oct 2022

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inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | SEP/OCT 2022 ® PRO PICKS Four pros share their go-to primers Two pros compare approaches to training Why hiring mini-owners makes sense + 10 Year-end tax considerations

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Tick-tick-tick … ”

—Time running out on the year

It happens every year. Summer is passing so sweetly with lots of time for hiking, gardening, paddling, and, yes, more than a few yard chores. Then before you know it, school buses are chugging up the road, people are losing their minds over pumpkinspice everything, and suddenly it’s time to start thinking about closing out the year and planning for the next.

While I have nothing to offer regarding pumpkin-spice (well, nothing meaningful beyond ‘yuck’), I am happy to extend some help with wrapping up the year and thinking ahead.

In this issue you’ll find a helpful piece on year-end tax prep. Pulled together by the good folks at Bookkeeping For Painters, it’s full of practical advice and guidance for simplifying taxes and ensuring you keep more of what’s yours.

On the thinking-ahead front, we’ve got two articles that just may inspire you to adopt some new approaches to running your business in 2023. The first (Trend in Focus) looks at variable pay options and how they work to help retain and attract talent (who doesn’t need help on that front?), while the second (Bottom Line) explores the idea of hiring mini-owners to help lighten your load and free you up to do some bigger-picture thinking.

Speaking of thinking ahead, we at inPAINT are building our editorial calendar for 2023. If there’s something you’d like to learn more about or a product you’d like to see featured in Pro Picks (for example, work boots, vans, stains and so on), let us know. Like you, we’re always looking to provide the best service to our customers.

Cheers, Amanda Haar, Managing Editor, inPAINT


Bryce Benfield

Owner, South-East Painting & Protective Coatings Co.

Brooke Cambridge Owner, BLC Painting

Jeremy Fyfe

Owner, GLS Painters

Larry Marler

Owner, The Works Remodeling and Finishing

Rich Purnell

Owner, BASE Painters

Ray Rahni

Owner, Paint Track Painting Services

Steve Spinelli

Owner, Uni Pro Painting

©2022 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.


Edward McAdams


Amanda Haar


Carl Bezuidenhout

Cindy Puskar


Brian Sodoma

Marisa Crumb


April Burnett DYB Coach

Michael Craine Craine Painting

Chuck Fitzgerald Fitzgerald Painting

Torlando Hakes Craftsman Painter

Ben Hildre Bucket Painting

Rick Holtz H. J. Holtz & Son

Daniel Honan Bookkeeping For Painters

Melissa Honan Bookkeeping For Painters

Ricky Houghton Finish Robotics

John Jacob Hoist

Josef Kristofoletti Artist

Ryan Lasker Financial Edge Training

Genesis Macedo Genesis Painting

Alice Martin Martin Painting & Coating

Nate Mitchell Two Koats Painting

Shawnna Rose Pretty in Paint

Carl Sabo AMES Research Laboratories

Ruth Thomas Payscale

Trevor Thrall Bookkeeping For Painters


ADVERTISE 602-296-5391


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

4 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022




10 ways to prepare for year-end taxes

Pro Picks

Primers pros choose to tackle different substrates and conditions


Challenges, coatings and color choices on two projects


6 The News

Industry ins and outs

8 Trends

A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

9 Trend in Focus

Making variable pay work for you and your employees

10 What’s New

New tools and coatings for the trade

12 5 Good Questions

A business coach on implementing efficiencies and building business

28 Teach to Fish

Which type of spackling is best for my project?

29 Tools of the Trade

What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

30 Upcoming Events

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

31 Bottom Line

Why hiring mini-owners makes sense

Courtesy of Zinsser ON Team members from LOPCO Contracting in Johnston, RI prime the ceiling of the Breakers Mansion Stables in Newport, RI with Zinsser B-I-N Shellac Primer prior to applying a topcoat of Benjamin Moore ben Exterior. Photo Courtesy of Steven Mason Photographer.
5Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT TRENDS inPAINT ® Sep/Oct 2022
14 18 22 26
Pros Compare Training Strategies Tax Talk

Your next subcontractor may be a robot

T If you’ve been dreaming of a subcontractor who completes jobs up to 75% faster than other pros, never gets tired, and doesn’t take smoke breaks, you may want to pinch yourself. Finishbot Autonomous Coating System delivers on all those fronts and more. Essentially a for-hire painting robot, Finishbot is ideal for large commercial jobs with walls as high as 40' including drywall, precast and concrete block. Offered through Finish Robotics, the autonomous device can be subcontracted for short-term projects including warehouses, flex offices, manufacturing facilities and parking garages. Ricky Houghton, CTO at Finish Robotics explains what it’s like to hire a robot: “The Finishbot is delivered to the site with an operator and professional painter who tackles any prep, masking and cutting in that needs to be done. We’re typically able to start producing within 30 minutes and to knock out the work up to 75% faster with fewer people and without increasing cost.” Noting the Finishbot can be fine-tuned to apply a variety of coatings to the desired mils and that temperature and humidity sensors continuously monitor and adjust the system, Houghton says, “You get the precision of factory-automated coating application delivered in a fraction of the time.”

AI simplifies color selection

T Sherwin-Williams recently introduced Speaking in Color, an AI-powered, voice-controlled tool that allows users to tell it about certain places, objects or shades in order to arrive at that perfect color. In response, the tool provides photos and color options that can be further refined with commands such as, “deeper blue” or “add warmth.” Users can continue to refine the color as needed. Once they’ve landed on what’s deemed their ‘dream color,’ they’re presented with an extensive list of color harmonies.

As of now, the tool is exclusive to architects and the company’s high-performance, coil-coating paint business, with the aim of creating one of the largest color libraries in the world. The tool may also be expanded to other audiences in the future.

Introducing a new business model for the industry

T If you’re a painter by trade and you’re more interested in staying involved with production rather than messing with the back-end office stuff, Craftsman Painter can help. Company cofounder and industry veteran Torlando Hakes explains the opportunity this way: “Craftsman Painter is a genuine community where paint professionals can find a real career with forward progress, upward mobility, and the ability to relocate wherever, all while having a steady paycheck and their basic needs for health care met. We handle all the back-end operations stuff—insurance, billing, recruiting, payroll, branding, all of it. That frees our employees to focus on maintaining high-quality production, providing an excellent customer service experience, and, really, being craftsmen.” With a focus on interior repaints, Hakes anticipates each guild being staffed by a master craftsman, a team of journeymen and apprentices, and a sales rep. “The master craftsman is the face of the operation,” says Hakes, “as such, they get a cut of the revenue in addition to their wages as part of their compensation package, while all other crew members are paid a competitive hourly rate, and the sales rep earns a very generous commission.”

Launched in June 2022, the company currently has Craftsman Painter operations in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri with 10 more guilds expected to begin operations by early 2023.

Bird-friendly paint solution

T Iberdrola, a renewable energy company based in Spain, recently turned to paint to promote the coexistence of its renewable facilities and the ecosystems in which they are located.

Based on a study published by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, the company has begun painting one blade of its wind turbine rotors black. The study found that the increased contrast between blades made them easier for birds to see and reduced the number of birds frequenting the area of painted turbines by 70%.

Painting of the single blade on a fully assembled wind turbine takes place roughly 110 yards above the ground and requires sanding and cleaning prior to application. With blades measuring a little more than 70 yards long and up to 15 yards wide, the process can take a week to complete, depending on wind and weather conditions.

6 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022 THE NEWS



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Rewarding results on the rise

According to the Payscale 2022 Compensation Best Practices Report, the percentage of construction companies offering variable pay jumped from 72% in 2021 to 92% in 2022. Here’s a look at which bonuses and incentives they’re using to reward top performers:



Fall is upon us, and temps are dropping. Here’s how six manufacturers depict one of the season’s most essential wardrobe elements.

The Inspection Support Network from recently published a home improvement scams trend report that included these discouraging facts:

■ Americans have lost a total of $206 million to home improvement scams since 2007, or roughly $13 million per year

■ Remarkably, $82 million (40% of total) was lost to scams in 2020 and 2021 alone

■ The median amount lost to any kind of scam (think Nigerian Prince) in 2021 was $500; the amount lost to scams in home repair and improvement was more than three times higher, at $1,700

■ Home improvement scams are most common in Colorado and least common in Pennsylvania

According to the PCA, these are their most listened-to PaintED Podcasts between January and July 2022.

TRENDS 8 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022
Listen up
Don’t Be a Martyr Essential Job Costing Tips Don’t Underprice Your Work Traits of an Ideal Bookkeeper The Right Mindset for Success Defining Your Success Decorators and Trade Associations Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs Business Standards and Deliverables The Victor’s Mindset Advanced Estimating Techniques SCAM-A-LOT
performance bonus Individual incentive bonuses (including performance, skills attainment, etc.) Employee referral bonus Spot bonuses or other discretionary bonus programs Hiring bonuses Retention bonuses Profit sharing Team incentive bonuses 62% 55% 33% 32% 30% 27% 25% 22% 14% 18% 10% 6% 58% 35% 51% 25% 2021 2020 Behr Cashmere Sweater ICC-30 Kelly Moore Knit Cardigan KM4818 Benjamin Moore Cable Knit Sweater CSP-650 PPG Paints Sweater Weather PPG05999-5 Dunn-Edwards Lavender Sweater DE5998 Sherwin-Williams Sweater Weather SW 9548

Variable pay options

In a tight talent market where employees have choices about where they commit their time and talent, variable pay is frequently used as a retention, recruitment and motivation tool.

According to Ruth Thomas, chief product evangelist at Payscale, the recent spike in variable pay in the construction sector is simply a matter of supply and demand. “The skills shortage is driving employers to look for ways to attract and retain talent. Part of the appeal of variable pay is the flexibility it provides. Hiring, retention and referral bonuses are typically one-offs, meaning you only offer them when you have the funds or an issue to address. The employer appreciates a bit more financial stability than they would offering higher salaries, yet it still works to attract and reward employees.”

Providing motivation in the moment

Ryan Lasker, editor in chief at Financial Edge Training, cites another advantage of variable pay options: “When based on performance, they help bring management objectives and employee objectives into alignment. Say you’re an owner who needs to make an additional $5,000 in a given month to upgrade or buy a new piece of equipment. You can turn to your crew and say, ‘for every additional service you sell, we’ll give you x-amount of dollars.’ Or you can base it on other clear and measurable metrics that move you closer to your business goal. These types of bonuses are often paid out twice a year but it’s really up to the employer how payment gets scheduled.”

He adds, “It pays to be transparent about why you’re offering the incentive and how and when it will be paid. Articulating how the business will be a better place for the employee will inspire them to work harder, and being clear on the timing will prevent people from thinking you’re holding out on payment.”

Bigger-picture options

For some businesses, variable pay is based on profit sharing. “Again,” says Lasker, “this inspires employees to perform well. If a company offers a 401k, the payment can be provided as a contribution to the plan. The advantage here is that it’s tax-deductible for the employer and not subject to taxes for the employee. While you can argue that’s better than straight

cash, for some people the lack of a check in hand is less rewarding. You really have to gauge—and ask employees—what’s best for them.”

Profit sharing in practice

Rick Holtz of H.J. Holtz & Son in Richmond, VA instituted a profit-sharing incentive program in 2015 after finding that job-specific bonuses weren’t delivering the right results. “We’d end up with one job getting done fast but two others tanking,” he recalls. “I wanted something a bit more equitable and that motivated the right behavior on all jobs across the board.”

The profit-sharing program Holtz implemented works this way: The company establishes a revenue goal and milestones. Once the first milestone is reached, the profit is split in half with 50% going to the company and 50% going to profit sharing. The pool of money grows based on employee performance and initiatives to find ways to cut costs. Employees are updated on the size of the pool monthly and foremen apprised on a weekly basis. Payouts, which currently take place when the first milestone is achieved and again in December (based on performance through November) with a final reconciliation payment in January, are based on individual salaries. “Whatever percentage of payroll their salary represents is their percentage of the profit sharing,” explains Holtz.

While the program has been very well received, Holtz notes the current economy is hurting the effort. “With basic expenses rising, people would rather have more money in their paycheck than wait for a bonus,” he says. “I won’t do away with it just yet because it’s part of our culture, but I may look at bumping up base salaries to keep folks happy.”

An accounting caveat

Because variable pay is a type of compensation, it is subject to payroll taxes for both the employer and employee. Depending on how payment is provided— as a separate or combined paycheck—will determine how much is withheld for taxes. It’s important to have payroll software that can accommodate and track payments as part of salary or have access to a CPA who can ensure payments are being made and taxed correctly.

A strategic solution to the skills shortage and a powerful performance incentive
TREND IN FOCUS 9Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT

Pretty Boy simplifies cleanup while protecting tools

Tired of looking for an effective and eco-friendly product to clean his paint tools and applicators, seasoned paint pro Brian Cooney decided to take matters into his own hands. Working with a chemist from the coatings industry, he spent 8 months developing and testing 18 formulas until they landed on Pretty Boy Paint Cleaner & Conditioner.

It thoroughly cleans brushes and rollers, and its built-in conditioner leaves a light moisture barrier on brush fibers for easier cleanup and more pliability in action, resulting in fewer visible brush strokes.

Pretty Boy is safe enough to use directly on your skin; it’s also great for cleaning up drips—even on hardwood floors—and removing wallpaper.

Ames Research Laboratories rolls out a new product offering

AMES Research Laboratories Inc., a global manufacturer of specialty coatings, recently announced the introduction of their new, innovative Capstone Granite Coating.

Capstone Granite is a single component acrylic decorative concrete coating with decorative chips incorporated into the resin, providing a granite-like finish. Packaged in 5-gallon containers and available in six aesthetically pleasing color blends, Capstone Granite is ideal for pedestrian walkways, pool decks, and vertical surfaces.

Carl Sabo, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, states, “Capstone Granite removes concrete’s one inherent issue—its appearance. Concrete is a durable building material, but it’s not pretty. Capstone Granite removes that shortcoming while adding a decorative punch to concrete surfaces.”

BUCKETEDGE saves time, saves tape

In the early days of his business, Bucket Painting, Ben Hildre flipped a lot of apartments. “I spent a lot of time and money on tape and just knew there had to be a better way.” So with some ingenuity and a lot of prototypes, Hildre developed BUCKETEDGE. Manufactured in Minnesota and crafted from sturdy, high-grade aluminum, the lightweight tool comes in 12," 20" and 40" lengths. More than a foot wide, they serve the dual purpose of a drop cloth and masking tape. Hildre estimates his tape costs have been cut by nearly 80% and his setup times have decreased significantly as well. Available on Amazon and at Walmart and select Sherwin-Williams locations.


powerful inside and out

With a Systainer on the outside and a cordless dust extractor on the inside, Festool’s CTC SYS Cordless Systainer Extractor offers maximum performance and independence with minimal weight.

For smaller tasks, the CTC SYS enables a virtually dust-free work environment without the need for a power outlet. The compact Systainer format is lightweight, making it the perfect companion for smaller tasks, with added portability.

Comparable to a corded dust extractor, with more portability, the 36v turbine and two 18v battery packs provide massive suction power that is adjustable in three levels. The appropriate power level can be selected for any given application to maximize the battery runtime.

New ProDryingRack Accessories protect newly finished surfaces

PaintLine has two new accessories for its 50-shelf, PDRKD ProDrying Rack: Shelf Spikes and Felts. Simply snap the Spikes or Felts on to the rack shelves to minimize the surface contact of newly finished cabinet doors, drawer fronts or other parts. Each shelf holds up to 25 lbs and is removeable for creating more space between shelves. The sturdy rack base has locking casters—easily roll it wherever you need.

The ProDryingRack™ (PDRKD) is a great space saver: 200 sq ft of drying area in a 6.5 sq ft footprint. Easily assemble/knock down with just 4 bolts. Built using steel construction and powder coated finish for years of service.

Spikes and Felts are patent-pending and sold in packs of 150.

For more information, visit

10 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022 WHAT’S NEW
Festool CTC SYS Cordless Systainer
FEBRUARY 22-24 | ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO A must-attend for contractors looking to grow their business, the PCA EXPO provides countless opportunities to connect with and learn from some of the brightest minds and best partners in the industry. Featuring breakout sessions, panel discussions, peer-to-peer roundtables, an Industry trade show and special events hosted by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, EXPO is the place to take your business to the next level Want to know more about the PCA EXPO? SCAN THE QR CODE. SANDIA RESORT & CASINO 30 Rainbow Road Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113 | PCA Support 1.800.332.7322


APRIL BURNETT is cofounder of DYB Coach. Along with her husband Steve, she helps paint contractors reduce overhead and run their businesses more efficiently using automation and intelligent systems.

1What’s a simple way to increase close rates?

Warming up prospects so that when you arrive for the estimate, you’re a welcomed friend instead of a ‘cold contractor.’

We help pros do this with what we call Preselling Email Automation. As soon as an estimate gets booked in whichever software you’re using, it queues up six customized emails that go out during a period of 36 hours. That may sound like a lot but the content and personal nature of the emails actually put prospects at ease.

Some include videos, which put a face to your name. The writing is very friendly and designed to create the best estimating experience possible for the customer. The emails cover what to expect at the estimate, what they might want to have on hand—maybe color samples or measurements, a list of questions to ask any potential contractor, a map of where a pro has done work in their area, video testimonials, and even a range of pricing.

They knock down barriers before you get there.

2What’s the most effective way to streamline the hiring process?

Use automation to send your online hiring form upon receiving a text. Then promote it heavily via vehicle magnets, your website, social media, etc. A simple message of “Text ‘Hire me’ to xxx-xxx-xxxx” will do the job.

What’s the advantage of documenting your systems?

Simply put, if you don’t document your systems, you don’t own a business. You just run a series of jobs.

Documentation serves so many purposes and simplifies things on a lot of fronts.

On the internal front, documentation clarifies expectations, establishes procedures, and creates accountability. If everyone is trained the same way and it’s clear they’re expected to follow certain procedures, it’s easy to spot problems and, if you need to, it’s easier to let them go.


Established systems also make it easier for owners to take a vacation. When your team follows the playbook, you should feel confident things are getting done the right way.

But more importantly, a documented system is what makes it possible to scale your business and to sell your business. When you want to expand, you refer to and implement tried-and-true approaches. You know exactly what needs to get done and how.

4How can owners streamline their entire business?

Automation software. My recommendation is Zapier, which links all your software platforms— estimating software, billing, customer relationship management (CRM), a calendar, and so on—so that you never have to rekey any information. You set it up to ‘trigger’ a series of events across your platforms.

Let’s say the first trigger is that a potential customer books an estimate. That triggers the following actions: the contact info is zapped into your contacts, calendar, CompanyCam, Pipeline CRM, and estimating software, and your preselling emails get queued up to go out.

Let’s assume you do the estimate and win the job. That then triggers your accounting software to create the 30% deposit request and sends it to the customer, your CRM is updated, and a project is generated on your workflow platform with all the necessary customer and project details for your entire team to see.

You can set it to trigger events throughout the job, at the close and beyond. It saves an average of 10 hours a week and creates a consistent experience from customer to customer that helps support your reputation.

What change can I make to build trust with potential customers?

Have a professional email address. An email with your name ( is perceived as much more professional by potential customers than those ending with or

12 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022
Good 5

Whether your specialization is kitchen cabinets or fireproofing warehouses, training is essential to any business.

As we learn from the two pros we interviewed for this article Alice Martin of Martin Painting & Coating and Michael Craine of Craine Painting high-quality training not only ensures your crew members have the competence to complete a task to your company standards, it can also create a culture of growth and learning that employees value and appreciate.

In addition to providing some insight on their approach to training, both Martin and Craine offer some thoughts and takeaways on each other’s efforts.

TRAINING Two pros talk

All Photos Courtesy of Martin Painting & Coating
14 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022

The director of training and development at Martin Painting & Coating in Grove City, OH, Alice Martin is a third-generation team member who is committed to elevating the trade and everyone working in it. Established in 1953 by Martin’s grandfather, the company began as a family operation employing four individuals offering residential and commercial painting. Today, the company specializes in commercial and industrial painting and coating services and employs 100 in-the-field professionals and 15 in-office team members.

The Martin Painting approach to training

Having grown up in the family business, Alice Martin’s first memories of employee training are of what’s affectionately called ‘Christmas Training.’ She explains, “Even still today, we host an end-of-year holiday party that includes a half-day of training. In addition to an annual safety check of gear, the training covers different topics based on the type of work we’re doing or looking to take on, and development of leadership and interpersonal skills. Typically, we cover four to six topics.”

While formalized training used to be a once-a-year event, it now takes place throughout the year and covers a range of topics much more far-reaching than application and safety.

“While we always provide training on new equipment and products—largely through manufacturers, vendors and reps—to ensure our painters’ success on the jobsite,” says Martin, “we now make an effort to also cover topics that help our employees become successful and happy human beings. We provide training on interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and personal finance. We’re trying to improve not just the quality of their work lives, but their lives overall.”

Toward that end, the company works with a local DiSC Personality Assessment trainer who completes assessments with all employees. “We’ve found this has been really helpful in getting employees to understand what makes their colleagues and themselves act and communicate the way they do. They start to view what they might have considered an annoying habit as a strength and find ways to work with that person to complement what they’re bringing to the job. It’s been really well received.”

The company recently implemented retirement planning training for all employees. “Many people don’t even realize they should have a retirement goal. We lean on our 401k financial team to educate staff on the questions they should be asking themselves and how to start preparing for the end of their careers.” She adds, “We’re finding the more knowledge they gain, the less anxiety they experience.”

As for training new hires, Martin is a raving fan of the PCA Painter Training program. She explains, “All new employees go through an orientation run by our safety director. It includes company culture but really focuses on safety. At the end, they have to pass a quiz that allows them to move on to the jobsite.”

For the first 15 weeks of their employment, new-to-the-industry hires are required to complete one of the PCA online training modules. Martin notes the company used to gather new employees in a training room for the modules but now asks them to do it remotely on their own. “This requires more accountability from them. Also, it

gives trainees more time on the job with experienced painters to see, understand and be part of the actual work getting done while building relationships.”

Martin says the series provides a great introduction to the trade and builds on skills and understanding at a steady pace. She also appreciates the fact that they’re offered in Spanish. She adds, “The modules are great for true beginners. At about the 90-day mark, we start to inject more training on our company-specific approaches to getting work done.”

If the company is fortunate enough to bring on a seasoned professional, that individual typically completes the orientation and then goes straight to the field where they’re taught company practices and processes. In addition, company president, John Martin, maintains several internal email lists that employees can join. “He’ll email them information and articles about different topics in our industry based on what is interesting and meaningful to the individual.”

Martin encourages all business owners to engage in training. “First and foremost, training will keep your people safe. Second, training programs will help move our trade forward. Wherever you are— geographically or size-wise—you can help people develop skills, and that in turn will develop your relationship with them and your business.”

That said, she does caution others to be careful about the content they choose. “There are tons of videos on YouTube and social media about painting. Some are great but some are truly not. Pay attention to the details: Is the substrate clean? Is their application technique the best for the job at hand? What you share is what your team will learn to do. Choose wisely.”

Michael Craine launched Craine Painting in Lake Geneva, WI in 2013 after spending time working for a German craftsman who, as he explains, “showed me how to not train people.”

Focused largely on cabinets and residential interiors, Craine operates with a team of three, including himself.

The Craine Painting approach to training

Aself-described “radically process driven” individual, Craine has embraced his personality trait to the advantage of his employees and customers.

“When I made my first hire, training consisted of simply working alongside me,” he recalls. Over time he came to recognize that as millennials, his employees didn’t just want to know what to do; they wanted to understand why they were doing it a particular way.

“Now I spend a lot of time explaining the ‘why’ of everything. From the tapes we use, to why to prime the pump, and why this product on this substrate,” he says. “This not only forces me to be 100% solid on the choices I’m making, but it also educates them so

15Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT

that they, too, can recognize a better approach when it comes along. And, when we do make a practice or product change, because they fully understand why it’s being done, there’s no blowback.”

In addition, Craine and his crew often partake in off-site training. “We’ve attended numerous classes covering specialized applications, such as cabinets, and different manufacturer programs on specific coatings. By and large, these have always been worth the investment.”

In 2018, Craine decided he wanted to capture all the knowledge he had accumulated and started making videos to post on his YouTube channel. He says, “It’s a great resource for our employees and other painters out there who are looking to learn, and, as it turns out, it’s been a great way to win business. Potential customers Google contractors they’re considering. When they search me, they land on the videos that explain our entire process. It’s amazing how that exposure to me and our approach accelerates the sales process.”

Points & counterpoints on training approach

In compiling this article, we shared each pro’s approach with the other and invited them to comment on what they appreciated about the other’s approach. Here’s what they had to say:

Alice on Michael’s approach:

I really like that Michael is able to hone in on the idea of meeting people where they are at rather than forcing them to learn “his way” as he talks about training millennials. Also, the YouTube channel sounds fantastic for training and marketing for Michael’s company, especially those who are visual learners. As Craine Painting grows, it would be beneficial to train for strong leaders/foremen to carry the load so that Michael can continue developing and growing the company, as well as keeping the ‘alongside’ training approach running. Kudos to Michael!

Michael on Alice’s approach:

I appreciate the frontloaded technique that Alice uses. It can help create uniformity in expectations on a larger scale.

I love the retirement training that taps their 401k team. We provide some education on building credit but it’s a great idea to get people thinking beyond that, and something I’d happily implement.

We’re on the same page about the value of hands-on training. I’ve found people retain more by doing. A lot of learning comes from observing the work, and errors, that take place on the jobsite and in close quarters.

Alice is right … I laugh at the ‘paint your cabinets in a weekend for $20’ videos. That’s why I posted YouTube videos years into my career after I had paid for our training. I wanted to help the new owner who was still struggling. Having the videos as a training module now is simply a byproduct of that.

While many portions of business do need to be standardized as they are scaled up, training should occur often, always be serious about safety, and be engaging, enjoyable and relatable whenever possible.

Craine admits that the approach isn’t foolproof, and that the weakest link is often him. “Sometimes I forget the importance and hold of muscle memory, especially when it comes to applying products. If I decide to switch up a primer, I have to give them the chance to not just learn why I’m changing but also the chance to try it out before using it on a job. They’ve got to learn to adjust to different viscosity or what have you. When I don’t give them that chance, you can end up with runs and other problems. That costs me time and product, and frustrates everyone.”

Craine’s videos have also caught the attention of other pros looking for training. Since his initial posts went up, he’s been called on to conduct training programs on prep, cabinet finishing and applying industrial coatings with an airless high-volume low-pressure (HVLP) sprayer.

As for on-the-job training, Craine still relies on an ‘alongside’ approach. “I train everyone on everything—from taping to spraying. I like to show them how to do it then have them show me what they learned. We’re a small shop, so we’ve got to keep things moving. This approach allows for that.”

Looking ahead, Craine is looking to adopt aspects of the Modern Apprentice program developed by Nick Slavik of Nick Slavik Painting and Restoration.

“I got to see Nick present on the program last year. There are a lot of aspects that I can see adopting to strengthen what I’m already doing. I appreciate the need to standardize implementation of systems. While I’m regimented in some aspects of my business, I’m a bit of a chaos monkey in others. It’s unlikely I can climb on board 100% but I hope to make some improvements based on what I’ve learned.” -

We’ve attended numerous classes covering specialized applications, such as cabinets, and different manufacturer programs on specific coatings. By and large, these have always been worth the investment.”
Training videos on Michael Craine's YouTube channel benefit employees and customers alike.
16 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022 w


A necessary part of running any business, paying taxes is a complicated process.

A lack of understanding of the ins and outs and complexities of taxes often results in errors and paying more than necessary.

To make sure you pay what’s due and to keep what’s yours, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you need to know or do to be prepared for taxes at year-end.

18 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022

Make sure your business is set up with the right tax entity

Most painting businesses that do less than $10 million in revenue would benefit from being taxed as an S corporation. An S corporation is an entity suited for most small business owners. Establishing an S corporation can eliminate self-employment tax payments, which can lead to a savings of 15.3% of your net income.

Business owners who are currently established as sole proprietors or partnerships can set up a new entity and elect to be taxed as an S corporation. A few facts about S corporations:

■ 96% of all businesses are S corporations

■ S corp officers must be paid a reasonable salary

■ Corporations provide more liability protection than sole proprietorships

Once approved by the IRS, all income and expenses relating to the business will now be reported separately as an S corporation.

Shareholders may establish payroll at a reasonable rate, and to make payroll tax payments on only their wages, thus avoiding paying the 15.3% self-employment tax on their total net income.

Contact your tax professional to see if you have the correct entity established for limiting your tax liability.

Know the ins and outs of tax filing

It may sound obvious, but this is key to making taxation easy for your business. When you know which documents to file and when to file them, you’ll feel less anxious about the process.

Simply work toward fulfilling your applications in the most optimal way possible. The four key components to know when it comes to tax filing are:

a. Forms to file

Collect information about the form you need to file depending on the nature of your business, your location, and your state and federal obligations. Some common forms that painting businesses may file for are:

■ W-2: reports the wages paid to your employees and any taxes that have been withheld

■ 941: accounts for the taxes paid toward social security and medical care

■ 940: covers taxes paid for unemployment compensation

■ 1095c: file if you provide health insurance to your employees

■ 1096: if you enlisted the help of contract workers during the year, submit this form

■ 1099: reports non-employee compensation paid to your contractors

■ 1120S, 1065 or 1120: business tax return to report your business earnings

■ 1040: personal tax return to report your taxable income and calculates taxes owed

b. Deadlines

There are a few deadlines to keep an eye on when it comes to taxation. They are:

■ January 31: file all your employee wages as well as non-employee compensation, especially if you use subcontractors

■ March 15: partnerships and S corporations that follow a calendar year will need to file their federal income tax return by March 15th

■ April 18: corporations that follow a calendar year will need to file their federal income tax return by April 18th

■ April 18: personal tax return due date

Missing your deadlines for any reason can result in penalties. Make sure you are always prepared in advance.

c. Extensions

You can file for a six-month extension if needed. Remember that extensions are only meant to delay filing—not paying taxes.

d. Changes

Tax regulations are always updating and changing. It can be tricky to stay current. This is especially true in light of the pandemic. Always check with your accountant to see if you can receive relief for COVID-19 or anything else.

Set previous year’s financials straight

After acquiring all the information related to your taxes, an important step many entrepreneurs miss is setting your previous financial record straight. Check if you have any pending penalties or obligations carried forward from the previous year.

If you do, include and adjust them in this year’s records accordingly. Missing out on them can increase the penalty you eventually pay.

Maintain clear records of the current year

Filing taxes is much easier if you keep an organized and accurate record. Neatly filing your receipts and documents helps not only in tax filing but also in running your business.

Accounting software or receipt management systems can help you track receipts for faster processing.

Business owners who are currently established as sole proprietors or partnerships can set up a new entity and elect to be taxed as an S corporation.
19Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT
1 2 3 4

Founded in 2016 by Daniel and Melissa Honan, Bookkeeping

For Painters applies industryspecific knowledge to support painting business owners. We make sure you keep more of what you earn.

Utilize the help of a professional

For many painting businesses, the owner is usually the bookkeeper. You may not have adequate knowledge needed for tax filing, or you simply don’t have the time to prepare taxes while running your business.

In such cases, it would be advisable to enlist the help of a professional who specializes in taxation for small businesses. They will not only prepare your taxes but also guide you in tax-saving practices.

See which tax deductions apply

The core idea when it comes to tax filing is to reduce your taxable income so that you pay less. Tax deductions are a great way to do that. Small businesses are entitled to quite a few deductions compared to bigger corporations.

Learn which tax deductions you are eligible for. Some common ones are as follows:

■ Employee expenses

■ Home office

■ Travel expenses

■ Charity donations

■ Using a personal car for business use

Defer income

Simply put, you pay taxes on the income you earn during the financial year. If you can defer the income you are about to receive on, say, the last week of December to the first week of January, it will count in the next accounting period.

This will reduce your income this year, hence reducing the tax as well. However, this must be done strategically. You are going to have to pay tax on the transaction anyway, so make sure you place it where it is the most beneficial to you.

Accelerate expenses

As with how you defer income, you can also accelerate expenses of the following accounting period to make them count in the current one. Once again, this can only be done in certain scenarios. You must check with a tax professional before you opt for this strategy.

Many small businesses follow a cash-based accounting system. However, they make the mistake of not capitalizing on this when it comes to taxes. Cash-based bookkeeping allows for more flexibility in how you record your transactions.

You only need to record transactions when you receive or pay the cash for them. This cash-basis reporting allows for deferring income and accelerating expenses in many cases.

Make investments

Investments are counted as tax deductions under Section 179 in some cases. If you have been waiting to make some significant investments, such as buying certain heavy-duty vehicles or new paint sprayers, doing so may qualify all or part of it as a tax deduction.

Audit your records

Once you have compiled everything for your tax filing, conduct a thorough audit of all your documents to make sure everything is correct. Tax preparation can often get convoluted, causing you to miss out on some details.

An audit makes sure everything is in order and gives a sense of assurance that you are headed in the right direction.

Tips for filing

Following are some additional tips to help with your tax filing:

■ Estimate taxes beforehand to get a general idea of expenses, and opportunities to save on taxes.

■ Consider establishing a retirement plan, as it tremendously helps to save on taxes.

■ Don’t panic, and avoid procrastination.

■ Set reminders to meet deadlines.

■ Do tax planning with a professional who knows the painting industry.

Final thoughts

Year-end tax planning is often a stressful period for many small business owners, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of the anxiety surrounding taxation comes from a lack of knowledge about the admittedly convoluted procedures.

Educating yourself about the basics of taxation goes a long way in preparing you for the tax season. Consider dabbling in a bit of tax planning beforehand to proactively get ahead.

Remember: don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. No matter how complicated your documents are, there are professionals who can help. -

The core idea when it comes to tax filing is to reduce your taxable income so that you pay less. Tax deductions are a great way to do that.
Trevor Thrall, Content Director Melissa Honan, CEO Daniel Honan, Founder and COO
20 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022
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Pros share their favorite primers for interiors and exteriors

For wall repairs, cabinet refreshes, blocking out bright colors or oil-based paints, primer is key for making topcoats shine on sometimes less-than-ideal substrates. As most pros know, any old multipurpose option doesn’t cut it for all situations, and depending on your climate and the condition and age of a substrate, choosing the right primer is as equally important (if not more) as using the best topcoat. Here, four pros share their go-to primers for a wide range of situations.

Courtesy of Chuck Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Painting Inc.
22 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022



Fitzgerald Painting


Genesis Painting


Pretty in Paint


Two Koats Painting


This pro has been in the painting business for 45 years. Focusing on interior and exterior residential repaints, Fitzgerald has no shortage of historic home restoration projects on his résumé. The Connecticut-based pro likes to find an option that works for as many surfaces as possible and stick with it.

His crews see a lot of cedar wood siding on exterior jobs, and to maximize adhesion and block out tannins, he relies on Fine Paints of Europe Oil Tintable Primer. If a job gets delayed after a coat is applied, Fitzgerald likes how the exterior primer can actually hold up for a year without a topcoat. The pro also likes the product for new cabinet surfaces.

“It covers extremely well, and dries with a satin finish. If you’re changing a color, the primer can be tinted to exactly the color of the topcoat,” he explained. “It’s more expensive but you get more square footage out of a gallon—it’s truly an incredible product.”

For the occasional aluminum siding exterior, he turns to Benjamin Moore Fresh Start HighHiding All Purpose Primer after a surface wash. The interior/exterior waterborne acrylic also serves him well for interior drywall priming.

Sometimes, his crews will need to paint fiberglass doors. For that work, INSL-X Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer is his favorite option. He also uses it for polyurethane cabinets requiring significant sanding. Some cabinets need sanding until the surface is dull but where the previous coating may not be completely removed. For these situations, he opts for Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil-Base Primer “Sometimes, those cabinets can bleed through and you need that stain-blocking,” he added.

When it comes to working with primers, Fitzgerald offers one tip to all pros, regardless of experience level.

“I definitely recommend you go by what’s recommended for recoat time,” he emphasized. “Some might even say 48 hours. The results are night and day. That dry time is critical for adhesion and longevity. I also tell people that the best finish coatings need more than one coat of primer. When you’re going for a higher-level finish, the saying goes ‘double prime all the time.’”

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… the best finish coatings need more than one coat of primer. When you’re going for a higher-level finish, the saying goes ‘double prime all the time.’”
23Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT
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Macedo started his company in 2007. The Westchester County, NY-based pro’s work is primarily residential repaints, but he has also ventured into multifamily projects lately. In his area, this work brings similar substrates to what he sees on residential projects. “To me, the multifamily I see is a lot like a house, it just may have four units in it,” he said.

Macedo’s teams deal with a lot of cedar siding on exteriors. For these substrates, he prefers Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Wood Primer 094, an oil-based offering that has served him well for years. However, the oil-based version is about to be discontinued, so he has stocked up on the product for the next year while he waits for a replacement option from the manufacturer.

“Cedar is a wood that bleeds out a lot and you need to seal in and block those tannins. That’s why we go with the oil-based product,” he said. “I’m not sure what we’re switching to yet, most likely another Benjamin Moore product, a synthetic version of this, I think.”

For exterior wood trim and AZEC synthetic wood trim, he likes Benjamin Moore Fresh Start High-Hiding All Purpose Primer The same primer is his go-to choice for interior drywall. He knows there are less-expensive options for drywall patches, but to him, Fresh Start is worth the extra money.

“The pigmentation is better and the quality is better overall,” he added. “I’ll use it on a patch, repair, or to help with a dramatic color change; it’s the best option for all these situations.”

For stucco surfaces, Macedo likes Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Masonry Interior/Exterior 100% Acrylic Sealer Primer He does have some primer preferences outside the Benjamin Moore family. On interior trim with old oil-based paint on it, he uses INSL-X Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

“It’s a water-based acrylic urethane bonding primer. It sticks to anything. We’ve even painted bathroom tiles with it. It’s self-leveling, it builds up, and is really smooth once you sand it,” he noted.

For metal railings and the occasional galvanized metal roof he encounters, Macedo likes Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial DTM Acrylic Primer/Finish. On cabinets, he looks to Italian coatings manufacturer, Sirca. He says the company’s 2K Opaque Polyurethane Primer creates the perfect base for any of their eco-friendly topcoats.


This central Illinois-based pro focuses on interior and exterior residential repaints. On interior drywall, she likes Sherwin-Williams PrepRite ProBlock Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer for wall patches and Sherwin-Williams PVA Drywall Primer & Sealer for new drywall.

“PrepRite covers really well; it’s almost like a finished coat,” she said. “I use it a lot on ceilings, too, and I’ll tint it gray if I need to block out a color.”

For cabinets, Rose likes Envirolak Envirothane 170 White Primer High Solids. The Canadian product is more of an industrial coating, she explains, but she likes how it fills in wood grain very well, and “when you sand it, it’s like butter. It’s really smooth and looks like a topcoat.”

For wallpaper removals, Rose uses Zinsser Gardz Problem Surface Sealer. “You still have to wash off the wallpaper adhesive really well, but Gardz does a good job of sealing out any adhesive that may be left over,” she added.

On older exterior wood surfaces where she often encounters peeling paint, Rose likes Zinsser Cover Stain Oil-Base Primer or Benjamin Moore INSL-X High Build Peel Bonding Primer, preferring the latter for more extreme peeling situations. She also turns to Cover Stain for situations where customers request wood trim to be painted white on interiors. For exterior brick, she prefers Sherwin-Williams LOXON Concrete & Masonry Primer/ Sealer and Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial DTM Acrylic Primer/Finish on metal surfaces.

“… when you sand [Envirolak], it’s like butter. It’s really smooth and looks like a topcoat.”




This Virginia-based pro’s workload is largely residential interior repaints. When making drywall repairs or working with new drywall sections on a wall or room addition, his workhorse primer is Sherwin-Williams Multi-Purpose Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer. For cabinet work, he likes Sherwin-Williams Extreme Bond Primer

“There’s an ingredient in that [Extreme Bond] primer that really bonds to the polyurethane you’ll find on a cabinet, and it helps that topcoat really adhere,” he said.

Due to supply chain issues, he recently dealt with an Extreme Bond primer shortage, so he turned to Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer and INSL-X Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer on his cabinet projects. The products performed well, but he still prefers Extreme Bond, if it’s available.

“I really like to find what works and to stick with it as much as possible, and that’s what I have in the Extreme Bond primer. I’ll even use it outdoors when I need to prime wood,” he noted.

Mitchell also likes Sherwin-Williams White Pigmented Shellac Primer for cabinets because he doesn’t need to sand before applying it, just a very light sand after application. But the product has a very strong odor, and he alerts customers ahead of time. Some may be sensitive to the fumes. -

Courtesy of Envirolak Ideal for use on wood or MDF, Envirolak Envirothane 170 White Primer High Solids provides excellent filling properties and fast dry times.
24 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022
25Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | MAY/JUN 2020 ® 2 pros’ approach to the same bid Elevating the customer experience through employee engagement + Pros on exterior coatings OUR 2020 inPAINTTHE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | SEP/OCT 2020 ® Caulk: prep, application &avoiding common failures + Business UNusual 4 pros respond to COVID-19 PROS ON THEIR GO-TO STAINSFOR BEAUTY AND PROTECTION SUBSCRIBE Painting Contractors | Remodelers | General Contractors Property Managers | Architects | Designers IT’S FREE! inPAINTTHE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | NOV/DEC 2020 ® Wish lists: what pros are Pros talk specialty coatings SPECIAL SECTIONHow the industry is supporting the prothrough products and services inPAINT THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | JAN/FEB 2021 ® What makes a paint tool right for the job + Interior coatings preferred by 5 pros WINNING HOA WORK What it takes and how manufacturers can help


GOLDEN HOUR MURAL on a Downtown Apartment Building

Location: Buffalo, NY

Painter: Josef Kristofoletti, artist

Time frame: One month

Crew size: One person

Equipment used:

■ Airless sprayer for base coat

■ Roller for mural portion

■ Lift

Challenges: The scale of the mural posed unique issues, especially related to blending the colors wet-on-wet to create the ombré effect of color gradation.

Manufacturer comment:

Soldalit is an extremely durable, weather-resistant mineral silicate finish. The silicate binder penetrates and fuses with masonry and concrete for permanent adhesion. The vapor-permeable finish will never blister or peel from moisture within the building envelope, and the colors are guaranteed not to fade for 20 years. The unique crystallin matrix radiates light in all conditions, even in low light, for livelier color transition throughout the day.


1“The title of the piece is Golden Hour, which refers to that hour period before sunset that kind of makes all the colors come to life, so that’s kind of the inspiration for it … My work deals with light, color and atmosphere, and so this piece is inspired by the gradient of light that you see in sunrises and sunsets.”

Base coat: Soldalit Sol Silicate Exterior Finish in: SO 1915 White

Topcoat: 30 gallons of Soldalit custom-mixed and monochrome color concentrates

9001S Nickel Titanium Yellow 9002S Yellow Ocher 9003S Red Oxide 9004S Umbra 9005S Chromium Green 9006S Ultramarine Blue 9007S Brown Oxide 9008S Black 9009S Cobalt Blue 9010S Dark Red Oxide 9011S Orange Oxide 9012S Cobalt Green 9018 Bismuth Yellow 9019 Cinnabar Red 9020 Turquoise 9021 Pitch Black

Other: Soldalit Dilution/Thinner, used to slow dry time of Soldalit and to keep the coating ‘wet’ to allow for wet-on-wet work.

26 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022



Pro product comment:

“SPEEDHIDE Zero VOC Interior Latex was the obvious choice for the interior. It not only applies easily, making a large-scale job more efficient, but it also features excellent hiding power and coverage, while also providing antimicrobial properties that resist mold and mildew stains. Its great touch-up qualities reduce the amount of rework. So, as the thousands of fans who enjoy events at UBS Arena come and go, the owners don’t need to worry about wear and tear of the high-touch interior surfaces.”

Courtesy of Islanders
27Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT PPG PAINTS
COLORS: Interior: SPEEDHIDE Zero VOC Interior Latex in Eggshell: Interior doors and frames: Pitt-Tech Plus EP PPG17-03 Hacienda Talavera PPG1151-6 Adventure PPG1133-7 Royal Hunter Green PPG1068-7 Spiced Cider Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY Paint contractor: FCS Group Time frame: 13 months Crew size: 13–15 people Challenges: 32 colors used throughout the arena UBS
New York

JEFF MALMER is a Senior Application Engineering Specialist for 3M. He has 40 years of product development and application engineering expertise and regularly trains 3M customers, end-users and sales professionals on proper use of the company’s products. Here, he tackles a common question he hears about spackling compounds.

A:When it comes to spackle, you have two options—lightweight or a heavyweight product; the latter is also sometimes referred to as vinyl spackling.

With a heavyweight (vinyl) compound, you may be limited with the size of repair you can perform efficiently and effectively. Many pros still prefer heavyweight spackles because these products have been around longer and they’re more used to working with them. You’ll also hear some pros say heavyweight flows onto the surface better.

Some pros also opt for heavyweight spackle because they believe it is stronger than a lightweight product. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, many of today’s lightweight spackling products include 3M ™ Glass Bubble technology. These ceramic bubbles strengthen the repair to withstand the impact of additional knocks and bumps after the job is done.

One significant downside to heavyweight spackle is that it tends to sag more, especially on vertical applications with large, deep holes. It’s also prone to shrinking once dry and may crack on larger repairs. For a larger hole, that means you may need to do extra fills, which requires more material and adds time to the job. If you find this is happening with your repairs, it may be time to switch to a lightweight option. Ideally, a heavyweight spackle should be limited to small dents, dings and holes roughly the size of a pencil head.

A lightweight compound is far less likely to shrink or crack, and is recommended for holes up to about 3" in diameter (about the size of a baseball or doorknob). Lightweight spackle dries faster, too. Most have a 20-30-minute dry time, whereas heavyweight products often require about twice that time. It’s also important to remember that these are recommendations based on

tests done in a controlled lab environment. True dry times may vary, depending on the climate and repair size.

Since there are no absolutes with dry times, some pros also value a compound that’s easy to tell if it’s ready for sanding or not. Some like to start prep work in one area of a room; hoping that by the time they work their way around the room and back to the starting point, those first repairs will be dry enough for a quick sand, primer and paint. However, depending on the spackle you use and the temperature and humidity on the jobsite, you may need to factor in a little more time, especially for larger holes—even if you’re using a lightweight compound.

To make the sanding decision easier, you can also use a product like 3M’s High Strength Color Changing Spackling Compound. It goes on blue then transitions to white when the surface is ready for sanding. It makes the job easier for those crew members who might be new to the field; and even some long-time pros like to remove the guesswork from knowing when a repair is ready for sanding.

Whether you use a lightweight or heavyweight spackle, when the surface is ready, make sure to sand lightly with a medium-grit sandpaper while wearing appropriate respiratory protection. We recommend 180-grit, although you can go as low as 150 or as high as a 220-grit. And don’t forget, while many spackling products may indicate primer isn’t required, best practice is still to spot-prime the repair before painting.

To learn more about 3M spackling compounds, visit

inPAINT ® presents an industry-specific question and invites an expert to share their insight.
Q: How do I know which type of spackling is best for my wall repair?
28 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022

What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

The Purdy® Cub Brushes

Your favorite Purdy brushes are now available in Cub Style. Choose from Nylox™, Clearcut®, Clearcut® Elite™, Chinex® Elite™, and Pro-Extra® Cubs. The shorter the handle, the easier it is to paint tight spots and corners. Get the precision and high-quality Purdy® is known for, in the brush style best for any job or project.

3M™ Quick Latch Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve

Designed for the professional painter, the 3M™ Quick Latch Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve—Paint Project helps give you convenience and protection on the job. Equipped with our proprietary Quick Latch system, this reusable respirator is easy to take on and off in non-contaminated areas, and there’s no need to adjust straps as you’re raising and lowering your respirator. When you’re outside the hazardous area, this respirator lets you take a quick break or have a conversation with a simple flip of the lever.


If you have a product, service or tool that you think professionals should know about, contact:



3M Pages 2 & 29

Behr Page 7

FrogTape Page 17

Graco Page 7

KILZ Page 13

Mi-T-M Page 23

National Hardware Show

Back Cover

PCA Page 11

Purdy Pages 3 & 29

What, Where & When

NOVEMBER 15–17: International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo | PSP/DeckExpo, Las Vegas, NV


26–28: 7th Annual Painting Profits Summit, Chattanooga, TN

28–29: Build & Remodel Expo, Madison, WI

31–February 2: Design + Construction Week, Las Vegas, NV

31–February 2: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV

31–February 2: NAHB International Builders’ Show, Las Vegas, NV


22–24: PCA EXPO, Albuquerque, NM

MARCH 13–16: AGC 2023 Convention, Las Vegas, NV

February 22-24, Albuquerque, NM

A one-of-a-kind, annual national convention dedicated to the painting industry, the PCA EXPO has become a must-attend for like-minded contractors looking to advance their careers while contributing to the professionalization of the trade. The three-day conference features presentations by thought-leaders, breakout sessions, panel discussions, peer-to-peer roundtables, an industry trade show, and special events hosted by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams. Whether it’s a bit of business advice, a fresh perspective, or a mentorship opportunity, the PCA EXPO is the place to be for anyone looking to take their business to the next level.

30 inPAINT | Sep/Oct 2022 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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Hire ‘mini-owners’ to ensure long-term success

The right talent can lighten your load and keep business running smoothly

In a recent CNBC study, 52% of small businesses cited labor quality as their most pressing problem.

In painting, especially small- to medium-business owners often have trouble balancing their obligations to existing customers with investing in acquiring new ones because of the labor crunch, making them especially keen to find high-quality employees. Plus, it’s impossible to do all of the painting work on their own while locking down new projects. To address this challenge, it’s critical for painting contractors to hire early stage employees who operate like ‘mini-owners’ (i.e., employees who can handle the day-to-day minutiae of each project without supervision, freeing up owners to focus on running the overall business).

Recognizing and recruiting mini-owners

Mini-owners are ideal early hires but even established businesses can benefit from hiring mini-owners because of the time they free up to make ‘big-picture’ decisions combined with the day-to-day effort they take off the owner’s back. By hiring attentive employees with a record of exceeding expectations, owners can confidently grow their team and, in turn, their companies.

The first step in finding a mini-owner is intelligently vetting candidates. I’ve found the best questions focus on specific examples of a candidate’s past accomplishments. This establishes their ability to take responsibility for their work and to ‘sweat the details’ while proving credibility. Some of my favorites include:

■ When have you gone above and beyond for a customer, and why did you do it?

■ What’s an example of a time a customer was upset or disappointed with the work you or your team provided, and how did you respond?

■ What are you most proud of about your career thus far?

■ Describe a big setback and how you dealt with it.

■ How do you react when you notice other employees have made a mistake?

■ How do you typically respond to customers pointing out flaws or imperfections?

■ What’s your process for quality-checking your work?

However, vetting doesn’t stop at the interview. Once a hire is made, they must live up to your standards.

To do this, precise training, quality checks and detailed feedback are needed to set the tone especially during the first two months.

It’s important to remember that not everyone is going to turn into the perfect mini-owner during this trial period. It’s okay to give a little wiggle room on the small stuff if you see the ‘big picture’ coming into view, especially if they’re going the extra mile to deliver highquality results. However, if a new hire has not proven themselves to be thorough, attentive and reliable by the end of this training period, it’s better to part ways now and to begin the search anew.

Creating a path for success

Once a mini-owner has proven themselves trustworthy during their training period, it’s time to get out of the way. Give them space to do their job. Micromanaging sucks the life out of a new employee while jeopardizing their ability to take accountability for their work. It also defeats the purpose of hiring a mini-owner in the first place—to free up owners to focus on what really matters to the company.

Once your mini-owner is established, it’s time to support their career development. Typically, the bestperforming employees are also the hungriest to grow and take on more responsibility. Be sure to check in regularly.

Taking the time to ask what they’d like to learn shows dedication to their success. Testing the waters with team and/or project management is the perfect next step here. These proactive moves ensure mini-owners feel valued as an important part of a company’s growth.

Enjoying the rewards of hiring right

While not always easy, hiring mini-owners is a proven way to avoid employment and customer hiccups, allowing company development to flow smoothly. The rewards —and relief—for owners make it worthwhile.

JOHN JACOB is the CEO and cofounder of Hoist, a company that helps people start, run and grow residential painting companies. Its app and services provide the confidence, focus and community needed to become a successful business owner.

31Sep/Oct 2022 | inPAINT BOTTOM LINE

Our ongoing efforts to reimagine NHS are intended to deliver you more value. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with customers, peers and colleagues, discover the latest trends in the home improvement & DIY industry or explore new products and innovations – your experience at NHS will provide you the tools to grow your business NHS is focused on continuing to celebrate innovation, deepening industry connections and growing our global footprint.

Register for NHS 2023 at

Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2023 Las Vegas Convention Center | South Hall New Products. New Connections. New Experiences.
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