inPAINT Magazine Aug/Sep 2015

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Pros talk about their go-to trim brushes


Ready to Grow? Tips for taking your business to the next level Making Sense of Masonry Coatings Pimp Your Ride: Organize your truck in style

. t i t a e w s r e v e , r e v e n t u B With the NEW SuperDeck® premier deck care system, you can tackle every job confidently. From stripping to staining to sealing, SuperDeck gives you products for every phase. So it’s quick and easy to give your customers a great look every time. To learn more, visit or contact your local Sherwin-Williams store or representative. ©2015 The Sherwin-Williams Company





Amanda Haar

Every decision you make plays into how successfully every job will run and, ultimately, how far your business will go.


Martha MacGregor DESIGNER

Kathryn Heeder Hocker COPY EDITOR


Sally J. Clasen Paula Hubbs Cohen Stacey Freed Debra Gelbart Jake Poinier Art Snarzyk Brian Sodoma SOCIAL MEDIA

Jillian McAdams PUBLISHED BY

REM Publishing Group LLC 6501 E. Greenway Pkwy., Suite 103–273 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 ADVERTISE ©2015 REM Publishing Group LLC All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Publisher assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use, misuse or inability to use the materials or information contained in this publication. All material and information appearing in this publication is distributed and transmitted ‘as is,’ without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

Ever wonder what makes some paint professionals so successful? It all comes down to choices. Choices about what services to provide and when to consider expanding your offerings. Choices about what tools and products to use and how to get them to and from the job site safely and securely. And certainly about choosing the right people to do the work—and even when to let them go. Every decision you make plays into how successfully every job will run and, ultimately, how far your business will go. In this issue, we connect with a number of pros from around the country to learn what informed the choices they’ve made so far and how they feel those choices have contributed to their success. It’s also important to note that with this issue, inPAINT goes from being published four times a year to six. It’s a choice we made to better serve the needs of our audience. Our goal is to present articles, opinions and experiences that honestly represent and benefit the working professional, and in as timely a manner as possible. But as with any business transition, the choice is both exciting and a wee bit intimidating. Like the pros we talked to in this issue about making a leap with their businesses, we weighed our capabilities, talents and goals, along with the needs of our audience (i.e., you), and determined that the timing was right. We welcome your input on topics to cover, products to feature, pros and organizations to profile, etc. As it turns out, you’re in a great position to help inPAINT continue to be a useful tool for all pros. The choice is yours but we sincerely hope you’ll join us in our endeavor. Cheers,

Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT





Aug/Sep 2015



Pro Picks


Masonry Coatings


Inside Job


Pros talk about their go-to trim brushes

8 paint pros weigh in on their favorite products

The keys to successful waterproofing

A look at common interior prep mistakes

Pimp Your Ride

Accessories for keeping your truck organized and supplies safe




12 Work Smart

6 Trends

34 Business Profile

A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

Aspen Painting, Inc.

7 Trend in Focus

36 Tech Edge

Home $weet home improvements

Mobile phone apps improving the color-selection process

8 Ask a Pro

38 Tools of the Trade

How one pro sets prices and payment terms

Tools to protect your most valuable asset

10 The News

41 Upcoming Events

Industry ins and outs

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

Ready to grow? How and when to make the next leap

42 Bottom Line The truth and consequences of bad hiring practices



inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015


Purple Haze

Who Did What According to the IBISWorld 2014 market research report Painters in the U.S., here’s how pros spent their time in 2014:

The top-selling interior purples from five major paint manufacturers:



















Home-Improvement Numbers to Keep Improving The Home Improvement Research Institute predicts homeimprovement product sales will accelerate throughout the end of 2015 with professional market sales expected to tick up by 5.7%. SOURCE: Home Improvement Research Institute



At Homeowners’ Discretion Of the $192 billion dollars homeowners spent on improvements in 2013, just over 30% went toward discretionary projects, representing a nearly $6 billion rise between 2011 and 2013. SOURCE: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market, 2015 6

inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015






According to, U.S. homeowners spend between $1,500 and $3,610 to paint the exterior of their home. SOURCE: True Cost Guide




fter years of declining revenue, the revitalized home-improvement industry is repositioning itself to address emerging growth markets and rebuild its workforce to better serve the evolving needs—and wants—of its customer base. According to the recently published Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market from Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the home-improvement industry has fared much better than the construction industry in the wake of the recession. While some of the stability can be explained by the required routine maintenance and repair necessary to maintain a property’s value over time, it also reflects the decision by many homeowners to forego trading up and, instead, make improvements to their existing home. “We fully expect 2015 to be a record year in terms of the amount of money-spending we’ll see in home improvement,” says Kermit

the next three to five years. “More and more, aging boomers are looking to stay put. But for many, that requires making modifications to make their home safer as they age,” says Baker. Among the most common modification needs is the creation of a master bedroom on the first floor with a full bath. In addition, relocating laundry facilities to the first floor, widening hallways, and adding ramps to entrances are popular remodels. (For more on aging-in-place remodels visit

Baker, program director for Remodeling Futures program, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. “In addition to maintenance projects, homeowners are taking on certain discretionary projects. However, unlike during the boom between 2004 and 2007 where you’d see dramatic remodels, projects today run more along the lines of mid-level remodels … replacing counters or cabinets instead of gutting the whole kitchen. Homeowners —KERMIT BAKER, JOINT CENTER FOR HOUSING STUDIES OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY are thinking more toward what On the other end of the age spectrum, will meet their lifestyle needs rather than what many young homeowners are focusing on will generate the most resale value.” sustainability. “What started with energy New lifestyle needs, efficiency and retrofits has now evolved into new opportunities healthy-home modifications,” says Baker. Baker sees a number of major opportunities From the addition of solar panels and waterfor home-improvement professionals over conservation systems to using recycled materials and choosing products for their Planning for the Future: According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, potential health impact, homeowners are no longer concerned with aesthetics alone.

“ The paint contractor who is conversant on healthyhome issues and can provide solid product advice is going to have a distinct advantage over others competing for the same jobs.”

U.S. homeowner plans for projects around the home in the first quarter of 2015 versus the same period of last year changed this way:

PROJECT AREA TRENDS Percentage point change over same period last year

Windows –1.5%

Master Bathroom -4.3%

Master Bedroom -8.2%

Deck/Patio/Porch -1.7% Living Room -3.0%

Kitchen -2.1%

A healthy home is a happy home (or rental) According to Baker, people are very concerned about how different products impact the health of their family. “From carpets and air systems to water filters and the paint on the walls, people are paying more attention than ever.” And, the push for healthy homes isn’t limited to houses. “A high number of millennials are gravitating to rentals,” he says. “For property owners, there’s a big opportunity to differentiate your property by making it a healthier option. I see a tremendous opportunity in this area. The paint contractor who is conversant on healthy-home issues and can provide solid product advice is going to have a distinct advantage over others competing for the same jobs.”

SOURCE: HIRI Consumer Sentiment Tracking Study – Q1 2015 Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT



Q: How do you determine the price for a job and set payment terms for your contracts? A: When I started as a painting contractor, I had

no clue what to charge for my work. So I did what most of us do—I copied someone else! I charged what I thought the going rate was and over the course of a few years, found my own price. If I were starting from scratch with the information I now have, I would set my pricing using these 10 tips as a guide:

TOM REBER cofounded Jalapeno Paint Werx in Naperville, IL. and built one of the Chicago area’s most respected residential painting companies. In 2011, he created his personal development and coaching company, MOTOR, through which he helps small-business owners throughout the US and the UK. He is founder of The Contractor Sales Academy and host of The Strongpreneur Podcast on iTunes. He can be reached through

1. Understand contractor business math 101. Learn the language of math—including terms like ‘gross profit,’ ‘cost of goods sold’ (COGS) and ‘overhead’—and their implications for your quality of life.

2. Get clear on how long things take. This is also known as production rates. You want to be as accurate as you can when figuring the time needed to complete a job. Every unaccounted-for minute costs you money.

3. Do job costing on every project. When you compare what the job really cost to what you thought it would cost, it opens your eyes. You instantly get wiser afterward.

4. Measure the risk. If you’re getting a 15% NET profit on a $1,000 job to paint the walls of a two-story foyer above a beautifully finished hardwood floor, ask yourself what the risk is. What happens if you scratch the floor? If you fall? Grab your eraser and charge $2,000 instead.

5. Collect a deposit. I encourage collecting deposits for a couple of reasons. First, the customer has some skin in the game. Second, cash flow is like oxygen to your business. Money goes out each day, so make sure it comes in, too! Shoot for a deposit equal to 50% of the job. That way, if the customer hides when you try to get the final payment, at least most of your costs are covered. 8

inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

6. Fight for every dollar. When a customer says, “I want to hire you, but your price is too high,” many contractors panic and drop their price because they’re afraid of not getting work. If you’re going to come down in price, get something in return, such as payment in full before the job begins or flexibility to do the job according to your own schedule. Don’t undervalue yourself.

7. Make collections a priority. You can avoid cash-flow problems by invoicing and collecting immediately. Don’t apologize for wanting to get paid right away.

8. Get signatures. Have you ever done additional work and not gotten paid because the customer says they didn’t agree to the work? Make sure all work and special circumstances are understood and signed off on. Get a signature and sleep better at night.

9. Don’t make the customer’s money issue yours. Aim for a 50% gross profit. Be proud of that price and what it took you to earn the right to charge that much. I see so many contractors worry about whether a customer can afford it. That’s not your problem— it’s the customer’s.

10. Give them a phenomenal experience. If you want to set your pricing higher, or get more for a deposit and not have people stiff you, make working with your company the best contracting experience someone has ever had, from the way your web site functions to the way you communicate. Show up, be clean, and do what you said you’d do—and then some. In turn, they will find more money for you instead of the budget painter down the street.

[ THE NEWS ] EPA Launches RRP Compliance Push in New Hampshire

Lawn-Painting Businesses Sprouting Up in Southern California

T More than 300 home-renovation

T Homeowners in drought-stricken Southern California

and painting contractors, property management companies, and landlords in and around Nashua received notice from the EPA in April that a new compliance and enforcement push is underway. Specifically, the EPA is looking to ensure compliance with the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule). The RRP Rule, which took effect in April 2010, requires lead-safe training and certification of individual renovators and firms working in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities. RRP violations can run into the thousands of dollars per day. Similar to the campaign launched last year in Connecticut, this effort was announced via a mass mailing, which offered assistance with compliance to anyone who requested it. According to the EPA, Nashua was identified as a high-risk community for lead poisoning because of the high percentage (69%) of housing units built before 1978, the number of children living in poverty, and the proportion of the population under age 6. In addition to RRP violations, the agency is also looking at compliance issues related to the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule (Disclosure Rule), which requires landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and sellers to inform potential tenants and buyers of the presence of lead paint and of lead-paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. 10

inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

are driving demand for a new kind of painting business: lawn painting. Turns out, many homeowners simply can’t abide living with a brown lawn, and a number of creative companies are stepping up to remedy the situation. Using an eco-friendly mixture of pigments, water and an oil base that binds to the grass, the green coating runs about 23¢/sq. ft. in some areas. The nontoxic, grassy-green finish is purported to last about three months. Assuming it doesn’t rain …

PPG Launches Metal Coatings Selector T PPG Industries coil and

building products group launched the PPG Metal Coatings Online Color Selector Tool on The tool displays digital versions of all 90 colors in the PPG Architectural Liquid and Powder Coatings Color Guide as well as 80 colors in the PPG Building Products Coil Coatings Color Guides. Large swatches can be accessed through modules for

both extrusion and coil coatings. Searches can be filtered by color family and by brand name. Sharon Bird, PPG marketing communications manager, industrial coatings, said the new Color Selector Tool is designed to simplify and accelerate the color-specification process. “With a few clicks, designers and architects can find everything they need to learn about or compare specific metal coatings, from their solarreflectance ratings to their resin formulations and suitability for particular applications.”

Angie’s List Forges Exclusive Paint Relationship with Benjamin Moore T Angie’s List recently

announced its first exclusive paint manufacturer relationship with Benjamin Moore. The alliance identifies Benjamin Moore as the paint of choice by Angie’s List and provides members with contractor services through its private marketplace. Angie’s List members have access to best-in-class products and services while helping Benjamin Moore contractors build their businesses with a professional and cobranded certification program. “At Angie’s List, we are passionate about continuing to deliver increased value to our members,” said Pat Brady, president of Marketplace for Angie’s List. “We want to develop narrow, but deep, relationships with the best manufacturers in the business, and we’re excited to count Benjamin Moore as the first of what we hope will be many such relationships.” “In 2014, Angie’s List members spent an estimated $2 billion painting their homes with Angie’s List contractors,”

said Ron Schuller, chief marketing officer at Benjamin Moore. “As the preferred paint among professionals, coupled with the growth and demand for painting services, this is the perfect opportunity to connect members to premium Benjamin Moore products and certified contractors.” “We choose to work closely with the best service providers in the business,” said Brady. He added, “This relationship is designed to bring exclusive deals and efficiencies to both Angie’s List members and service providers, delivering the highest-quality paint products at the best possible value.” As part of this first-of-it’skind agreement, Angie’s List members have access to the Project Visualizer tool on their web site to preview what hundreds of Benjamin Moore interior and exterior paint colors would look like in and on their homes, and have access to exclusive ecommerce offerings from Benjamin Moore painting professionals.

Valspar Creates Custom Color for Crocs Flagship Store T When Crocs decided to invest in a flagship New York City

store, they sought to make sure the look captured the flair and originality for which the company is known. Crocs teamed up with TPG Architecture to design a bold, new exterior for its 13,000-square-foot space in Manhattan. The final product is a quintessential Crocs look, incorporating the company’s trademark bright colors and a set of Crocs with signature ventilation holes. “It’s a crazy design, very conceptual in nature,” said Mike Dell’Olio, sales and marketing manager at Kenneth J. Herman

Inc., the metal-paneling fabricator. “It required extensive custom work, beginning with a custom-color match to Crocs’ green.” To create the stunning surface of the structure and capture the vibrant colors of Crocs’ green and yellow, 4,341 square feet of panels were painted with Valspar’s Valflon coating. Valflon coating was selected due to its vivid finish that will uphold its integrity for years to come. Additionally, the coating has excellent color cohesion and adhesion, and offers resistance to airborne chemicals, acid rain, and most cleaning solvents used to vanquish graffiti.

Unsurpassed Product Lineup / Strong Spec Position / Expert Service The World Leader in Paint & Coatings / Available at More Than 2,400 Locations Nationwide Visit to make a positive change for your business.

© 2015 PPG Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PPG PAINTS™ is a trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. SPEEDHIDE® and Because Every Job Matters are registered trademarks of PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc.






WITH THE ECONOMY IMPROVING IN MOST PLACES, a lot of painting contractors are considering scaling up or diversifying. But how do you know when it’s time to make the leap, and what factors should you consider beforehand?



inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

The wisdom of experience We tapped a number of seasoned pros to learn how they went about taking a leap with their business and what influenced their choices and timing. Our pros include: - Aaron Moore, president of Precision Painting & Decorating in Elmhurst, IL, who, in recent years, has gone from doing small commercial jobs to large ones.

- Mark Adams, owner of Southington Painting in Plantsville, CT, who took a leap when he decided to take on more commercial work. - Kevin Weinmann, owner of Weinmann Painting in Portland, OR, who went from doing standard residential homes to historic homes. Despite the different nature of their respective businesses, the basic considerations were essentially the same for all: current finances and prospects; potential future material, equipment and employee needs; and how to market and advertise your new venture. Here’s how Adams, Moore, and Weinmann addressed those issues and made their leap. The numbers game The recent recession tipped off Adams that he wasn’t going to be able to continue business as usual—a mix of residential and light commercial projects. “We decided to go heavier into commercial,” he says. Because he knew he’d need to obtain a line of credit if he was to move in that direction, Adams talked with his business coach and created a budget. “Commercial work pays much later than residential; you’ll wait 60 to 90 days to get paid. We had some existing cash flow but knew it wouldn’t be enough to hold us over,” says Adams, who went to a banker to determine what credit line would be best. His current mix of work is 65% commercial, 35% residential, but he says he’d ideally, “like it to be 50–50, as cash flow is much better for residential than commercial.” Finding commercial jobs is different than finding residential jobs. Adams began using iSqFt Takeoff software to help with bidding and the Blue Book Building & Construction Network program, which offers a database of commercial projects. “A lot of contracts in the commercial industry are not local; clients can be anywhere in the country. This software gives us the ability to sit at a desk rather

than taking off to pick up blueprints. Now they just email us a set of blueprints.” And while marketing and advertising to homeowners may be through word of mouth, social media and newsletters, commercial work requires a different approach. To promote his business, Adams advertises in places like BOMA Magazine and in places where he can reach general contractors, private schools, hotels, office managers and building facilities managers. The focus of his marketing is often about safety. His employees had to be trained in several areas, such as reading blueprints on the job site to understand scope of work, and knowing about change orders and sequencing work so they would be ahead of other trades on the job. “You don’t allow certain things to be installed, like grid work or mechanicals, before you have a chance to do your painting. We use the PDCA standard constantly to protect ourselves,” Adams says. The most drastic change, he says, is that in the commercial world, where clients might be far away, Adams is competing with other contractors on price rather than on building relationships. “You also have to have something else to offer so they might pay you a little bit extra,” he says. For his company, “it’s capability. We really pay attention to detail on the commercial work.” To develop some kind of relationship, Adams always asks for feedback on projects his company has missed out on. “Ask for a second look and why you didn’t get the project,” he says. “Then perform to your best ability when you do get a project. That’s how you develop the relationship part of this business.” The downturn taught Adams about the need to pay attention to the economy and to adjust his business plan as needed. He says that through PDCA, he gets to speak with contractors around the U.S. to, “get a heads up to see

Moore says that one of the most important things to focus on as you grow is financial management—cash flow, in particular. if something is happening in other parts of the economy. Sooner or later, it can catch anybody. We had seen things slowing down on the West Coast and got a jump on going more heavily into commercial. The trade association connections made a real difference for us.” Strong management There are certain plateaus in the business growth cycle, and breaking that $1-million mark, “is a tough one,” says Moore. “But once you do that, it’s easy to get to $2 million; then between $2 million and $3 million it falls apart again.” That second plateau was Moore’s aha moment. To make that transition easier, he says it’s important to, “build culture in the organization—develop employees and give them

Kevin Weinmann reviewed his past 10 years of clients, looking for similar characteristics to define his ideal customer.


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

a strong sense of purpose. Otherwise, you won’t have everyone walking in the same direction.” Now, Moore invests in training so, “we have everyone pulling in the same direction.” Moore says that one of the most important things to focus on as you grow is financial management—cash flow, in particular. If you’re a $500,000 contractor who suddenly gets a $50,000 job that won’t pay you for 60 days, “that will hurt your cash flow and you won’t be able to finance your operation.” To combat cash-flow issues, build up retained earnings to prepare for growth. “The first job is the hardest, but after that, you can get ahead of the curve,” says Moore, who admits he maxed out all his credit cards and couldn’t even buy a friend lunch at one point. “I had money in receivables but no cash.” Now, after 11 years in business, Moore operates on a $400,000 line of credit, which he pays off when he has additional cash. Large commercial jobs make up 70% of his business; the other 30% is in residential work. “The mix depends on personal preference; there’s a little more hand-holding with residential work,” he says. There are three other important things to consider before scaling up, Moore says. - Understand your default risk Could you weather the storm if someone didn’t pay you? A lot of people aren’t comfortable with that. - Capacity You can risk losing a regular customer because you took on a bigger job that requires using all your people. Determine a strategy—hire subcontractors or partner with another painting company in an equitable venture, for example. - Bidding If you’re painting inside a 35-story high-rise and you forget three doors on each floor, you could lose $20,000, so you have to learn to bid carefully.

Find your focus When Kevin Weinmann got the chance to add painting apartments to his residential work in 2004, he took it, and the commercial business grew quickly. But when the recession hit three years later, “the price per unit dropped and we had to look at how to stay alive,” Weinmann says. “That’s when we went back to basics—which was older residential homes—to see if we could get our gross margins back to where we wanted them to be.” Weinmann took a systematic approach. He reviewed his past 10 years of clients, looking for similar characteristics to define his ideal customer. He read articles on marketing and demographics and attended PDCA Advanced Shop Talk (AST) meetings. He came up with a demographic of lifestyle, age, how people spent their money, and which homes were the best fit for his company. He determined that his sweet spot was working on homes between 90 and 100 years old that were owned by people aged 32 to 40 with double incomes, who want to be in a good school district—or people in their 50s and 60s who had been (or still are) making good money. These people value their homes and want to take care of them. That was where he was going to direct his growth. After a while, he narrowed his market even further. “We used to have most of Portland, but we spent a lot in gas and travel,” he says. Now, he’s defined a densely populated area about a quarter that size with about 5,000 homes. “We’ve kind of pushed out some other competitors and have taken over as a premium painter in that area,” he says. “Our cap used to be $1-million homes; now the homes are between $700,000 and $2 million. Portland neighborhoods are getting nicer.” Eventually, Weinmann will have to find another large neighborhood, and he doesn’t see a problem growing geographically. The one thing that may hold him back is finding labor. He has kept the same core group of 12 employees for a long time and has a training program for apprentices, but he says it’s difficult to find good workers. In his line of work, he has to make sure employees have a high level of craftsmanship and the skills to interact with high-end homeowners. For now, Weinmann says, “We’re on target at $1.5 million and our gross margins are where we want them to be. It’s a stable market and client loyalty is very high.” Regardless of how you grow, taking your business to the next level is a choice that will affect more than just your business. You also have to consider your personal goals, Moore says. “I’m entrepreneurial. If my company did $100 million this year, I’d want to do $200 million next year. I want to win and I want to win by more,” he says. “Most people look at me and say, ‘I don’t want your life; your hair is turning gray; you’re crazy.’ Set your growth rate based on your business goals, which should include your lifestyle goals.”



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a mentor uses can often become a go-to for a younger painter as well. When it comes to brush preferences, many pros quickly learn what brand, size or style works for them, and end up sticking with it for the long haul. “Your dad may have been a painter for 40 years and you started working with him when you were eight or nine years old … there’s that level of comfort, that brand loyalty that builds up,” said Rick Watson, director of product information and technical services for Sherwin-Williams, which also owns Purdy Professional Painting Tools. Paint pros will feverishly debate which brand or particular style brush holds the most paint and releases better. All are looking for the perfect balance of fewer dips into the paint can, great coverage, and durability as well. And if you ask them, there are many hotly debated answers. “The key here is, ‘what tool makes you feel more comfortable when you’re using it?’” Watson added. Purdy power Nearly 100 years old, Purdy is hands-down one of the most popular and widely available brush brands on the market today. For 30 years, it has been a go-to for David Wood, owner of Wood’s Painting and Wallpaper of North Adams, MA. “I’ve tried all kinds of different brushes, but Purdys last the longest, keep their shape, and allow you to do what you want to do,” he added. “I’ve had some for 10 years. The paint bristles are still as fine as ever.” Today, Wood primarily uses a 3½" nylon-polyesterblend angled-sash brush for most of his trim work, but one of his workhorse brushes is a now-discontinued model called the ‘Wobbler,’ he says. The 3½" brush’s ability to load plenty of paint while cutting clean lines is the reason the pro went on a quest to find as many as possible once he learned they were discontinued. He called hardware stores throughout the region to find them.

“I found a place in Connecticut and I bought the last of what they had. I got those about 10 years ago and I still have them,” he said. While many pros prefer longer handles, Wood gravitates toward shorter Purdys. “Some guys like more reach but I just like that shorter, thicker handle. … I’m kind of self-taught and that type just works for me,” he explained. Demonstrated success A few years back, Mike Shaffer, owner of Five Star Painting in Temecula, CA, was at a conference where he saw a Wooster brush demo. He had never tried Wooster before but found the demonstration convincing enough to give the brand a try. “I found the Wooster holds a lot more paint and releases a lot easier,” he said. “That’s a whole lot less of dropping it in the bucket and more laying down without a reload.” The pro also said because he is 6'4" tall, he prefers to get as much extension to his left and right before moving over to the next section of a job, and a brush that holds more paint allows him to do that. Shaffer is also a fan of the 3" oval-brush style, known as the ‘Pippin.’ “That style holds so much more paint than other brushes,” he added.

“ I’ve had some [Purdy brushes] for 10 years. The paint bristles are still as fine as ever.” —DAVID WOOD, WOOD’S PAINTING AND WALLPAPER

Silver Tip, more Wooster Kevin Kees, the paint and hardware manager at Curtis Lumber in Hoosick, NY, has painted for more than 10 years. His loyalty also lies with Wooster, and two particular brushes, the ‘Silver Tip’ and ‘Shortcut’ models are the most popular at his store. Pros like the ergonomically designed handle of the Shortcut, and the nylon-polyester-blended Silver Tip models because the chemically treated tips, “just lay out better, and after you use them, the surface looks like it has been sprayed.” Pros also prefer the hardy steel ferrule on Wooster, as well as the variety of thin and thick handles that can be found with the brand, Kees said. Sergio San Roman, with SR Maintenance & Management Services, Inc., in Downey, CA said he

“ [The Silver Tip models] just lay out better, and after you use them, the surface looks like it has been sprayed.” —KEVIN KEES, PAINT & HARDWARE MANAGER, CURTIS LUMBER Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT


“If you just take your time, stay patient, and have a steady hand, that’s important. … You can have the best brush in the world, but if you don’t have the integrity and value in the job, your work is still going to look terrible.” —SERGIO SAN ROMAN, SR MAINTENANCE & MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC

“ … the Corona can hold so much paint, and it doesn’t splatter … it’s really amazing how it does that.” —ROBSON PORTES, FIVE STAR PAINTING

uses angled and straight 1½" to 3" Woosters. San Roman admits to not always having a lot of time to clean properly and will often soak his brushes at night. The Woosters have stood up to the test for a long time without fraying, he added. San Roman works with a lot of complex cutting situations on exterior trim, he says. He likes to slow down on the job to get his cuts right and the Wooster handles and bristles feel right for his technique. “If you just take your time, stay patient, and have a steady hand, that’s important. … You can have the best brush in the world, but if you don’t have the integrity and value in the job, your work is still going to look terrible,” he said. Pricing factors, Corona Autumn Bucchieri, manager of Different Strokes Paints & Decorating, in Bennington, VT, said the Wooster-made Benjamin Moore’s 2½" angled-sash nylon-polyester-blend brushes have been a hit for years at her store. Pricing is a key driver, the longtime painter also says, as the brushes are sometimes up to $10 less than competing styles. “They’re equally durable and work just as well. It’s really a no-brainer,” she said. To get more out of the Benjamin Moore brushes, she uses a brush comb instead of a wire brush to strip out old paint. It’s something she encourages other pros to do as well. “It really helps any brush last a lot longer,” she added.


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

For Robson Portes, a crew leader for Five Star Painting of Boston North Shore, MA, price is less of a factor. Portes, who has worked predominantly on high-end custom homes for more than a decade, is happy to pay an extra $7 or $8 over the competing Wooster or Purdy brush for his Corona brushes. Portes’ go-to is the 2½" angled ‘Cortez’ model, with its hardwood handle and stainless steel ferrule. “It’s a lot more than the Purdy, but I can cut a nice line no matter how much I wash it and use it,” he explained. “And the Corona can hold so much paint, and it doesn’t splatter. You don’t get those drips on the floor. It just holds that paint in the bristles better. It’s really amazing how it does that.” The paint pro said many painters shy away from Corona partly because of price, but also because the brand is harder to find. “There are only a couple of stores around where I can find them, but the Purdys you can find everywhere. That’s why, I think, a lot of people stick with them.” Portes also finds that Picasso brushes bring a similar quality to Corona when it comes to paint hold and release, but says he finds the Corona to be more durable. “The Picassos are similar in price to Purdy,” he added. “They are very good. I just know my Corona can last a lot longer.”

If you’re looking for the best in paintbrushes, Wooster has what you need. Our range goes from classics like Yachtsman, those natural bristle brushes that first debuted in the 1960s, to hard rockers like Chinex FTP, new on the scene and designed especially for today’s paints. We can match your coating, environment, and preferred feel perfectly. Whatever mix you choose, you’ll get legendary performance with Wooster cutting-edge technology...and the hits keep on coming!

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We recently asked several industry experts for their top go-to choices for paint products. Here’s what they had to say: MATT SHOUP, President M & E Painting Loveland, CO

“ Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint goes on smooth and thick and holds up over time to our harsh Colorado climate,” he says. “The price point, which is around $30 per gallon, makes it a great return on investment. Its low temperature capabilities allow us to paint during the cooler months.”

“On the higher-end paints for interiors, Sherwin-Williams’ Duration matte performs well and can be purchased for less than $50,” he says. “ Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select eggshell finish has one of the best touch-up capabilities. I am not a fan of eggshell on walls, but on any jobs that call for eggshell, we’ll always use this one; while for trim, I have always used Sherwin-Williams’ ProClassic in a semigloss finish. Coming in at a close second is Benjamin Moore’s Advance.” Meriam adds that for a more economical paint that still performs well, he recommends Benjamin Moore’s Ultra Spec.

DAN BRADY, President Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration Traverse City, MI

“Manor Hall Timeless by Pittsburgh Paints works especially well on weathered cedar siding, where you have lots of dryness and texture in the wood,” he says. “It’s a thicker-than-normal paint and has the ability to fill in the roughness and bring the look of the siding back to life. The fact that this paint is thicker makes it really great on weathered siding. It fills in a lot of that dryness and lets you get an almost-new look.” For quick-turn jobs, Brady turns to Pittsburgh Paints’ Pro Siding Plus solid-color stain. “It’s a very forgiving product; it’s hard to make a mistake with it and it’s also a really good value­­—plus, it will last five to seven years,” he says. “It’s a terrific product for the customer who wants a fresh look to improve curb appeal. It’s 100% acrylic so it will stick to aluminum, vinyl and plastic.”

“ Benjamin Moore’s Advance works like an oil-based product but water cleans it up and it dries within an hour,” he says. “It works great on walls and trim, and there’s no smell. We use it any time we’re doing trim work, commercial work, or a client’s home. Because it dries so quickly, the doors can be closed and people can be working in the same area. Plus, no smell means clients aren’t bothered by odor either.”


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

BOB MERIAM, Owner Meriam Painting Summerville, SC

LOUIS KATZ, President LJK Wallcoverings, Inc. Hartsdale, NY

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WILL SHEILS, Owner Blue Star Paint & Property Services, LLC Annapolis, MD

“For interior and exterior, I like Pittsburgh Paints’ Manor Hall line because it is a true self-primer and leaves minimum brushstrokes in the higher sheen,” he says. “I use this brand line on all residential jobs, while for smaller-budget jobs, I like Pittsburgh’s Speedhide line, which is a great option for rentals and commercial properties.” Sheils mentions that Sherwin Williams’ SuperPaint is also a good choice for both interior and exterior use. “It covers well and stands up to heavy wear and tear,” he says.

“One of the important questions for interior repaint customers is what is their goal; for example, are they moving in or out? Many times, the customer flat out states they are moving and it is a 100% budget job,” he notes. “For those jobs, Sherwin-Williams’ ProMar 200 and 400 will do the job quite well at a low price. We use ProMar on rentals that are painted often, and houses being ‘beiged’ to sell by very cost-conscious customers.” Meanwhile, if a customer is moving in and it’s an upscale home, Fancher recommends SherwinWilliams’ Cashmere. “Or, if they are using deep colors, we use their Emerald,” he says. “Both are great products and are made for a long-lasting, quality job. The cost is higher, but the quality will last, and the added cost for the paint is mitigated by a lower labor cost.”

JOHN BUBENIK, Owner The Color Craftsmen St. Louis, MO

“Benjamin Moore’s Aura has excellent hide and is better than most for touch-up. This is a great product,” he says. “We use it whenever we want good abrasion resistance, great hide (manufacturer says no more than two coats are necessary), and when we want the customer to rest assured that any touch-ups won’t be apparent.” Bubenik adds that an alternate product, when great hide is required but touch-up ability is not crucial, is Behr Marquee. “We haven’t used the exterior version yet, but we’ve used the interior product several times and regard it as being similar to Aura,” he says. “Another favorite product is PPG’s Break-Through. We’ve used this product on floors, tile, and even a countertop. It’s very durable, dries fast, and is available in satin and gloss.”

“This product is ideal for recoating masonry walls,” says Nocchi of Sherwin-Williams’ Pro Industrial Multi-Surface Coating. “When spraying warehouse or industrial walls for recoat or new construction, it is self-priming, high-build, and you get a nice, angular sheen. It’s a standard staple go-to product for us. We save on labor costs, and touch-ups aren’t required.” For residential and commercial high-end work, Nocchi likes Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select. “It has one-coat coverage,” he says. “I like the ease of application; it lays nice and leaves a nice, uniform, one-coat finish. It’s a tried-and-true product.”


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

JERRY FANCHER, Owner/Estimator Fresh Coat Painters Eden Prairie, MN

DAN NOCCHI, President Hometown Painters, Inc. Chicago, IL

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rior Planning, Preparation and Practice Prevent Poor Performance,’ is a military motto. It should also be the inspiration for every painting contractor, especially when it comes to applying effective and lasting masonry waterproof coatings, according to our expert. Properly treating masonry substrate, whether it’s the exterior of a commercial building or a residence, minimizes or eliminates the problem of moisture intrusion into the substrate, said Jeff Spillane, senior manager of training implementation for Benjamin Moore. “Concrete block is like a rigid sponge that allows any excessive moisture to easily penetrate the substrate if it’s not well-coated,” he

said. “But it’s also important to keep in mind that most liquid coatings won’t hold back water, only moisture vapor.” When a painting contractor has to decide how to most appropriately treat a block-constructed commercial building, residential unit, or a cinder block retaining wall in the backyard of a home, what considerations should be part of the decision-making process? One of the most important factors with new construction, Spillane said, is whether the masonry has had enough time to cure before any primer, filler, or other coating is applied. Ideally, conventional block construction should have cured for at least 60 to 90 days, he said, while tilt-up construction requires at least 30 days to cure. Although

“ One of the most important factors with new construction is whether the masonry has had enough time to cure before any primer, filler, or other coating is applied.” ­ JEFF SPILLANE, SENIOR MANAGER — OF TRAINING IMPLEMENTATION, BENJAMIN MOORE


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

Photos: Sherwin-Williams


FOR THE PROS. SMOOTH APPLICATION FOR FASTER RESULTS. Ultra Spec® 500 is formulated for the professional. With smooth application and a fast dry time, Ultra Spec® 500 helps your interior commercial projects move quicker, while delivering the quality finish and color expected from a professional job. • Exceptional application properties • Quick dry and re-coat time • Excellent hide and easy touch-ups • MPI approved • Qualifies for LEED® and LEED® v4 credit © 2015 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore, Ultra Spec, and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks, licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co.

15-12551_Ultra Spec 500 Ad_In Paint_8.375 x 10.875.indd 1

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products are available that can be applied after less cure time, the majority of products used as masonry coatings require this relatively lengthy cure time to ensure that coatings will last, Spillane said. Conditions and steps needed for successful preparation and application Once the appropriate cure time has been established, it’s time to evaluate the pH level of the concrete, Spillane said. A pH of 8 or 10 is optimal for good results, he said. If the pH is as high as 13 or 14, “you may have to acid-treat the substrate to balance the pH.” Next, make sure weather and environmental conditions are conducive to successful application of a water-resistant or waterproof coating. Ideal conditions are 70˚ with 50% relative humidity, Spillane said, acknowledging that expecting these conditions isn’t realistic. “As you move away from those numbers, though, you may sacrifice overall performance of the system,” he said. Rick Watson, director of product information and technical services for Sherwin-Williams, pointed out that some coatings can tolerate an outside temperature of between 35˚and 110˚F. “It is important, however, not to apply the coating in direct sunlight because the surface could dry too quickly, potentially trapping moisture within the coating,” Watson said. And, he said, the coating can ‘bubble’ if the surface is too warm when the coating is applied. If the weather and position of the sun are cooperating, inspect the substrate and make sure it’s clean, sound and dry, Spillane advised. Any contaminants, such as mildew or efflorescence (the white residue created when water penetrates the substrate), should be cleaned off and neutralized with a cleaning product that can remove etching in the block before any coating is applied. Efflorescence that’s left behind, he explained, can cause premature failure. “All concrete contains impurities,” Spillane said, “and if moisture passes through the substrate, all those impurities are brought to the surface.” Before applying a coating, patch any cracks or holes, Watson recommends. Walls should be dry, he added, meaning that the surface should not contain more than 15% moisture as measured by a moisture meter. A concrete and masonry waterproofer can fill any remaining pinholes, said Stephen Munshi, product manager for Behr Process Corporation. “You want to be sure every pore gets filled by spraying and back-rolling carefully with the appropriate millimeters, per manufacturer specifications,” Watson said. A masonry sealer is another option, Spillane said. The Paint Quality Institute (PQI) points out that a masonry sealer has very little or no pigmentation, whereas a primer is pigmented. The PQI advises painting contractors to choose a sealer that is indicated specifically for new masonry. “If the surface is currently painted, a sealer may not be required,” Spillane said. “This will be determined

The Paint Quality Institute advises painting contractors to choose a sealer that is indicated specifically for new masonry.


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

by the current condition of the existing paint film.” The finish coat should dry as a solid film, as if you’re, “putting a piece of plastic over the entire building,” Watson said. By applying the finish coat as a continuous film, you’re helping to prevent several problems, including water damage, mold and mildew growth, and possible spalling and peeling of the paint on the substrate, he said. If you’re in a hurry, Sherwin-Williams’ Loxon XP Masonry Coating is formulated to be applied as early as seven days after masonry has been constructed, Watson said. Formulated to counteract the effects of high-alkaline content and efflorescence, it has flexibility and tensile strength like that of an elastomeric coating. “But waiting 30 days at minimum for curing is still the ideal standard,” Watson said. Elastomeric coating considerations PQI says elastomeric wall coatings—exterior acrylic latex masonry paints designed to be applied in thick films (about 10 times as thick as regular paints)—are tough and flexible, and stretch as cracks underneath the surface open and close. These coatings can be tinted to a light color. A major consideration for deciding to go to the next level and use an elastomeric product on masonry instead of a standard latex paint, the experts say, is geography. “If the client is located in a dry climate like Arizona, for example, you probably don’t need an elastomeric coating on most masonry,” Watson said. “But if the client is located in the Midwest, Northeast or Florida, then an elastomeric product may be appropriate.” He said an elastomeric coating is often applied up to 40 millimeters in thickness. “Without the proper coating on masonry in humid areas, water— taking the path of least resistance—can penetrate the surface. And when the water freezes, it contracts and expands in a cycle that can lead to spalling, where the concrete and coating just pop off.” Elastomeric coatings are especially needed, Spillane said, where there are noticeable cracks or some shifting of the concrete. But even if the climate calls for the product, an elastomeric coating is only appropriate for walls where water comes in contact with the front of the masonry, explained Eric Serrano, the channel manager, floor & specialty products for Behr Process Corporation. A retaining wall in a backyard, for example, isn’t an appropriate surface for an elastomeric coating because pressure from water coming from behind the wall, “can push the elastomeric coating out,” Serrano said. Newer products may accomplish more Clear siloxane waterproof coatings may be appropriate for unpainted masonry surfaces, Spillane said. “They may penetrate more deeply into the substrate,” he said. He also noted that more masonry coatings on the market have lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs), too. In addition to Loxon XP Masonry Coating, for higheralkaline surfaces with signs of efflorescence, Watson said, painting contractors can choose the reflective pigment version of that product, which reflects solar rays back into the atmosphere and helps reduce the surface temperature.




As we head into the cooler months, interior work will dominate the job list for paint pros in fourseason climates. After a long summer of exterior work, interior prep can seem tedious and time-consuming, especially in the case of repaints of occupied buildings. Paint pros would much rather be rolling paint than hanging drop clothes on precious belongings, but most will take the inconvenience in the name of steady work. Transitioning from exterior to interior work requires tapping different skill sets and habits. Whether it’s surface prep or logistics, several experts offer up these helpful tips and reminders. Caulk considerations Jeremy Rhett, owner of CertaPro Painters of Atlanta, has been in business for 15 years. And he says when it comes to caulk, what goes outside should come inside too. Too often, pros assume a climate-controlled environment means caulk quality can go by the wayside. But saving a few bucks only hurts the whole job. “We use elastomeric sealants on everything,” he said. “In Atlanta, with the humidity and dry, cold winters, you can get gaps and cracks, and a $1 tube of caulk can make the job look so bad.” Cool walls Even with a cozy, warm interior, paint adhesion issues can still occur due to surface-temperature problems,


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

explained Rick Watson, director of product information and technical services for Sherwin-Williams. Watson said an interior wall whose opposite side is exposed to the outside elements could be vulnerable to temperature concerns, particularly on older homes with poor insulation. “It could be 65˚ or 70˚ in the house but that wall surface could be 45,˚” he said. “That could really slow your drying.” Underestimating cleaning Nothing trips up adhesion like a dirty surface. Watson says all pros understand the need for a surface to be clean, dry and dull, but he emphasizes a particular order of prep activity that can help assure a surface is ready for a coat of paint. Clean it, dry it, sand it, then give the space a final vacuum or wipe down to remove dust, he advises. Too often, that last dust removal step can go overlooked, he explained. “You don’t have to be a fanatic about dust, you just have to make sure it’s removed,” he said. If prepping a kitchen or bathroom, be supervigilant in cleaning steps when dealing with soap and grease marks, he added. Keep an eye out for existing roller and brush marks, too, Watson said. Indoor environments with limited lighting can hide imperfections, but a fresh coat of paint could reintroduce it to the room.

“All that stuff is going to telegraph to the next coat,” he noted. Kasey Jenkins, senior applications specialist for Behr Process Corporation, says baseboards are common dust build-up areas that trip up interior jobs. While pros are generally good about wiping them down, he says a baseboard should ideally be vacuumed, especially if it’s next to carpet. “That’s where the human and animal hair and dust can show up and, if not careful, you paint over it,” he said. In general, Jenkins also encourages a wipe down of all walls with a damp cloth to clear away dust and, if dealing with an existing dirty semigloss paint, use a multipurpose cleaner or trisodium phosphate. Lead Jeff Spillane, senior manager of training implementation with Benjamin Moore, highlights the importance of understanding lead-based paint scenarios. Lead-based paint was outlawed in 1978 and older buildings can be called into question, particularly if surfaces require sanding or cleaning up paint chips during prep. Spillane has done his homework on the leadbased-paint subject and knows that buildings built in the 60s and 70s probably have very little lead on their walls; whereas buildings built in the 30s, 40s and 50s could have as much as a third of the paint formula full of lead. Regardless, both situations require a tradesman who is trained in the best practices for containing and working with walls containing lead-based paint. 1-800-424-LEAD, the EPA’s National Lead Information Hotline, can offer resources for paint contractors and other tradesmen working on a building with potentially high levels of lead-based paint. Air out With today’s low-VOC acrylics giving off little to no fumes, it’s easy to forgo cracking that window or door on jobs, Spillane said. But failing to properly ventilate a space could lead to an early paint failure. “That air flow and humidity has a big impact on the drying and curing of the paint,” he added. Courtesy, speed, containment After working on exteriors all summer, painters can become careless about where their feet land. “When you are used to climbing ladders and walking through dirt and grass, you have to

remind yourself to think about where you’re stepping,” said Rhett. “It seems like a real common sense thing, but we have to remind exterior painters to take their shoes off at the door.” Rhett cautions commercial crews accustomed to high-production work to slow down and refine their cutting-in practices for crisp, straight edges that homeowners demand. He also encourages his interior teams to work on small sections of a house, focusing first on high-use areas, to restore order to the home. “It’s important for homeowners to still have some sense of home while you’re working there,” he said.

“It’s important for homeowners to still have some sense of home while you’re working there.” — JEREMY RHETT, CERTAPRO PAINTERS



You know the old saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”? That doesn’t just apply to your workshop—it’s every bit as important when you’re in the field. “Having an organized work truck means you save time and are a more efficient painter,” says Jeffrey Heininger, founder of Heininger Automotive ( “And let’s face it, time is money in the trades.” Whether you’re naturally organized or have to make an effort, the following systems and accessories can make life much easier for you and your team.


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015


BED TIME The concept behind DECKED ( is to provide easy access to your gear without crawling in and out of the bed of your truck. This ergonomic system includes two drawers that are load-rated for 200 pounds each—meaning that you can load them up with a variety of brushes, paint cans, and other tools. The top deck, constructed of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that’s molded around a steel subframe, is rated up to 2,000 pounds. So, you can safely load anything from commercial-grade paint sprayers to paint buckets— as many as 36 five-gallon buckets, if you do the math. “The nice thing for painters is that the HDPE is impervious to anything,” says Scott Mavis, vice president of marketing at DECKED. “If you spill paint or solvents, they won’t damage it. Even if you have a topper on the truck, it can be easily rinsed out. The drawers are both weatherproof and waterproof, and you can hose down the entire system.” Installation of the DECKED system utilizes the existing tie-downs in your vehicle and doesn’t require drilling into the truck bed—just the ability to operate a socket wrench. While the initial assembly process takes about two hours and nine steps, it only takes about 15 minutes to remove it or put it back in.

The 8½"-deep drawers can be accessorized with a number of items, such as dividers or trays, so you can keep smaller items isolated. Since your existing tie-downs are underneath the unit, additional CORE Trax Tie-Downs can be drilled directly into the deck and reinforcing tubes. You can also add locks, although once you have your tailgate closed and locked, there’s no way for someone to open the drawers. “Quite honestly, someone can throw a brick through your window before they’d be able to crack through the top of the deck,” Mavis says. The model of truck you’re putting the system in dictates the space between the system and the tailgate. In a Toyota Tundra, it’s about ½." In a Ford, with a slightly longer bed, it will be 4" or 5," which is still not enough to get your hand in and getting anything out of the drawers. DECKED systems are 100% made in the U.S. and will fit nearly every full-size pickup with a 5½' or 6½' bed made since the mid to late ’90s. While they’re not available for midsize trucks or 8' bed lengths yet, the company is working on developing units for popular vehicles such as the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado pickups.

PHOTO: Northern Tool

TIME TO STEP UP The Ironton Truck Service Step from Northern Tool + Equipment ( is a simple product that could be used alongside any organizational system. The bar slips over your tire, giving you a convenient way to step up and get access to a truck box or the bed of your truck—or even for doing maintenance on your engine. (The company also sells an extra-large unit for service trucks with larger tires.) With a 300-pound capacity, it can accommodate just about anyone in your workforce. The step folds down compactly, and the serrated platform gives you a good foothold even in slick weather conditions. “You can carry a step stool, but this is a lot easier and takes up almost no space,” says Justin Sticht, an Internet merchant with Northern Tool. “They’re very durable, and the price is right at $30—and if you keep an eye on it, sometimes it’s discounted to $25.”

PHOTO: Detail K2 (left)

UP AND AWAY Let’s face it: Permanent utility racks aren’t always convenient and aren’t a quick on-off situation. They limit the other uses you can make of your pickup—and don’t even think about taking them through a car wash. On the other hand, laying a ladder at an angle from the bed of the truck over the cab isn’t a good solution either, from the space it takes up, to the potential damage to the truck. If you’re looking for a better way to stow your ladders or lumber, the two following accessories can be a smart play. The combination Headache and Flip Rack from Detail K2 ( is a multipurpose item, protecting the back window with a guard as well as giving you a convenient rack for mounting a ladder. “When you need your ladder, you just flip the crossbar back,” says Bryan Johnson, account manager with Detail K2. “Then, when you’re not carrying a ladder, it folds down flush.” Whether it’s up or down, the device offers full access to the bed for your supplies. Holes along the rails allow you to put ratchet straps across the ladder to secure it. The Flip Rack is made of powder-coated steel to prevent wear and tear and rusting and is rated to 500 pounds. Johnson says it takes just 15 or 20 minutes to install, with a four-clamp system that attaches to the walls of the truck. (It can also be bolted on, for extra security.) Because the unit telescopes in height and width, it fits 95% of all pickup trucks, including smaller vehicles such as the Ford Ranger. If you’re a fan of the TV show Shark Tank, you may already be familiar with the Invis-A-Rack Cargo Management System. Inventor Donny McCall didn’t cut a deal with one of the sharks because he wanted to keep the manufacturing in the U.S.—but the visibility from the show paid off with a slew of sales and a manufacturing agreement with Des Moines, IA-based Dee Zee. The Invis-A-Rack folds up or down, holds up to 500 pounds, installs easily with clamps, and has racks that fit 5½,' 6½,' and 8' truck beds. Made from lightweight aluminum extrusions, this innovative cargo system has non-rusting strength sealed by a textured black-powder-coated finish. An optional custom tonneau cover secures with Velcro to protect other gear from the elements. When

PHOTO: Dee Zee, Inc.

[The Flip Rack] takes just 15 or 20 minutes to install, with a four-clamp system that attaches to the walls of the truck.

Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT


unrolled, it covers the entire bed, and it can be locked for extra security. Dan Kruzic, Dee Zee’s director of marketing, notes that the Invis-A-Rack is practical even after you’ve sealed up the paint buckets and washed off your tools. “On the weekend, you can also throw your kayak or canoe up there and go fishing.” PHOTOS: Northern Tool


PHOTO: Heininger Automotive

DIVIDE AND CONQUER The HitchMate Cargo Stabilizer Bar offers a simple, clever way to separate your bed space into sections. It’s a rugged bar that expands or contracts to fit the width of the pickup truck or van, using lateral pressure to stay locked in place. “Say you have five 5-gallon buckets of paint that you’re ready to splash onto a house or building,” says Heininger. “You just secure the bar next to them, and they’re not going anywhere, even if you stop short or hit a bump. The goal is to stabilize your cargo and make the inside of the vehicle more organized.” Rubber feet ensure that the bar stays in place and prevent scratching your paint job. Many of Heininger’s contractor customers use multiple bars to separate their cargo. For example, if you’ve got loads that need to go to different locations, you can use additional bars to create sections and eliminate confusion or mis-deliveries. The gear mechanism and lever bar make it easy to relieve the tension and move the Cargo Bar to another area of the truck. “The Cargo Bar is heavy duty and can restrain any piece of equipment that a painting contractor might use,” Heininger says. “In fact, I have friends who have used it to hold a motorcycle in place.” The Cargo Bar can also be accessorized to make it even more utilitarian. The HitchMate BedBag and Cargo Bag are made of high-quality, heavy-duty mesh that will stand up to your heaviest items. They simply attach to the tubing and offer a good solution for tidying up smaller tools and appliances. Finally, the HitchMate Divider Bar clamps onto the Cargo Bar to create perpendicular sections. “Say you’ve got cargo on one side and a bucket of paint on the other,” Heininger says. “You just attach the bar with wing nuts, and it will keep them both in place.” 32

inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

Truck boxes have earned a reputation as the standard way to organize equipment in the bed of your truck, but if you’re purchasing a new vehicle or looking to make an upgrade, there are new options to consider. Sticht says that the crossover truck box is the most common variety, whether low profile or deep design. Northern Tool’s crossover models have a unique handle, which mimics the function of a door handle, and a two-stage rotary system lock with an adjustable pin that stands up to vehicle torquing and temperature changes. About a year ago, the company introduced a matte-black finish rather than the standard glossy finish. “It looks really sharp,” he says. “Chrome truck boxes are going out of style.” He also suggests choosing aluminum rather than steel, because it won’t rust and is incredibly strong, while weighing 50% less. Piano hinges run the length of the box to offer additional security. If you want to conserve prime real estate in the truck bed, a rail-top truck box is another good solution. The models offered by Northern Tool include a bottom and top shelf with plenty of space to put supplies, paint cans, and gear. With a side-mount truck box, part of the L-shaped box sits on the rail, and part on the inside of the truck on the wheel well. While drilling into your truck is an option for security, a mounting kit is available for easy installation. Dee Zee, Inc. ( introduced its Crossover Padlock Tool Box last year, which the company says requires 2.5 times more pry force to open the lid compared to standard tool-box latches. This box is constructed of 20% thicker aluminum than Dee Zee’s standard Red Label box, and the patented slide surrounds heavy-duty striker bolts to keep the lid closed with a single moving part. One unique aspect of this truck box is that it’s designed to work with any kind of padlock including the BOLT brand, which can be used with your truck ignition key for convenience. The box’s patented design nests the padlock into the side of the box, making it impossible to reach the shackle with bolt cutters.

“The Cargo Bar is heavy duty and can restrain any piece of equipment that a painting contractor might use.” —JEFFREY HEININGER, FOUNDER, HEININGER AUTOMOTIVE



New Orleans, LA

MARCH 9-12, 2016


It only takes Roger Moyer, an avid skier, seven minutes to walk to the chairlift from his office door.


“There are many similarities to coaching athletes and managing people in a business.” —ROGER MOYER ASPEN PAINTING, INC.

Most people would want to get as far away as possible from their workplace environment at the end of the day, but as the owner of Aspen Painting, Inc., in the affluent mountain resort community of Aspen, CO, Moyer is exactly where he wants to be. Moyer didn’t always ski—or paint houses in a high-profile community. While growing up in upstate Bridgeport, NY, he learned to restore and paint wooden boats for his father, who owned a boat and motor-supply center. Then his life took a slightly different course. He enlisted in the Army, and while stationed in Heidelberg, Germany discovered a fondness and talent for skiing. After serving in the armed forces, Moyer attended college, then in 1968, he decided to head to Aspen to ski and finish his studies in Asian history at the University of Colorado. Instead of hitting the books, though, he hit the slopes, painting houses in the summer to offset his winter recreational habits. By 1973, Moyer had developed a full-fledged, yearround painting business in Aspen. Growth through diversification At first, Moyer focused on residential painting, but eventually, Aspen Painting’s lineup included commercial work as well as specialty applications such as wallpaper and drywall, glazes, and plaster and stucco services as the trends became popular. “We use real plaster that we order from Italy, which is more expensive but successful. It’s an application all the guys like to do. It’s nontoxic, gorgeous and fun,” says Moyer. An interest in historical preservation also led Moyer, a member of the Aspen Historical Society and former


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

member of the Historic Preservation Commission, and his crews to renovate several of the Victorian homes that are common in Aspen. Environmental climate factors drive the type of work Aspen Painting pursues throughout the year, says Moyer. “In the summer, we do a lot of maintenance work, which is especially necessary in Aspen. Those who understand this are steady customers. In the winter, we try to have at least one new construction project.” Slow and steady wins the race Since the ’90s, Moyer has spent the bulk of his time running the business, but still consults customers on glazes and color selections. Despite longevity in the industry, he has experienced his fair share of hurdles, including weathering unforeseen economic storms. The most recent recession forced Moyer to reduce employee pay by 20% and do jobs at cost, though he notes the company has recovered and is experiencing an upturn in business again. As a ski instructor and multiple-sport coach, Moyer has spent years developing young athletes to set their sights on the finish line. In the mid-80s, however, he discovered that growing a painting business requires a more measured pace for success. “At one point, we had 60 employees. It was absolutely insane,” he says. “We’ve cut it back to 12 to 15 in the summer and six in the offseason. It’s much easier to manage at those numbers.” Moyer’s coaching background has proven effective in helping to lead and motivate his staff too. “There are many similarities to coaching athletes and managing people in a business. You have to encourage, encourage, encourage—and teach basic skills,” he says. Craftsmanship is nonnegotiable Raising the craftsmanship bar among his staff, as well as the integrity in the industry, have always been important to Moyer. He is the 17th member of Painting and

Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) to become a certified residential painting contractor and is a former national board member of the organization. “My affiliation with PDCA has elevated the business and has also been useful in improving staff development and training,” Moyer says. He points out that most of his employees have attended a trade school or at least one seminar relating to painting and decorating. In addition, he instituted a drug-testing policy in the ’80s to make certain he was hiring the right people. Apparently, the approach worked, as some of his staff members have been with him for 35 years. “It’s a safety issue,” he says. “My philosophy regarding testing is not to punish the employee but rather try to help, as drugs are a health issue. If someone fails a test, and it’s a first offense, they have to undergo a mandatory evaluation. Then, if allowed by their counselor, they can return to work and be tested weekly by a counseling service. For second offenses, we have both the employee and their significant other go to counseling, and the employee can’t return to work until released by their counselor.” He concludes, “If there’s a third offense, we move to an immediate dismissal situation with no chance of a rehire for five years. Again, we really try to help and not punish, but at the same time, we have to keep the employee and everyone else on the crew safe.” To help shape a team mentality, Moyer treats employees like professionals and believes putting them in a decision-making position is not only good for business, it creates a harmonious workplace environment. “When they come to me with questions, I ask them their thoughts on solving a situation. By asking their opinion, it puts them in control,” he says. “In the end, it makes them happy and gives them great satisfaction.” Word of mouth matters As the only PDCA fully certified painting contractor on the western slope of Colorado, Moyer commands a certain cache in the area, but his geographic location still poses some promotional challenges. “Many residences are owned by corporations so it’s difficult to obtain names for mailings. And if you did knock on the door, no one would be there, he says.” Instead, he’s relied on word-of-mouth referrals over the years to develop a strong clientele in the community. And he’s built a rapport with property and condo managers, hotel engineers, and real estate professionals who help connect him to new projects.

Stats Maintaining the status quo At 73, Moyer isn’t interested in retiring or changing the game plan for Aspen Painting. “We’re going to continue to do the same things that have proven successful in the past,” he says. That means staying the course in terms of company size, maintaining the number of annual billings, and making a profit. “We’re not trying to be an enormous company. It’s hard to find exceptional people and the problems associated with that level aren’t worth it. We base everything on hours, which is about 10,000 hours per year,” Moyer adds. “And we’ll continue to stay on top of any new technology and products. If something comes along that is good for a project, we’ll use it.” Bottom line When asked what advice he has for others in the business, Moyer sounds, not surprisingly, like a coach instructing his players to train hard, review the game films, and set their sights on winning. “You need to pay attention to the numbers and figure out who your customer is, and then target that particular economic group. Ask yourself, ‘Do you want to paint $500,000 houses or $5-million houses?’ Look at where you live, do your research, and then go after that particular segment of customers,” he suggests. “And then grow sensibly. Don’t take big jobs you aren’t ready for until you have the crew and technical expertise to handle them.” At the end of the day, the biggest mistake, according to Moyer, is to not own up to a mistake. “No one is perfect. If you mess up a job, acknowledge it and then fix it,” he says. “An unhappy customer will tell twice as many people you are unprofessional than a happy customer who will tell someone you’re good.”

COMPANY NAME Aspen Painting, Inc. FOUNDED 1968 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Averages 12 to 15 in peak season SERVICES OFFERED Residential and commercial finishing and maintenance, historical renovation, and decorative finishes ASSOCIATIONS At-large member of Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), former national board member of PDCA, member of Aspen Historical Society, board member of the Better Business Bureau, former member of the HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) TOTAL ANTICIPATED BILLINGS IN 2015 $1 million CONTACT Aspen Painting, Inc. (970) 925-2248

Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT




A throw pillow, a crayon, a bird, or even a classic car. Inspiration for color comes from all kinds of places and in all shapes and sizes. Which is just one of the reasons mobile phone color apps can be one of a pro’s best friends.

With Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap, inspiration can come from anywhere. 36

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Today’s apps allow pros to easily match colors to a company’s complete color collection by either taking a photo of an inspiration piece or using an image shared by a customer. Click on the exact spot on the image and you can instantly match to a company’s color library. Some apps even offer complementary color options. “Color selection is often the biggest obstacle to getting a project started,” says Meghan Vickers, Sherwin-Williams director of e-business marketing. “When we designed our mobile color apps we tried to include as many tools as possible to help eliminate that obstacle.”

As with phone apps from other paint companies, Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap app is also available for the iPad. Tablet apps typically include more robust features including, in some cases, the ability to take a photo of a specific room and then apply the customer’s color picks to it. “The larger screen found on tablets really makes the most of this visualization feature,” explains Vickers. “Plus, you can save an image with the applied colors and reference it when building a bid, or even embed the image in the bid to enhance your presentation.”

Color by Comparison Here’s a quick look at the features of the latest mobile color apps from six major paint manufacturers. COMPANY








ColorSmart by BEHR Mobile

Colour Capture




Voice of Color


iPhone and Android phones and iPad

iPhone and Android OS phones; versions available for iPad and iPod Touch

iPhone and Android phones

iPhone and Android phones and iPad

iPhone, Android and Windows phones

iPhone and Android phones




























Yes; 8" x 12" color swatches









Ability to scan color number on back of BEHR color cards and brochures and see color applied to a room; store locator

Store locator

Option to scan color number from back of fan deck or color card and see color applied to a room—plus a store locator; iPad app includes a paint calculator, a product selection guide, and color visualizer that allows you to apply color to images you take yourself or that your customer supplies

Store locator

Dealer locator

Olympic Gets Real is now completely mobile-friendly, including its paintcolor visualizer tool that lets you upload photos and apply color with consideration to the actual lighting and shading in a given room. The final look is more true to the look of a finished painted room.

“Color selection is often the biggest obstacle to getting a project started.” —MEGHAN VICKERS, DIRECTOR OF E-BUSINESS MARKETING, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT



Tools designed to better protect your most valuable asset—YOU

If you have a product that you think other pros should know about, let us know: 38

inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

Every pro knows that keeping your equipment in good working order is essential to keeping your business and every job running smoothly. And when you get right down to it, your most important piece of equipment is you. In this issue, we look at two tools designed to reduce wear and tear on your body; specifically your knees.

Trimaco’s Quick Drop The lowly drop cloth usually gets no respect. It gets stepped on, spilled on, and lots of guys just ball them up and shove them in the truck at the end of the job. But Trimaco has developed a drop cloth that not only earns respect, but appreciation, too. Here’s why: The Trimaco Quick Drop is all the things a drop cloth is supposed to be in terms of durability and leak resistance. But in addition to that, Quick Drop also features a 4-mmthick foam padding that your knees will truly appreciate. Measuring 2' x 7,' Quick Drop unfolds accordion-style for quick and easy placement against a straight length of wall or countertop. The leak-proof canvas is tear-resistant and features a no-slip backing, meaning once it’s put in place, it stays in place. When the job’s done, you and your happy knees will appreciate the easy-fold pickup and storage.

Trimaco Quick Drop is available at Ace Hardware, Grainger, Sherwin-Williams and Orchard Supply Hardware stores across the country.

Redbacks give a new look and feel to knee protection At first glance, you might mistake Redbacks knee pads for some sort of filter device and wonder what it fell out of. But that funny construction is what sets Redbacks apart from other knee pads; not only in looks but performance. Constructed from a flexible rubber, Redbacks use a ‘leaf spring’ technology that actually dissipates your weight across the entire pad, reducing the amount of pressure on your knees. The soft matrix (and downright springy) structure protects your knees from hard and cold surfaces or even a misplaced screwdriver. Plus, waffle-like construction allows air to move freely through the pad, putting an end to sweaty knees. And in a significant improvement over foam inserts, Redbacks have memory. Meaning no matter what you shove them in or how many buckets of paint you accidentally leave sitting on them overnight, they’ll always return to the proper shape. Redbacks are available in both insert and strap-on designs.

Redbacks are available online via and will be making an appearance on selected retailer shelves in late 2015.

Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT



Behr Process Corporation

Dunn Edwards Paints

Purdy Professional Painting Tools

0 Marquee, p 22 0 ColorSmart by BEHR Mobile App, p 37

0 InstaColor App, p 37

0 Wobbler, p 17

Benjamin Moore

Heininger Automotive

Redbacks Cushioning

0 HitchMate BedBag, p 32 0 HitchMate Cargo Bag, p 32 0 HitchMate Cargo Stabilizer Bar, p 32 0 HitchMate Divider Bar, p 32

0 Knee Pads, p 39

0 Paint Brush, p 18 0 Advance, p 20 0 Regal Select, p 20 & 22 0 Ultra Spec, p 20 0 Aura, p 22 0 Colour Capture App, p 37

BOLT 0 Padlock, p 32

CORE Products USA 0 Trax Tie-Downs, p 31

Corona Brushes, Inc. 0 Cortez, p 18

DECKED 0 DECKED System, p 30

Dee Zee 0 Invis-A-Rack Cargo Management System, p 31 & 32 0 Crossover Padlock Tool Box, p 32 0 Red Label Tool Box, p 32

Detail K2 0 Headache and Flip Rack, p 31


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

isqft Takeoff 0 Estimating Software, p 12

Northern Tool + Equipment 0 Ironton Truck Service Step, p 31 0 Truck Boxes, p 32

Olympic Paints & Stains 0 ColorClix App, p 37

Picasso 0 Paint Brushes, p 18

PPG Architectural Coatings 0 IdeaScapes App, p 10 0 Manor Hall Timeless, p 20 & 22 0 Pro Siding Plus, p 20 0 Break-Through, p 22 0 Speedhide, p 22 0 Voice of Color App, p 37

Sherwin-Williams 0 Duration, p 20 0 ProClassic, p 20 0 SuperPaint, p 20 & 22 0 Cashmere, p 22 0 Emerald, p 22 0 Pro Industrial MultiSurface Coating, p 22 0 ProMar 200 & 400, p 22 0 Loxon XP Masonry Coating, p 26 0 ColorSnap App, p 36 & 37

Trimaco 0 Quick Drop, p 39

Valspar Paint 0 Valflon, p 10

Wooster Brush Company 0 Pippin, p 17 0 Shortcut, p 17 0 Silver Tip, p 17

To learn about being featured in an upcoming issue of inPAINT, email


Mi-T-M Page 13





GRACO, INC. Page 22

PDCA Page 33






What, Where & When AUGUST 1


10–13: NPMA’s Annual National Education Seminar, Forth Worth, TX


18–20: Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Washington, D.C.


16–18: PDCA 2015 Commercial Forum Conference, Napa Valley, CA


26–29: National Council of State Housing Agencies 2015 Conference & Showplace, Nashville, TN


28–30: 13th Annual NMHC Student Housing Conference & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ


September 30–October 2: Remodeling Show | DeckExpo | JLC LIVE, Chicago, IL


September 30–October 3: CONSTRUCT, St. Louis, MO



5 7


6 3

4 1


September 30–October 3: CONSTRUCT, St. Louis, MO


15: Home Improvement Research Institute’s Annual Fall Conference, Chicago, IL

PDCA Commercial Forum Slated for Napa The PDCA Commercial Forum Conference will be held September 16–18, 2015 in Napa Valley, California at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa. Held annually, the conference provides education opportunities for painting and decorating contractors who work in the commercial segment of the industry. Plus, there will be plenty of networking opportunities and ‘hot topic’ roundtable discussions of the latest news and issues in the industry. If you have a topic you’d like to hear addressed at the conference, the PDCA invites you to submit a one- to two-page paper on the topic. Papers will be distributed at the conference and presented for discussion. All topics of interest to commercial painting contractors are welcome and should be submitted no later than September 1, 2015. Email to submit a paper or for more information.

To learn more or to register for the conference, visit Registration is limited to 50 attendees. Aug/Sep 2015 | inPAINT



The Truths and Consequences of Bad Hiring Practices When something is repeated often enough, people start to believe it is true. Here are three common phrases you often hear used when discussing the subject of hiring. Let’s take a look at the truth and potential consequences of each.

ART SNARZYK is known as ‘The Turnover Terminator’ for his unique way of helping business owners and managers hire and manage only ideal, top-performing staff. Small Business Monthly named him one of the Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know to Succeed in Business in 2014. In management and hiring since 1996, and owner of a successful painting company for nine years, Art knows firsthand the hassle, expense and headache of trying to hire and develop quality employees … and how to help you avoid the hassles.

Hire slow and fire fast Like most myths, this sounds right or feels true. But it is very deceptive. The truth for most businesses should be ‘Hire fast and fire faster’… but properly prepare to hire well. When you decide to hire someone, it is likely because you need help and you probably need it now. This is not the time to slow anything down! The key to hiring fast is to get clear about what your business needs. Let’s say you need a painter. They come in many varieties. Do you need a staff painter that helps a lead painter? A lead painter that can manage employees? An artisan that needs to have conversations with customers? The more questions you ask yourself about the traits and attributes your painter needs, the better you will be at describing them in a job ad to attract the right person. Also, this information will help you create interview questions to help you determine if you are speaking with an ideal employee. If you find you have made a mistake or were fooled during an interview, act quickly to correct, retrain or terminate. Delays only cause stress, doubt and poor service, and can lower moral. So hire well and fire fast. Hire skills, fire attitude This is a truth that’s often mistaken for myth and, frankly, it’s baffling. Really, if attitude is everything, why aren’t we hiring for that? I suspect we


inPAINT | Aug/Sep 2015

hire skills over attitude because people list skills on their resume, but it is difficult to determine their attitude. After all, attitude is subjective anyway. Or is it? There are traits that fit your job more appropriately than others. Certain traits are definitely unhelpful or damaging. Question which traits are critical, which are desirable, and which will not work. Then ask questions during interviews to uncover whether this candidate has the ones that fit the role. If you would fire someone for a certain attitude, then avoid hiring that attitude in the first place. If you hire someone with the right attitude, you would likely work with them to learn skills. With the wrong attitude, you eventually will not care what skills they have. Many applicants, many choices This is a time when having more choices is bad. Brain science shows that too many choices makes decision-making much more difficult and leaves us with less confidence, doubt, and possible regret in our ultimate choice. When you need employees, you do not need a full-time job searching through resumes. You don’t need 100 applicants, you need 10 great ones. Try writing your job ad in a way that describes the job in detail. By including a thorough description about the work and pay, your company will give potential applicants enough information to opt in and, more importantly, opt out if it is not a good fit. This practice will also save you time answering questions about the job. In today’s tough hiring market, we are all just hoping for some applicants. In good times and bad, though, we still need the right applicants. Most often, not having another employee is better than having a terrible one.

Buy right. Use it up. Recycle the rest. PaintCare is the non-profit product stewardship organization established by the American Coatings Association to represent architectural paint manufacturers. We’re working to provide environmentally sound and cost-effective paint recycling programs in states with paint stewardship laws.

Oregon 2010

California 2012

Connecticut 2013

Rhode Island 2014

Recycle with PaintCare • 855-724-6809

Vermont 2014

Minnesota 2014

Maine 2015

Colorado 2015

Be a part of Home Builders Blitz 2016!

Habitat’s Home Builders Blitz is a partnership between Habitat affiliates and the local building community to make sure more families have the chance to live in a simple, decent home. Our goal for June 6-10, 2016, is to build, renovate or repair 300 homes across the nation.

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