inPAINT Magazine Mar/Apr 2017

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Inside the customer experience Upfitting your work vehicle

The ins and outs of leasing equipment

Be part of

Habitat for Humanity’s

2017 Home Builders Blitz June 5-9, 2017

Every year, builders nationwide come together to build, renovate and repair hundreds of Habitat homes across the country. Habitat homeowners pay an affordable mortgage and, thanks to the commitment of builders throughout the week, can build the strength, stability and independence they need to create a better life for themselves and their families. Join us!

#HomeBuildersBlitz |



“ You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic.” —STEPHEN C. HOGAN, BUSINESS COACH



Kathryn Heeder Hocker Martha MacGregor


ate last year, I attended a regional PDCA event in Providence, RI. While there were lots of great takeaways, one of the biggest revolved around how success begins with attitude. Whether it’s winning work, making great hires, dealing with safety issues, or choosing product, if you don’t approach a task with a clear picture of what success is or why you value it, well, it’s probably not even worth starting. Of course, not everyone has the same dream of success. Some pros define their success by annual billings, some by the number of jobs run, and others by how long they can go on vacation without the wheels falling off. These are all great markers; the key is determining the one that’s most meaningful to you and setting goals—and your attitude—to achieve it. While we can’t begin to guess every reader’s definition of success, we can help you along the path toward achieving it by providing some insight and information from other pros and industry experts. In this issue, we talked to a number of pros on everything from how they found success in the commercial world to their favorite on-the-job adhesive. We even talked to a few folks who hire pros for both commercial and residential work about the factors that made them choose a given pro to begin with and, maybe more importantly, decide to hire them again. Plus, if your vision of success includes leasing equipment to land bigger jobs, then you definitely don’t want to miss this issue’s Work Smart article. And last but not least, I’m very pleased to introduce the new inPAINT Editorial Advisory Board for 2017 (see below). These professionals represent the different segments of our readership and will provide valuable input and insight that will shape our content in the year ahead. Many thanks to them—and to you for reading.

Amanda Haar

inPAINT Editorial Advisory Board

Cover photo courtesy of Architect of the Capitol. To learn more about the Capitol Dome Project, see page 6.


Stephanie Conner Stacey Freed Debra Gelbart Jake Poinier Tom Reber Meghann Finn Sepulveda Brian Sodoma Tom Speranza Jim Williams SOCIAL MEDIA

Jillian McAdams PUBLISHED BY

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

Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

0 Ciro Affronti, Operations Manager/Field Supervisor, Affronti Property Solutions, LLC 0 Christine DaSilva, Manager of Administrative Operations, The Larkin Painting Company, Inc. 0 Cliff Hockley, President, Principal Broker CCIM, CPM, Bluestone & Hockley Real Estate Services 0 Mike Kelly, VP & General Manager, Crestwood Painting 0 Mary Kay Liston, President, Five Star Painting


0 Scott Lollar, Director of Operations, Catchlight Painting 0 Tom Lopatosky, Founder & President, LOPCO Contracting 0 Jim Norman, Owner, Norman Construction 0 Art Snarzyk, Owner, InnerView Advisors, Inc. 0 Emma Souder, AIA, Principal, Red Iron Architects

©2017 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.

Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT


inPAINT® Mar/Apr 2017




14 Inside the Customer Experience

18 7 Products Changing the Coatings Landscape 20 Fixing to Get Ready What’s new in prep tools

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Steel

24 Pro Picks

Pros talk adhesives


28 Go Big!

Keys to winning commercial work

Industry ins and outs

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

9 Trend in Focus Using paint to create luxurious baths

10 Work Smart

30 Your Ride, Your Way Upfitting your work vehicle

32 The inPAINT Interview Multifamily renovation projects

Equipment leasing 101: important considerations

12 Ask a Pro How this pro painter handles yard work


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

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

38 Bottom Line A fail-proof business plan begins with YOU

Photo Courtesy of Protective Products Int'l, Inc. 4

inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017



TR HIGH EFFICIENCY AIRLESSâ„¢ TIP Lower pressure, high speed and 55% less overspray. Find out more at TITANTOOL.COM/TR1HEA

[ THE NEWS ] Talk About a Tough Finish T While many coatings are designed to withstand some



A Capitol Project T While most eyes were on the President-Elect at the inauguration in January, you can be sure the more than

1,000 crew members who spent the last two-plus years working on the Capitol Dome Restoration Project, cast their sites a little higher. The project, which began in the fall of 2013, is the first full-restoration project of the 150-year-old dome. More than 75,000 pieces of equipment, including 1.1 million pounds of scaffolding, two miles of decking, and five layers of safety netting weighing thousands of pounds were required to complete the project, with most of the work taking place at night and on weekends. In addition to the removal of lead paint and the repair of 12,800 inches of cracked cast iron, the project also required three coats of paint, totaling 1,215 gallons in all. The exterior of the dome was finished with a topcoat of Sherwin-Williams’ FluoroKem in Dome White, while Benjamin Moore’s Corotech Alkyd Fabrication Primer and Eco Spec Waterborne Latex Paint were used to finish the woodwork and iron work in the rotunda.


Sunflare Introduces Lightweight, Easy-Install Solar Panels T Sunflare has developed Capture4, a flexible, lightweight and affordable CIGS solar panel that can

be easily installed on rooftops without the need for special framing or tools. Because it does not use a glass substrate, Sunflare is 65% lighter than silicon modules. This allows an entire roof to be covered without load-bearing concerns. In addition, because it does not require an aluminum frame or mounting hardware, Sunflare installs easily on nearly any surface, including vertical, horizontal—even curved—using glue, tape or welding.

Capital Spending Maps Now Available T A set of three maps showing state-by-state anticipated

spending on coatings-related projects in 2017 is now available from Paint BidTracker. Each laminated map measures 37" x 26" and focuses on one of three project types: Bridge & Highway, Water Storage Tank, and Water & Wastewater.


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

ICP Construction Consolidates Brands T This past November, ICP Construction, manufacturers of nine well-recognized coating brands including California Paints, Storm System, Muralo, Graham, Progress, Grayseal, Fixall, and California Architectural, announced an effort to reorganize their products under just three brands: California Paints, Fixall, and Storm System. According to Scott DeLeo, VP of marketing, “We saw an opportunity to create a better line of products by leveraging the technologies of the different brands. The result is improved product performance in every category at every price point.” The company’s three brands now include California Paints: residential and commercial repaint solutions; Fixall: application-focused specialty paint and coatings; and Storm System: a line of exterior stain and finish products.

Photo Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol

degree of abuse, only one promises to leave buildings virtually impenetrable: PAXCON. According to PAXCON manufacturer LINE-X, this unique coating creates a thin, watertight barrier that can withstand high temperatures, and is abrasion and impact resistant. The flexible nature of the coating means that walls treated with PAXCON will flex but stay together in the event of a nearby explosion, earthquake or severe storm. Repeated testing over 20 years has demonstrated that walls coated with this flexible spray coating can withstand explosions up to 20 times greater than normal, uncoated walls. To learn more or to see videos of PAXCON testing, visit

Flame Shield Offers Two Hours of Fire Protection T Fire Door Solutions has acquired Flame Shield,

Spray More, Waste Less T Pro painter Emmet Kauffman had enough

of how much paint his spray rig couldn’t get at the bottom of every bucket. That frustration prompted the resourceful pro to build a device that tilted and secured each bucket in place, allowing him to get more paint onto the wall —and save money in the process. Over time, other painters who saw the device clamored for one of their own, which prompted Kauffman to launch formal production of the Sprayer Saver. Made in the U.S. and constructed from high-strength plastic, the Sprayer Saver has a lip-lock design that angles and secures a bucket or paint can quickly and easily. (Ships free in the U.S.)

a transparent coating and adhesive for use in a variety of commercial manufacturing and in-field construction applications. Flame Shield provides two hours of protection from fire to structures treated with the product. According to company CEO Jeff Perry, “Given the popularity of almost entirely wood-frame structures in residential single-family homes and modern two- to six-story apartment buildings, Flame Shield has the potential to save lives and protect firefighters. Families with homes in rugged, dry terrain where forest fires are common will benefit greatly from post-construction application of Flame Shield.” Perry adds that the company is currently in discussions with construction material manufacturers to incorporate the coating into a variety of substrates including plastics and plywood.




EPA Looks to Ban or Restrict Paint-Stripping Chemicals T Citing health risks to workers and consumers exposed to two common paint strippers, the EPA has proposed a rule to

ban methylene chloride—­and either ban or restrict the use of N-methylpyrrolidone in paint-stripping products. Methylene chloride (also known as dichloromethane, or DCM) is carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and acutely lethal. OSHA has linked DCM to more than 50 worker deaths nationwide since the mid-1980s with a number of these deaths connected to the use of DCM-based paint strippers in confined spaces to refurbish bathtubs. In addition, long-term exposure to DCM can lead to liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), commonly used as a DCM replacement, also poses significant health impacts including developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and liver and kidney toxicity. Lend your voice to the conversation at (docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0231) until April 19, 2017.

Find out more at


Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



Experience Pays and Size Matters According to PayScale, Inc., both years of experience and company size have a significant impact on paint contractor salaries in the U.S. MEDIAN SALARY BY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE < 1 $26,036 YEAR 1-4 $43,039 YEARS

Architectural paint demand by application and end user


(million gallons)



































Architectural Paint Demand

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, home improvement and repair expenditures will have reached 8.0% by early 2017, well in excess of its 4.9% historical average.



SOURCE: The Freedonia Group, Inc., Paint & Coatings

SOURCE: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

5-9 $44,276 YEARS 10-19 $50,850 YEARS

What’s on the Bathroom Wall


> 20










According to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, paint is the top wall-finish choice in upgraded master bathrooms (68%), with ceramic and porcelain tile coming in second at 45%, ahead of stone tile or slab.






Here’s how five different paint manufacturers capture the greens of spring: $0







inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017








SW 9031




Bathed in Color Using Paint to Create Luxurious Baths


ne of the most-used rooms in the home—and one of the key spaces potential buyers focus on when considering a home—it’s no wonder that bathrooms continue to rank near the top of the list of most commonly remodeled rooms. While fancy fixtures, including rainfall showerheads and high-tech toilets with scented mist dispensers (yes, really), may add to the comfort of the space, color has the greatest impact on how a space actually feels. And according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, more homeowners are making paint their first choice for making a color statement in the bathroom. Striking a mood with neutrals According to Stuart Stanton, executive VP at Ronbow, a decorative bath furniture design company, “Everyone wants their home bathroom to feel like a personal spa. The way to achieve that is with the use of neutral and soothing colors. Walls essentially provide a frame for a room, so it’s important the colors used there support the finishes and accessories in a complementary, rather than competing, manner.” The colors most frequently selected for master bath renovations in the Houzz study were gray (29%), then beige (20%), white (16%), blue (12%), and green (7%). Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at notes, “On average, homeowners renovate their bathrooms roughly every 16 years, so it makes sense that they tend to gravitate toward finishes in colors that will stand the test of time.” Creating space with color While everyone wants a spacious, spa-like bathroom, not every home has the square footage to accommodate the vision. But, as Alana Busse, kitchen and bath designer and remodeling specialist of Alana Busse Design notes, with the right colors, you can make even the smallest bath feel rather grand.

A LIFETIME Photos Courtesy of Ronbow Corp.



“Light colors are key to making a small space feel large and airy,” says Busse. “Painting the walls one color and the ceiling the same color—but a lighter shade—is a great way to make a room feel taller.” For small powder rooms, Busse encourages clients to think outside the typical color treatments. She recently finished a powder room with light- and dark-gray horizontal stripes and trimmed it with chunky crown molding and baseboards painted black. “You can get away with bold choices like this in small spaces because the size of it doesn’t overwhelm you,” she adds. Color caveats Busse’s advice to paint pros advising customers on color for bathrooms is to, first, avoid greens. “Greens on their own are lovely. But because the color reflects back off the wall onto the person using the room, it tends to make their complexion look sallow. I would always try to steer homeowners toward warmer tones.” Second, she notes that if a customer has their heart set on a particular color, “You’re probably going to need to tone it down by about 20% because the paint is going to reflect off itself and intensify the color to the level they want.” Colorful cabinets trending A trend that Busse sees catching on in California is painted cabinets in the bathroom. “There’s been a definite move from natural wood cabinetry to painted cabinetry in the last past year or so,” she says. “White is by far the top choice but others are going with bold colors to provide a pop of color in an otherwise neutral space.”

Find out more at


Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



EQUIPMENT LEASING 101: IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS Whether you’re a small residential contractor or a large commercial painting business, purchasing new equipment such as ladders, lifts, sprayers or compressors—or capital assets for your office including copiers, software, furniture and computers—can bring with it a confusing array of financing options … along with several potential pitfalls.


The first choice you’ll need to make is whether to purchase the equipment outright (using cash on hand or your bank line of credit) or lease the equipment from a bank, leasing company, equipment manufacturer, or distributor. As a general rule, equipment leasing requires much less cash up front (100% financing is often available) and will be permitted under the loan agreements with your existing bank. More importantly, leasing almost

always results in a lower monthly payment than an outright purchase because: - leasing companies usually offer longer lease terms than that of a typical bank equipment loan; and - with a lease, you’re paying only for the right to use the equipment during the lease term (a shorter period than the equipment’s total useful life). Leasing is also more flexible than a purchase since, at the end of the lease term, you have three options: purchase the equipment at its present value, continue leasing it (or financing the buyout with a new term loan), or return the equipment and trade it in for new leased equipment. Analyzing your budget Before you take a look at what equipment is available, take some time to flesh out your budget. First, decide what size monthly payment you can afford, keeping your average monthly cash flow in mind. Factors to consider: - The extent to which your cash flow is seasonal (leasing companies can often structure payments accordingly); - Whether the equipment purchase will be a one-off or a series of purchases over time; and - The additional revenue or profit (through reduced expenses) that will be generated by the new equipment (for example, the new equipment may enable you to bid for larger jobs or complete jobs more quickly, creating more revenue). Or the new equipment may reduce maintenance costs—compared to the old equipment being replaced—or increase productivity, thus permitting you to shed employees.

Choosing your lessor You can lease equipment from a bank, a leasing company that specializes in equipment financing, or an equipment manufacturer/distributor—also known as a ‘captive’ lessor. Banks typically have the most expensive financing, but it may be easier and faster to use your existing bank since they already know you and your business. Leasing companies usually offer the most flexible terms. If your business will continue to need a large volume of leased equipment over time, a leasing company’s ‘asset management’ consulting services can help you create an overall leasing strategy over the long term. Captive lessors often have the least-expensive financing, but give you fewer choices, since captives will only finance their own brand of equipment. 10

inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

Don’t forget Uncle Sam You’ll want to consult your accountant about your company’s particular tax situation but, as a general rule, the Federal Tax Code makes leasing more attractive than outright purchases. For example, if you purchase equipment, you are required to amortize, or spread out, the cost of the equipment over its useful life, taking depreciation deductions each year. In contrast, if you lease the equipment, Section 179 of the Federal Tax Code may permit you to deduct the entire purchase price in year one of the lease (even if that amount exceeds the total lease payments), subject to some conditions. Of course, if you take that deduction in year one, you can’t also deduct the lease payments as an annual business expense.

It’s often worth it to hire a lawyer to review lease documents.

Think big picture Spending some time looking at your financial options and comparing the effect of a lease vs. a purchase will pay dividends in the long run, helping you upgrade or add equipment in a way that works best for your bottom line.



NEGOTIATING THE DOCUMENTS It’s often worth it to hire a lawyer to review lease documents even if the leasing company tells you that they are ‘standard forms’ or ‘not negotiable.’ Commercial leases are not written in plain English like a consumer car lease and are not subject to consumer protection laws. Specific sections that deserve special attention are: - Penalties for early termination - The logistics for delivery and acceptance of the equipment (who pays for it, can you return equipment that doesn’t work) - Whether advance lease payments must be made to serve as a kind of collateral (these advance payments will then be credited at the end of the term against the last lease installments) - The mechanics of the purchase and renewal process at the end of the term (and whether the lease automatically renews) - How equipment is returned at the end of the term (where is it stored or delivered, who pays for storage or delivery, what constitutes ‘ordinary wear and tear’) - Does sales tax apply, and who pays it? - Whether the leasing company can assign your lease - The leasing company’s remedies if you default Your lawyer can also help you figure out whether the equipment lease is permitted under your current bank loan documents and whether

Find out more at


notice to the bank (or the bank’s consent) is required. Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT




How do you handle yard work with regards to painting?

WADE BAKER has owned the small, one-to-threeemployee Baker Painting Company in Pewaukee, WI, for the past 10 years. What started as a side business became a full-blown career after the recent recession. He does both interior and exterior commercial and residential work as well as deck and cabinet refinishing, concrete staining, driveway sealing, and garage floor epoxy coating. Baker understands the toll painting can take on outdoor landscaping; he discusses his concerns with customers during his first walk through and even has a section in his contract devoted to it.


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017


Our contract reads as follows: Please have all trees, bushes, shrubs and flower beds trimmed back to a minimum of one foot from the house on all sides to allow for proper and safe access during prep and painting, and to ensure fresh paintwork is not damaged once completed. Please also remove lawn ornaments, planters, fountains, lights (where possible) that may be a hazard to our ladders or personnel. The homeowner has to attend to these things a week before our arrival. During our first walk through, I point out items to my customers and discuss hiring a professional to trim bushes, for example, that are touching the house. I explain that, technically, it takes 30 days for paint to cure. If bushes, trees or shrubs are touching the house, it will cause abrasions or burnish the paint, and eventually wear the paint off.

We also ask that they move lawn items that might obstruct our job. I don’t want crew members tripping on things like hoses, garden gnomes or lawn furniture. For our part, we protect their plants with plastic, and cover everything within two to three feet of the house to catch chips or paint drips. We haven’t had any problems, and we handle any issues on a case-by-case basis. I will share that the oddest request we ever received was from a customer who had vines growing three-quarters of the way up the side of their house. They didn’t want the vines removed by us or anyone else. Instead, they had us paint around them. We did it. It wasn’t fast but we got it done.

HANDLE WITH CARE: YARD PREP POINTERS Barry Troutman, PhD, the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ technical advisor, offers pros these tips for handling plantings before painting: - Trim back or tie up all greenery, leaving a foot or two of space between the plants and the house. - Wet down plants; this makes paint harder to stick and keeps plants hydrated. But don’t soak the ground, as it can make it unstable for ladders and scaffolds.

- Cover plants with a light-colored, lightweight, breathable drop cloth. Chemical damage from paint, solvents and heavyduty cleaners can burn foliage and lawns. - Don’t use clear-plastic tarps; they will cause rapid heat buildup. - Don’t leave tarps over plant material for an extended period; plants need sunlight. He also suggests that if an irrigation system is in place, ask the homeowner to flag it and shut it down until the paint dries.

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A customer’s perception of how successful a project has been is among the most valuable feedback a painting professional can receive. The challenge for the paint pro can be deciphering the customer’s true opinion when there may have been a few minor concerns or issues on the job.


To help paint pros understand the customer perspective, we interviewed managers and directors connected to residential painting projects, a painting job for a nonprofit, and commercial projects. Their insight into what determines success is revealing and enlightening. Trust, values, accountability matter To Nick Bryant, who purchases single-family homes as investments or to renovate with a group of like-minded investors in the Akron, OH area, the most important indicator that a painting project will be completed as anticipated is the trust factor between the person doing the hiring and the painting professional. Bryant, a private wealth financial consultant for a large brokerage firm, found the paint pro he currently uses through his church. “His reputation kind of preceded him,” Bryant said, “so I didn’t have to research his history.” Bryant said the pro delivers work on time and economically. “He has worked with us on 20 to 25 residential projects in the past five years.”


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

Part of the mutual trust between Bryant and his paint pro is accountability. It’s important, he said, for a pro to recognize when he hasn’t done a job right and to say, “I’m going to fix it.” A true pro should anticipate that the customer will want to know your policy if you break something, damage something, or choose the wrong paint. “Eric (the paint pro) is so reputable and accountable that I no longer even have to point out a problem,” Bryant said. “He’ll see it and just fix it.” How customers find you, and you find them Not all paint pros can count on a religious or social connection with prospective customers. And they don’t necessarily have to be a part of or manage a large operation, either, to be able to find work. “We maintain a large database of contractors we work with, including painters,” said Menno Huiser, a project manager with J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., a general contractor in Madison and Milwaukee, WI that’s been in business for 126 years. Although Findorff is a large company, painting for some of its projects may be readily completed by a smaller painting operation. Sometimes Findorff issues an RFP and sometimes— typically with private, non-government jobs—the company hires based on previous experiences with a paint pro. “We know how certain painters perform and we may lean toward one contractor or painter than another

Stay informed with inPAINT Teach to Fish eBlast “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This wise adage served as inspiration for a new type of communication that offers industry professionals education and instruction they can learn by—and build on. Each month, we’ll present an industry-specific question and invite one manufacturer and two professionals to share their advice, giving you the benefit of a well-rounded conversation and multiple recommendations on the topic. Look for its debut this spring, and prepare to sharpen your skills.

inPAINT eNewsletter Expert insight for professionals, brought to you by inPAINT magazine as another way to help you stay informed and relevant. Our monthly e-newsletter delivers three articles to your inbox, each expanding on upcoming inPAINT magazine articles, and offering additional valuable information professionals find essential to continue to learn and grow. And because we’re constantly evolving, our next eNews will sport a fresh, new look. Watch for it in March.

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

“ I’d rather work with a contractor I’ve worked with in the past. That relationship is key to me.” —MENNO HUISER, J.H. FINDORFF & SON INC.


Photo Courtesy of Literacy Network


inPAINT inPAINT||Mar/Apr Mar/Apr2017 2017

depending on past performance,” Huiser said. “The decision may be price-driven, because cost is obviously a factor. I haven’t found an owner yet who’s not interested in minimizing costs. We look at what the paint pro is providing for that money and what their value is. With a hard-bid project, the only thing that matters is the lowest cost, and that doesn’t necessarily ensure the best result.” One of Findorff’s recent projects was the renovation of a building tapped to be the new headquarters of the nonprofit Literacy Network in Madison. The 12,000-sq.-ft. building was previously a medical clinic, and Findorff (along with his customer) wanted to find a paint contractor who understood that the right colors could transform the setting from sterile and clinical to a supportive, engaging and educational setting. The company hired Madison-based Livesey Painting, a mid-sized painting contractor, because Livesey “had an availability of manpower and a willingness to ask for discounts from their suppliers because our customer is a nonprofit,” Huiser said. “Livesey knows their suppliers well and they were able to provide discounts to us.” Livesey has a long-standing relationship with Findorff, Huiser said. “I’d rather work with a contractor I’ve worked with in the past,” he said. “That relationship is key to me.” If you, as a paint contractor, are new in your business, what can you do to establish a relationship with a general contractor? Huiser recommends joining, an industry-leading provider of online preconstruction management services. “There are a lot of projects that we advertise on that site,” he said. “You must be a member to be able to see posted jobs, but it’s definitely a worthwhile avenue to pursue.” He also recommends watching for general contractor signage on ongoing renovation and remodeling projects and on new-construction projects. “Sometimes a painter has not been selected yet for the project, so you may benefit by calling the main office of the contractor and asking for the estimating department to learn the process of submitting a bid.” Finding pros and the value of referrals Word of mouth can be critical, says Brandye Coley, a real estate manager with commercial real estate giant CBRE’s Phoenix office. She begins her search for a paint contractor by asking a building owner “if they have any specific company in mind or supplier preference they want included in the RFP. Then, I contact other property managers and get current referrals for someone who

had a successful job completed in the last 24 months. A successful job is due in large part to the specific crew that will be on-site at your property. I also ask for information on anyone who had challenges on a painting job. You can learn a lot based on how the contractor handled any issues or complaints that came up.” Communication is key Jen Davie, the development director for Literacy Network, says good communication is key to a successful painting project. “If the painters noticed anything concerning, they told me right away,” Davie said. In one instance, she explained, everyone originally thought one part of the space included two adjoining walls, but it turned out there was only one wall. The lead painter on the job asked her which of the two colors originally selected she would prefer for the single wall. The crew took the time to notice that the original specs were not part of the project “and to double-check with me so that no one had to change their mind down the road, long after the painting had been completed.” The crew also helped Davie choose the paint colors that would look the best in each space and made sure that no more than one accent color was chosen for each separate space, which totaled 15 different spaces on the first floor plus two classrooms, four offices, and one very large open office space upstairs. Making the cut through customer service “If there is a vendor in our RFP system that I am not familiar with,” Coley said, “I reach out to them and ask for their marketing materials and referral list. If both are positive, I include them in an RFP. I try to include at least six vendors in all RFPs. If she’s considering hiring a company she’s never used before, Coley asks for jobs currently in progress so she can show up unannounced and get an idea of how the crew and work is being handled. “While you are there, you can chat with any tenants or security—the people being impacted by the work—and get an idea of how the experience is going and what they have witnessed.” “A major consideration for me in the future would be whether a painting contractor can offer the customer service I need,” Davie said. “Will they consider my time frame in the end?” “Be flexible and do what’s necessary to make sure a project is done right,” Bryant advises. -



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Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT




The numbers don’t lie. The coatings industry is alive and kicking. In fact, the global paint and coatings market

Zinsser WaterTite Flexible Primer and Finish expands and contracts to fill hairline cracks.

grew to a value of $141.5 billion in 2015, according to a recent study by research firm MarketLine. The List

Break-Through! Int/Ext Waterborne Acrylic Paint PPG PAINTS

Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One PPG PAINTS

Glidden Diamond Paint + Primer PPG PAINTS

Zinsser Odor Killing Primer RUST-OLEUM

Zinsser WaterTite Flexible Primer and Finish RUST-OLEUM

Paint Shield Interior Latex Paint SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

SnapDry Int/Ext Acrylic Latex Paint SHERWIN-WILLIAMS


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

products every day is important for product developThis is due, in part, to major manufacturers listening ment. If we discover a new technology that’s unique, to frontline paint professionals, and creating exciting but it doesn’t solve a problem, or if the product is too new products that are changing the coatings industry. expensive or difficult to use, it will fail.” “With a long history of delivering products to professionals, we’re more committed than ever to developing new products that meet their needs,” said Seven new coatings that turned Steve Revnew, senior VP of product innovation at heads in 2016: Sherwin-Williams. “An essential part of our R & D process is cusFROM PPG PAINTS tomer feedback and validation,” says Revnew. We - Break-Through! Int/Ext Waterborne Acrylic Paint provide our customers with actual samples of a new offers a unique and versatile technology that provides or enhanced product and have a very thoughtful excellent adhesion, hardness, and block resistance to a process to get and assess their feedback, which then variety of residential and commercial surfaces such as is directly used to inform our next steps and the floors, trim, cabinets, railings, shelving and equipment, evolution of the product. This part of the process is as well as metal, wood, concrete, fiberglass, laminate, key—only the people using the product day in and and many plastics. It’s a time-saver too, with a quick day out can give us this valuable feedback.” drying time of 17 to 20 minutes to touch and two Dan Passinault, PPG Paints’ associate director of hours for recoat, resulting in less downtime and innovation, products and execution, understands that quicker job completion. the coatings market is ever evolving and new products - Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One help drive success. was enhanced with a new Weather-Ready technology “A large number of our product formulation adjustlast year that enables stain projects to take place even ments or new products have initial origins in direct if the weather isn’t perfect. This product can be applied input from professionals. We constantly keep a close after rain because it is formulated for damp-wood eye on what our customers want out of a product and applications for consistent results. And, the product what they need to get the job done. It’s our job to is rain-ready 8 to 12 hours after application, so those make our customers’ jobs easier.” taking on staining projects no longer have to fear their The nearly 100-year-old manufacturer, Rust-Oleum, completed project will be ruined by unpredictable rain. prides itself on innovation. - Glidden Diamond Paint + Primer provides a “Our new-product development focuses on solving smooth, beautiful finish with diamond-tough durabilreal-world challenges for the professional and DIYer, ity that withstands daily wear and tear. What’s more, it while providing long-term durability and protection,” provides an excellent value. Starting at less than $25, this interior paint + primer makes exceptional quality explained Rust-Oleum’s Brand Manager, Dan Gibbons. and performance attainable at an affordable price. “Input from industry experts and people who use our

FROM RUST-OLEUM - Zinsser Odor Killing Primer is low odor, water based, and essentially kills existing odors on interior surfaces. Its low-sheen finish applies white, but dries clear. It’s perfect for eliminating pet odors on surfaces; food, cigar and cigarette smoke; and fire and smoke damage. And it’s compatible with all paints and clear finishes. - Zinsser WaterTite Flexible Primer and Finish is designed with elastomeric qualities, which allow it to expand and contract to fill hairline cracks. It’s ideal for use on new and existing exterior concrete and masonry, including stucco and brick. Backed by a 10-year Durability Guarantee, this primer and finish is moisture and mildew resistant, and even protects surfaces from wind-driven rain. FROM SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Paint Shield Interior Latex Paint is one of SherwinWilliams’ most innovative products. It is the first EPAregistered microbicidal paint that kills 99.9% of Staph, MRSA, E. coli, VRE, and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on a painted surface. It’s ideal for use in a health care or educational institution setting. - SnapDry Int/Ext Acrylic Latex Paint for doors and trim dries in as little as one hour of application, and a door can even be closed without sticking. It has resistance to dirt and fingerprints, UV rays and weathering, which makes it great for jobs where you’re crunched for time. And what for the future? While 2016 was a great year for exciting new coating products, expect 2017 to bring more surprises. Passinault says that to remain relevant and competitive in an evolving marketplace, manufacturers need to continuously provide product improvements and innovations that best service customer needs and, ultimately, solve problems. “We anticipate retailers will continue to focus on premium paints and stains, decorative finishes, and low-VOC paints to help grow revenue streams,” he says. “The next couple years should continue to be very exciting with many improvements to existing products, as well as new product introductions.” “We’re excited to share enhancements to go-to products in 2017,” Revnew said. “In the first quarter alone, SherwinWilliams will introduce enhanced hide and application for SuperPaint Flat Interior Acrylic Latex Paint, improved hide and uniformity for ProMar 200 Zero-VOC Flat Latex Paint, and even better hide and final appearance for Eminence High Performance Ceiling Paint.” As the major manufacturers continue to research and innovate new products, they want to make one message clear to professionals in the field: “Keep talking, because we’re listening!” Says Gibbons: “Customer feedback and real-world issues guide our new-product development. We are currently developing products that will help the professional user grow their business and improve the results of their work.” Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF PREP TOOLS The old adage, ‘Proper planning prevents poor performance’ should be every painter’s mantra when it comes to getting ready for a job. In the past few



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years, manufacturers have developed a number of new products to help pro painters accomplish necessary prep more accurately and efficiently. Better outcomes lead to satisfied customers and an improved bottom line.



Hand-Masker Plastic, 3M While brown paper is still heavily used, it allows some solvents to bleed through, absorbs moisture when it dries and then shrinks, is hard to mold around fixtures, can tear easily, and doesn’t let light through well. Mask off a couple of windows and you’ve sealed your customers in a cave. 3M designed masking plastic to address these issues. Since it’s plastic, it’s waterproof. No paint bleeds through, and it’s treated so dripped paint won’t flake off and cause a mess. With a little stretch to it, it’s easy to wrap around things like light fixtures, and your customers won’t be in the dark. With twice as much on a roll as brown paper, it will help speed up changeovers. Worried about waste? The plastic itself is recyclable unless it’s covered in latex or lacquer paints, but it does compact into smaller waste, which could mean fewer waste buckets needed. Available at pro paint stores Masking Liquid H2O, Associated Paint, Inc. Doors with lots of small windowpanes can be a pain. Instead of having to tape off and mask windows, just spray, brush or roll on Masking Liquid H 2O over the entire door, only protecting the areas you want to remain clean. Once you’re done painting, outline and cut the hardened masking material and peel it away. The product goes on white and dries clear, is low VOC, and can be used for interior or exterior jobs. It can also be used to seal bare wood and other porous surfaces. Available online at



Double-Sided Poly-Hanging Tape Some jobs require the protection of poly-sheeting – tackle them with speed and ease with new Double-Sided Poly-Hanging Tape from Shurtape. It’s two tapes in one: • Exposed Side: A premium grade painter’s tape adhesive, which delivers 21-day clean removal from a variety of surfaces without damage. • Liner Side: A heavy duty adhesive that securely holds poly-sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other protective coverings. When the job is done, the tape and poly-sheeting remove cleanly and easily – in one step.

© Shurtape Technologies, LLC 2017 / 70086

Hand-Masker Film Blade, 3M The hand-masker tool combines tape and film (or paper) for one easy masking step. The rigid plastic guide bar keeps the blade steady, so no more cutting film and ending up with snowflake edges. That means no more wasting extra tape and film to cover empty spots. Available at Sherwin-Williams and other pro paint stores

SHURTAPE.COM 1.800.321.0253

70086 SHU 2017 DS154 inPaint HP ISL.indd 1

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ShurSTICK Paint Masking Tape, Shurtape Paint is always getting reformulated and with more companies going green, there are lots of lowand zero-VOC paints on the market. But painters are finding that the new formulations aren’t always chemically compatible with standard tapes. Enter Paint Masking Tape, designed to work with any paint on the market, including low- or zero-VOC paints, and any other hard-to-stick-to surface. It can remain up for three days and still removes cleanly. Available at Sherwin-Williams stores via special order.

Econo Runner, Protective Products, Int'l, Inc. While effective, drop cloths can be a bit of hassle and sometimes a tripping hazard for both your crew and your customer. Econo Runner from Protective Products eliminates the tripping hazard while providing the necessary protection for hard-surface floors. Made of a woven fabric with a little cushioning to it, Econo Runner has a poly film top surface and a proprietary coating on its underside that keeps it in place on any hard surface—marble, tile or wood. And you can sweep and mop it, so it’s reusable. Available at

Scotch Masking Tape for Humid Conditions, 3M In 2015, 3M answered the call for tape that would stick to low-VOC, zero-VOC, and scrubbable paints. But the tape didn’t solve the problems with adhesion brought on by high levels of humidity. Enter Scotch Masking Tape for Humid Conditions with Humi Bond Adhesive, a tape that sticks to all kinds of paints and works well in humid environments. It removes cleanly after 5 days on interior surfaces and 3 days on exterior surfaces. Plus, it’s low- and zeroVOC-paint compatible. Available at pro paint stores and other locations that sell 3M tape products. Double-Sided Poly-Hanging Tape, Shurtape Who wants to tape off an area then tape it yet again to hang poly sheeting? Shurtape’s new double-sided poly-hanging tape is a one-step process. This dual-adhesive tape has a premium painter’s tape adhesive that adheres to the wall; the other side has adhesive that sticks to your poly-sheeting or drop cloth. Plus, you can pull it all down at once without peeling off the paint. Available at Sherwin-Williams stores via special order.


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Paint Guards, Protective Products, Int'l, Inc. While it’s easy enough to remove switch plates and outlet covers, once they’re off, you still have to paint around them. Paint Guards are friction-fit, bendable, hard-plastic covers that can be placed over almost all commercial and residential electric outlets or toggle switches—and they’re reusable. Available at

SMOOTH MOVES Orbital Finish Sanders: DTS 400 & RTS 400, Festool The road to a smooth finish just got, well, smoother. Festool has two new lightweight sanders (each only 2.4 pounds) that have a comfortable, soft grip and can be used in either the right or left hand. They’re ideal for overhead work, and the upgraded version comes with a reusable, long-lasting nonwoven polyester dust- and chip-collection bag. NOTE: The collection bag is not recommended for RRP work, which requires a dust extractor. Both sanders are available online at -




WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON a renovation or construction project, adhesives matter. Whether you’re gluing wood, setting tile, laying floors, attaching crown molding … the adhesive you pick is an important choice. We asked six pros about their favorite adhesives—and what they like about them. Here’s what they had to say:


Talat Design (518) 677-3140



Supreme Painting


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Empire Real Estate Management, LLC

A & S Painting (708) 921-5024


3-D Construction

Residential renovations and construction is the name of the game for Alan Finney of Talat Design, based in upstate New York. Talat, named after Finney and each of his four children, has been around for more than 30 years. With a diverse range of job types, Finney needs adhesives for a variety of different applications, including assembling stair components, constructing headers, and even laying tile. “Depending on the job type, you need different products,” he says. Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, Finney says, is an ideal pick when working with wood products. “It’s absorbent,” he says, “and of the major glues, it probably has the most holding potential— around 4000 PSI.” (Titebond’s other wood glues have PSIs above 3600.) “Wood glue is great for bonding two pieces of wood, but it doesn’t work as well when you have different substrates,” Finney adds. “Gorilla Glue is a really good bonding agent between dissimilar substrates.” A drawback of the Gorilla Glue for Finney, however, is the cleanup—acetone is required, whereas typical wood glues are water based and can be cleaned up with water until they set. And for a construction adhesive—particularly for installing subfloor to floor joists—Finney likes Loctite PL 400 Subfloor All Weather. The product boasts superior bonding capabilities and performs in extreme temperatures—from 18° F to 120 ° F. The formula also complies with state and federal VOC regulations.

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“ We use it [Titebond PROvantage] for everything.” ­—Dan Doroshuk, 3-D Construction

Strength, sandability, easy cleanup, and a long open time are a few of the reasons many pros prefer Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue.


3 BILL HARRISON: Photo: iStock

With 21 years in the construction and remodeling business, Robert Robillard, who owns A Concord Carpenter, LLC in Concord, MA, has worked with a number of adhesives. Robillard, who also runs a web site where he provides education and reviews products and tools, says that in his work, adhesives play a role with a variety of surfaces. “Because we’re remodelers, we dabble in every facet [of construction], so we end up using a whole lot of adhesives,” he says. What are a couple of his go-tos? For built-in carpentry projects, crown molding and other woodwork, Robillard likes Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, which is known for its strength, open time (10 minutes), and its ability to be applied in lower temperatures. Robillard also likes that it’s waterproof. Another favorite adhesive, he says, is West System’s 105 Epoxy Resin. This product, which mixes with West System hardeners for different applications, is designed to bond with wood fiber, fiberglass and more. Robillard likes it for exterior repairs—for example, to fill the seam of a wood patch. When cured, the epoxy can be sanded and shaped and, Robillard notes, it’s superior to other options. “A lot of guys use wood fillers and putties,” he says. “But those don’t last.”

As a painter, Bill Harrison learned the hard way what happens when carpenters don’t use painter’s caulk. “I did a whole bathroom one time and didn’t realize they hadn’t used painter’s caulk,” says Harrison of A & S Painting in Lansing, IL. “That was a lesson learned very fast.” His pick for a painter’s caulk? DAP’s ALEX Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk. “I buy it by the case,” he says. For other caulk needs, Harrison turns to ALEX PLUS All-Purpose Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, which he says provides a smooth look whether he’s doing an interior or exterior project, and with multiple colors, the aesthetic appeal is hard to beat. “I use white most of the time, but I’ve used them all,” says Harrison. “I did a cedar job once where I used the cedar tan caulk. The owner couldn’t get over how much better it looked.” Another perk of the DAP products? They dry in 20 minutes, Harrison says, which is really useful for a painter who has to do both the caulking and the painting on a job.


Dalton Tomlinson started Supreme Painting in 1985. The company, based in Fort Worth, TX, handles a variety of residential and commercial jobs. For Tomlinson, a good adhesive comes in handy for interior trim like adding baseboards or crown molding. “The adhesive I use the most of is Gorilla Glue,” he says. “If it’s new wood, I almost always use Gorilla Glue.” Known for its strength, Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane formula that is waterproof and rated for indoor and outdoor use. “It’s extremely strong,” Tomlinson notes. “If you pull apart two pieces of wood bonded by Gorilla Glue, you would probably break the wood before you broke that bond. So when you set it, you want to make sure it’s set in the right place.”


With more than 550 properties to maintain, Robert Hahn of Empire Real Estate Management, LLC in Latham, NY, is all about finding products that work. “Liquid Nails Fuze*It is my go-to adhesive for almost everything,” he says. “When I put something up with it, it adheres fast and it stays up. That lets us keep moving forward with other parts of a project and, as they say, time is money.” In addition to performance, Hahn is a fan of how easy Fuze*It is to use. “Other adhesives were almost impossible to get out of the tube,” recalls Hahn. “But this stuff is the easiest thing in the world to use. Nobody’s fighting with the caulk gun anymore.” He adds, “I have so much to do in a day, so any product that makes my job and life easier, I’m all about it—even if it is a few more dollars. Fuze*It is one of those products that’s totally worth it. I know it’s going to work and I don’t spend a minute worrying about whether I’ll have to go back and do it again.”

Photo Courtesy of Liquid Nails by PPG Paints

“ When I put something up with it, it adheres fast and it stays up.” ­—ROBERT HAHN, EMPIRE REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT, LLC


With 15 years in business, Dan Doroshuk knows the value of a good adhesive. “I buy it by the case,” says the owner of 3-D Construction in Millville, NJ. For a variety of tasks on both residential and commercial projects, Doroshuk is a fan of Titebond PROvantage PRO Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive. Designed for use with multiple materials, including metals and plastics, the PROvantage product line boasts superior strength and durability, and is waterproof, too. “We use it for everything,” he says. In addition, Titebond’s adhesives comply with federal and state VOC regulations. And Doroshuk found Titebond offers another value-add as well. His previous adhesive was oozing. “When it oozes, you lose a lot of the product, and that stuff is expensive,” he says. “So, while the other brand was a good adhesive, the value is definitely there with Titebond.” Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



for $5,000 and you’re yielding 25% or 30% gross profit, versus a commercial project that’s $20,000 at the same margins, your input time and costs aren’t that different. We found our profitability increased as we got better at managing, bidding, and knowing clients’ needs, and those volumes allowed us to scale.” Commercial work can also help smooth out your revenue curve, particularly for areas of the country most affected by weather. “When winter comes and things slow down in residential work, the budgets are still there in commercial,” says Frank Prusik, Jr., owner of Prusik Painting Company in North Reading, MA. “A lot of companies have use-it-or-lose-it budget situations at the end of the year, so painting is an easy way to spend it.”


Some of the advantages of shifting into commercial painting are obvious, such as larger job sizes and the potential for recurring projects from property managers or general contractors who like your work, which in turn reduces your marketing costs. And, of course, commercial jobs have a reputation for being more profitable—under the right circumstances.



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“I really like the fact that commercial work means sophisticated buyers,” says Aaron Moore, president of Precision Painting & Decorating in Bellwood, IL. “A homeowner just knows they need their house painted, which usually comes down to price. With a commercial buyer, their job is on the line—going with someone cheap who screws it up is way worse for them than spending a couple of extra dollars.” Henry Dryfhout of St. Thomas, Ontario-based H.D. Painting notes that you can also scale a commercial operation more easily. “If you have a residential project

Honing your approach Experienced commercial painters recommend starting small and working your way up. “You need to have a clear focus, changing your brand and marketing initiatives to be focused on the commercial market,” says Dave Scaturro, senior estimator at Alpine Painting & Sandblasting in Paterson, NJ. “Customers need to feel confident it’s what you do regularly, not that you’re a residential guy who dabbles in commercial. “There’s a natural progression to go from single family into the condominium or town house market, or doing mid-rise multifamily properties,” he says. “This market is very competitive, so it’s probably advantageous to join a trade association with a lot of property managers so you get face time with decision makers.” “I use the analogy that you’re a fisherman and you need to live off what you catch,” Moore says. “Get some bluegills first—like smaller retail businesses or strip malls—before you go after a muskie or northern pike. And even then, don’t go after 10 contracts at one time. Gina Koert, principal/senior estimator and project manager of Shamrock Painting, Inc. in Denver CO says, “The reason I like general contractors is the opportunity for future work with direct-owner clients. If you stay in good standing and develop a relationship, the owner will come directly to you. I know a lot of people cringe because you don’t get the 50% deposit, but I think the long-term relationship and cash payout is worth it.” Similarly, Prusik suggests networking at the property where you’re painting. “My business started to grow with commercial leads from some of the guys who worked there, like maintenance guys and so forth,” he says. “They’d leave and go to a new company, and it would open the door for me there.” Minding the numbers Estimating is one of the most complex aspects of commercial painting, and it can create a make-or-break situation. “Too high, you don’t get the job; too low, and you

don’t make enough to sustain the company,” says Scaturro, who recommends the PDCA estimating guides as a good foundation. “If you don’t take the time to look at the project on a unique level—markets, substrates, production rates, material spread rates—you’re going to miss something.” Investing in technology can help streamline those processes and make them more accurate, Koert says. “Technology is the biggest thing that helped us move to the bigger projects. Digital estimating systems will significantly improve your production—you can do a takeoff in a third of the time.” The financial considerations, particularly access to capital, are an absolutely critical area in commercial painting. “If you have four full-time painters taking 600 hours in two months to do a job at $25 an hour, you’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars before you get your first dollar,” Moore says. “Multiply that by five or six projects, and you could be out $150,000 in a month, depending on the projects and how they’re staggered. Where you need to be cautious While commercial work can become an important— or even main—part of your revenue stream, experienced commercial painters will tell you it’s also essential to diversify your portfolio. “Don’t just go for all big projects, and don’t get bogged down with all little ones,” says Koert. Prusik speaks from experience about the value of diversity. After more than a decade of steady work for an office park client, the management company decided to sell every building they owned. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have an in at the new company,” he says. “I lost a good $250,000 in income and had to scramble to keep things going. Luckily, I always kept my feet in both residential and commercial. My mix is about 60/40 now, and 2016 was my busiest year ever.” The complexity of commercial jobs puts a premium on understanding the specs, as well. “We’ve all made mistakes, but I’ve seen contractors go bankrupt because they misread or didn’t read the specifications,” says Dryfhout.



Your Go-To Strippable Adhesive

Clear communications and mind-set Commercial painting has a lot of overlap with residential painting in the sense that it’s service based. “You need to listen when you’re walking through a project, and make the customer feel comfortable that you have the capabilities of performing on time and on budget,” says Scaturro. It’s important to realize that, while service and job quality are the priorities, commercial buyers have different needs from their residential counterparts. Among the aspects that a professional buyer will be concerned with are scheduling and disruptions. Doing off-hour work means being responsible for keys to the property, disarming and activating alarms, and working around shutdowns. Ongoing open communications are also paramount, such as delivering daily or weekly time and materials reports. Equally important is letting the owner, property manager, or general contractor know when there’s a problem. “Just be honest; people are people and they’ll understand.” Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT




Over time, every paint pro develops his or her own unique habits. Maybe it’s an affinity for a particular brush or roller, or perhaps a demand to put tools and materials in certain easyto-reach spots on a work vehicle. That said, it helps when a vehicle is built out to anticipate a pro’s natural tendencies.


That well-placed, functional ladder rack could help employees avoid injuries and save time, and the right shelves, bins and partitions may keep crews organized and working rather than wasting valuable time looking for tools and supplies. Many options are available for upfitting a work vehicle; here are a few factors to keep in mind when customizing your own vehicle. Top down Keeping track of compressor hoses and staying balanced on a ladder while 20' up or more—all while delivering an even spray—is an art form in and of itself. But few things are more annoying to a painting professional than getting that ladder off a clumsy old rack and having to bungee or tie it back into place at the end of the day. Don’t skimp on the ladder rack, says Todd Goldmeyer, marketing manager for

Adrian Steel, a manufacturer of van and truck cargomanagement solutions. Adrian Steel’s drop-down racks, built for van roofs, allow a painter to pull the ladder down to a more comfortable height for carrying. And their GripLock rack is designed to safely secure and lock a ladder in place, minimizing concerns of a ladder sliding off while driving. The company also sells convenient interior racks to secure and keep small 4' and 6' stepladders out of the weather, which could help with customer service efforts. “There’s nothing worse than going into a business or home with a dirty ladder,” Goldmeyer added. Shelving and durability There can be a lot of questions to answer when looking for the right shelving system that fits your needs. Do you need doors on the shelves? And what about sizing? Custom shelves, large or small—to fit gallon jugs, caulk tubes, and other small or unique tools—are all available. However, pay attention to shelf weight ratings, adds Brad Anderson, a regional sales manager for Ranger Design, Inc., another manufacturer of vanand truck-customization equipment. Standard shelving can only hold between 30 and 40 pounds per linear foot, Anderson cautioned, which may not be enough for a painter carrying heavy loads and numerous five-gallon buckets on bumpy roads. Ranger carries shelving units rated at 60 pounds per linear foot, which could help a pro avoid big problems.


Photo Courtesy of Adrian Steel

30 inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

“One of the major issues is having the shelves rip out of the wall of the vehicle. Not only have you wrecked the shelving, but you’ve wrecked the side of the vehicle,” Anderson explained. With the trend toward lighter, aluminum shelves, durability is a prime topic heard by Element Fleet Management’s manager of truck excellence, Spero Skarlatos. Skarlatos also pays attention to the coatings found on interior shelves. In some cases, solvents, moisture, and certain tools a tradesman uses can pose problems for shelf coatings, and corrosion can occur, he added. “This is not only a huge issue for life cycle (of the shelves) but for fleet visibility and your place in the market. You don’t want your trucks on the road to have rust streaks. Obviously, these are expensive assets, and their protective coatings have to be able to meet these demands,” he said. Configurations There are many shelving configurations available to contractors. Whether it’s durable fold-away shelves, bins, custom drawers or other options, you can get exactly what you need, adds Mike McTamney, marketing coordinator for American Van Equipment, Inc., another manufacturer of custom upfitting equipment that sells direct to consumers. Introduced in 2014, the company’s ‘Shop By Vehicle’ web site tool has become a go-to starting point for many contractors. Just click on a specific truck or van to view many different categories of equipment for that vehicle. Another section on its web site has pre-configured van packages for each model. Each design can be purchased through the web site or used to help give a contractor upfit ideas. “They can either buy the packages as we have built them, call our customer service team to configure a van package to their wants and needs, or they can stop in and meet with one of our customer service agents to view everything in our showroom and to schedule an upfit,” McTamney said. Anderson recommends starting with online research, but visiting a showroom can help, too. “Take the time to understand the options on the market and what makes the difference between a cheap knock-off and a well-engineered product,” he said. “You will be working with them for a number of years so spending that extra time is really worth it. We do see people mixing and matching the best products from two or three manufacturers to get the ideal package for their needs.” More research, planning Before customizing your vehicle, experts also suggest you solicit input from crews. Beyond crews, seek outside opinions, too, Anderson adds. A crew member may be able to speak to a frustration of how a vehicle is

currently configured but may not know how to articulate the best option to solve it. “You can get a lot of benefit from talking to an experienced outfitter, but they too are often fairly influenced by their own experiences,” Anderson noted. “Manufacturers bring the best cross section of knowledge. The sales reps generally have a lot of experience. They’ve seen a wide range of options and know their products. It’s especially helpful if you can get them to do a ride-along with techs [pros] for a day to see how the vehicle is used and also which tools are used most often.” As an outside consultant, Skarlatos and his team enjoy their share of ride-alongs with Element Fleet Management employees. “We find that individuals involved with the fleet will speak more freely to someone outside the company who is not a direct supervisor,” he added.

“ Take the time to understand the options … You will be working with them for a number of years …”


Photo Courtesy of Ranger Design, Inc.

—BRAD ANDERSON, RANGER DESIGN, INC Skarlatos has also found that many contractors and employees often look for ergonomic solutions to minimize employee injuries and maximize safety. Some look to reduce the number of trips crew members make in and out of the vehicle, both for safety and efficiency. They’ll look at elements like step height, too, for getting in and out of the vehicle, and some will even look for solutions to help workers access interior shelves from the exterior of the vehicle to reduce the number of times a tradesman needs to step into the vehicle. Right sizing, European-style vans Skarlatos also sees contractors and their fleet managers looking to ‘right-size’ vehicles. Generally speaking, most business owners are looking for ways to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient, he explained, and there’s even a willingness to sacrifice some interior space to do it. This trend drives the popularity of smaller European-style van models like the Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, and Nissan NV200, he added. These smaller vans also satisfy some ergonomic needs with plenty of driver cabin space and comfort, and the cabins are high enough to see the road well but low enough for a lower step into the vehicle. Skarlatos expects a continued phasing out of larger, less-fuelefficient and bulky van styles. -


Photo Courtesy of American Van Equipment, Inc.

Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



Managing multifamily housing renovation projects FROM FINDING AND HIRING EXPERIENCED CREWS TO SELECTING HIGH-QUALITY PAINT Ohio-based real estate development, property management, and general contracting business, The Millennia Companies, founded by Frank Sinito, CEO, has been specializing in the acquisition, rehabilitation and management of affordable multifamily housing projects for more than 20 years. With budgets ranging from $100,000 to $20 million, The Millennia Companies has vast experience with hiring and managing nearly every type of professional trade.


STEPHEN CHAPPUIES, VP of construction for American Preservation Builders, LLC, the general contracting arm of The Millennia Companies, shares his knowledge about finding and hiring painting pros, setting expectations, and choosing the best product. The Millennia Companies manages 20,000 properties among 22 different states. How do you find painting crews in each individual market? A. It can be tough to find good, reliable contractors. That’s why we value our relationship with national paint supplier Sherwin-Williams. We work with local sales reps who provide us with a list of four or five experienced, affordable contractors in the area so we don’t have to spend time making numerous calls. It not only eliminates that headache but helps narrow down the selections. We’re looking for painting pros who buy a fair amount of product, have a good reputation, and pay their bills on time.



inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

How do you determine the right painting contractor? A. Because we renovate and restore properties of all sizes, our needs are always changing, and we ultimately base our decision on the individual project. Our multifamily housing units are often occupied, so we need to be especially mindful of that when working around our residents, and be respectful of their lifestyle and schedules. We do not temporarily relocate our residents during a renovation, so at the end of each day, each unit must be back to a fully functioning facility. Therefore, I look for pros who can communicate effectively and interact well, not only with our business, but also with the residents. In my experience, you can get an immediate feel for someone based on the initial interaction. Although we have direct, on-site supervision for every project and require all contractors to wear an ID badge, I want crews to walk into an individual’s unit and say hello, be polite and courteous, and explain what they are there to do. After an initial conversation and time line, expectations are discussed with an interested contractor. I can direct him or her to our web site to review the project blueprints and get an idea of the overall scope of work so an appropriate bid can be made. The next, and probably most important, step is to meet the contractor at the physical site. We’ll walk vacant units so expectations are not clouded. While most projects are typical, many apartment units are 30 to 40 years old and could be in poor condition. There could be issues that need special attention on an individual property basis. Our philosophy is to ultimately create an affordable, modern, well-maintained complex where residents can be proud of the community in which they live. Since our company owns every property, we are focused on utilizing the highest-quality, most durable products available. I also want to know if a potential contractor has received any safety training and utilizes proper materials and equipment. We will offer educational seminars for all of our contractors to create a safe working environment. Crew size is also very important. I need a team that can accommodate the project, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m looking for a contractor who can


provide the most painters. I may hire a few small crews or even someone who doesn’t have experience with multifamily housing if it feels like a good fit. Finally, we discuss the budget. I look for the best crew I can get and determine what I can afford. There are often negotiations involved but, at the end of the day, I am willing to spend the right amount of money for a qualified team. We’ve made mistakes and had bad experiences with contractors along the way, which is bound to happen among every industry trade profession, and there is always inherit risk. What type of paint products do you prefer and why? A. We use specific types of paint in our residential and commercial projects that offer high-quality finishes. Since we maintain a national account with SherwinWilliams and buy in large quantities, we can take advantage of higher-grade paint and products at lower pricing. Purchasing the paint this way allows us to meet budgets and provide the greatest value to our apartment communities. We ultimately want durable, washable paint that offers good coverage and wearability. This is key because paint that is not high quality requires two or three coats and won’t look good. Our top pick is Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200. It’s a great line of paint for interior walls because it has many benefits, including containing agents that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the surface, as well as meets all our requirements for zero-VOC paint products. Many of our renovation and restoration projects are funded through tax credit awards from the state or HUD financing. After each project is complete, inspectors walk and review the site. They often provide feedback, and regularly give compliments about how great the paint looks. At their completion, our properties often look like high-end hotels. -

“ Our multifamily housing units are often occupied, so we need to be especially mindful of that when working around our residents, and be respectful of their lifestyle and schedules.” ­—STEPHEN CHAPPUIES, AMERICAN PRESERVATION BUILDERS, LLC


I joined Summit in 2009. Since then, our revenue has grown over 400% and I have a solid team around me. Summit is, by far, the best money I’ve invested in my business. - Sean Kennedy, Owner Kennedy Painting St. Louis

Find out how other painting contractors are growing their business & profits with Summit. • Personal Coaching • Peer Groups • Hiring Help • Sales Training • Build Systems • Crew Training and much more...

For more information, contact us at or (610) 449-0960

Stephen Chappuies is VP of construction with American Preservation Builders, LLC. He has thirty years of experience in direct management of affordable housing projects, new construction, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and tax credit projects. Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT





inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

in today’s professional toolbox? PPG PAINTSTM TIMELESS® Exterior Paint PPG PAINTS TIMELESS exterior paint with 100 percent acrylic resin provides a high film build and a durable bond in one coat. The product is self-priming, bridges cracks, provides mold and mildew resistance on the dry paint film, and can even be applied in temperatures down to 35° F. Additionally, the product contains PPG’s SIDINGSAFETM color technology, providing a broad spectrum of color choices for use on aluminum, architectural plastic, composite, fiber, cement, vinyl and wood siding, and trim.

SnapDryTM Door & Trim Paint Sherwin-Williams revolutionary new water-based door and trim paint dries in just one hour to prevent stuck doors and sticky windows. SnapDry cleans up easily and is extremely durable, ensuring a beautiful color and lasting finish. Formulated for brush, roller or spray application, the interior and exterior acrylic latex paint is resistant to dirt, fingerprints, UV rays and weathering. SnapDry is available in semi-gloss, a wide variety of color options, and in quart and gallon sizes at all neighborhood Sherwin-Williams stores.

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

Mar/Apr 2017 | inPAINT



What, Where & When M A RC H



7–9: 98th Annual Associated General Contractors Convention, Las Vegas, NV


15 & 16: BUILDExpo, Dallas, TX


20–22: 2017 ACA CoatingsTech Conference, Cleveland, OH


24–27: BOMA 2017 International Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN



11: Builders & Remodelers Show, Minneapolis, MN


27–29: AIA Conference on Architecture 2017, Orlando, FL


27 & 28: SEBC, Kissimmee, FL


28 & 29: PDCA AST: Residential Forum, Cleveland, OH


4 10


9–11: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV


16–20: 2017 Society of Decorative Painters’ International Conference & Expo, Daytona Beach, FL


6 1

8 2

7 5 9

National Hardware Show

MAY 9–11, 2017, Las Vegas, NV Want to check out the latest in paint and accessories, plus construction and remodeling tools and gear? The National Hardware Show is THE place to do it. The industry-only event is a great way to connect with nearly 3,000 exhibitors, including more than 170 exhibitors in the paint and accessories category. They’ll be showcasing their newest products and solutions, as well as offering live demos and educational sessions throughout the three-day event. Many manufacturers will be offering exclusive show discounts and purchasing opportunities. Visit for more information.


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017


0 Hand-Masker Film Blade, p 21 0 Hand-Masker Plastic, p 21 0 Scotch Masking Tape for Humid Conditions, p 22

Adrian Steel

0 Drop-Down Rack, p 30 0 GripLock Rack, p 30

Associated Paint, Inc.

0 Econo Runner, p 22 0 Masking Liquid H2O, p 21

Benjamin Moore

0 Corotech Alkyd Fabrication Primer, p 6 0 Eco Spec Waterborne Latex Paint, p 6


0 ALEX Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk, p 26 0 ALEX PLUS All-Purpose Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, p 26


0 Orbital Finish Sanders: DTS 400 & RTS 400, p 22

Fire Door Solutions

0 Flame Shield, p 7

Gorilla Glue, Inc.

0 Gorilla Glue, p 24 & 26


0 PAXCON Coating, p 6


Sprayer Saver

To learn about being

0 PL 400 Subfloor All Weather, p 24

0 Sprayer Saver, p 7

featured in an upcoming

PPG Paints

0 Capture4 CIGS Solar Panel, p 6


issue of inPAINT, email

0 Break-Through! Int/Ext Waterborne Acrylic Paint, p 18 0 Glidden Diamond Paint + Primer, p 18 0 Liquid Nails Fuze*It, p 27 0 Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One, p 18 0 Timeless Exterior Paint, p 35

Protective Products, Int’l, Inc.


0 PROVantage PRO Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, p 26 & 27 0 Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, p 24 & 26

West System

0 105 Epoxy Resin, p 26

0 Econo Runner, p 22 0 Paint Guards, p 20 & 22


0 Zinsser Odor Killing Primer, p 18 & 19 0 Zinsser WaterTite Flexible Primer and Finish, p 18 & 19


0 Eminence High Performance Ceiling Paint, p 19 0 FluoroKem Coating, p 6 0 Paint Shield Interior Latex Paint, p 18 & 19 0 ProMar 200 Zero-VOC Flat Latex Paint, p 19 & 33 0 SnapDry Door & Trim Paint, p 18, 19 & 35 0 SuperPaint Flat Interior Acrylic Latex Paint, p 19


0 Double-Sided Poly-Hanging Tape, p 21 & 22 0 ShurSTICK Paint Masking Tape, p 22



3M Page 13




GRACO Pages 25 & Back Cover



TITAN Pages 5, 7, 9 & 11




The One Reason Your Business Plan Will Fail This Year:

TOM REBER is a Marine veteran and the man who leads the MOTORhood at He’s also the host of STRONGpreneur Podcast and the former owner of a successful residential painting company outside of Chicago. He’s now in charge of kicking contractors into gear for bigger and greater success.


YOU DID IT! You made a plan for 2017. You brought your team together and had a ‘vision day’ with whiteboards, spreadsheets, P & Ls, and coffee in a box. Most likely, there was discussion about how much revenue you think you can do based on last year’s data of leads, average job size, and closing rates. You figured out how many painters you’ll need to make it all happen. You even mapped out a safety training agenda. Bam! You’re on fire. You addressed all the areas of the business: marketing, sales, operations and administrative. Your bases are covered and you’ve never felt so confident heading into a new year. MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL All this is good. You should create a plan as described above. If you’d like to give that plan the best shot at success, look in a mirror. You will be the number one contributing factor of whether or not you will reach your targets this year. In a nutshell: How you go, the business goes. If you want to reach your targets, you must have clarity and consistency. CLARITY IS KING So you got clear on your business plan. But what about getting clear on YOU? The stronger you become, the stronger the business will be. In fact, your business will only grow and develop to the degree that you do. Here are four areas of clarity I suggest you achieve: - Connections: These are the relationships in your life. Your spouse, kids and family. It’s your friends and your business relationships. What work do you need to put in so that your connections are strong? - Strength: This is your health—emotionally, mentally and physically. There’s no excuse to not take care of yourself and be strong. - Money: Most people are not clear on where they’re headed financially and don’t have money banked for retirement. If you’re not killing it on the money


inPAINT | Mar/Apr 2017

end of things, you should close your business. The pain of business ownership isn’t worth it without the financial win. - Character: This is your ‘self,’ or your ‘soul.’ What kind of man or woman are you? Sadly, most don’t have clarity regarding their values. I don’t mean things like material success or being positive. I’m talking about the internal stuff like self-respect, creativity, innovation and honesty. Who do you really want to be? CONSISTENCY OF ACTION You will not reach your objectives without consistency of action. Here’s an exercise: 1| Look at the four areas of clarity mentioned and choose one 12-week target for each. For example, for Connections, you might choose a goal of ‘get the fire back in my marriage.’ 2| Then for each target, list three daily or weekly tactics that will move you toward it. Possible tactics for that Connections goal could be: - Weekly date night - Tell my spouse each day one thing I am grateful for in them - Take time each day to share what’s really going on in my head (vulnerability is a good thing) 3| Do it. Track it. Be accountable. This consistency of action over the 12 weeks and beyond will transform your life and get you to your objectives. IT’S GAME TIME The pre-game planning is over. You’ve drawn up the plays. It’s time to step onto the field and play the game. If you get clarity and work consistently, I guarantee the scoreboard will light up in your favor more times than not.

The magazine created for professionals just like YOU inPAINT magazine delivers engaging and informative articles on the latest industry news and current trends. This is the kind of information that can set you apart from your competitors, and make your job easier and more profitable. Stay informed by subscribing now.


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