inPAINT Magazine Oct/Nov 2016

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Pros talk power sanders Improving workplace safety

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[ CUTTING IN ] “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”





s much as I’d like to take credit for that quote, I can’t. The credit belongs to Michael LeBoeuf, PhD and author of a number of popular business books including How to Win Customers & Keep Them for Life. I was reminded of it while pulling together this issue of inPAINT. Specifically, I was reminded that customer satisfaction isn’t based solely on the quality of your final product. Rather, it’s determined by every encounter and experience a customer has with your company. And it’s in your best interest to plan how each one goes. From how you answer your phone to the type of paint you recommend to the extra services you bring to the job and, yes, how it looks in the end. But beyond doing everything right, you have to plan to make sure customers appreciate all you’re bringing to the job. It’s up to you to make sure they understand why you’re approaching a project in a particular way, the reasons prep takes so long, and why you’re recommending a specific coating—especially if it costs more (see page 16 for more on that last point). It’s all part of the experience that you plan and create to build customer confidence and satisfaction. And while it would be nice if doing everything right on every job was enough to guarantee long-term business success, it’s not. Long-term success requires looking beyond the job that’s in front of you today, tomorrow, and even six months from now. Now, as business slows down for many in the fall, is a good time to turn your attention to the long view and where you want to be in three, five or even 10 years. On page 12 we have a great article from Linnea Blair that breaks down why long-range planning matters and offers step-by-step suggestions for getting started today. And since I opened with a quote, I’ll close with one too. This time from Linnea: “Strategic planning and implementation of your plan will help you get to an outcome you choose, rather than one that happens to you.”


Kathryn Heeder Hocker COPY EDITOR


Linnea Blair Stephanie Conner Stacey Freed Meghann Finn Sepulveda Bill Silverman Rob Sweeney Jim Williams SOCIAL MEDIA

Jillian McAdams PUBLISHED BY

REM Publishing Group LLC 6501 E. Greenway Pkwy., Suite 103–273 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 ADVERTISE


Amanda Haar

Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT

inPAINT Editorial Advisory Board 0 Tara Carter, Managing Director, Luxe Residential Services 0 Paul Dunkman, Project Manager and VP, Dunkman Paint & Wallcovering, LLC 0 Kevin Godfrey, Owner, Heritage Restoration 0 Tony Hady, Principal, PacificWestern Commercial & Residential Painting 0 Mike Kelly, Owner and General Manager, Crestwood Painting

Martha MacGregor

0 Carolyn Liedtke, Marketing Director, Fresh Coat Painters 0 Scott Lollar, General Manager, Catchlight Painting 0 Judy Mozen, President, Handcrafted Homes, Inc.; President NARI 0 Kristopher Toth, Owner, Toth Painting Solutions

©2016 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.

Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT


inPAINT® Oct/Nov 2016


Paint Essentials 16 + Why pros in the know choose premium

An emerging value-add opportunity

Pro Picks 26

Pros talk power sanders



12 Work Smart

Industry ins and outs

Plan now for the results and future you want later

8 Trends

30 Workforce

A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

Using technology to improve workplace safety and reduce workers’ comp claims

9 Trend in Focus Where customers are finding contractors

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

10 Ask a Pro How does offering tiered-service pricing work for your business?

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

38 Bottom Line 5 ways to attract and keep the best employees



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

Photo Courtesy of WAGNER

Color Consulting 20




Scan Now to Enter!

work WITH THE best Home is where our heart is.



New Option for Sound Rusted Steel T Tnemec Company, Inc. has introduced a single-component, mastic waterborne acrylic coating for use on minimally prepared sound rusted steel and previously coated surfaces in a wide range of environments. Specified as an overcoat for steel water tanks, vessels and other industrial and architectural metal substrates, Series 118 Uni-Bond Mastic is ideal in situations where limited budgets won’t allow for abrasive blasting. Surface preparation need only include pressure washing at 5,000 psi and some mechanical hand or power tool cleaning to remove loose rust, scale, and deteriorated coatings. According to Cory Brown, VP of Technical Services, Series 118 is a rust-inhibitive tie coat that can be used with both acrylic and solvent-borne urethane, and also fluoropolymer finish coats. Brown notes, “The coating has excellent elongation, enabling it to expand and contract with the substrate as the temperature varies, even through freeze-thaw conditions.”

Photo Courtesy of Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

SEAWORLD UNVEILS MAKO SHARK MURAL T World-renowned marine life artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey recently

completed a 16' x 24' mural at SeaWorld in Orlando to raise awareness and interest in the plight of sharks in the wild. Designed and painted by Harvey with some assistance from his daughter, the mural features a mako shark as the centerpiece and was painted directly onto a concrete wall in the park’s new Shark Wreck Reef exhibit. The finished piece was completed in three days and required just five gallons of GOLDEN Heavy Body acrylic paint.

PPG Paints Launches New Color-Matching Tool T The PPG Paints brand recently introduced a new portable color-matching tool that takes the guesswork out of color matching. Ideal for professionals, this pocket-sized device enables users to identify paint color matches for virtually any flat surface including tile, fabrics and wallpaper by simply scanning the tool on the desired surface. Almost instantly, the tool identifies the closest PPG Paints color, and the CMYK and RGB values. The information appears on the device’s corresponding smartphone app, making it easy for pros to save color collections and share them with customers via email, Facebook and Twitter. To purchase the tool ($250), contact your PPG Paint sales rep. And to download the mobile app, visit


inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

Paint-On Window Coating Could Lead to Significant Energy Savings T Scientists at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

are developing a new paint-on coating that will improve the energy efficiency of windows. The coating, which uses a ‘bottlebrush polymer,’ selectively reflects the infrared solar energy back to the sky while allowing visible light to pass through. Scientists anticipate significant energy savings—potentially up to 35 billion kilowatt-hours—due the reduced need for air conditioning. The targeted cost for the product will be $1.50 per square-foot, approximately one-tenth the cost of current commercially installed retrofit window films.

New Technology Provides Protection from the Inside Out T What began as research 12 years ago into how to increase the efficiency of solar

panels, has evolved into a one-of-a-kind coating for wood, concrete and masonry. Developed at the University of Houston under the direction of Professor Seamus Curran, PhD, Integricote technology reduces the interaction of water with a wide range of surfaces. According to Curran, the technology actually penetrates surfaces, as opposed to laying on top and, as the solvent evaporates, the remaining molecules bond to each other below the surface, providing protection from the inside out. The technology is currently featured in the CaraPro line of products, which promises one-coat protection, even when applied to wet surfaces—with either clear or custom-color options.


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Here’s how 6 paint manufacturers like to serve up their version of pumpkin:

Big Strides Ahead for Concrete Floor Coating Market


According to a new report from Zion Market Research, the global demand for concrete floor coating is expected to reach around $1.2 billion in 2020; a huge step up from the $800 million value achieved in 2014. SOURCE: Concrete Floor Coating Market for Outdoor and Indoor Applications—Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast 2014–2020









HOMEIMPROVEMENT NUMBERS KEEP IMPROVING Private spending on home improvements




How Do You Rate?

Here’s where painters and remodelers fall on the ‘most searched pros’ list for three online service companies:



180 170 160 150 140

’07 ’09 ’11 ’13 ’15 ’17 ’19 ’21 YEAR

SOURCE: IBISWorld Industry Report 44412; Paint Stores in the U.S.

WHICH HOME IMPROVEMENTS DO HOMEOWNERS PLAN ON TACKLING IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? Renovating or adding a bathroom Renovating a kitchen Renovating a basement Installing new flooring Getting new windows, roofing or siding Renovating the home’s exterior Expanding the home

23% 30% 15% 39% 34% 52% 5%

SOURCE: Bankrate Money Pulse survey, March 17–20, 2016. Results may not equal 100% due to rounding. 8

inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016


Where Customers are Finding Contractors ONLINE RESOURCES MAKE STRIDES BUT WORD OF MOUTH STILL WINS OUT WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING AND SELECTING A CONTRACTOR, today’s consumers have more places to turn for information and opinions than ever before. With the rising popularity and growing number of online service sites and apps, it’s natural to assume that digital-based sources would lead the charge. But you’d be wrong. The power of the personal referral For the past nine years, Fred Miller of Consumer Specialists, has been keeping a close eye on consumer research habits, especially as they relate to finding and choosing a contractor. His most recent study examines how consumer efforts to find a contractor have evolved in that same time period. “Without a doubt, referrals from friends and family remain the primary way homeowners find a contractor,” says Miller. In fact, when asked how they would go about finding a contractor for a project, 46% of survey respondents indicated that they would turn to friends and family. Online sources came in second but at a rather distant 27%. However, what’s interesting to note is that while ‘friends and family’ holds the lead, it is down 4 percentage points from the 2006 survey, whereas online sources jumped an impressive 16 percentage points in the same time period. Online handily displaced the Yellow Pages from the #2 position, which fell 13 points (19% in 2006 and 6% in 2015). Respondents also indicated that they relied on referrals for hiring their last contractor at a rate of 41%, more than double the rate of the next method (based on previous experience, 19%). Consider the source In Miller’s study, consumers rated how valuable they find different sources in finding a contractor. Using a scale of 1 (not at all valuable) to 10 (extremely valuable), previous experience won out over referrals. “When asked to consider the value of different sources, consumers rated previous personal experience slightly more valuable than referrals from friends and

family,” explains Miller. “And while online services showed sharp growth in top-of-mind consideration, they ranked near the bottom in terms of being a valuable source.”

“Word of mouth is what consumers rely on to find a contractor.” —JACK COOKSON, BUILDZOOM.COM

Beyond the talk A recent survey by, a contractorcustomer matchmaking web site, confirms Consumer Specialists’ findings. According to BuildZoom’s lead data analyst Jack Cookson, “Word of mouth is what consumers rely on to find a contractor. However,” he adds, “they’re not as convinced by the opinions of people they don’t know. They trust a neighbor or a friend, but vague online reviews by strangers aren’t as impactful. Beyond the trusted opinion, they’re looking for concrete evidence of competence.” For many, that competence is demonstrated through an active license. “In recent years, there’s been a big shift by local governments to have open data,” says Cookson. “BuildZoom has taken advantage of that access to build the world’s largest database of licensing and permitting information. On our site, we list all currently licensed contractors and our surveys illustrate that, after word of mouth, licensing status is what matters most in choosing a contractor.” The rewards of responsiveness In a separate survey conducted earlier this year, BuildZoom found that once a potential customer has identified a potential pro for a project, responsiveness has the biggest impact on selection. Cookson says, “After the initial contact in which a contractor raises their hand to express an interest, the time it takes to respond to the customer’s next query is very important. People want to know that the person they are entrusting their home and money to is going to be accessible and responsive.” Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT




Q: How does offering tiered service pricing work for your business?

A: First, in order to develop my system, I had to learn

everything I could about estimating. It was important to pay attention to how many man-hours it took to complete the painting process.

STEVEN ADICKES started Adix Painting, Inc. in 2001 after teaching K–8 physical education for 11 years. It was natural that when he began his residential custom painting business, he made educating customers an important component. His three-tiered options for projects were developed from his love of teaching and coaching.


inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

So I kept a log sheet for every job I’ve ever done: what I did, when I did it, how long it took. After a few years, I could look at a potential project and estimate that a high-quality custom project will take six man-days. Having this information at my fingertips allows me to gain a prospect’s trust. I am able to explain my system and differentiate myself from other painters; I don’t have employees, and I allow homeowners to work on their jobs. (I would rather train a homeowner than an employee.) Most do not want to do the actual painting, but they see the benefit in doing the little things such as prepping the area, moving furniture, vacuuming along the edge of the walls, taping and washing the walls, cleaning rollers and brushes, and moving ladders. A 10' x 12' bedroom with everything ready to go means I can roll the walls in less than 20 minutes. The first cut-in might be 45 minutes and the second cut-in 30 minutes. Things move quickly so there’s less disruption and customers can get on with their lives sooner. And, if the project is estimated to cost $400 a day for 10 days but we get it done in eight, they save money. TIERED SERVICE, TIERED PRICING I believe in transparency and each of my three packages—economy, standard and custom—is highly detailed. I specify which activities a homeowner will do and which activities I will do. The information covers ceilings, walls, trim, sanding, protection, and paint quality, among other things, with each level building on the other.

For example, in the economy package ($.50–$.75/s.f.), the customer removes all items from the room (pictures, fixtures, furniture, personal items) so that I can prep it for painting. In the standard package ($.75–$1.50/s.f.), the customer removes pictures, fixtures and personal items, but I move all large items to the center of the room and cover them with a drop cloth or plastic. In the custom package ($1.50–$3.00/s.f.), I do all of that plus provide other services including drywall repair and caulking openings between the ceiling, walls and trim, etc. EDUCATION PAYS Most customers are repeat or referrals. Their first question is not “What’s the process?” but “When can I get on the schedule?” While new customers may have seen the economy package on my web site and may have thought about price as their determining factor, once I educate them on the process and show them completed projects via digital media, they understand craftsmanship and the importance of quality. They can see that economy painting will not meet their expectations. In the end, 80% of my customers want a custom project and 20% go with standard. Each day is a gift and I enjoy the relationships I build with my customers. In turn, they enjoy being involved in their project. Truthfully, it can be difficult to factor in the cost of best painting practices with quality and still keep the production going, but we have found a way to make it work.

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PLAN NOW FOR THE RESULTS AND FUTURE YOU WANT LATER Many entrepreneurs start a business because they suffer from what author Michael Gerber terms in his book, The E Myth, as ‘entrepreneurial seizures,’ meaning they’re really good at what they do and think they could run their own business better than their boss—­or they want the freedom of owning their own business.



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

So you start a painting business and you go along for a few years, running it by the seat of your pants. Once you’ve had some success and want to grow, you start to get some advice from other painting

contractors, from the PDCA, and from consultants. You put more structure into your business in order to grow it and keep more of the profits. At that point, many businesses, even some of the successful ones, drift into doing year-by-year planning, thinking one step down the road, until the owner wakes up and realizes, “Wow, I’m 50 years old and I don’t want to be doing this forever the same way I’m doing it now.” I often hear things like this from business owners: “How can I plan five to 10 years out? Who knows what the economy will be like? Who knows what the labor market will be like? I’m not even sure what I want to be doing five to 10 years from now. Lots

of stuff can change! So I’ll just keep planning in the short term … it’s served me well so far.” That kind of thinking can keep you in a holding pattern in your business. Sooner or later, you’ll need to think about the future. Do you want to work in the business until you drop? Unlikely. Do you want to sell your business at some point? Would you like to transfer your business to your children or employees? Do you want to keep receiving a good living from your business without having to work in it? If you really want to make a change and see the kind of results that will help you achieve your dreams for your life and your business, you need to take the long-term view and start planning for your future. What does long-term strategic planning look like, and how do you do it? It starts with your vision You’ve likely heard the phrase, ‘Begin with the end in mind,’ popularized by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s important to start with a visioning process. I encourage business owners to first look at your personal life and envision where you want to be and what you want to be doing in your life overall in the next three, five and 10 years. Connect the actual year to the age you will be at each point. This makes it real. Say you are 40 this year in 2016. You’ll realize that in 10 years, in 2026, you will be 50, and in 2036 you will be 60. What do you want your life to look like at those points? This includes not only your relationship to your business, but your family, friends, lifestyle, hobbies, etc. Next look at your business. Where do you want your business to be in those same time frames? This includes revenue and profit targets, number of personnel, organizational structure, target markets and service niches. Once you’ve done this exercise, you’ll have much more clarity on what you want both personally and for your business in the long term. Planning for revenue growth After you’ve done your visioning process, you should have arrived at rough revenue targets for three, five and 10 years from now. Your short-term plan ideally will support those future targets. For example, if your current year budget/profit plan shows that you will gross $750,000, and your three-year target is double your business to $1,500,000, then your one-year

plan should probably aim for about $1,000,000, so that you show a feasible projection for getting from here to there in three years. You’ll want to know your gross profit margins, direct-cost percentages, as well as variable-cost percentages and fixed costs in order to project out what your net profits should be in future years. If you are tracking these numbers now, you’ll be in a better position to project them more accurately for the future. Keep in mind that you’ll need to add infrastructure along the way in terms of overhead, personnel, equipment, office/shop space, and marketing costs.

Strategic planning and implementation of your plan will help you get to an outcome you choose, rather than one that happens to you.

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Planning for growth in organizational structure It’s important to know what your projected ‘billable’ hours are to produce your revenue targets. I suggest this in short-term planning as well, so that you always know how many field workers you need to hit your current year monthly and annual budget targets. The same applies to your long-term planning. You’ll likely need about 10 to 12 full-time-equivalent workers to produce $1,000,000 in revenue, depending on your hourly bid rate and your team’s productivity. It’s vital to have a good hiring plan to make sure you have the workers you need to achieve each phase of your longterm strategic plan. You also want to plan for changes and additions to your personnel overhead. This includes estimators/ sales people, project managers, operations managers,

The future is coming, one way or another.

office managers, and assistants. I suggest drawing out an organizational chart for the positions your company has now, and then additional charts for what it should look like in three years and in five years. Check in with your vision to see where you want to be in terms of your duties and time dedicated to the company in those time frames. For example, let’s say you have one salesperson now, but you are doing half the sales in your company. If in three years you want to be out of sales completely, then you’ll need to plan to increase the capacity of your current sales person and bring in another sales person in the next year or two to start doing more of the sales, particularly since you’ll likely be planning for increased revenue along the way. Planning for growth in service niches and target markets Typically, when you are planning for growth, you’ll need to devise a strategy for expanding your revenues by one (or a combination) of the following ways: - Increase your market share in your current target market of customers - Add new services to sell to your current target market - Add new target market segments - Increase the geographic area of your target market Each of these strategies for growth needs a plan, marketing strategies, and a marketing budget. If you plan to increase your market share of your current target market, you’ll likely need to increase awareness of your company, differentiate yourself from your competitors, increase repeat business, and improve your close ratio. If you plan to add new service niches or new target market segments, you may also need to hire or train for new skills, as well as define and invest in new marketing strategies to reach new markets and promote new services. This all adds up to a clearly defined marketing plan that should be updated annually and reviewed quarterly. The nuts and bolts of planning Who should be involved in your long-term strategic planning process, and when and how should you do it? You will probably start the planning process by yourself or with your business partner, if you have one. But I suggest that you involve your management team along the way. Getting the team involved allows them to have input into the process, and they are more likely to buy into the plan and take ownership for their part in implementing it. You may also want to include an outside advisor like your business coach, CPA, or other trusted advisor in the process.


inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

An annual planning session or retreat is an important time to review past progress and set new measureable goals and strategies to achieve them. Plan for an entire day (or maybe two). It’s a good idea for the annual planning session to be held off-site to get you away from the day-to-day environment and interruptions. At the end of the planning session, you should have a workable plan for the year, and each person should know what their responsibilities are to make it a reality. I then suggest breaking the year into quarters and identifying measureable targets and initiatives to be implemented in each quarter. Quarterly planning sessions can be scheduled for a half day to review progress and plans for the upcoming quarter. If targets aren’t being met, this is a good time to discuss challenges and how to overcome them; then make revisions to the plan if necessary. On a monthly basis, you’ll want to check in on key performance indicators and progress toward initiatives to ensure that you are on target with your plan. For example: Are you hitting your sales targets? Have you hired the people you need? Are your profit margins where they should be? Are you getting enough leads from your marketing strategies? Are your customers giving you glowing reviews? Are you where you need to be in implementing your new software or getting your training program up and running? The future is coming, one way or another Strategic planning and implementation of your plan will help you get to an outcome you choose, rather than one that happens to you. There are tools and resources to help you navigate your route and arrive at your destination. Commit to your vision. Create a structure that will get you there, and get support when you need it.

LINNEA BLAIR, owner of Advisors On Target, is a business coach and small-business expert. She works with contractors to develop best practice business management and marketing strategies for a sustainable business. Linnea can be found at or on Twitter@AdvisorOnTarget

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Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT






inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016


CONSISTENCY, COVERAGE, AND LONG-TERM DURABILITY ARE KEY Glenn Targac doesn’zt believe in shortcuts or giving customers an inferior product. Owner of San Antonio-based Fix Your Home— a remodeling, repair and home-solutions business—Targac is all about quality and transparency with his customers. And using a premium coating is Job #1.

“ Usually, an upgrade in paint will result in a 10% or less increase in the cost of the total project.” —GLENN TARGAC, FIX YOUR HOME

“My goal is always to educate the customer to use the highest-quality paint their budget will support and aid them in making an informed decision after they fully understand the longterm benefits,” Targac said. Why premium? As any pro will tell you, it’s not always easy in a cost-conscious consumer market to make the case for spending more money. Targac understands customers’ price sensitivities, so he gives them options to consider. “I estimate the total cost of up to three quality levels of paint and show them the total price differences between them for their project. Then I explain the quality differences—and particularly the ease of cleaning, durability and fade resistance of higher-quality paints. At this point, I discuss paint ratings from tests performed by a leading consumer organization.” Cost vs. labor Targac also separates the labor from the material costs when quoting a job. “I also explain that a higher material cost today will result in not having to paint as often, thus saving considerable labor expense in the long term. Labor costs are always higher than paint costs. Usually, an upgrade in paint will result in a 10% or less increase in the cost of the total project. Higher-quality paint will save money in the long term and maximize the investment the customer is making in their home.” Chris Polidoro of Shoreline Painting & Drywall, Inc., a long-standing family owned and operated company that has been serving customers in Connecticut for more than 40 years, agrees.

Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT



All Photos Courtesy of Fine Paints of Europe

“Since labor is 85% of painting costs, it only makes sense to use the highest-quality paints, primers and varnishes available to us,” Polidoro said. “Using a premium product will save the customer money over time and will create less labor during a repaint. In the Northeast, it is normal to paint your house every five to seven years using domestic paints. We like to offer our customers an annual maintenance program that will ensure the most life out of our paint job.” Polidoro chooses the Fine Paints of Europe brand for his jobs.

Lahey believes there are two places to make good money as a painting professional—the very low end and the very high end. —JOHN LAHEY, FINE PAINTS OF EUROPE “When I was at the Fine Paints of Europe factory in Holland, researching and developing a new product, I was amazed by the quality control instilled in the staff,” he said. “The batch and quantity sizes of each batch of paint are small and controlled. My personal philosophy is: Use the best products available to us; our customers deserve it.” Preparing for premium How do you know what’s going to work best? Polidoro knows it’s not always an easy answer. “With anything, it takes practice to master. I suggest using the product on something you are not contracted for. Your own house, family members’ homes, etc.” Polidoro says. “It also depends on the application and finish desired. A high-gloss finish on Sheetrock will take time to master. At the end of the day, it is all in the preparation of the substrate. If you want a perfect finish no matter what the paint is, you must have a perfect substrate.” Targac always looks at surface preparation when choosing premium products. 18

inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

“First, and just as important, is excellent surface preparation,” Targac said. “Quality paint has many benefits for the professional painter: adhesion to the surface being painted is superior; and the paint will smooth out, eliminating brush marks, and will cover better than lower-quality paints often with only one coat. There is less drip or spatter with thicker paints. It is more cost and time effective to be able to finish a job with fewer rolls or passes with a brush. Less time is used going back over areas with inadequate coverage. Most importantly, the customer will be more satisfied with the completed appearance.” Changes in premiums With the exception of the many new more eco-friendly paints, changes in the premiumcoatings industry have not been dramatic, said John Lahey III, president of Fine Paints of Europe, a nationally distributed New Englandbased paint manufacturer. “Frankly, I haven’t seen a lot of change in the premium market, or not as much as I would have anticipated seeing,” Lahey said. “I think the biggest change in the premium category is that most, if not all, premium water-based coatings are now 100% acrylic. They have all been forced to go from a vinyl acrylic or latex acrylic to a straight 100% acrylic product. These paints cost more to make and, as a result, cost the consumer more, but the coating itself is far superior in every way you want a paint to be better.” Bottom line Lahey believes there are two places to make good money as a painting professional—the very low end and the very high end. “The person in the middle is getting squeezed from both sides, as they are too expensive to get the low-end work and are not always able to land the very-high-end work,” he said. “They are forced to compromise on both sides and, as a result, don’t make the money they want to make in the trade. Your jobs are being judged and picked apart for how they look. Why not use the best products you can find to get you there? I can assure you everything is more fun on the high end; why not use a product that can get your work to that level?”



Coatings & Applicators


We’ve asked manufacturers to put their best foot forward by presenting their best-in-class product in these categories and describing what makes that product their top pick:


Brushes, Rollers, Sprayers


Premium, Mid-Grade & Economy Interior & Exterior Paint, Primers, Stains, Other Coatings



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

Color selection can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process, especially with an indecisive homeowner. But it can also be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both painting pros and their customers. Incorporating color consulting into a business plan can not only be a cost-effective time saver, but it also provides reassurance when it’s time to choose the perfect palette.

Photo Courtesy of Valspar



“ It doesn’t matter how great the paint job is if the color isn’t what the client wanted.” —EVE GIMMEL, COLOR CONSULTANT

66813 FT 2016 in Paint half page

Evaluate the need Depending on the size of the job, painting professionals like Genesis Macedo, owner of Genesis Pro Painting & Restoration, Inc. in Westchester County, NY, discusses color options at the time of the estimate and, depending on the size of the job, offers a complimentary color consultation with a local interior designer for prospective customers. “We provide this service as an extra value for large jobs, typically above $5,000, when the client’s budget isn’t an issue,” Macedo said. “This added service really helps us, especially in certain high-end markets and when we are competing for a bid.” Color consultations with a professional designer cost on average $150 to $200 per hour. “As a painting pro, I consider this a minimal investment that my business can absorb and it makes a huge difference for our customers,” Macedo said. Macedo says he receives a color consultation request at least once a month. For smaller-budget jobs, he doesn’t typically offer this service for free, but will connect his customers to a local interior designer so that a color consultation can be scheduled. Eve Gimmel, a color consultant based in Boise, ID, says that choosing the right color combination is a win-win for everyone. “It doesn’t matter how great the paint job is if the color isn’t what the client wanted,” Gimmel said. “A color consultant can bring a design element to the home by incorporating accent walls and adding new trim, which can really make a job stand out.” Color consultation can be advantageous because it reduces labor by saving time on prep, sampling and cleanup, and often increases the



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“Trust is everything. Your clients will feel secure knowing you are helping them pick the right colors and ensuring the process is smooth.” —NICK SLAVIK, NICK SLAVIK PAINTING & RESTORATION

FREE COLOR CONSULTING AT DUNN-EDWARDS PAINTS For pros seeking additional resources, Dunn-Edwards offers a free color-consultation service in 90 retail store locations across the United States. “When we introduced the program, it was intended for homeowners, but we quickly began seeing painting professionals using the service too,” said Dominika Bandyk, regional color advisor manager for Dunn-Edwards. Bandyk says that many painting pros send their clients to Dunn-Edwards to assist in the color-selection process with the help of our professionally trained color advisors. “Approximately 25% of our clients are contractor driven,” she added. “They see this as a huge benefit to their business so they can remain focused on being out in the field, getting their jobs done faster.” Dunn-Edwards utilizes an online design software to help homeowners visualize their new space and narrow down samples. “This is an especially useful tool for new pros who are trying to grow their business but may not be able to hire an interior designer or color consultant,” Bandyk said. Some pros have even included this free service in their bids as a value-add; some even offering to make an appointment for their client at Dunn-Edwards. “We understand the needs of homeowners and pros,” Bandyk said. “We consider ourselves more like business partners.” Learn more:; search ‘free color consultation’



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

Dear Nick, Thank you so much for the advice on colors—and the paint job. We absolutely love it. It feels like our home. Thank you! Sincerely, Mary & Mark

amount of paint needed, which can be financially beneficial for pros. Gimmel says color consultants, like herself, can guide clients on color choices and recommend sample selections, as the appearance of paint can greatly differ from color chip to wall. “Pros appreciate when I come on a job because I create a better system for paint to be applied,” she added. “I meet with the client, write a color plan, and forward it to the painter, who can then update his or her bid.” Utilize experience With 22 years of painting experience, Minneapolis-area painting professional Nick Slavik, of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration, considers color consultation a large part of his business. Slavik utilizes his own personal experience and life-long passion for restoring antique furniture to provide free color consultation services to all of his clients. “Often, my clients are curious about my opinion even if it’s just for a one-bedroom job because I’ve been painting for so long and deal with color on a daily basis,” Slavik said. In initial color discussions, Slavik introduces options and ideas, and then later meets with the

homeowner to further drill down the final choices. He makes it a point to stay informed of color trends and monitors changes in the housing market. “I subscribe to 18 design magazines and regularly visit bookstores to gain additional insight,” he said. “I also tour new-home construction so I can clearly see upcoming trend lines.” He credits his vast experience and unique ability to read clients and understand different personality types for predicting the type of color scheme that will be selected. As part of his approach, Slavik requires his customers to purchase paint samples, test out colors on various walls, and view the paint in different light throughout the day before he starts the job. “Sometimes, this can take a few weeks and it might slow things down, but it helps clients become more invested in the process,” he said. “It also shows me they have skin in the game.” Determine strategy Slavik provides approximately 200 color consults each year, converting approximately 150 of those into paid jobs. He considers this spend of time more valuable than paid advertising. Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT







“I’d much rather spend 20 minutes with a potential client doing something I enjoy instead of paying for an advertisement,” he said. He says that the color process almost never goes wrong. “My process works 99% of the time and clients are pleased with the color,” he said. “If I feel like they are hesitant, I’ll go right over to their home and talk through any concerns.” To avoid any miscommunication, many pros require their customers send paint selections in writing. “Once we have the color selections finalized, we place the paint order,” Macedo said. “This lends a sense of finality to the selection process and reduces the chances of last minute changes and the need to re-order paint.” One of the biggest ways to ensure a successful color strategy is to establish trust with each client from the very beginning. “Trust is everything,” Slavik said. “Your clients will feel secure knowing you are helping them pick the right colors and ensuring the process is smooth.”

Before-After Photos Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016


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inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

2 SUSIE HALL Ideal Painting

YOU COULD BE THE MOST EXPERIENCED PAINTER and buy the very best paint and top-of-the-line brushes, rollers and sprayers—but if you aren’t working with a good surface, none of that matters. If you’re working with a large surface that must first be sanded, you’ll want a power sander that is up to the task. So we asked four pros for their recommendations.


Topcoat Finishes


Professional Handyman


As a woman in the male-dominated field of painting, Susie Hall says her small stature is partly what drives her choice of sanders. Hall, who does mostly residential interiors, owns Ideal Painting in Merrimack, NH, and loves her PORTER-CABLE 7800 Drywall Sander with Dust Collection. “I sand all my walls,” she says. “It gives me better adhesion for the paint.” Before discovering her current sander, she had been sanding everything by hand. Then, she rented a PORTER-CABLE 7800 for two days. “I said, ‘I have to own one these,’” she says. “It was well worth the investment. It’s paid for itself tenfold.” She loves the ability to angle the wand and navigate a wall’s contours. “It takes just a little bit of pressure to sand down old paint and get rid of any imperfections,” she says. “It does a beautiful job.” Plus, she says, it’s increased her productivity tremendously. “In 20 minutes, I can get done what would take two hours otherwise,” she notes. “And it does a much better job.”

Photo Courtesy of Festool





FROM OUR PRO: Randall Reese uses a

sander on nearly every job. The owner of LVX Painting in Newport, KY, has these three DeWALT sanders in his arsenal: one 5" Random Orbit Sander and two 1/4-Sheet Palm Grip Sander Kits. He chose to standardize his power tools by manufacturer to keep batteries consistent across the board. “And I chose DeWALT because they have a superior product line and have a product in every category of power tool,” he says. One drawback, however, is that the DeWALT sanders don’t hook up to a HEPA vacuum, he notes. That’s why Reese recently added these Festool sanders to the mix: an RO 90 DX Multi-Mode Rotex Sander, an LS 130 EQ Linear Detail Sander, and an RO 125 FEQ Multi-Mode Rotex Sander. “That one completely removes paint—and wood— if you’re not careful!” he says. He purchased these sanders specifically for dealing with the removal of lead paint. Reese’s company works mostly in the residential space and members of his team have lead-safe certifications. When used with Festool’s HEPA dust extractors, the sanders promise to be virtually dust-free, which makes them perfect for work on lead-based paint.




Conventional sandpaper

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*Based on backing life during hand sanding when compared to 3M conventional sandpaper of comparable grit. © 3M 2016. All rights reserved. 3M and PRO GRADE PRECISION are trademarks of 3M. U.S. patent pending. This Old House is a registered trademark of This Old House Ventures, LLC. Used by permission. The Home Depot is a registered trademark of Homer TLC, Inc.




“ [The Wagner PaintEater] is amazing for removing paint—even latex paint, which is very hard to do.” ­—Louis Buchetto Photo Courtesy of WAGNER


FROM OUR PRO: Scott Burt, owner of Topcoat Finishes

in Vermont, knows a good power sander needs to be in his truck. “We have to be prepared,” he says. “So, I’ll carry two or three sanders that can do everything possible.” For his money, Burt likes Festool’s sanders. His favorite for everyday projects is Festool’s RO 90 DX Multi-Mode Rotex Sander. “It’s a good, all-purpose sander,” he notes. “It has three different modes of operation, which gives a lot of flexibility for one tool. Because it can do a lot of things, I always have that one in my truck.” Burt’s other go-to power sander is Festool’s 5" Random Orbit Sander ETS EC125/3. “The brushless technology reduces the vibration, which is great,” he says. Plus, Burt adds, this compact tool consumes less power and produces less heat than other sanders. Festool’s HEPA dust extractors are another great selling point for Burt. “We do a lot of sanding on decks, porches, garage doors and thresholds, and with the Festool system, we can be sure we’re not blowing dust on the side of the house,” he says. “Our customers really appreciate that.” Topcoat, which has been in business since 1996, also does a great deal of work in its two shops. For door, trim and cabinetry work, they like Festool’s fine-finish sanders and find that the dust extractors offer a tremendous advantage. “The dust extractor gives us complete control over the environment,” he says. “We really appreciate the HEPA filters for the cleanliness of the work environment.”


inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016


FROM OUR PRO: With a focus on residential

customers, Louis Buchetto works as a handyman and painter in Sacramento, CA. Over the years, he’s taken on more and more cabinet refinishing work, and his DeWALT 5" Random Orbit Sander has been a steady companion. Great for trim and woodwork, including cabinets and doors, this sander is lightweight, yet powerful, Buchetto says. It’s also built to last, he adds. “I’ve replaced a part here and there, but I’ve had mine for 10 or 12 years,” he says. While his DeWALT is a reliable sander, a new product is starting to edge it out for exterior work: the WAGNER PaintEater. “It’s not technically a sander, but it replaces a sander,” he says. “It’s amazing for removing paint—even latex paint, which is very hard to do.” It promises to remove peeling paint without damaging the substrate. Plus, the PaintEater, which Buchetto cautions is not for use on bare wood, has one feature in particular that he loves: one disc covers an impressively large surface area, which comes in handy for a job with a lot of exterior trim. “If I were using a sander, I’d have to stop every two to three minutes to change the disc,” he says. “And when you’re up on a ladder, that’s a pain.” You’ll save a lot of money on discs and find great results with it, he says “Sanding a house that has peeling paint and irregular surfaces painted with today’s latex paint is really difficult,” he says. “This thing gets those irregular transitions to be quite smooth. It’s a super, super product.” Indeed, he loves his PaintEater. “I’d like to start a religion around this tool,” he says, only half-joking.


Improving Workplace Safety BY ROB SWEENEY


inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were nearly three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2014. While this number is lower than previous years, the question that remains is: How many near misses in the workplace were not reported that could have resulted in an injury or fatality?

When workers don’t report According to the widely accepted ‘safety triangle’ theory created by American safety pioneer Herbert Heinrich, for every major workplace injury there were 29 minor injuries and 300 near misses. All too often, these near-miss situations are forgotten minutes after they occur as employees rush to get back to their daily routine. There are many reasons employees choose not to report a near-miss incident, including fear of retribution, a desire to avoid red tape, or a desire to avoid interrupting the work pace. While the repercussions of violating safety protocols may flash through employees’ minds when they witness something wrong or take a shortcut themselves, the path of least resistance is often to ignore the situation. The immediate effects of inhibiting personal productivity, for example, can outweigh what is perceived to be a moderate risk that probably would not happen anyway. The problem with not reporting near-miss incidents, even though no injury occurred, is the vital information on how to avoid a similar circumstance in the future is lost. While in such situations no injury occurred, this might not be the case next time. Any evidence of what may have triggered an incident cannot be analyzed to determine the cause. The challenge for employers is finding a solution that motivates employees to report safety issues without viewing it as a negative activity. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, employers need to have a proactive workplace safety program in place. Proactive programs have been identified as being better able to help identify hazards in workplaces and, when the right process is in place, fix those identified hazards so that injuries do not occur. Incident reports matter Under its Voluntary Protection Programs, OSHA instituted Injury and Illness Prevention Programs known as I2P2 (see p. 32). Many workplaces have already adopted such approaches, and 34 states are requiring or encouraging employers to implement similar programs. According to OSHA, based on the positive feedback of many employers, it is believed that the Injury and Illness Prevention Programs can provide the foundation for breakthrough changes in the way employers and their workers identify and control hazards. It’s also believed that these programs

can help to improve workplace health and safety environments significantly. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation studied 16 companies with OSHA-approved I2P2s from 1999 to 2010. The study revealed that: - The average number of claims for these employers decreased by 52% - The average claim cost decreased by 80% - The average lost time per claim decreased by 87% - Claims (per million dollars of payroll) decreased by 88%

The challenge for employers is finding a solution that motivates employees to report safety issues without viewing it as a negative activity.

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

Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT


Statistics prove that I2P2 programs have reduced the number of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, but that is not the only benefit of these programs. By following the recommendations OSHA has outlined, employers can improve compliance with existing standards. Beyond compliance issues, I2P2 programs can also yield a happier and more lucrative workforce. OSHA has reported that companies with I2P2 programs often have transformed their workplace cultures, leading to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs, and greater worker satisfaction. To start using a proactive workplace safety program, employers need to have open communication with employees about why incident reports matter. Employees need to understand that while injuries are a serious matter, they’re not the only consequence of importance. Fines, delays in work for remedial training, and even shutdowns can also occur. During the decision-making moment of whether or not to file a report, these are the factors that need to be front of mind, not just the instant gratification that can come from getting a task completed faster without following the proper practices. At times when it might be inconvenient for employees to file a report, it can be hard for companies to motivate those employees to make the decision to report an incident

I2P2 in Less Than 100 Words

if there were no immediate negative repercussions and, on the surface, all safety protocols were followed. Fortunately, trying to adjust thinking is not the only means for improving workplace safety. Adopting new technology solutions that eliminate some of the barriers for reporting can help employers address safety concerns sooner and more effectively. What technology can offer Even if an incident report is only a one-page form that takes less than 10 minutes to fill out, painting industry professionals are typically working in the field, not at the company office. This creates two barriers that must be overcome. One is the need to take the time to return to the office to file a report. The second is that, in some situations, a supervisor at a job may have reports on hand that can be filled out, but then that report still needs to make it back to the office without being lost or forgotten about. In both instances, time and distance can be barriers. A digital reporting method simplifies the report process by allowing employees to document an incident from the field without a delay in the message being received by human resources, a safety director, or other responsible level of management. Companies can issue smartphones or tablets to supervisors on job sites to easily enable a digital reporting method. There are several solutions in the marketplace using mobile apps that enable incident reports to be uploaded for viewing on an online dashboard. Or, a company could invest in a reporting solution that allows employees to text incident reports to a manager in charge of safety. This ends up being a small investment in IT that will make it more convenient to report incidents, and can lead to more reports being filed. Not only does a digital incident reporting system make sense for employees, it also simplifies the documentation process for safety managers and human resources. Paper forms no longer have to be entered into a computer database and, with photos of where an incident occurred, safety managers will not have to try to imagine the scene from written accounts— they’ll see it. Oftentimes, companies find that switching from paper to digital reports results in more incidents being reported with more valuable data and, as a result, workplaces turn into safer working environments with greater productivity.

OSHA Injury Illness and Prevention Programs are proactive processes designed to systematically address workplace safety and health hazards on an ongoing basis to reduce the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses. Presently, 34 states have program initiatives and they’re often referred to by other names including Accident Prevention Programs, and Comprehensive Safety and Health Programs. Depending upon the state, programs may be voluntary or mandatory, comprehensive or partial, applicable to all employers or only to a subset, and may be provided by a Rob Sweeney is the CEO of WorkplaceAware where, what began State’s OSHA or through a State’s workers’ in 2014 as a cellular printer for reporting near-miss safety issues, has evolved into a mobile app that allows employees to report compensation system. Visit for and document safety issues by sending a description, picture and more information. location map. For more information, contact Rob Sweeney at (816) 268-2585 or, or visit 32

inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

Recycle your leftover paint? Yes, you can!

PaintCare has set up more than 1,600 convenient drop-off locations in eight states where you can recycle leftover paint for free. Most locations are at paint retailers. PaintCare is the non-profit product stewardship organization established by the American Coatings Association to represent architectural paint manufacturers. We work to provide environmentally sound and cost-effective paint recycling programs in states with paint stewardship laws or those that pass such laws in the future. FIND A DROP-OFF LOCATION NEAR YOU: • (855) 724-6809 CALIFORNIA | CONNECTICUT | COLORADO | MAINE MINNESOTA | OREGON | RHODE ISLAND | VERMONT



inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016


in today’s professional toolbox? ALLPRO® Gold Plus Since 1960, independently owned ALLPRO retailers have built a following by providing the highest-quality products under the ALLPRO brand. In keeping with that tradition, we’re proud to introduce Gold Plus, a next-generation brush with a unique bristle blend that provides exceptionally smooth flow with minimal drag. It optimizes the amount of paint carried, releasing it consistently and delivering an incredibly fine finish. Available exclusively through our national network of paint retailers.

Angie’s List Business Center Whether it’s painting a single room or an entire multistory home, your work is your craft and our craft is highlighting your work. Angie’s List products and services help connect service pros to engaged consumers who take pride in their homes. Now that consumers can access reviews for free, more are searching for painters in their communities, giving you access to even more prospects. It’s time to start letting consumers know that you’re the best—by working with the best.

BEHR PREMIUM® Direct-To-Metal Paint This 100% acrylic paint is formulated for spray, brush or roll and provides excellent adhesion to a variety of interior/exterior metal and wood surfaces for a hard, durable finish that is corrosion, mildew, and flash rust resistant. It is the right choice for residential and commercial projects including metal doors, window trim, shutters, fences, garage doors, outdoor furniture, railing and wrought iron. Available at The Home Depot in gloss and semi-gloss.

Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT


[ THE LIST ] PRODUCTS AND TOOLS HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS ISSUE To learn about being featured in an upcoming issue of inPAINT, email


0 Gold Plus Brush, p 35

Behr Process Corporation

0 BEHR PREMIUM Direct-To-Metal Paint, p 35


0 5" Random Orbit Sander, p 27 & 28 0 1/4-Sheet Palm Grip Sander Kit, p 27


0 RO 90 DX Multi-Mode Rotex Sander, p 27 & 28 0 LS 130 EQ Linear Detail Sander, p 27 0 RO 125 FEQ Multi-Mode Rotex Sander, p 27 0 5" Random Orbit Sander ETS EC125/3, p 28


0 Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, p 6



3M Pages 13, 15 & 27







inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016




0 CaraPro Coating Line, p 6


0 7800 Drywall Sander with Dust Collection, p 27

Tnemec Company, Inc.

0 Series 118 Uni-Bond Mastic Coating, p 6


0 PaintEater, p 28


What, Where & When N OVEMBER



2–4: Design-Build Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, NV


1–3: International Roofing Expo, Las Vegas, NV


15–18: PastForward: A Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Houston, TX


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


5–7: Construction SuperConference, Las Vegas, NV


6: 32nd Annual TRENDS Rental Housing Management Conference & Trade Show, Seattle, WA

JA N UARY 201 7 5



7 9



11 10


10–12: 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show, Orlando, FL

2 5


14 & 15: NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition, Chicago, IL


15 & 16: BUILDExpo, Los Angeles, CA


22: PDCA 2017 Craftsmanship Forum, San Diego, CA


23–25: PDCA Painting and Decorating Expo, San Diego, CA

The NAHB International Builders’ Show JANUARY 10–12, 2017

In 2017, the largest annual light construction show in the world will take place in Orlando, FL. The IBS floor will feature more than 1,400 of the industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers showcasing the latest and most innovative products. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn new techniques and explore emerging trends in the 130+ IBS education sessions offered throughout the show. Plus, the event will kick off with keynote speaker Peyton Manning sharing his thoughts on his career and what it takes to be a leader.

To learn more or to register, visit Aug/Sep Oct/Nov 2016 | inPAINT



Transform your business into the preferred employer in your area.

BILL SILVERMAN is the owner of Springboard Business Coaching. He is dedicated to helping contractors lead growing, profitable, 7-figure businesses that can thrive without them. You can reach Bill at (856) 751-1989 or at



One of the biggest challenges painting companies face is attracting and keeping great talent. To solve hiring challenges, companies often focus on improving their hiring process by uncovering better places to find employees and promoting the company more effectively. Yet improving the hiring process is only part of the solution. That’s because today, demand for great employees far exceeds the supply, which means you’re in serious competition for great employees. To attract and keep the best, you need to make your company a highly desirable place to work and become what I call a ‘preferred employer.’ Research shows that preferred employers are able to hire better employees by attracting a bigger pool of quality applicants, and they’re able to keep good employees longer, which improves productivity and reduces future hiring needs.

inPAINT | Oct/Nov 2016

3| Be a good boss There’s a saying in human resources that ‘People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.’ It’s important to train managers on how to manage positively. Teach them positive ways to motivate, how to give constructive feedback, how to have difficult conversations, how to coach employees, and how to give recognition for good work.

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR COMPANY A PREFERRED EMPLOYER When competition for great employees heats up, many companies look to improving pay and benefits. But, while offering very competitive pay and benefits will help, there is more that you must do to attract and keep the best. Here are five important actions to take to transform your business into the preferred employer in your area:

4| Make their jobs ‘winnable’ The best employees want to do great work and one of the major reasons they will leave a company is because their jobs set them up to fail. I call these jobs ‘unwinnable jobs.’ Unwinnable jobs are disorganized, lack procedures, and don’t provide employees the support, resources and tools they need to do good work. If your best employees can’t do good work at your company, they’ll leave to find a place where they can excel.

1| Create a culture of caring and fairness Employees want to work in companies where they know they’re cared about as people—not just a replaceable part in a machine. I have a client with 40 painters and he attributes his success in attracting and keeping great employees to his culture of caring. He knows everybody in the company and most of their families. He talks to them regularly and knows what’s going on in their lives. He has an open-door policy and bends over backwards to help when they have a problem. And he ensures fair treatment in workload, pay, promotion, rewards and recognition. This is simple, but powerful stuff.

5| Develop your employees Many of the best employees (although not all) are attracted to possible growth opportunities within your company. To attract and keep the best employees, show them their possible career paths, give them development plans, and stretch assignments to keep them motivated, challenged and growing.

2| Recognize and appreciate your team Research shows that recognizing and appreciating employees for their good work and celebrating their successes is one of the most important things you 38

can do to improve employee satisfaction, motivation, loyalty and retention. Recognition and appreciation doesn’t have to be complicated. Give a simple ‘thank you’ for a job well done. Have a pizza party when you achieve goals. Treat your team to sodas or ice cream on hot days. The key is to spread the love around—and do it frequently.

YOUR NEXT STEPS Becoming the preferred employer is not a quick fix for your hiring challenges. But if you dedicate yourself to implementing the five actions described here, your efforts will pay dividends for years to come. You’ll attract and retain better employees, and improve your sales and profits as a result. So sit down with your team and map out your plan for implementing these five actions. You’ll be glad you did!

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.


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!

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