As the twenty first century approached, many paint professionals recounted their careers and realized they had been exposed to harmful substances over years and years of simply going to work each day. From stripping lead paint to working in environments that contained asbestos insulation, professional painters had more interaction with dangerous household materials then perhaps any other profession. It wasn’t that paint safety was an afterthought, but rather that products and materials used on a daily basis hadn’t yet been fully examined with regard to individual health.
Silas painted safes that held everything from jewelry to family heirlooms to firearms. His customers weren’t end clients, but rather stores that carried safes for resale to individuals. The store would drop off two or three safes at his workshop and return to pick them up later in the week. His safes always had a great look and, just as importantly, could maintain their finish under all kinds of conditions. The stores that contracted with Silas to paint the safes always marveled at how his work stood out on the showroom floor compared to other safes.
His work commanded a higher price and he was developing a reputation in the area for being a skilled craftsman. Customers wondered how safes painted by Silas held up their appearance so much better. Some spoke of having had one of his painted safes sitting in their garage for over a decade without a single scratch or nick on it. What was his secret to not only such great looking work, but also such strong coatings?
“We had a better year than last year, didn’t we? Tell me, is the business growing?”
Andres was meeting with his CPA prior to filing his company taxes and was excited about what he was going to hear. His home painting company had been so busy that he couldn’t remember the last time he had a day off. He’d hired three new painters full time and was giving thought to buying a warehouse just outside of town to store all of the company’s trucks and materials.
An oft-overlooked aspect of being a professional painter is the amount of time on the job that involves something other than painting. Whether it’s time spent setting up scaffolding or time folding drop cloths, a significant amount of time in professional painting is spent doing something besides actually painting. When pricing a job, it is important to properly evaluate both the financial and practical ramifications of time not spent painting. Be reminded to absolutely account for the other work involved in the job when putting together a bid or proposal, or you face the prospect of losing money and damaging your reputation.
In marinas everywhere, terrible predators currently reside, just waiting to do damage. They have names like “Styela,” “Undaria,” and “Mediterranean Fanworm.” Their mere presence can disrupt sensitive ecological conditions, disrupt wildlife, and create hazardous swimming and boating conditions for humans as well. Of course, these organisms aren’t large animals lying in wait, but rather examples of a growing subset of species that can cause untold havoc and destruction if not properly addressed. The best way to combat these pests isn’t through harsh chemicals or traps, but rather by using anti-fouling coatings and products to keep an infestation problem from starting in the first place.
Art is always among the most popular class with elementary school students. What child doesn’t love to draw or paint? Getting the chance to use one’s imagination while playing with vibrant colors and textures in the art room is about as much fun as can be had in school apart from recess. For many students, this enjoyment of painting develops over the yearsand by the time these students reach high school, they have not only developed as artists, but also as technicians expert in using both paint materials and paint tools. In some cases, this education continues as the student becomes a professional painter, making a living from the skills and knowledge acquired during years of art class at school.
From time to time we receive questions that involve problems professional painters are having on the job. Most often these questions are complex and result in interesting solutions. Occasionally, however, we address an issue that we take for granted as common knowledge but, in fact, is not readily known. I recently received an email from a new home-painting business based in Connecticut. The message read as follows:
“We recently were painting the inside of a 3 room bungalow and couldn’t get the primer to adhere to the walls. We made sure the primer was properly stirred and checked moisture levels but still had issues. Is it possible there was something left on the walls that was causing the primer to not behave correctly? Do we need to be looking for additional additives? ”
In most businesses, retaining a current customer is substantially less expensive then gaining a new customer. The prevailing wisdom is that a customer you have worked with before is already familiar with the quality of your work and your pricing. If they are a returning customer then they already have attached a value to the service or product you offer. As a result, future transactions don’t require much haggling, as both your expectations and those of the customer are already aligned.
Conversely, acquiring a new customer can be a lengthy process that isn’t guaranteed to be profitable in the first place. You have to find a lead, understand their needs, and match your service to what they are requesting…all with the hope that your price will be agreeable once it has been presented.
Capital City Choppers had invested heavily to promote itself during the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally in Austin, Texas. They had shown off their best bikes and sponsored an event to get their brand in front of the tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts that travel to the city each summer for one of the nation’s largest bike rallies.
Their gamble was a success: not long after the rally ended, they began fielding calls from people who had been at the rally, seen the company’s work, and wanted to hire them for a custom chopper. In total, the company received more than enough orders to justify the expense of marketing at the event. And with new orders coming in from faraway states, this was a great opportunity for Capital City Choppers to earn some exposure in new markets.
Everyone knows that oil and water don’t mix. The viscosity and chemical properties of oil and water are so dissimilar as to make combining them impossible. If you pour a cup of oil in to a pot of water, the oil will sit on top of the water rather then dissolve into it. The differences between the two continue in to the world of professional painting. It used to be that most paint was either water-based or oil-based so understanding the practical applications of each was vital to selecting the right paint and doing a good job. Now, understanding the llegacy of oil-based paint is important for different reasons: new products have been developed that have rendered oil-based paint nearly obsolete. Knowing what made oil-based paint useful is important when seeking a product that replicates that utility just as understanding why oil-based paint has fallen out of favor is key to seeing the future of professional paint products.