The three primary ways paint is applied to a surface are with rollers, brushes, or spray technology. While each form of application brings its own benefits – as well as it’s own disadvantages – many professional painters do not yet fully realize the variety of options available to them for painting. Some remain stuck in old habits that are inefficient while others simply haven’t been exposed to new products and technologies that have greatly expanded the paint professional’s repertoire.
Everyone knows that different light sources produce different spectrums of color. Some LEDs produce a cold, white light that seems more appropriate for a factory floor or warehouse than a kitchen. Incandescent lightning often produces a softer, golden glow that may make dens and living rooms more comfortable to sit in. Sunlight looks different then artificial light, and some lights are bright and direct while others are muted but cover a large area. As such, it should come as no secret or surprise that different paint colors and glosses can look substantially different depending on the light source shining upon them.
Most people who aren’t professional painters think discolored paint is an eyesore. Whether it be on an old car driving by or a warehouse they pass on the way to work, cracked and faded paint often leads to people wondering, “Why don’t they repaint that building?” or “That car sure could use a fresh coat of paint.” Most people don’t stop to think about it beyond the noticeable appearance of the item, but professional painters know better. They realize that while aesthetic appearance is important, faded paint is actually an indicator of a bigger problem: the surface below is being irreparably damaged by harmful ultraviolet rays.
“That doesn’t look right.”
“No, it sure doesn’t.”
Janet, an interior designer, was talking to Bill, her paint contractor, about a new coat that had been applied to a client’s living room.
“I know the paint can says they are the same color-mix, and both are eggshell finish. But it looks…off.”
Bill nodded in agreement. It wasn’t that the color was wrong, or that the paints weren’t both eggshell finish. Rather, one paint looked a little duller than the other.
“What do we do?” asked Janet.
“We may have to repaint the whole room. I don’t know if its the paint or just that the older paint has dulled over time due to sunlight or…something. But this isn’t the kind of paint work that I can stand beside.”
In many businesses, owners and operators often say that receiving a larger than normal order for work is a “good problem to have.” The thinking is that if you book a big job that is outside of your ability to perform, you will find a way to succeed regardless. But that kind of thinking only delays the inevitable for a few moments. True, a large paint job can be very profitable for your paint business, but only if you find a way to complete it to the client’s wishes. Finding more painters or being able to finance materials can often be an insurmountable challenge. While the temptation may be great to ask the client for prepayment or to pay for the materials used, both of these options are unappealing. If you have to request that your client cover costs before the work begins, then you may be signaling to them that you are in over your head.
As we’ve discussed before, paint automation is becoming more and more present in professional paint work. As new developments in robotics and programming emerge, more and more paint work is being performed by sophisticated robots and machines instead of individual painters. And as with most technology, the cost of utilizing robots for these processes is declining at an accelerating rate. That said, not all types of commercial painting can be handled by a machine and not all clients are prepared to embrace automation for work.
Andrew and Louis had finished a paint job at an apartment complex just outside of Dallas in Rockwall, Texas. When the paint had dried in each of the units, the duo returned to inspect their work before telling the client they were finished. With any luck, a job well done would lead to more work from this property owner.
I was going to write about some of the different gages available to paint professionals today, but an experience over the weekend made me change direction. I was at a well-known home improvement and building store on Saturday. A team of painters wearing matching clothes – including a company logo – appeared to be ordering a VERY large quantity of paint for what I can only assume was an equally large job. Best I could gather, the job had been booked in a hurry and this store was the best (or only) place to acquire such a large amount of paint on the weekend. The workers were gathering materials quickly and urging the two employees behind the paint counter to work as quickly as possible.
Commercial painting plays a pivotal role in the world around us. From the appearance of buildings and automobiles to the protection of structures and machinery, we’ve already covered many of the myriad uses paint has in everyday life here on the Gardner Laboratories blog.
Sometimes when considering the work of professional paint production and professional painting, it is easy to focus on just the job at hand without viewing the broader context in which we work. Perhaps a chemist at a paint manufacturer spends each day thinking about viscosity without ever looking outside to see a building across the street being given a fresh coat of paint. Maybe an automotive painter finishes a custom paint job without giving a thought to the hours and hours of experimentation it took to derive a paint that would adhere well to the metal of the car body.