Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

When things are busy and we need to get more done, it can be like that animated movie with penguins. While trying to keep every customer satisfied with the intent of moving faster, the happy feeting from one project to the next may not work so great. Sometimes the professional paint and coating application business seems like dancing (on roller skates…without practice). Picture a crew in whites performing an awkward chicken hustle, the mental laughing may help the too busy stress subside for a moment.

Or maybe the dance is the get pushed off the cliff soft-shoe; hurry up and finish, but nothing is ready yet. There seems to be all kinds of Saturday night moves, but one of the most popular is the running with the bulls twist and shout. We all know this one…all the trades are thrown into ring for the survival of the rough and tumble. We suffer, craftsmanship suffers, and too often the customer gets the short end of the stick. Plus, at that party the shouting is often negative energy heaped on someone or something turning the team effort into a blame game. It becomes a not so fun, cover your backside two step.

There are many professionals who can kick it up a notch and perform, however there is another issue that trips-up professionals. During the running with the bulls, other trades trash painted and related finishes. It is better to steer (pun intended) away from generals, construction managers and anyone that regularly sequences trades inappropriately, unreasonably compressed and/or has a lack of respect or an inherent ignorance of craftsmanship performance. In addition, the mosh-pit routine hurts every trade; all workmanship suffers under the disorganized, get-r-done now slam dance.

More often than not, on new build, commercial gut and tenant build-outs, substandard drywall finishing impacts paint professionals more than most other crafts. It can simply be caused by incompetent workmanship, a condensed schedule or both. Since walls are the most common interior surface coated (especially on commercial projects), it is essential for the framing, gypsum board installation and finishing to be performed by skilled mechanics. We have an interesting article, New Walls & Paint, which considers a best practice for spray painting and coating application on new gypsum wall board surfaces. Also, there is some insight about substandard coated walls that provides a reasonable alternative to pointing fingers at paint professionals.

To complement New Walls & Paint, we feature a Technical Talk column; What is gypsum board? The commentary considers the physical make-up, the types and levels of finish. Rather than an individual’s opinion, the industry standard states (in summary), “All (new gypsum) walls have blemishes and imperfections that can be exaggerated by critical light, glossy paints, quality of framing, quality of finishing, quality of primer, quality of paint and workmanship.” This is where the conversation should start. In addition, at the end, there is a colleague comment that gets into the details of Type C and Type X drywall.

There is a Color Selection column, Modern Use of Color, which is the final installment from the Smithsonian Libraries Color in a New Light (2016 – May, 2017) exhibit. Also, at the end of the piece, we included a video link, which gives a behind-the-scenes look from the Smithsonian exhibit curator and book conservator. The clip may be a little nerdy, but it is brief and has good information.

It is not too often that we call attention to a News item in an issue’s title, but this may be the most important deregulation occurrence for paint professionals and all businesses in recent history. We first reported on the change when it took place, but this development warrants a bright spotlight so professionals may remain informed. The title, Independent Contractor Status, refers to the Department of Labor’s rescinding a 2016 regulatory re-interpretation of laws governing independent contractors. The unelected, beltway small business killers (DOL) went rogue and un-American by fundamentally declaring the end of business to business working relationships.

The short lived 2016 regulation was never voted on by congress, signed into law by a President or even debated publicly. Instead, unelected Washington officials decided to lawyer up and stick it to small business. Some may label the ill intentioned act criminal. The regulatory declaration ended the concept of small business working for one another, together and potentially at all. Apparently, the “new” regulation stated that all independent contractors worked for employers unless the DOL granted a specific exemption.

There is no doubt that this “re-interpretation” would have been challenged in court, but small business would have been over burdened, while big business maintains legal cartels on the payroll. The regulatory over-reach attempted to put all professional subcontractors (every independent contractor) into a “joint employment” category. The very idea of suddenly declaring everyone is in violation until some government official rules otherwise is scary to say the least.

The United States of America was founded on the principle of citizen representation and the new world business environment was born free providing opportunity for individuals to prosper. Anytime the unelected attempt to govern (especially regulators), professionals must stand together and actively demand elected officials to reign in unlawful, onerous governmental over reach.

When it is too busy, remember to focus on a happy dance, rather than a battle. Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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