Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Summer is fading fast; fall is approaching, if you are not getting hurricaned upon, now is the time to shift priorities and secure winter work. Ideally, a craftsmen based outfit should not be dependent on exterior structures. Contrary to non-professional’s thinking, there are many more interior painted surfaces than outside. Often when asked about the type of painting performed, professionals answer in terms labeled by outsiders or the un-informed.

Take a look at trucks, among the company name and associated information are descriptors like “residential”, “commercial” and sometimes “industrial”. This applies to other trade specialties too. It is true that this practice is somewhat old school, but it is just as common as someone’s name blazed on a vehicle under the assumption that houses are the main focus. To say the least, the paint and coating application industry is in need of a makeover; it is time for professionals to more precisely define both the technical aspects and the business in general.

Details and accuracy matter. Maybe the new words should be architectural, decorative and industrial, which more closely align with the types of coatings applied. Within these broader categories, we could use segment descriptions for marketing and individual company focus. The paint and coating application specialty should be labeled consistently and well published. Professionals must be the ones to elaborate what we do, NOT non- construction industry individuals like architects, project managers or designers and certainly not consumers.

The other coating sectors, aerospace and automotive, were named by manufacturers and clearly define their respective markets. One exception is factory finishing, which has been folded and placed under the industrial umbrella. Some may think that is okay, however traditionalists characterize “industrial” with coating steel and to a lesser degree masonry for rust and/or abrasion protection. As a side note, the industrial category could be changed to “protective” even though nearly every coating is substrate shielding. In a way, this is similar to all coatings being “decorative”, but pure decorative performance involves unique, not-every-day application techniques.

It is time to split market segment from technical application. Commercial and residential often use the same technical application. Consider the vastness of the architectural market (by far the largest single coating arena):

  • distribution/warehousing facilities, education buidlings,
  • entertainment venues, healthcare, hospitality,
  • housing, military, office, places of worship,
  • public buildings, retail, restaurant, etc.

Although the scale may vary, walls, railings and door units are common to most every architectural project. For example, a house, a school or a store all have similar surfaces where a journeyman can easily perform an excellent and professional application. There should be no exceptional or different technical skill exercised between the three scopes, however the projects may be market segmented into residential, institutional and commercial.

As an added benefit, the new, more accurate industry labels may help ease the fallacy that homeowners or general maintenance personnel can handle application tools and paint like professionals. “Oh…you paint houses…I painted my aunts porch…it was…” As an industry, we must make a concerted effort to separate the notion that DIYs/non-professionals are somehow close to equal in proficiency. At the same time we need to publically acknowledge the application industry’s expertise, better define the technical aspects (more on that in the future) and overall preserve craftsmanship.

The best way to start that process is to re-educate professionals first and then the un-informed, as well as implement more accurate terms like architectural paint and coating application professionals, rather than using the old, tired labels: commercial or residential painter.

In the News, Behr pops up in New York City with a reveal of their 2018 Color of the Year. “We know color and design decisions can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re celebrating the release of our 2018 Color of the Year with a completely different approach,” said Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer at Behr.

Diamond Vogel has introduced Avalon Ultra Premium Interior. Reportedly, the new product uses 25% more hiding pigments, which ensures full color opacity at thinner paint film thicknesses. Avalon’s hiding power is further enhanced by its sensational flow and leveling.

PPG TIMELESS premium paint launched at The Home Depot. According to company officials, the product incorporates the same automotive-grade ultraviolet (UV) and gloss-retention technology trusted by leading automotive manufacturers. Sara Braun, PPG marketing director, “…PPG coatings are not only trusted on airplanes, cars, consumer electronics, submarines and space shuttles in the harshest conditions, they also have been trusted by professional painters for more than 130 years…”

If you are not in the know, there are some excellent products to check out:

The Purdy Nest System consists of Nest trays and liners that conveniently fit into a Purdy bucket to create a versatile, paint holding and storage arrangement. See the video.

Recently, Titan introduced the PowrLiner 3500 a gas powered sealed hydraulic striper. Reportedly, the PowrLiner 3500 delivers a best in class stripe with sharp and consistent line quality.

The new Zinsser Textured Aerosols are available in Orange Peel Fine, Orange Peel Medium, Knockdown Heavy, Knockdown Light and Popcorn Ceiling

What does it take to get young people interested in the art and science of paint and coating application? Well, one thing is for sure, the current approach is a failure. Relatively few Millennials have made a career of it. And too soon the gray and white hairs will retire stomach punching the tomorrow of craftsmanship.

Maybe we should see what other construction industry players are up to? We have an Associated General Contractors (AGC) article titled Engaging Centennials (the crew following the Millennials or the slacker generation). It shows a great way to introduce the next age group to craftsmanship. Essentially, we must go to where Centennials are…both on and off line. Aside from narrowing the growing workforce shortage gap, we must preserve our artisan expertise by reaching out and recruiting students NOW.

Technology persistently marches forward; we have two articles to share. The first one is GPS Tracking. Read and learn whether it is a threat or a tool to increased employee accountability. Is it micromanagement? Do individual privacy rights allow it? The second technology piece is Common SEO Misconceptions. Maybe you already figured it out? Not so fast, according the experts, Search Engine Optimization is a constantly changing game.

Next time someone asks what type of painting your company does, consider the answer: “We are architectural paint and coating application professionals” and then add your segment. “We cover…(many building types) and specialize in (retail and restaurant establishments). Some examples are…(Target stores and Cheesecake Factory restaurants)”.

Please send comments and corrections to

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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