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Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Between the scramble of daily work and the barrage of too many media outlets reporting storms, tragedies, and mayhem, the pace becomes fast and maddening. It can be numbing. The statistics mimic inside baseball analysis. Instead of batting average and obscure factoids like, ninth inning on base percentage, we measure deaths, injuries, homes without power, houses and buildings set for demolition, number of people in shelters and so on. It is worth realizing that we should not get preoccupied with disaster central or become desensitized, while watching the plight of the unfortunate in real time.

Every so often, maybe daily, take a breath, seek and recognize the good. At home, at work and in the news, realize some happy stuff. Although helpful in balancing out life’s negatives, sports, movies and hobby reading may bring joy; still, they linger in time as entertainment distractions. To help avoid the grind in the paint and coating application industry, it is worth the time to be informed as professionals and acquainted with positive, impactful developments.

Take the scourge of the needless RRP regulation for example, in 2010, after a cozy sue and settle deal, the EPA declared the commercial and public buildings expansion would be in the fold by 2012. But the stroll to ever more over burdensome government control met an outcry from professionals causing the EPA to reschedule the delivery to late 2015. Again, professionals demonstrated that there was a complete lack of science justifying the expansion so the EPA pushed RRP for everything day back to March of 2017.

Well this year, between the new White House and the EPA’s impotent and fruitless seven plus year campaign, RRP expansion has been back-burnered until 2019. This break in regulation action provides professionals a chance to push for the de-construction of RRP altogether. It is time to end RRP. In the simplest terms, OSHA and HUD already referee the 40+ year old and older lead based paint game. We do not need another federal agency poking us in the eye. Especially an oversized 8 billion dollar bastioned of craft skill-less, know nothings.

Now for some good industry News: the EPA has decided to end their back-alley dealings, the sue and settle wink, wink special interest first and people second arrangements. Of course, this is from the new leader, Scott Pruitt, and not the legions of unelected, federal gravy-train milkmen. At the very least, it is a start back to the path of transparency and ethical behavior, rather than the more regulations at all costs attitude. The about-face is a win for professionals, small business and for the people (purchasers of trade services).

Remember that you heard it here first. At PPT, we cover the broad spectrum of paint and coating industry news and happenings.

In other News, AkzoNobel has published their predications for 2018 in the Wood Coatings segment. “Open spaces provide opportunity for a flow of styles between areas within the home due to the absence of distinct rooms. This flow impacts design elements including building products, flooring, cabinetry and furniture selections. It also provides infinite combinations in design, creating distinct and individual living spaces”, said Robert Haley, Color Trends Manager for the Wood Coatings business.

It looks like Caliente won the Color Trends 2018 contest at Benjamin Moore. A shade of red, “Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente AF-290 is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like ‘red carpet treatment’,” said Ellen O’Neill, Director of Strategic Design Intelligence.

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings has launched Zinc Clad 4100, a new high-solids coating featuring recoat times as short as 30 minutes. Designed for use over properly prepared blasted steel, the organic zinc-rich primer delivers outstanding application properties and excellent performance in the field. “Zinc Clad 4100 answers our customers’ need for a high-solids organic zinc-rich epoxy that enables productivity improvements across an array of shop and field applications,” said Tim McDonough, Marketing Director – Products & Services.

For certain emergency repair work – hurricanes, fires, water surge, etc. some certified and lead-safe work practices may be waived as a reminder from NARI. But other provisions remain in place, including post-renovation cleaning and record-keeping requirements. The News item has a link to the EPA provision; it is a best practice to verify the waiver before starting any emergency renovations.

We have a paint nerd News item titled Shrimp Shell Paint. Jeffrey Catchmark, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences, reports that new the material is comprised of nearly equal parts of treated cellulose pulp from wood or cotton, and chitosan. The main source of chitin is the mountains of leftover shells from lobsters, crabs and shrimp consumed by humans. “…results show that …the materials may be competitive barrier alternatives to synthetic polymers for many commercial applications,” said Catchmark, who, in concert with Penn State, has applied for a patent on the coatings. Something about this paint seems far-fetched or at least a little fishy…

We have an interesting article to consider - Improving Crew Productivity, which is relevant to today’s workforce skill shortage. The author, Michael H. Casten, emphasizes planning, communication and a systems approach that enables associates to accomplish projects in a team driven fashion.

We have another feature that acknowledges the gray and old hair worker crisis - Time to Make Painting Sexy Again. Industry advocates note that education programs and enabling more immigrants to legally cross the border and work in the trades are two important ways to alleviate the shortage. According to the American Subcontractors Association of Arizona, Only seven percent of workers in construction (most likely Painting* too) are 25 years old or younger. Everyone – companies, workers, manufacturers, grade SCHOOLS and universities, must promote the skilled trades!

At least now, we recognize the Millennial (and soon to be Centennial) entry shortage. That may be the beginning of a new, industry wide focused effort to elevate paint and coating application to a more prominent career. The widespread endeavor may unlock the potential for some good news.

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Please send comments and corrections to MarkCasale@paintspecialists1.com.

Mark Casale, Editor