Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Since the beginning, here at PPT, we have been sounding the old guy alarm. Professional paint and coating application has too many gray/white hairs and not enough of brown, black and other solid-styled heads. Apparently, the Millennials are camping out elsewhere (some in parent’s basements). Before aging out, we must promote the art and science of the most brilliant trade with urgency and frequency. In addition, we ought to accept, in a duty bound manner, the ultimate responsibility of championing craftsmanship and expert architectural and decorative techniques.

What does that mean? For starters, those who do not know history are destined to repeat yesterday’s mistakes, while suffering from the same, tired struggles and tribulations. It’s like wasting time agonizing through useless repeats of 1970s soap operas. History lesson number one: do not be too busy or treading water to get busy; every professional should help preserve the heritage and craft of liquid coatings installation.

Individual actions are important and collectively, we can rise to direct the future in a tangible, greatly successful way. Whether salt and pepper, bald eagle or young headed, create a wake of teaching professional craftsmanship an everyday exercise in work life. Compare the quest to alpine skiing. Don’t go to the lodge and by-stand or to the top only to flail downhill hoping not to meet a tree trunk. Purposefully, carve turns with gravity and momentum agilely speeding to an exhilarating pursuit and repeat often. If playing music helps move things along, queue Black Sabbath’s Crazy Train or maybe Here We Go, Let’s Rock & Roll by C+C Music Factory.

If you are sticking it to the man or happily toiling alongside, once the crew grows to three or more, it is time to consider improving team problem solving. Read Get Better Input to learn some easy steps to go from bossing to leading. The only way to increase associate engagement is to ask rather than order. Professionals that pool resources and collaborate are more productive than workers who follow rote directives. There is always room to upgrade management…give consideration to some of these suggestions and at the very least, stop bossing!

We are happy to share another installment of PPT Technical Talk from Bob Cusumano appropriately titled Outsmarting Yourself. It is an excellent example demonstrating that two wrongs don’t make a right. Too often on some commercial projects, the architect’s specification for application (no spraying) may be arbitrary and out of place. But that mistake does not give license for paint professionals to cheat on specified materials and/or number of coats. The idea of cutting corners, ignoring specifications, in order to the lower project price to gain work or complete tasks faster is broken. Cheating is not part of craftsmanship.

Where Is All the Knowledge Going? The article reinforces the idea that a generation is getting ready to walk away and action is required to save craft expertise. There is a reasonable argument that at this moment in history spanning all the way back to when stone walls were drawn on that a greater possibility exists of forever losing skilled workforce procedures.

Technology and prefinished items are changing the built environment and rapidly affecting new construction. It is the repaint/refinish segment where the need for craftsmanship appears to be required for the foreseeable future. Plus, programming robots to randomly patch and sand walls and remembering to spot prime those patches may not be so easy. Then again, depending on the program, androids may not have the capacity to cut corners…

In the News, it looks like Akzo Nobel will separate the Paint and Chemical making businesses. This split was part of the promise to calm stockholders earlier this year in response to PPG’s bold take over attempt. It appears that the chemical side may be sold or merged with another company, while the paint group will remain. PPT will monitor and report.

In related News, Axalta Coatings declined acquisition overtures from both Akzo and later from Japan based and parent of Dunn-Edwards, Nippon Paints…at least for now.

Festool continues to cut the cord with the introduction of battery powered sanders. The idea of moving around a project to complete tasks without dragging cords everywhere has craftsmen appeal.

Right about now may be a good time to be an investor in Graco, a 3-for-1 stock split, along with a 10.4% quarterly dividend has been announced. Over at Pantone, it has gone from green to purple. Check out the short video to learn their 2018 Color of the Year.

PPG is a double recipient of a top technology award. The Premium Compact Process Primer, an automotive product, allowing the wet-on-wet-on-wet application of a primer, base coat and clearcoat lowers painting costs.

The other award winner is Fuze*It, which reportedly has two times the strength of fasteners alone and bonds nearly all materials in any weather conditions, including temperatures ranging from -40 F to 300 F, and on surfaces that are dry, frozen or wet. We have included a short introductory video demonstrating Fuze*It’s wet surface capacity.

Tnemec products restored a famous LA landmark. The city wanted the sign at the end of Route 66 to look its best in preparation for the opening of a new downtown rail line and for the 90th anniversary of Route 66, which ends at the Santa Monica Pier. From its dedication in 1909 and still today, the Santa Monica Pier has been among southern California’s most popular and historical attractions.

Zinseer has introduced a new primer featuring fast dry times and low temperature application. In addition, the Zinsser Exterior Wood Primer reportedly blocks tannin bleed from cedar, redwood and other tannin staining woods.

If music will help you to proactively advocate on behalf of craftsmanship, remember to crank it up…ride the Crazy Train! Find your groove every day and keep producing and promoting professional paint and coating application!

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Mark Casale, Editor