Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Ever think about inventing a new craftsman’s tool or gadget? By PPT’s estimate, a very low percentage ever make it to market and even fewer rise to gain space in our tool boxes. There are some great success stories, the spray pump (Joseph Binks – 1887), spray gun, (Thomas DeVilbiss – 1907) and the roller arm/sleeve (Richard Croxton* -1940; a SW employee). On the other side, remember, brush boxes…they were square metal containers to hang brushes in. They kept the China bristles wet, soaked in thinner ready for a quick spin and then dipped into action.

Those boxes may have motivated a more modern version, the brush keeper a plastic container that kept individual “latex” brushes from drying out. There was a shovel-type brush, spray brush, the extended handle brush and these are just a few inventions involving brushes. It seems that these would be paint-professional-Teslas fall into two categories: tinkers and what-if dreamers. The tinkers are meticulous with personal tools and in fact enhance their instrumentations with tape, labels, storage efficiency and any number of tactile ways. Often, it is hands off and no you cannot use that 3 inch for walls…it is for trim only.

The what-if dreamer guys are engineer minds, like the tinkers, but look at things from more of a bird’s eye view… the bigger picture. If you can agree that the greater majority of tool guys have very little impact on the way we do things over the long term, then you know that the dreamer dudes mostly chat about the next big thing. Plus, even if the invention is a game changer, financial resources, timing, and a host of other challenges present themselves like one of those warrior game shows obstacles on TV. One wham and you are down.

Well, at some point in every champion’s career they have been knocked onto their ass and stood back up to win. So maybe that is the more important take away than the idea mongering. Stand shoulder to shoulder as craftsmen, take pride and be fulfilled from tasks well done. Keep on and have some fun to boot!

Maybe this invention will stick: the Dulux Painter’s Academy. Though AkzoNobel are not the first manufacturer to introduce professional paint and coating application to prospects, this may be a future trade entry door. Throughout history, especially in America, craftsmanship has not been well open to sharing with the next generation or even among sectors: architectural, decorative, factory finishing, industrial and marine. The promotion and to use a paint term, cross linking have both been a wham failure.

According to AkzoNobel, the Dulux Painter’s Academy has been set up to train the next generation of painters and drive local economic growth through paint application training and business development knowledge. The program is originally designed to enhance and upgrade the skills of contractors and professionals. Check out the News item to learn more and maybe dream a bit…

Behr Paint introduces BEHR PRO e500. It is an addition to the Pro line, which already includes i300, i100 and e600. Company executives have stated that e500 has been formulated for commercial painters as an economical grade product to reduce costs, and to optimize spray application.

Normally, we do not cover a small out of country acquisitions, but PPG announced a purchase of the Netherlands based ProCoatings, a small outfit employing 100 people, which may be a little reminder that PPG could have merger visions with AkzoNobel. The purchase may be more of a statement that the American giant is close by and will be in the future.

Here is some great News: the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says that Small Business Optimism Hits Near All-Time High. Apparently, the NFIB Optimism Index soared past 107, closing in on 1983 record…“We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting this research,” said NFIB CEO Juanita Duggan. “Small business owners are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth.”

The Index gained 3.7 points in November; a sharp increase over what was already a near-record performance the previous month. Eight of 10 components posted gains, including a stunning and rare 16-point gain in Expected Better Business Conditions and a 13-point jump in Sales Expectations.

Things may actually be looking brighter in 2018. That is for business and maybe in paint too. We have a great paint nerd News item: Scientists Secure Two Patents on Self-cleaning Coating Research. Faculty and students at UMass Lowell and Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Israel have joined forces to study and produce new coatings that make surfaces from glass to metal self-cleaning.

The coatings can be sprayed onto large, new and existing surfaces – such as kitchen appliances and medical devices – and are based on commercially-available materials. A range of other potential applications exist in the construction, agriculture, optical, aerospace and military sectors.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to modernize regulations governing the use of lead paint more quickly. A few things to note:

  1. The 9th Circuit (a federal appeals court based in San Francisco) is frequently overturned.
  2. For many years, the EPA relied on the cozy sue and settle strategy to speed the regulation making process (under the current administration, this likely will no longer emanate from Washington).
  3. The facts show that a substantial number of “studies” cited by the EPA are outdated and irrelevant (much of the “science” is weak at best). Any empirical evidence must be able to withstand rigorous evaluation. The EPA is lacking here and likely needs more time to try and find it, or will wait out the current administration returning back to the old regulate no matter what.

Lead and remnant lead dust from from old paint are not good for small children. We all agree about that. However, many of the studies inaccurately calculated the amount of lead-based paint (and consequently, the remnant dust) actually present in homes. In fact, the levels of lead dust may have been grossly overstated. Many of these same incorrect studies were used as the basis for justifying the RRP regulation.

Newsflash: America does not have a child epidemic from lead-based paint dust. The affected number is a very, very small percentage of all children. Also, the term “elevated BLL” does not automatically equal a level high enough to be considered “lead poisoning”. Outside of government subsidized, low income housing, elevated Blood Lead Levels are likely found in less than 1% of children. That means 99+% of the little ones are okay.

Bottom line: Maybe we ought to look at improving the poverty numbers for children, which is many times higher than elevated BLL count!

We start off 2018 with an excellent read to consider: Grow with Good People. Dynamic companies are market leaders, and find innovative ways to overcome challenges. Young people and skilled workers, let’s remember today that these are two separate categories, and although related they present different tests of how to address a diminishing more in demand workforce.

From our friends at the NAHB, we have a Regulatory Review column titled More Small Business Relief. It does a nice job of explaining a recent Presidential Executive Order regarding the idea that regulatory costs should be lower for small business.

We end with a Color Selection piece called Shine On, Shine Off. Although it is pretty basic, it is well written and a good review regarding interior gloss levels. Well, maybe you are not up to date on the difference between gloss and sheen? Are they different terms for the same thing?

This is the year to tinker away and dream on!

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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*Some say Norman Breakey, a Canadian, was the original roller arm inventor and Croxton modified and patented paint application device in the US.

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