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Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

We need the Olympics. When we watch, the experience is awe inspiring wonderment that goes beyond viewing seasonal sports. The Olympics are a special occasion, world-wide event. The dedication and passion to perform a skill at the highest level is a worthwhile endeavor to participate in and support. The summer athletics are great and have the running, swimming and all. Sprinting and long jumping are human feats of talent and strength. It takes heroic devotion to qualify for the games and an extraordinary effort to achieve a podium result.

But it is the cold weather tournament that compels us to be glued to the screen. Winter sprints are done with large, very sharp blades where one wrong move could knock the field down and/or potentially end in horrific carnage. Also, there are sledding contests; one uses a cart that speeds down an ice lined chute faster than many drive, while another is a fast, face first plunge to the bottom. Both effectively have no brakes and ride on swords.

Then there are the flying matches; strap one or two planks to your feet, go fast and leave the earth’s surface for a bit. Sometimes it is purely about distance, on other occasions, it is high speed gymnastics that soar three to four stories skyward. Instead of mats, the landing surfaces are made of concrete-like ice. Many think of the Downhill event whenever the Winter Olympics are mentioned. It is very interesting that a competition was invented involving the idea of getting to the top of a mountain, putting two really long boards on your feet and racing to the bottom as fast as possible.

Back in the day, imagine the discussion; “for fun, let’s add a couple of jumps that send them 100+ feet out at 70 to 80 miles-per-hour and create names for hill sections like Dragon’s Gate and Death Valley”. To race with extreme speed, negotiate sharp corner landings and gamble the possibility of hitting trees or going off cliffs demonstrates courage, athleticism and expertise. Navigating a Downhill is a triumph of training and a display of iron-will. For spectators, it is an amazing exhibition of specialized skill and a thrill to watch!

If the construction industry – carpentry, masonry, plumbing and all – were the Olympics, paint and coating application would certainly be in the winter tournament. We outshine the others, although they are very skilled, the summer-like level trades are a bit less exciting than the professional painting endeavor. We have vibrant color, brilliant finishes, guns that spray, and tools and materials that require finesse. We provide the final look and adjust it to range between a dignified matte, rugged texture or shimmering luster.

Lots of people may be able to slide on the snow, but a Downhiller slides with practiced speed, precision and little tolerance for mistakes. Same in our profession, many may be able to smear various products, but paint professionals unchain finishes with talent and expertise…and at times with greatness.

Is red one of your favorite colors? Well, according to Axalta Coating Systems, red is the most popular color coating for skis. Check out the News item: Engineered for Speed to learn how coatings qualified for the Winter Games.

Like the Oscars and other award ceremonies, there are construction industry medal celebrations too. And the winner is…Benjamin Moore. Scuff-X, launched in  2017, has garnered three golden statues…awards.

If you hang just about anything on a wall, shelves, wall coverings, retail graphics or perhaps signage, consider updating to the newer compact, battery powered lasers. They are a great value add to any craftsman’s tool library. Bosch has a family of self-leveling, long range and convenient lasers.

For video News, we have a new product, a cool snapshot of big-time projects and a glimpse into what we may apply sooner than later. Zorr Corporation has introduced a Putty & Utility Knife combination. Karcher cleans world famous, iconic sites. And the itchy beards at the University of Cambridge are playing in the lab with tomorrow’s self-cleaning and smart coatings. Also, there is also a fourth clip from USG demonstrating level 5 gypsum wallboard finish.

We close the issue’s News cycle with an announcement: a just in time for the spring up and down calisthenics contest: it is the American Ladder Institutes (ALI) National Ladder Safety Month. “When you look at the numbers of ladder-related injuries and death that occur every year, it’s very clear why we are working to increase ladder safety awareness,” said Dave Plotner, ALI Board Member and Vice President of Engineering at the Werner Company.

Ever wonder if people who claim 5, 10 or more years of experience are telling the truth when more than a few have limited technical skill? We feature a good read:  Is it incompetence or a lack of training? There are plenty of guys who sling it sloppy or have a very narrow bandwidth of procedural and even task completion expertise. Maybe we should think differently. What if industry wide the hiring process involved more formalized training. It could be set up in tiers and the newly hired could be plugged in where improvements were needed.  Rather than complain, (the old bitch and moan routine), we should consider the forward movement of elevating our work place.

The idea of building a competent, responsible and productive environment starts at the top with culture. Leadership is a process, a journey that does not end…effective leaders stay on the path of continuous improvement. One very important aspect of any culture upgrade is the concept of team. Maybe things are getting busy and more people are needed? Well, it may be worth considering the goal of more efficient project performance through associate/crew development. Read 4 Ways to Strengthen the Team.

We love that PPT is a digital publication, because we are able to share lots of relevant, informative and fun presentations. Check out or better watch this issue’s Color Selection column: A Video Tour with Color.

And remember, put a little of the Winter Games awe inspired effort into your craftsmanship!

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

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor