Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Working around negative people can be exhausting. Stupid is as stupid does…at least according to Forrest’s mama. In the movie, that answer usually followed a derogatory inference. Sometimes with craftsmanship, it seems to be the same. Maybe it is easier to go ruffian when we do not understand or appreciate the rationale or actions of colleagues? We hear the occasional, it’s good enough; save it for punch; nobody will notice it; it isn’t Taj Mahal and other discounting comments.

Paint and coating application should be performed in such a manner as to make the most seasoned, Master Craftsman say, “wow, great workmanship”. Paint professionals must consider elevating the craftsmanship aspects of the vocation.

There are many reasons to aim the industry upward, towards improvement, but for this examination, let’s focus on the idea of everyday work being a little more fulfilling. As an example, take a Major League baseball game; two groups compete where only one can win. The work environment has rules that each organization, as well as individuals must follow. A team is free to select and play athletes according to its choice. For a team to have a successful event, some common things must be executed well.

Ultimately, the prevailing group must score more runs than the opponent. Generally, this means that the pitching, defense and hitting aspects must be executed at a high level. Or at least, the winning team must perform more productively than the rival squad. How long would negative comments or attitudes be tolerated on any team? An effective coach/leader should direct players to accept and learn from mistakes. Each person must be accountable for individual performance and be aware that the group must work together for the team to be successful. Imagine if a group’s culture allowed this behavior:

  1. player drops a routine fly-ball; “it would have only made one out”
  2. teammate does not hustle to first and is thrown out; “ it didn’t end the game”
  3. hitter decides to bunt with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th; “I’ll fix it next time”

Very likely, a team that fosters negativity may not win as often as possible. Plus, that team would probably not be interesting to watch or be a part of. Seems to be the same with paint professionals, but we can change. For starters, let’s stop referring to subpar workmanship as “it”. Also, try the best practice of promoting craftsmanship performance as the routine, as the  standard to meet and not accept/allow discount maneuvering or poor workmanship excuses.

The pursuit of craftsmanship has great value and potential. When the paint and coating application industry champions expert skills, we will win more often. And winning helps change the locker room or working atmosphere to a more positive, happy place.

How is your team doing? Is it time for a craftsman’s based change/improvement? At Painting Pro Times, we say, “Here we go, let’s rock & roll, sign us up for lots of good days”.

In the News, Dunn-Edwards Paints has introduced Enduraprime, an ultra-low VOC, single component, water-based, acrylic metal primer. According to the DE, Enduraprime is rust preventive and can be applied to interior and exterior ferrous metal, such as structural steel, wrought iron, metal gates and fences.

Sherwin-Williams has unveiled Extreme Block Primer/Sealer, an oil-based primer designed for indoor/outdoor applications. SW indicates that stubborn stains such as smoke, fire and nicotine can be sealed. Steve Revnew, senior vice president of product innovation, stated, “The fast-drying formula and powerful stain-blocking properties make it a great option for multifamily property managers, facility maintenance crews and other professionals looking to save time and maximize results.”

The U.S. Department of Labor has expanded access to affordable health coverage options for America’s small businesses through Association Health Plans. By allowing small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage, Association Health Plans work as if they were a single large employer. The idea of making health insurance available to nationwide groups has long been considered a need to small businesses.

The ‘Pledge to America’s Workers’ was an event where organizations agreed to advance work-based learning, continuing education and re-skilling programs to enhance career opportunities and economic security for America’s workforce. In total, associations and companies pledged to train more than 3.8 million people for new positions. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the construction industry (which paint & coating is part of) will be short 1 million workers over the next 10 years.

“ABC is proud to join the White House in pledging to develop and support generations of skilled craftsmen and women who are building America,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of environment, health, safety and workforce development. “There are currently 500,000 open positions in the construction industry alone, a number which will continue to grow if we don’t join forces to expand registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs in the United States to fill skills gaps.”

Likely, the shortage of skilled labor will increase the push for technology that automates and/or streamlines work flows on projects. We have a video clip; A Robot is faster than Humans, which demonstrates a fairly primitive masonry installation. This may show that the idea of articulating mechanical arms producing straight painted lines or rolling 20,000 SF a day is far away. But technological developments go from crawling to skipping and then leaps and bounds in years not decades.

In the virtual halls of PPT, we mostly like itchy beards; academics, scientists and the like. Until they try to define application techniques from a sitting position. We have a Color Selection column, Technology Matches Van Gogh, which is written by a color guy that used technology to calculate what colors looked like over a hundred years ago and then matched them.

Okay it may be a little paint nerdy, but we enjoyed the read. Plus, as we point out often, the science side of color is an important aspect of craftsmanship. The silk scarfs and bow ties are okay too, but may not most of interest the rough and ready paint professionals.

We referred to company culture above and there is nowhere that daily norms are more critical than with safety. Safety is not about rules and fines. Safety is the awareness that staying healthy and uninjured is job number one. Knowledge, training and worker advocacy must rule every day. Check out the statistics from the Bureau of Labor noted in Falling: A Leading Cause of Death.

There is another column, a Regulatory Review that is titled, Regulatory Reform Needed. How many federal regulations are published each day? The easy answer: way too many, but it is meaningful to understand the burden that unfaced, federal bureaucrats seemingly cannot see. “…In their policies and actions, some agencies, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fail to understand how small businesses operate…”

Do not be too busy to look at your daily routine and the big picture of paint and coating application to implement improvement. Paint professionals must consider elevating the craftsmanship aspects of the vocation.

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Please send comments and corrections to

Mark Casale, Editor

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