Mar 30, 2009

18” Rollers - Your Friend and Foe

18" RollersI will be referring to the Wooster SHERLOCK® WIDE BOY™ HULK™ for this article because of the advantages it has over similar frames.

18” rollers can work to your advantage or work against you and knowing when to use them is ‘key’ to discovering when they benefit you most and when they don’t. I personally use an 18” roller more than any other size roller but I also use it with assistance of a 9” roller and sometimes a 6” using the appropriate roller for the size of surface being coated.

18" Rollers For the ultimate in productivity, the rule of thumb when using an 18” is this: If the area being rolled is less than 18” wide, use something smaller. You will be more productive keeping the 18 on wider areas and leave those shorter width areas for a 9” or a 6” and it’s good to have both ready at any time on larger jobs or have a second guy running the smaller frames just ahead of you — in a way — cutting in with a roller for the 18”.

TIP on Loading an 18” Roller: I’m not a big fan of the VVVV grooves on the ramp of the pan shown so I load the ramp with paint, put a final spin on the roller and at the same time raising the cover off the ramp which will produce the shot you see in the photo. At this split second, I lower the cover into the hanging stream of paint and while the cover is still spinning mid air, I collect as much of that paint hanging as the cover makes one full turn in the air.

Carefully select when to use the 18” roller horizontally, in some situations it can benefit you to roll under a 6’ wide window horizontally once you drop to your knees but on the other hand turning the rig horizontally to roll tighter to something or to roll a 12” wide area next to a door can be very counterproductive and leave you going home sore.

I prefer to roll out of a pan to avoid the downward dunking or loading inherent with the use of buckets. Pan rolling is particularly helpful when rolling with a 16’ pole with the pan placed across the room instead of positioning the pole downward into a bucket of paint.

The combined weight of a 6’ Purdy Pro Extra Extension pole, the 18” frame and loaded roller cover can easily be 6 lbs. and will take some getting use to.

PROS:
Can cut your rolling time in half compared to 9” rollers
Provides a more uniform consistent finish, fewer passes
¹Capable of covering up to 96 square feet of wall board in 60 seconds or less the equivalent to an 8’x12’ wall or you can buy a Speed Roller which was also field-tested to cover 100 square feet per minute if you don’t like loading.
¹Capable of rolling up to 8’ x 42” wide or more with a single load
¹100 sq ft of drywall can be covered in as little as 5-6 loads.
Better for back rolling with someone spraying vs a 9” roller

CONS:
Often not worth getting an 18” out for less than 2 gallons of paint
Say goodbye to small tight places
Cannot roll tight into corners due to dual side arm design
Can be cumbersome or awkward to use at first
Becomes heavy after prolonged use but becomes easier with regular use.

¹Dependent on roller nap size, pan use, loading method, surface and type of paint

Mar 27, 2009

Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac & SealCoat

Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac & SealCoatA full review of this product was not performed, however, we show the two products side by side on pine and oak samples. Both products are very watery, the first coat of both products virtually disappeared into both samples only leaving a darkened color to the bare wood.
Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac & SealCoat The SealCoat product guarantees the product can be applied under any other clear top coat. See label for details.
Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac & SealCoatBoth products dried within 15 minutes at 47% humidity @ 70 degrees. We sanded both products easily with a Glit fine sanding pad and re-coated both in 1 hour.
Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac & SealCoatThe second coat left a glossy semi-smooth surface but needs another coat to complete a finer finish. A third coat of the shellac would finish our samples to a nice smooth finish. The photos only reflect two coats of the clear.

Mar 24, 2009

Selling Word of Mouth


There are many selling strategies; I focus on selling Word of Mouth. Each job you do is the best opportunity to sell ‘Word of Mouth” and any subtle freebie or valued discount you include with your job by going the extra mile for the customer could very well be your best advertising dollars spent.
Pay attention to what customers say and listen for subtle hints they drop.
For example: you may be on the job to paint two bedrooms and a living room and the homeowner drops the comment... “I would like to paint down the hallway leading to the bedrooms at a later date”. Here lies opportunity to sell Word of Mouth. You have two options: 1) acknowledge you would like to come back in the future to do it or 2) offer to do it now at a lower cost. You already figured in your head the hallway will only take a gallon of paint or maybe you already have enough paint and an extra hour of your time to complete along with the rest of the job.
By simply taking the hallway ‘off’ the customers future TO DO List — you just opened opportunity for discussion amongst their friends and neighbors. Generally what happens is friends come over and the new wall colors and decorating scheme is discussed and the homeowner is sure to mention what you did on the hallway for them along with the pleasant painting experience you provided.
Look for additional odd jobs you can do quickly while you are already on the job and offer them to the customer. Pay close attention to people who entertain often, these are the best people for new opportunities. I recall a time when I offered to refinish the wooden bar armrest in their basement and give it a nice high gloss glassy finish. This is something people will talk about for a long time to friends and neighbors.
Two new opportunities arise
Because you cleared the homeowners TO DO List, the next project will typically be another round of painting elsewhere on the home or you may find yourself next door at the neighbors. You may even get calls from their friends where you now have more opportunity to repeat selling Word of Mouth. I’m not saying to give anything away for free but make a small compromise and generally you will be rewarded with new opportunity in the near future.
I am always amazed at how fast and how much new opportunity that can come from a single source. As long as you leave a lasting impression with the customer and did more than they asked for, repeat business should come your way and soon after your customers are selling YOU! This is how I do it with great success not only for repeat business but new business too.
If you take care of them they will typically take care of you.

Mar 21, 2009

ShurTape CP-99 Masking Tape

Shurtape CP_99_FS

I have no words to explain the disappointment I have with blue tape not to mention the cost of it. If I am paying five bucks or more for a roll of tape — it better do amazing things and if not, I want someone to explain to me why it performs worse than regular natural crepe tape. Since that's not going to happen I choose to stick (no pun intended) with a product that's been around for a long time and works great for me, CP-99. Chances are you’ve used CP-66 if you shop at Sherwin Williams. CP-99 is thicker than CP-66 and helps in reducing tearing at time of removal. CP-99 is 6.7 mils thick and prevents primer flake-off and paint build-up and helps close those gaps better. The extra thickness also helps with irregular surfaces and laying the tape down with reduced stretching. I left CP-99 on stained trim for more than 14 days out of direct sunlight with clean safe removal. This is a higher adhesive tape so keep it off delicate surfaces.

recom_01 - sm

Jack Pauhl Recommended Product

jp_rec_01In an attempt to answer reader questions about my opinion on certain product I’ve attached the Jack Pauhl Recommended image indicating product I utilize with my systems. The products must meet high standards in quality, provide a failsafe solution and also provide a component to maximize efficiency by reducing time spent using them. There are other quality products out there but only products marked ‘Recommended’ provide maximum benefits and minimum time using them with my systems. Product of high quality but are slow to use are not recommended. I put a lot of time and effort into testing and finding failsafe solutions to minimize my time spent on the job. One gallon of latex wall paint might take me an hour or more to change the color of a room and another product might allow me to do it in under 30 mins. My goal is to find quality, time saving product. If it’s marked ‘Recommended’, it’s worked great for me countless times without hassles.

Not all of the products I use with my systems are posted on this blog and neither are the systems I use.

Mar 20, 2009

Zinsser Paint & Finish Remover with Soyzol®

Zinsser Paint & Finish RemoverNEW PRODUCT
Zinsser Paint & Finish Remover with Soyzol® is a “green,” eco-friendly alternative to traditional paint removers. The fast and effective formula completely removes more than 5 layers of latex and oil-based paint and most finishes from wood, metal, masonry, vinyl and marine surfaces in less than one hour without damaging the surface.

Features
» “Green,” eco-friendly alternative to traditional paint removers
» Fast and effective – removes more than 5 layers of latex and oil based paint and most finishes
» EPA certified “Design for the Environment”
» Formulated with Soyzol® – biodegradable and renewable resource
» Very low odor – great for indoor use
» Stays wet for up to 24 hours and offers excellent vertical cling

Spring Tools - Nail Set Paint Pro Pak

Spring Tools Nail Set

Nail Set & Door Pin Removal Tool

It’s always a good day when time saving tools make it into my hands. This Light Weight, Made in The USA Combination Nail Setting Tool by SPRING TOOLS® is ideal for setting and countersinking different sized nails and brads.

Each tool weighs a mere 1.7 oz. The first tool has a different sized nail set on each end. Professional painters and finish carpenters love this tool. It's the perfect tool to fix "Shiners" that happen when nail guns fail to drive the brad below the surface of the wood. This tool effectively repairs the problem without damaging the wood. A must have for all woodworkers and painters!

Spring Tools unique design delivers a direct striking force of up to 3500 P.S.I. to the working surface. The tools are designed with high grade tool steel and are hardened for optimal quality and performance. The user can easily control the amount of force applied to the surface by varying the spring tension. This feature provides unrivaled precision and control and is ideal for working in tight spaces and precision jobs.

The second tool in the Pro Pak, the Door Pin Removal Tool easily removes door hinge pins. Flip the tool around and it also sets the pin snug without marring or damaging the door and trim.

When tools like these come across my path I cant help but to think about how a product like this went from an idea — to paper — to my pocket. This product screams efficiency, convenience with precision accuracy and user determined control! Think about it, the idea of cramming the power of a hammer into a tiny tool that fits in your shirt pocket. Now you can stop carrying the hammer all over the house and up and down ladders.

Be sure to check out Spring Tools Website for ordering information, photos, videos and other spring driven impact tools.

recom_01 - sm

Mar 17, 2009

Little Giant Type 1A Revolution XE

The lightest. The toughest. The sexiest. The bleeding-edgiest ladder technology from Little Giant Ladders for 2009.

For six harrowing days, I did the unthinkable: I left my 1991 Little Giant at the shop to see exactly the impact of not having the ladder around would have on my day-to-day grind and see how well I can do without it. Let me tell you — I was not happy about it. When products that save you time are pulled out from under you, its at that point you realize how easy you had it.

LiteWave™ Technology
For starters, the RevolutionXE is lighter–20% lighter than any competing multi-use ladder on the market due to patented LiteWave™ technology (the same technology used by the U.S. military in aircraft production) and without sacrificing any strength. LiteWave™ technology allows for the convenience of a 250 lb. rated ladder, yet still provides the strength of a 300 lb. rated ladder.

Redesigned MAG4™ Hinge
Adding even more stability to the world's safest ladder wasn't easy. But the revolutionary MAG4™ hinge system does just that. The MAG4™ hinge locks into place with 4 pins instead of 2 for increased stability and overall safety. Plus, the patented hinge system features magnetic palm buttons for holding tools or materials.

Rock Locks™
The Revolution XE features a redesigned Rock Lock™ system that makes adjusting your ladder quick and easy. Simply push the lock to release, adjust the ladder, then tap to lock. It's simple, fast and safe.

Magnetic Tool Holder on the MAG4™ hinge

Scaffolding
Since the Little Giant pulls apart to form two scaffold trestles, you just add the Little Giant work plank (sold separately) to form a convenient scaffolding system.

Staircase Ladder
Because it's adjustable in one-foot increments, the Little Giant allows one side of the ladder to be extended allowing safe use on uneven surfaces like staircases, curbs or docks.

Extension Ladder
For large projects the Little Giant easily converts to a stable extension ladder allowing you to reach rooftops, tree limbs and more with ease.

What's the Same?

Safety
The RevolutionXE is designed to be the safest ladder on the planet. Since it's adjustable, the RevolutionXE can be used safely on stairs, ramps, curbs, docks or other uneven surfaces.

Strength
The RevolutionXE is made using LiteWave™ aluminum technology, the very same material used in aerospace construction. So it's ultra-strong while remaining light and portable.

Versatility
Independent tests prove the RevolutionXE will replace 60-70% of all portable ladders currently being manufactured.

When you buy a RevolutionXE from Little Giant, you're not just getting one ladder. You're getting 24 different ladders combined to make the world's most versatile ladder system.

Mar 13, 2009

Cleaning up Popcorn Ceiling Lines

Painting Popcorn CeilingsYou can waste a ton of time trying to cut irregular ceiling lines on popcorn ceilings or you can take a few minutes and modify a 5-in-1 tool and clean those ceiling lines up.

Place the 5-in-1 in a vise and use a metal file to put a notch in the end of the blade.
Painting Popcorn CeilingsI tried various notches and found this one to work best. You have to take in to account the angle in which you hold the 5-in-1.
Painting Popcorn CeilingsI tried filing down to the bevel but doing it that way created binding as you try to move the blade along the line so I filed to approximately the same distance away from the bevel.
Painting Popcorn Ceilings Here you can see a very common ceiling line on popcorn ceilings. This particular ceiling has not been painted but the walls have. Click for larger view.
Painting Popcorn Ceilings This room is 13’x14’ and I spent no more than 10 minutes to run the 5-in-1 tool along the ceiling line. Now you can cut faster and have a nicer edge to work with. Oh, almost forgot... the homeowner will appreciate the sharp clean lines but the intent was to improve your time cutting. It’s simple and very effective.
Painting Popcorn Ceilings Nice clean look.

Mar 11, 2009

A2 Dual 75º Angled Sanding Sponge

A2 Dual Angle Sanding Sponge

The sturdy A2 features a unique 75º angle which provides a sharp edge to maintain firm form while sanding into edges or tight areas. Available in medium and fine grit, the washable sanding sponges are durable and long lasting. For use on wood, paint, drywall, metal, fiberglass or plastic.

I used the fine grit A2 to knock down debris in the paint quickly and effectively. I like clean sharp edges and it’s not uncommon for me to re-mud a corner to clean it up and the A2 makes that process a cinch. You’ll find many other uses for the A2.

The A2 is just one of those ‘must-haves’ to keep in your truck.

recom_01 - sm

Priming Exterior Cedar Spindles & Railing

Priming Cedar Spindles How To get the absolute best results painting cedar spindles.

It is important to prime all exposed edges on a cedar rail. Cedar is an excellent wicking wood which means the wood absorbs large quantities of water very fast. Water will wick up the center of the spindle trapping water beneath the surface if not primed — ultimately leaving you with a paint job that will fail.
Priming Cedar Spindles A good oil-base primer is needed to block the natural cedar oils from bleeding through the finish paint. Some acrylic primers can be used but may require 2 coats to lock-in the cedar oils. Don't assume any oil-base primer will block tannin and cedar oils, be sure to ask.
CedarIn just under 2 minutes you can see how much the cedar absorbed water almost 2 inches up the cedar sample.
Cedar I placed the cedar sample on the saw and cut off the bottom portion to show the water is absorbed almost entirely through the wood in a short time.

Mar 10, 2009

Zinsser Cover Stain | Advanced Water-Base

Zinsser Cover Stain Water-Base

Zinsser’s newest primer for interior and exterior is the water-base version of the popular Cover Stain oil-base primer. Unless you live in southern California, the only way you can get your hands on it is ordering it through your local paint store.

Dries to a hard flat finish, easy flow, great adhesion, seals most stains, sands crisply within 1 hour. (from the label)

For use on all types of bare or painted surfaces including wood, drywall, cured plaster, concrete, stucco and masonry, aluminum, vinyl, steel, galvanized metal and PVC. Sticks to dense, glossy surfaces without sanding and deglossing.

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: application to floors or decks or to surfaces subject to immersion or prolonged contact with water. This product is currently under review and I hope to find out what specific stains Cover Stain WB will not lock-in with one coat.

Some of the types of test include: various water stains, priming over penetrating stain on poplar, hairspray, toothpaste, spaghetti sauce, nicotine, tannin, poplar trim, cooking grease, Formica, ceramic, glass, cabinet laminate and kitchen cabinets, vinyl siding to name a few. While the product does not specifically state it will cover all of these types of stains or surfaces, I like to know it’s capabilities despite best efforts made cleaning and prepping a workspace. Here are just a few initial samples. Waiting on results.

Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Typical ceiling water stain. One small dab of the brush stopped this water stain dead in its tracks.
Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Old red vinyl siding. I tested adhesion to vinyl siding, sticks very well. I tried to pick at it with my finger nail.
Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Knotty, sappy pine
Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Cabinet laminate (sticker). Sticks very well to laminate, again tried picking at it with my finger nail.
Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Cabinet drawer front. This was taken from a brand new finished cabinet. Same great adhesion here too. Tried picking at it with my finger nail.
Zinsser Water-Base Cover Stain Here is the primer rolled over a dirty popcorn ceiling. For this ceiling I figured 2 coats of primer because this ceiling was not painted before.
Pre-Primed Pine Here is some pre-primed pine. I made one swipe with Zinsser Cover Stain Water-Base down the center of this sample and applied one nice coat of ICI Dulux 1407 Semi-Gloss over the width. This shot was taken 1 minute and 45 seconds after the semi-gloss was applied. A fairly substantial improvement over factory primer.
Pre-Primed Pine Here is the sticker from the sample above.

Mar 8, 2009

Painting - Online Estimating BID FORM

PAINTING BID FORM

I am all about being efficient and I do not like those continuous calls from builders asking for pricing when they are preparing a quote for the homeowner. I designed this ESTIMATING BID FORM so builders can produce their own quotes without bothering me and they can do it while the homeowner is sitting in front of them. This form is designed to return an immediate bid for painting a new home based on a builders criteria and the response from the homeowner. The form should be used to calculate various options based on homeowners requests. Start by selecting the square footage of the home in the first row under 'Quantity' then select what style of home under 'Options'. This will return the base price for painting the home. Next the builder and the homeowner go through each option and select from the dropdown menu. For example: Under ‘Spindles’ [Qty] 20ft [Select] Options are stained, painted and split with values assigned to each.

When the builder presses the SUBMIT button, a copy of the quote is then submitted to me via email for my review and I can track these BID FORMS if they were to change.

The photo above is only a small portion of the Paint Estimating Bid Form. If you are a painting contractor or builder and would like to learn more about this easy convenient way of estimating a painting project – feel free to contact me.

Mar 5, 2009

How to Painting Ceilings | Stepping Method

Painting Ceilings

This HOW TO assumes an extension pole is used for rolling the ceiling. The demonstration is a 12’x16’ room. The diagram reflects half the ceiling.

It’s important to maintain a solid wet edge when rolling a ceiling. I do not recommend cutting-in anything until it’s rolled especially on ceilings never before painted¹ or on popcorn ceilings. After rolling is complete you will see exactly what is left to cut which should be about 1” max around the perimeter and 4 corners. Each quadrant represents one sustainable heavy load of paint the width of the roller cover. I strongly recommend utilizing this simple modification to a roller frame. By doing so, you can virtually roll within 1/4” of the ceiling line if not completely tight to the wall and without affecting the wall.

Step 1: Roll areas 1-4. Use one single heavy load to roll each section overlapping the previous section generously.
Step 2: Roll area 5. Make sure to overlap into areas 1 and 2
Step 3: Roll areas 6 and 7
Step 4: Roll areas 8 and 9
Step 5: Roll area 10 then 11
Step 6: Roll area 12 and 13 and continue this alternating pattern to completion.

The stepping method will ensure a constant wet edge by alternating location and placement of each load. I strongly suggest cutting-in last.

Note: No more than one 5 to 6 foot section per load should be used on a ceiling 12’ wide. One load = 9”x6’ section in diagram above.
¹You may want to cut first if applying glossy paints unless you know how to work the paint.