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Old 02-02-2020, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Keeping our trade alive

So all old school painters here ...what are you doing to keep the trade alive?

how long have you been painting full time
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:41 PM   #2
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Thanks for asking being a painter for 44 years - just trying to keep myself alive at the end of the day .
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I've come here with nothing and still have a lot of it left .
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Repaint Florida View Post
So all old school painters here ...what are you doing to keep the trade alive?

how long have you been painting full time
Up until one year ago, I've been painting since 1978. The only thing I contributed to keeping the trade alive was carrying myself in as professional of a manner as possible. I also did my best to keep informed on products, chemistry, and best practices.

Unfortunately, most trades painters are more interested in money, speed and immediate outcomes rather than best practices, so there was nothing I could offer that was of any value. It's the one trade where flying by the seat of your pants will actually get you to where you want to go.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:15 PM   #4
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Up until one year ago, I've been painting since 1978. The only thing I contributed to keeping the trade alive was carrying myself in as professional of a manner as possible. I also did my best to keep informed on products, chemistry, and best practices.

Unfortunately, most trades painters are more interested in money, speed and immediate outcomes rather than best practices, so there was nothing I could offer that was of any value. It's the one trade where flying by the seat of your pants will actually get you to where you want to go.
I wish I had learned from some old time painters like yourself. I haven't really had a mentor. I just fumble my way through new experiences until I get it right. Its too bad that people tend to choose speed over quality.
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:31 AM   #5
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I started in 1974, and at that time on residential, it was an excepted practice to wash or use a dry cleaning sponge on walls and ceilings before any repainting commenced.

On the other hand, it was one heavy coat of PPG Speedhide flat latex on new construction, until the architects figured out that it looked like $hit before the tenant or owner moved into the space!
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:46 AM   #6
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See above, as far as keeping the trade alive learn new techniques and materials, but try to pay attention to the prep and attention to detail.

I still believe you can make money on both new construction and repaints if you have a system that works for you and you adhere to it.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:51 AM   #7
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Up until one year ago, I've been painting since 1978. The only thing I contributed to keeping the trade alive was carrying myself in as professional of a manner as possible. I also did my best to keep informed on products, chemistry, and best practices.

Unfortunately, most trades painters are more interested in money, speed and immediate outcomes rather than best practices, so there was nothing I could offer that was of any value. It's the one trade where flying by the seat of your pants will actually get you to where you want to go.

I would say that most painters try to follow best painting practices with whatever legitimate trade training or experience they have available to them. Which is not much. Unfortunately, there are many painting contractors out there without legitimate training who circumvent best painting practices in the interest of quick money.


And the fact is, the paint service product doesn't require a whole lot of steps to dazzle the consumer. Especially, when the quality of this unique service product is immediately rated on the perception of an illusion rather than the objectivity of function.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:46 PM   #8
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So all old school painters here ...what are you doing to keep the trade alive?

how long have you been painting full time
Really you should be asking the newschool painters...No? Old school guys are just on cruize control and have years of referals..Keeping the stoke is the big thing. Keep learning..
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:00 PM   #9
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It's not so much the old schoolers keeping the trade alive it's getting younger people and the education system to believe that it is ok to get your hands dirty.Not everybody is cut out for college, advanced learning is still necessary, but schools using college acceptance rate statistics to make their reputation is wrong.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:02 PM   #10
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I was in the business about 40 years. Probably the biggest thing you can do to keep the trade alive , as a business owner, is pay your workers a livable wage. It attracts better people and keeps them in the business. Nobody going to make a career out of a $15/hr job with no benefits.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CApainter View Post
Up until one year ago, I've been painting since 1978. The only thing I contributed to keeping the trade alive was carrying myself in as professional of a manner as possible. I also did my best to keep informed on products, chemistry, and best practices.

Unfortunately, most trades painters are more interested in money, speed and immediate outcomes rather than best practices, so there was nothing I could offer that was of any value. It's the one trade where flying by the seat of your pants will actually get you to where you want to go.


Its REALLY REALLY hard to price yourself out when u come w/ an obsession for the highest quality work, chemical knowledge, & treating each client just as special as we all hope to be when hiring a trade.

I listen/read a bunch of podcast, videos, blogs that preach how painters are only going to be truly successful if they can reach a point of running the business side vs doing labor, increase productivity & efficiency (always @ the cost of something else)...if not then youíre destined to fail.

While that may ultimately be a truth Iíve yet to witness (thanks to a VERY small niche of clientele) I just canít bring myself to work that way.

I LOVE the labor part (its the rest of it I despise) & the entire point of going solo was to never again be required to cut corners or go against my morals for a bottom line.

So I trudge along & weather the slow periods with a lot of stress, but figure if I fail by doing it this way at least I had a fun ride & did work Iím proud of.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lightningboy65 View Post
I was in the business about 40 years. Probably the biggest thing you can do to keep the trade alive , as a business owner, is pay your workers a livable wage. It attracts better people and keeps them in the business. Nobody going to make a career out of a $15/hr job with no benefits.


#truth
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:52 PM   #13
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When you say "keeping our trade alive", I probably haven't done that in the manner you're talking about. There were only a couple of different occasions when I had enough work to satisfy a 4 man crew. It was during those times that I did teach several young people skills of the trade. Most of those people ended up in different careers as far as I know.

90% of my career has been spent running a business with my wife and I as the only employees. I am very picky about the work we perform and it's how we get repeat business. To truly keep the trade/trades alive, high school programs need to teach painting and promote trades in general.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:20 PM   #14
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Its REALLY REALLY hard to price yourself out when u come w/ an obsession for the highest quality work, chemical knowledge, & treating each client just as special as we all hope to be when hiring a trade.

I listen/read a bunch of podcast, videos, blogs that preach how painters are only going to be truly successful if they can reach a point of running the business side vs doing labor, increase productivity & efficiency (always @ the cost of something else)...if not then youíre destined to fail.

While that may ultimately be a truth Iíve yet to witness (thanks to a VERY small niche of clientele) I just canít bring myself to work that way.

I LOVE the labor part (its the rest of it I despise) & the entire point of going solo was to never again be required to cut corners or go against my morals for a bottom line.

So I trudge along & weather the slow periods with a lot of stress, but figure if I fail by doing it this way at least I had a fun ride & did work Iím proud of.

Hear hear! The integrity of craft. Maybe you want a business partner who likes the business side? Somebody who knows all about painting and products but enjoys all of the marketing and sales and accounting things? Maybe some old timer who knows the business and the craft, but is tired of the aches and pains?
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:59 AM   #15
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Hear hear! The integrity of craft. Maybe you want a business partner who likes the business side? Somebody who knows all about painting and products but enjoys all of the marketing and sales and accounting things? Maybe some old timer who knows the business and the craft, but is tired of the aches and pains?

Thats advice I should 100% take! Its hard for me to relinquish control of anything...

Isnít it weird how when starting a business youíd give anything to be able to afford help so you donít have to wear all the hats & work constantly. Then after making it thru year 1-2 it almost becomes a sick habit & the thought of relinquishing control of any part feels impossible. I didnít realize I was thinking that way until reading your comment- time to get over myself & ask for help with the stuff I hate!
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Repaint Florida View Post
So all old school painters here ...what are you doing to keep the trade alive?

how long have you been painting full time

I don't know if I qualify as "old school" (19 years), but for my part I do the things that anyone else can do, but which make a difference: show up on time, quality work on a consistent basis, dress well (which can be expensive for a painter), practice integrity, and then leave when the job is done.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:12 AM   #17
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After recently dealing with a couple of millennial service contract workers, I would suggest that the younger generation resist bringing their bitterness, drama, attitude, and "personal expression" into the work place. The work place isn't interested.

The work force is built around mechanisms that are assembled to solve problems, not indulge individuals.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:50 PM   #18
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Thats advice I should 100% take! Its hard for me to relinquish control of anything...

Isnít it weird how when starting a business youíd give anything to be able to afford help so you donít have to wear all the hats & work constantly. Then after making it thru year 1-2 it almost becomes a sick habit & the thought of relinquishing control of any part feels impossible. I didnít realize I was thinking that way until reading your comment- time to get over myself & ask for help with the stuff I hate!

I get you. While I am just moonlighting right now working for someone else, I basically just operate as an inside contractor. If the painting job is mine then it's *mine*. I have 100% responsibility (and control!) over the whole thing. Even when I should say, hey, this is too much for one guy, send me some labor, I don't. The prep has to be mine, the way I do it. The caulk lines, have to be mine. Every brush stroke...every roller line. Perhaps I also just need to get over myself.


(Of course, just given the situation, I don't have to do a thing on the business end. I just get sent an address and that's about it...)
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:32 PM   #19
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I get you. While I am just moonlighting right now working for someone else, I basically just operate as an inside contractor. If the painting job is mine then it's *mine*. I have 100% responsibility (and control!) over the whole thing. Even when I should say, hey, this is too much for one guy, send me some labor, I don't. The prep has to be mine, the way I do it. The caulk lines, have to be mine. Every brush stroke...every roller line. Perhaps I also just need to get over myself.


(Of course, just given the situation, I don't have to do a thing on the business end. I just get sent an address and that's about it...)

Yep, am totally guilty of taking on too much as a 1 woman show & then tryin to act like it aint no thang.
Almost always end pay for it via injury, money, sanity, and/or frustrated clients or contractor due to timeline delays . Each time its happened I promise myself never again...then a project comes along thats too tempting & I find myself sayin yes knowing Iím a control freak about my work and never trust someone else to do things as well as I might (which is totally joke, Iíve met plenty of perfectionists in the field so I know better!).

My very first big job started by teaching me limitations & when to know its too much, so youíd think by now Iíd know better .....

Had a whole house of ceiling beams to refinish & tried to setup the scaffolding by myself. After embarrassing myself for WAY too long finally asked some guys on site for assistance- they had that thing up in 3 min flat. One of the guys said ďIf you need help, ask for it! Its a lot better than hurting yourself or one of my guys to protect your pride.Ē Lesson learned.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe67 View Post
I get you. While I am just moonlighting right now working for someone else, I basically just operate as an inside contractor. If the painting job is mine then it's *mine*. I have 100% responsibility (and control!) over the whole thing. Even when I should say, hey, this is too much for one guy, send me some labor, I don't. The prep has to be mine, the way I do it. The caulk lines, have to be mine. Every brush stroke...every roller line. Perhaps I also just need to get over myself.


(Of course, just given the situation, I don't have to do a thing on the business end. I just get sent an address and that's about it...)

Yep, am totally guilty of taking on too much as a 1 woman show & then tryin to act like it aint no thang.
Almost always end pay for it via injury, money, sanity, and/or frustrated clients or contractor due to timeline delays . Each time its happened I promise myself never again...then a project comes along thats too tempting & I find myself sayin yes knowing I’m a control freak about my work and never trust someone else to do things as well as I might (which is totally joke, I’ve met plenty of perfectionists in the field so I know better!).

My very first big job started by teaching me limitations & when to know its too much, so you’d think by now I’d know better .....

Had a whole house of ceiling beams to refinish & tried to setup the scaffolding by myself. After embarrassing myself for WAY too long finally asked some guys on site for assistance- they had that thing up in 3 min flat. One of the guys said “If you need help, ask for it! Its a lot better than hurting yourself or one of my guys to protect your pride.” Lesson learned.
...hard lessons but the only way to grow...your growth is capped by what your body can produce daily and that curve certainly starts to drop as we age...duplicating yourself to the best of your ability is the only way forward if growth is the goal...
...check out Nick Slavik/Ask-a-Painter on FB and YouTube for tons of valuable info concerning this subject...
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