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So a little about my company first: I am like most paint companies that there is essentially a demand formula similar to a bell curve. I do primarily residential repaints and for the most part it is out of necessity to protect the exterior of their home. Winter and Fall there is little demand for residential repainting services in my neck of the woods and every painter is slow and willing to cut their own throats left and right. I am going to go to a plan where I will essentially work for 9-10months a year and do what I do best and that is to hire some extra college kids during the summer that have usually worked for another paint contractor in the past and start what I like to call my GREEN PAINT DIVISION.

I will have my 2nd hand man be in charge of shop and gear. My GPD (Green Paint Division) will operate out of cargo trailers that will be equipped with all the gear that they need to get the job done. I will have inside a utility sink that I can hook up to the water at the jobsites. I will have a microwave, and a mini-fridge to keep people from doing those long lunch runs and include some drinks they could make in a nalgene as those small things people like and that will keep them from using bottles (waste).

Every year I have my main guys which will still be in my "production division" that drive around in their box truck and spray out homes. However when I double my staff during the Summer and have them spray I incur with a slow learning curve every year and buy the time they make the time and quality standards that I would consider sufficient the exterior season is over. Not to mention the wasted hours cleaning up overspray that an experienced person could have seen and all the pump repair and someone that goes through the miscellaneous spraying sundries like no tomorrow and killing the budget. So for my GPD we will roll everything.

By brushing and rolling exterior we will use a fair amount of less product cutting back on waste and we will save a lot of masking tape, paper and plastic that I dispose of thousands of pounds of every year especially producing new construction interiors. (Another plus for the environment)

We will be using paints that are approved of by the Master Painters Institute that are at least GS-1 approved. If you don't know what that is google it. By brushing and rolling we will use less water for clean-up. We will clean and re-use rollers in a custom rigged PVC tube that cleans a roller cover in less than a minute. We will leave roller covers in a bucket of water and spin them dry before use to keep them primed and good to go. We will trim the edges with scissors as we do get the occasional dried paint edges.

In order to keep fair production I looked into products that could help speed this process up. I believe that we will be using Wooster's Big Ted 2.25" Diameter roller's with their 1/2" nap roller covers to hold more paint per dip. For getting underneath the bevels of lap siding, to paint the soffit edges and to paint the gutter fascia combo we will be using "Corner Ease" if you don't know what it is then google it. Both of these products hold a significant amount of paint and should save on multiple dips.

For caulking I will probably use Dap Dynaflex 230. I can support that company because they do have some green initiatives and this caulk is a greener product that some others and applies easily. What do you guys think? Is there another caulk that performs well and is considered a green product?

I am still looking into wood filler and exterior spackling compound for green products that perform well....any ideas?

I currently have a gas pressure washer and once I have the money I would like to upgrade it to a diesel pressure washer that I could run biodiesel which would be a lot more environmentally friendly because small gas motors don't have catalytic converters and release a lot of pollution. (California is changing this soon). Any better washing ideas?

I also do downstreaming when I pressure wash with a cocktail of chemicals including industrial bleach, Simple Cherry and F-13 gutter bomb. The later two products can be found at www.pressuretek.com and do a great job of exterior chemical cleaning of homes. Also saves me ladder movements with the X-jet. Does anyone have any ideas of "green" alternatives to this mixture? The simple cherry is fine but is there anything besides bleach to remove mold and mildew? Any alternatives to the F-13 which cleans the black streaks off of gutters which I believe are iron deposits? I don't remember for sure.

So what I have discussed as being green so far is 1)to brush and roll as opposed to spray my exteriors. This will save paint, prevent overspray, sprayer downtime, eliminate having to train someone to inefficiently spray for most of my exterior season, prevent overspray on windows, cars, plants decks etc. Don't get me wrong we will still have to use sheets on plants and drops on the ground but the splatter just falls and doesn't get sprayed and blown 50ft. away. The paint spatter is easier to control. This will also saves thousands of dollars and thousands of pounds of waste from masking tape, paper and plastic as well as all the other disposables required to use a paint sprayer. I also believe a lot of people could be sold on rolling because it works the paint into the siding better and it's easier to control sheen as opposed to spraying. 2)Wash and reuse roller covers to reduce waste. I also find they don't start to work well until the third or fourth use. Less money and less waste. 3) We will use paint, primer, caulk, and other exterior products that are green/low VOC. We will do our best to recycle all paint cans and buckets that come our way which will require some extra water (pressure washer) but will cut back on waste. 4) Most of our contracts will be via email and then all of our paperwork from follow-up mailers, brochures, business cards, operation manual binders, operation manual papers and all paper is from 100% recycled sources that use environmentally friendly products in the production process. I will eventually have all vehicles run off of biodiesel but that is in the 3-5 year plan. I would like to have products available in my area such as Mythic Paints, Safecoat paints, Aura etc. For now I have access to Sherwin Williams, Kelly Moore, Benjamin Moore, Rodda, Cloverdale, Parker, PPG, and the box store brands. They all (except parker) have green options.

What I am asking from you....what can I do to run exterior production even greener? Also what can I do to be more efficient in exterior production? What do you think of going green? With the everchanging economy and so many painters saturating my area I will be the first to make a significant switch. What's the slogan?....CHANGE OR DIE! Most will just use low voc products. I am going above and beyond that. There is a huge market for this in my area and I will be on top. Thanks for all your input and advice.

~todd

P.S. Sorry for typing so much and I appreciate it if you actually read the whole thing. This is a big change for me and I look forward to the transition.
 

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I think you are onto someting. My experience while working for Rodda Paint was that there was a huge demand from home owners for what they percieve as earth and health friendly. I have an idea of what it would take to get a business like your to move into the Green Market. Miller Paint has their Devine line which is low VOC and offers really earthy colors. You are in the right area my friend. Keep in mind also that Rodda is owned by Cloverdale which offers very earth friendly industrial coatings even. The Canadian are ahead of us but we are headed that way.

I would be more than happy chat with you about it, brainstorm, etc.
 

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I read this thread and decided to do an experiment. I placed an ad targeting customers for enviornmentally friendly paint. Where I placed the ad, there are lots of other painters advertising conventionaly. I didn't say, hey I use good green paint. I used intelligent wording that would get the attention of higher level customers.

This was 3 days ago, haven't gotten a hit yet.
 

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eco-friendly ideas

Guys im really interested in this discussion. lets brainstorm about all eco methods you guys use and would want to use and make a list so we could print it out and have it with us to always reference. I have heard alot of good things about afm safecoat and mythic but im in the Philly area and there are only a couple of places to get it.....there like 7 miles away and even though i have to use gas to get there i plan to still stock up and were basically "voting with our wallets" anyways by supporting green companies. i wish i knew the real reasons why access to these paints is not easier. but there is a huge demand on the philly area...i believe this is an inevitable shift in our society to go green...is washing out ur roller actually more eco friendly? it prob is because of the resources used to make the material but ur also putting paint in water and using alot of water....i wish i knew that answer for sure..also what is better to wash brushes out with a hose therefore it would eventually run into groundwater..which i assume is worse but when it goes down a drain i wonder how bad that could be as well.....it would be nice to capture grey water somehow and use that to wash things out....i know there is this new device that while u brush your teeth the water u use goes to ur toilet so u reuse that water again...wow i just though of an idea right now...some contraption on a work trailer roof that catches rainwater and is connected to a sink in the trailer...might be a bad idea but oh well lets put out brains together a think...it is our duty to strive to become good ancestors(ralph nader).i think there is some serious room for innovation...imagine if paint had antioxidants....lol...then all these surfaces would never offgas harmful fumes..also is there any more answers about that ceramic additive that supposedly has an insulatory value to it..........ive seen some ridiculously intelligent posts on this site and im asking everyone here to lists ideas or write paragraphs and explain......ps i also have alot of good ideas about paint materials and tools and how they could be more eco-friendly and i think they are pretty good ideas and im being a wuss and dont want to give them up but do u guys know who i could contact to help me patent or refine some ideas....perhaps the moderator or wolverine could help out with some of this they know there way around
 

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I read this thread and decided to do an experiment. I placed an ad targeting customers for enviornmentally friendly paint. Where I placed the ad, there are lots of other painters advertising conventionaly. I didn't say, hey I use good green paint. I used intelligent wording that would get the attention of higher level customers.

This was 3 days ago, haven't gotten a hit yet.
In Portland, OR the buzz was created in local lifestyle magazines. If you have alternative press advertise in it. Craigslist maybe if you live in a green area.

Find Earth Day events, Common Ground Fairs, etc, where the trust fund babies, the tree hugers, and the pseudo hippies meet. Network with those people. They aren't really my type but despite our differences they usually pay the respect to listen to my spiels and often they by into what I am selling.

Tenacity!
 

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Hey Todd, what high school do you go to? This sounds like a great high school "Green Project". How admirable that you make your employees use your microwave, and not bring their plastic bottles to the work site. As far as pressure washing goes, why not go to the truely "Green" option of Elbow Grease, and require your employees to wash the siding by hand, much more environmentally, friendly.:eek: To save money on masking tape just hire painters who can cut a straight line. Also use high quality rollers and paint, and you will have little overspray. Hope you have a lucky date nite!:lol:

Happy painting, Paul.
 

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Hey Todd, what high school do you go to? This sounds like a great high school "Green Project". How admirable that you make your employees use your microwave, and not bring their plastic bottles to the work site. As far as pressure washing goes, why not go to the truely "Green" option of Elbow Grease, and require your employees to wash the siding by hand, much more environmentally, friendly.:eek: To save money on masking tape just hire painters who can cut a straight line. Also use high quality rollers and paint, and you will have little overspray. Hope you have a lucky date nite!:lol:

Happy painting, Paul.
Listen Dino,
he is asking questions, suggestions maybe.
Maybe you don't have any, that's fine.
...or maybe you are just too smart for everyone else.
 

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Hey George, I am not too smart, are you? Who is Dino?:eek: Lets not get too personal here old boy. I just wonder if there is a conspiracy going on here to create an environmental awareness where none is needed. Did I hit a nerve with you?:cry:

Happy painting, Paul.
 

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The green issue is going to take off at some point. I'm seeing it more and more in the news and more contractors from all trades are gearing up.
Still waiting for the demand though.
 

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Did I hit a nerve with you?
There was no need to ridicule the guy.
He very nicely (and thoughtfully) asked for opinions, and input.
This is what this forum is for.
You have nothing to contribute to him, that's fine, you don't have to.
Leave the smart comments out of it, they are not called for.

wonder if there is a conspiracy going on here to create an environmental awareness where none is needed
none is needed?
Anything awareness is good. No questions are stupid.
In fact, good for him for having the balls to ask.
Who is Dino?
Exactly. Dino is short for Dinosaur
 

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The green issue is going to take off at some point. I'm seeing it more and more in the news and more contractors from all trades are gearing up.
Still waiting for the demand though.
Demand?
We almost have no time to check our voice mail, return e-mails
No time to even hire.
and we need to be hiring...non stop.
This is January, in Toronto, with snow everywhere.
Consumers are smart, the demand will be there soon.
Smoking wasn't bad, was it? You could even smoke in the customer's home.
Damaging your customer's Indoor Air Quality is an ethics issue.
Polluting with your harmful chemicals and not caring about it,
makes you a bad and irresponsible paint contractor.
Paint contractors that are defensive about this issue, I wonder why...
 

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Hey George

Glad to hear things are going well for you! We are painters in January in snowy Vermont, so I can appreciate the position you have created up there. Always nice to hear you weigh in on topics - when you have the time! :thumbsup:

Scott
 

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I think we all can see the demand, the problem is the confusion in the marketplace. Hopefully consumers and contractors will both have an alignment towards making it better in a way that satisfies this. I am in the industry and see tremendous amount of mixed messages, the HO's are interested, and on the commercial side (Large side) you cant do anything without a concious environmental and safety thought process. We are on the cusp of an ever changing design and manufacturing revolution that will indeed not make it an option for these types of products but a requirement.

Glad to see you guys are killin it in Canada George!
Keir
 

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Hey George, glad to see that you are paying attention. You know, I'll bet that we don't hear much from Todd Green. I suspect that he is one of many who infiltrate various web sites with the new religion of "Green". Next thing you know he will ask you to pay for the carbon dioxide that you exhale, you do know that it is a pollutant, don't you? :eek:I don't contaminate any waterways, dispose of any toxic waste, misuse any product (according to the directions on the lable). I have used no VOC paint, and "low" VOC paint. I like them, but as far as the environment is concerned, I do it no harm.
People are so vain, they think that their actions can cause a whole world to warm up. How silly.:cry:
Why not keep to painting and leave politics out?
Happy painting, Paul.
 

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I'll bet that we don't hear much from Todd Green. I suspect that he is one of many who infiltrate various web sites with the new religion of "Green"...as far as the environment is concerned, I do it no harm.Happy painting, Paul.
It doesnt seem like thats what is happening here. He had some questions, was looking for ideas, which is what this forum is about. And the green thing is not some new religion. Its not necessarily about saving the planet. Personally, the idea of myself and my crew not being exposed to the long term ill effects of using toxically-injected products is rather appealing. It seems that homeowners awareness and appreciation (and therefore willingness to pay for it) is there as well. For a guy who is not harming the environment, why so defensive about someone else wanting to learn about this topic?
 

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wow i think paul R just denied global warming...haha...wonder if he believes in intelligent design.lol George z never said anything about politics...he is just trying to be ethical and responsible and not screw up the environment for future generations..
 

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Hi Vermont painter, what do you mean by "toxically-injected products", could you give an example or two?

I am sorry that I appear to be defensive to you, it just looks a little like we are being played here. A person with 2 posts and where did he go?

And I don't deny that there may be global warming, just can't take all the credit. Maybe God has something to do with it. Our planet has gone through several global changes even before we as humans thought we were so powerful to have an affect on the global climate. I do believe that there is a Creator, and he is with me every day.

Happy painting, Paul.
 

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Hi Vermont painter, what do you mean by "toxically-injected products", could you give an example or two?
Happy painting, Paul.
Hi Paul

In the past couple of years we started really looking at the products we were using large scale. We were using Satin Impervo for extended periods of time and after researching the recipe and discovering Stoddard Solvent and Chrystalline Silica and researching the deleterious effects that long term exposure can have, particularly on the nervous and respiratory systems, we decided it was time to be alot more proactive in our product usage, which translates ultimately to working harder on educating the consumer. We didnt realize until we really looked into it, but many of these types of chemicals are really unhealthy in their dust form, and lord knows if you are doing a good job on trim, you are doing a lot of in between coat sanding. Other examples...even latex has formaldehyde, like the stuff in high school chemistry class that human brains were preserved in...yikers.
I'm not one to come out here and preach about it, but this was how our awareness got raised...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Paul R,

I am still here I just haven't seen anyone give me any advice in regards to what I had asked. However, I am glad that it has provided some stimulating conversation. It really got you goin' Paul! However, if you have any advice that would be great....if you would like to start a new topic called "Go Green...or NOT!" then be my guest. I haven't seen one good suggestion from you anywhere on this site. If you don't have any for me in this topic then go start your new post. As far as me only having two posts, yeah it's true...I now have three...that's fine. I am mainly a lurker and I do subscribe to five different paint forums. It's people like you that discourage me from posting because people like you haven't contributed anything meaningful. If my "green paint business" is a bunch of crud to you ....great! I don't care. If you would like to share any ideas that you have in regards to using less materials on a job or something great! If you don't then how about you respond to a different posts where you ACTUALLY can help someone out! Isn't that what this forum is all about?

Back to the topic....does anyone have any other ideas for me?

~todd
 
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