Interior Lift Work

Interior lift work is common on commercial painting projects. We recently used one of our man lifts on a project in Omaha. It was the only way to get to the project besides scaffolding.

The project was in the Omaha Hilton downtown. There was a leak in the ballroom ceiling that caused some damage to the drywall and paint. It was more work getting set up to do the work then the work itself.

interior lift work in Hilton ballroom.
lift work

We masked off the surroundings and had several drops down on the floor. The damage was next to and under some decorative lights. Doing the work around these intricate light fixtures was challenging.

The ceiling was scraped and then sealed with an oil base primer. Several skim coats of mud and lots of sanding and it was ready for paint. The painting was straight forward to do. Couple of coats of paint and then it was time for the worst part. Cleaning up all the drywall dust from the sanding. The dust accumulated on the underside of the light fixture. It is a delicate glass fixture and it was difficult to vacuum all the dust up without causing any damage. Lots of the areas were hard to get to even with an extension on the shopvac.

The remaining dust landed on the drops on the floor so that cleanup was easy.

At this same Hotel we did some ceiling work that we couldn’t get the lift to so we had to use a step ladder. We used a ten foot one. This repair was also a water leak but it caused enough damage that a piece of the drywall had to be replaced. pieced in some drywall and lots of sanding. It would have been much easier to do off of a lift but that was not an option.

ten foot ladder work
ten foot ladder
Best Cabinet Painting Practices

Best Cabinet Painting Practices

I think we do the best cabinet painting in Omaha and the surrounding communities. I have seen what the “other guys” do. There is some good work out there but ours is by far much better in craftsmanship and the materials used. We use the best coatings available and I am always looking for something better.

How do you know if your getting the best cabinet painting?

Cabinets must be sprayed. Period. If a paint contractor tells you they can brush it and you can’t tell the difference, run. You CAN tell the difference. You wouldn’t have someone brush a new coat of paint on your car? The reason many paint contractors don’t spray is because of the prep involved in getting your kitchen ready to be sprayed. It is a lot of work to prep out a kitchen for spraying. I have had many customers tell me that they had no idea so much work went into getting it ready to go.

One of my biggest cabinet painting competitors brushes the cabinets and takes the doors and drawers to his shop to spray. This makes no sense. Obviously avoiding the time involved in prepping to spray in an occupied home.

Best cabinet painting prep

The steps we take when painting or staining cabinets are as follows. Glazing cabinets has a few extra steps:

  1. The cabinet doors and drawers are labeled and removed.
  2. The door and drawer pulls are removed as well as the hinges. The doors and drawers are transported to our spray booth.
  3. Appliances that need to be removed are.
  4. The floor is completely covered with rosin paper.
  5. The countertops, walls, appliances, sink are masked off and protected.
  6. Zip walls are installed. These are plastic barriers enclosing the work area.
  7. The doors and drawers are worked in tandem with the work being done at the Home.
  8. The cabinets are cleaned, sanded, caulked, puttied as needed.
  9. Any repair work is done as well as drilling and filling door and drawer holes if new pulls are to be installed.
  10. The cabinets get two coats of bonding primer and one coat of stain blocking primer. Sanded between coats.
  11. The cabinets get two coats of finish. Sanded between coats.
  12. The cabinets get 2 coats of clear sealer. The best is General Finishes Polyurethane.
  13. Doors and drawers are reinstalled, hardware installed.
  14. Everything is cleaned up.
Best cabinet painting results

Cabinet work is a time consuming process. The best cabinet painting requires many steps to follow, as you can see. If you look at the list above you will notice it is mostly prep work. Getting everything ready for paint. That is the key to success. Professional results require the skills of a professional cabinet painter.

In Omaha there are many painting contractors and a few that are skilled at cabinets. Ask questions about the process and how much prep goes into the job. The Paints, primers, stains and clear coats and glazes should be high end specialty products for professional use. The contractor should have many years experience using these products.

Seal Coating Floors

When the timing is right it is common for a residential customer to ask that we seal coat floors prior to new carpet being installed. Seal coating floors is not difficult but getting the floors can be a challenge…

That was recently the case. It was a vacant house and new carpet was to be installed after all the painting was complete. We did the ceilings, walls, doors, trims and windows. Lots of painting. It took a bit of prep as the home was a new purchase and had been neglected.

seal coating floors

The carpet installer was behind schedule so I offered to remove the carpet and pad to speed things up and not have to circle back at a later date. Removing the carpet was rather straight forward. The carpet pad not so much. It was stapled down by someone that got a great deal on staples. There was a ton of them holding the pad down. What was worse was removing the staples. It took maybe an hour and a half to remove the carpet and eleven hours to remove the staples. It was about a half hour per stair for staples plus the rooms and hallway on top of that. Never again.

After the carpet, pad and staples were removed we swept and vacuumed the floor and used oil base (original) Kilz as the sealer. If you have never used this product then your not familiar with it’s strong odor. The fumes can also build up and be explosive so proper precautions should be taken. No pilot lights, etc.

seal coating floors

By comparison it took about 2 hours to seal the floors. Pulling carpet staples is awful. We used pliers, needle nose pliers, screw drivers and a hammer. There is likely a flooring guy laughing after reading saying “you only need the XYZ staple remover by Ronco” ha.

We will stick with seal coating floors.

Interior Ladder Work

Ladder work is a key part of being a painting contractor. Both interior ladder work and exterior ladder work.

Ladder work

We have no shortage of ladders. Step ladders and extension ladders. This is a ten foot step ladder which we used to repair a hole in the ceiling of a Omaha Nebraska Hotel. Then we matched the ceiling paint and painted the area.

The most often used step ladder for us is a six foot. We use from four feet to twelve foot step ladders and sixteen to forty foot extension ladders. We use man lifts and scaffolding as well depending on the job.

We used both scaffolding and a man lift on different projects at this same Omaha Hotel.

We recently used scaffolding to bridge over an escalator so we could reach the ceiling. The scaffolding had to go on the escalator steps and it was not as stable as I would like but we were able to brace it and level the legs with blocking. The big problem was we could not get the up and down escalator to stop with the steps level with each other. It worked.

Scaffolding over escalator
scaffolding over escalator

We used a manlift to reach the ceiling in the Hotel Ballroom. The ceiling was at about 28 feet. The lift made the job much easier and we were able to complete the job before the room needed to be used.

manlift in ballroom

One of the often overlooked aspects to using ladders, scaffolding or a manlift is protecting the area from debris and paint ahead of time. It’s easy to get something set up and then realize you need to protect the floor or surroundings with plastic.

Safety is important and easily overlooked. There are many websites that have safety information about using scaffolding, ladders, etc. A good one is the American Ladder Institute . The information they have is useful. Common sense goes a long way when using any equipment. Ladders, scaffolding, lifts included. Another site with useful information is the American Society of Safety Professionals . They have some good information but it gets technical and not really easy to read.

On our jobs, interior ladder work is the most common followed by exterior ladder work and then manlift work.

Wall From Hell

Neutral tint base is something to avoid if possible. If you don’t know what that is, it is essentially a clear paint base into which colorant is added to achieve the color you want. This type of base is typically used to make vivid colors. The biggest problem from a painters perspective is they take multiple coats to achieve hide and a uniform color.

Paint manufacturers recognize this and some have colored bases for certain colors like red. One of the best products I have seen come and unfortunately go was the Accent Color Base line that Pittsburg Paints (PPG) had. The decision to end this product line was sad. Regardless of the color they had a base that would tint correctly and not require multiple coats. There were many commercial jobs we did that required this great line of bases.

Hate this wall

We recently had a commercial job in Omaha Nebraska that had a very bright accent wall. Two of them actually. Bright Orange. I knew this would never work with a neutral tint base so I went to Pittsburg Paints biggest competitor, Sherwin Williams. They don’t have an Accent Tint Base line but what they do have was an exterior paint line that was available in a vivid yellow base. They didn’t have a lot of it; I had to drive to Lincoln Nebraska to get a couple gallons. This was expensive paint by anyone’s standards.

I figured we would be good to go with this product. Certainly better then a neutral tint. I was wrong. The two walls took seven (7) coats. That is a record. The only good thing was that it dried in a reasonable time frame. Neutral tint bases take longer to dry and are often tacky or sticky for some time. The hide with a neutral tint base is analagous to painting with water and food coloring.

This job takes the record for number of coats to finish the job. Second place goes to a commercial job many years ago. A Wendy’s restaurant. Back then there wasn’t and red base available and the restaurant had a red band that ran around the top of the building. I knew it would be an issue so I started two painters side by side painting that stripe. One went left and the other right. They went round and round that store. I know it was many times but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t seven times.

April Newsletter

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Quick quiz Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just email for the answer.

William Shatner was born on March 22 of which year?
Be confident in yourself
5 Dangerous Mistakes to Avoid When
Using Cleaning Products. If you’re ready to swing into your 2021 spring clean, you may want to take note of these common and often dangerous mistakes that arise when using serious chemicals. After all, not all of us are accustomed to dealing with bleach, ammonia and other strong disinfectants on a regular basis.

Never mix bleach. You may be aware that mixing bleach with ammonia produces toxic chloramine gas. But it’s also dangerous to combine bleach with vinegar or rubbing alcohol, ingredients found in a range of cleaning products. A good rule of thumb is to only dilute bleach with water.

Remember that chemical cleaners are powerful enough to destroy 99.9 percent of microorganisms, so it’s a good idea to keep the room you’re cleaning well ventilated so you don’t inhale their fumes. Keep your cleaning routine fast and efficient.

Only use specific products for their intended purpose. If it’s made to sanitize surfaces in your home, it stands to reason it isn’t suitable for your hands or skin. Similarly, you should use gloves when handling these harsh chemicals.

Check if your cleaning product’s label has disposal directions, and avoid flushing it down the toilet once done. This way, you avoid clogs and keep things eco-friendly. Check your local hazardous waste disposal facility’s collection day.

Once you’ve finished your whirlwind spring clean, take the chance to rethink how you store your cleaning supplies. If you have children or pets, you may want to reconsider placing them under the sink and avoid decanting them into unmarked containers
Always be looking forward
Defying Convention: The Story of Josephine BakerOn International Women’s Day this March 8, we collectively honor the wonderful women in our lives as well as the fierce females who have shaped history. One such exemplary feminine figure is the multitalented Josephine Baker, the American-born French entertainer known for defying convention and leading a lavish lifestyle. But behind the glitz and glamour of her showbiz career lies the fascinating storied life of a woman truly ahead of her time.

Born in St. Louis in 1906, Baker overcame poverty, life on the streets and two early unsuitable marriages to become the “highest-paid girl in vaudeville.” After an opportunity to tour Paris, she transformed herself from ingenue to all-singing, all-dancing diva.

However, it wasn’t long before war blazed through Europe and Baker was recruited into the Deuxième Bureau, France’s military intelligence agency. Her busy touring schedule provided the perfect cover for her wartime activities as a spy for the French Resistance, which included smuggling information in invisible ink on sheet music.

After the war, Baker returned home to the States to champion civil rights causes. During her tireless campaigning, she formed an adoptive family comprised of children of different ethnicities she dubbed the “Rainbow Tribe” and became the only official female speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Over a decade later, the formidable icon passed away after a rousing retrospective revue in Paris, fulfilling her own prophetic words: “I shall dance all my life. I would like to die, breathless and spent, at the end of a dance.”
Quick Corned Beef Hash. Why not give a nod to St. Patrick’s Day with this delicious and easy breakfast recipe? Enjoy with scrambled eggs or add a fried egg on top.

• 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
• 2 cups cooked corned beef, shredded
• 2 tablespoons water
• parsley to garnish

Melt butter in a large iron skillet over medium heat.

Add onions, potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5–6 minutes until potatoes start to brown.

Add corned beef along with 2 tablespoons of water and mix well.

Cover and steam the meat for 1–2 minutes.

Serve with eggs and garnish with parsley if desired.
Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Refresh Room Decor. Winter hibernation gives way to the riot of color and life that is springtime, we naturally turn toward cleaning up and cleaning out. Following the new year’s generally inward-looking resolutions, why not use your spring cleaning momentum to breathe new life into your surroundings? Here are five simple and budget-friendly ways to get the décor ball rolling.

Pep up with paint. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in sprucing up your space. Perhaps there is an accent wall that could really use a pop of color, or maybe it is time to change the color scheme of a specific room. Either way, a can of paint, a roller and some old-fashioned elbow grease are all you need.

While you’ve got that paintbrush in your hand … Paint something that you don’t like. That may sound a little odd, but if you have grown a little tired of an old dresser or dining table, you could paint it to give it a new lease on life. Check out YouTube for a smorgasbord of helpful tutorials.

Find your light. You would be surprised just how much the lighting in your home can boost or reduce your mood. Swap out old fixtures or forgo harsh overhead lighting in favor of a smattering of flattering lamps. You could pick up a few bargains online.

Cultivate an indoor jungle. Plants are a great way to add some life to your surroundings. Beyond their aesthetic value, they also reduce toxins in the air and improve air quality. Peace lilies, aloe vera, ivy and rubber plants are all great examples of air-purifying flora that purify the air.

Unleash your inner artist. Make your wall a canvas and display some eye-catching art. It doesn’t need to break the bank. You could get painting yourself and create tailor-made pieces that fit in with your color scheme.
Live a life of purpose
Spring Clean Your Digital Life with These 5 StepsSpring is universally acknowledged as a time of renewal, with many making the most of the revitalizing seasonal current to clean up and declutter. But did you know that this spring cleaning energy can extend to your digital workspace too? Get rid of your often-forgotten cyberclutter with these five helpful steps.

Step 1: Review your online and social media accounts. Start by deleting any accounts you no longer use and remove any old information, such as saved credit cards or old documents.

Step 2: To reduce risk from malware and viruses, update the apps and operating systems on all Internet-connected devices. Delete any unused apps and any linked account information as you go.

Step 3: Digging deep into your phone and computer is next up. Go through the dreaded downloads folder, your desktop and your hard drive and get rid of any files you no longer need. What does remain should be organized into folders so it’s easy to find.

Step 4: Get your logins locked down. Make sure you use passwords, passcodes and fingerprint or facial recognition software for all of your devices and enable authentication tools such as two-factor authentication, especially for your email and online banking. After you’ve done this, go through and update the passwords for online accounts and update your privacy settings to keep your cybersecurity in top shape.

Step 5: Back it up. Make a complete backup of important files. You could copy data to a secure cloud platform, another computer or an external hard drive. Just be sure you’re able to restore your files from your chosen backup method, as a backup you can’t use isn’t very helpful indeed!
Use your time wisely