Blow And Go?

 
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:10 AM   #1
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Blow And Go?


There seems to be this customer fixation on giving credit to the quality of paint over technique by the painter. I'm talking about, even when you point out the advantages of backbrushing, when going airless, like on rough sawn cedar when it was never really given a complete a solid coat to begin with on an exterior. "Before" you do the work they seem to unanimously understand.

I include this in the cost, hiking the gun and brush up at once on the extension ladder, instead of doing a blow and go the prior painters did -- and you can see why the coating(s) didn't last.

I've gone back, years later, with the paint still looking solid and great, pointing out how it was due in large part to backbrushing, unlike their previous attempts. Yet I can get an insistence from them at this point that it was "due to the paint".

Aren't some customers always trying to whittle away at what went it to the project, the greater effort, from basically a point of weakness after everything is wrapped? Maybe this is why some painters blow and go in the first place? Some customers aren't willing to pay and it feeds the cycle? Is it an attention issue? Declining work ethic from the sleepers in the home?
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
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Re: Blow And Go?


All the time.

Reminds me of the customers who think install costs should all be about the same, independent of the product specs, design, etc.

Or clients who want a price to paint an interior with "one or two colors", then triple it and are surprised when the price goes up.

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Old 10-08-2017, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Blow And Go?


It's your job to educate them and convince them that there's more to it than they thought, and a knowledgeable expert like yourself can provide better results. You have to be a good teacher or else they won't trust you. Detailed, clear information, politely explaining how there are many pieces to the puzzle.

I frequently have customers tell me after the project they are so glad they didn't try any of this themselves, they had no idea how much would go into it.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:43 AM   #4
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Re: Blow And Go?


Of course. But the customer fixation (as the OP put it) still exists. Either that, or they expect the quality work for the price of the low bid.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
It's your job to educate them and convince them that there's more to it than they thought, and a knowledgeable expert like yourself can provide better results. You have to be a good teacher or else they won't trust you. Detailed, clear information, politely explaining how there are many pieces to the puzzle.

I frequently have customers tell me after the project they are so glad they didn't try any of this themselves, they had no idea how much would go into it.
I hear what you are saying and I make a best effort toward this. It's this tendency to revert to the packaged product...the paint. Even though I believe they understand (some much more than others) maybe their later reactions also include an unhealthy reliance on company branding or at least expressing it in this way.

Last edited by artinall; 10-08-2017 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:59 AM   #6
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Re: Blow And Go?


My view may be different. I understand why we need to back roll or back brush when spraying and I understand especially with a rough sawn wood or block where you could have voids under the surface if you don't back brush / roll that could cause early failure.
But I am not convinced that back brushing alone makes a difference in longevity in all instances.
I believe that longeviity comes down to doing the correct prep, and using the right primers, then using a quality finish paint appropriate for exterior finish. Wether you choose to brush, roll or spray is a separate matter regarding time, appearance, convenience, etc etc.
I am not advocating the blow and go mindset at all, but I believe that longevity of the paint job starts with quality prep and products.
I must add that I rarely spray residential.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: Blow And Go?


Everyone just complicates painting, when it's really simple - use the right product, and you won't have problems.

IMO, prep is more important for weathered old house repaints than any other aspect. Paint is second as long as it's a good performer to begin with. Putting anything on too thin is going to be a problem.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: Blow And Go?


Prep schmep. Just put expensive paint over the dirt, have lots of guys and get it done before owners get home. They love that. Plenty of ladders gives you extra cred.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Blow And Go?


I'm not sure what it is.

I've done jobs with a ton of meticulous prep and they still look great.

I've also painted over jobs that were done years ago that were completed in less than a day. One, the guy went to work at 9, came home at 3 and the house was done, painters gone.

That one took me two weeks to do. Old paint was just starting to peel after 25 years.

I don't think customers understand the realities if what it takes now. The lead paint rules, the fact the paint might work or might suddenly be a new geewhizz formulation that suddenly doesn't work like it did last week.

Meh, I'm just droning on now.

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Old 10-08-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: Blow And Go?


This is why I quit painting.

It was always the same thing. If you charged for prep you lost the bid. If you charged to do rrp you lost the bid. If you charged a markup on materials you lost the bid. If you charged for the actual amount of time you lost the bid.

Winning bid = materials at cost to the penny or short $100-200. + Labor cost x.8 + zero time and money to prep+zero profit. After project is complete spend 30% of original project time doing prep and redoing work because you're a 'hack'.

I was just sick of the cycle where you would say do you want to do xyz and they say no and then when its all done they say you didn't do it right. And always looking over your shoulder for a debilitating fine for osha or rrp was exhausting as well.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:00 PM   #11
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Re: Blow And Go?


Metro M &L my experiences are different to yours. We take on large residential repaints , RRP work, workers comp and unemployment on my two full time employees, we all pay our taxes. Mark up on materials and manage to turn a profit at the end of the job. I don't compete with with the local and out of town hacks, we work safely, renting lifts if necessary, and simply offer a quality paint job. Locally there are two or three other painting contractors who do the same quality work we do. There is plenty of work for all of us and we all keep busy.
Where I find I can't compete is with new construction, while I do some for one or two GC's I like working with usually I don't pursue such work as there is never any money left in the budget for a quality paint job.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: Blow And Go?


To be fair, I gave up on painting after my experiences from 2009-2011. It was brutal.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:57 PM   #13
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro M & L View Post
To be fair, I gave up on painting after my experiences from 2009-2011. It was brutal.
Fair enough.

I started on my own in 2004 and I was still trying to figure it all out in 08 and 09. I recall talking with an wise old paint store owner who helped me tremendously when I was starting and right before he was retiring. Anyway I recall worrying about the recession and he told me I would be fine if I stuck to repainting residential, forget the new stuff he said. Everyone will decide to stay in their homes instead of buying new and they will invest in their homes. They will want quality and value. He was right and I have stuck to residential repaints as my primary focus since. Sure we do other stuff too but new builds is not where I focus, as already mentioned.

New residential construction is just now starting to pick up in our area, almost 10 years later.

Anyway getting a bit off topic, so back to whether back brushing improves longevity of a paint job.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:42 AM   #14
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
But the customer fixation (as the OP put it) ...
- Art, please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio painter View Post
...He was right and I have stuck to residential repaints as my primary focus since. Sure we do other stuff too but new builds is not where I focus, as already mentioned.

New residential construction is just now starting to pick up in our area, almost 10 years later.
I gave up on new work over 30 yrs back. Doing custom homes, with too many re-schedules, low compensation on new surfaces and special requests, and generally getting nickel-and-dimed to death. Then the real kick in the pants, "I can't pay you until the owner pays me". How could it be worth it? The house was empty?

The work looked beautiful and I'd come away exhausted and spent.
It might keep the painters busy though...

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Old 10-14-2017, 08:00 PM   #15
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Re: Blow And Go?


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Prep schmep. Just put expensive paint over the dirt, have lots of guys and get it done before owners get home. They love that. Plenty of ladders gives you extra cred.
Get the check to clear the bank and then deal with paint exploding off.

Non-Contractor states, the customer has to go to small claims court. In Contractor states, an unsatisfied customer can have a state Contractors Board inspector come out and view the work and hold a painting contractor responsible or not. Top that.

My contractors newsletter prints 3 pages of state licensed contractors names whose license has been revoked. Every 3 months, there's a hundred of them listed in my states Contractor newsletter. License revoked. Some of them are state licensed painting contractors. As you can imagine, there are a lot of roofers and general contractors on that 90 day newsletter list whose license has been revoked. A lot because they bailed out making restitution to the customer due to a crappy job. Sometimes because it runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it right. The shamed state licensed contractor folds the business rather than pay that huge amount. He/She then declares bankruptcy. That's showbiz folks!

Any contracted work exceeding $1000 (in my state) requires the work be done by a state licensed contractor. In some other states...all bets are off, no contractor license required (except for plumbing, electrical and framing as these impact the infrastructure of a city).

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Old 10-21-2017, 07:35 AM   #16
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
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Fair enough.

I started on my own in 2004 and I was still trying to figure it all out in 08 and 09. I recall talking with an wise old paint store owner who helped me tremendously when I was starting and right before he was retiring. Anyway I recall worrying about the recession and he told me I would be fine if I stuck to repainting residential, forget the new stuff he said. Everyone will decide to stay in their homes instead of buying new and they will invest in their homes. They will want quality and value. He was right and I have stuck to residential repaints as my primary focus since. Sure we do other stuff too but new builds is not where I focus, as already mentioned.

New residential construction is just now starting to pick up in our area, almost 10 years later.

Anyway getting a bit off topic, so back to whether back brushing improves longevity of a paint job.
that was some solid advice he gave. sounds like you do things very similar to us.

as far as back brushing improving longevity. i believe it does(with proper prep) it works the paint into the surface giving it better adhesion during the curing process. just my thought on it
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:39 PM   #17
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Re: Blow And Go?


Some of my bids from 09-11:

Wash, prep Repaint 3 story 100 year old home two coats three colors including under porch, and exterior box beam ceiling. 5k material included. Won over a competing bid to burn off all paint and repaint at 8k. They were willing to burn every inch of paint off that house for 3k. How?

Repaint craftsman single story. Three colors. Wash and prime with Peel Bond. 5k. No return call.

Wash, prep and repaint two story home and garage 2 coats 2 colors. 2200 including material. Won that one.

Repaint two 8 unit apartment complexes. 35 doors. Wash, prime with peel bond, two coats two colors. Forced to repaint most molding after new window installation at no charge. 100-120 windows. 18500 material included. Grossed about 1500 a 65 hour week on that one. In other words working 65 a week to make 50k a year.

Repaint 10k square foot office space, no painting during office hours due to the smell from the low voc paint. Five colors. 20 cubicles. Cut down 100 linear feet of metal frame knee walls, reframe, rock tape and finish. 5k including materials. Made 2k working nearly non stop for a week. One day was 7am to 4am.

My personal favorite. Repaint 4k square foot office space with 20 separate offices, plus cubicles. Repaint all ceilings shellac primer plus top coat. 5k including material. Winning bid 2200$.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:12 PM   #18
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
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...
My personal favorite. Repaint 4k square foot office space with 20 separate offices, plus cubicles. Repaint all ceilings shellac primer plus top coat. 5k including material. Winning bid 2200$.
A bit ridiculous... almost sounds like it went through a property management firm. I don't get too excited about those bottom liners.

There are so many painters doing work for a consolation, there is no doubt the pressure is on to trim back on the process for a lot of us.

Every once in a while I get feedback on the work of the successful lower bidder. Quick, free hand lines, no masking, skipping prep... but I don't have much of an ear or any patience for it. Customers are often dissatisfied but they chose it. Time to move on...

Last edited by artinall; 10-21-2017 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:15 PM   #19
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Re: Blow And Go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro M & L View Post
Some of my bids from 09-11:

Wash, prep Repaint 3 story 100 year old home two coats three colors including under porch, and exterior box beam ceiling. 5k material included. Won over a competing bid to burn off all paint and repaint at 8k. They were willing to burn every inch of paint off that house for 3k. How?

Repaint craftsman single story. Three colors. Wash and prime with Peel Bond. 5k. No return call.

Wash, prep and repaint two story home and garage 2 coats 2 colors. 2200 including material. Won that one.

Repaint two 8 unit apartment complexes. 35 doors. Wash, prime with peel bond, two coats two colors. Forced to repaint most molding after new window installation at no charge. 100-120 windows. 18500 material included. Grossed about 1500 a 65 hour week on that one. In other words working 65 a week to make 50k a year.

Repaint 10k square foot office space, no painting during office hours due to the smell from the low voc paint. Five colors. 20 cubicles. Cut down 100 linear feet of metal frame knee walls, reframe, rock tape and finish. 5k including materials. Made 2k working nearly non stop for a week. One day was 7am to 4am.

My personal favorite. Repaint 4k square foot office space with 20 separate offices, plus cubicles. Repaint all ceilings shellac primer plus top coat. 5k including material. Winning bid 2200$.
So glad I don't competitive bid any job anymore.

Tom
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:28 PM   #20
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Re: Blow And Go?


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Won over a competing bid to burn off all paint and repaint at 8k. They were willing to burn every inch of paint off that house for 3k.
I dunno, but burning isn't RRP compliant.

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