What I’ve Learned As A Professional Painter

a professional painter in kansas city finishes a beautiful interior

What I’ve Learned As A Professional Painter

I’ve dedicated my life to being a true craftsman in the field of house painting and restoration. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the profession. It’s worth sharing, as much of what’s written here can  have an impact on your home if and when we get the opportunity to work together.Firstly, I’ve learned that there’s a lot of different ways to complete a job, in terms of how to approach it. Some jobs might require more masking than others. On some jobs, I prefer prefer to cut in more. There’s different “styles” in terms of physically applying paint to a surface as well. However, there’s also some really bad techniques which are a leading cause of work that doesn’t last (or just plain out looks poor from the start). One such technique is using the wrong product for the surface.

Here’s an example…stucco is a masonry substrate. Amateur painters will  use standard latex-based house paint. You need a high building product that is designed to flex with the vast temperature swings we get here in the Kansas City Metro. This helps to bridge spider-crack gaps.  Masonry is a porous substrate, and you need a coating that will breathe, to allow just a small amount of moisture to pass through it. If not, hydrostatic pressure builds up and causes paint failure.  In layman’s terms, the paint cracks or peels off. Luckily, I learned this lesson very early in my career. The same goes for metal surfaces. DTM (Direct To Metal) paint is made just for this surface. Long story short, I’ve learned that the right materials and techniques really matter for long-lasting, quality paint jobs.

Along with knowing the materials comes applying them correctly. I learned to befriend applicators and spray equipment, treating them like the valuable assets that they really are.  I’ve also learned to embrace the intricacies of different sized roller naps. Smaller naps for smoother surfaces, larger naps for rougher surfaces. I could write an entire piece on the importance of a good back roll also!

Another important lesson I’ve learned is to attack each home with a unique plan. Every job is unique, and requires unique preparation. I make sure to work in a manner where the paint can dry evenly and uniformly.  I keep a wet edge. Dealing with drywall requires a different approach than dealing with wood, for example.

Most importantly though, I’ve learned that If you want the title  of “Professional Painter”, you have to act accordingly.  Say what you’ll do, then do what you say.  When we tell a customer 2 coats is coming –  we give them a full 2 coats. When we set an appointment, we show up on time and prepared.  You would think this is common practice, but I hear these complaints about other contractors from our customers all the time! Professionalism requires treating each day with passion and commitment. All of our employees are professional painters here at Neighborhood Painting Inc. We strive to be the very best in all aspects of our business, from deck staining to fixing and replacing siding and all things associated with painting. And the reviews we get reflect that. Here’s the latest testimonial for some of our work, straight from Angie’s List:

A painting company award from 2013“After reviewing numerous exterior paint companies on Angie’s List, we narrowed it down to four to contact for a bid. We contacted all four by email. Ryan Toelkes, owner of Neighborhood Painting, Inc., was the first to respond to us, calling just a few hours after I sent the email. His attention to prompt and professional service didn’t stop there. An appointment was set for the same week to discuss our needs and desires and how he does business at Neighborhood. We the loved the fact that his carpenters and painters are all employees of Neighborhood, not individuals simply hired to help complete a “job”. His prep crew, carpenters, who took care of our wood rot issues on both the house and the garage, did so with speed, professionalism and expertise. They totally knew what they were doing! The wood rot crew, lead by Kevin, was delightful to have around-very courteous, punctual every day and extremely knowledgeable about their craft! A couple of weeks later, due to prep cure time and a delay because of weather, the paint crew arrived. Talk about working hard…they didn’t stop, working every day they were here (even a weekend) from 6:30am to 5:00pm…this crew lead by Justin, was amazing. They sprayed, rolled/brushed and then came back at the end of the job and touched up all over the house and garage again by brush! Throughout both the prep and the paint phases, Ryan came by at least twice a day to look in on the project. I can’t express how impressed we are with Neighborhood, Ryan and all of the guys who assisted with our home. They weren’t the least expensive and they weren’t the most expensive bid we received. What they were is, the best bid we received! Everyone at Neighborhood takes pride in the job they do from their owner to their newest employee and for that we are very grateful! We highly recommend Neighborhood Painting Inc., and will definitely use them for any projects we have in the future, both inside and out. Thanks again guys!”

I’ve also learned that finding the right business partners for everything from doing taxes to marketing my business is important. You can’t do it all. But you can be great at what you do and let others be great at what they do.


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