Today’s leading commercial painting contractors have developed many tricks of the trade that make their projects stand out. From prep work to clean up, we’re revealing their six pro painting secrets that will help you impress your clients.
6 Top Tips for Commercial Painting Contractors
1) Cleaning Dirty Walls
Since paint does not bond well to greasy, filthy or dusty surfaces, commercial painters always clean first.
- Use a degreaser on kitchen walls or other high-trafficked areas.
- Wash dusty surfaces with tri-sodium phosphate or a mild cleanser.
- Treat smoke-stained walls with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water.
When cleaning walls, have two buckets handy. The first holds the cleaning solution, while the second bucket is used for rinsing the sponge in clean water.
2) Applying Primer
Professional commercial painting contractors never neglect prep work. They first prime the walls to avoid joint compound from causing walls to appear flat or dull. Many pros use tinted primer instead of a white one, because it does a better job of covering the existing paint color. As a result, the surfaces look more vibrant and fewer coats are often needed.
3) Taping Surfaces
Although taping corners is a popular painting strategy, most painters do it incorrectly. On your next job, try firmly running a putty knife over the tape to prevent the paint from bleeding to the surface below. Instead of using masking tape, use blue painter’s tape because it does not leave behind a residue.
4) Eliminating Brush and Lap Marks
Do you know how top commercial painting contractors complete jobs that are free of lap and brush marks? The secret is mixing a paint conditioner, like Floetrol, into the paint.
The paint conditioner slows down the paint drying process, which provides a longer window to overlap freshly-painted areas without the usual lap marks. Secondly, the paint conditioner levels out the paint so that brush strokes are either reduced or eliminated entirely. This substance is frequently used on drywall, woodwork, cabinets and doors.
5) Avoiding Runs
Runs are another common painting problem that has an easy fix. Instead of applying excess paint in corners or along the trim, start brushing about ½ inch away from the cut-in area.
As paint comes off the brush, move over and slowly drag the brush along the trim or corner. Then, let the bristles gently push the paint into the areas where the walls meet. Although it may take several strokes to get complete coverage, this process avoids the issue of excess paint along the woodwork or in the corners.
6) Scraping Windows
Taping window sashes is another common painting practice that can be counterproductive. Regardless of how great of a commercial painting contractor you may be, paint usually ends up on the glass. Rather than driving yourself crazy, let paint get on the glass and scrape it off later with a razor blade. The paint will peel off in seconds.
Whether you are a new or experienced commercial painting contractor, these tips are effective and easy to implement at your next job.