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    Tips From The Idaho Painter

    Tips for growing your business

    Tips for growing your business

    Creating a Brand:

    Authored by Chris Berry & Tyler Maynard

    I receive a lot of questions through my social media outlets about people starting or running their own painting businesses which leads me to reflect on my nearly 2 decades of owning my own painting business and what made it successful.  Therefore I may be able to share some insight that may help you here. I wish I could just tell people that if you just do quality work and are professional while you do that’s all you need to make your business successful, but unfortunately that’s only one part of the recipe. A large part of every business, whether it be painting or selling socks on the side of a highway, is how you market yourself. It’s important to think of your company as not only yourself and your work but a brand as well that you are trying to sell. Here are a few tips that I think every business should keep in mind when trying to expand their market and increase brand awareness.

    Having an online presence, and one that looks professional is absolutely key. In today’s age of social media it’s recommended that you have a website when starting out it but have a simple as having a Facebook page could be a quick start. You just want to have a place that people can go to see your company when they search your name, you want them to be able to find you easily which gives them peace you have an established business. A lot of people ask me what should you have on your website or Facebook page besides an “about me” and contact information, and really there’s a lot more you can add. I think having pictures of previous jobs that you’ve done that exemplify your work is incredibly important, and lets people see your work in the same way they would if they passed one of the houses you painted with your sign in their yard but on a much larger scale. But I understand that at the end of the day most of us are simply painters and making and maintaining a website can have a steep learning curve.  Some people make entire careers out of just building websites after all, but it’s not as hard as it seems to at least get something started.

    Starting A Painting Company

    Starting A Painting Company

    Starting a painting company is simple, get a paint brush, ladder, bucket, and a truck and you now have a professional painting company.  Sounds simple right?  Well that is one way to look at it but painting is an art, craft, skill, and trade that takes years to acquire and starting your own painting company takes more than calling yourself a painter cause you own a brush and a truck.  If you hang out here I will walk you through some of the simple steps it takes to start and run a legitimate painting company.

    You do not necessarily have to be a painter or have painting skills to start a painting company but it does help.  What is important is understanding how to operate a company according to local rules and regulations and what key business practices to follow.  When starting any business it is very important to have some for of insurance that protects you from unforeseen accidents that could legally ruin you financially.  Insurance protects you in case you burn a customers house down, drop a ladder on their new Bentley, or accidentally break their custom cook top.  Believe me, these things happen just follow the news.

    Insurance is part of doing business and an expense you should not go without paying from the moment you step on a clients property.  Smart prospective clients will ask for your insurance before you start any work for them.  It is rare but it protects both parties.  Simple liability insurance is one form bur you can even get so specific as to get overspray insurance.  One painter I personally know would have save the financial expense of detailing 200 cars after getting overspray on them in downtown Boise while painting a parking garage.   After getting insurance you need to look into local rules and regulations on whether you need to be licensed or registered as a painter in you area.

    In Boise Idaho you do not need a license to operate a painting company.  There are no rules or regulations that require you to have any form of certification of qualification either.  There is one rule that is kinda of odd and that is being a registered contractor in the State.  You simply pay a $25 fee and fill out a one page form so the State can keep track of you.  The piece of paper you receive is meaningless but if you fail to do so it is a crime.  Check you local regulations.  Not necessary but highly recommended is joining you local Better Business Bureau and or Chamber of Commerce. 

    Joining organizations like these begin to establish your credibly and show you are willing to hold your business to the high standards that the organization require.  They require a fee but in 18 years of operating a painting company I directly received work from these memberships that covered the fees and more.  There are other important ways of establishing credibility and building prospect client trust like having a webpage, Facebook page, being on Angies List to name a few.  This begins to get into marketing and social media marking which I will talk about later.  Now you have insurance, you obtained your license, joined the Better Business Bureau so lets get a business card and vehicle logo.

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    The Essential Brushes for Any Project

    The Essential Brushes for Any Project

    Something I am asked to talk about a lot as a professional painter is how to make sure that you are using the best brush for the project that you are trying to tackle. Today I am going to go over what I consider to be the most essential brushes in my tool-bag. Now these are brushes that I use on professional job sites as well as projects just around my own residence. But before I get to talking about what products I use I wanna talk a little bit about brushes in a broader stroke (no pun intended), as I know it can be hard to justify spending the money for a high quality brush when you don’t understand what makes a high end brush.

    There are a lot of different types of bristle and filaments out there and they make for an overwhelming number of options to choose from when you’re looking at brushes. Brushes can be broken down into two main categories though, synthetic (filaments) and natural (bristles). Natural bristles come from animal hair while synthetic are often nylon, polyester, or a combination of both. When I am buying a brush I always like to find one that not only suits my project needs but also has Dupont filaments. The reason I like the Dupont filaments is they actually absorb water slower than your typical nylon or polyester filaments do which allows them to maintain their stiffness and shape a lot longer. How they are able to do this better than any other bristle or filament is because Dupont manufactures their own special versions of synthetics. They have their nylon called Tynex, polyester which they call Orel, and finally Chinex which is a modified nylon that is often compared to a natural bristle feel.

    Ruining your brushes from lack of proper care can end up being a costly mistake especially when the higher end brushes, you want to make them last as long as possible. Modern paints tend to dry a lot faster these days, especially if you live in a climate similar to mine where it's very hot and dry in the summers it can be hard to keep your brush from drying out. The best practice for keeping you brushes in tip-top shape during your projects is to clean them every hour while painting. This will ensure that your bristles are staying stiffer and holding shape longer, regardless of what kind of bristle you are using. With that quick crash coarse in bristles, filaments, and maintenance of the brush under you belts lets start talking about the brushes I always keep in my bag.

    If your next project is involving the painting of an exterior of a house then you are going to want to get a Chinex brush for their stiffer filaments. On any of my jobs where I am working on exteriors I am using a 3 inch angel sash 100% Chinex filament brushes. My personal favorite choice for this type of brush is the Premier Riverdale. I usually tend to go with an angled brush on jobs of this nature as they make it a lot easier to get paint into corners and feel more versatile to me than your typical flat brush in my opinion. You can just as easily use a flat angle brush as well, it really just comes down to personal preference.

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    Get The Perfect Spray Pattern

    Get The Perfect Spray Pattern

    Let's talk about feathered edges, that light airy and fluffy edge we all dream about, yeah that one. The one you get with an airless spray gun that is spraying just right.  A nice feathered edge with no tailing.  With a few tips and tricks I am going to teach you how to get the perfect and consistent feathered airless sprayed edge. 

    Now the first tip I have to share is patience, this takes time to learn and mess around with before you start understanding your pump and guns PSI levels and what to gauge it at for the perfect finish. It took me many years to understand what PSI I had to be at and what that even meant, with patience and consistency I picked it up and so will you. 

    Getting the proper spray pattern is typically related to pressure.  Demonstrated in This Video I will be running multiple pressures with a couple different tips to show you that every tip is different as well as what it looks like with too low of pressure and too high of pressure. I will also be spraying with one product because when switching products the pressure will be different since the consistencies of the product are all unique. I am using a Titan 440 which does not have a digital pressure readout but I do have a Titan HEA gage set up so that I can read what the levels are at. You can use what ever sprayer you have available.  It is essential to know the pressure so having a gauge at your gun is useful to get a feel and understanding of what the PSI should be at.  Once you get dialed in the gauge will not be necessary but in the beginning I highly recommend having one. More expensive sprayers have a digital read out on them showing you what the PSI is at the pump.

    I will be starting off using a regular high production tip with 700 PSI and I see fingering immediately. Fingering is caused when there is not enough pressure and it looks as if there is a split in the spray pattern on both sides that didn’t get any product.  Tailing is related to lack of pressure at the run the majority of the time. I’ve bumped it up to 1000 PSI now and the fingering is starting to go away because more pressure is coming from the gun. I bumped it up to 1500 PSI to try and completely eliminate the fingering and it is looking good. Now do not get frustrated because you may have to try this a few times before you are happy with the results and there is a nice feathering on the edges. The edge can have a more pronounced edge or a gradual feather depending on the tip.  Titan HEA tips are designed to give you a more pronounced feather whereas the Titan high production tips are designed for a sharper edge.  

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    Improving Brand Awareness

    Improving Brand Awareness

    Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Therefore you want to create a consistent presence and realize that perception is reality.  Try to figure out what makes your brand unique and find unique ways to advertise.  Here are 6 marketing and advertising options for you to promote your brand.

    Yard Signs: Make your yard signs simple and readable with little information.  Key information you need to have on your yards signs is  phone number, website, and the words “Free Estimate.” I do prefer high quality metal yard signs, the same as relators usually use.  Purchase 5 signs and make a sign check out form so you can keep track of where they are at. Placing signs at a 90 degree angle to the face of the house makes them visible to drivers from five houses away. (Example: realtors do it this way)

    Vehicle Logos: Make your vehicle lettering large and simple to read.  You want everyone who sees your vehicle to be able to gather what you do and key information on how to get ahold of you. Make sure to have your phone number and “Free Estimates” large and easily readable as well as your website.

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    For more tips and trick from The Idaho Painter you can visit us on YouTube Paint Life TV.  Or visit our webpage for painting hacks, instructions on how to paint a house, tips on estimating, and for painting 101 tips like estimating how much paint to use.

     

    Why Use Blue Painters Tape?

    Why Use Blue Painters Tape?

    With the amount of masking tape a professional painter uses on a single job, it’s essential to evaluate whether the tape you’re using is right for your workflow. Using the right tape for the right job can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of your career. Everything depends on where you’re masking and how long you anticipate your  project to take.

    Tape can generally be placed into three different tiers: production tape at the low end, then blue tape, then FrogTape which is the highest quality. With each of these tapes, you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean the more expensive tape is the right one for your job. The biggest differences between these tapes comes down to release time, resistance to uv rays and heat, as well as the quality of the paper itself. For more details on the benefits of blue tape, watch my video CLICK HERE

    The release time refers to the amount of time the paper can stay on a surface once it has been applied. After the duration of its release time, its adhesion may fail, it may badly splinter when you attempt to remove it, or it may leave behind residue which will be difficult and time consuming to remove.

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