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Painting Blog Entry - April 1st, 2016 - East Coast Bakery - Quinpool Road, Halifax

Wall pattern start near window I always enjoy the opportunity to do work for friends and family. This time was no different. I had the opportunity to work for my good friend, Gerry, who is opening very soon, the new East Coast Bakery on Quinpool Road in Halifax. You all will be very happy to know that he is going to be focusing on Montreal style bagels and then branching out into other types of breads, sourdough was one mentioned!!!!! Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches might be after that! Oh man, I am now hungry :)

This was the first time where I had the chance to do two uniquely different types of painting at one location. Usually, a client hires me and most of the time it is focused on one type, whether it be interior, exterior or some type of commercial painting. The East Coast Bakery gave me the chance to combine two types, interior with a twist, and spray painting commercial equipment. I was very excited to take this on to task. Here's are the deets...

So after I first spoke with Gerry about this project over the phone, a lot of ideas were flying around in my head about the design. When I got to the location and we ran through his thoughts on the general feel, potential patterns and colours while trying to visualize it while on site, it all became very clear. Gerry himself, describes it as a kind of "Willy Wonka" type of feel :) He wanted the colours to "pop" and he wanted to have it having a theme of a fun place to visit. Blues, red, white, and grey colours were selected.

Hobart Mixer before refurbishment - East Coast Bakery So, in the end, a vibrant red would be used for the commercial equipment refurbishment, which included a bagel machine, a tall fridge (since replaced due to faulty part I am now hearing :) and a large Hobart mixer that is impossible to move (seen in adjacent picture) lol.

So I will not disclose the name of the restaurant that this piece of equipment came from, but I will say it is a very prominent, Halifax based business. Yuck! Like OMG people, food comes into contact with this and someone who eats at your restaurant gets sick and you wonder why... This piece should have been caused their restaurant to close dowm immediately. It should have been refurbished or replaced immediately once the first layers of rust started to appear. I can't believe they let it go to this level, but alas it is a common thing unfortunately. Might be a good time to advertise the farmer's market right about now :P Here's a link to the search form for your favorite restaurant's food safety record here in Nova Scotia :)

Blues (3 colours), white and a grey were to be used for the wall pattern, which would consist of a neat horizontal set next to the window to draw the passerby's attention into the shop. Next, a pattern of random sized rectangles and squares were to be created based on a design plan that would to go down the rest of the wall to the back. This step can be very tricky in some jobs as the floor can dip in spots and the ceiling could be higher in some areas than others. That can definitely mess up your pattern if you start to follow the non-level lines when doing your drawing and taping. Always use a level and ruler together and stay 100% horizontal, 100% of the time and you will be good. There will be dips in floors and rises in ceilings, and those are things you need to deal with simply by staying level when making your lines.

Wall pattern - East Coast Bakery This wall pattern is not for the impatient as it takes a lot of time measuring, balancing, line drawing, and then finally painting with a planned pattern that is derived and documented beforehand. So what was used in this project? Well, a 3 foot long ruler and very small level. The lines themselves didn't take too long to do, about 1.25 days to measure out, level and draw out. Another tip is to use a watercolour pencil for this process. Next, the lines were taped using frog tape.

Probably the best results I get from this type of design is using frog tape. Very clean lines, unless the walls have pits of course...there are still spots that I am currently unhappy about, but the overall output was good. In my opinion, that other green painter's tape type of stuff is really only good for protecting baseboards and door jambs if you tape those. It bleeds paint through on these types of designs and you don't need that because it means touchups and we try to eliminate as many of those as possible. Another good rule of thumb is to take a step back and look at the lines. Are they level or crooked? You may have to erase the line you just drew and start all over again, which is definitely a pain.

So doing the random rectangle painting along that long wall was a lot of fun but also time consuming, it really helps having a plan/design to follow. In this case, Gerry wanted random rectangles and squares going back from the eye drawing horizontal section next to the window at the front of the store. You could be painting along and find that your randomness isn't :) A good thing to do here is to paint each vertical column one at a time and watch out for what colour should be applied next to the section you are currently painting and will it cause a "same colour" conflict in the adjacent vertical column.

Hobart Mixer after refurbishment - East Coast Bakery So this is the end result for the Hobart Mixer after we sprayed it with our coating along with a partial view of the tape after it was applied on the wall. As you can see, it is quite a bit different than the before picture. It took a lot of cleaning, grinding and sanding to get this bad boy into shape before one last degrease before the painting actually started. This unit is now health safe because of the incidental food contact grade coating we used. It can now be used safely in any restaurant, too bad Gerry has it :P But you know what? It is really good for you and me too because he is making our bagels with it and we all know it's safe. In fact, you will be able to walk along the left wall of his shop to view the whole set up in action, watching bagels being created in real time as your order(s) are being fulfilled. This is really cool :)

So this refurbishment went very well. The rust came off quite well after we grinded off the bigger parts and then sanded it a couple of times. Next time a soda blaster will be used along with the grinding and sanding. Then we cleaned it with a degreaser and dried it off with rags immediately so when it was completely dry we would spot and defects we missed. Touchups here and cleaning again. This machine was really dirty, I really want to say which restaurant but I cannot...biting my tongue :P Also interestingly enough, the coating used here is used by the Nova Scotia government on their snow plows! I thought that was really cool, still do :)

Anyways, thanks for reading the blog :)

Cheers, Joe :)




Painting Blog Entry - September 2nd, 2015 - Thoughts on Exterior Painting Work in Autumn

Green Apple Painting - Eco-Friendly painting & anti-slip services - Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford & Sackville Nova Scotia, Canada My favourite time of the year to paint exteriors is in the autumn. Where it's not too hot mid-day and not too cool in the early mornings and evenings. Our last exterior job was actually my favorite out of all of the ones we completed this year. It was situated in a sleepy neighborhood in downtown Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The house itself is an older duplex with cedar wood siding, surrounded by huge oak & maple trees that provided quite a bit of shade from the sun. The people in the area are truly kind and friendly and I enjoyed each conversation I had for sure. Each side of the duplex is occupied by an older gentleman (and wives or girlfriends!), both of whom had lots of worldly experience, wisdom and advice to offer. There is a school directly across the street, and sychronistically my niece ended up going to school there so I was able to watch her play with her friends at recess on occasion which was really nice. Anyways, onto the topic at hand :)

It is wise to avoid painting in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. Temperatures can vary quite a bit from early morning to mid-morning and from mid-afternoon to late afternoon. We tend to only paint between the hours of 10am and 2:30pm to be safe. So the rest of the time we complete preparation work in areas about to be painted or clean up in areas that are already completed.

Moisture can wreak havoc on a newly painted surface when it begins to set up. Do not paint on a wet surface is a super important rule when painting the outside of a house or building, make sure your surfaces are dry before applying your coats. Keeping an eye on the amount of dew in the morning is key here, the dewpoint tells us when dew will actually form on a surface relative to the temperature. There are some general guidelines as to when you should paint outside time wise, but since everyone is likely in a different timezone and most likely using a different type of paint it would be too hard to guess reliably on an average temperature as a guideline. Be sure to read the label on the paint can or ask your supplier as to what the lowest temperature you can apply your paint in, this will save a lot of headaches in the end.

Power washing, scraping & sanding are also very important to ensure a quality job is what you get at the end of your project. For this duplex, things were a bit extreme when it came to the amount of dirt, pollen, mildew, and mould on the eaves, walls and on the trim areas. This house was literally covered in mildew & mould which was not healthy at all for the two sets of residents. We cleaned everything of this awful stuff using a combination of TSP, bleach and water using hoses and scrub brushes of the large variety. I cannot describe accurately the amount of dirt that came off of that house! The owner of the duplex didn't want us to use the power washer at first as they had a bad experience of someone spraying lines into their siding & deck the last time, which was unfortunate. I keep on picturing Chevy Chase, the actor doing this lol. In any case, all of the mould and mildew were removed using the old fashion technique.

After the house was clean again, the scraping & sanding began. I was fortunate to have two of my best workers there for 2 really tough days of prepping the surface, thanks guys! Then the rain came...a whole week of it, which stopped production on this building, which is not a good thing after you have just scraped and sanded. We knew what was about to happen next, the water from the rain got underneath our newly prepped surfaces and began to peel again! So it was just like we had arrived at the house for the first time to see flaking and peeling paint coming off of the walls. Well, long story short, the scraping and sanding began once again after the rain left. I took time to call the owner to ask him permission to come back with the power washer, permission granted. The power washer is a great tool to have when doing exteriors, it can save time in the washing of surfaces for sure and also it helps remove loose & peeling paint, especially in spots where you think that surface looks good and is ready. So again, long story short, after the power washing, back to scraping and sanding.

It's really important to scrape all of the loose paint off of a surface prior to continuing on with your process. There are a number of types of scrapers out there, for this project the normal type of pull scrapers just would not "cut it" 100% of the time, so we ended up getting a few chisel scrapers which truly worked wonders on this project. With this type, you dont pull to remove the paint, you push forward to remove it off of the surface, much like an actual chisel. Make sure you sharpen these before use and during use to ensure you are getting the best results from the tool. Warning! Be very careful with this tool, it is very sharp after you sharpen it with a file I find it can be quickly forgotten about...Also, be careful with the wood as you use this tool, you can damage the wood you are trying to save, it takes practice but easily learned and really efficient in the hands of a user who is competent.

The paint on this house was super tough in many of the spots and had multiple layers of paint to go through. I quickly realized that the orbital sanders we usually use for exteriors were just not going to deliver what we needed. Enter the hand held disk sanders from Makita after blowing through two of the orbitals. These Makita disk sanders worked really well, though it was difficult to locate the correct sanding disks! Princess Auto in Dartmouth :) These sanders work so well that if you are up on a ladder using one and are not paying mind to the pressure you are applying, it could potentially spin you over to the left if it catches on something so be careful. Besides that warning, these were able to do the job much quicker that the orbitals.

Green Apple Painting - Eco-Friendly painting & anti-slip services - Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford & Sackville Nova Scotia, Canada So now looking back on that project, it was a really good reminder for us on timing in the Autumn and that weather can definitely change and throw a wrench into your plans. Lessons were learned and reminded of for sure :)

Anyways, I had fun blogging this and hope someone finds this useful.

See ya, Joe :)



Painting Blog Entry - March 1st, 2015 - Colour Theory Introduction

Green Apple Painting - Eco-Friendly painting & anti-slip services - Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford & Sackville Nova Scotia, Canada Not only do I love to paint professionally, but as an amateur artist I truly have some insight on how colours work together. The adjacent image is what artists and designers call the "Colour Wheel". It allows anyone to create colour schemes quickly using historically proven and researched techniques of manipulating colour.

The adjacent color wheel doesn't display the roughly 10 million or so colours that the human brain can distinguish between, but it does display the primary colours as well as their relative secondary colours which can be used in conjunction with tinting, toning and shading to create many of those 10 million colours. Of course in the design and painting industry those millions of colours are not quite that readily available for us to go out and buy, but if we have a basic understanding of colour theory we can certainly achieve many. Thankfully, modern paint manufacturing companies have done a lot of the legwork for us, they've created hundreds and even thousands of really rich, beautiful colours from which we can build customized colour schemes of our choosing.

The line you see going across the colour wheel is an indicator of warm versus cool colours on the wheel. The colours to the left of the line are the more cooler colours and the ones on the right side are the more warmer colours. Deciding on a warm or cool theme or a combination of both should be one of your first considerations in deciding your paint colours.

See you next time, Joe :)