The painting of commercial buildings requires a significant investment of time, energy and equipment. It is nothing like domestic or home painting. It is an entirely different specialty. Just imagine the painting of a car assembly plant, Imagine the cranes and hydraulic machines that would be required to access some difficult to reach areas. This is high-tech work requiring high level training. Before hiring a commercial painter, it would be necessary to run some background checks to be sure that they are more of an asset than a liability. Let us commence with some warning signs that you are about to hire a bad commercial painting contractor.
Signs to look out for
- Are they prompt?
What do you expect from a commercial painting contractor who seldom returns your calls or never responds to your emails? This may be a warning sign that they may not be as responsible as you expect them to be. Such commercial painting contractor cannot be trustworthy. You would not want to have such a person on your business site.
- What is the state of their equipment?
Some commercial painting contractors are not the best at maintaining their equipment and work uniforms. If they have no interest in their looks, they would have no interest in the looks of your business premises. Expect a sloppy and unprofessional job from them. Go for contractors who have sound equipment and whose crew is neat, presentable and organized.
- Look for precise estimates
One characteristics of a professional commercial painting contractor is the ability to provide precise estimates. This tells you that they are honest and know what it takes to get the job done. In the event that you are given a vague job estimate, be careful as there is the possibility that they might surcharge you later, including bills that were not there originally. This would lead to unpleasant surprises.
- Is the contractor equipped?
Do not hire a contractor who does not have the right tools for the job. For example, If your building is a high rise, there would be the need for a crane to lift workers to such heights. Your contractor should have this and not improvise. Even if there is need to improvise, such improvisation must be within the bounds of professionalism, quality and timely delivery.
- Is the contractor pushy?
There is need to beware and cautious of a contractor who is pushy and trying to sell you his services. He should be attractive and professional in his dealings. Friendly, polite and proactive. If he is pushy, there is a tendency that he is not as concerned about the quality of delivery as he is about his profits. Such contractors tends to leave a bitter taste in the mouth of their clients.
How Commercial Painting is done
We do not recommend you do commercial paintings yourself, but here are some general procedures involved in this process.
The first step is to perform a comprehensive assessment of the job to be done. This would determine the type of tools and the labor required for the execution. The choice is influenced by whether you will be working on the inside or the outside of the building.
For the interior of a commercial building that would be occupied by employees, you would take into consideration the odor of the paint in use. It should be low enough to allow for a safe work environment especially if the offices would be occupied immediately after the paint job is done.
For the exterior of the building, it should be known that the full height of the building would be painted so tools and equipment to be brought to sight would be that which allows working at such height. Scaffolds, cranes, safety straps and lots more would be required in this case.
Painting the Exterior
Here are some requirements commercial painting contractors would need for exterior painting.
- Sandpaper / sandblaster
- Tough bristled brush
- Degreasing agent
- Power washer
- Lots of drop clothing
- Appropriate filler materials
Preparation of external surfaces entails cleaning the surface using a scraper and a sandpaper / sandblaster to remove any form of peelings and chippings that would reduce the quality of the finished work. Once the wall is dried, cracks and dents are repaired with filler materials and smoothened to have a level surface with the wall.The walls have to be cleaned thoroughly with a detergent and a power washer. This would remove any hidden dirt and grease. Rinse with plenty of clean water after washing.
Before painting commences, flower beds and landscape plants should be covered with cloth canvas. This would allow them to breathe and prevent them from damage from paint spills. Cloth canvas would also absorb any paint drops that would spill in that direction. Using polythene covers is also good but not the best for plants as it shuts out the supply of air.
Your painter would need to come equipped with the following
- Painters tape
- Drop cloth
Preparations commence by clearing the entire room of the furniture and anything moveable. For very heavy equipment that cannot be moved, they can be left in place but covered with drop cloth to prevent spilling paint on them. The entire floor should be covered with drop cloth as you start scraping the walls, removing all paint residue, wall paper residue and anything that would reduce paint quality.
The next move is to fill up the holes and cracks in the wall with filler materials. This requires a certain level of skill to be done well. A professional painter knows where to apply filler materials to get the best output.
After that, with painters tape, the areas that would not be covered with paint would be taped, covering them.
Commercial painting is an art that is learned. If you want to do this yourself, it could be very challenging, requiring lots of equipment. However, the best bet is to hire the skill of a professional commercial painter to do the job.