American Painting Contractor Magazine

August/September 2012

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Page 47 of 63

THE PAINTER'S BOOKSHELF continued from page 46 vehicle without these obviously better fea- tures, does that make him a snake oil salesman? No one would demean the character of the salesman for selling what the customer can afford. It ought to be no different with painting. But it isn't. There is some unwritten rule that buy- ing a paint job is like buying a piece of gum. One is the same as another; all you negotiate is the price. There is the under- lying belief that even though one job costs $1,000 and another costs $5,000, they will be the same and function alike. The truth about paint jobs is as soon as you put the stuff on, it begins to fail. It's just a matter of time. But different approaches can put off the inevitable a little longer. Thus there is the objectively better paint job. Pushing Rocks Down- hill is available at Ama- zon for $13. DESIGNER FAUX FINISHING EXCERPT: A WORD ABOUT PRIMERS For the straight painting prior to fancy work primer/sealers enhance the appear- ance of the base. They even out the hot spots from patching repairs, minimize lapping and allow finish coats to spread farther by controlling absorption. For the faux finish, a basecoat over a primer/sealer ensures success on more complicated work. Stenciling and striping steps require taping and masking off over the base coat. Tape removal will often take basecoat along with it on poorly adhered coats of paint. Ripping can be extensive. A primer/sealer coat ensures basecoat adhe- sion saving laborious touch-up, which never looks as good as if there was no damage in the first place. Some important advice – Many primer/sealer directions claim no need for sanding. Don't believe it. A fine sand- papering, also called rubbing on wood- work, cabinetry and floors doubles the insurance against adhesion failure and smoothes the surface for greater beauty. Nobody likes prep work. Spare the primer, spare the paper, and spoil the pro- ject. Designer Faux Finishing is available for $24.95 at Amazon or by contacting the author at victormonarch@yahoo. com or (203) 448-0106 for a personal signed copy. LADDER MEMORIES By Mark Ellis Painters often have a unique window into the worlds of the people living in the struc- tures they paint. If they are perceptive, they can learn much more than what it takes to properly apply coatings to surfaces. In his time achieving a successful painting compa- ny, painting contractor and author Mark Ellis collected quite a few memories and glimpses into the human condition, which he graciously shares in the book Ladder Memories. This book is about not just lad- der moves, but the life led by a single paint- ing contractor while making those moves. EXCERPT: DOWNER I remember that the Scorpions were playing on the work radio: "Here I am/Rock you like a Hurricane." That song, and an ominous trickle of water working down the roof shingles toward my feet, are the only things I do remember. I don't remember falling. I have heard of this phenomenon, where a part of your life too traumatic to remember is blocked from consciousness. But I don't think that's what happened to me. I think I knocked myself out on that rooftop, and for my entire fall, 20 feet down the sloped roof and then 12 feet to the concrete patio, I was as oblivious as a sack of potatoes. It was only by the grace of whatever deity one chooses to believe in, if any, that I am writing this today, or at least not writing it from a wheelchair. The Scorpions, a trickle of water on a dry-as-desert roof, and then a big blank, which my painting partner says lasted about 20 minutes—before the paramedics arrived—but seemed to contain an eternity. Out of the eternity came a voice: No faux finisher's toolbox is complete without Design Faux Finishing and its gold mine of "paint jobs" from around the world. The glossy pages include 14 how- to sections and 125 gallery photos of completed projects. With 54 contributing artists including Salon and SALI luminar- ies such as Ronnie Soubra of Lebanon, Lotta Olssen of Sweden and Patrick Kir- win of the United States, readers can find valuable tips on time-saving methods for color mixing and time management. It also acts as an excellent tool for helping clients picture a final project. 48 • August/September 2012 APC "Mark, Mark, can you hear me?" and then the rubbery feel of a gloved finger reposi- tioning my tongue so it lay more natural- ly at the bottom of my mouth. "Mark, can you hear me?" I could, and I could see above me a brilliant summer sky and a few clouds passing. There was no pain. Just a sense of waking from some kind of other- worldly place that providence had obscured my passage through. But I could not move. Ladder Memories is available for $17.95 at

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