Do you know more than me?

Happy New Year Everyone!
Today I want to touch on the subject of product knowledge but before that l want to mention something about the seasonal nature of our business.

As a house painter, I live in denial that I’m in a seasonal business. Sure, anyone can, and sometimes do hire painters at any time of the year, but in reality they don’t.

Most years we painters hibernate over the holiday season. That’s why smart contractors build up a layer of “fat” during good times and then we curl up on the couch to weather the lean times. This year was no exception. My wish is that those of you who are organised, price savvy and planning trips over the holiday season next year will call us up and have us paint for you while you’re away. Just sayin.

Now, back to the issue related to the title of today’s blog. Are you more knowledgeable than me? The answer may very well be yes. I’m confessing that on a day to day basis, I tend to recommend the same products and solutions to our clients because these tried and true methods and materials have proven to make our lives easier and ensure that our clients are thrilled with the results.

But hey, if you like to read and are cruising the internet in search of the latest products, finishes and colours, please let us know. Sometimes I’m “sooo busy” that I fool myself into believing that I don’t have time to do research. Luckily we have a staff member, Max, who actually reads product labels and WHMIS data sheets for the fun of it! Seriously, he’s totally into it, so I’m fortunate to have a dedicated member of the team who is looking at options before I think to.

The coatings industry as a whole is moving at break-neck speed. New products and techniques are being developed constantly and I am simply unwilling to dedicate blocks of time to product research. What I do though is rely on our suppliers to inform us of new products and techniques.  It is in their interest to keep me informed and I’m interested in staying ahead of the curve so that I’m offering the best products and value to our customers.

And, as part of the research process, we attended the Interior Design Show in Toronto last week to see what was new and exciting in the world of designers and architects.  Benjamin Moore is always a presenter at the show and this year they are promoting their new Century line of small batch paints available in 75 pre-mixed colours.

The distinguishing feature of Century is their proprietary  “Soft Touch Matte Finish” that I had a chance to see and touch.  It actually feels like a fine leather.  The paint is thick enough that it dries to a finish that actually has a pleasing texture to it.  I know, you were told not to touch the walls.  Now you’re being encouraged to! Check it out for yourself at:

Never to be outdone, our friends over at Sherwin Williams are promoting their newest residential product called Emerald Urethane.  This is a reformulation of a product originally designed for industrial applications and the benefits have been adapted to residential applications.  The big win is that this product is self-leveling. What that means is that you put it on and then is settles down to a really smooth surface.  “Look Ma, no brush strokes!”  Seriously, a feature like this is helpful when painting doors and trim especially in older homes where we’re asked to paint over many previous coats.  Sometimes there isn’t money in the budget to do some sanding to take back a few of the existing layers before adding a new one. As soon as I have had a chance to use it, I’ll give a review on a future blog post.

There are other features to this product that you can read about if you click on the link below.

So please let us know what you discover during your research.  I’d only ask one small favour.  Please don’t be too disappointed if we can’t get a product that you’d set your heart on. The internet covers the planet and sadly, because of the cost of shipping bulky and heavy products like paint, it’s not really feasible to use some paints that are not made in Canada.  Also, because of local laws and regulations, some products cannot be imported.

So when you show me the product you found on line that you’re really excited about having on your walls, please remember that we can get many products here in Canada, most made right here that are similar or possibly better.  When it comes to coatings, there are many choices available to us that are very high quality, reasonably priced and readily available.