I have been a contractor for over 25 years. The majority of my business has been acquired from former customers, either in the form of repeat business or referrals. It is important for me personally and professionally to deliver on my promises.
Sometimes things just don’t go the way that I would like them to go. I’m currently working on a bathroom and kitchen remodel for a very nice couple. It is clear that they have placed their trust in me, and I want them to continue to value my expertise and work.
Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go the way I want them to go. In their case, a cabinet was delivered and it was not up to an acceptable standard. In addition, a countertop that would normally take a few days to fabricate is going to take two weeks. This is upsetting to my client, and naturally upsetting to me.
The only thing that I can do in such situations is to have an open and honest line of communication with my customer. I know that the job will get done and that it will be done correctly, but sometimes it will just take a little longer than I would like.
Most people know that it is often the little details that take the longest, but yield the best looking finished project. No one likes to tape before painting, it is tedious and time consuming. However, it gives you a clean line that that will make your project look crisp and professional.
When you tape and then use a brush to paint you can still get some bleed over. I have found that the absolute best results come from using a sprayer. I use a type of sprayer that is called an air assisted airless sprayer. This device combines the best characteristics of air and airless sprayers, and it offers the best qualities of both types of devices.
Check out the photos below to see how clean and professional the paint edge is when you use this method.
Tape removal. Notice the beautiful crisp paint line.
Garage floors get dirty. Dust, leaves, and oil combine to make them look dingy and unappealing. A simple solution is to clean and paint the floor. Epoxy paints are extremely durable and are perfect for this application.
The following photos will take you through the step-by-step process.
1. The original stained concrete floor.
2. Floor is power washed after it was treated with muratic acid in a 4:1 water solution.
3. After the floor dries the edges and expansion joints are painted.
4. Epoxy paint is rolled on in sections.
5. A view of the finished floor.
6. The completed job!
I completed a room remodel, and was ready to reinstall some multi-media speakers. Their wires were unattractive, as they were covered with paint. I used some shrink sleeves to encase the wires. Shrink sleeves are tubes that will shrink when a little heat is applied (gently from a butane torch). The photos below show the process. A little extra time effort leads to a good looking final result.
Original speaker wires covered with paint.
The exposed stranded wire is easy to unravel.
Tinning the exposed ends of the wires to keep them secure.
Measuring the heat shrink sleeve.
A nice neat finished wire.
The competed job, a tidy installation.
Over the last two weeks I have been traveling out west with my son Charlie. We toured Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and watched the total solar eclipse in Casper Wyoming. It was a fantastic trip.
Along the way we ate sandwiches in the car, camped out, and went on a two-hour zipline adventure in Wyoming. Our national parks are such fantastic resources, and we are so fortunate that our forefathers had the wisdom to establish them.
I love my work, but it was wonderful to get away and spend some exclusive time with my 8-year-old. Next year we may try a backpacking adventure out west.
I’m now back in town and fully recharged. Give me a call if you need my services.
An in car snack.
Charlie exploring the wonders of Glacier National Park.
Ready to zip line!
As much as I love my work, I love my family more. My son Charlie is trying to stay ahead of the game by keeping up with his math during summer vacation. At the end of last term his teacher told us about a great website called http://Iknowit.com. This is a great site for grade school kids as it provides on-demand match problems and solutions.
Naturally, an 8-year-old needs a little encouragement and help from time to time. I’m happy to pitch in! We try to end a learning session with a fun activity, like going for a walk together.
I believe that careful prep work pays off. I make sure that I mask my areas carefully before I start any paint job.
Despite my best efforts, I will sometimes get a little bleed-over. This problem can be difficult when the paint is on a newly finished staircase. One way to regain a nice sharp edge is shown below:
- A rag is placed over a putty knife.
- A little Goo Gone is dripped on the rag.
- The edge is carefully scrapped.
- A new sharp edge is formed!
Rough paint edge
Cleaning with Goo Gone and a putty knife covered with a rag.
A nice and clean edge!
Old painted wood often discolors due to indoor pollution. You can refresh and renew these surfaces with a little care and effort.
Sand the surface with fine grade sandpaper and then clean it with a damp rag. In this example I’m using an air assisted, airless paint sprayer to apply a smooth coat of latex paint on the surfaces. You can see by the results that a sprayer gives a brushless look that resembles a factory finish.
The doors and trim look brand new.
Consider my company, Gizmo Home Craft, for any home repair and remodeling needs.
The surface is cleaned with 120 grit sandpaper and then wiped off.
Spraying using a air assisted, airless sprayer.
A newly sprayed door makes it look brand new.
A longtime customer was moving. Both he and his wife were smokers, and their cigarette smoke permeated their entire house. They had a nice white brick fireplace that was stained from years of cigarette smoke.
The fireplace was the focal point of their family room and its yellowed appearance did not add appeal. Options to clean the brick were limited. After protecting surfaces with plastic I tried a few different cleaners. None of them made any impact. Finally, I power washed the surface. Using a power washer had minimal impact. With that said, you can see some of the tar and nicotine in the wash off.
Smoking indoors not only can impact your health, it also can impact your house.
Prepping the fireplace.
A customer had an old non-functional in-house intercom system that he wanted to be removed. This left large holes in his walls. It is simple to repair these if you know what to do. Follow the pictures before for step-by-step instructions.
A drywall saw is used to cut out the drywall. Using the same saw a new piece of drywall is cut. It is then secured to the wall using screws.
A utility knife is used to cut away the rough edges so that the drywall tape sits flat.
A nice clean cut.
Joint compound applied, and then drywall tape.
Another layer of joint compound applied, dried and sanded. We are ready to paint!