Painting tips from a pro
Bob Belhumeur didn’t start IM Painting until 2006 but the company has grown steadily, despite the intervening recession, until today he has a staff of 20-plus full-time painters working throughout Southern California. “Making it through the last few years has made us leaner,” says Belhumeur, “and now we’re poised to expand.”
IM Painting does residential painting, inside and out. “We have some commercial painting work and a few homeowners associations, ” says Belhumeur, “most of our painting work is private residences, which can range from the smallest single room up to celebrity mansions. We did one house for a well-known beverage brand owner and the contract was just short of $375,000.”
Belhumeur proud of his company’s Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) accreditation. “IM Painting is a licensed contractor and I’m proud that we are OSHA and EPA/RRP compliant.”
Although much of the work they do is repeat business and referrals, low-cost marketing has been an important part of Belhumeur’s business strategy. “We put a yard sign in the front of every job we do,” he says, with the company name and logo and the Behr paint logo.”
“We’ll use whatever brand of paint is called for in a bid, but we like Behr products,” says Belhumeur. “We’re just about to do an homeowners association (HOA) project using Behr’s Marquee exterior paint. It’s a stain-blocking paint and primer that features the most advanced dirt- and fade-resistant technology. It creates a tough, non-stick surface that helps resists dirt.”
More painting tips?
“I like the Honda GX390 PowerShot 4200-psi 4-gpm gas pressure washer because of the quality of the Honda GX motor,” says Belhumeur. The high 4,000-psi water pressure strips away loose paint and cleans the surface properly before painting.
DAP’s Alex 10.1-ounce Painter’s All-Purpose Acrylic Latex Caulk produces a durable seal to prevent air and moisture from passing through cracks and joints.
“It applies smoothly and easily, and resists cracking and chalking,” says Belhumeur. “It’s paintable with latex and oil-based paints and can be used for both interior and exterior applications. Plus it cleans up easily with water.”
When the company’s employees need an airless paint sprayer, they use the Graco Pro 210ES Airless Paint Sprayer.
“These pumps and sprayers are key to getting the right finish on every major job,” says Belhumeur. “They’re easy to set up and they handle a wide range of exterior and interior paint jobs. With the reliable pump and welded chrome cart, it stands up to rough use on the jobsite.”
“We use ScotchBlue 1.41 inch x 60 yard painter’s tape because it gives us sharp paint lines and removes cleanly with no residue,” says Belhumeur. “We can use it on walls, trim, glass and metal.”
“Werner Ladders have a lot of design functions that serve residential painters well,” says Belhumeur. “I like the Werner 376 aluminum 6-foot step ladder. “It has a unique H spreader with hand grip for easy one-handed carrying and closing.”