Kansai Paint Group, a global manufacturer of paints and coatings founded in 1918 in Osaka, Japan, has announced approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint. The paint, designed for interior use, contains a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide which has been shown to significantly reduce the presence of mosquitoes in painted areas, contributing to effective mosquito population control and reducing the spread of many mosquito-borne diseases, for example Zika and West Nile. Formulas for all base colors have been approved.
“Development of Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint marks a major milestone, not only for our company but also for the worldwide effort in fighting the spread of infectious diseases,” said company president Hiroshi Ishino. “For generations, people all over the world have struggled with mosquito-borne illnesses and the effects they have on families and communities. Kansai is proud to be the first company in the world to develop a safe paint, approved by the EPA that addresses this challenge in a creative and effective way.”
The product is the only anti-mosquito paint that is approved by the EPA. It is currently approved in Uganda and Zambia and is expected to be available in the U.S. by summer of 2018. Contact with the active ingredient in it disables the nervous systems of mosquitos and prevents them from flying and biting. Use of the active ingredient in this product has not shown to be dangerous for humans, either by physical contact or oral ingestion. Further, presence of the active ingredient does not affect the paint’s aesthetic quality.
“Our testing has showed that the Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint was able to exterminate, on contact, more than 90% of mosquitoes and is effective for at least two years,” noted Kalpana Abe, Vice President, President’s Office, Kansai Paint Group.
The “Power” of Customer Interaction
The J.D. Power 2018 Paint Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction in the interior and exterior paint and stain market. They rated six factors (in alphabetical order): application, durability, in-store color displays and printed materials, price, product offerings, and warranty/guarantee. In the paint retailer segment, satisfaction was measured across five factors: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.
One finding of the study showed that sales associate engagement with customers is key to customer satisfaction. With 77% of customers purchasing paint/stain on their first visit, the study showed that closing a sale on the first visit increased satisfaction. Getting a salesperson to spend time talking with the customer about paint/stain qualities is essential, however only one-third of purchasers spoke with a sales associate at length about the products. Satisfaction was significantly higher among purchasers who spoke with a sales associate at length rather than briefly or not at all.
Satisfaction also drives loyalty and advocacy, as 76% of customers who were “delighted” with their experience said they would repurchase the brand.
Here are the results from the study in the four categories.
• Interior Paint: Benjamin Moore ranks highest in customer satisfaction, followed by Behr and Valspar..
• Exterior Paint: Sherwin-Williams took the honors here, followed by Benjamin Moore and Pittsburgh.
• Exterior Stain: Benjamin Moore came in first, followed by Sherwin-Williams, then Behr.
• Paint Retailer Rankings: Benjamin Moore paint stores ranked highest in customer satisfaction and performed particularly well in the staff and service; merchandise; and store facility factors. Sherwin-Williams placed and Menards showed.
Well, another information-packed edition of the National Hardware Show and Lancaster Distributing show is in the books. We saw all sorts of great new products whose makers are looking to vie for space on your store shelves. While it’s true that some of the new products we saw in Vegas were redesigns of products that have been on the market before, that is not to say that they weren’t worth looking at because they definitely had some noteworthy tweaks. Now, just like every May Wrap-Up issue for TPD, we are ready to talk about what WOWed us at NHS and Lancaster in 2018…
ShurTech Technologies showed us its newest tape line, T-Rex® “Ferociously Strong” Tape, and every contractor should carry at least one roll of it in their truck or tool box. This tape WOWed us during a demonstration where the brand’s Brute Force™ Tape was used to lift about 700 lbs. Now you might not need a tape that can lift such a heavy load, but its great to know you’ve got it in a pinch.
As the company states, whether you’re sealing, repairing, or holding a utility cover in place, T-Rex Tape can accomplish all of your extreme DIY projects on your seasonal to-do list, and even those tougher tasks that happen in between. This extra-wide, ferociously strong duct tape offers better coverage when protecting, supporting, repairing, holding, or sealing materials while letting you get more done with less strips of tape, saving time and money. Whether it’s around the home or on the job site, T-Rex Tape will hold longer and stronger than regular duct tape. This makes it ideal for any project, big or small. T-Rex Tape can be found as an extremely durable and tough duct tape product, as a packaging tape, as a clear, all-weather repair tape, and as an indoor/outdoor mounting tape.
From Advanced Wood Paint LLC comes Wood Genie™, a product so revolutionary we were able to paint a very realistic wood finish and stain onto a clear piece of plexiglass, and when we were finished, no one could look at it and tell you it wasn’t real wood…WOW! The great folks we met at NHS, James and Michele Corwin, tell us that Wood Genie is a patented new product that takes all the time-consuming prep work out of achieving a stained wood finish.
Wood Genie is a liquid wood coating, and you can use it to turn virtually any hard surface into unfinished wood…ready to be stained. Wood Genie can be applied using an inexpensive paint brush or paint sprayer by professionals and DIYer’s alike, and cleanup is as easy as using soap and water.
Another product that WOWed us came from Prima Marketing, “where memories are created.” The ladies at the booth were just as nice as could be, and their products were unique to us. Prima is home to Re-Design, a new and fresh way to decorate your living space through wall transfers, moulds and decor stamps. Prima takes it to a higher level of quality! Want some beautiful decorations added to your homes woodwork, furniture, or crown moulding? Choose your products from Re-Design with Prima. Want some truly unique stepping stones for your garden? Re-Design with Prima has the paver moulds and stencils for DIYers and pros alike. Whatever memories you want to create, Prima Marketing has the moulds, stencils and designs to fit your every need!
The last product from NHS main show floor that really WOWed us was the Cooldanna® Headband from ZANheadgear®. If you ever work outdoors, especially in the heat of summer, this product is a must-have! (Surely you know a few painters who work outside.) As the company tells us, the Cooldanna offers hours of cooling relief for hot conditions once the safe non-toxic cooling crystals are activated with water. Cooldanna can be worn around the head or neck and reused multiple times, plus it has a reusable bag included for on the go use, and one size fits all. It’s not a bandana, it’s a Cooldanna, and there is no reason to be a sweaty mess when you can simply be COOL!
At the Inventor’s Section of NHS, we always find some great new products, and this year was no different. This is where we stumbled upon an old friend, Adrienne Melton, promoting Packaging Service Company’s new product, Workman’s Friend. It guards against skin irritants, and keeps grease, paint, stain, glue and plant oils from sticking to your hands, while it moisturizes, heals and protects…WOW!
This product is a superior barrier skin cream that lets you wipe off dirt and grime, and while there are similar products on the market, nothing we have found does what this product can do! Workmen’s Friend is non-greasy, non-toxic, odorless, and safe for all skin types, and it works like protective gloves without having to wear them!
Also in the Inventor’s Section was Roller Ready, a roller-cleaning product that can clean your roller cover…in seconds! Invented by a painter for painters, Roller Ready is available in four different models to clean everything from mini-roller covers up to 18” long professional roller covers. Roller Ready products will sell, and your customers will save money using them. With products for the DIYer and the pro, Roller Ready pops into your electric drill, place the paint-filled roller cover on it, put it into a bucket of water, turn the drill on and watch the paint or stain stream out of the roller cover immediately, ending with a completely clean cover in just seconds! WOW!
Pros know throwing away a roller cover they have only used once or twice is a huge waste of money. Roller Ready products solve that issue, extending the life of your contractors’ favorite roller covers. It’s fast and easy to use, eliminates messy paint cleanup, saves time and money, stores easily in a toolbox or drawer, is durable and long lasting and is environmentally friendly.
Another product to keep your eyes out for is the BlueTaper, an advanced taping and caulking tool that your customers are going to want to have! The BlueTaper’s patented design lets you make straight paint edges and perfect caulk beads like no tool before. It’s fast and accurate, giving great results and reduced headaches. It works left-handed or right-handed, even if you are taping right, left or up or down, and it cuts the tape for you at the right length every time! Plus, it works with virtually all standard width blue painters tape. If your customers need help taping or attempting to lay down a straight caulk bead as much as most folks do, this will grab their attention because it does the job and is super easy to use!
Lastly, we want to give a big shout out to Benjamin Moore’s Jeff Spillane. Jeff has been with the Montvale, NJ company for DECADES, so it is with heavy heart we bid a fond farewell to Jeff as he is retiring from Ben Moore, but he’s not leaving the industry—Jeff is starting J.T. Spillane Consulting, and there is a pretty good chance you will be hearing from him in our pages in the future. Jeff has been a fierce proponent of our magazines and a great friend and confidant. Want to talk to a straight shooter? Talk to Jeff Spillane. Want to know the buzz in the industry? Talk to Jeff. Want to know more about paint than you ever thought possible? Jeff is the man! Mugler Publications, Inc. wishes Jeff Spillane the best of everything in his future endeavor!
Every year that we attend the National Hardware Show and the Lancaster Distributor Show, we arrive giddy at the prospect of all the new products and companies awaiting the throngs of people walking the Show. It reminds me a bit of my youth when my sisters and I would awaken early on Christmas morning and rush down stairs to see what “Santa” had left for us under the tree. As soon as we started playing around with the few presents that were not wrapped up—the fire engine, pogo stick or Red Ryder BB Gun—Mom & Dad would stagger down the steps bleary-eyed looking like they had not slept a wink (why could that be?), and then we could start tearing the wrappings off of everything else.
The scenario at NHS and Lancaster is not all that unfamiliar. Exhibitor booths are all “Spic & Span,” set up neatly and efficiently with their products displayed. The people working the booths, who probably have had many long days and nights preparing for these Vegas days, are just as bleary-eyed as Mom & Dad used to be because they have worked tirelessly to pull off their biggest trade show of the year and to ensure they are putting their and their company’s best foot forward and to show off their new or re-branded products and designs. Every exhibitor hopes their products will be the darling of the Show, and if they have something this year at NHS and Lancaster that can help you independents stand tall above your big box competitors, they just might become the darlings they hope to be!
Just about every year, our staff comes home with information on products we believe can be game changers for independents. We meet with many inven-tors at the Show who are in the beginning stages of launching their products. Unfortunately, while many inventors spend their life savings designing, building, and packaging these new, promising tools of the trade, but they forget to build in a marketing budget. Without that, their products are destined to join the ranks of so many great ideas that never make it into the marketplace. (This even happened to the early paint roller!) Note to Inventors: If you are working on bringing a new product to fruition, build and stash away a MARKETING BUDGET, because what good is the greatest painting tool on the planet if nobody ever hears about it?
For retailers in this great paint & sundries business, these shows offer the chance to set your stores apart from your competitors. You have opportunities to buy in bulk, obtain greatly reduced pricing, to get in on “spiffs,” and sit in on outstanding programs by guest speakers detailing the state of our industry, what’s to come, and how we can all get there profitably.
Not attending this year? No worries! Our May issue will focus on the WOW factor items and companies we saw at the shows. Sorry—we won’t be talking about the G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu Grip or the newest Betsy Wetsy dolls, but if we can help you find a new product to replace some haggard dogs on your shelves that are just gathering dust instead of ringing up sales, then you will be all the better for it! The future is so bright for this industry, and it’s Las Vegas, Baby, so definitely bring your shades…and very comfortable shoes!
Road shows in our industry are becoming more common and The Paint Dealer has been fortunate enough to visit several. The “Great American River Road Trip” along the Mississippi River, organized by Independent We Stand, certainly hit some party towns. Starting from up north, this organization dedicated to supporting and promoting independent businesses visited Minneapolis, MN; Davenport, IA; Cape Girardeau, MO; Memphis, TN; and made its final stops in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA. Along with its goal of producing video vignettes to bring attention to the need to support independent businesses, the organization was also promoting its America’s Main Streets contest, where the winning city gets $25,000 to upgrade and update its downtown. Stihl is a major sponsor of the organization, and PPG has also been a consistent backer.
We caught up with the crew in Cape Girardeau, a river town of 40,000 about 110 miles south of Mugler Publications HQ in St. Louis. Telling their story were Fred and Tammy Elias, owners of Elias Family Hardware, opened by his grandfather in 1965 in Cairo, IL.
“The goal of this trip is for Independent We Stand to promote the unique experiences and the economic impact of America’s Main Streets on local communities,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of IWS. “Our theme this year is ‘Local Memories. Lasting Impact.’ which we see exhibited year after year as we travel the country visiting unique Main Streets. It’s driven by consumers who support them through the Buy Local movement.”
There was a bit of “camera shy” going on at first, but Fred and Tammy warmed up quickly and spoke on their commitment to their customers and their community involvement. Married almost 40 years, they recalled how Fred met Tammy when she applied for a job at Elias—and how it shows you can find anything at your local hardware store…even your wife!
They also spoke of the challenges and rewards of running an independent business; that even after almost two decades in Cape Girardeau they still need to work hard to get their name out over the bigger budget of the bigger boxes, and also how they enjoy watching some of their younger customers grow up and bring in families of their own. They also spoke on the importance of to giving back to their community through charitable contributions and supporting local organizations.
Get Out the Vote
Past America’s Main Streets contest winners have been Lyndon, WA and Deland, FL. It’s a quick 3,150-mile drive from one city to the next, about as far apart in the continental US as you can get. Through April 22, consumers and small business owners were invited to go online to MainStreetContest.com to nominate and vote for their favorite Main Streets. A second round of voting for the 25 semifinalists runs through May 27.The announcement of the winner comes on June 4 followed by a “Main Streets Make Us Better” event on the Fourth of July to unveil the use of the $25,000 grand prize.
Alo ng with Elias, paint and hardware stores visited included Hirschfield’s in Minneapolis, Germantown Hardware & Paint in Memphis, Holmes Building Materials in Baton Rouge, and Mike’s Hardware & Supply in New Orleans. The tour organizers enjoyed their trip south into increasingly warmer weather.
Environmentally safe and friendly products aren’t exactly new, better yet they’re getting even safer and friendlier. When it comes to paint stripping, well…you could tell customers you have quite the product on your hands. “When demoing our product, we regularly place a dollop of the stripper on the back of our hands to show how safe it is,” said Scott Sarver, marketing coordinator at Franmar, makers of BLUE BEAR paint strippers and graffiti removers. “Most of the time people are astonished and comment, ‘I’d never do that with a paint stripper.’”
Sarver notes that lately customers are concerned with not only the impact a product will have on them, but on the environment as well, whether that impact comes from production of the product, safety considerations when using it, or long-term effects with regard to disposal and degradability. Sarver says a good selling point is to show customers that Blue Bear Paint & Urethane Stripper can ease their conscience and do the job effectively. “The product will remove nearly any coating: latex, enamels, polyurethanes, acrylics, most epoxies, and others,” he said. “This also benefits you as a retailer, because you can maximize shelf space by replacing multiple SKUs with a single product.”
These types of products have a reputation for costing more, but as with many higher priced products, patrons can save money in the long run, in this case by using less of it. “Certainly there are products that can be purchased at a lower cost per unit (quart, gallon, etc.), but customers will have to purchase three to four times as much to match the amount of stripping ‘potential’ in Blue Bear Paint & Urethane Stripper. Blue Bear has a long working time and will continue to soften coatings until the stripper is removed from the piece,” said Sarver. Often if the original stripper didn’t remove all the coating, an application of Blue Bear can finish the job.
How long it takes depends on what you’re taking off, he said. “It will remove some coatings within 5-10 minutes of application, but thicker, multi-layer coatings may need overnight. We recommend a small test area to determine the length of time needed. No matter how long it needs to work, it isn’t posing any health issues to the user or the environment and it doesn’t have any strong odors associated with it,” he concluded.
This being National Hardware Show issue, it’s even more of a good idea to help the independent dealer compete against folks with bigger budgets and more floor space—though do you really want 300,000 square feet to stock, sort, and sweep up after your staff goes home? One thing we’ve been fighting against over our quarter century of publication is the perception that sundries are cheaper at a bigger store. Certainly, some are. Just as certainly, some aren’t. People who actually check out the difference (vs. relying on internet memes) are often surprised at how well the independent measures up in a sundry price war.
What you’ve got on top of that is someone on staff who will make sure customers get everything they need their first trip and don’t have to come back again…and again…and yet once more to buy things like abrasives, says Mike Gulley, product manager at Mirka Abrasives. Lots of folks go for months—or years!—at a time without sanding a thing, so chances are they won’t have “just the right abrasive” labeled in a bin on a well-organized workbench at home.
“While a production shop normally has the abrasives needed to complete its work, an individual rarely has the needed supplies for a painting project,” said Gulley. “It’s common for someone to think about the obvious items such as paint, brushes, rollers, and masking tape, but abrasives are commonly overlooked. It’s natural for someone to think about completing the project but overlook the preparation.” That’s where abrasives get left behind, which means a special trip that no one at the time thinks is very special.
Some of these less glamorous sundries might need an extra push to get out the door. “POP displays, posters, or similar items that emphasize the importance of what is needed for a job can not only ensure that the customer has these items, but possibly increase sales by reminding them what they should have,” said Gulley.
Of course, it can’t hurt to know something about the products you’re selling, be it sandpaper at the back or Aunt Harriet’s chili-powder in the fishbowl up front. Remember, says Gulley, you’ll probably be considered the face of that product. Even though someone else makes it, you’re the one who sold it and took money for it. “You will be trusted to provide accurate information to your customers so they can best complete their project,” Gulley reminds us. “Questions they’ll ask can include what grits to use in what step, what types of abrasives, the use of dust extraction, etc. It’s important to provide accurate information to help customers achieve the best results.”
Perfecting Their Perceptions
Along with fighting the perception that the boxes are cheaper, you’re probably fighting some ignorance about the product. Sandpaper is sandpaper, so let’s get the cheap stuff! Hmmm it doesn’t work, why did you buy the cheap stuff? “Unfortunately, it’s common for most DIYers to view everything except paint as a cheap commodity—even brushes and rollers,” Gulley pointed out. “Make sure to emphasize the importance of how the quality of tools used in the job affects the final result.” Sure they might save money now, but they’ll deal with the karma of spending longer hours to come up with lower quality results.
If your customers are buying the cheaper abrasives, this means your good quality stuff is gathering dust (which is one thing we don’t want abrasives to do). Gulely suggests a little self-reflection before sending them back to the manufacturer. “Are the products displayed properly so the customer understands the application and why they should be used?” he asks. “If a product is not moving, perhaps the customer doesn’t know it exists or what it’s for.”
If you’re going to put on a premium coating, you should probably dress for it. Get out your tux, pull on your best designer clothing, your finest jewelry and watch, and start dipping into your bucket! Or maybe just an old t-shirt and a pair of gym shorts will do. Whatever it is, if you’re going to talk your customers into spending more on a top-notch coating, you need to have some top-notch reasons why they should—so we asked: what differences will a homeowner, a facility owner, or a pro painter notice about these products? Another good selling point we asked everyone to discuss: pay a little more now, but save a lot more later! And we’ve got more than paint on tap, because if a home’s exterior deserves the best, and so does its driveway, roof, deck, birdhouse, and mailbox.
What makes it the very best? Black Jack Infinity Silicone Roof Coating is formulated to stop leaks and deliver superior waterproofing protection, even withstanding ponding water which can cause ordinary roof coatings to deteriorate. It dries to a bright white finish, which reflects heat to keep the roof surface cooler. A cool roof can reduce heat transfer so that people inside the building are cooler and more comfortable.
What differences will a homeowner or building owner notice? Most importantly, no more leaks! They will also notice a cooler roof surface, which can translate into less heat gain into buildings. Building owners comment not only on how much cooler the building feels, but they also notice that the AC systems don’t have to work as hard. This “cooling effect” can translate into energy savings with lower utility bills.
What will a painter notice? Besides being easy to apply with standard painting tools, Black Jack Infinity Silicone offers some great advantages compared to other roof coatings. Not only is it rain-safe in 60 minutes, it also can be applied at a wider temperature range than many other coating types. This extends application seasons earlier into spring and later into fall while giving the applicator more flexibility during rainy season.
Sure it costs more now, but what will it save in the long run? It can be applied in one coat, saving on time and labor. It also last two to three times longer than traditional coatings, so building owners will enjoy a very long-term cost effective roof.
Don’t Be Jealous
Who wouldn’t envy a perfect paint job, green or not? Nate Hardy at Kelly-Moore Paints told us about the company’s Envy, an all-around exterior coating.What makes it the very best? Advanced application characteristics and hide in a long lasting 100% acrylic formulation mak
e Envy stand apart from similar positioned products in the market.
What will a homeowner or building owner notice? They will notice the even, consistent look and enjoy extended repaint cycles due to the longevity of the product.
What characteristics will a painter notice? Painters will notice exceptional hide, smooth application, good touch up, and great adhesion to multiple substrates.
How does paying more now save later? With Envy’s outstanding application characteristics, painters can complete jobs more quickly, allowing them to save labor dollars. Owners will enjoy the long term look and durability that allows for lengthy repaint cycles and lower overall costs.
Armstrong-Clark’s Brian Carter is new to our pages, and he’s got a variety of reasons why you should try out his deck stain—this is his (and our) chance to introduce the product line to folks who aren’t familiar with it.
What makes it the very best? There are a number of ways Armstrong-Clark wood stains stand out in the market place. The first is how easy our stain is to use. You can apply it in 110° direct sunlight, walk in it while applying, not have to worry about flashing or shiners, apply it to wood with up to 20% moisture, and expose it to rain 60 minutes after it absorbs into the wood. You do not need to strip it or sand it before a maintenance coat, and you do not have to wipe it during application. It is formulated for a single coat application, but in some circumstances such as aged decks, a second coat can be applied wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry.
The second big difference in how we are unique in the marketplace is that you get two layers of protection with a single application. Once our stain is applied, our two types of oils start separating. The non-drying side of the formula penetrates deep into the wood to rejuvenate and condition wood fibers. The drying layer separates to the top providing a barrier (not a film) to protect the non-drying oils. The barrier keeps the non-drying oils from floating out in rain or snow melt, getting pulled out quicker with traffic, or even breaking down with UV exposure.
What differences will a homeowner or building owner notice? The first thing they will notice is how easy it is to apply and work with. A few years later they will be thankful that they do not need to strip, sand, or both.
What differences will a painter notice? A painter can typically expect to get 200 square feet per gallon on a deck, maybe a little more, unless the wood has been neglected. The other big thing for contractors is that if they have some novice painters on crew, they have less stress because the “newbies” can make mistakes that will either correct themselves or are easier to correct than mistakes with other stains.What will it save in the long run? Customers can expect long term savings. If they are using a stain that requires stripping, they would save the cost of the stripping and brightening chemicals. If the product requires sanding, they can save that time and money as well.
With Armstrong-Clark stains you can make your own cleaners for pennies on the dollar, or buy single step cleaners at a store. In circumstances where two coats are applied on the initial application, a single coat is typically all that is needed down the road. Also, 95% of what is applied stays with the wood. That means you have significantly more protection long term than with many other stains that may be only 50% or even 65% solids.
Can I get a good-better-best assortment? We do not make different-quality stain lines. We have one high quality formula. The only thing different between our colors is the color and type of pigment, and the amount of pigment. One formula also works for all applications whether it is a deck, fence, log home, wood siding, doc, arbor, or some other exterior wood application.
With all these benefits, you shouldn’t have to strong arm your customers into trying Armstrong-Clark.
In Timely Fashion
Jenny Burroughs, PPG senior product marketing manager, filled us in on what’s coming out of Pittsburgh.
What product do you have on tap? PPG Paints™ Timeless® exterior paint, with 100 percent acrylic resin, provides a high film build and a durable bond in one coat. (One coat coverage only when tinted to colors specified for PPG Timeless exterior paints.)The product is a paint and primer in one. It bridges cracks, provides mold
and mildew resistance on the dry paint film, and can be applied in temperatures down to 35°F. It can also be used on aluminum, architectural plastic, composite, fiber, cement, vinyl and wood siding and trim.
What makes it the very best? This premium exterior paint incorporates PPG’s industry-leading coatings innovation and expertise, trusted not only on airplanes, cars, consumer electronics, submarines and space shuttles in the harshest conditions, but also trusted by professional painters for more than 130 years.
PPG Timeless’ UV protection, provides excellent fade resistance and protection for the surface. The tough finish provides exceptional resistance to chipping, flaking and cracking. It resists mold, mildew and algae on dry paint film. Features include:
• Ideal for use on a variety of exterior surfaces.
• Outstanding hiding, coverage, and durability.
• Excellent fade resistance.
• Exceptional resistance to chipping, flaking, and cracking.
• High build formula hides minor surface imperfections.
• Approximately 250 to 300 square feet of coverage per can.
• Customer satisfaction guarantee.
• 100% acrylic formula.
What differences will a homeowner or building owner notice? The will benefit from the outstanding hide and coverage and the high build feature to minimize surface imperfections. The long-term benefits include durability, excellent fade resistance and resistance to chipping, flaking and cracking.
What differences will a painter notice? With the outstanding hide and coverage and the high build feature to minimize surface imperfections, professional painters can anticipate high performance during product application using. Color matching accuracy, durability and a beautifully finished project can be expected when using PPG products.
Sure it costs more, but how will it save money in the long run? No one should assume the most expensive gallon of paint is the right paint for each customer. A painter will naturally gravitate towards a product that saves time because time is money.
PPG Paints Timeless exterior paint is durable, can be applied faster, and lasts longer, benefiting both commercial and residential customers. We always recommend to painters that they identify the owner’s needs first and then fit them with the appropriate paint.
What makes it the very best? It’s an alkyd with all the benefits of a user-friendly waterborne formulation. The use of a urethane modified alkyd resin makes Epic stand apart by providing an alkyd look and weather benefits of a urethane.
What differences will a homeowner or building owner notice? They will notice the self-leveling, smooth look and enjoy excellent durability with little to no yellowing that is often common with the competitor’s products.
What differences will a painter notice? Epic maintains excellent workability when applied, minimizing rework and saving time and labor.
Sure it costs more, but what will it save? Similar to Envy, Epic’s outstanding application characteristics allow painters to complete jobs more quickly, which saves labor dollars. Owners will enjoy the long term look and durability that allows for lengthy repaint cycles and lower overall costs.
Tuff Luck Is Good Luck
Gotta start somewhere, and a primer is a great place to get going. Since some customers may be unfamiliar with painting concrete and asphalt, this is the perfect place to start. Israel Gutman, technical director at Dyco Paints, answers our questions regarding Dyco Tuff Grip Bonding Coat.
What makes it the very best? Think of Dyco Tuff Grip Bonding Coat as a utility player for priming horizontal surfaces. As a superior bonding primer, Tuff Coat penetrates, fortifies, and prepares a variety of surfaces from bare and painted concrete to asphalt. It is a great alternative to acid etching.
What differences will a homeowner or building owner notice? The great thing about Dyco Tuff Grip Bonding Coat is what a building owner won’t notice. Tuff Grip sets the stage for a top coat that will look better and last longer.
What differences will a painter notice? Happy people! Tuff Coat is an easy one-coat application with a solvent resistant roller, so applicators are satisfied. And customers will be happy with their long lasting coating.
Will it save money in the long run? It will save money right now, too! Tuff Grip Bonding Coat is competitively priced!
Back Up Top
Anvil Paints & Coatings manufactures a series of Roof-Tec Products and backs all these products with a warranty. Below, the company describes a key product in the line, 7700 Roof-Tec Elastomeric Roof Coating.
What makes it the best? This product’s beautiful white finish stays brighter much longer than comparable products because it contains a fungicide to resist mildew growth.
What will a painter notice? Contractors will notice the superior bridging of this coating over seams and small separations. 7700 Roof-Tec also contains interlocking fibers that increase its ability to withstand weather damage.
Will it save money in the long run? A white roof coating not only beautifies the property, it can also make the roof stay up to 50ºF cooler, which lowers heat buildup and reduces air conditioning costs (source: www.energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-home-design/cool-roofs).
What else is should we know? 7700 is a perfect application for mobile home roof protection. Please note that all roofs must have adequate pitch in order to accomodate 7700.
Tell us about the company for unfamiliar readers: Based in Largo, Florida, Anvil Paints & Coatings began in 1967 with a single roof coating product and quickly began expanding to include additional paint and coating goods. Over the past 50 years, the company has improved and developed additional high-quality elastomeric roofing products for the professional contractor that reflect its position as a leader in the coatings industry. Today, Anvil is proud to be a part of the John R. Burt Enterprises family where the tradition continues.
It Holds On
Richard’s Paint gave us information on two high-level products: a primer and an exterior coating…because as we all know, the paint job is only as good as the surface you put it on, so the better the primer…well, you can probably finish it from here.
Richard’s Holzon 36 Waterborne Bonding Primer provides the ultimate adhesion, stain blocking, toughness and finish quality for a painting project. Adhesive-like properties allow it to bond to hard-to-paint surfaces such as glazed tile, glass, glazed block, fiberglass, Formica, factory finished steel and aluminum, PVC, gloss paint, aluminum, and galvanized metal Excellent leveling and enamel holdout make this primer an ideal choice for priming and repainting cabinets, doors, trim, railings, and virtually all vertical surfaces, inside and out.
Dreaming of Eternity
For exterior performance, the company encourages you to stock up on 220 Eternity High Performance Exterior Coating. Richard’s Eternity comes with a lifetime warranty for residential applications and 10-year labor and material warranties for commercial applications. This high performance, high-build coating bridges hairline cracks, protects against water intrusion, and has a thick buttery consistency that goes on like a dream.
When you get down to it, painting your house is a big deal, picking a color is a big deal, and for most folks, hiring a painter is a…big deal. People live in their house and look at their color every day. So if you or your on-staff designer gets annoyed with a customer spending two (or four or six!) hours picking a color, remind yourself that it’s a decision they have to live with for a long time. (Then, go outside and scream.) But seriously “you can just paint over it,” is, in our humble opinion, not an option people want to exercise.
This Interior Project, held at Mugler Publications World Headquarters in Valley Park, MO (with satellite offices in front of our desks at home), brought to the fore the importance of doing it right the first time, both in color and technique. We’ve got a small office, so “footprint” is of prime importance—decorations, desks, files—if it doesn’t need to be there (and we need our fake fichus!) it can’t be there. Once we moved all the furniture away from the walls there was barely room to get by, and even our painter had to be industrious to access those famous “hard to reach” spaces.
A Word About Our Sponsors
As in every project, product manufacturers sponsor their wares and we show how they’re used during the project. At the same time, we hope to remind you that when a customer comes in for “just a couple gallons” that you can sell them on a “whole project approach” which can get them painting faster and better instead of coming back to your store for whatever is it they should have bought the first time.
Appearing in his third project is painter Jim Estes; Jim shows up on time, does a good job, and he’s personable and pleasant to deal with. Getting all that in one painter is pretty cool, so we’re happy to have him back. And while it’s his third time, many of our sponsors are in a project for the first time, which gives us—and you—a good chance to see them in action. Got something new, old, borrowed, blue you want to show in a project? Give us a call.
All It’s Kracked Up To Be
Abatron’s Krack Kote®, an acrylic crack repair kit for drywall and plaster, is a behind the scenes star-maker. As more and more painters are working drywall, this becomes an increasingly important product to stock. Jim hadn’t seen it before, but he said it was very easy to use, so easy that you could sell it with confidence to a homeowner as well as a pro painter. Our building is 99 this year according to a stone out front engraved with 1919, and it’s pretty much providing 1919-style insulation (i.e. none), so you can imagine there are a few cracks in the walls from temperature swings. This made our office the perfect test ground, as Krack Kote is billed as a flexible repair product that will prevent the cracks’ return.
There’s a three-step process here, but they’re all pretty easy. First, take a brush and apply the product over the crack, and then brush it about an inch and a half on each side. Second, use some Krack Bridge fabric, which comes packaged with the product, and embed it into the paste. Third, wait about ten minutes and cover with more Krack Kote. Smooth and feather the edges with a spreader (also included), and then…paint over it from there! Estes commented several times on how easy it was to use and how well it did its job. And you can see that our cracks are…Koted.
Many homes, particularly older homes, will have cracks in the plaster that homeowners will think they have to live with forever, so remember to ask about that when they come in to paint. We’ll point out…one more time…that it’s easy to use and it will make the final look of the project that much better. As we go up and down and back and forth in the office now, it’s hard to think there were cracks there in the first place! For professionals, it’s one more tool to help them deliver on the promise of a great paint job.
Brandon Pass at Intertape Polymer Group sent us several boxes of the company’s Pro-Mask Blue®, which does an awesome job of packaging. Why mention that first? Because it’s the first thing your customers see, and despite years of urging people not to judge a book by its cover, when people take time to make the cover interesting, we all hope the book is just as good. Customers picking up a roll of Pro-Mask are advised that it’s an “advanced formula” in a purple paint splatter and are appraised of the tape’s Bloc-It clean line technology.
Pro-Mask is a blue fine crepe paper masking tape with a specially formulated pressure-sensitive synthetic rubber adhesive designed for exposure to sunlight up to fourteen days. Use it wherever masking is exposed to weather/out-of-doors conditions and for interior masking of windows (where adhesive will be directly exposed to sunlight). A visit to the Intertape website is quite an experience as you can see that this company is involved in many different industries. If you need tape, they’ve got it! If your customers have friends in the electrical or automotive trades, they might check out Intertape as well.
We used the tape to create a barrier between surfaces to be painted and not to be painted, and also along some of our cabinets (another surface we didn’t want to paint). Also, for our IdeaPaint dry erase paint, we used it to create a “frame” around the dry erase board to set it off from the yellow. To give credit where it’s due, great idea, Hans! Take a look at our finished wall (left) and pass this idea along to customers who might like to try something creative.
Remember too that with painter’s tape, proper application is important. It needs to be smoothed down to the wall so that the paint can’t get behind it, then removed in a timely and proper fashion. Pro painters will usually know this, but occasional painters might not, and as we said at the beginning of the article, no one really wants to paint it again so make sure your customers know how to get the best performance out of their tape.
Just Ask Lindsay
All the ingredients it takes to make up a can of paint have a mind of their own, but a good mix will blend them together. If you keep up with pop music, you know that Fleetwood Mac just parted with Lindsay Buckingham, and Lindsay is known for the song “Go Your Own Way.” Remind your customers that without proper mixing, all the particles in their paint will do the same, and as Fleetwood Mac so eloquently shows us, it’s better when all the ingredients cooperate.
For decades, humankind has tried to find a way to mix up paint and pour it out neatly. One product you might try is the Mixing Mate® from Rockler. Available for quarts and gallons, this product will thoroughly mix latex or solvent based paint or finish—without the mess! Easy to assemble (seriously, really easy!) it locks in place over the can. Customers turn a crank to mix it and then pour it out of the spout. With its slogan of Stir, Pour, and Store, it will keep paint fresh for future use—when the customer can stir and pour it again. Realistically, one never knows when one will “kick the bucket” or just knock a can over and spill it, so the Mixing Mate can make whole process much cleaner.
After Jim used it, he took it to the sink to wash it off and store it for the future. If customers are painting up a few different colors, they might want to buy more than one so they can keep their project moving
If you do spill something—and it’s going to happen sooner or later, you can again quote Fleetwood Mac and sing “I Don’t Wanna Know” or you can clean it up. When we saw Jim come to work with some ratty old rags hanging through a loop in his painter’s pants, we pulled them out and replaced them with some PFC™ (Precision-Fiber™ Cloth) Rags from Intex. If a painter’s going to let you stick something in his pants, you know it’s got to be good, and these products are perfect for wiping up spills or just getting some dust out of the way before you paint.
The good news is that when you reach into your bag or box of PFC rags, you don’t have to fish for just the right one—they’re all “just the right one.” Each rag is the same as every other rag. They are Made in the USA of t-shirt like material. They’re very strong—company literature shows it holding a 20 pound kettlebell—and they’re super absorbent. Great for staining, too, but in our case Jim used them for wiping and cleaning.
Other painters have noted that reaching into a bag of rags can be quite the adventure, because you never know what you’re going to pull out. The adventure with Intex Paint & Cleaning Rags comes from always knowing you’ll get the same quality. You can pull one out with your eyes closed and know it’ll be the same as the one you left in the bag for later. Plus no crew members fighting over who got the best rag! With their consistent size and shape, sold by number and not by weight, this company tells us that paint rags will never be the same again!
We’ve never used Richard’s Paint on a project before, and since it’s been cold here in St. Louis a lot longer than we expected, we were excited to have something sent up from Florida. While they can’t enclose 80-degree weather in a paint can, they sent some cool colors and great product. Richards is a family-owned business that sells through the independent, so if you’re in their coverage area, give them a call about adding their line.
We fanned out the color cards, looking for some hues that would brighten our place up. We kept with tradition by leaving the ceiling unpainted in the white that was already there, and Jim repainted white on the baseboards, trim, and doors. For this part of the project, Richards sent us its Signature Series Exterior Semi-Gloss House Paint. This is a good choice, since with all the file cabinets, desks, and the various products we carry around, an exterior paint will have the endurance to hold up against the bumps and grinds of daily life.
The walls were to be painted a pastel yellow called Lemon Lilly, and on any of the “bump outs,” we chose an accent color called Peeps, named for the well-known yellow-bird Easter candy. Faithful readers have heard us complain about the sloppy brown that was here when we moved in, so it’s a significant improvement. While we at The Paint Dealer are all about color, this bold contrast we chose might not be for everyone, but the combo of the bright and the light yellow work together to create an environment that they didn’t individually—remind customers that colors working together is an important part of the final effect. New colors, no matter what, can be a shock to the system after you’ve seen the old colors for so long, which is why it’s good to have your customers, as much as they can, live with their choices before they commit.
For the walls and accents, Jim applied Richard’s Signature Ceramic Interior Eggshell Paint and Primer in One. The first coat served as a primer and then from there we put on the finish, though of course it all comes out of the same can. Since we were painting a lighter color over a darker, it took a couple coats of “finish” to hide the brown. And since no one was fond of the brown, we really wanted to make sure it was hidden.
Since our surface was relatively sound, a paint and primer in one was a good call, but make sure to ask enough questions of your customers to make sure this kind of product works for them.
One thing Jim noted was that because our walls were cold—again thanks to the insulation—products took longer to dry. Remind your customers that environmental conditions can impact dry time.
Ideas on the Wall
From IdeaPaint™ came what we thought was a great idea—a paint on magnetic dry-erase board. This is easy to apply, but it’s got a lot of moving parts, so it’s important to follow the directions. Jim did just that—we’ve seen him consult directions several times as one of the things he likes about these projects is the chance to get familiar with products he hasn’t used before. After 40 years of painting that’s a good attitude to have!
There are a few cool things about this: for one, if the kids write on the walls with markers, they’re supposed to! Just can wipe it off. For two, you can write up a few things of your own: take out the trash, mop the floor—of course they can wipe it off and claim you never did it.
Three, it’s a fun project for a customer, or even in an office like ours where we like to hash out ideas for future projects and magazines. Many offices these days have “idea walls” and with both magentic and dry erase features, so you can recommend IdeaPaint for those environments.
The set comes with everything you need—plus a very easy labeling process of a two-component paint. You pour “this” into “that.” It should always be so easy! It includes paddle to stir, a roller to roll, markers, erasers, cleaners, everything needed to keep the wall lively and clean. Plus, note how the Pro-Mask Blue from Intertape left a nice frame around it to set it off from the rest of the wall.
Again thanks to our sponsors, and when you give them a call to find out more, tell them you saw it in The Paint Dealer.
As paint dealers, we often compete with other businesses based on price because that is how some customers buy. For these consumers, buying decisions are made on price first and foremost.
The usual advertising methods, like circulars and newspaper ads, are okay, but much more can be done to attract more than the price shopper. Besides, not everyone reads the newspaper and therefore many won’t see your ad. Circulars are nice, but printing and distribution can be expensive. Many businesses distribute them in newspapers but again, not everyone gets the newspaper. Yet, we tell ourselves that inserting circulars in newspapers is good enough. I don’t know about you, but when I get flyers in the paper I never look through them. Some folks do, some don’t. Those that do give them a glance and off to the trash they go, never seen again.
We have to remember that consumers are more distracted nowadays, so we have to cut through the clutter to get and keep people’s attention. How do we do that? By being different. By being interesting. By being talked about I’m going to reveal a remarkable tip I urge you to use over and over. It fits my requirements of being inexpensive and effective.
There is a paint seller in the eastern U.S. that recorded a 30-second video with an employee’s cell phone. The video showed a quart of glitter paint being stirred. After stirring, the stir stick was lifted slightly above the can as the paint dripped back into it.
They posted it to their Facebook page with a photo of the other three colors available and some product information. This simple, boring, and easy-to-make video had a total reach of over 20 million. 20 million! Their Facebook page went from 900 likes to 35,000 within a few hours. They also received around 2,000 direct messages. They sold out of the paint they had in stock. People from all over the world wanted to buy. This video didn’t cost them a cent to make or promote. It was completely organic.
It Works, and Here’s Why…
Here are the important elements that made this video viral. First, it was short. Second, it was interesting. The glitter paint itself was somewhat interesting, but even a “boring” product can be made interesting. Third, the company posts three to five times a week on Facebook but they don’t keep asking people to come in and buy. Fourth, it was a home-grown video. No special effects, no hoopla! Fifth, they posted product information so people could learn more. There was no sales person droning on about the product in the video. In fact, the video had no narration.
By chance, one of the employees contacted their local TV station about the story. That was very smart because the media ran with it and the store got even more coverage. The paint seller tried to get the TV station to push it up to major media but it didn’t happen. Instead, they should have taken matters into their own hands and contacted Good Morning America and others like it! The national media loves unusual feel-good stories and there’s a great chance they may have featured them and got them even more publicity. Even though they didn’t get on national TV (yet), they can still put a big sign out front that says “As Seen On TV”.
Here are a few things they learned from this experience. First, they couldn’t harness all the potential sales because they weren’t set up for that kind of a reaction. Thus, plan ahead.
Second, it made their Facebook page much more relevant by getting so many likes. Having that many likes is like having thousands of positive testimonials for the world to see. People look at that more than you think! Third, their previous Facebook posts laid the groundwork for the big post. Their posts were interesting and engaging and not boring hype about coming in to save money all the time.
I urge you to start doing videos on your Facebook page. Be interesting. If it’s not your thing, it’s likely that one of your staff would love to give it a try. Look for ways to turn something boring to interesting. Make yourself stand out. Besides, you’ll have fun doing it and you might sell out of your stock!
Andy Curry, the Cheap-Marketing Champion, is a small business marketing specialist, app developer and entrepreneur. He believes in inexpensive but effective marketing and getting a big bang for your marketing buck. Andy has owned and operated a True Value Hardware store for many years, and has in-the-trenches, first-hand knowledge of the pitfalls of marketing and the best use of advertising dollars.
“Customers don’t care whose fault it is, they just want someone to help.”
You have a problem. You call the phone number listed on the company’s website. You wait on hold for what seems much longer than the ten minutes they said you would be holding. You finally get to a customer service rep. You tell your story and the customer service rep responds, “I’m sorry, that’s not my department.” Then you’re transferred to someone else and the “game” of holding and telling your story starts all over again.
This has happened to many, if not all of us. I have good news! Since customer service has become a center of attention for most companies (even though some still don’t get it right), “that’s not my department” is being heard less and less. That said, there are still plenty of other phrases and words we, as customers, hate to hear. Here’s ten more:
1. “You’re wrong.” Customers hate to be told they’re wrong.
2. “I wasn’t here when that happened. It’s not my fault.” Customers don’t care whose fault it is, they just want someone to help.
3. “I’ll get the manager, but he’ll tell you the same thing.” Why don’t we wait and see?
4. “We’re a little busy now.” What, too busy to take care of your customer?
5. “The person you need to talk to is on vacation and won’t be back for a week. Call back then.” Customers hate to wait. Why isn’t there someone to cover for a person who everyone probably knew was going to be on vacation?
6. “We can’t do that.” My dad always said, “Can’t means ‘won’t try.’” Customers want to see you at least make an attempt to help them.
7. “We won’t do that.” Almost the same as can’t, but more emphatic. Still, make the attempt to find a solution.
8. “Your call is very important to us. The wait time is 45 minutes.” Apparently, the call is not really that important.
9. “You’ll have to…” Customers hate being told “you’ll have to…” Find a way to make it easy on them.
10. “No!” Does anyone like to be told no?
This list is by no means complete. There are plenty of other words and phrases people say that upset customers, cause them to lose confidence, and may ultimately cause them to leave and never come back.So, here’s a little homework assignment. Share this article with your team, then sit down and talk about which of thes
e phrases, or others like it, might be in your vocabulary—and banish them. Develop better responses. For example, what else could you say instead of “it’s not my department” that won’t upset a customer?
True, it may not be your department, but what you say and how you get that customer to the right person will make or break their confidence in you and your company.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer to determine the best way to respond. A customer-friendly response will comply with a modified golden rule: Say unto customers as you would have customer service professionals say unto you.