A Day in the Life of Industrial Painting Contractors

July 1, 2010

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Behind every successful construction project is a team of industrial painting contractors. They work in the background to coat building surfaces with paint until it is completed. Who are they, what do they do, and why are they providing critical services to many construction and engineering projects?

Specialties of Industrial Painting Contractors

Any construction project involving the application of coating systems would have painting contractors who are busy at any of the following activities:

1. Surface preparation. Careful surface reparation is often the key to coating systems that perform well and last longer. For new construction, surface preparation is much easier when the surface is bare, such as a slab of concrete. If a previous coating system has been installed, industrial painting contractors laboriously remove the existing coat. This is a skill that requires deep expertise and experience. 

Often, industrial painting contractors wash the surface to clean it, and perform water-blasting with the use of high-pressure water jets, or they employ other types of blasting. Dust, dirt and loose particles are removed from the surface, leaving it clean. Industrial painting contractors may also use abrasive surface preparation to clean the surface.

2. Paint selection. Prior to actual coating application, painting contractors determine the type of paint that will be used. The choices can run from water-based latex or acrylics, to oil-based systems. The correct paint has higher adhesion to the target surface, for durability and high performance.

3. Coating application. Industrial painting contractors may use a plethora of tools and methods to apply the paint to the surface. Brush and rollers are standard tools. In some cases, powder coating is used, which is a process that electrostatically applies dry paint particles unto grounded surfaces. When heat is applied the powder coating is cured permanently in place. Roll coating is also another method used by painting contractors. This is a fast application method to use in metal surfaces. 

An Industrial Contractor’s Day at Work

A day for an industrial painting contractor is either spent at building sites, or where roads, buildings, docks, and construction is going on. In high-rise painting projects, workers spend their day painting at high altitudes, which can be dangerous. Workmen are always on their feet and on the lookout for safety problems. The painting work is either done in building or structure interiors, safe from the elements. In cases of building exterior painting, the work is done in good weather for successful coating application.

Work hours are dictated by project and clients needs and often include overtime, night and weekend work. Industrial painting contractors usually come in contact with other workers such as engineers, builders and paint suppliers. Contractors also frequently communicate with building owners and facility managers for project logistics.

What Does It Take to be One

Industrial painting work needs workers who are physically and mentally fit for the job. While strength is important, a careful mental alertness is also required to avoid untoward accidents or injuries while working. Industrial painting is hard, painstaking work and sometimes dangerous. It requires a good ability to observe safety protocols and instructions, to do the job accurately, and to be a reliable member of the team. 

Technical skills involve a deep knowledge of paints and painting applications. Needless to say, a familiarity with painting equipments is also essential. From basic tools such as rollers, brushes, sprayers and the like. Lastly, the ability to be versatile and flexible, and keep abreast of new coating techniques and products in the market is required of painting contactors.

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