As we have covered before, the planning and scheduling of a paint project for a large facility can be a very complex process that takes a lot of effort to accomplish. Which is why we believe it’s in your best interest to implement some simple strategies to help you achieve the best results with the workforce, materials and budget you have.

If you take the following pieces of advice into account, you’ll be well on your way to your most efficient and productive maintenance plan yet.

Some of the benefits of detailed planning is that is streamlines your process, thereby cutting down on the time, materials and manpower needed. This, in turn, is translated into more money back in the budget and more wiggle room for any mishaps that may happen.

So whether you’re maintaining a structure with little traffic or a venue like a hospital, painting is crucial in improving the perception of the establishment as well as employee pride and morale.

The following steps will prove to be worthwhile by maintenance managers.

1. Set a policy: Develop guidelines and priorities that will define actions to be taken toward structure maintenance, for example protection vs. appearance.

2. Survey: Create an inventory of the interior and exterior maintenance needs, including detailing and safety painting/ markings.

3. Measure: know the exact measurements of the surfaces that require treatment or painting.

4. Schedule: establish a routine that meets policy guidelines and environmental conditions, as well as venue events. This includes FDA approved coatings.

5. Plan: Develop a plan that covers the entire structure in three to five years. Make the most of the weather by covering exterior maintenance when the weather is mild and indoor maintenance during the winter.

6. Expand: Special needs will arise with time and will need to be taken care of. Grow your plan to include these. Think about implementing new products, technology and work training during this process.

7. Estimate: Think about how much time each job will take based on consultants and your personal experience. This will help you determine the budget more efficiently, as well.

8. Staff: Calculate the necessary workforce and include time for job preparation, surface preparation, paint application and allowances for personal rest and minor, unavoidable delay time.

9. Document: Keep detailed track of your process for future reference in a Painting Standard Practices (PSP) handbook.

10. Sell: Once you have your PSP, let the upper management know of the process in detail and obtain their approval. Show them the many benefits of your plan.

11. Train: Once approved, make sure everyone involved in the process is accurately briefed and trained on the process to eliminate any unnecessary hitches on the way.

Prep work

Prepping your surfaces beforehand is the most important step in increasing the durability of your work and therefore reducing the overall cost. It will increase the time before it needs retouching and allow you to have more time for other projects.

No matter what paint you’re using, you want to make sure the surface you’re coating is free of any rust, debris, dust, mold, etc. It should be cleaned, sanded of any rough particles (if necessary), wiped down and left to dry. Wood surfaces should be cleaned, sanded and wiped down with paint thinner or turpentine. Let it dry completely since it’s a porous surface.

If the metal to be treated is rusty, this needs to be remedied by sanding. It also requires the same treatment mentioned above (cleaning and drying).

  • Painted metal, wood or plaster/plasterboard walls and ceilings in common areas generally require painting every three years. Clean, refill any holes, scratches and dents. Sand rough or gloss surfaces. Wash with tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) to remove the grease or dirt. Spot-prime bare spots, and finish with one coat of vinyl latex per standard specification or your choice of corrosion resistant coating.

  • Painted doors, railings, equipment, work surfaces and floors generally require painting every two years. Scrape or wire brush the surface to remove chips and rust, and wash with TSP. Prime the bare spots with an epoxy primer, and cover with a finish coat of polyurethane.

  • Painted concrete block in high-traffic areas generally requires painting every three years. Wash the surface with TSP and rinse. Allow to air dry for 24 hours. Use a wire brush and chip off any loose paint. Spot-prime with epoxy, and follow with a polyurethane finish coat.

  • Painted equipment generally requires painting every four years. Commercial-blast the paint and rust down to white metal. Then prime and finish the surface with a high-performance epoxy.

Keep these tips on hand and you’ll be sure to have a highly-customized, efficient and effective PSP for your structure.