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Paint.

In addition to staying on top of color and design trends, retailers selling paint and decorating projects must deal in information.

Painting is one of the first projects to come to mind when a consumer decides to remodel their home. While paint is a highly promoted item, add-on sales can drive a great deal of margin to the bottom line if employees are trained to point out all the brushes, rollers, drop cloths, sandpaper and other items needed for various decorating projects.

Salespeople also need to familiarize themselves with various environmental restrictions that have impacted the paint and sundries category. Manufacturers are being forced to reformulate products to meet more stringent environmental standards and consumers need to be informed about the characteristics of these reformulated products.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I recognize a good paint?

A: Paint has three components: the binder, the pigment and the liquid. The best paints contain a higher volume of solid materials. Pay close attention to the solid content. For example, a $13 gallon of paint with a solid content of 19 percent might cover about 200 square feet, while a $20 gallon of paint with 41 percent solid content will cover about twice that amount. The binder is the most important factor in the durability. Some paints also have additives to enhance performance such as mildewcide.

Q: Where should I use a flat paint?

A: These are also called matte finishes and they are good for walls and ceilings in lower-traffic areas.

Q: Should I use a natural bristle brush with a latex paint?

A: No. Just remember that humid weather can make someone's hair turn frizzy. Water-based paints do the same thing to natural-bristle brushes, so you will want to use a synthetic brush with latex paint.

Q: What type of brush works best with oil-based paint?

A: Natural bristles are best for most oil-based finishes including varnishes and stains. Their soft tips leave fewer brush marks.

Q: What is the difference between solid-color and semi-transparent stains?

A: Semi-transparent stains provide a color to the wood but still allow the texture and natural grain to show through. Solid-color stains allow the texture to show but not the grain.

Q: My house has plaster walls. Is there something specifically designed to patch cracks in plaster walls?

A: Yes. Patching plaster is designed specifically for patching plaster walls. It may be sanded and painted and can be textured to match the existing surface.

Q: When painting a table that has a gloss finish, do I need to prepare the surface?

A: You should use a liquid deglosser, which works without sanding and produces a slight tack for better adhesion of the new finish.

Q: Is there any way to easily separate a joint where an epoxy has been used?

A: Although it is not easy, it can be done. Apply an oven cleaner to the bond and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The epoxy will eventually start to soften and can then be pried apart with a stiff putty knife.

Q: What kind of caulk should I use around interior window frames?

A: Latex caulks are good for filling these kinds of gaps. They clean up with water and most are paintable. However, they must be applied in temperatures of more than 40[degrees] F.

Q: Should I apply a protective coating over a faux finish?

A: While it isn't mandatory, it will enhance the durability. Just be sure to let the glaze dry for two days before coating.

Q: What does a number such as 120 on sandpaper mean?

A: Grit numbers tell how large or small the particles are on a sheet of sandpaper. These numbers stand for the number of particles per linear inch, The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

Paint Applicator Upselling Techniques

* The best brush filament is round and solid (not hollow), because it lasts the longest and cleans up easiest.

* The best synthetic filament is made with a tapered shape, which gives the brush a natural taper for precise cutting-in. Because man-made filament does not have natural flags, tipping processes were developed to improve the spreading ability of filament.

* Because bristle has natural tipping, it is processed very minimally. Synthetic filament, on the other hand, must be processed to make it paint effectively.

* The best roller frames are made from heavy-gauge wire, and they have end bearings for smooth operation and a threaded handle to accommodate extenders.

* Recommend woven roller cover fabrics instead of knit fabrics, which are more prone to shedding.

* Some roller cover cores are made of untreated cardboard, which will soften and collapse from excess moisture. Recommend ones made from treated cardboard or plastic that will hold up better in heavy service.

Paint Upselling Techniques

* Top-quality latex paints tend to have binder that is 100 percent acrylic, which gives them excellent durability on diverse surface styles, including masonry and aluminum. They also adhere better, making them less likely to flake.

* There are many types of high-end designer paints on the market that have unique color palettes corresponding to the latest decorating colors.

* The first place to evaluate quality in aerosol paints is on the can--by noting the percentage of paint to propellant. The fill ratio used by manufacturers will vary. So will the kinds of propellant.

Recommending the Proper Paint

When selling the following types of paint, pass on this information to customers:

* Oil-based exterior paint--Primer is needed on new wood and new hardboard (including pre-primed) for oil-based exterior paints. A two- or three-day wait is recommended before any oil-based paint is applied after rain. It is not recommended for application over masonry. Requires 12 to 48 hours to dry, depending on local conditions. Clean brushes and tools with turpentine.

* Latex exterior paint--Needs alkyd or good latex primers on new wood. Has a man-made latex binder rather than naturally occurring oils, but even most exterior oil-based products contain a man-made binder.

There are very few 100 percent oil paints left today. Latex exterior paint is resistant to moisture and dry to touch in 30 minutes (under normal conditions). Brushes and rollers wash in water.

* Vinyl-based exterior paint--Needs latex primer on new surfaces. Should be applied in heavy layers. Takes four to 12 hours to dry. Brushes and rollers wash in water.

* Interior paint--Latex paints are water-based; alkyd paint, oil-based. Water-based paints dry faster than oil, and, as a rule, do not give off "painty" odors common to oil. Quality alkyd paints form a tough non-porous surface that makes them conducive to washing. Latex is easier to use because cleanup is done with water.

* Epoxy coatings--Require undercoat and surface preparation. Go on like paint, but look like porcelain after they dry. Used on ceramic tile, walls, bowls and appliances. Will not stick if applied over ordinary paint. Offers the toughest finish available.

Adhesives Add-On Sales

* Safety Glasses

* Respirator

* Latex Gloves

* Drop Cloth

* Shop Rags

* Caulk Gun

* Putty Knife

* J Roller

Paint Department Project Killers

(a list of products that can kill a project if they are not in stock.)

* Primer sealer

* Spray paints (white/black/flat and gloss)

* Masking tape

* Mineral spirits

* Paint remover/stripper

* Muriatic acid

* Linseed oil

* Lacquer thinner

* Turpentine

* Trisodium phosphate cleaner

* Joint compound

* Spackling compound

* Joint tape

* Caulk (latex, acrylic, silicone)

* Wood filler

* Foam brushes

* Sandpaper (assorted grits)

* Steel wool

Wood Finishes Add-On Sales

* Safety Goggles

* Solvent Resistant Gloves

* Shop Rags

* Paintbrush

* Putty Knife

* Drop Cloth

* Stiff Brush
COPYRIGHT 2008 National Retail Hardware Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Product Training Handbook
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:1244
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