Saturday, December 30, 2017

Free Touch Ups For Life

News Flash

Amato Painting now offers free touch ups for life on all full residential interior painting projects.

What does this mean to you? Once per year, we are reserving January and February to come out for up to one hour and do minor touch ups of the work we have done.
Areas such as trim, walls can easily be touched up with the remaining paint left from the original project.

It also a great time to get some other things done.
Amato painting continues to be a leader in offering extra value to our clients throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Details available 484-821-7112 or at

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Paint It Forward

We were thrilled to call our 2017 Paint It Forward winner today.
Thanks to a Sherwin Williams sponsorship and the generosity of our staff we were able to give a $3000 paint job to Peaceable Kingdom , a facility that is a nonprofit shelter for animals.
Animals for us are dear to our heart as Ryan himself has adopted two dogs from the local shelters and have become a huge part of his family.
We cannot thank everyone enough in supporting this cause and we cannot wait to do it again next year.
Stay tuned for before and afters of this project.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to easily paint kitchen cabinets you will love

Painting kitchen cabinets don't have to be a thing you only dream about or a scary painting project that you have been scared to do or either your husband or wife claims all the paint may fall off or chip off.

Under normal circumstances, this is like any other painting project assuming you take the time to prepare them correctly. There are many different types of cabinet doors so there are variables. In my painting life, we have only had one paint failure, it was due to a cleaner that wasn't able to be removed from the doors that the homeowner didn't tell anyone they were using before painting started. So a contamination of the surface, even with that we were able to fix them better than before.

Step 1 Preparing The Surface

When getting ready to prepare the surface your goal is to create an acceptable surface for paint to adhere, this is the most important step and one not to take lightly.
We will assume we are doing a standard kitchen cabinet painting job.
We would wash the surface first using an all-purpose cleaner, one without oils, tsp is a good cleaner to use here. we do not want to introduce other contaminants.

We also want to wash first rather than sand because if we sand first we may sand any dirt or oils directly into the cabinet which would not be good for adhesion. Once cleaned we let dry and use a very fine sandpaper to lightly scuff the surface. We hear a lot from clients that it doesn't look like anything was done. Remember we are scuffing not stripping the surface. We are not being aggressive here. A light scuff will create a surface that is ready to accept an adhesion primer.

Step 2 Primer

This is where you will get differences in opinions and where you may need a professional to do this project for you. We prefer an oil based primer for this task. An oil based primer will seal, bond and accept the top coats the best. Sealing out contaminants that may be left, stains, tannins from wood.
Now we may not use this on each situation, sometimes we prefer an water based or shellac based primer.

Step 3 To Spray Or Roll

We have done a lot of cabinets and one question we get all the time is do we spray or roll and the answer is yes.
We go by a case by case basis on our cabinet painting and it depends on the time frame, budget, types of paints we are using and expectations of the client.
In our experience the differences are slight and brushing and rolling can accomplish a close finish as compared to spraying vs all the masking, covering and mess associated with spraying.
You will see very minor brush marks with some products, they are minimal and almost nonexistent

Step 4 The Paint

Here is another professional choice and you may get different answers. There are so many great products out right now. What we want is something that dries hard, doesn't yellow, holds color and sheen, can be fully scrubbed and is durable.
Typically we will go to a pre-catalyzed epoxy or two great products, one from Benjamin Moore and one from PPG. Your doing a very important project, don't skimp out on a cheap paint

Step 5 The Process

Ok we're ready to paint after the prep is done we are primed were ready to apply two coats to the cabinets. So once done you will have three total coats protecting the cabinets.
We remove the door handles and doors, the doors will be painted in another location such as the garage, a shop to make more room for the other work inside.
Typically one coat a day will be done depending on temperature, conditions, humidity. It is possible some days to do multiple coats. On most jobs, there will be one master painter applying the finishes, sometimes two. The other painters are helping assist. Most of the jobs this is a two painter job. Putting more manpower on a cabinet job is not recommended. You want one or two hands touching your cabinets to make sure the finish remains constant

What To Expect

You can expect a great job with an even finish if it is something you take on yourself keep in mind you may see brush marks, look for runs, lap marks or misses.
Once done you will have a very durable finish but not one you may never have to touch up or that cannot be chipped if someone bangs into it just like your current cabinets can be scratched paint is simply a coating.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Expectations are the key ingredient

Expectations are the key ingredient when hiring a contractor or painter.

When your hiring a painting contractor letting them know your expectation for your project is very important.

Think of it this way, when you go out to dinner do you not tell the waiter or waitress exactly what you want to do you simply say I'm hungry bring food?

You would never think of doing that even for a $10 meal so why would you do this for a job that could possibly cost you thousands of dollars? It makes no sense.

Don't be afraid to let them know you expect a lot of work in prep or no you would like to save money and you're only concerned with changing colors.

Here is a video I just did explaining this.

Moving to our new location

We have been lucky enough to move to another location.
We have moved to Bethlehem,Pa to service our clients better and have more room for all of our equipment and staff.
None of this is possible without our great painters, staff, and clients.
Please check out our new location in this short video tour.

Friday, December 1, 2017

What you can expect on your painting project


Expectations are the number one reason for complaints, unhappiness and also at the same time satisfaction on any project, painting or other. 

A painting project involves much more than calling up, having an estimate and someone shows up to paint your home. many things go into preparing and knowing what to expect on your painting project.

From choosing colors, sheens, knowing the date the project will start and an estimated time of completion. We see missed or unknown expectations as the number one issue for any customer complaints and it is not always the customers or the painter's fault, there is a share of the blame.

Here are a few missed expectations:
  1. Start of the project: This missed expectation may have never been told to the estimator if you have a deadline that needs to be met it needs to be expressed. With so many projects going on many things can affect that start date from, weather (even if your job is interior) Any rain will push back exterior jobs and also pushing back all the other projects behind it. Other jobs taking longer before yours, this is out of anyone's control and will push yours back.
  2. Completion of the project: This is an unknown, there are so many variables that go into a project from paint and spackle drying, paint not covering, sickness, car trouble etc. Finish dates are variable.
  3. Prep of the surface. One of the top issues, did you explain your expectations to the estimator and did they explain what will and not be done? An old wall will not look like a new wall, have the correct expectations and you will be much happier, nothing is perfect in life
  4. The number of painters on the project. Unless we are talking about commercial painting the number of painters on one project does not necessarily mean a faster job, you can only put so many painters in one room, there is a process that needs to be followed. It amazes me each time a client will tell us we need more painters with no knowledge of the painting industry.
These are just a few of the expectations that may be missed.

Here are some tips to have a great project.
  • Be home for your estimate
  • Have everyone who will have any critique at the estimate
  • Express all of your expectations to your estimator, it may be were not a good fit for each other or we cannot deliver what you may need
  • Know that everything will not be perfect. Painting is an art and will have variables, old walls will not be new, wavy walls will not equal a clear straight cut line. 
  • Spend the money on top of the line paint and materials 
  • The lowest price may be the highest once a project is complete having to go back and fix it, change orders, additional work.
Expectations are so important on any project, think of it this way if you tell your mechanic to just go in and fix anything and they hand you a bill for a huge amount of money without speaking to you even though you said go ahead with anything, what type of argument and dissatisfaction will you have ?

Dealing with clients who are irrational

Dealing with "that" client

When I started my own business after about a few months I realized a hard lesson.
Not everyone respects the other person or has the same values as I do or our employees do.

This was a hard lesson at first and made me question many things, were our systems wrong? Did we do something or not do something we were supposed to do? Was our work just not great on some jobs? What broke down?

I went back and adjusted our systems, policies, checklists only to find we would still have some issues with only a few jobs but those issues would seem like the end of the world even though they were in the grand scheme of things small.

So what is the problem? I speak to many other businesses small and large and they all have the same issues whether they show on the outside or not. One company shared some horrible reviews and emails that are nowhere to be seen on their website or Google, I find that as a cost of business they have budgeted in dealing with these reviews and tough customers.

Their approach was to just manage the bad ones because they know their systems are tight, some customers there is no system in the world that will put a stop to the complaining.

We have a very tight system where the office will call at the start of the job, a few days in and at completion even while the painters and project manager are on site doing the same and still we have clients attempt to go directly around them to get to me. Although I care about each and every job it is just impossible for me to manage a job site especially when we have very qualified people in place to do this. When I hire someone to work around my home, I trust that they hired the correct staff to handle my project, if something would happen would follow THEIR correct chain of command, not the one I believe is right.

We recently had a client who interfered on a very delicate epoxy floor job, he felt he could manage the project, dictate to the painters how to apply and wanted to help every step of the way, all the while leaving emails and voicemails on how upsetting this was to him. There was a material issue which was a small inconvenience but one that we corrected without any question along with the manufacturer of that material. This still was not good enough and he became verbally abusive via email and phone calls and to quote "this has been the worst thing that has happened in my life"
Now if this has been the worst thing that has happened he should thank god for that. Comparing a paint issue to other serious things that could happen in someone's life makes us shake our heads.

One other issue we have is clients simply do not read their contract and I am not speaking about any fine print, we are talking about the bold scope of work, what will be done and not done. This is listed many times through the process, during a walk through before a project starts and available every step of the way.

Even when an issue may pop up and we explain this process some people, usually the same type of irrational person will push back from any of this and expect the painters to do anything they need to do regardless of how much it costs the company to do it and not charge them a dime for it.

This me attitude is the worst thing about being a business owner, we want nothing else than to give an awesome job and put a smile on our clients face, but when we meet these people who knock that smile off even before we walk through the door it brings the office, painters, and supervisors down and they want nothing more than to finish these jobs and move on. We also add these clients to our do not work for list. I should charge other companies for this list it would save a ton of time and money for them.