You are the consummate professional and that pride and expertise shines through the work of your associates. Thank you for so greatly exceeding my expectations.
- John Lazar, River Forest
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Archive for December 2010

Clay Paint is Decorative, Eco-Friendly and Natural

Next week, Painting in Partnership’s craftsmen will be completing work on a green painting project. Because of the environmental sensitivities of this client, the specs called for only the cleanest of products. For the kitchen’s wall surfaces, we settled on Bioshield’s Clay Paint.

Clay is one of the oldest and safest building materials available. Clay paints create a pleasant room climate because of its breathability and its reputation as an odor reducer.

Sample of Clay Paint Colors

Sample of Clay Paint Colors

Bioshield’s clay paints are made of naturally occurring clays. Different clays provide color and body for the paint. Clay paints also have other advantages such as low drip and splash factors. Two coats will produce the best result.

In this case, our client wanted more than just a uniform color on her walls. To meet her need for a softly mottled look for her walls, we experimented with stainless steel trowels in the creation of clay paint decorative finishing technique. It consists of rolling one coat of the base color clay paint and letting it dry. We then roll a second of the same color and then, while still wet, we randomly brush on two other colors. Using a trowel, we then artistically blend the three colors for a soft, rich look.

This project is an example of Painting in Partnership’s commitment to our clients’ sophisticated needs for both a safe home environment and good color design.

Epoxy Wood Restoration is a “Green” Activity

“Green” paint products and practices are becoming an integral part of the arsenal of true painting craftsmen. For instance, epoxy wood restoration is one of those areas.

Before Epoxy Wood Restoration #1

Before Epoxy Wood Restoration #1

In the Northern United States, houses are subjected to an array of punishing climatic shocks that can result in the rapid deterioration of wood surfaces, unless someone keeps a close eye on the maintenance of those surfaces. Window sills, bottom rails of doors and casings are especially vulnerable to the effects of the sun, moisture and snow. Still today, a common attitude is this: If there is wood rot, rip out the old wood!

There are two significant problems with this attutude. First of all, it kills trees and loads up the landfills. Moreover, especially for older houses, the wood being so willingly replaced is actually far superior in quality and durability than today’s woods, which are younger, softer and more porous than the old woods. If you are interested in preserving the integrity of the materials on your house, epoxy wood restoration makes a lot of sense!

After Epoxy Restoration #2

After Epoxy Restoration #2

Epoxy wood restoration is not a new concept. However, it use is becoming more widespread. At Painting in Partnership from the Chicago area, we encounter plenty of rotting wood. Our product of choice is Flex-Tec.

I often compare epoxy repair to dentistry. First you clear out the decayed fibers. You then make sure that the remaining cavity is of a shape that can hold the epoxy filler. On occasion, the decay is so extensive that the tooth has to be replaced. In other occasions, epoxy is the perfect solution. Before proceeding with the epoxy work, make sure that the moisture in the wood does not exceed 18%. If it does, let the wood dry out. When the wood is dry, you first use a two-part consolidator to help harden the softer wood edges and create a good bond for the epoxy. You then add the two-part epoxy filler. You then shape the epoxy as desired and allow it to cure completely.

Collection of Vintage Photos from Chicago’s Elliott Paint & Varnish Comes Back to Town

Elliot Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (1)

Elliott Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (1)

Elliott Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (2)

Elliott Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (2)

Painting in Partnership’s reputation as a “custodian” of the painting industry’s past goes far and wide. A few weeks ago, we were contacted by a gentleman in Texas who had a collection of sixty three vintage photographs from an old-time Chicago paint company: Elliott Paint and Varnish Co., which was merged out of existence in the 1970s.

Lou Gehrig, 1930 Vintage

Lou Gehrig, 1930 Vintage

Upon agreeing on a price, Painting in Partnership became the owner of the photos and the collection came back to Chicago, its rightful place. Most of the photographs were taken by a famous Chicago studio called Apex Photographs Co. For instance, Apex took this photo from Lou Gehrig in the late 1920s.

Their work for Elliott Paint took place during the 1920-30s. They took shots of the exterior of the manufacturing facilities, loading docks, labs, offices, manufacturing process and warehousing. The collection gives a unique perspective on the different aspects of the paint manufacturing process during that time period. Three photos from the collection are attached for your viewing pleasure.

Elliott Paint and Varnish Co. was founded in 1897. It rapidly blossomed into a full line paint manufacturer. During the 1970s, it was acquired by Valspar, which had just moved

Elliott Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (3)

Elliott Paint & Varnish Co. Circa 1930 (3)

its headquarters from Rockford, Illinois to Minneapolis, following its merger of with Minnesota Paints, Inc. in 1970.

At Painting in Partnership, house painting contractors from the Chicago area, we believe that understanding our past as an industry is essential to empower our future. This is what moves us to collect and preserve painting memorabilia.

The Power of a Vision of Service

This week, I was reminded of the power of vision to inspire others to carry on, even when the leader is no longer there to stoke the flames. I wanted to share that insight into the power of a vision of service, by telling the story of The Christmas Schooner, a musical performed by TesserAct Theatre Ensemble at its Sponsors’ Gala evening on Monday, November 29th. As one of the sponsors, Painting in Partnership’s thirty guests helped usher in the Holiday Season in style. What a touching and inspiring performance!

Captain Peter on the Rouse Simmons

Captain Peter on the Rouse Simmons

Having never seen the musical, I did not quite know what to expect. I knew that the play was based on the true story of a schooner named the Rouse Simmons that made the trek from upper Michigan to Chicago, in late Novembers, over 100 years ago, in order to bring Christmas trees to the area population. It became known as the Christmas Schooner.

In the play, the captain of the Rouse Simmons, whose name is Peter, was inspired to ferry Christmas trees into Chicago by a letter that Martha had sent to his family complaining that folks in Chicago were deprived of the full enjoyment of Christmas by not having an adequate supply of evergreens. Being a good businessman, Peter knew that there was a profit opportunity in those trees. However, it was also clear that Peter was motivated by something beyond that: spreading the Christmas spirit to the folks in Chicago. After the first trip, he was hooked! He had seen firsthand the impact of his journey on the population and he enrolled his family in supporting the effort, in spite of the fact his wife was fearful of his sailing on lake Michigan at that time of year.
That support was to be put to test when, during the next year’s voyage, a violent storm sank the Rouse Simmons (in 1912) and Peter perished. Despite their grief and hurt, Peter’s wife and son decided that Peter’s legacy had to carry on, so they did and, for many more years (until 1920), a schooner would set anchor at the Clark street pier to deliver its precious cargo.

I have long been an advocate for the power of a vision of service. I believe that God sewed the seeds in each of us for a vision of how to make life better around us. When we choose to act on that vision, it causes others to join in and add momentum towards its ultimate fulfillment.