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Painting Provides Low-Cost, High-Impact Update


A fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective way to keep a store looking bright, well-maintained and appealing. Mike Liszka, CFO, ISP Painting, Naperville, Ill., spoke with

What are common mistakes retailers make when it comes to painting? 

Many retailers make the mistake of trusting their company’s image to the nonprofessional “jack of all trades.” Finding professional and local reliable painters is time-consuming and in many cases virtually impossible. Painting, especially in a retail environment, requires training, experience and expertise. Insist that the company has the means to understand and cater to your individual needs, as well as create a trusting relationship with proper security measures like background checks and picture I.D. badges.

Another common mistake is not following up on the product that is being specified. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of the receipt to verify that the product being used is the one that was specified. The wrong product can reduce the number of years a job will last.

Any suggestions for retailers when it comes to selecting the right color? 

The colors selected should coordinate well with point-of-sale material and signage and reflect the “mood” of the merchandise being sold. For example, a store selling bath and body products would benefit from clean, fresh shades like white and blue. Feminine shades like pink or rose are a great choice for lingerie stores. Remember color choice is only half the battle; the right product determines how long your surface will last.

How do your services fit into retailers’ green strategies? 

Being “green” is important to our clients for a variety of reasons, and it’s a big priority for ISP. As many people are aware, when paint dries it emits VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These emissions are harmful to the environment. Many states have regulations in place that limit or restrict the use of high-VOC emission paints. These regulations can vary within individual states, affecting what products, and sometimes even colors, you have specified for a job.

Are you noticing any trends with regard to colors? 

Vivid, cheerful colors are definitely in for 2009. People are using color to fight off the gloom brought on by the struggling economy. Happy shades like pink, yellow and green are very popular. Benjamin Moore has selected a beautiful yellow shade called “Elmo’s Fire” as this year’s top interior design color.

When working with dynamic colors like these, it’s important not to overdo it. Designers recommend pairing vivid colors with more subtle hues.

Are there any cost-effective options available to help deal with the problem of dated or dirty cabinets and woodwork? 

Replacing dated or dirty cabinets or woodwork is not only extremely expensive, it also creates a significant amount of land waste. Fortunately, there’s an environmentally friendly alternative that costs up to 80% less than replacement. ISP uses a special high-tech coating to recoat existing stained or laminated cabinets and woodwork.

What can retailers do to clean up storefront graffiti? 

ISP finds the best solution is to apply a high-tech product that allows the store manager to wipe off graffiti quickly, easily and completely by the manager. The product can usually be wiped clean up to five times prior to needing a new coat applied. This will reduce the expense and the time wasted with call-backs for maintenance work like power washes and repaints.

What services does ISP provide? 

Our services include but are not limited to: interior/exterior repaints, EIFS repair, FRP recoating, ceiling-tile restoration, wood repair, wallcovering installation, parking-lot line striping, maintenance calls, problem solving and graffiti control. We look at ourselves not only as painters but also as partners who are here to assist in the solutions and needs of each customer. We are willing to go the extra mile to take the pain from painting.

How does ISP keep retailers updated as to the ongoing status of projects? 

There have been many milestones for ISP over the years, but perhaps the most significant is the implementation of our proprietary, collaborative online project management system, the Extranet.

The Extranet is designed and maintained by ISP’s in-house IT department, giving clients quick and easy access to project-related communications and documentation from any computer and most Web-enabled mobile devices. Pre-job surveys, post-job sign-offs, schedule information, before/after pictures, job specifications and more are just a click away.

In addition to the Extranet, clients can feel free to call their dedicated project manager at any time. All of our project managers are available 24/7 should issues arise outside of normal business hours.

For more detailed information, visit .

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