I moved to San Luis Obispo when I was 23 in March of 1998 from Venice Beach, CA. Upon my arrival I went to work for Bruce Owens Painting as an apprentice. I sanded, calked, patched, sanded some more and rolled a lot of walls. Bruce"s work was mainly in Cambria at that time and with the weather conditions changing so drastically from one area of the central coast to the other I learned a few things about the coast. Painting exteriors on the coast in the summer is not always your best move. With all the fog and moisture in the air it is difficult for your substrate to completely dry out. In turn you can possibly trap moisture underneath the paint and have a possibility in the future of bubbling or peeling. This is a rare occurrence with natural moisture from the air, but I personally feel the best time to paint an exterior on the coast is during the Indian summer or late spring. Also you can never use enough bleach to kill the mildew and mold on the exterior of your house. Bleach is a strong product but there has been nothing else invented that works better or more efficiently.
After working for Bruce for about a year I moved on needing a change. I went to work for a gentleman I shall not name due to the fact that what I learned from him was what not to do. He made me his lead painter with not nearly enough experience for the position. He would set up jobs, I would do my best to please the owner and put out any fires that erupted while he was on the golf course. I learned that it is imperative to be on every job for quality control and reassurance for the client. He never had enough money to pay me my full check at the end of the week, nor could he manage to pay his paint bill at the store. I learned that my employee"s pay check is above my personal desires and that the better I treat my employee"s the more they will care about my business and your house.
Now needing to move on from this company after a few months I luckily fell into a job with my last employer, Ron Keith. This job by far was the best I job ever had. Ron cared about his clients, desired to be a good person and do a good job. He paid me every week without fail and in turn I tried hard to please him with my work. I was a painter for the most part by now with a couple years experience under my belt. Ron"s main line of work was for a general contractor who built custom homes. Ron taught me about what products worked best for certain weather conditions, on different substrates, what primes work efficiently and how to put a pig in a dress and make it look good (turning a rundown house into a work of a art). We worked with an interior decorator on all the big projects, mixing colors, faux finishes and some vaneshin plaster. I learned a little about choosing colors that compliment the exterior surroundings and interior textures and furniture. He taught me that running a painting business was more about making people happy when you leave then it was about getting a check. I could not have asked for a better mentor. I worked for Ron for a little over 4 years, even after acquiring my contractor"s license I stayed on with him part time.
Then it was time for me to take that leap of faith and go out on my own. My first job after leaving Ron was a huge Victorian exterior repaint on Leff st. East of Osos st. in Slo. I remember looking at the job after pressure washing it and thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" I took my time and worked hard; using every bit of knowledge I had to produce a beautiful finish. It took me about a month and a half to complete the project; it had not been painted in 20 years. I did it all by myself and the day I finished I had such a sense of pride and accomplishment within. The owner"s were happy and I was asked to paint other properties they owned.
And now 6 years later I have multiple clients, a good reputation and a thriving business. I owe a lot to the community for keeping me working when times were tough and I pay the community back by making it beautiful one home at a time. Thank you for taking the time to visit my web site and learning the history of Under The Sun Painting.