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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Painting – Contractor CATEGORY

Eric Isenberg is a 28-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of E.G.I Custom Painting, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 429-4994 or by email.

Eric Isenberg

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Eric Isenberg: Painting the Town

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — It’s often said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but Eric Isenberg has no problem relaying the story of how his stint in the desert metropolis led to a painting career. “After high school, a friend of mine moved to Las Vegas and got a job at a car wash,” he remembers. “He told me the money was really good, so I moved out there and joined him.” When things slowed down at the car wash, Eric found work with a high-end home builder who later introduced him to the painting trade. “I started on the cleanup crew and moved up to doing drywall and painting. I caught on pretty quickly…it just came easy for me.” Later, Eric joined the union, which gave him a chance to further hone his skills as a painter. Eventually, he returned to his home of Sonoma County and started his own painting company.

Today, as owner of E.G.I Painting, Eric says his favorite part of his job is the transformation that takes place during the course of each job. “I really like the process of cleaning up and painting a house that looks dirty and worn-down. By the time you’re done, it looks like a new house and the customer is really happy, so it’s a satisfying end result.”

A resident of Rohnert Park, Eric expresses his appreciation for the diverse beauty of the Bay Area landscape. “I especially love the mornings here, when the fog is low and the sun is shining down over the valley. It really doesn’t matter where you go in the Bay Area—you’re bound to find some natural beauty.”

Outside of work, Eric likes to stay active. “I love going to the gym and training, going on hikes, and riding my mountain bike,” he affirms. “I also enjoy swimming, going on early morning walks with my dog and hanging out with my youngest son.” Additionally, Eric makes a point of staying in touch with his four older children, who are each pursuing their own lives and careers. “My kids get mad at me for calling them too much—especially my two daughters, because I like to keep tabs on my grandkids.”

In regard to his professional career, Eric espouses the importance of doing things right the first time. “I often hear that certain painting companies will get the final check but end up coming back to do touch-up work,” he explains. “That’s something I make sure to avoid. When a customer hands me a check at the end of the job, I want everything to be perfect, with all straight lines and no paint on the windows or doorknobs. There shouldn’t be anything left to do after that point.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Eric says he’d take a leisure trip at sea. “I would go on a two-week cruise. I’m not sure where I’d want to go…just as long as the ship has all the best amenities.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Cattlemens in Petaluma.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Australia. I’ve had a few friends from there, and they’re just the warmest people. Plus, it seems like a very diverse place—one side is desert, the other side is green. From what I hear, you can do anything from cliff diving and snorkeling to spelunking.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Ice cream.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: A Star Wars character. Almost every year during my childhood, I was Darth Vader, C-3PO or some other character from those movies.

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Maintaining Your House Paint with Power Washing

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ROHNERT PARK — An often-overlooked aspect of home maintenance is cleaning the exterior, which not only removes dirt buildup but contributes to paint color retention and longevity as well. The best way to keep your home’s exterior clean is with regular… Read more

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Video: Benefits of Power Washing

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ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you want to keep your home’s paint job looking better for longer, consider investing in professional power washing. Today we’re… Read more

Nick Capurro is a 10-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of Majestic Painters, a Diamond Certified company since 2013. He can be reached at (510) 394-4990 or by email.

Nick Capurro

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Nick Capurro: Majestic Aspirations

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

LIVERMORE — Following a tumultuous career in high-tech sales, Nick Capurro was eventually able to find a more stable—not to mention colorful—livelihood. “I’d been downsized several times while working in high-tech sales,” he says. “It was the same scenario each time: the company would build up the sales until the time was right, then they’d get rid of as many people as they could and the president would sell. That happened to me three times in two years.”

Fed up with the erratic nature of his position, Nick decided to try something new and started running a temp agency office, where he stumbled upon an unforeseen opportunity. “I was working with a painting company, trying to find them an administrative assistant, when I realized the position might be a good fit for me,” he explains. “After all, I liked working with my hands, and painting seemed like a steady industry to get involved in. I applied for the position and was hired. After gaining a few years’ worth of experience, I started a painting franchise. Eventually, I broke off and founded my own company.”

Today, as owner of Majestic Painters, Nick says his favorite part of his job is being a hands-on owner. “I currently have six crews going, so I like visiting the jobsites, looking things over and talking to the customers. I also like being my own boss—after years of taking orders, it’s nice to be the one giving them for a change!”

A resident of Livermore (where he lives with his wife, Amber, and his children, Evan and Emily), Nick appreciates the town’s unique personality. “One thing I really like about Livermore is that the bulk of downtown commerce is owned by members of the community, not a bunch of faceless franchises. My wife and I know the owners of almost every downtown establishment, so it’s neat to have that close connection to the local business community, as well as the community in general.”

Outside of work, Nick enjoys activities like traveling and spending time with family. “Both of my kids are involved in extracurricular activities—my son plays football and my daughter rides horses—so I regularly attend their events,” he says. “I also travel as often as I can. That’s probably my favorite pastime: just seeing and experiencing different parts of the world.” Nick also enjoys cooking, tackling home improvement projects and watching sports on TV.

In regard to a professional philosophy, Nick believes in doing a quality job, regardless of the cost. “I always try to do the job right without worrying about the economic consequences,” he affirms. “If I see a mistake, I make sure it’s redone, even if the client doesn’t see it. I don’t care if we end up losing money on the job; I just want to do the absolute best we can, every time.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Nick says he’d see some more of the world. “I’ve done a lot of traveling, but there are still a lot of countries I haven’t yet visited. So, if I retired tomorrow, I’d probably jump on a plane to Italy, Costa Rica or Brazil—all on my short list of places I want to see.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Uncle Yu’s in Lafayette.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Hang out by the fire and watch TV.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Waffles.

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Two Types of Caulking

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LIVERMORE — When it comes to doing home maintenance, many homeowners mistakenly think all caulking is basically the same. In reality, there are two types of caulking, each of which has very different properties and applications. Interior caulking (typically an acrylic… Read more

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Video: Two Kinds of Caulking

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LIVERMORE — Host, Sarah Rutan: Prior to sealing an area of your home, make sure you’re using the appropriate type of caulking for the application. Today… Read more

Dan Parker is owner of Stroke & Kote Painting, Marin, a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (415) 493-8953 or by email.

Dan Parker

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Dan Parker: Different Strokes

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PETALUMA — When Dan Parker began working for a painting company after high school, he had no idea he’d one day be the owner—not to mention part of the former owner’s family. “My father was a painter, so I learned the trade by working with him on weekends,” he recounts. “Following high school, I went to work for a family friend named Peter Inglis, who owned Stroke & Kote Painting, Marin. About 15 years in, I married his daughter, Leah, at which point I became his son-in-law as well as his employee. Recently, Peter decided to retire, so Leah and I have taken over the business.”

Today, Dan says his favorite part of his job is coordinating the many moving parts involved in the company’s day-to-day operations. “There’s a lot to juggle when you run a business, from scheduling jobs to dealing with customers and employees. It can certainly be exhausting, but at the end of the day, it’s very satisfying to see what you’ve accomplished.”

As a resident of Petaluma (where he lives with Leah and their two boys, Xavier and Avery), Dan expresses his appreciation for life and work in Sonoma County. “I haven’t travelled that much, but I’ve been around enough to know we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Plus, it’s great to be a painter in an area with such great weather—even during the winter, we’re able to stay reasonably busy.”

In his life and career, Dan espouses the importance of making customers happy. “Customer satisfaction is always the number one priority,” he affirms. “If you mistakenly bid a job too low, that’s your bad—the customer shouldn’t have to pay for that mistake. Ultimately, customer satisfaction is a lot more important than any amount of time or money, because that’s the foundation of any long-standing business.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dan says he’d devote more time to his kids. “Even if I retired tomorrow, I’d still have kids that are nine and 10 years old, so it’s not like I could just go off and see the world. No matter what happens, I’m still a dad—although, between all the birthday parties and sporting events, sometimes I feel more like a chauffeur!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Brixx Pizzeria in Petaluma.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music—especially ’60s rock ‘n’ roll.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: The Netherlands—my wife’s aunt and uncle live there, and it would be nice to visit them.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Waffles…provided you have a good waffle maker.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: The reward that comes from giving.

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A New Innovation in Paint Primer

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PETALUMA — If the paint on your exterior siding is starting to peel, you may think you need to sand it down before repainting. While you’d normally be correct, there’s a new primer product on the market that eliminates much of the… Read more

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Video: Innovations in Paint Primer

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PETALUMA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning for an upcoming painting project, there’s a new, cutting-edge product you should know about. Today we’re in Petaluma with Diamond… Read more

Mike Chavez is a 14-year veteran of the painting industry and president of Mike Chavez Painting, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 200-1315 or by email.

Mike Chavez

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Mike Chavez: Primed for Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

SANTA ROSA — When Mike Chavez was introduced to the painting trade by the father of a friend, he had little idea he was being primed for a permanent profession. “My buddy’s dad was a painter, and I worked for him during the summers in high school,” he recounts. “I remember leaving a jobsite one day, looking over the finished product as I drove away, and feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride. After high school, I worked for a couple of different painting contractors until I decided to get my license and start my own business.”

Today, as owner of Mike Chavez Painting, Mike says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “I enjoy meeting new customers and getting to know them during the course of the job. It also gives me a lot of satisfaction to learn their expectations for their projects and then give them exactly what they envisioned.”

A lifetime resident of Sonoma County, Mike expresses his appreciation for life in the North Bay. “This area has always been home to me,” he says. “I really love the diversity of our environment. Depending on which direction you go, you’re 20 minutes from the redwoods, the ocean or the Napa Valley, so there’s a lot to enjoy.”

Outside of work, Mike engages in a variety of activities, from hanging out with his fiancée, Amanda, to running and playing softball. “I love barbecuing and spending time with friends and family,” he says. “I also play in a coed softball league and like to go running in Annadel State Park.” When he’s not at home or out amongst nature, Mike likes playing the bass guitar and attending concerts and Giants games in San Francisco.

In his life and career, Mike espouses the importance of honesty. “I really believe that you’re only as good as your word, which is why I always deliver what I promise,” he explains. “My integrity is very important to me in how I live my life and run my business, and honesty is at the forefront of that.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Mike says he’d head south for an extended vacation. “I would probably take a trip through Central and South America and spend a month touring the different countries. On the other hand, I might just go to the Bahamas and kick back for a while.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: Bass guitar—even though I already play, I’m still not a master.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Hang out with my fiancée and watch a movie.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Sweet T’s Restaurant and Bar in Santa Rosa.

Q: What was your first concert?
A: Probably seeing my father play music years ago. He’s a cello player, and he used to play in a band that ran the local winery circuit.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Nuts.

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An Important Step before Caulking

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SANTA ROSA — Caulking is a useful technique for closing up exterior cracks and gaps that allow air and water to permeate your home. By making a home more weather- and draft-resistant, caulking can help protect exterior wood from rot… Read more

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Video: A Crucial Step Before Caulking

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SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Prior to applying caulking or another sealant to a wood surface, you’ll first want to make sure the surface is properly prepared.… Read more

Shawn Park is a second-generation painting professional and general manager of T & J Painting, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 924-1976 or by email.

Shawn Park

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Shawn Park: Made in the Shade

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — After he graduated high school, Shawn Park could’ve pursued any career he wanted, but he ultimately chose to follow in his father’s footsteps. “My dad, Tony, has been painting in the Bay Area for about 20 years, and after high school, I started working for him full-time,” he says. “I’ve always found the trade to be pretty interesting, and I enjoy meeting different people every day. Plus, the hands-on training I’ve received from my dad is something I couldn’t get by going to school or doing an internship. Overall, I’ve found that learning a trade is difficult but also very rewarding.”

Today, as general manager of T & J Painting, Shawn says his favorite part of his job is furthering the company’s good reputation. “Unfortunately, our industry has its share of shady companies that mislead customers and let them down. That’s why I take a lot of pride in earning our customers’ trust, delivering on our promises and maintaining our positive reputation. Of course, I also love hearing customers tell me they’re happy with our work.”

A resident of San Jose, Shawn spends much of his time outside of work taking advantage of the diverse local landscape. “My generation grew up immersed in electronics, so I find that a lot of people my age don’t appreciate all the natural beauty and outdoor activities we have access to here in the Bay Area. Whenever I have the time, I try to get outdoors, whether it’s hiking at Alamere Falls or mountain biking and surfing in Santa Cruz.”

In his life and career, Shawn espouses the importance of maintaining a respectful attitude toward others. “I’ve found that if you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you, which is why I always make sure we do our part and deliver what’s in our contract,” he explains. “That’s pretty much how I live my life as well. Ultimately, I think it just comes down to doing your part and treating others with respect.”

When asked what he expects his personal and professional future to look like, Shawn says it’s yet to be determined. “My dad has a great success story: Originally from Korea, he came to the United States and found success by starting his own business. Other than following in his footsteps, I don’t really have my own story yet, so I have to make one. I guess I’d better make it interesting!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.

Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Climbing about 20 feet up a rock wall without any harnesses. It was the scariest thing I’ve done in my life—about halfway up, I was regretting it.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Kettle corn.

Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle and Lavell Crawford.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: Wolverine.

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How to Protect Painted Exterior Metal

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SAN JOSE — A common occurrence with painted metal railings or fences is premature chipping and fading caused by weather damage and sun exposure. Fortunately, with a little maintenance, you can repair this damage and add some extra durability to your paint… Read more

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Video: How to Protect Painted Metal Railings

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SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you have a painted metal railing or fence, a proactive maintenance step can help prevent premature chipping and wear. Today we’re… Read more

Daniel Morra is a 17-year veteran of the painting industry and president of Innovation Painting Plus, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 275-1070 or by email.

Daniel Morra

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Daniel Morra: Before and After

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN MATEO — Long before he was painting professionally, Daniel Morra had little interest in the trade—or any other, for that matter. “After high school, a couple of general contractors I knew offered to get me involved in the construction business, but it didn’t really appeal to me,” he remembers. However, after helping a friend with a painting project, Daniel caught a glimpse of what would later develop into a successful livelihood. “Everything changed for me in 1999, when I helped my friend paint his new house. I realized that house painting was something I could make a living at and actually enjoy doing as well. I decided to start painting houses on my own, and eventually I took on some employees and became a corporation.”

Today, as president of Innovation Painting Plus, Daniel says he still enjoys the before-and-after transformation that his everyday work entails. “Sometimes we’ll get to work on an old Victorian house that hasn’t been cared for in a long time, and after we’re finished, it makes a huge impact. Seeing the effects of my work keeps me excited and makes me feel good about what I do.”

Born in Argentina to native Italian parents, Daniel came to the United States as a teenager—a transition he describes as hard but manageable. “It wasn’t easy for me, but it was even tougher for my parents, who had difficulty adapting to the language.” Today, as a resident of San Mateo (where he lives with his wife, Angie), Daniel expresses his appreciation for the people of the Bay Area. “I love the people, the way they think and the fact that they come from all different parts of the world. The sheer diversity is pretty extraordinary, especially in San Francisco. It’s not something you see in most other places.”

In keeping with his love of diversity, Daniel devotes as much time as possible outside of work to travel. “Traveling is a big part of my life,” he affirms. “I love seeing different places and meeting different people, both in the U.S. and abroad.” Daniel also enjoys personal hobbies like collecting vintage toys, watching soccer and rugby, and playing with his mini rat terrier, Pine. “From a distance, she looks like a Chihuahua, but she has a different personality than most dogs her size. For instance, she’s a hunter.” In addition to hanging out with his canine cohort, Daniel takes time to keep up with his son, Frederico, who is currently attending college.

In his life and career, Daniel espouses the importance of showing respect for his clientele. “People can tell the difference between a painter who cares and one who doesn’t,” he says. “That’s why I train my employees to treat each house they work on as if it was their own. When you take care of the client’s house and treat it with respect, the client will notice.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Daniel says he’d allot more time to his favorite activity. “I would definitely do a lot more traveling. There are still plenty of places I’d like to see, including Tahiti and the Holy Land.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: My mom’s kitchen!

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The past—there are a lot of things I would change and people I would help.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird. I wake up around 5am and go to bed around 11pm.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: It’s a tie between ice cream and flan.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My “Masters of the Universe” He-Man action figure.

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An Alternative for Cleaning Paint Brushes

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SAN MATEO — After completing a painting project, the next thing to do is clean your brushes and other painting tools. This can be a frustrating process, not only because it’s messy, but also because you have to exercise care when handling… Read more

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Video: Cleaning Alternative for Paint Tools

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SAN MATEO — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to cleaning your tools after a painting project, you might be surprised at how effective a common household… Read more

Jared Cuevas is president of Bay-Valley Painting, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 456-4989 or by email.

Jared Cuevas

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Jared Cuevas: Uncommon Expertise

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ANTIOCH — As a second-generation painter, Jared Cuevas’ experience on both the contracting and supplier sides of his industry has culminated in an uncommon depth of expertise. “I started out working for my dad during summer breaks in high school and college,” he remembers. “After college, I worked for him full-time for about eight years until he retired in 2010. At that point, I went to work for Sherwin-Williams, and after that Kelly-Moore, which gave me experience on the supplier side of the industry. Eventually, I wanted to start painting in the field again, so I started my own business.”

Today, as owner of Bay-Valley Painting, Inc., Jared says his favorite part of his job is interacting with people. “I like meeting and talking to customers and helping them make their projects as cost-effective as possible. It feels really good to make a customer feel better about the way their house looks.”

A resident of Antioch, Jared spends his free time on a variety of active pastimes. “One of my main hobbies is going to the gym, although not everyone would call that a hobby,” he says. “I also like spending time with friends, barbecuing, going to concerts and traveling.”

In regard to his professional career, Jared offers some advice to homeowners. “When choosing a painting contractor, I advise being patient when making your decision,” he says. “When looking at estimates, it’s easy to be swayed by emotion or by a cheap price, but that isn’t a good way to make a decision. It’s better to look at your options and then take a day or two to think about them. This will help you make a well-considered choice.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jared says he’d move to Austin, Texas. “I like it there—it’s a fun, laid-back city with a lot to do and see. They have a unique sense of culture and community, and it’s not as fast-paced as the Bay Area, which I like. I’ve always felt like it would be a good fit for me.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sylvia’s Country Kitchen in Antioch. They serve a great breakfast.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: A little bit of everything, from the alternative rock I listened to in high school to ’80s and ’90s country.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Ray Donovan.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: London, England.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Cashews.

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The Importance of Paint Preparation

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ANTIOCH — When having your house painted, don’t overlook the importance of proper preparation. That fact is, there are some things a new coat of paint can’t hide. Worse still, there are things that, even if they can be hidden… Read more

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Video: The Impact of Painting Preparation

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ANTIOCH — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to house painting, thorough preparation can result in a better final product. Today we’re in Antioch with Diamond Certified Expert… Read more

Cleve Dayton is owner of The Painting Pros, a Diamond Certified company since 2002. He can be reached at (408) 622-0418 or by email.

Cleve Dayton

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Cleve Dayton: True Calling

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

LOS GATOS — Like many high school graduates in search of direction, a young Cleve Dayton had hoped to discover his professional livelihood in the academic realm. However, it wasn’t until he looked beyond the classroom that he found his true calling. “I was attending junior college, basically just trying to find my way, when I became acquainted with the owner of a local painting company,” he recalls. “After a while, he invited me to come and work for him. As a detail-oriented person, I found a lot of satisfaction in painting, both in performing the work and seeing the end results. After about four years, I realized I was a painter, so I got my license and started my own business.”

Today, more than 35 years after founding The Painting Pros, Cleve says that while he no longer performs the physical work, he finds equivalent satisfaction from handling the operational side of things. “I enjoy running and developing the business, from the sales and marketing aspects to interacting with customers and making sure they’re satisfied.”

A lifelong resident of Los Gatos, where he lives with his wife, Karen, Cleve enjoys being part of the community in which he grew up. “Los Gatos is my home—I’ve never found another place I’d rather live,” he says. “I’m very involved in the community, and I even serve on the Board of Directors for the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce.”

Outside of work, Cleve’s primary hobby is playing and performing music, an interest he’s pursued since his youth. “My wife and I play in a local rock band called Rusty—I’m the guitarist and she’s the singer,” he says. “Oddly enough, almost every member of the band is a past customer of mine. While on the job, I’d see a drum set or keyboard and we’d start talking. Next thing you know, we’re jamming together!” In addition to playing music, Cleve enjoys videography; photography; and spending time with his son, Daniel, and his three grandchildren.

In his life and career, Cleve has found that true success requires exceptional effort. “I once read that successful people think about what will get results, while unsuccessful people think about what will be easiest,” he explains. “That’s why my guys and I always go the extra mile to please our customers. I think that’s why we get such good reviews—our goal is simply to do the best possible job and make people happy.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Cleve says he’d take a trip that would incorporate several of his interests. “I’d book a photography safari and take my guitar with me. Traveling, photography and music—put all three of those together and I’d be fine.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite band?
A: The Beatles.

Q: Which guitarists have influenced you the most?
A: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Viva! Neighborhood Eatery of Los Gatos.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Almonds.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: My long hair.

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How to Apply Water-Based Paint Over An Oil-Based Surface

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LOS GATOS — While environmentally-friendly materials offer a healthier approach to home improvement, they aren’t always compatible when used alongside traditional ones. One example of this is using a water-based paint on an oil-based surface. While it may take a… Read more

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Video: Knowing Your Painting Surface

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LOS GATOS — Host, Sarah Rutan: Prior to repainting a wall in your home, it's important to know the character of the existing paints surface.… Read more

Ken Slosarik is a 27-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of El Gato Painting & Restoration, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 924-2960 or by email.

Ken Slosarik

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Ken Slosarik: Results-Driven

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SUNNYVALE — Not many people would equate house painting with rocket science, but for Ken Slosarik, the connection isn’t all that distant. “My dad was a rocket engineer, so he was always building complicated things, which definitely had an influence on me and my older brother,” he explains. “However, we lacked the patience for the level of complexity he was dealing with—we were more results-driven, which is why we gravitated toward the construction field. Years later, I helped my brother when he started a painting business and eventually got involved in other aspects of construction.”

While Ken spent most of his early career doing hands-on work, it was an opportunity to enter the sales side of the industry that led him to where he is today. “I knew the owner of a local painting company who was in need of a sales representative, and I offered to fill the position,” he recounts. “Over time, I moved up through the ranks and became his right-hand man. After he passed away, I took over ownership of the business.”

Twenty-five years later, as owner of El Gato Painting & Restoration, Inc., Ken says he continues to derive fulfillment from seeing the results of his work. “I find it very satisfying to watch our company operating smoothly and doing great work. When a customer is happy with the final product and tells me what a great job our guys did, that confirms we’re doing things right, which makes me feels good.”

A longtime resident of the South Bay, Ken expresses his appreciation for the cutting-edge character of the Silicon Valley milieu. “San Jose is one of the great economic engines of the world,” he says. “It seems that no matter what’s going on in the world or the economy, the people here continue to innovate and make things happen. Plus, when new technologies emerge, we’re the first to get them, so it’s just an exciting place to live.”

Outside of work, Ken engages in active pastimes like fitness and outdoor exploration. “I try to do some sort of exercise every day, whether it’s running, swimming or light weightlifting,” he says. “I’m also very big into backpacking—I take three or four trips a year to places like Yosemite and the Sierras.” Ken also enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Andrea, his daughters, Sydney and Sonya, and his stepdaughters, Sabrina and Samantha.

In his life and career, Ken espouses the importance of continually broadening his horizons. “I’m always striving to improve,” he says. “I like learning new things and growing, whether by attending industry seminars, reading books or doing online research. I also make it a point to expose my kids to new things and give them opportunities to have their own experiences.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Ken says he’d continue to keep a hand in his professional field. “I can see myself backing off a bit from the day-to-day stuff, but I don’t see myself fully retiring. These days, I’m doing a lot of real estate rehabs, which is really fun, so I’ll probably put more effort into that. Of course, I’d also like to do some more traveling.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Probably England, France and Spain. Up until now, all my traveling has been limited to North America, so I look forward to doing more overseas travelling in the future.

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: I used to primarily read business and self-improvement books, but recently I’ve been branching out into fiction, particularly sci-fi and thriller novels.

Q: Reality TV or documentaries?
A: Reality TV—I enjoy all the home renovation shows.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas. Every year, my family and I go to San Francisco and spend a day in Union Square, so that’s something I always look forward to.

Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Skydiving.

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The Importance of Priming

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SUNNYVALE — One of the most common mistakes people make when painting their homes is neglecting to use primer. In reality, primer and paint work as a team: the primer gives the paint a clean, stable surface to stick to, while the… Read more

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Video: The Importance of Priming

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SUNNYVALE — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to tackle a home painting project, there’s one vital aspect you won’t want to neglect. Today we’re in Sunnyvale with… Read more

Lee Dido is a longtime veteran of the painting industry and owner of Wine Country Painters, a Diamond Certified company since 2010. He can be reached at (707) 925-2916 or by email.

Lee Dido

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Lee Dido: Painting the Wine Country

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

FORESTVILLE — Lee Dido started painting professionally right out of high school and hasn’t looked back since. “After graduating high school, I was offered a job painting houses at $7 an hour, and I took it,” he recounts. “Working for a general contractor, I did other aspects of construction as well, but painting was what I enjoyed most and really excelled at, so I decided to focus on it. By the time I was 28, I’d started my own company.”

Today, as owner of Wine Country Painters, Lee says his favorite part of his job is working with customers. “I love meeting new people and guiding them through the painting process. I understand how frustrating it can be to have someone working in and around your home, so I do my best to ease that stress and educate my customers on what we’re doing.”

A longtime resident of Sonoma County, Lee expresses his fondness for the flavor of Bay Area life. “From the weather to the food and culture, I love the lifestyle we have in the North Bay. I’ve been to a lot of places and nothing is quite like it.”

Outside of work, Lee likes to stay active with exercise and outdoor activities. “I go to the gym five days a week, and I’m an avid swimmer and cyclist. I also do a lot of skiing in the winter and enjoy taking walks along the beach.” Additionally, Lee likes spending time with his wife, Alexandra, their two grown children, Britney and River, and their one-year old daughter, Meadow. “After being in an empty nest for a while, Alexandra and I recently had another daughter. It’s been an amazing experience to have a second go-round at parenthood.”

In regard to his professional career, Lee espouses the virtues of proactive communication. “I pride myself on having good communication with customers,” he affirms. “Whether I’m following up with them after the job or calling ahead to let them know I’m running behind, they really appreciate being kept in the loop. A lot of painters struggle with this, so I make a concerted effort to keep those communication lines open.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Lee says he’d continue doing the things he currently enjoys. “I’d probably spend more time playing with my daughter, going to the gym and skiing. I might also take the opportunity to go to Europe and ski the Alps.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Goat cheese and crackers.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Vinyl records. I used to be a DJ when I was in my 20s, so I’ve accumulated quite a collection. I probably have 10,000 records at this point.

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: Alto saxophone.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Soft-boiled.

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How to Get Clean Lines with Interior Painting

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FORESTVILLE — When painting your home’s interior, knowing the right techniques can go a long way toward achieving a beautiful result. One such technique is using caulking to get clean lines when painting with different colors on adjacent walls and ceilings.… Read more

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Video: How to Paint Your Home’s Interior

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FORESTVILLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to an interior painting project, following a few essential guidelines can help you achieve a positive result. Today we’re… Read more

Yefim Skomorovsky is a 36-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of Classic Shades Painting Co., a Diamond Certified company since 2013. He can be reached at (415) 529-6958 or by email.

Yefim Skomorovsky

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Yefim Skomorovsky: A Broader Perspective

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Born and raised in Ukraine, Yefim Skomorovsky moved to the United States shortly after reaching adulthood. Nearly 30 years later, he says living in two different parts of the world has given him a broader perspective not only in life, but in his career as well. “I enrolled in a painting apprenticeship when I was 14 years old, and after it was over I began working full-time in the industry,” he remembers. “When I was 18, I moved with my family to the U.S., where I got into another painting apprenticeship. I think being formally trained in both European and American painting methods has given me an advantage in terms of knowledge and perspective.”

Today, as owner of Classic Shades Painting Co., Yefim says his favorite part of his job is making customers happy. “I make sure my clients get what they pay for and are truly satisfied with the results. I always give 110 percent, and that effort pays off in the form of high customer satisfaction.”

As a resident of San Francisco (where he lives with his wife, Natasha, and their children, Brianna and Michael), Yefim spends much of his free time enjoying the diverse environments that comprise his local setting. “My family and I love living in the city and exploring different neighborhoods,” he affirms. “However, we also enjoy outdoor activities like camping and fishing. Being in the Bay Area, we’re lucky enough to have both.”

In regard to his professional career, Yefim espouses the importance of customer service. “I was fortunate to recognize many years ago that customer service is the key to a successful business,” he says. “A lot of people can paint, but being able to deliver both a quality job and a positive experience for the customer…that’s an art form. I’m at a point in my career where that’s my main focus.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Yefim says he’d take his family on an extended road trip. “I’ve already done a fair amount of traveling abroad, so I’d like to see more of the United States. It’s a beautiful country, and there are many places I haven’t been yet.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: Much of what I read is business-related. I’m interested in learning new things that I can apply to my business. For example, I just read a book about search engine optimization.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future, just to see what things are like and if we actually start colonizing other planets.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Hang out at home with my family.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Ella’s in San Francisco.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: I get tired of the standard stuff, so I like it when they’re prepared in a unique way because it’s a different experience.

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How to Create a Color Scheme for Your Home

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SAN FRANCISCO — One of the most challenging aspects of a home painting project is choosing the right colors. Since the color scheme you select is something you’re going to live with for a long time, you should give it plenty… Read more

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Video: Creating a Color Scheme

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SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: One of the most important aspects of painting your home is choosing a color scheme you’ll enjoy looking at for… Read more

Soumil Amin is a 15-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of CertaPro Painters of Berkeley, a Diamond Certified company since 2010. He can be reached at (510) 761-6903 or by email.

Soumil Amin

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Soumil Amin: In Living Color

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — When Soumil Amin started doing maintenance work to earn money while attending school, he never thought it would lead to a lifelong career. “During college, I was a maintenance technician at a hotel, which involved a lot of exterior and interior painting,” he remembers. “After graduating, I wanted to start a life for myself, so I began looking at different businesses and trades to get involved in. Since I had some experience, I decided to try my hand at being a professional painter.” In 2003, after getting a few years of additional experience under his belt, Soumil made a big leap forward by opening a franchise of the nationwide company CertaPro Painters.

Today, as owner of CertaPro Painters of Berkeley, Soumil expresses a twofold appreciation for his career. “I love taking a home in need of a paint job and watching the transformation from old to new,” he says. “I also enjoy meeting and interacting with customers, as well as providing them with products they’re completely happy with.”

Originally from Atlanta, Soumil moved to California as a teenager and today resides in Concord with his wife, Kruti, and their two daughters. When asked his favorite part about living and working in the Bay Area, he cites its diverse character. “I think having such a complex mixture of people and cultures adds richness to life,” he says. “Plus, it means we have a lot of great food!”

Outside of work, Soumil devotes most of his time to his other career: being a full-time family man. “Most of my hobbies revolve around sports and outdoor activities, but these days I’m mainly doing the dad thing,” he says. “However, my wife and I make an effort to stay active by taking the girls with us on hikes or walks along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. As they get older, we’ll branch out into biking and other activities.”

In his life and career, Soumil espouses the importance of delivering on your promises. “I take pride in what I do, so I want to make sure everything is laid out perfectly and the results are exactly as I said they’d be,” he explains. “An important aspect of that is communication. Not only do I need to communicate with my customers to understand their needs, I need to communicate those needs to my crew so the job is done correctly.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Soumil says he’ll find ways to stay active, both at home and abroad. “I like experiencing different places and cultures, so I’ll definitely do some traveling. However, I’d also like to become more active in my local community.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Australia.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Burma Superstar in Oakland.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Relax and eat a hot bowl of pho.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Breaking Bad.”

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Lead-Safe Paint Preparation

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OAKLAND — When planning for a house painting project, a crucial concern to keep in mind is lead safety. Any house built prior to 1978 has the potential to contain lead-based paint; even if more recent layers of paint don’t contain lead,… Read more

How To Paint Over Oil-Based Paint

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OAKLAND − Repainting your home interior may seem like a simple task, but it can get complicated fast if you aren’t careful. For example, since many older homes still have oil-based paint on the walls and trim, attempting to paint over these… Read more

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Video: How to Repaint an Oil-Based Surface

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OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When painting over an oil-based paint surface in your home, it’s crucial to employ the right techniques. Today we’re in Oakland with Diamond… Read more

Ilan Sigura is a lifetime veteran of the construction industry and CEO of Sigura Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (408) 372-8945 or by email.

Ilan Sigura

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Ilan Sigura: An Integral Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA — By the time he reached early adulthood, Ilan Sigura had already established deep roots in the construction industry. Even when he tried his hand at a new profession, it wasn’t long before he returned to the field that had become an integral part of his identity. “My father was a contractor, and he began teaching me the trade when I was just a boy,” he explains. “Later, as a college student, I decided to study computer science. After I graduated, I spent a couple of months engineering software for a tech company, but I didn’t like it at all. I felt insignificant working at a large company and my work had no direct impact on the lives of others. This was a stark contrast from construction, where I got to interact with people and see the results of my work firsthand. Ultimately, I decided to go back to doing what I knew best.”

Today, as owner of Sigura Pro Painting, Ilan says his favorite part of his job is the pride he takes in his company’s reputation. “Between my production team, my estimators and my guys in the field, I run a fairly large operation. As we continue to receive high customer satisfaction ratings, it’s an indication that we’re doing very well, which I find very satisfying.”

Originally from Israel, Ilan came to the United States in 1990 to attend college in New Jersey. “My plan was to return home and run my father’s business after graduating, but as it turned out, I fell in love with this country and never went back.” After migrating to the Bay Area for what was to be a brief stint in the tech field, Ilan settled in Sunnyvale, where he now lives with his wife, Rinat, and their five children. When asked his favorite part about living in the Bay Area, he expresses his appreciation of the diverse local landscape. “I like being outdoors, and there are lots of opportunities for that here. With so much to explore and so much variety, it never gets boring.”

Outside of work, Ilan spends the bulk of his time with his family. “My wife and I believe in giving our kids skills so they can grow up to be confident and independent,” he says. “We like taking them camping and sightseeing, as well as doing activities like riding quads and jet skiing.” Additionally, Ilan extends his passion for construction to his home environment. “I do a lot of home improvement projects, which keeps me working with my hands and helps me stay in touch with my trade.”

In his life and career, Ilan says he never forgets to consider the impact of his work on future generations. “As a professional, I believe in doing things honestly and with integrity—not only because what goes around comes around, but because we need to leave a good place for our children to inherit. That’s why my team and I make an effort to implement eco-friendly measures in our work whenever possible. With everything we do, we want to make sure we’re doing right by the planet and the people who inhabit it.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Ilan says it’s a doubtful scenario. “I don’t think I’ll ever retire—I’ll always want to work. But if I did retire, I’d spend more time with my wife and kids. After all, they’re the most important things to me.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Summer—I come from a warm country, so I like the heat.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The past, just because things used to be simpler and more innocent back when I was growing up.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Snickers bars.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: Both. I usually get about four hours of sleep each night.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Satsuma Sushi in Mountain View.

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Options for Addressing a Lead Paint Hazard

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SANTA CLARA — Everyone knows lead paint represents a health hazard, but many homeowners are unsure of the specific circumstances under which it’s a concern. In general, if your home was built or painted before 1978 (when lead paint was officially banned),… Read more

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Video: Addressing Lead Paint Concerns

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SANTA CLARA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you discover that your home contains lead paint, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to address it safely and effectively.… Read more

Greg Kuzmicki is a 39-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of Solidarity Painting, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (707) 544-9551 or by email.

Greg Kuzmicki

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Greg Kuzmicki: A Brush with Destiny

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA – When Greg Kuzmicki first arrived in New York at the age of 13, his initial impressions of the United States weren’t exactly ideal. “Coming from Poland to Brooklyn, New York was a complete culture shock,” he recalls. “All I could think was, ‘Is this all there is?’” However, after visiting his brother in California a few years later, he found a far closer resemblance to the picture of America he’d originally painted in his mind. “The climate was so much better and the people were so much nicer­! Thirty-five years later, I’m still enjoying life in the Bay Area.”

Greg has been involved in the painting industry his whole life—he started doing summer work when he was a teenager, and when he moved from the East Coast to California, his first full-time job was with a painting contractor in San Mateo. After working for three painting contractors in San Francisco and Marin over a 12-year span, he finally established his own company, Solidarity Painting, Inc., in 1990. Greg’s professional emphasis on quality was evident in Solidarity Painting’s ability to not only withstand but actually prosper during the economic downturn of 2008. “When many painting businesses were folding, we were actually expanding,” he says. “In 2009, we moved from a 1,000-square-foot shop to a 2,500-square-foot shop.”

After three-plus decades of living and working in the Bay Area, Greg’s initial appreciation of the climate and people hasn’t dwindled a bit. He also enjoys taking advantage of the activities offered by the local topography. “I love hiking, waterskiing and rock climbing,” he says. “One of my favorite things is going to Zion National Park and doing some free climbing. Climbing a couple hundred feet without ropes is quite a thrill—it’s almost the same as getting up on a 40-foot ladder to paint a house!” When he’s not scaling a ladder or a rock face, Greg enjoys spending time with his two children, 19-year-old Monica and 16-year-old Adam.

When asked to sum up his life and career, Greg says one particular quote stands out. “I’ve always said, ‘We are where we are because of the choices we make.’ When you do high-quality work, you can expect a certain amount of repeat clients, and I think the same applies in life. If you try to be a good person and live right, good things will come back your way.” Greg applies this motto to his daily life by sponsoring children in undeveloped counties and lending his time and expertise on goodwill missions to Mexico. Following retirement, he says he would like to do more charity work, both at home and abroad. “I’d love to visit some of the countries where I’ve sponsored kids. As an animal lover, I’d also like to volunteer at a local animal shelter.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Locally, it’s the 49ers, but I also root for Barcelona in the World Cup Series.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.

Q: What’s your favorite season and why?
A: Spring—it’s the beginning of the good painting season.

Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, what actor would you choose to play you?
A: Roberto Benigni, the actor who played the lead in Life is Beautiful.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over easy.

Q: If you could travel to the past or the future, which would you choose?
A: The future. We pretty much know what happened in the past from history books, but no one knows what the future will be like.

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How to Prevent and Repair Dry Rot

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SANTA ROSA — Dry rot isn’t something most homeowners think about, but by the time you notice it in your home, you’ll wish you had. Dry rot damage can be extremely detrimental to a home’s structure and the removal and… Read more

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Video: Identifying and Treating Dry Rot

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SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Repairing dry rot can be costly. So, today we're in Santa Rosa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Greg Kuzmicki of… Read more

Brad Horton is a 32-year veteran of the painting industry and president of Alamo Painting, a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (925) 709-4989 or by email.

Brad Horton

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Brad Horton: A Serendipitous Start

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

ALAMO — Whether it was the result of fate or mere circumstance, Brad Horton’s career as a professional house painter was jumpstarted by an unexpected coincidence. “When I was in my 20s, I had a roommate who was a painter, and I spent a summer working for him, both on the job and by putting up flyers around town,” he remembers. “That fall, he left to attend college in L.A. and I got a job selling insurance, which I quickly realized wasn’t for me. One day, I got a call in response to one of the flyers I’d put up the previous summer, and I ended up booking a painting gig. That same night, my old roommate unexpectedly showed up on my doorstep and said he didn’t want to live in L.A. anymore. I said, ‘That’s fine, because we have a painting job tomorrow!’”

Today, 25 years after founding Alamo Painting, Brad says one of the things he enjoys most about his job is the opportunity to be a positive influence in his employees’ lives. “I like watching young men and women self-actualize by learning a trade and having a job they can take pride in. I find it very rewarding to play a role in their personal development and see them be successful in life.”

A longtime resident of Concord (where he lives with his wife, Kathy), Brad says he’s enjoyed watching the gradual growth that’s taken place over the years. “I’ve lived here since 1963, so I’ve seen Concord really come into its own. From the population increase to the development of the downtown area, it’s undergone a real transformation from a little cow town to the metropolitan area it is today.”

Outside of work, Brad engages in a variety of pastimes, from outdoor activities to hanging out with family. “One of my main hobbies is deep-sea fishing, which I do at both the Berkeley and Sausalito Marinas,” he says. “I also like to play golf, cook and go to the beach with my family.”

In his life and career, Brad espouses a two-fold lesson he’s learned about planning ahead. “When undertaking any type of project, it’s crucial to have a plan,” he says. “A good plan will serve as your guiding light and help keep your objective in focus. However, since things rarely go according to plan, you also have to be adaptable when the circumstances unexpectedly change.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Brad says he’d get a little R&R. “I’d probably sleep for a week,” he laughs. “Then, I’d go on a road trip across the country to see a bit of small-town America.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee—or, to be more specific, five shots of espresso.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Momoyama Sushi in Concord.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: The airplane ride when my family moved from Illinois to California. I was about three years old.

Q: Who’s your favorite movie monster?
A: Godzilla.

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How to Paint a Door in your Home

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ALAMO — Painting a door in your home may seem like a simple task, but in order to achieve a successful result, you’ll need to use the right tools and techniques. Here’s how to do it: The first step is… Read more

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Video: How to Paint a Door

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ALAMO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you're planning to repaint one or more doors in your home, you'll want to know the correct procedure to use.… Read more

Joe Sabel is a 35-year veteran of the painting industry and owner of J & J’s Final Coat Painting, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (925) 405-6970 or by email.

Joe Sabel

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Joe Sabel: One Coat at a Time

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — One of three brothers in the painting industry, Joe Sabel didn’t attain professional success overnight; rather, he approached it like any quality painting project: one coat at a time. “When I was 20, I started working for my older brother, who was a painting contractor,” he recounts. “Originally, I just needed a job, but I ended up really enjoying the trade and continued with it. After working with my brother, I spent four years with another painting contractor before starting my own business, which is still going strong after 30 years.”

Today, as owner of J & J’s Final Coat Painting, Inc., Joe expresses pride in his long-term professional achievements. “After all these years, our company has basically become an efficient, well-oiled machine,” he says. “By keeping our operation small, we’ve been able to keep the quality up—not to mention the hair on my head!”

A resident of Oakley (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Jill, the other “J” in the company’s moniker), Joe expresses his appreciation for the temperate Bay Area climate. “You can’t beat the weather here,” he says. “Being in the painting business, we stay busy all year round, which is unheard of in other parts of the country.”

When he’s not working, Joe devotes much of his free time to an avocational interest in viticulture. “I grow grapes and make my own wine,” he explains. “Right now, I actually have 50 gallons sitting around, waiting to be bottled. My wife and I also enjoy going wine tasting around the Bay Area.” In addition to winemaking, Joe enjoys outdoor activities like biking, wakeboarding in the delta and snowboarding at Lake Tahoe. Additionally, Joe keeps up with his and Jill’s two grown sons, Timothy and Steven, both of whom are pursuing careers in the construction trades.

In regard to his professional career, Joe espouses the importance of delivering on his promises. “The number one thing is giving my customers everything I told them I would,” he affirms. “You can’t cut corners when it comes to customer satisfaction—you have to deliver what was promised, 100 percent, and we pride ourselves on making sure that happens.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Joe says he’d take a vacation before returning to pursue another business venture. “I’m the kind of guy who will probably never retire, so if I were to stop painting, I’d probably just go into some other industry. However, first my wife and I would do some travelling. Europe is at the top of our list, so we’d probably start with Portugal or Spain and go from there.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Granola bars.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Weightlifting. I set two records at my school—for the deadlift and the bench press—which stood for 10 years afterward.

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: I like movies with a lot of twists and turns. One of my favorites is “Swordfish.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Fishing—I love to fish in the rain.

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Room Size and Paint Color Selection

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CONCORD — An important consideration when selecting paint colors is the size of the room you’re planning to paint. While this detail is commonly overlooked, color can have a dramatic effect on a room’s overall ambiance, so be sure to consider… Read more

Selecting Colors for a Painting Project

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CONCORD – One of the most challenging aspects of a residential painting project is selecting colors. After all, even if your painting contractor does a great job, if you don’t like the colors, you’re not going to be happy with the… Read more

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Video: Color and Room Size

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CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: When choosing paint colors for a room, it’s important to consider its size. To learn more, we’re in Concord with Jill… Read more

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