The painter’s cutting line is the first thing someone will notice at the end of a paint job. The most beautiful colours and great prep work will not mean very much if the cutting lines are not laser sharp. Alexandra is a Painter for Ecopainting, working in the East side of Toronto. She has been with us since October 2012. The first thing that impressed about Alex, was how easy the difficult jobs became for her. An apprentice is usually asked to help prepare for the job. An apprentice should also do most of the clean up, and in general, all the things that painters don’t like doing. Very soon we all found out (to our dismay) that this was never going to happen. It became quite obvious that a broom and a dustpan were not her favourite tools. Paint brushes, rollers, screwdrivers, caulking guns, these were meant to be her tools of choice from day number one. Her first day was at a house we were painting in Markham. Her cutting lines in the living room of that home were actually… perfect. She was slow like any beginner would be, but really good. Sanding and painting the garage door that day seemed almost effortless. Since then, she has been a big part of the Eastern GTA crew and one of the Pickering Painters.

Dragonflies, weekends off and Rainbows

Alex is an Environmental Technology graduate. She is also a volunteer for Citizen Scientist.
They “collect and record stream morphology, benthos data, conduct fish surveys and perform continuous temperature logging”
I have no clue what most of these things mean but more important they could not sound. What I do know is, twice she has requested weekends off to go “collect and study Dragonflies”. We all want weekends off for different reasons, but this is not a painter like the rest of us. In another incident, on the way home after work, she was caught cheering for a rainbow like it was a goal in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. In Toronto we may never know what it’s like to cheer for a Stanley Cup but it might be similar to that.

Ecopainting’s environmental committee.

Alex will be in charge of Ecopainting’s environmental committee. We think she will be a great resource for our company. Our mandate is to be an Environmentally responsible contractor. The paints we use now are low or zero VOC and many other materials are also improved. The new and ongoing challenge is to keep reducing our footprint while applying these paints. We have been using smaller vehicles, recycling at the job site and disposing waste responsibly. But there are so many questions that remain: What rollers, brushes and other tools to use? What are better ways of washing brushes and rollers? How much water to use and where to dump it? Plastic for covering furniture. What type to use and ways to re-use it. Transportation to job sites and logistics and how to improve on that.

Paint contractors have been discussing these issues for years. What makes this very exciting, is having our own environmental scientist on staff to help us create policies that will serve us well for years to come. Look for interviews and blogs with our own environmental representative in the near future.
And if you spot some laser sharp cutting lines, they might be hers too.

Alexandra Beek is a Graduate of Centennial College in Toronto. She has a Diploma in Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology.

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