There are many YouTube videos about how to do anything these days and you can find step by step instructions for any DIY task. When we decided to host our Drywall taping and patching event we didn’t know what response we would get from our community. Ecopainting had free educational and community events before with various degrees of success. We called this one a training event for couple of reasons. First, this was going to be a “hands on” experience for every person attending. The main reason we called this a training event was because we had confidence on the person running the event/training.
Erna used to work for Ecopainting as a painter and still works with us occasionally. She is passionate about her skills and she is one of the hardest working people I know. When Erna decides to give you her time, be prepared to accept it. She will always give you more than you expect. I knew that whoever showed up for the event would be in for a treat. Every participant would get an abundance of useful information. Or at least as much information as you could fit in two hours.
It was a Good Event Turnout
The turnout was very good and most of the visitors were homeowners from Scarborough. Every single one of them came to listen and “get their hands dirty”. Couple of gentlemen came with specific questions about some patching and repair issues they were dealing with in their own home. After welcoming everyone and introducing the event, Erna got to work and started her presentation.
First she introduced the different tools, materials and patching compounds. There are different patching compounds, some ready to use and some in powder form. They all have a different purpose and some dry faster than others. We talked about the differences between mesh and paper tape for drywall joints. Finally we spent some time discussing the merits of the new Fibafuse tape. What made this event even more valuable was the real field experience that Erna brought to the event. The tools and methods we discussed are the same ones our employees and painter apprentices use every day.
We prepared the training wall a few days later to save some time. We created a few holes, installed some pieces of drywall and applied the first coat of compound on some drywall tape.
Erna first demonstrated how to patch regular holes and then how to patch bigger one by installing backing behind the hole with some wood and screws. Then she proceeded to share some more of her tips, including the ‘butterfly patch”, also known as the California drywall patch.
The remaining of the time was spent taping the pre-installed drywall joints with different tapes. The FibaFuse paperless tape was a hit and received most of the attention. Being thinner than paper tape and stronger than the fiberglass mesh tape it’s becoming the trade favourite. Note: always wear protective gloves when handling this tape as the fiberglass is an irritant.
A “hands on” patching demonstration indeed!
The participants absorbed all the information and asked a lot of relevant questions about the techniques and differences between the different products. Some had some patching and and drywall issues they came with and were looking for specific information and advice. One gentleman had water damage on his ceiling and was asking for advice on how to repair and blend it in, without replacing the drywall.
The “hands on” part went amazingly well and most participants got their hands dirty. Under Erna’s watchful eye, almost everyone got to familiarize themselves with the tools and products. The blog pictures really tell the story and they show how attentive the audience was.
We had a journalist from Snapd Scarborough taking information and pictures for a feature and a report of the event.
Conclusion: The event was great success!
Time after time, we have had great experiences every time we opened up our door to the local community. During the last two years, we had two hands on training events, introduced an interior designer and organized a paint giveaway. The receptiveness and engagement of our guests made it all worthwhile. People understand real value and recognize good intent. Ecopainting is a local business but different than most. Here is an excerpt from our values as listed in the About Us page:
- We work hard to minimize any harm our business causes to the environment.
- Our Painters matter and they are the driving force behind our company.
- We are positive participants and contributors in our community.
Trades people and painters in particular have a lot of useful knowledge. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we know about coatings, products, tools and techniques. We practice prep work daily, we patch, we caulk, and protect surfaces. We can go into a home or business and within a short period of time, we can completely transform it. We are happy to share a lot of our knowledge with our community and look forward to our next few events.
As we are brainstorming to come up with the next topic and theme, we are open to suggestions. What would you like our next event to be about? A discussion about today’s paints and eco-friendly coatings? Maybe the issue of what it means to be an environmentally responsible contractor? Another idea is to have a face to face with a designer or colour consultant where people can ask their decorating questions. What about a talk about the business of contracting?
We look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.