The year was 2022 and Ontario was under lockdown regulations. These were difficult times for the health industry and the general public. Businesses like retail and hospitality were hit very hard by public health restrictions. The contracting world and the painting trade in particular was not immune from the covid crisis. We at Ecopainting had to adjust the way our crews interacted with the customer while keeping our painters working. Exterior jobs became the painters’ projects of choice as they minimized contact with the customer inside the home. Occasionally we had opportunities to paint interiors of vacant buildings because there were many of them available during the pandemic. One of our biggest commercial painting projects in Markham was an old Baptist Church.
Painting the Church Exterior and Interior
The East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church and Melville Mission Office is located north on Kennedy Rd in Markham, just a few kilometers south of Stouffville. From their website: “North Toronto Chinese Baptist Church was founded as a church in 1974 Toronto Chinese Baptist Church. In 1980, we moved into our current location from the original site (now East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church)”
The Scope of Work
- In main interior, repair the crumbling plaster (mainly on the ceiling) and paint.
- Paint the interior hallways, stairways and the basement office and community area.
- Repair, caulk and putty the exterior windows, soffits and trim.
Challenge: The Heights
- Most of the exterior work was not very high but the soffits, fascia boards and high windows were. Most of the grounds were uneven and using an aerial boom or scaffolding was not a practical solution.
- Accessing the interior heights was very challenging. The Ceiling area needed extensive drywall and plaster repair before painting. The height was slightly over 30 feet at the peek of the cathedral ceiling. The main work area was only accessible by a long stairway which made it impossible to bring a lift inside.
- Most of the floor space we needed for the scaffolding was occupied by heavy pews made of oak.
Solution: Scaffolding after Removing the Pews
The only way to reach these heights safely was by constructing scaffolding, after carefully removing the church pews. Removing old pews made of solid oak is not an easy task. They are heavy and the bolts that keep them in place are sometimes rusted. Before moving them, we marked them to make sure they go back to their original position. They were heavy, so we made sure not to move them very far from their original position. We covered the pews with new plastic to protect them from dust and construction damage.
We had a local scaffolding vendor in Stouffville drop off the scaffolding. We were happy with their timely service and the newer quality of the equipment that they delivered. We reinstalled the pews after all our repairs and after all the painting was completed. We didn’t have any issues with the bolts and they were no surprises during the installation.
We used extension ladders for most of the exterior work.
Crumbling Plaster and Repair
The beautiful cathedral ceiling of the church was in need of a lot of repair. After years of water damage from the roof the plaster substrate was damaged and there were signs of efflorescence.
The main task at hand was to remove the crumbling plaster down to a sound surface. After carefully dusting the surface, we applied an alkyd based primer before attempting any patchwork. The patching job was a big undertaking and our painters worked very hard to restore the surface to an acceptable level. This was an old church building and the surfaces were previously repaired a few times. After sanding the patching compound and dusting, we applied a good quality acrylic primer before proceeding with painting the ceiling. The #508 Ceiling Paint is the flattest finish offered by Benjamin Moore which makes it the perfect choice for this project.
The remaining interior walls and trim were in good overall condition and did not require extensive prep work. Some of the widows were in need of scraping and sanding and some of the old caulking around the window trim was redone.
Benjamin Moore Paints for the Win!
The interior colours were computer matched to the existing ones, as the client did not want to change the look. We used Benjamin Moore products for the entire project inside and out. For the ceilings we used the waterborne ceiling paint and Ultraspec 500 for the walls. For the trim, doors and windows we used SCUFF-X in Pearl finish. For the exterior we used Benjamin Moore’s Aura in both semigloss and low sheen. Our experience makes it their most trusted and durable top of the line paint. From their website: “Aura Exterior with our exclusive Colour Lock™ technology provides the ultimate performance for rich, full colour and unprecedented durability.”
Having used this coating system in many commercial interiors we are confident it will provide years of good service.
Paint from Markham Coolours & Decor Paint Store
Our favourite local Benjamin Moore paint store is Markham Colours & Decor. We used Chi and his store for many of our painting customers in Markham with great results. For this project they actually delivered the paint at the church, saving the crew a lot of time and travel.Markham Colours & Decor is located at 6605 Hwy 7 and they have a new location at 9570 McCowan Rd Unit 12 & 13 in Markham. We highly recommend both locations based on our experience with them
We were happy with the successful completion of this project. This was a wonderful client and we are ecstatic we could assist them at the perfect time.
Ecopainting specializes in commercial painting and often services the ecclesiastical sector. If you manage a church or any commercial institution in Markham, why not get in touch with us. One of our representatives can assess your comercial painting needs.
Here is a comment and review from a Markham customer
“Wow! What a transformation! Working with Ecopainting has been a pleasurable experience. Their professionalism, beginning with the detailed proposal to the neat and tidy work areas, are factors that will ensure our recommending Ecopainting. Their expertise in making recommendations to several areas was fully appreciated. We look forward to seeing them again”