Tools of the Trade
Today’s painting projects require much more than brushes, rollers and drop cloths. H.J. Holtz & Son has a range of highly specialized equipment to create the best finished product while ensuring the safety of staff and homeowners.
“We want to be careful and thorough,” company President Rick Holtz says. “By investing in the right products, we can provide a level of service that we know customers appreciate.”
The most commonly used piece of equipment in the Holtz repertoire is a combination vacuum cleaner-dust extractor made by Festool, an American company well-known for its extensive line of machinery and power tools. Holtz says the benefit of the extractor is that it removes dust as the team is working, which protects furniture and flooring while saving time.
When a paint job involves spraying, as opposed to rolling, Holtz team members will often use a negative air machine, which draws paint particles and fumes from the air and traps them in filters. “We can’t eliminate paint odor entirely,” Holtz says, “but we can minimize it.”
For large spraying jobs, the company recently added full-body protection in the form of two oxygen suits that come with compressors carried as backpacks. When in the suit, the painter is completely enclosed, with a clean air source. “It’s just safer for our employees,” Holtz says.
Moving this equipment from job to job also requires some special effort. The company’s large box truck, which is used to deliver cabinets and shutters that have been painted in-house, was recently enhanced with an attractive graphic wrap, promoting the company as it makes its deliveries. “People think we bought it new,” Holtz says, “but we didn’t. We just made it prettier.”
The company recently outfitted another truck with a large utility box that has many compartments, accessible from the exterior, for various tools and supplies used primarily by the carpentry team. “It’s so much easier to get to things when we can just open one or two lockers,” Holtz says. “We can keep everything organized and within reach; it’s really efficient.”
The most expensive element in the Holtz arsenal, however, is not something that is obvious. Within the last year, the company invested in a new HVAC system of filters and blowers for the in-house spray room. Here, craftspeople can spray furniture, doors, etc., in a virtually sterile space. Additionally, the HVAC system allows the paint to cure in optimal, temperature-controlled conditions – not too hot, not too humid – which had always been a challenge, given Virginia’s climate.
“We’re happy to invest in products that allow us to do the best work we can do, while keeping our employees safe and protecting the environment,” Holtz says. “It’s good all around.”