Daily Grind—August, 2018

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Department, Lead, The Daily Grind

Managing Editor

I’m Not Thinking About Paint

“It’s Colorado, and with its elevation, temp swings, and bright sun, staining is often a leap of faith.”

I’ve been on vacation and I made a pact with myself not to work—other than I visited a paint store you can read about in The Paint Dealer. But I still thought about paint, of course, because…well the vacation marked my 26th anniversary here at Mugler Publications, and it’s hard not to think about paint when it’s all around you.

First I went with my band up to Kansas City to play our annual show to open a Royals game—and this note is for anyone who’s had a customer or boss who told you it wasn’t too hot to paint when it was. “Yes, it is.” It was about 88 degrees, but we play on a metal stage, which after a day in the sun was YEOWW too hot to touch as I found out the hard way. Paint that or fry an egg, your choice.

Another thing I thought about was prep. We showed up at 2:15 for a 4:00 show before a 6:15 opening pitch. Now, I come from a family that would get to an 8 o’clock game at 6:30 so I’m no stranger to batting practice, but I’d never been to a ballpark with four hours to spare. The amount of prep involved: parking staff in place, vendors getting ready, security up and running, was longer than the game itself. “Why aren’t you painting yet?” Have to make sure it’s ready to go.

Later in the week I was on a wooden walking trail at Barr Lake Park in Brighton, Colorado. You know what I’m thinking: it’s stained! It’s Colorado, and with its elevation, temp swings, and bright sun, staining is often a leap of faith, I don’t know how long it lasts there, what with UV and bird-watching traffic, but if you want the wood to stick around, it’s what you gotta do. There’s some unstained wood near where I live, and I’m watching to see what happens.


An old building in Laramie, Wyoming had a painted billboard from back in the day advertising satisfying Chesterfield Cigarettes. Painting signs on the sides of buildings is mostly a lost art, what with digital displays and easy-print banners. In my neighborhood someone is preserving an old painted Falstaff Beer ad, and right around my corner is an ad for Tower Grove Bank, so worn you can barely see it. St. Louis’s old Panda Paint factory has a fading Panda on it promising A Bear For Wear. Well it’s still there. But now we all know now that it’s not a bear.

Another thing, because up in the mountains where your cell phone says “lost satellite reception” and your hiking partner says “put the phone down” you have time to stare into four billion years of geology and think…26 years doing this and what am I most proud of and I’d have to say the recent profiles of what most folks would call “just average painters.” Sure I might accidentally say you started in 2003 when it’s 2004. But there’s more to it than that; more to you than facts and figures.

The folks on the Royals staff, the folks at the restaurants and hotels and info centers out west…everyone was very friendly. I saw our waiter put on a big smile to talk to us and then let it drop when he got to putting orders into the computer. You won’t be all smiles spraying up an apartment, but when the folks who hire you come in, slap it back on because making them happy’s what your day is about. I will say that I don’t necessarily like when magazines use their editorial space to crow about how great they are. If it’s true, you will tell us vs. us telling you. But I’m going to do one quick crow…no one represents the painter like we do. Be you a painter, advertiser, dealer, rep, or industry onlooker, we thank you for your support.

Back to thinking about paint.