Painting Around Customers During the Holidays: How to Not Deter Shoppers

Commercial storefront painters

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to keep your retail establishment looking great. It’s something many of our Rhode Island clients schedule on a regular basis in order to stay competitive. However, many store owners are running a little behind on painting this year. This is especially true for those who were forced to shut down during the pandemic.

Painting a retail store does come with its own challenges. For starters, you have to plan carefully if you are to get the work done but not get in the way of your customers. You also need to account for safety and protect your valuable merchandise. What type of precautions do commercial painters recommend in order to minimize disruptions? Here are a few steps you should take so that everything goes smoothly.

#1. Provide Advance Notice

Before even beginning your paint project, make your customers aware of your plans. We recommend providing at least two weeks’ notice before beginning your painting project. That way, people can change their shopping schedule if need be. And if they still decide to come, at least they won’t be surprised to see some painting going on.

#2. Place Signs and Notices Everywhere

When your project kicks off, be sure to put up plenty of signs. Post “off limits” signs near locations where painters are actively working. That way, your customers will not come in contact with ladders or wet paint. Hang “wet paint” signs on walls that have recently been painted, ensuring they are easily visible from all angles.

Keep your signs in place until the paint has had more than ample enough time to dry. It’s tempting to remove them after only a few hours; however, your walls may still be wet even if they do not look like it. You don’t want someone to brush up against a wall because there was no sign warning them not to.

#3. Limit Access and Section off Areas

Use cones and rope to block off the appropriate areas. You want to make it obvious that there is painting going on so that people will not enter. In addition, you may want to place a notice on your entry door along with a diagram letting people know what areas they should avoid while inside your store.

Make sure the sectioned-off area will fully protect your customers. You need to make sure that people will not come in contact with ladders, tools, or open paint buckets. Leaving an eight to ten-foot buffer zone around your work area is recommended. That way, if a child goes wandering you will hopefully be able to intercede before he or she gets too close.

#4. Place an Employee Nearby

Keep in mind that not everyone will heed your warnings. Inevitably, you’ll probably have someone who will cross the boundary lines regardless. That’s why it is always a good idea to have a staff member posted nearby. People are much less likely to disregard warnings when they know they are being watched. If you can’t post an employee, you should at least consider placing a camera there instead.

Another advantage to having a team member nearby is the fact that you’ll have someone available to retrieve merchandise. After all, you really don’t want to miss out on sales just because a few aisles are blocked off, do you?

As they finish one area, painters will then need to move on. Rearranging ladders, scaffolding, and signage will be a lot easier if there is someone around to help direct traffic.

#5. Schedule your Project Strategically

You’ll have far fewer mishaps if you schedule your project for off-peak hours. Whenever possible, try to get painting done while your store is closed. If you are regularly closed one or two days each week, try to have all your painting accomplished then. Otherwise, you should consider early morning or late night hours whenever possible. Overnight painting could also be needed if your store is open extended hours.

There may be times when it isn’t possible to perform painting after hours. In that instance, make sure everything is set up and ready to go before you get busy. Putting up signs and blocking off certain areas will only become more hectic once lots of customers start rolling in. And your ability to provide them with outstanding customer service might not be possible if you are distracted.

#6. Allow for Good Ventilation

When painting in an enclosed area, proper ventilation is extremely important. So that your guests are not overwhelmed by paint fumes, keep a nearby door or window open. If that’s not possible, place a few large fans to help promote good airflow and allow the paint to dry faster. You may also wish to consider low-VOC paint, which produces fewer emissions than regular paint.

#7. Plan Far in Advance

Retail painting should impede on the shopping experience as little as possible. For that reason, it’s important to plan your painting projects as far out as possible. By anticipating your needs, you can come up with a schedule that will provide few if any disruptions.

A commercial painting contractor can prove invaluable during the planning process. For example, many do-it-yourselfers greatly underestimate how long prepping, painting, and clean-up might take. As a result, they find themselves trying to get things done while in the middle of peak shopping season.

Keep in mind that commercial painters have peak seasons as well. With retail painting, we are normally busiest just before major shopping holidays. Early planning will allow you to secure the best possible scheduling and get you ready for that big sales promotion.

Need Retail Painting? Schedule a Consultation Don’t get caught off-guard when it comes to retail painting. Instead, allow us to provide you with a professional, in-house consultation, to include recommending color choices. We’ll schedule the work for a time that will allow you to continue normal operations as much as possible. Please contact us here at Two Brothers Painting to receive your free, no-obligation estimate. We proudly serve Rhode Island and look forward to helping your store succeed.

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