STIR-IT-UP - Vol. 11

Intellectual Property Rights
Patricia Cannata

When you work in someone's home or business, the work you perform becomes your businesses'  "intellectual property", which is basically a copyright for your work. 

Copyright laws provide legal protection for unlawful use and/or retribution for work that belongs to you that was used without authorization. 

Taking pictures of the job site (and the work itself) is an important tool for portfolio presentation and future marketing. These pictures belong to YOUR business, even if the work was done by individuals you employ or other subcontractors you hire to do the work. 

To prevent image theft by those individuals (to advance their own portfolios), make sure you have an employee handbook or policy/procedure manual in place that outlines rules for working on your projects. It should clearly state that no one is permitted to take photos of the work or post photos on social media unless authorized to do so.

As business owners, only YOU get to decide how you want your business represented in photos and on social media. To recognize others for their work, you can tag them on social media when posting photos of the project from your business page. 

Remember to protect the privacy of your clients while photographing your work. Make sure you hide personal details such as client names, family photographs, address markers, etc., when photographing in a client's home or business.

You can choose to sell the exclusive rights to your design (allowing the individual to pay a lump sum to purchase the design and use however they see fit) or choose remuneration rights (for the purpose of reproducing the work - selling t-shirts, mugs, etc. with the image). 

You can set a specific number of items to be reproduced or you can request remuneration at each reproduction. Remuneration is typically established with a licensing agreement, which entails all rights allowed. Exclusive rights do not expire, but remuneration rights have an expiration date of your choosing. 

Lastly, if you expect others to respect your intellectual property rights, return the favor by refusing to copy other's original works. Ask for permission for use or attribute the work with the name of the original artist, depending on the circumstance.

Patricia Cannata 

Decorative Artist and owner of Stein Design, a decorative painting company since 2000, located in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, IL.  Stein Design services residential and commercial clientele. Patricia holds a B.S. in Business Management from Columbia College. She worked in Corporate Management for several years prior to starting her business. She does business consulting for start ups and also teaches business classes upon request in addition to running her business.  

Sponsor Spotlight:
Diamond Coat

As a company, Diamond Coat is always striving to address problems by providing solutions. We don't just develop and offer products that will meet our customers' needs; we're interested in addressing the needs of our customers' customers! Diamond Coat offers a wide variety of products to address a vast array of projects and applications.

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The Paint Hive
by Regina Garay

Hello! I'd like to introduce you to The Paint Hive, a unique online learning center, and tell you a bit of our story. My partners, Monique Rogers, Gina Vivona, and myself, have worked together for nearly a decade. We have built and marketed several lifestyle brands, including some in the decorative painting world. You could say decorative painting is in our blood, and it runs the full color palette.⁠

The three of us have been each other's soundboards, cheerleaders, teachers, and ultimately, best friends. We've asked each other, "What are you doing next?" and it became a way for us to help each other rise. We dreamed of finding a way to help others rise as well, and our thoughts turned to the field we love so much. 

Individually we have worked with many decorative painting masters, many of whom are segueing into new facets of their career, while becoming mentors to the next generations. We wanted to create a way for them to share their skills to those who wanted to explore a career in decorative painting, or upskill their current decorative painting techniques, share valuable business skills for creatives, and/or find ways to transition their current artistic careers. We also wanted to help spread the word on creative industries as well by shining a light on great organizations, wonderful resources, and incredible artists.⁠

With this in mind, we founded The Paint Hive. We have wonderful master Instructors sharing valuable online creative courses, both free and paid. The classes are developed to inspire and encourage creativity, start a new business, or expand skills. The courses vary, as some are a get-your-hands-in-the-paint experience while others are information-rich lectures. New classes will continually be added and we'll be sharing great tips and information as well. Join our newsletter where we'll share new classes, news, resources, and special gifts for our community. Take a look at our current classes, and if you are interested in becoming a teacher, we encourage you to drop us a line.

Regina Garay

Regina Garay has over 20 years in the lifestyle field, from running an award-winning decorative services studio to helping plan and execute marketing strategies for world-renowned companies. She has traveled to speak to audiences large and small at industry conferences and private brand events to share social media strategies, trends, and emerging technologies.

She is one of the three founders of The Paint Hive.

Paint Kill

by Raea Jean Leinster

It's the last day of the project.

You're loading your brushes, ladders and tarps into your work vehicle. You give a final mallet tap to the plaster and paint can lids, then leave them behind with your clients. After all, they'll need those for future touch-ups, right? I mean, YOU don't need those leftover, partial cans of paint. Besides, for the next client, you'll buy new gleaming cans of fresh paint.

And so it goes... you leave behind with your clients a trail of "paint kill" wherever you go. It's almost a rude assault to realize that for every masterful, original, custom chef d'oeuvre we artists create, there's an accompanying stash of EPA Class 3 hazardous waste--  the legal term for the leftover, partial, unused and unwanted cans of latex, enamel, oil, alkyd and acrylic paints.

As a faux finisher in the Washington DC area, clients often asked if I could take any of their old, crusty paint cans with me to make room for the newer old paint cans I was leaving behind. Facility managers at commercial buildings were begging to offload-- sometimes palettes-- of unopened, virgin primers and colors... a paint waste casualty as a result of a disaffected corporate interior designer or architect who carelessly re-specified sheens mid-project.

Bewildered by my rejection, their panicked follow-up was, "What do I do with all this paint?"

For years my range of professional answers was: "I don't know."/ "Try to dry it out." / "Take it to the landfill." / "Put kitty litter in it."

In December 2012, a DC socialite client asked me to take away just four cans of paint. I have no idea why after years of telling clients "no" I instead said to her, "Sure, I'll be right over." As I rolled up to the building, the concierge handed me her paint cans and an accompanying thank you note, which included a Starbucks gift card.


I didn't ask to be compensated for my time and effort to go into DC to grab those cans and do 'something responsible' with them. Yet, there it was. The genesis of Yuck Old Paint(TM) was born.

I spent all of 2013 beta testing the concept in DC, Maryland and Virginia and officially launched in 2014.

Six years, ten employees and nine states later, Yuck Old Paint, LLC is the only company on the East Coast that safely removes and environmentally processes old paint and other EPA Class 3 hazardous waste (wood stains, pesticides, acetone, paint thinner, mineral spirits, motor oil, antifreeze, household cleaning items and more).

We remove paint cans from private homes but also from commercial buildings, stadiums, federal agencies, military bases... and even appear at recycling events hosted by cities, towns, HOAs and the occasional crackerjack realtor.

What do we do with all the paint?
It was clear early on that landfills were not going to be an option. You see, landfills across the country are only designated for residential use. They are not designed to handle the tonnage of paint waste generated by paint contactors, by buildings, and certainly not by businesses like Yuck Old Paint-- even if it originated from residential homes.

Surprisingly, I found much of the paint perfectly good and reusable. As such, landfilling and dumping paint didn't make much sense, so I endeavored to find "reuse" opportunities for the paint.

And now once a month, good reusable paint-- that we pick up from Virginia to Connecticut to Ohio-- is sent overseas for distribution to local hardware stores and humanitarian construction projects in several countries. I have built stateside a network of community and professional theaters that adopt the paint and use it for their set designs.

As you can imagine, not all paint is good, so I had to develop an alternate path for that too. Paint that is sour milk-- ie:moldy, the binders have separated, etc.-- we keep at our warehouse and grind down into a solid but fluffy material using organic compounds. It is then dumped as solid waste where it is no longer a threat to the soil and water tables.

Non-paint materials are distributed for reuse through a network I've created of professional contractors and for recycling at facilities not available to the public. 

Is there anything we can do as artists to stop generating all this paint waste?

No.  And please take great comfort in that! Paint was this country's first great manufacturing industry, emerging in the 1860s, and is one of the few products still manufactured in America today. Paint = jobs.

But we can definitely be more mindful of how we regard and what we do with paint waste. If of course you or your clients live in one of the nine states we service, we'd love to take the paint off your hands. But if not and until then: "Try to dry it out." / "Take it to the landfill." / "Put kitty litter in it.

Yuck Old Paint, LLC is an EPA Certified, DOT Certified and SWANA Safety Certified, woman-owned business headquartered in Virginia.

Raea Jean Leinster

Yuck Old Paint (TM) was founded by Chief Yuck Officer, Raea Jean Leinster, in response to an unmet market need to remove old paint cans from the multitude of clients she has worked with for over a decade as a faux finisher and decorative painter in the Washington DC area. 

415 S. Sharon Amity Rd, Suite B
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Phone: (407) 618-3272

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