Case Studies

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Project: Exterior Metal Siding and Trim Painting of IKEA's Signature Retail Store located in Elizabeth, NJ

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, operates over 345 locations in 42 countries. IKEA is well known for its large retailing complexes and iconic blue and yellow color scheme. The first IKEA business was founded in 1943 and the IKEA Brand celebrated 70 years during 2013. Today more than 150,000 co-workers are working through-out the IKEA world. They saw more than 770 million visits to the IKEA stores which total over 106 million square feet in floor space.

In August Alpine Painting & Sandblasting was one of three bidders recommend by Benjamin Moore’s Customer Care/National Accounts Team to bid on the exterior painting of IKEA’s signature Elizabeth, NJ location. Alpine’s lead commercial estimator meet with IKEA’s Facility Manager, Dexter Jackson, to complete a detailed pre-bid walkthrough to better understand the existing surface conditions and customer expectations. Alpine Painting worked closely with George Brennert, Technical Coatings Expert with Benjamin Moore, to provide a detailed specification/proposal and job expectation sheet . We followed the PDCA’s Estimating Guide utilizing production rates to determine our labor hours. Based on the square footage we followed modified spread rates from the coating manufacture’s product data sheets to determine the total material for each of the 4 different types of paint used on this project. After several meetings with IKEA’s top level managers and multiple revisions to our specification, Alpine Painting was awarded the Exterior Painting of IKEA’s Largest NJ Location.

One of the immediate challenges included the location of the large retail store. This particular branch was less than 100 yards from the NJ State Turnpike and less than ¼ mile from the Newark International Airport. Because the vast majority of the surfaces to be coated included corrugated siding and the customer wanted the smoothest finish possible, we decided that spraying the structure was the best application. Therefore, one of our biggest concerns was the potential for overspray on nearby parking lot and turnpike vehicles as well as departing and arriving planes. We overcame these concerns by utilizing a custom containment on the lift basket along with being very aware of the existing wind patterns when we sprayed. The containment captured the majority of the overspray and still allowed our team to safely operate the boom lift. The next concern was the high amount of traffic from customer vehicles and store deliveries. Cones were set up to control traffic flow and multiple ground flag men helped direct vehicles to prevent any accidents and avoid confusion of where to drive/park. The safety of our men, as well as the surrounding people and work area were our main priorities. Therefore, we initiated a job specific safety plan and proper hazard communication with our team and IKEA’s managers. All of our men working in aerial lifts utilized a five point harness and lanyard system and used verbal and radio systems for communication.

This IKEA location had been painted several times and it was showing signs of chalking/fading paint, peeling and past overspray on pre-finished surfaces not to be painted. Prior to submitting a proposal, an adhesion test was completed on multiple substrates to ensure that the existing coating was in a condition to except further paint. All surfaces slated to be cleaned, prepared, primed and painted were noted in our scope of work, while substrates that we not to be coated were noted in the exclusion portion of our proposal. This helped manage the expectations of the customer and assist in avoiding change orders down the road. Since the metal siding was chalking, peeling and contained other surface contaminants such as dirt/dust, it was critical that our team prepare the structure properly to ensure adequate adhesion of the new coating system. We utilized a minimum of 2500 psi water pressure to blow off loose and peeling paint and wash the siding and trim properly. We then hand scraped any loose and peeling paint and wire brushed any existing rust to an SSPC-SP2 Standard or PDCA P14-06 Level 2 Standard Finish.

Our team worked with Benjamin Moore to select the recommended coating system for this product. Because IKEA was a national account, Benjamin Moore supplied the material and we supplied the labor. For the finish coat, everything from Benjamin Moore’s, Super Premium, Residential Aura line to an Industrial Aliphatic Urethane was considered for the exterior metal structure. After careful consideration, Benjamin Moore’s commercial coatings division, Corotech, was the recommended and specified coating system. Corotech V331 Acrylic DTM Enamel, Semi-Gloss Finish, Coating was applied to the Blue Siding Surfaces. We also applied Benjamin Moore/Corotech V330 Acrylic DTM Enamel Topcoat, Gloss Finish, Coating to the Yellow Siding & Trim Surfaces. Benjamin Moore, Stix bonding primer was used to provide a tie coat to properly adhere to prefinished white leaders, yellow store front, galvanized spots on overhead decking and any other surfaces where adhesion may be in question. Any rusted surfaces were first primed with Benjamin Moore/Corotech, V131 Universal, Rust Inhibitive Metal Primer prior to being finish coated.

Color was of the utmost importance to the customer. We went through multiple draw downs and approvals from the top level managers to ensure the proper IKEA Blue and Yellow were matched. Upon our recommendation, the finish paint was manufactured through a dry grind process specifically for this project. This assisted in both achieving better coverage for the applicator and providing better/longer color retention for the customer.

The customer was very concerned that this project would impact their normal business schedule. This large scare project was due to start the last week in August when many of their customers were purchasing furniture and other goods for college or back to school. We expressed that as one of the largest non-union painting contractors in the state, with over 100 painters working for the company, we take pride in the fact that we can complete large projects in a short period of time. We worked days & weekends to complete this project within a short time frame. We anticipated completing this structure in approximately 7 weeks time. (Time Schedule being based on having adequate weather conditions to complete work) We were able to finish in 6 weeks exceeding our customers’ expectations and finishing all painting prior to the cold weather arriving.

Since this project had a tight time frame, Alpine utilized a crew of 6-8 men, starting the last week of August through the month of October. September proved to be a very hot month in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Our men had to use caution when choosing what to paint due to the temperature of the metal siding and trim surfaces in the heat of the day. We used temperature guns, humidity gauges and studied material data sheets to ensure that we applied all coatings within the recommend material specifications. Our team worked weekends to maximize the amount of work completed. Paint was applied by a combination of brush, roll and airless spray depending on the substrate, location of work and weather conditions.

This project featured multiple levels of Alpine Painting’s Management Team including: Sales Director, Commercial Estimator, Director of Operations, Lead Project Manager, Site Supervisor, and Foreman. Our defined business structure called for a distinct separation in roles and allowed for a constant communication throughout the ranks, smooth and steady flow of work and a clear definition of success. By establishing and meeting a strict deadline, Alpine was able to successfully complete the project ahead of schedule while meeting our company budget.

Upon completion of the project Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors provided the customer with two initial walkthroughs, a final Punch List, as well as one final walkthrough. The Punch List outlined any minimal touchups that were necessary and mentioned what steps would be taken in order to bring the job to a close. Alpine Painting went to lengths in order to ensure that the customer was satisfied with the overall look and attention to detail that they should expect in a project of this size and scope.

Overall, the project was a huge success. We were able to complete one of IKEA’s signature locations in 37 working days (Under Two Months) all while allowing normal business operation during a busy period. IKEA and Benjamin Moore expressed their gratitude by allowing Alpine Painting to continue to bid on their upcoming exterior projects in the Tri-State Area and beyond.

Project Details

Benjamin Moore/Stix, Bonding Primer (Approx. 20Gal)

Benjamin Moore/Corotech,V131 Universal, Rust Inhibitive Metal Primer (Approx 50Gal)

Benjamin Moore/Corotech V331 Acrylic DTM Enamel Topcoat, Semi-Gloss Finish, (Approx 1000Gal)

Benjamin Moore/Corotech V330 Acrylic DTM Enamel Topcoat, Gloss Finish, (Approx 150Gal)

Credit To

Dexter Jackson, Facility Manager for IKEA

George Brennert, Technical Coatings Expert, for Benjamin Moore

Ed Bain, Alpine Painting’s Lead Project Manager

Our diligent and hardworking craftsman

Artie Abelson , Ricciardi Brothers Store Paint Representative

Joe Cardinale & Pete Maynard of Sunbelt Aerial Rental Company General Information