Painting an old Victorian home is ripe with possibilities but rife with challenges. The opportunities for both success and failure are spectacular, and that’s what presented a magnificent opportunity for Kenny McElroy, an Easton, Pennsylvania, third-generation painter with over 30 years of experience. “Every man in our family is a self-employed painter,” he said.
McElroy has done it all; he worked for his father for 17 years, then he moved to a large painting company, on to a medium-sized company and finally, in 2015, struck out on his own with McElroy Painting. “I decided to go back to my roots as a small painter and focus on a great customer experience from the estimate to the last brushstroke,” he said. “I choose to be an owner and operator with just me and a part-time employee, and I like it that way.”
Painting a Victorian home in the East means you’re dealing with history, delicate architectural features, and often a homeowner who is very particular about color and design. McElroy took this job with a longtime customer of his, so he was ready to translate those 30 years in the trade into the excellent service and craftsmanship he is known for.
Turns out this project was a combination of the ripe and the rife. “This home was filled with huge challenges,” he said. “The homeowner was a pond builder, and one side of his house is mostly water, with a glass bridge going over it … right where we needed to put the 32-foot ladder to paint the peak.” It all had to be brushed and rolled, since he couldn’t risk overspray falling into the pond.
They built a floor over the bridge to place the ladder, but looking down was still a bit scary, said Kenny. On the other hand, the view from up top was quite a sight. “One highlight of the job was working in a paradise-type setting,” he said. And business was literally looking up. “The homeowner had a pond tour almost every weekend, so I got more work from the visitors!” he reported. “Everything went as scheduled — if anything took extra time, it would have been working around the water and [the] pergola.”