Local grad seeks houses to paint

Put down that paintbrush.

Homeowners who need to put a new coat of paint on their homes could do it themselves this summer, or they could turn the rollers, brushes and ladders over to an enterprising college student.

This summer, Justin Admiral, an intern with College Works Painting, will be in the painting business not only to paint houses and make some money, but to get experience running a small business.

A 2002 graduate of South Whidbey High School and sophomore at the University of Washington, Admiral is working as a local student manager for Santa Ana, Calif.-based College Works Painting.

The business employs over 1,000 college students a year in 14 states. Student managers like Admiral work under the direction of state vice presidents.

Ben Yonge, Washington vice president for the company, said local student managers learn real-world business, leadership and management skills while running summer painting crews.

Each student manager hires and supervises approximately six college students, Admiral said. The students work in two or three teams. One group of painters can paint a house in three to four days. Admiral will be responsible for running the jobs, billing and aspects of payroll. A portion of what the team earns goes to College Works Painting.

Admiral's crew will be the first affiliated with College Works Painting to work on Whidbey Island. Admiral said it will be tough finding clients this summer because the business has no history on the Island. He said low prices and quality work offered by his crew will be the top selling point.

"It's definitely a competitive price," said Admiral.

Yonge said the price to paint an average house is about $1,200.

Admiral said he is currently doing appraisals for houses on the Island. The paint crew will do its work between June and September.

The Whidbey painters will give the homes they paint a wash prior to painting, will trench along the foundation of home, scrape and power-sand all peeling paint areas, prime all bare wood, treat mildew or moss areas, wire brush flaking and deteriorating stucco, stucco-patch large areas, caulk small cracks in stucco and caulk seams in fascia boards.

Each group of students is monitored by their state vice president, who makes visits to the houses being painted for quality control, Yonge said.

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