From the owner/operator - Mike Parreno
Hello and thank you for visiting my company site. I have been a professional painter for 28 years and truly enjoy what I do! That's why I'm different from other painting companies - I take great pride in making your home or establishment come to life.
I began my trade back in New England- Hartford, Connecticut to be exact. I had my first painting experience when I was just 8 years old, spending a couple of days assisting a handyman working in the apartment building I grew up in. At that time like most children I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Though my childhood was much different than most, I can still recall the reaction the handyman had when he left me unattended with a scraper, sand paper, dust brush, and paint and then returned to see that I had completed the first floor stair casing without leaving any debris and that there was a sharp clean line that met the stairs to the walls.
It was probably the very first time I felt a great sense of achievement. It was honest work and it was easy for me. At the same time I was helping beautify a historic building. Though I was given a great review by the handyman and many of the tenants passing by, I knew not all painting would be that easy. I knew there was more to it and I wanted to learn. I recall watching the handyman finish the exterior of the 4 story building - he climbed to the top of the extension ladders and carried buckets of scrapers and various tools with him, and he freed and re built windows. He explained " you have to prime all new wood on all four sides before you install it". I watched as he dropped his ladders for the day and re loaded them back on his truck. I recall that the moment the project was complete, the handyman extended shook my hand in appreciation and told me " I was the best assistant he had ever had" and gave me a $20 bill extra for the day.
First Painting Job:
I did not think much about the spring of 1978 again until the winter of 1982. 5 years later I was given a choice in life: to work to survive or give in to the streets and waste my life (i.e. get busy dying). I chose to look for work. In my search for work I happened upon a construction site and asked a carpenter if I could have some work and I was denied because of my young age. I had no clue what I was going to do if I was given a job by any of the trades since I had no experience, but i kept interrupting people in hard hats just the same. During my last inquiry an old man approached as I was being told to go home. His name was Augie Oliviero - he was well into his sixties and he spoke with a heavy Italian accent. He asked if I could paint and since I had done it once in the past, I responded "yes".
I recall he was the only one in white cloths and that did not stink of beer and cigarettes. He was spotless and though he had stark white hair, he looked younger and in better physical condition than the rest of the people I had approached. Right away I was intrigued. He asked if I could be at the site everyday and I said "yes". Augie told me that I could only work a minimal amount of hours because of my age, but that I would make up time by going to work on weekends with him at residential sites. He introduced me as his son and immediately on the first day of work, school was in session.
I quickly learned why my mentor had such good conditioning for his age. He explained to me how he had came over from the "old country" ( Italy ) after college, where he had studied his trade for the minimum 4 years. He started his first painting business in the 50's here in the U.S. and since then he had done all of his work by himself. He went on supply runs, loaded and unloaded for all projects, set up the jobs, moved multiple ladders around and then clean up afterwards. He would do it all without getting dirty while working a 12 hour day. I admired that and I knew this took both mental and physical endurance. For this reason there were no radio's allowed, no talking allowed unless it pertained to the work at hand. You used the bathroom before you got to the site and not again until lunch. In his mind every second counted - if I was late, I stayed later to make up time. If you swore in front of a customer you were sent home! Augie would buy you 1 pair of painters whites (uniform pants) and they were to stay clean, as were your brushes and rollers. If you showed up without any of these three items, you were sent home!
I recall my first scolding when in an effort to keep up pace I chose to wipe paint on my pants instead of grabbing a rag. Immediately Augie said: "hey lets take a break". I remember the look of disgust and disappointment on his face as we walked out to the truck and he opened a lunch box and coffee thermos. He served us up some pretty good Italian coffee and homemade pastry's and I'm thinking: " I'm fired". Instead, Augie complements me- he says that for such a young kid I do pretty good work and that I'm probably the hardest worker he's had work for him in this country. He wants to keep me around and teach me all I want to learn. But he tells me that if I ever see you wipe a your hands on your clothes again I will send you home. He says that he cant have me inside someone's home and look like that - we take a pride in our trade and the white pants reflect that. And he asked me: "do you a wipe your hands on your cloths when you eat?"
I responded "No" and he went on to say "of course". It's a respect for yourself, for your clothes, and in our business for the customers. Nobody wants a messy slob in their home. Maybe someday you will have your own a business and you'll thank me.
Keeping yourself and your tools clean were very important to Augie. He explained to me that he could make a good quality brush last 4 years and it would still look new. The reason being he had respect for the tools that made him his living. He once said to me: "you know Mike, in these new ages, painters, they need a sprayer and 15 helpers to get a home painted. But I started my company with a brush and a roller and I can still get a job done faster than those lazy guys! All a good painter needs is a brush and a roller to get any job done"
First Painting Company ;
I later found my self testing that theory in 1997. With a 6th grade education at the time, a brush and a roller, I began "Mike Parreno Painting" in Towson, MD. After a few years with an over whelming response, I chose to relocate for what I thought would be an even better opportunity for my family and myself in Arizona. There I ran a successful company for 7 years by practicing the very same values my mentor instilled in my brain:
"work hard until you're tired and then work harder"
"always be honest because a hard working honest man never has to worry about a job...the jobs come to him"
"if you love the job you have you will never work a day in your life"
Augie Oliviero 1916-2003
Elite Painting Services llc. originally formed in June of 2001 in Phoenix , Arizona by owner operator Michael Parreno, who began his trade back in his native New England state of Connecticut. In 1983 under the tutelage of an old world master from Italy, he began his apprenticeship working on historical home restorations and now specializes in residential painting in Austin, Texas.
Hartford, CT 1983 - 1986
responsibilities: 1st year- Cleaning brushes, rollers and work buckets, assisting in job set up, and break downs for painting and wallpaper.
2nd year- assisting in historical restorations, scraping,sanding, removing glaze on sash window's, plaster wall repair.
3rd year - all the above and priming, painting,staining and clear coats, window repair including glass replacement, sash replacement and re-roping with iron weights and freeing painted window's, wallpaper installation including measuring,gluing and installation.
John Perkin's paint & wallpaper
West Hartford , CT 1986 - 1988
apprenticeship / journeyman level
responsibilities : 1st year- painting, staining, clear coats, pressure washing, steam washing, wood mill repair and replacement, wallpaper and furniture restorations.
2nd year - manning a crew of 3 and leading example of previous responsibilities.
Jim Charter paint & restoration
Manchester, CT 1988 -1989
responsibilities : pressure washing both hot and cold washing, painting, staining,clear coats, removal of vintage wall paper, historical restoration such as removal of old paints, color matching , priming , glaze restoration, window pane replacement and re roping of historic window's and much more.
Norrisstown,PA 1989 -1991
responsibilities: Setting up for lead abatement ,removing paints on historical home's by way of scraping, sanding and abatement by way of chemical, painting and wallpaper.
Towson, MD 1991 -1994
responsibilities: commercial painting and manning a crew of 13.
Preservation Systems 1994 - 1997
Hunt valley, MD
responsibilities: running a crew of 4 , specializing in cedar homes and decks , pressure washing, deck repair and staining.
Parreno Painting 1997 - 2000
responsibilities : Bidding, writing contracts, ordering materials, gathering materials , job site set up, work, job site tear down.
Elite Painting services llc 2000- to present
responsibilities: meeting customers, color consultations, gathering materials, painting,staining,texture on and off, wallpaper on and off,stucco repair and much more. .....