Randall Street, SF
Painted Interior & Exterior 05/2008
Sutter Street, SF
Painted Exterior 07/2007
Hugo Street, SF
Painted Exterior 03/2011
Patricia & Peter Pusateri
Broderick Street, SF
Painted Interior 01/2010
Dolores Street, SF
Painted Interior & Exterior 11/2010
Ben De Ville
Dolores Street, SF
Painted Exterior 12/2010
If you would like to contact any of our above references, or just to drive by the location, before using our services just let us know and we’ll give you their contact information.
2011 will be the 3rd year that Kruit Painting has sponsored the Jewish Home Annual Golf Tournament.
Kruit Painting is an associate member of the San Francisco Apartment Association where, for two years, we have sponsored the Trophy Award.
We’ve also included below a copy of an article from SF Apartment Magazine’s May 2008 issue in which Emily Landes talks with Pieter and writes about his business.
Amsterdam’s historic buildings must be painted according to strict city guidelines, which means that the only color variation in most of the city’s housing stock is the shade of brick and white trim on its narrow buildings. So, imagine house painter Pieter Kruit’s surprise and delight when he moved from his Dutch home to San Francisco ten years ago and saw a city filled with pinks, greens, golds, blues and almost every combination therein.
To Kruit, this extensive color palette was indicative of a larger difference between the passionate Americans he met here and the more restrained European counterparts back home. “What I love about the States is that you can start something and people love it. You always get a good follow-up from people who believe in it and will run with it,” he explains. “Europe is a little bit different. It’s more like, ‘We will see,’ whereas here it’s like, ‘Yeah! Great!’ America is very enthusiastic about people starting their own business.”
This all-American combination of celebrating the individual and supporting small business allowed Kruit to start his own house painting company, Kruit Painting, less than two years after moving to San Francisco. When he first arrived, he worked for another painter, as well as up and coming bars like 111 Minna. His late-night hours led him to take evening jobs that his boss didn’t want. While working at one night job, he met a building owner who was impressed with Kruit’s skill and commitment. The owner was part of an investment group that held many buildings around the city. When he asked Kruit if he would be willing to take on painting the entire portfolio, Kruit knew it wouldn’t be long before he was able to start his own business again.
Kruit has been working for himself since he was 20 and doesn’t mind all the additional hassles and responsibilities that come along with running his own business. The heavy workload, though considerable, is lightened by the freedom that can only come with ownership. “It’s just being free to create your own space,” he says.
Today, Kruit’s company includes himself and office manager Krista Dixon, as well as a crew of workers that numbers five in the winter (the typical slow season for painting, when most work moves indoors) and nine in the busy summers. He doesn’t like to take on more than two projects at once and is cautious of spreading himself too thin. “Maybe we’ll grow, but for now I like being involved,” he says. Thus far, the company hasn’t outgrown a home office, though Kruit does hope to one day find an office with a warehouse for his paints, tools and supplies. But until that perfect space arrives, or his girlfriend finally makes him relocate the office out of their living quarters, Kruit manages the business from that one room.
Of course, more often than not, you will find Kruit not at home, but at a paint store or a job site. Design services are included in his painting fees (though Kruit will charge an hourly fee if things get out of hand), which Kruit admits are on the higher end. Single-family homeowners often consider anywhere between 20 and 30 samples and take up to two weeks to decide on a color combination, making his dealings with landlords and apartment managers a breeze in comparison. In general, landlords aren’t nearly as opinionated and are generally looking for a basic two-color building, using light, neutral colors, he says. One recent landlord client on Fell and Fillmore didn’t even need to be consulted at all. “He just said to go for it,” Kruit reveals.
Of course, there are always exceptions. One owner was adamant about repainting his apartment building the same colors it had always been. But when Kruit showed him combinations using different color samples, the owner had to agree that maybe his old color scheme could use a little updating. Then there’s the rental property owner so invested in beautifying his property that he hired an outside color consultant for his high-end Victorian building. Kruit’s team painted that “gorgeous” building nine colors, he reports, including purple, brown, blue and green, and applied real gold leaf.
Kruit is going for the gold himself, submitting proposals to represent Holland at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010. Also known as the World’s Fair, it originated in London in 1851 as a way for people to learn about other cultures and has long been at the forefront of technology and design. (The Eiffel Tower was unveiled at the Paris World’s Fair in 1889.) Because the Dutch never close their curtains, Kruit explains, he wants to create two rooms full of open windows with constantly changing screens behind them, which he believes will be a good format to educate and entertain the estimated seven million people expected to walk through the rooms.
Though Kruit is clearly still invested in his Dutch roots and goes back to Holland a few times a year to visit friends and family, he considers himself a San Franciscan and next year hopes to make his American status official by becoming a citizen. “When I first came here, I used to say, ‘Back home in Holland, we would do this.’ But now I say, ‘Back home in San Francisco, we do this,’” he reports. “This is home now.”
The opinions expressed in the above article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of SFAA or SF Apartment Magazine. Emily Landes is the managing editor of Rental Housing and SF Apartment Magazine. Copyright © 2008 by SF Apartment Magazine. All rights reserved.