Once work begins, hold brief daily meetings to discuss the job and schedule and quash any misunderstandings. If there are surprises, seek middle ground. No contract can anticipate every possibility. Materials may be unavailable. Large chunks of rotten siding may crumble along with the old paint. Exterior jobs may be stopped cold by a week of steady rain. But know that you'll pay extra if you change your mind about a color after the trim is already painted or otherwise add tasks to the project.

I contacted six highly-rated contractors to receive bids for painting the exterior of my Eagle Rock house.  Two never responded, one was too busy to schedule the work before spring, and three responded promptly with inspections and cost estimates.  Mr. Lee of House Painting, Inc. also provided a printed list of references and copies of his business license, insurance and BBB rating.  He was low bidder by a small margin, and I contracted with him for the work.  His crew was outstanding - excellent preparation (sanding, priming, stucco patching), fast and efficient paint coverage, and excellent clean-up at the end of each work day.  I will certainly call them in the future for interior painting.


I have a Home Improvement/Painting business, and Angie's List always advertises that that everyone is out to get them. Of course there are people who try to take advantage of homeowners My reputation and repeat business is based on word of mouth. Shoddy work is always a way to get put out of business quick. As far as strictly painting, preparation is a big factor in getting a quality paint job. If you don't prepare the surfaces you are painting you are spinning your wheels, and wasting money, no matter what paint you use. Getting a deposit from a customer is beneficial, but not always necessary. Sometimes it is a godsend, when you get stuck by the customer, which has happened to me more than once

Consider purchasing supplies personally to save money. Ask the painter for a bid that separates labor and materials. Then explain that you'll purchase the materials and ask for a list of exactly what will be needed to complete the job. Caulking, for example, is an extra supply commonly used to fill any cracks or damaged areas in your walls -- and one that might be overlooked in an incomplete list.
The house bath may reveal nails that have popped out of the siding or rusting nail heads that have left streaks of rust on exterior walls. If so, use sandpaper or steel wool to clean the nail heads. On clapboard siding, use a nail set to recess the nail head about ⅛ inch below the surface of the wood. Dab on a coat of rust-inhibiting primer (unless the nail is aluminum or nonrusting galvanized steel), and let it dry. Then fill the nail hole with spackle or putty. When the filler is dry, give it a coat of primer. For flathead nails, which cannot be recessed, sand the heads until they're shiny, and coat with primer.
Very happy with the finished product thanks to the Home Painters Toronto (HPT) team. We had positive interactions with HPT from the initial call to arrange a quote, through to the gentleman who visited and provided the quote, scheduling (we had to alter the timing due to issues with the floor installers), and settling the invoice. Mat V did the painting and he was an absolute pleasure to deal with. Mat was very courteous and professional, took the time to answer all our questions and worked long hours to make sure the project was completed on time. We couldn't have asked for more.
In some cases, professional painters may include additional charges for specialized equipment that homeowners can't purchase on their own. Because professionals have licenses and access to such equipment, it's simpler to let them get those themselves. But providing some of the smaller equipment and extras directly really can help to cut down on the total cost of your project.
I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.
Payment. Every client is different. Every job has it's own unique set of circumstances. I always start off the discussion with my clients saying that I'm flexible on how they would like to proceed with payments but that I prefer half down. I refuse to change order. Change orders are my last resort. Instead I ask questions at our initial meeting and try to be sure to cover all bases before I submit my estimate.
Atlanta Painting Company is a full-service painting company providing professional, high-quality painting solutions at affordable prices. Since 2001, we have provided exceptional painting services for residential and commercial customers. With our team of skilled and experienced professional painters, our mission is to make your next painting project stress-free and affordable. You can count on beautiful, long-lasting results backed by our customer guarantee.
Prime. Dark colors, stains (once sealed), and previously unpainted surfaces (drywall, spackle, etc.) will need a primer coat, usually white. NOTE: most paint stores & home improvement centers will now tint primer (at no charge) to match fairly close to the color of the finished coat, that way two coats of primer need not be applied. Although not all surfaces need a prime coat, skip this step at your peril! Dark colors will likely show through the first -- or even the first couple-- topcoats of paint. Sealants and unpainted surfaces like spackle patches will absorb or repel moisture in a topcoat at a different level than the areas surrounding them. Applying a good primer coat will help even out these differences. Primer equalizes a wall to a uniform surface. It's like erasing a canvas before drawing a new picture. Although some will argue the point, you generally don't need to spend a great deal on primer or buy special primer. A cheap, 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket of plain, flat white paint will usually do the trick and cover a large area. Give your primer at least 24 hours to dry (follow its instructions) before applying a topcoat.
It was a pleasure working with Distinct Painting Co. from the estimate to completion. Kane Robinson (owner) is a true professional, both knowledgeable and friendly. The contract contained the date for painting to begin and they began earlier than expected. Preparation was quite involved as was the painting on my two story house. In spite of 25-40 mph wind gusts, they (Kane and Eric) continued to prep the house for painting. I am a bit of a perfectionist and appreciated the quality and attention to detail and the guarantee. The entire positive experience was worth every penny. My house looks incredible. I couldn't be happier and highly recommend Distinct Painting Co.
I just read your article and am very impressed. Am an Operations person with a private company. I’ve been wanting to start a painting business due to my high interest but haven’t done so yet. I’ve registered a general company though. Would like to do the business side by side my 8 to 5 job by marketing and sub contracting contracts. This will be my way of planning for my retirement. Your advise will be helpful. Thank you. Cosy

Once work begins, hold brief daily meetings to discuss the job and schedule and quash any misunderstandings. If there are surprises, seek middle ground. No contract can anticipate every possibility. Materials may be unavailable. Large chunks of rotten siding may crumble along with the old paint. Exterior jobs may be stopped cold by a week of steady rain. But know that you'll pay extra if you change your mind about a color after the trim is already painted or otherwise add tasks to the project.
I agree with JHs. If there is no new color on it at all, just talk to the painter about it, if it was an honest mistake (which can happen very easily while painting) your painter should have no problem fixing it. However, in my years of experience, it is not unusual for 2 coats of door paint (good quality) not to cover very well at all. I once painted a red door 7 times, plus a tinted prime coat before I found the door to be a solid color.
Now at 59 years old, I've been trying to psych myself up to paint my own house this summer, and John Burbidge's guides at How to Paint a House Right.com have reminded me of all the exterior house painting tips I had forgotten since the last time I painted a house 30 years ago. Now I'm ready to tackle it again, saving myself about $3000 and taking pride in a job well done, as the author describes so well in the book and on his website. Thank you John Burbidge for yet another job well done.
To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges
As a former college student and former painter, I instantly related to all of the author's observations regarding painters and the painting occupation in general. It took me a total of nine years off and on to graduate from college and start a professional career, and a lot of my motivation came from thousands of hours of painting houses and roughnecking on oil rigs during my 20s. John's sense of humor about the drudgery of painting was a perfect fit with his drive for perfection on every painting job.
If you are going to hire a contractor (professional painter) give a room by room punch list of the fixing of holes small or big, have it identified for the painter to tell you if you need a drywall finisher or if he does this type of work good. Wall repairs can be 3-5 steps to do repairs ( one per day for good drying of patching material and a good sanding) this is what gives you a good paint job only using high quality paint.
Consider purchasing supplies personally to save money. Ask the painter for a bid that separates labor and materials. Then explain that you'll purchase the materials and ask for a list of exactly what will be needed to complete the job. Caulking, for example, is an extra supply commonly used to fill any cracks or damaged areas in your walls -- and one that might be overlooked in an incomplete list.
Not all people live where they can hire a painting contractor, like you describe. People who live in small towns can only hire painters who have a very small business, and do two or three paint jobs per week. In this case, you do have to be very careful, when you hire a painter, as we have several, in our area, who are out to make a fast buck anyway they can.

Reliable, diligent. The work was done well and very professionally. Didn’t give 5 stars only because there was a bit of a mess left - not just in the area but for example, paint drippings on the windows and window sills, water mixed with paint drips on the laundry room floor by the sink where the paint trays were rinsed. Very happy with the work itself though
I turn away any job when the client refuses to pay anything up front. It sends a red flag. I also charge a scheduling fee which is non-refundable. I get 33 percent when I show up and begin work. Another percentage halfway through, and the balance upon completion after client is satisfied. There needs to be skin in the game for both parties as a measure of good faith. If you are dealing with a reputable company (did your due diligence, right?) why wouldn't you want to pay something as work progresses? We do this not only because we love to paint but we require cash flow to stay in business. There is not always 'money in the bank' as you suggest. It's tough these days. The suggestion buy 'Kim' 'Never pay a contractor a deposit' is nonsensical.
Joseba and María are a very special partner. They have marked the character of the house. He is a renowned painter (www.sanchezzabaleta.com) who comes from Basque country to Gaucin attracted by the position and the views of the city. He needed a place to work and looked for an architect who understood his ideas of the lights and the space. The work developed shared the client and the architect ideas

Good contracts include descriptions of prep work and repairs; paint specs by brand name, type, color and product number; the number of coats; and a full description of the work, including frequently omitted items such as cabinet interiors and shutters. Minimize delays by specifying that, weather permitting, work will be continuous. Get a payment schedule that minimizes the down payment — the more payment you can withhold until the end, the more leverage you'll have to get the job done well and per your specifications. Insist that contractors provide proof that they carry both general liability and workers' compensation coverage.
Prime. Dark colors, stains (once sealed), and previously unpainted surfaces (drywall, spackle, etc.) will need a primer coat, usually white. NOTE: most paint stores & home improvement centers will now tint primer (at no charge) to match fairly close to the color of the finished coat, that way two coats of primer need not be applied. Although not all surfaces need a prime coat, skip this step at your peril! Dark colors will likely show through the first -- or even the first couple-- topcoats of paint. Sealants and unpainted surfaces like spackle patches will absorb or repel moisture in a topcoat at a different level than the areas surrounding them. Applying a good primer coat will help even out these differences. Primer equalizes a wall to a uniform surface. It's like erasing a canvas before drawing a new picture. Although some will argue the point, you generally don't need to spend a great deal on primer or buy special primer. A cheap, 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket of plain, flat white paint will usually do the trick and cover a large area. Give your primer at least 24 hours to dry (follow its instructions) before applying a topcoat.
In this Feb. 9, 2011, file photo, The Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR, Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim attends amfAR's annual New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Krim, a prominent AIDS researcher who galvanized worldwide support in the early fight against the deadly disease, died Jan. 15, 2018. She was 91. Evan Agostini, AP
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your exterior painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.
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