Create a shortlist, then get three or more references — contact information for previous customers — from each contender. Ask these references how long ago they hired the contractor in question; if it’s been several years, they can evaluate how well the paint job has held up. If you go so far as to inspect the work in person, pay attention to the windows, doors, and trim. These are areas where careful technique goes a long way, and where carelessness is especially evident.

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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.


For years, there's been a lively debate about the supremacy of oil-based or water-based paint. Oil-based products, which include alkyd paints, clean up with mineral spirits. Water-based products, which are referred to as latex paints though they are now based on vinyl and acrylics, clean up with water. Although the question still gets asked, water-based paints win hands down for home exteriors. Research done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, shows that water-based paints expand and contract with the siding. They also allow water vapor generated inside the house to pass through the paint film. Oil-based paints, on the other hand, dry to an inflexible coating that blocks moisture. The results can be telltale cracks as siding gives and paint blisters as trapped moisture tries to find a way out. Water-based paints are also gentler on the environment because they are lower in volatile organic compounds. Does that mean oil-based paint should not be used at all? Certainly not. "When asked to recommend a paint," says Al Beitelman, director of the Paint Technology Center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "I always ask about the previous paint job. If it worked fine, I suggest using what was there before."

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As in human relationships, incompatibility between paint layers can be a recipe for disaster. For example, a surface finished with alkyd or oil paint must be treated with primer before being covered with latex or acrylic paint. In intense sunlight, oil paint, which becomes fragile over time, tends to crack. Latex paint, on the other hand, is fairly elastic. When the sun heats an exterior wall, it expands along with the wall itself.
Pressure washing, scraping, stripping, sanding–it’s dirty, hard work. In fact, greater than fifty percent of the time spent working on a home’s exterior finish should be devoted to surface preparation. This kind of preparation is particularly important here in New England where we experience such a wide range of weather. Historic homes (100-400 years old) are especially vulnerable because their thicker layers of paint become impermeable and too brittle to flex with seasonal changes of humidity and temperature.
The original building contractor may have filled the exterior walls with Styrofoam bead insulation from the ceiling after the home was built. Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. has found this to be true in about 3% of the homes serviced, depending on the area. In these homes you may occasionally find small beads of the white insulation around the edges of the walls, doors, windows or fireplaces. A quick way to determine if the outside wall has Styrofoam bead insulation is to remove a light, phone, or electrical outlet face plate and inspect the surrounding area for any small beads of insulation. If siding is being replaced and your home has Styrofoam bead insulation, some or all of it may be lost when the original siding is removed. Scott's Painting can replace the Styrofoam insulation with fiberglass insulation for an additional cost.
We are completely dedicated to making sure our customers are satisfied with the painting services we provide. We use only our top notch tools and paint so you know you can depend on the work we do for you. We will complete any job you hire us for as efficiently as possible and within any budget you set. As a residential paint contractor, we can paint the interior or exterior of your home or office. We can also provide our pressure cleaning service on any surface on your property to get rid of dirt and make sure it's completely clean and ready for us to paint.

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Never, never hire "Hanks painting" , he is a scam. He charged me 1800 for an 800 sqft house, with the agreement of painting the gutters. He not only didn't paint the gutters, the paint of the walls and front door is pealing off. He did not sand the door and the wall color is washing off. His people don't know the work and he much less than them since he painted the door.
If there is any peeling — and there usually is somewhere — it's essential to scrape off any loose paint. This doesn't just mean the parts that are already separated from the wood and ready to fall off on their own. Each spot where paint has peeled loose needs to be scraped thoroughly until you can no longer get the sharp corner of a putty knife under any of the surrounding edges of paint. Then, the bare spot needs to be sanded until the paint edges are smooth.
If you want a quick caulking job, then Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. is not the contractor for you. We can also offer a highly flexible polyurethane sealant such as OSI Quad sealant, during new carpentry or siding installations. Notice how the 4x8 Hardboard siding is caulked around all edges, in Figure 4, with the exception of the bottom edge to prevent moisture from becoming trapped behind the panel.
Curb appeal of your home can greatly improve your happiness. Coming home each day and pulling into the driveway of a home that you feel good about can decrease your stress levels and bring a smile to your face. However, what is behind that great looking finish such as the hidden primer and caulking and their application techniques is essential to keeping costly siding repairs at bay.
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.
The Association seeks to advance, encourage and recognise the highest standards of trade craftsmanship and ethical business practice in residential, strata, industrial commercial and historical projects. We do this by providing members and consumers with up-to-date information on a regular basis and also through our Awards for Excellence which is held annually and where we see the best of the best competing.
Painters with bad reputations can avoid the problem of reference checks by giving their customers lists of relatives and friends.  The people will say great things, and the customer won’t be the wiser.  The best way to avoid this smoke and mirror trick is to ask specific questions about the project. If the reference seems hesitant, doesn’t know the details, or gives sketchy responses, be skeptical. 
I was a painting contractor for many years and never asked for a deposit upfront. A good contractor should have great credit with his suppliers and an even better contract if the deal should go south before the job is done. Get to know your customer and explain how each paint covers so they understand fully before you have to apply 3 or 4 coats. If you didn't bid your job right and the client has already signed the contract then that is on you not the client. Yes I haven had to eat the difference but the client was happy and a return customer for years so I made up for it.
Paint gets more expensive as you go from flat to gloss. The difference is usually around $1 per gallon per sheen upgrade. Flat is the cheapest, then matte flat or eggshell, satin, semigloss then gloss. Paint also gets much more expensive the darker it gets. A white or neutral paint color can be as much as $20 less expensive than a deep base red or blue.

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