This feared question gets to the heart of who will be performing work in your home and whether your home and belongings will be safe. Sadly, there have been numerous documented cases around the country where employees of a hired contractor have burglarized, injured, or even killed the homeowner.  What’s worse, in most cases it was later found that the bad employee had a criminal background that was unknown to the employer.  In learning about who will be performing the work in your home, you should ask additional questions about their hiring policy and whether they conduct criminal background checks.
Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor.
Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job. In modern times, the painter is primarily responsible for preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching holes in drywall, using masking tape and other protection on surfaces not to be painted, applying the paint and then cleaning up.[2]
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.

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Old cracked and loose caulking will be removed and replaced with a premium Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulking. Often the original caulking is insufficient and not only leads to higher energy bills, but can allow water into joints which will cause the siding to rot and decay. Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. specializes in siding replacement so we are highly-skilled at knowing where these problem areas are. As a result, we ensure the entire house is excessively caulked in all the right areas on every job. All joints, seams and punctured nail holes will be caulked.

The article was well-intended, but it makes it sound like painters are the crooks and consumers are innocent victims. That is blatantly un-true. Maybe there should be a follow-up article that educates consumers how not to be shysters by expecting a ton more than they said at the start, or not paying the balance of the job unless something else is done that was not in the contract. Tradesmen have a rough road when dealing with consumers that have short arms but long lists of by-the-way items. No, I'm not a painter...
A fresh coat of paint makes everything it touches seem brand new. But such new beginnings cost real money. Professional painters charge around $4,000 for labor and materials to paint the exterior of a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home and roughly $5,500 for the interior. Painters’ rates may range from $20 to $60 an hour, but around $40 is typical in urban areas.
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.

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Taking a few moments to read the following few pages could save you both money and frustration by avoiding a bad contracting experience.  The fact is, painters range in the quality of services they provide, and there are many inexperienced, unlicensed and unqualified people and companies that masquerade as professional painters. Many homeowners are so focused on “how much” that they never even consider anything else. This can lead them to hire the wrong company.
Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor.
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.
This article with comments was terrific - it was so informative. I found the advice useful. It addressed specifics like the condition of the dry wall surfaces, any additional repairs such. pin holes, chalking, smoothing of wall surfaces, absorption of paint and number of coats that may be needed. It should also include insurance coverage, and reflect the clean-up afterwards. Having a written contract with the company's letterhead is a must.

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Prep. For new work the painter accepts the finish done by the drywall or plaster and once he accepts the work and starts painting he owns any wall repairs. Existing work is a different thing. I take a high intensity light and circle the kinds of defects with chalk so we are all in agreement before they start. Sometimes this results in a higher price and we have to compromise on how much to do...

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Our project foreman, as well as our staff, are full time, professional house painters which means that our attention to detail is second to none when it comes to your project. From selecting the right date to start the project, colors, project staging through to completion, we concern ourselves with every single aspect to make sure that your complete satisfaction has been reached. We will not stop until it has been achieved.
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.
The entire house will be painted as outlined in the job contract. One area that we pay special attention to is the edge of any Hardboard siding where it meets the foundation. We also are meticulous about ensuring they are properly and thoroughly painted and back-brushed. Sealing these areas of the Hardboard siding is critical to reduce future swelling, rotting and decay. Depending on the type of paint and the method of application, 1-2 coats of exterior paint may be required. Paint may be applied with a brush, roller, airless sprayer or any combination of the above.
The premium line from any manufacturer will almost certainly cover better and last longer than its less-expensive versions. Because the expense of painting is mostly in the labor, it makes sense to buy premium paint. But suppose you plan to move or want to change the color scheme of your home in the next few years. Here's where you can save with a midlevel paint that's backed for 10 years or so versus 15 or more for many top-of-the-line paints. "We find customers really don't believe warranty claims," says Lane Blackburn, vice president of architectural marketing for Sherwin-Williams. "But they do use the warranty as a guide to quality." For example, Ace Hardware, like most retailers, offers two exterior-paint lines: Royal Shield ($20 to $25 per gallon, 15-year warranty) and Quality Shield ($16, 10-year warranty).

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