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.

Calculate your costs.Having an idea of the cost of paint you need to purchase will help obtain quotes from a contractor. “Paint coverage is based on how many square feet of surface one gallon will cover,” says Bunting. “Most paints will cover approximately 400 square feet. Tally this by multiplying in feet the wall’s height by its width, minus windows and doors.” Determine how much paint is needed to complete the project. “To calculate the cost of a project, factor in the day rates, the size of the property, any architectural features, and the paint finish needed,” says Rance.

After getting married and buying a home last year, Rebecca Brown figured her high-school summers painting houses would make her new DIY project a piece of cake. She finished some ceilings, but a few days—and a whole lot of blue tape—later, she realized that she needed help with the walls. “Back when I was painting, we used off-white on everything,” Rebecca says. “I had no experience choosing or working with different colors and sheens.” So she wrote to Ask This Old House. That’s how Mauro Henrique, who has been the painting contractor on about a dozen This Old House TV projects, ended up at her house, coaching her through the steps of refreshing her dining room. 

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Did you even read the article? It was specifying UNSCRUPULOUS painters! And, by the way, the photo at the top was not identified at all. How would anyone know whether it was done by a homeowner or not? Also did you ever stop to think that if a consumer has the knowlege to spot a dishonest contractor then by default he also has the knowlege to identify an honest one as well? And, pardon me, but just because you've never seen something has absolutely nothing to do with whether it has actually happened to someone else. Why would any honest business person be so defensive about the publishing of such useful information? If any painters/painting contractors object to a consumer having this kind of information maybe they are the dishonest ones!

High percentage of solids. The solids are what's left on the wall after the paint has dried. Anything over 45 percent is considered good; the higher the level of solids, the better, because you'll wind up with a denser, more durable coating. For example, a gallon of Dulux Exterior Flat contains 52 percent solids by weight. However, be aware that some companies add cheap fillers to beef up the percentage of solids - that makes it wise to stay away from inexpensive paints with a high level of solids. Although you typically won't find information about solids on the label, check with your paint retailer, ask to see product data sheets or fire up your modem and check the company's Website.

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Before the scrubdown, protect nearby plants by misting their leaves and saturating the surrounding soil with water, pulling them away from the house, and shrouding them in fabric drop cloths. (Plants will cook under plastic.) Lay more drop cloths along the base of the walls to collect any falling paint debris. Walls should be wet down before getting scrubbed, then washed with a gallon of water mixed with 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of either a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute, or Jomax House Cleaner. Working in sections, from the bottom to the top, will avoid streaks. Be sure to rinse walls well before the solution dries. Wood siding and trim should be ready to paint after a day or two of dry weather.

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so what about hardwood chamfer boards? Specially the common post war 60-70mm chamfer boards. The old paint peels, so the painter sanded it back to bare timber, primed it with water based timber primer,and finished with exterior paint. After about 1 month, the paint had bubbled where the sun hits it most. The painter was advised to use an oil based primer, and the same thing happened. Talking with other painters, they said this is a common issue, and it is not a paint issue, it’s more to do with the timber.


Both options have their pros and cons. Spraying is the faster method that usually only requires one coat coverage, is free of brush marks and can get into hard to reach areas. Spraying does, however, have a longer prep time, the possibility of uneven coverage, and poor adhesion. Brushing has excellent control, good adhesion, uniform coverage and is better for getting into smaller cracks. Brushing takes a lot longer, requires two coats and can leave brush marks. Make sure your contractor has solid and definite reasons for picking one method over the other.

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If a company has a formal training program, it’s a safe bet that they have their act together. They can do training in-house through regular meetings of their employees.  They can have field training systems in place, usually coordinated with classroom training sessions.  They can also use trade associations, such as PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America) or paint manufacturer’s representatives to stay up to date with the latest materials and techniques. 

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Dennis Gleason is a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE), accredited by the American Society of Professional Estimators. He is a painting business veteran with more than 20 years' experience and has been a guest lecturer in construction classes at San Diego State University, sponsored by the Associated General Contractors. He has also taught and coordinated construction cost estimating classes for the Associated Builders and Contractors. He holds a BS degree and a certificate in construction practices (sponsored by the Associated General Contractors), both from San Diego State University.
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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You are right on with this - why do people leave switch plates on when it's just so easy to take them off? Another thing that happened to us - we had the popcorn ceiling taken off and the ceiling painted white. When the job was done and I later went to change out all the fixtures/fans, they had left every fixture in place, so there was a large patch of popcorn and unpainted ceiling left behind - it just didn't dawn on me to specify that they take those down before scraping and painting. It was kind of a mess.
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Third: The contractor buys the materials. We get them at a better rate and customers really don't know what they are getting into by being a material racer. Once again, I'm not referring to the guys that paint a bedroom or 2 a week. Tell the homeowner to go grab 50 gallons of paint, $300.00 worth of sundries and related job cost items and I'd be interested to see how it works for them....IT WILL NOT. And if were talking about people getting taken advantage of here, the paint suppliers with no relationship to a homeowner will 100% GOUGE the customer and completely take advantage of them with pricing. Contractors will pay nearly half the price and will still save the customers money marking up paint 10-15%.

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.

Simple costing techniques, tips on how to survive up against the competition, the big companies with several crews and foremen employed. I don't ever aspire to be that kind of contractor. This is a fresh viewpoint and it gave me so much I am no longer looking for a painter's contracting manual. I found a lot of his times for painting different items to closely match my own.
Keep an eye on the new cans as they're being brought in. Make sure they look new and don't have paint in the rim of the can. If it's a five-gallon bucket, check to see whether the lid is still sealed on with the plastic strip. The only time it's acceptable to mix water in the paint is when you're using a deep or ultra deep base paint to reduce its stickiness, which is rare with new paint technology. Dark primary colors are composed almost entirely of tint that makes it very hard to work with without adding water.

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