Even if you think you'll probably do the job yourself, it's good preparation to seek estimates from professional home painters, whether your painting the exterior or interior of your home. Then you'll have a financial point of comparison and you may benefit from what a home painting contractor has to say about the condition of your home, color choices and types of paint available. Let the painter make his pitch for a professional job before you decide what to do. You can still opt to do it yourself while having learned something worthwhile.
Painting contractors work in the property maintenance sector. Depending on their skills and resources, they might specialize in painting different types of buildings, including houses and apartments, or commercial properties, such as offices, factories or retail outlets. Some contractors work directly for property owners; others find work through real estate firms, rental agents and property maintenance companies.
As the peak industry body for the painting and decorating industry in NSW, MPA has been since its foundation over 100 years ago, an independent representative for firms and individuals conducting business in the painting, decorating and sign writing trades. We do this by our involvement with numerous government consultative forums both nationally and at a state level.

• One room or the whole house? Applying one coat in one room is a reasonable DIY Saturday project (especially if you have help and beer). Multiply the time spent moving furniture, prepping walls and sanding old trim by the number of rooms in the house, and you might want to hire real help. It's the same outside. You can probably tackle one shady garage wall that needs a little scraping and sanding plus a coat of paint, but covering all surfaces of the house is usually best left to a pro.


A professional painter will tell you that you do not have to paint the gutters or downspouts; however, it does not make sense to go to the expense of painting your house and trim to have the gutters remain grimy. Gutters and downpipes can be very noticeable on most houses. Usually, gutters and downspouts need to be painted when cleaning them doesn’t bring them closely back to their original color or if their color doesn’t match the same undertone of the new trim.
The exterior of the home is often what people use to make a first impression, not only of the house but also the people who live inside. The impression is formed based on the house color, along with the quality and look of the painting. As you view your home’s exterior, is it making the statement you want to make, creating the impression you want to create? If your answer is no, New Life Painting has the solutions you are looking for.
So why not just paint your own home. I'm not a painter, so my wife and I take our time, buying the paint and supplies, and doing our own painting. Yes, we need to tape, and it's not perfect, but we get the satisfaction of seeing our completed work. Get the supplies, sliders for your furniture, and patience and go for it. That way YOU have control over the entire project.
As the peak industry body for the painting and decorating industry in NSW, MPA has been since its foundation over 100 years ago, an independent representative for firms and individuals conducting business in the painting, decorating and sign writing trades. We do this by our involvement with numerous government consultative forums both nationally and at a state level.
In addition to getting references from your finalists, you’ll want bids. Get them from at least three different contractors, and make sure they’re all based on the same criteria. Find out what each contractor’s estimated timeframe is for the project, and whether there’s a waitlist. A good contractor should offer a warranty. Three years is fine; one year usually isn’t enough. Look at the warranty in writing, and make sure you understand any limitations or exceptions written into it.

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Remember: You want to get the highest quality paint your budget will allow to ensure its lasting beauty. You'll also need painting supplies like primer, brushes, rollers and painter's tape. A professional will have these items on-hand. According to statistics, paint and other supplies account for about 15 percent of a professional painter's total cost; labor will factor into 85 percent of their charges.

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Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, consider his credentials. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Also check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.

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I managed commercial construction projects for many years, have built and remodeled several properties, and never once have I encountered any of these scams. The tone of this article is deeply troubling. The author seems to be saying that ALL painting contractors are inherently dishonest, and that has not been my experience. The underlying advice here is sound: get it all in writing and cover as many contingencies as possible--so pointing out potential pitfalls like coat coverage is helpful. But do that in the spirit of clear communication of expectations, not with the expectation that the person you are hiring will try to cheat you at every turn. Not every contractor takes outrageous advantage of change orders; not every contractor will sneak past necessary preparation and/or repairs. Contractors of all sorts get a bad rap as it is; reinforcing a stereotype with articles written from this point of view just seems unproductive.

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A do-it-yourself approach can work well for a simple painting project. More complicated, large-scale endeavors tend to require the expertise of a professional contractor. If you live in a house built before 1978, there’s an extra reason to hire a contractor: safety. Houses from that era often contain lead paint, and most contractors are specially trained to minimize the health hazards it can cause.

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. 

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“Joining PDCA and working towards our accreditation has been hands down one of the best things we've done to help grow our business and ensure we're doing things right. It has been invaluable to be part of a group who is striving for excellence just like we are, and as a new painting business being able to connect and learn from others has been incredible. “

Along the perimeter of a wall, where it meets the trim, the ceiling, and other walls, brush on a 1½- to 2-inch-wide stripe of the wall color. Painting that stripe, a process called cutting-in, puts paint in areas that a roller can’t easily reach. Next to trim and the ceiling, cutting-in also forms a crisp paint line that would be impossible with a roller alone. To get the best results, use long, steady strokes and a brush that isn’t overloaded with paint. Henrique prefers to cut-in with a 2½-inch-wide angled sash brush. For maximum control, he grips it at the ferrule, with his fingers as close to the bristles as possible.
Tony's Painting has proven to me that there experience and workmanship is of high quality. During the time they worked on my home they were very knowledgeable and thorough in all aspects of the job which included acoustic removal, patching and sanding of the ceiling, texturing and painting. I was so pleased with their work, I called them back to stain and seal my newly installed stair cases. Again, they did a job well done! I would highly recommend Tony's Painting to anyone.
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.

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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).

Remember: You want to get the highest quality paint your budget will allow to ensure its lasting beauty. You'll also need painting supplies like primer, brushes, rollers and painter's tape. A professional will have these items on-hand. According to statistics, paint and other supplies account for about 15 percent of a professional painter's total cost; labor will factor into 85 percent of their charges.

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.
Dave, you said it best! Every pro painting contractor truly worth their salt would and should cut and paste exactly what you say here about where customary and legitimate practices and expectations should be in regards to what customers should expect from contractors and how contractors should professionally deal with their customers. By the way, Dave, if you work in the Atlanta area, I would like to hire you! Thank you for your valuable advice!
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.
John Fazzolari is a contractor, so when it comes to color schemes, he knows whereof he speaks. His article on color selection relies in part on amusing anecdotes, some of which are cautionary tales, to make his well-considered points. (The “Smurf Blue” story is particularly memorable.) This piece may not be as systematic as the others on this list, but the conversational tone and common-sense advice (look around your neighborhood for exterior colors you like, then knock on some doors) make this a quick, fun read.

Repaint — exteriors especially — before visible signs of wear appear, Bancroft says. Don’t wait until you see peeling or flaking paint. “If I have to spend 40 hours preparing the surface before we can paint, that time is going to result in a lot of extra costs. But if I can spend 10 hours preparing the surfaces to be painted, you’re going to save money,” Freeman says.
When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
As a former professional painter, something that drives me crazy is when I see painters cut in around wall plates. First of all, the amount of time that it takes to cut in is usually much longer than the amount of time that it takes to simply remove the wall plate. Secondly it does not look nearly as clean as it does when the wall plate is removed and thirdly it can invariably leave paint on the wall plate itself which also looks sloppy. Make sure the painter takes them off and then reinstalls them. It's less time.

Mauro Henrique was working on a construction crew, hoping to become a carpenter, when one day in 1991 the painter didn’t show up. “The contractor looked at me and said, ‘Can you paint?’ I shrugged, picked up a brush—and found my trade.” For Henrique, the big appeal of painting is how fast he and his crew can transform a client’s house. “I get to make people happy every day.”

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Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, consider his credentials. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Also check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.
If you hire a contractor for a painting job, you’ll want some assurances in the form of guarantees or warranties.  Knowing the importance of warranties, some companies even give unrealistically long warranties such as 10 years, 20 years or even lifetime warranties. The sad fact is that most of these companies will be out of business long before their warranties expire. So what is a realistic warranty that you can trust? Here’s what you should look for in a great warranty:
FIRST: Unless you can stay in business painting 1 bedroom at a time for $500-$1000, which you can't, then you will be taking on several thousand dollar contracts that require thousands in Labor and Materials to fulfill the order. Multiply that by 3-4 jobs at one time or in our case 15-20 jobs at a time, YOU NEED TO TAKE DEPOSITS!!! It is horrible business not to take deposits. There are many jobs where its not possible to get a deposit and that is built into or pricing accordingly. If we are not getting a deposit, there is a finance charge built in, contractors are not banks. If you don't have a good feeling about a deposit, your hiring the WRONG CONTRACTOR. Hire people you know or well established businesses.
If you do decide to make it a full-time business, the sky’s the limit. The house flipper/contractor that I worked for billed clients $35 per hour for painting, and paid his best painters perhaps half of that, so there is room for some profit there. Consider the case of Matt Shoup, who started with $100 and went door-to-door, asking neighbors if they needed some painting done, then built a painting business that earns $2.5 million per year!
It takes time, skill and experience to produce results that are beautiful and guaranteed to last.  We’ll provide fair pricing for your project after meeting with you and listening carefully – our proposal will be detailed and our pricing transparent – and our pricing will also reflect our commitment to our employees, to run a legitimate company offering appropriate benefits, to attract and retain talented and successful painters.
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...
The other difficult part is getting a painting contractor to show up. While this generalization does not apply to every painter, personally I am extremely grateful if I can get a paint contractor to show up to look at the house and to later produce a written estimate. I hardly fault the painting contractors, because I think it is a combination of the contractors being smaller operations along with a high demand for their work.
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.
When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls.

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