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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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...
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.
Even the best exterior paint can fail if it's applied incorrectly. Always use a primer when painting any untreated surface to seal it off and to provide a base for topcoats to stick to. Alkyd primers are best for bare wood because they cover bleed-through from wood knots better; be sure the label states that the primer is designed to stop bleed-through. Water-based primers are a good choice if knots aren't an issue. Water-based paints are compatible with both types of primer. When repainting, prime only when necessary. If the paint hasn't cracked or flaked, you may not need to prime at all. Advantage 900 from Porter Paints is designed to go over any existing paint without priming or sanding. If you must scrape down to bare wood, spot-prime. Not sure whether priming is needed? Try this test: Paint a small portion of the wall and let it dry. Then put an adhesive bandage on the newly painted surface and snap it off. If paint sticks to it, the old paint won't support a new coat and requires a coat of primer. If the bandage is clean, power wash the siding and paint. For painting new construction, the FPL recommends dipping each piece of siding in a paintable water repellent, priming, then applying two coats of water-based paint. The lab also suggests installing siding on furring strips, creating a ventilated space behind it to reduce vapor. Seal the bottom with screening to keep insects out. If you hire a painting contractor, be sure he or she follows the paint manufacturer's directions. For example, the temperature should be between 50° and 90°F to apply water-based paint. Also, the topcoat should go on within two weeks of the primer. If you wait too long, the mechanical bond between the two won't be as strong because the surface texture of the primer breaks down. And if two topcoats are used (recommended for new construction), the second should go on within two weeks of the first. There are lots of exterior paints out there. Knowing how to pick the best from a lineup of look-alike cans will help your paint job last well into the next century.

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.


Small random-orbit or pad sanders make this job go faster. (Wallis first covers these boundaries with Synkoloid patching compound so no edge is visible after sanding.) As shown, you want to make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that might get close scrutiny, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to erase any scratches.
SF Gate recommends an inside-out approach to choosing paint colors. This involves picking a central item and building a room’s color scheme around it. The article also repeats an age-old bit of painting wisdom: Test your colors on small sections of wall before going all out. There are even tips for homeowners planning to sell: Light colors make rooms look bigger, and white acts as a “blank canvas” that lets potential buyers imagine things their way.

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I am a painting contractor and have been since 2001. Make sure the estimate provides in writing: What is EXCLUDED as well as INCLUDED. It should state the manufacturer and type of paint going to be used. Estimate says ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS. My estimates to my customers say "guaranteed coverage" eliminates the conversations of 1 coat vs 2 coat. I have my customers submit colors 5 days prior to start date. Customers need to inform me if they are going to use pure white, dark reds, oranges, and bright yellows they need to inform me in that 5 day window, so I can adjust my pricing for 3 coats. Although this more uncommon now than years past because a lot of paint manufacturers have primer with paint products. Let the contractor know if your doing accent walls. This takes longer to cut in straight lines and it requires the contractor to purchase more paint. If you add anything on the scope of work have the painter write out the description and cost prior to them doing the work. Have the estimate say how many days it will take to perform the work. Ask how many workers will be doing the job. Make sure to enforce that number of workers their everyday until the job is complete. Do not give final payment until you do a final walk through. Walk the job when its almost complete and point out areas that you want fixed prior to the contractors final walk through. Its best to do while the workers are still in that particular area as they will have tarps down and areas covered and it will be easier for them to take care of. Purchase a roll of blue tape and stick it to areas that you want fixed. This is called a punch list.

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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 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.

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It may seem like a no-brainer, but using interior paint on an outside wall can result in peeling. So can painting an exterior in subzero temperatures, or applying paint to an unclean surface. Whatever the nature of your project, make sure to identify all trouble spots before priming and painting. No peeling paint or surface defect can remain if your work is to be successful.
To win work, contractors generally have to bid against other suppliers. To make an accurate bid, they estimate the time and materials required to complete the job. They measure the area to be painted and discuss the type of finish the customer requires. They assess the quality of the surfaces to work out how much remedial work they must carry out before painting. They might have to remove old paint or wall coverings, or repair cracks and other damage. They also calculate the cost of any essential equipment, such as scaffolding for exterior walls.

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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!
Specify whether the contractor or you will supply the paint. Check Consumer Reports' paint ratings: In its tests, some relatively inexpensive paints performed better than more expensive paints and cost $10 to $20 less per gallon. But keep in mind that most paints will resist cracking, peeling, mold and mildew. Who does the painting — and how well they do it — is more important than what's in the bucket.
Painting contractors must also carry out administrative and marketing duties. They prepare final accounts for customers based on the original estimates and any additional work. They analyze the cost of the job compared with the estimate to calculate their profit. They market their business through activities such as setting up websites, asking customers for references or contacting property maintenance companies with details of their services.
To hide the texture of the brushstrokes made during cutting-in, run a lightly loaded  roller as close as possible to corners or the edges of the trim. At the top of the wall, you’ll have to climb a stepladder to do this. When this first coat is dry, in about 90 minutes, repeat the wall-painting sequence, including  the cutting-in, and cover the entire wall with a second and, if necessary, a third coat.

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To win work, contractors generally have to bid against other suppliers. To make an accurate bid, they estimate the time and materials required to complete the job. They measure the area to be painted and discuss the type of finish the customer requires. They assess the quality of the surfaces to work out how much remedial work they must carry out before painting. They might have to remove old paint or wall coverings, or repair cracks and other damage. They also calculate the cost of any essential equipment, such as scaffolding for exterior walls.
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 when doing DIY wall painting.
If we’re being honest, exterior house painting is a backbreaking task when you go it alone. Between vertigo inducing ladders, sanding down old paint, washing off dirt and taking caution not to paint the windows, there is a lot to think about. Our team of professional house painters make it easy. We are equipped with the right tools and training to get your house painting project carried out without a hitch.

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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.
Ask companies to include all details in writing. Although that sounds simple enough, too many contractors submit offers such as "paint house for $5,000." A friendly contractor may offer a reassuring handshake and promise that the crew will take care of all the details — starting on time, working every day, cleaning up, etc. That's great, but why not include each point in the proposal? If it's a challenge to get a written description of labor, materials and other details, things will probably get worse when the work starts.

SF Gate recommends an inside-out approach to choosing paint colors. This involves picking a central item and building a room’s color scheme around it. The article also repeats an age-old bit of painting wisdom: Test your colors on small sections of wall before going all out. There are even tips for homeowners planning to sell: Light colors make rooms look bigger, and white acts as a “blank canvas” that lets potential buyers imagine things their way.
On the exterior of your home, a professional paint job translates to beauty and elegance, but it also does much more; paint is a barrier against the elements that attack the integrity of your house.  Since 1987, we’ve been beautifying, enhancing, and restoring some of the finest homes in the Greater Los Angeles Areas.  Our experience, knowledgeable, and commitment to excellence make us the brightest choice for your exterior painting needs! 

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I'm hiring an interior painter and that is why I was reading this comment list. I'm concerned about your comment about Angie's List. Some of us don't have personal recommendations for tradespersons, and rely on sites like this. Are you saying that Angie's List's reviews are not complete or that they do not print some of the negative reviews? It's hard to know what to do - I have not been able to find a person who just had their paint done so I can ask him/her about the quality of the painter.
The majority of our work done is in repainting residential homes throughout the Fraser Valley (Painters Surrey, Painters White Rock, Painters Langley, & Painters Delta BC). One of the more common needs of our residential customers is that they are looking at staging their homes for reselling. We can help you in deciding on the best color choices and the most important aspects of the job that should take priority giving the most cost effective strategy for prepping your home for reselling. For others, moving into a new home is the best time to paint, allowing you to reshape the look of your home to your own personal taste.  Getting your place painted just before moving in can save you money as well; we give extra discounts to empty homes free of furniture etc. If you have been looking for a reliable interior home painting company please look no further. We will give a free no-charge painting quote as well as an expert color consultation that will leave you feeling confident about your next painting project.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Without marketing there can be no prospects, no appointments and no projects. Marketing is what makes the register ring. In order to be truly successful in the residential painting business, you must be a marketing expert. You can be average at everything else, but if you use marketing, you will make a ton of money.
There are cases where apartment complexes allow you to choose from a color wheel of neutral hues before you move in. Some charge a fee for calling in a painter to do the walls, while others offer new paint as a benefit of moving in. If you're not a fan of neutral colors, consider looking for an apartment that allows you to paint the walls a more expressive tone. Otherwise you can invest in boldly colored furniture and posters.

Some proposals simply say to paint the walls and ceiling and never specify the number of coats to be applied. If the colors are similar enough, it's possible to get away with one coat of paint and not discount your pricing. No matter how hard you try, tiny, pin-sized air holes will pop exposing the original walls. This may not bother you if you can't notice it, but principally speaking you should have paid your painter less for the work.
Climate is another factor to consider. Sunlight, wind, rain and salty weather can all wear out exterior paint. Oil-based paint is durable against wind, rain and temperature changes, but sunlight tends to degrade it. Alkyd paint chalks and sheds very thin layers when it begins to wear. Latex paint is the more durable option for very sun-drenched and relatively dry climate areas. Latex paint with high vinyl content should be avoided, however. Acrylic resin is by far the more durable binder for outdoor latex paint.

Our workers will arrive promptly every day to commence the exterior house painting services and make sure to clean up the property at the end of each shift. The painters we work with are college-aged students who have received extensive training on house painting services and business management skills alike. They model their work after this five-step system that is proven effective:
In England, little is known of the trade and its structures before the late 13th century, at which paint guilds began to form, amongst them the Painters Company and the Stainers Company. These two guilds eventually merged with the consent of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1502, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. The guild standardised the craft and acted as a protector of the trade secrets. In 1599, the guild asked Parliament for protection, which was eventually granted in a bill of 1606, which granted the trade protection from outside competition such as plasterers.[2]
the price can always be adjusted based on on or off season, amount of colors to be used. A job like this can be done in 2 days and much quicker with a helper. I charge a bit more than others just because its quality work done professionally. Theres others that charge more than this just because they can on the on season and most people dont get a 2nd bid...

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Yes the pricing does change, and quite significantly. I have worked inside the paint industry on counter sales outside sales and application for over 10 years. One thing many people do not understand is, the resins in the paint are more expensive to produce the higher the sheen goes. Therefore the company is at of higher cost making the paint, which in terms they charge more for the paint. I have seen a 15$ variance between flat-semi-gloss it is not uncommon and is not unrealistic to pay more for a higher sheen. Another thing to add is when doing samples on your wall prior to a painter coming is a good idea, however do not do them in huge squares with heavy coats, remember you are just wanting an idea. A lot of times the issue comes up of the paint not covering the sample coats, in fact it is covering quite well, however the paint sample applied is often times much darker than the wall color, creating a contrasting difference from the lighter surrounding wall and the sample placed on the wall. I recommend getting a piece of sheet rock and using it for the samples so you can move around with it etc.
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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