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.

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Ideally, you want a variety of older and newer projects, and you especially want to check on a very recent project, such as something completed last month. When you do get the references list, don’t take the information for granted. Take a few minutes to check these references. Ask these homeowners about the experience while services were provided and also how well the job has held up over time.
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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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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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.

Watering down the paint 50%? It will not cover. I am a contract painter and found that most people that I make a contract with immediately try to change the deal and get more than they are paying for. Sometimes, I let them cheat me as they may have other work that I wish to do but other times I put my foot down. I try to get the client to look at what I have done each and everyday if I am going from room to room. I cannot do this If I spray the entire project at once. Even when I have them inspect my work, they often just do not tell the truth and wish to scam me the contractor for more and more while paying the same as the original contract. Most people have not a clue how much work is involved in painting a house and just assume that the painter rolls out the work with no prep, sealing off the place to protect things that are not painted. All of my contracts state that if anything is in the way like babies, dogs, cars, plants and furniture that I cannot proceed and that it is their responsibility to move this stuff. I always seem to be turned into a furniture mover and never get paid to wrench my back. Fact is most people try to rob the contractor and this article tries to make it seem that the contractor is robbing the homeowners. My sister is a prime example of this as she always goes for the lowest bid yet expects a world class job. This means if you pay $500 for a two day paint job do not expect the contractor to live at your home for two weeks and make only $500.
Consider purchasing supplies personally to save money. Ask the painter for a bid that separates labor and materials. Then explain that you'll purchase the materials and ask for a list of exactly what will be needed to complete the job. Caulking, for example, is an extra supply commonly used to fill any cracks or damaged areas in your walls -- and one that might be overlooked in an incomplete list.

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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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.

Maybe you've just moved into a new home, and you haven't got around to buying brushes and rollers yet. Perhaps you're worried that your brush-skills aren't that good, and you won't achieve that professional-looking finish that you’re really going for. Handy professionals will turn up with everything they need to get the job done, from ladders and brushes, to rollers and tarps. You just have to provide the interior paint and primer!

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