When it comes to home maintenance, exterior painting is one task that is best left to a professional. Painting contractors have the experience and the manpower to do the job properly and efficiently. They can also recommend the best type of paint for the project, taking climate and building material into consideration. While you may be tempted to save money and turn this into a do-it-yourself project, your safety is important—professionals will have the special equipment needed to get up high and, more importantly, their own insurance, shielding you from liability. But there is a con: working with the wrong contractor. Be sure your contractor is insured, has a good reputation, and offers the best cost estimate to ensure you get the job done without any headaches. We asked Benjamin Moore’s Craig Bunting and Farrow & Ball’s Josephine Rance for tips on finding the right painting professional—so you can sit back and enjoy the finished product.

In Mark Twain's classic "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," Tom tricks his friends into painting his aunt's fence. You probably won't get that lucky, but there are good reasons many homeowners keep their painting in-house. No building codes apply to interior decoration; if you do something dumb, you don't risk life and property as you would if you were, say, tackling a rewiring job; and because labor typically accounts for 80 to 85 percent of the price of a paint job, you'll save a ton by doing the work yourself.

The cost to paint a room will vary based on the size of the room, the type of paint you select, any ceiling or trim work needed, and any repairs needed. If no repairs or other additional work is needed, painting a room with contractor-grade paint could range from $1 to $2 per square foot, including materials. Selecting a luxury paint (some cost more than $100 per gallon) will certainly increase your house painting costs. Here are some additional examples of average house painting costs, per room:


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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If less than half the old paint is left, however, it may be worth stripping it all off. Guertin gets rid of stubborn remnants using shrouded grinders (like the PaintShaver), infrared paint strippers (such as the Speedheater), or chemical strippers (like Multi-Strip), then smooths the wood with a course or two of sanding. When siding (or bank accounts) can't take the shock of a total strip job, Rich O'Neil, of Masterwork Painting in Bedford, Massachusetts, has successfully hidden rough, well-adhered paint under Peel Bond, a thick primer.

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Never, never hire "Hanks painting" , he is a scam. He charged me 1800 for an 800 sqft house, with the agreement of painting the gutters. He not only didn't paint the gutters, the paint of the walls and front door is pealing off. He did not sand the door and the wall color is washing off. His people don't know the work and he much less than them since he painted the door.

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Paint will be your next-biggest cost, at anywhere from $20 to $70 or more per gallon, depending on the sheen, the grade you’ve chosen and any special features. Some paints, for instance, are mold resistant. Others suppress smells or require fewer coats. Some have a lifetime warranty. Paints with warranties, however, may not be worth a higher price. In Consumer Reports tests approximating nine years of wear, only a few exterior paints and stains with lifetime warranties held up well. But “you’ll grow tired of the color long before a good-quality paint wears out,” Bancroft says.

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You can save a bundle by doing the labor yourself. The biggest DIY expense is paint. Other expenses include buying or renting supplies and equipment, like caulk, primer, brushes, rollers, tarps and ladders or scaffolding. Freeman advises applying paint with brushes, not a sprayer. “If you overspray all the window frames and overspray your shingles and your sidewalks and the brick on the front of the house, you do damage that is not easily fixed,” he says.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 45 percent of all painters are self-employed, though that number may be slightly higher if companies hire freelancers or self-employed painters as part of their team. The price that painters charge for their services is largely dependent on their association and whether the job is completed in the warmer or colder months (painters often charge more in the summer and less in the winter, given demand and other factors). More information regarding painter rates and associated factors is included below.

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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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This last guide is a little unconventional. The home-decorating magazine House Beautiful has created an online slideshow of ideas and inspirations that’s eclectic, fun to read, and suitably colorful. Travel back to the 1950s in a color-powered time machine; check out the color scheme of a gorgeous Charleston home on a virtual tour; and explore shades that match the seasons. Perhaps most important: Learn which are “the hardest colors to get right,” and find out why. The slideshow’s creativity and variety make color selection seem like an adventure, not a drag. This may not be the only resource you need to decide on a color scheme, but it’s one you won’t regret using.
What is color? Color or colour can be defined as the “visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others.” In other words, color is really what the eye perceives. Color is created by the spectrum of light – which is the distribution of light power vs. wavelength – combining with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors in the eye. We associate color categories and color’s physical specifications with materials, objects, and light sources; this is based on the color’s physical property, i.e., reflection, light absorption, or emission spectra. The emission spectra of a chemical element or compound is defined by the frequencies at which the element’s or compound’s atoms are emitted when returned to a lower energy rate. When a color space is defined, colors can thus be recognized numerically by their coordinates. Read The Six Colors of the Eiffel Tower
I have a Home Improvement/Painting business, and Angie's List always advertises that that everyone is out to get them. Of course there are people who try to take advantage of homeowners My reputation and repeat business is based on word of mouth. Shoddy work is always a way to get put out of business quick. As far as strictly painting, preparation is a big factor in getting a quality paint job. If you don't prepare the surfaces you are painting you are spinning your wheels, and wasting money, no matter what paint you use. Getting a deposit from a customer is beneficial, but not always necessary. Sometimes it is a godsend, when you get stuck by the customer, which has happened to me more than once
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.
With that said, here's the reality of that particular scenario. Painters do put water in the paint, but not for reasons you would think. Some materials need to have their viscosity manipulated in order to slow drying time, allowing gravity to 'smooth' out the product for a better finish. It also prevents 'drags' and 'sausages'. I personally try not to do it too often, but from time to time I have to. I want my client to have a proper finish.

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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.
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.

Primer/Paint: “The whole industry is shifting to combination primer and paint,” says Mauro. “That’s a good thing, since a lot of people skip the primer, and the combination is better than nothing.” Still, for an unfinished or problem surface, he always uses a stand-alone primer. And if he’ll be using a dark paint, he tints the primer with about 80% of the paint color to ensure that two topcoats will do the job.
Flat - Often the original finish for many homes. It hides flaws, swollen wood and siding well, but is not as durable or cleanable as Satin. If you have an older home built with cedar lap-siding, then you will want to use a Flat paint. Flat is more breathable than Satin and will allow moisture inside the home to better vent without causing the paint to bubble on older cedar siding homes.
The materials of the home’s facade should be considered before painting your home. When painting flat surfaces like siding or wood, you can opt for standard outdoor paint. When painting a textured surface like stucco or brick, “elastomeric” paint is a much better choice. This type of paint can stretch more than normal paint, which allows it to bridge over small gaps and crevices, painting smoothly over texture.

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What does it mean that latex and oil paints are so different? If the former is applied over the latter without primer between them, the latex’s stretching may pull the rigid oil paint off the wall. This can expose the wood, which leaves the surface at the mercy of the elements. Not a situation you want in New England in February — or at all, really, no matter where you live.
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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Keeping water vapor out of a house’s outer walls is easier if there are plastic vapor barriers between the drywall or plaster and the framing. This is less often the case in older homes than in newer ones. If peeling occurs near or in a bathroom, shower-related dampness is likely at fault. One way to reduce the area’s moisture level is to put in an exhaust fan. In general, if part of the house is consistently damp, then the origin of that dampness must be discovered and dealt with.
If professional waste removal is required, we offer on-site dumpsters for an additional cost. Please inquire prior to the work beginning. On large projects a dumpster may be included as an optional, additional line-item in the estimate. You may use the dumpster as an opportunity for any "Spring Cleaning" after the siding work is completed, if there is any additional room in the dumpster. Please let us know if you would like the dumpster left in your driveway after all carpentry work is completed. 

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You have lots of options available at an even wider variety of price points. For your online marketing, you need to take your website, social media management, pay per click services, online review management, email marketing, and local business optimization services. Offline - there are even more options like direct mail / print marketing, home show appearances, yard signs, etc.
to be the devils advocate i have been a building contractor 20 of the last 30 yrs. i do know that if you go to a higher sheen of paint and or darker colors then any imperfections in the walls will show up much more dramatically…therefore the painter or a good drywall finisher is needed to prepare the walls extensively. this could cause more expenses…for it takes a lot of time to prep walls (smooth walls..not textured walls) and this cost has to be absorbed.
To paint a large section without leaving lap marks, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge, feathering out the paint as you go. After completing the entire length of the wall or ceiling, move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. This crisscrossing paint application sharply reduces (if not eliminates) lap marks.

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This well-edited package of stories on color selection starts with the basics — hello again, color wheel! — and moves in all sorts of interesting directions. The writers talk with interior designers, delve into feng shui and the psychology of color, and provide specialized tips for small spaces, such as apartments. (Example: Use sharp hues and unexpected accents.) Among the don’ts: Don’t assume beige is the only neutral, and don’t jump on every trendy color bandwagon that rolls by. The guide even includes a splashy, fast-moving video.

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These are some fantastic questions to ask and I particularly like the one that is concerned about safety for the painters. After all, if you have a large home and you’re hiring them to paint the exterior of that home then they’ll likely be on scaffolding. Because of that, you need to make sure that the contractor not only provides appropriate safety training, but has the correct liability insurance as well.

Jensen Exteriors is Salem’s trusted exterior remodeling service provider. We employ professional roofing contractors that provide exceptional painting, siding, and window replacement. With over 40 years of experience, we are one of the most qualified renovation companies in the Salem area as well as truly committed to providing high-quality results that property owners can depend on. Our competitive pricing makes our exterior solutions perfect for everyone. Explore more about what we can do for you by reaching out to our knowledgeable contractors.
As you walk through your lighted rooms (preferably day light) see if the new coat has light spots showing the precious paint. This is call "bleeding through". This means that there's only one coat of paint or the paint was diluted or the trasition of colors were from light to dark (or the other way around) and primer was not use or the painter is inexperienced.
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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I've seen this article sent out 4 times now. It's out dated in terms of today's "Scams." Paint stores haven't charged more money for deeper paint colors in over 15 years. Also Water downed paint? Seriously? That would never happen in the real world. And Wall repair? what painter would ever not assume wall repair as included? This article is a waste of time and should be taken down or edited to reflect actual scams of todays times.
Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.

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