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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I made the HUGE mistake of hiring Certa Pro to do several interior rooms of my house, and remove popcorn ceiling in a bathroom. What a nightmare! They didn't paint any door jams, they broke a cedar window sill-and didn't bother telling me, they gouged a hardwood floor, they never sealed the room that had the popcorn removed--causing white powder to be in all rooms of a 2 story home. I can go on and on. Horrible company
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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Tru Colors Contracting is an experienced residential paint contractor that has been serving Miami, Broward and Palm Beach Counties for many years. We are completely dedicated to providing our residential customers with high-quality interior and exterior painting services that yield beautiful and long-lasting results. Painting is one of the easiest ways you can enhance the look of your home and that's what we will do for you with our services. We can paint the inside and outside of your home, including any structure or surface that is looking dull or worn and needs a new look.

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I agree with you Richard, as a painting contractor for very many years, people are always looking to get more and more out of you. I had to give an estimate to a lady a few weeks ago who had more stuff around her home than a thrift store including heavy furniture, stuff all over the floor and junk everywhere. I knew if I accepted the job id be a furniture mover and cleaner. I also agree this article makes it seem like the contractor is out to rip off the customers. Fact is I always leave doing more work than agreed upon. It doesn't bother me since the customer is always satisfied. Just saying
We are a Naperville-based house painting company offering professional, high quality painting -for interior painting, exterior painting, & deck staining, & powerwashing - without the high prices.  Each project is closely monitored by the owner, from the paint and color selection through to the last stroke of the brush.  We provide "one client at a time" service.

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"I had tru colors paint my home office. They delivered a beautiful paint job, on time, with no issues. I have also used them in the past for having the exterior of my home painted, which was also an excellent job, delivered on time and within budget. I will be using them to have the rest of my home painted, and will most likely have trim and molding work done by them too. Highly recommended!!!"
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.
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.
If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.
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.
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.

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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.

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).

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