Indianapolis painter takes pride in prepping

Fine became a painter after being hired by a friend. When that company went out of business, Fine struck out on his own and started Fine Painting Inc. in 1976. "I'm hoping to get the hang of it sometime soon," Fine quips. "I like painting, and I'm always trying to do a better job than the last guy."

How and why do you prepare the home for painting?

"The key factor is preparation. It's about 30 percent of what we do. Before we start painting, the surface should be clean. We clean and power wash, which removes any dirt, mildew or chalky film - things that interfere with the new paint's adhesion. Then we check for and caulk areas where moisture can penetrate and damage the wood. We'll also replace any damaged wood. Then, it's scraping and sanding loose paint, and priming. When we're painting, we use drop cloths and protect what needs to be covered like plants, areas that aren't supposed to be painted, sidewalks and furniture. We're always extra careful about working around landscaping."

What type of paint do you use?

"We use Sherwin-Williams or Porter paints, or whatever the homeowner prefers. When I give estimates, I ask how long the homeowner is staying in the home. If they're going to be there three years or less, I'll recommend Sherwin-Williams' A-100 paint. It's a good, quality paint that's comparable to anything. If they're going to be there for five years or more, I recommend Sherwin-Williams' Duration paint. It's more expensive, but it's very thick and lasts longer, so you basically get two coats of paint in one application."

What advice do you have for customers when they're picking a color for their home?

"Most people repaint their homes in the existing colors. If they haven't picked a color, I have color charts available, but I don't pick colors for people. We've been seeing a lot more earth-tone colors being used these days. I once painted a house in a pumpkin-like color. You could see it from a half-mile away, but the homeowner liked it."

How do you charge, and what's the typical cost?

"We look at each job by individual estimate. We account for things like the home's style, how many colors will be used, trimming trees back for access and, of course, the prep work. Most paint jobs last about six years, so if a home's gone eight or so years without any exterior work, it's going to take more preparation. An exterior paint job, on average, costs about $3,000 for an average 2,000-square-foot home and usually takes about three or four days."


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