How Some Interior Painters Cheat

Leave a Comment - 66

Comments

JHS

Subject: Wall Plates

As a former professional painter, something that drives me crazy is when I see painters cut in around wall plates. First of all, the amount of time that it takes to cut in is usually much longer than the amount of time that it takes to simply remove the wall plate. Secondly it does not look nearly as clean as it does when the wall plate is removed and thirdly it can invariably leave paint on the wall plate itself which also looks sloppy. Make sure the painter takes them off and then reinstalls them. It's less time.

george

Subject: I think my painter didnt put on 2 coats

I just had a painter put on two coats of cream colored paint, but there are fairly large sections that have been missed on both coats. Is there any way to tell whether the painter didnt put on 2 coats?

one of the missing sections is a 3X6 on the face of a door. I feel that it is impossible to miss this twice.

JHs

Subject: I think you're right.

If there's no new color on it at all, obviously it was missed. It sounds like he only put one coat over all and miss some areas. Talk to him and see what he says.

Stacee

Subject: What really matters

There are so many things wrong between these comments and the article I don't know where to begin.

The very first sign on whether or not to hire a paint contractor is in their response time in returning calls and getting an estimate to you in writing. They should also already have an idea of a schedule date that will be open for your project.

You do not hire a laborer as suggested by another commenter because then you leave yourself open to pay for any damages or medical issues that might ensue if an accident were to occur. That's why we carry comp and liability. We also know the rules and guidelines for ARB and permits.

I would never suggest that one of my clients buy their own paint because A . They will pay an average of $20 to $30 more per gallon which could add up to $1,000 or more to a full repaint B. most times I'm in the paint store homeowners are kind of pushed to the foreground as they handle all the contractors in the store and C. Paint is heavy, takes up a lot of room needs to be left in it clean dry area and I hate to put a client to work when they are trying to hire me to do their job.

Payment. Every client is different. Every job has it's own unique set of circumstances. I always start off the discussion with my clients saying that I'm flexible on how they would like to proceed with payments but that I prefer half down. I refuse to change order. Change orders are my last resort. Instead I ask questions at our initial meeting and try to be sure to cover all bases before I submit my estimate.

Back to the article. You can add water to all latex based paints / thinner to oil based paint. The tinting base has absolutely nothing to do with it. Say you are working outside and throughout the day you have to add a little water to keep the same consistency. If somebody really tried to add 20% to 50% water they no longer would be painting they'd be performing a whitewash or pickle finish.

Open bucket nay you say? We keep our whites from job to job to minimize waste. This works for us because we only use top of the line paint and so often ceilings and trim are painted in the stock store colors. Just because I brought an open bucket from my trailer into your house does not make it a bad thing.

For all the homeowners reading this just always plan on 2 coats on your walls regardless how close the new color is to the old one that way you have a solid finish and it will look the best.

Day one. Did they show up on time did they come the day they said they wanted to get started? I agree there should be mostly prepping and sanding going on day one, however this is usually when ceilings are painted and priming is done and if you're painters really know the order of operations a lot can be accomplished on the first day of work.

Eric Graves

Subject: GoPro4Painting

I am a veteran PROFESSIONAL FINISH PAINTER. Big difference between that and a painter. I have been a craftsman for 18 years and have expertise in all aspects of the trade from residential & commercial,
To industrial and institutional. I also own and operate a professional painting company of elite painters ONLY 5 ELITE PAINTERS, and pay them good money for being elite. Less is better in my opinion.The fact is this a homeowner and a painting company owner can both be taken advantage of by hustlers and liars and amateurs posing as pros. I have had many laborers tell me they can paint. " Oh yes sir I can paint, I'm a painter of 8 years. Yes sir I can cut a straight line." Some people will say and do anything to get a buck. If yoir on the job to see their rookie mistakes you may have time to save your reputation before disaster ensues and fire them on the spot. As a painting Company owner if your not on the job with your crew at least 3 out of 6 days every week your taking a huge risk of damaging your reputation and losing the respect of your team. Homeowners want to deal with you or the crew boss (jobs site supervisor) not "the painter". Many things I have read are right on. Painters for the most part will milk a clock for all they can and still do a good job. But amateurs will leave your projects in shambles and the only ones to pay for it is the contractor and the homeowners. But an elite painter and crew will try to complete a project as quickly as possible and move on to the next one. They understand bonuses, incentives, and promotions. My company provides the opportunity for a homeowner to meet each member of the crew and shake there hand on day one. There is also a differentiation between the crew boss and the crew by the uniforms they wear. Should the homeowners have any issue at all they know exactly who to go to to get results. This eliminates the age old problem of who screwed up? I have found that by me putting on my whites and giving my crew the opportunity to out do themselves on each project it ignites competition, pride in skill, and excellent commraderie amongst the team. We all hold each other accountable. Choose your contractor by the crew not the owner. The crew is a direct reflection of the Company owner. No room for rookies on fine finish painting. Go pro for painting and you won't regret it. With that being said homeowners should always remember that you get what you pay for. With paint and services. In most cases it will be well worth a few extra bucks to get elite results. Never go with the cheapest bid there is always a reason why it's so low.

Guy

Subject: This article is nonsense.

I'm a professional decorator; high end, custom homes starting at 2 million. I've worked in lower end housing markets, commercial etc. I'll be forthcoming and state that most of the information in this article is nonsense.

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.

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.

Buying a can of premium paint, then bait and switch over to low-line products? Again, complete nonsense. Think about it for a moment; the Painter needs 5 gallons of wall finish. So, he buys one can of premium and the rest 'cheap'? How is he going to hide the 4 other gallons? What's he going to hide it in??? He only has ONE gallon of premium. It's not as though he's going to keep older can labels, they would be covered in paint of a different colour.

Worst case scenario, they will use a low line for the base coat, and high end for the top coat. Even still, any painter worth his salt will tell you that that sort of approach will cause 'flashing' and he will end up having to apply a third coat. Again, the 20-50 dollars saved on the cheaper paint would be lost in labor.

Painting is a difficult, and physically demanding job. Professionals are not going to make it worse by adding additional effort to the job.

The best way to make sure you dont get ripped off by a 'shoemaker' is to examine their preparation. If they start painting your house on day one - can them. Pole sanding, patching and caulking is the only thing you should see for the first day or two.

Ask yourself the the following;

Do they have proper canvass drop sheets? Do they have a vacuum (Yes, a vacuum)? Are they pole sanding the ceilings? Are they covered in old paint, or do they look neat and orderly (ie - do they look skilled)?

Tom Parkinson

Subject: Painting

First off all clients want a "deal" As a painting contractor for 38 years I can tell you that residential-commercial-industrial clients (and their needs are all diffrent. It seems this discussion mostly concerns residential repaints,so here goes--first off ALWAYS get a personal referance from a friend or co-worker. Always get an itemized contract that specifies the prep,color, number of coats, and specifics on payment. Remember you want to set up a relationship with the painting contractor of your choice. Bond, license and insurance are required to get a contractors license and are readily available online at your state Labor and Industries website. Second-- find someone you trust. He or his crew will probably be left alone in your home for most of the time. I always tell my clients that I wont bring someone to their home I wouldnt have in mine. Third--$$ Dont ever pay up front always insist on progress draws if the project is 2 or 3 phases remember If a contractor wants $3000 to do the job and you give him half up front he will be working for $1500. It WILL affect the quality of the product. In 38 years of business I have never taken a deposit and have never not been paid in full remember do what you said you would do for exactly what you said it would cost and there will be no problems with getting paid. one last reminder to clients you are also being evaluated when you interview a contractor. He is sizing you up as well. If he thinks you are a bit sketchy the the price will go up or he wont take the job at all. I have turned down some jobs that looked very profitable on the surface that turned out not to be so.(word gets around fast in the small painting community) Good Luck to clients and contractors

duke sliver

Subject: liars

Well I hired a supposedly reputable painter, and got scammed like this article says It IS as prevalent as the article says. From my experience half the contractors out there may not be scammers, but at least half are liars.

Jason

Subject: Easy Fix

Looks like whoever wrote this article has experience in this area. I run a painting company and have never and would never do any of those things. So the easy fix is to pick a reputable company to do the work (make sure they don't subcontract) and ask if they have a price guarantee. Simple.

Also Jason

Subject: Attack

While some may actually do things like this, it's most certainly less common than this article will lead you to believe. You should be able to sniff out the untrustworthy painters right from the get go.

Also, don't interrogate your painter. It's ridiculous.

Raymond Le Desma

Subject: paint cheaters

A very helpful article. Thank you. One suggestion; if completion time is important, include it in the contract.

Lew

Subject: 40% up front/water down

I don't know if this contractor is in California, but our state law allows only a 10% deposit on ANY contract for labor and materials. I they ask for more it is because they are paying to complete another job with the new customers money! They have no cash flow and therefore are not reputable.
If the painting contractor is spraying the job and not rolling the job then there are additives available to help the paint through the airless compressor equipment without affecting the quality of the paint.

Bob Belhumeur

Subject: Work Compensation Cheats

One of the major ways Painters Cheat in California is by not having Workers Insurance. If your contractor does not carry Worker Compensation insurance, the court have ruled that the workers are actually employees of the Homeowner and that the Homeowner is responsible to coves any loss. Most Homeowner insurance policy will not protect you.

Kim

Subject: Darker colors do not cost more

Darker colors of paint do not cost more. Never pay a contractor a deposit. A legit painting contractor will have a good reputation with local vendors and enough in the bank to carry the job through. When customer is satisfied with the job, pay the contractor in full promptly after work is complete.

Ed the painter

Subject: Pay contractor after work complete?

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.

Polly Legman

Subject: painting staining

Our contractor reccomended a painter, he and his crew stained the house, 2 years later it mildewed,
I called the guy back, he said well you have trees all around you, that is why you have mildew...well, the trees have always been here, the house has been stained before and had never gotten mildew
In places, the stain is still sticky to the touch, after 2 years
He said the house needed bleaching and he would do that but he would charge us
We disagreed but gave in finally when he said he would charge half the price he usually gets
It was a mess, I had just had the windows washed and had to pay to have that done again
I guess you live and learn, from now on it is back to our Olympic mildew proof stain, which I just used to stain 1000sq feet of new decking all by my self!:)thank u

Steve

Subject: PLEASE READ THIS RESPONSE

To solidify this response, we have been in business for over 30 years as a painting contractor. We didn't just paint a couple of houses 25 or 30 years ago, we paint approximately 900-1000 painting jobs per year and operate with 40 professional painters doing commercial, residential and industrial painting. This article on behalf of Angie's List is totally asinine! I was under the impression Angie's List was only carrying "legitimate" contractors with established reputations. This article written is primarily referring to bottom feeding, one man band operations, trying to hustle for a paycheck.

FIRST: Unless you can stay in business painting 1 bedroom at a time for $500-$1000, which you can't, then you will be taking on several thousand dollar contracts that require thousands in Labor and Materials to fulfill the order. Multiply that by 3-4 jobs at one time or in our case 15-20 jobs at a time, YOU NEED TO TAKE DEPOSITS!!! It is horrible business not to take deposits. There are many jobs where its not possible to get a deposit and that is built into or pricing accordingly. If we are not getting a deposit, there is a finance charge built in, contractors are not banks. If you don't have a good feeling about a deposit, your hiring the WRONG CONTRACTOR. Hire people you know or well established businesses.

Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.

Third: The contractor buys the materials. We get them at a better rate and customers really don't know what they are getting into by being a material racer. Once again, I'm not referring to the guys that paint a bedroom or 2 a week. Tell the homeowner to go grab 50 gallons of paint, $300.00 worth of sundries and related job cost items and I'd be interested to see how it works for them....IT WILL NOT. And if were talking about people getting taken advantage of here, the paint suppliers with no relationship to a homeowner will 100% GOUGE the customer and completely take advantage of them with pricing. Contractors will pay nearly half the price and will still save the customers money marking up paint 10-15%.

I do not mean to come off with an edge, however, this is an article for people hiring low bid, uninsured, one man band painters out to "hustle" a buck. Hire reputable, established companies or hire someone you know or have a strong referral from. If you are arguing over watered down paint, ticky, tacky deposits, buying your own supplies, you have hired the wrong guy.

Hope this is helpful.

Bill

Subject: Response to Please Read this Response:

Steve, not only did you come off with an edge regarding the article written for Angie's list but you came awfully close to being slanderous. The article was written if you will have read his bio by a very well established professional painter. The issue regarding the deposit was put in question by a responder. I have read your response in full as you suggested, and companies as large as yours are just as likely to use the tricks of the trade as the small guy as you suggest, if not more so. A large company has less oversight and workers get lazy with the boss not looking over their shoulder. I have had experience in this area, and thought that i was dealing with a very reputable company that had been recommended by a couple friends, my insurance company, and my adjuster who had dealt with the company. I had terrible problems with the company, who do full restorations and like your company paint in all areas. To finalize your statement that Established businesses do not cheat customers is completly false and is a very misleading statement. I am suprised that Angies list allowed you to post such an outragious comment. All you have to do is look in the Civil lawsuits section of the Established businesses that are being sued or are under investigation for fraud and cheating their customers!

Jim Davis

Subject: Painting Contractor's calculation

If the point of hiring a well established, experienced, reputable painting contractor is to secure the professionalism and trust suggested to be inherent with that choice, then I would EXPECT that professionalism and experience to include the ability to make the proper and correct calculations for labor and materials for a fixed price quote, and there should be NO reason for the contractor to put the cost burden of their miscalculation on the consumer.

Carolyn Bush

Subject: Small Town

Not all people live where they can hire a painting contractor, like you describe. People who live in small towns can only hire painters who have a very small business, and do two or three paint jobs per week. In this case, you do have to be very careful, when you hire a painter, as we have several, in our area, who are out to make a fast buck anyway they can.

Sam Russ

Subject: Painting

The article and comments were great information to have before deciding how to go about getting a painting job done. I think the important point is that there are several key choices (who to do the work; color, sheen, quality, of paint; how many coats; amount of prep/repairs to be done and by whom, how long the job will take, provisions for changes, how detailed the contract needs to be; advanced deposit/progress payments/final payment; final inspection, etc.) that need to be made and it requires advanced research and planning in order to become well enough informed to make the right choices. Then it requires spending sufficient time to check materials and inspect the quality of the work while it is on-going, raher than waiting to do it all at the end. President Reagan's philosophy of "Trust, but verify." applies.

C. Adornetto

Subject: Article on screening paint contractors

This article with comments was terrific - it was so informative. I found the advice useful. It addressed specifics like the condition of the dry wall surfaces, any additional repairs such. pin holes, chalking, smoothing of wall surfaces, absorption of paint and number of coats that may be needed. It should also include insurance coverage, and reflect the clean-up afterwards. Having a written contract with the company's letterhead is a must.

Connie fox

Subject: Having exterior of house painted tomorrow.

You've got me very afraid now, I've been taken in a couple of times since I moved here. They take advantage of me because I am a single woman, not exaggerating! From gardeners to inside work. Wouldn't have house painted but I know my HOA will be after me soon, garage door is peeling and stucco needs repair. Got the $1500.00 deal, but paying more for extra work they say I need.

Deb Erney

Subject: This is a very misleading article.

First off, the picture on the top THAT IS A HOME OWNERS PAINT JOB. If you here a school kid or your neighbor, this is what you get. I was a painting contractor for the better part of 40 years and never saw a PAINTER (even the worst painter) leave a mess like that. Maybe the electrician or the carpenter but, that is not something a painter could even do if they tried.

Second coats on similar colors are almost never recogicnized as being needed until the coat is applied and has dried. ONLY THEN WILL YOU SEE WHETHER IT NEEDS A SECOND COAT or not. Yes, painters can use a cheaper paint then what you paid for. That is solved by getting your own which, I would charge extra for because I will always have to go get more, or add second coat because home owner tried to skimp on paint, or they got the wrong color etc...
The price difference between a flat, satin, gloss can be almost double the cost. Go to any paint or hardware store and price it out for yourself. This article is full of misinformation. BUYER BEWARE OF ANGIES LIST. They usually remove negative comments about contractors they use. The information here is not very accurate on many aspects.

Barb Roth

Subject: Painters / Angie's List

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.

Grace Sortland

Subject: Not a misleading article

I was taught to paint by a professional and when estimating the amount of paint needed, I always allow for a second coat just to make sure of coverage. We interviewed a painter who tried to tell me I bought poor quality paint without knowing where I purchased it, and stated he would have to buy all new paint. He had not seen the cans and was just guessing so I asked him where I should buy paint from now on. It was the same place I had purchased my paint and he wanted to charge me an extra 20 a gallon more than what I paid for. Needless to say, I have interviewed numerous painters and they are not all honest.

This article is not full of misleading information. Most of us had have lazy or poor contractors, even if they are licensed or have been in business for years. That is why Angie's List created.

Susan B

Subject: thank you.. I'm a 59 yr old

thank you.. I'm a 59 yr old female. I've got rentals, and it's sure nice to see someone stick up for their profession! I'm also a firm believer in both negative and positive reviews. Let the consumer read them all and make their informed decision.

Patty

Subject: Did you even read the article

Did you even read the article? It was specifying UNSCRUPULOUS painters! And, by the way, the photo at the top was not identified at all. How would anyone know whether it was done by a homeowner or not? Also did you ever stop to think that if a consumer has the knowlege to spot a dishonest contractor then by default he also has the knowlege to identify an honest one as well? And, pardon me, but just because you've never seen something has absolutely nothing to do with whether it has actually happened to someone else. Why would any honest business person be so defensive about the publishing of such useful information? If any painters/painting contractors object to a consumer having this kind of information maybe they are the dishonest ones!

Donna St.Louis

Subject: Painting articles

Excellent advice because there are many unskilled workers who are "trying to pull the wool over the customers eyes". One has to study about the project for which they are in need. I happen to need dry wall repair and painting done in my home and feel the advice in this article will be a great help to me in hiring someone who is ethical and does good work. Thanks.

John

Subject: Prep and pay

If you are going to hire a contractor (professional painter) give a room by room punch list of the fixing of holes small or big, have it identified for the painter to tell you if you need a drywall finisher or if he does this type of work good. Wall repairs can be 3-5 steps to do repairs ( one per day for good drying of patching material and a good sanding) this is what gives you a good paint job only using high quality paint.

5-8 steps or days. For a first class job. you get what you pay for.

Do you move furniture before you start your work day? Ask the pro and he will let you know when and what to move or cover for the next day's work.

Dave

Subject: Painting

Speaking from the perspective of a life long painting contractor:

I never asked for a deposit, nor did I expect full payment until the job was completed and the customer was happy. An exception would be a very large contract lasting several weeks. Payment then would be arranged beforehand and paid out as the job progressed to the customers satisfaction.

I preferred to use the paints which with I was familiar. Every paint has its own idiosyncracies. I used only top of the line paints from major brand manufacturers. Using cheap materials is "penny wise and pound foolish". for both the contractor and the customer. Quality paints cover better, faster and give better long term performance.

The cost of the paint is almost immaterial to a quality contractor. He is selling experienced, knowledgeable labor, NOT paint. On a typical contract, materials would be only 5 to 10% of the bid price.

The customer should demand to no EXACTLY what brand and line of paint is being used. He should then call the local paint store and ask what quality of paint the contractor intends to use.

The customer should demand to see Certificates of Insurance for both General Liability and Workman's Compensation. These are very expensive items which a fly by night contractor will not carry and which leave the customer extremely vulnerable.

Word of mouth recommendations are best for both the consumer and the contractor. The potential customer gets to see actual work done.The contractor doesn't have to try to bid low against every unknown fly be nighter. The quality of is work is known and he expects to be paid for fairly for it.

Tish

Subject: Painting

As an owners rep and former estimator for a gc i do expect to pay a reasonable deposit say 10 percent and then weekly progress payments. I am asking the painter to book his time and to do the work on my schedule. Most painting companies are not huge operations they will pay their staff weekly. For most repaints i ask for one tinted primer coat and one finish coat for 100 percent coverage. New work gets one tinted primer and two finish coats for 100 percent coverage. The cost of the paint is not really that different for colors or finish. Brands like european fine paint and C2 are more expensive than Ben Moore and sometimes more difficult to roll based on their consistency. Some home depot brands are as expensive as the Ben Moore and of equal quality others aren't. Red paints are notorious for number of coats required and special priming requirements.

I agree with others choose your paint before hand. The painter buys the paint cheaper than you can but it is not a huge discount it should not make a huge difference to him or her unless you are painting a whole house. Remember if its miss mixed and you bought it you own it.

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...

Remember the painter can make a bad job look good and a good job look bad. Painting is not the place to skimp....

Eric Van Natta

Subject: Paint cost

I am a contractor and while sheen do cost differently I have never had to pay more for darker colors. That is weird.

William Whamond

Subject: be careful!

This all comes down to the rules.....1. references....does the contractor have them??? I ALWAYS furnish all my prospective customers them....no excuses...2. insurance....again, I always furnish proof....3. Read the proposal carefully...I ALWAYS list materials down to tape used, the brand, the grit of sandpaper, the manufacturer, etc....its INEXCUSABLE to not list all of these items....I am a member of the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the foremost authority in the coatings industry and they also approve of what I listed....if you do not follow these guidelines, you will NOT get a job reflective of "professional". Look for the PDCA where any painting contractors are, if they are not a member, RUN!

C

Subject: Some paint is worthit

cheaper paints need a primer. fast drying low voc high quality paint is a bargain in terms of time and appearance.
But if the painter has little experience with this type of paint... (Painter needs to work quickly )some of the economy is lost.

Gerry Baldwin

Subject: Change Orders

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.

TJ

Subject: Great Article!

I have moved into houses where they painted over balls of dust and hair. Gross. I have seen big bumps that should have been sanded and trim that was never replaced, etc.

If people are that poor at doing their job, they should quit. Either do it correctly, or go home!

Suzie

Subject: Painting

It is all about the paint..I buy Ben Moore...and I've actually repainted my kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. BM paint is very forgiving and makes anyone a good painter. It's expensive but worth it!

Kell Williard

Subject: Painting contractors

Recently I had the outside of my home painted. The contractor wrote a good contract, but I failed to realize that some things were not in it. It reminds me of the car dealer who offered a good price on a new car but failed to mention that it did not include tires. My contractor failed to specify that lattice under a porch was included. So the painters did not paint it. To his credit, he did instruct them to paint it when I brought it to his attention. If I had the job to do over again I would look for an individual who came with referrals from happy customers rather than a franchise owner..

P

Subject: Colors

When the homeowner is at the point of hiring a painter, they generally will have colors selected or at the very least a color in mind. I always ask for the colors before I bid a job. Dark colors, high sheen colors and specialty finishes require more labor, this drives price. If its not a color change or I'm going over a similar color I give the pricing option of one or two coats. The best advise I can give based on 25 years in the business is to put it all in writing,colors, brands of paint preferred, when the work can be done, who moves furniture and how payment will be handled. I never get up front money. BTW you most definitely get what you pay for with paint. Higher quality products results in and better looking job. Don't be a cheapskate when it comes to paint or the painting contractor.

Rodger Rex

Subject: Referrals

When hiring a contractor it is always best to hire one who is personally referred to you by someone you trust. Hiring through ads or phone book is hit and miss. Check with your local paints stores, they know the good guys from the bottom feeders. Go to the stores that sell the high quality paints like Benjamin Moore(nonpareil), Pittsburg, Sherwin Williams or Glidden. Don't go the the big box stores for referrals, the people there don't know squat!

Murray Elliott

Subject: Not so fast

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

Steve

Subject: Reply to Murray about wall prep

OF the different type of customers there are at least two: cheap charley's and people who want great results. I agree the need for wall repair is critical to the end results. Most critical is for the customer to be told ahead that the walls are going to need exactly what is needed. This means the contractor must look, touch, examine the walls for defects and needed work. I've been a building manager for 40 years and seen a few paint jobs. Typically a contractor does a lot of talking about how expert he is, but the guys who walk through with note pads, iPads, examine, measure, point things out, explain and recommend are the ones I will deal with. It confirms if they know what the business. Nobody likes the workers to show up and when you talk about the job they're going to do they know nothing but they we were told to be here. Their boss who bid the job doesn't supervise - a big no no around here. Nobody likes surprises or worse, at the end of a job that's not right getting a bunch of little kid excuses. Contractors that do not like the customer to be around looking at the progress don't get the job.

eric

Subject: painters

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.

roberto

Subject: paint

i offer three grade jobs. c- no repair, b- some repair, and a- meticulous repair
it is up to the customer which they want to pay for.
as for primer, i tint it to match paint. my deposit is at start of job.
only will use quality paint. homeowner can purchase if they wish, but only
from approved brands. will not paint with inferior products, it is my reputation on the walls.

Jake

Subject: Really?

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.

Don Wooldridge

Subject: Paint pricing

I have never heard of price varying according to the sheen or darker color... my experience has been the lower quaility of the paint, the cheaper. You get what you pay for, I always us the best quaility of paint I can get (or afford). I never by the cheapest of whatever brand of paint I'm using.

Ted Strackbein

Subject: Paint Pricing

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.

Street Wise

Subject: Rules to Follow

Only a dummy gets involved with so-called "contractors." Hire a qualified actual worker yourself. Check out their resume/background, etc. RULE #1..NO ADVANCE DEPOSITS! Pay daily or weekly or upon satisfied completion according your standard, not workers. Contractors are merely employment agents. If that's the way you get work done, then go ahead and waste your money and wind up with the myriad of problems enumerated upon in the news clip above. RULE#2.. NO SMOKERS. They are lighting up on your money. RULE#3: No cell phones while working. Talk on their own time after work

Deborah Jenkines

Subject: painters

I used to work at Sherwin Williams. The best thing to do is specify that you will purchase your own paint. If the painter objects strenuously, he was plaanning on making money in the ways this article outlines. You might pay a few dollars more for paint, but you will have control of the quality of what goes on your walls. Never skimp on paint quality.

STEVE

Subject: Lowe's, Home Depot and Walmart "extras"

My wife and I just painted the interior of our house with about 6-8 gallons, of $30+ per gallon (meaning the good stuff, non-diluted) with absolutely fantastic results. However we just paid an average of $5 per gallon. Reason...all big box stores have paint, set aside, that has been mixed but not picked up by the customer. They need to sell it quick and if you're not in a hurry (you know well in advance that a room or two need painting and it's not like the roof leaking and needs an immediate fix) you can go to each store when you need other supplies or food, like Walmart (when convenient, driving 20 miles to each is not worth it) and over the course of a month or two, pick out some very nice colors of quality paint. We found perfect colors...not saying they were our first choice but when we opened the can, very nice and some even better than our original picks. Cost to paint the entire house was about $100, with all materials included, period. We had it on the market for a few months to sell, didn't sell, painted the rooms, got 2 offers the day after we finished, took the best one and never looked back.

Shan

Subject: Not true! If your painter

Not true! If your painter objects strenuously, it may be because they have had many situations in which the customer buys their own paint and gets the cheapest...the wrong finish...the wrong kind entirely.
If you don't trust your painter, don't hire them.

Richard Belcher

Subject: Painting

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.

Mark Nicastro

Subject: Painting

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

mae's painting

Subject: owner and painter

how what true what Richard said about be a contractor I find this happen all the time and they think that all the materials we use on their jobs are free for us etc rollers tape drop sheets

Bob

Subject: Paint/painters

WHY--repeat, WHY would you pay a contractor BEFORE he/she does the job?
One should only pay after the job is finished, after a very close inspection is made, etc., etc.

Darren P

Subject: Get A Deposit!!

As a painter, contractor, etc you HAVE to get a deposit. You expect me to put several hundred dollars out of my pocket to get a job started when it could potentially be several days if not weeks before getting paid in full?
I generally get a 40% deposit which believe it or not barely covers paint, supplies, gas, etc not mention I pay for liability insurance.
Bottom line is both client and contractor have to have a good relationship and meet in the middle on things so that it's fair for everyone involved.

Home Owner

Subject: A Great Cheat I Discovered

In one of my houses the original painter must have taken a sample of the drywall mud in to get a color match. That way he could just paint "in the general direction" of the walls and it was impossible to see that some places were not painted AT ALL.

Until you are doing a repaint and notice that some areas really soak up the primer that is.

Gigi

Subject: Helpful article

I fould this article to be helpful whether a person is considering hiring a painter or doing the painting themself. Most of don't realize what it takes to get a quality paint job; how much preparation before, during and after the paint is applied to get the results we seek.

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?
I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


?
I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


?
I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
?

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.