I put out a request for bids to several local house painters and quite a few seemed high. One was for over $6000 for painting the exterior of the house with putty fill as necessary, paint included. It was for him and one other guy to do the work. I said, "it's going to take you guys quite a while to get this job done" and he told me that no, they could do it in 2 days. I don't know about you but $1500 a day per painter seems more than just a bit high. I went with someone else and they had several people there for several days working like crazy and did a great job. There are too many scammers.
Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!
Our hypothetical, 2 storey 2,000 square foot home is 5 years old and located in the suburbs. The home is lightly furnished and the basement requires no painting. The scope of work includes two coats on the walls of 3 bedrooms, the bathroom & powder room, the stairway and hallways. The main floor has an open space kitchen & a living-dining room with an adjoining family room. The laundry room needs to be painted.

@Neil What is the use of repeating lessons when there is so much more to be learned? Technology has moved on from the adz. Plumbers use PEC, insulation is sprayed, glue-lams allow for open floor plans and furnaces are no longer stoked with coal. As for the new people, if these trades cannot attract fresh blood we will all be unable to get homes built and repairs made. I don't yearn for my first home with the leaky concrete block foundation, failing well pump and an oil furnace held up by the plenum. I'll take heat pumps, solar panels and PVC waste pipes any day.You can get all the sill plate repairs and flitch beams demos you need on YouTube.
I'm an architect and my firm routinely specifies interior finishes for projects so I thought I'd contribute a professional's perspective on the issue of how many coats of paint are deemed "acceptable". The fact of the matter is the average consumer usually isn't a paint expert and can't be expected to know about all the factors that impact coverage. That knowledge is considered "means and methods" and in a court of law, the responsibility lies with the painter or general contractor, not the consumer. What the consumer should be concerned about is the final result-does it look good and is it what you expected? The simplest way to communicate this to your painter is to stipule in your written agreement that the number of coats will be "as required to cover". That way all the guess work about what kind of primer, how many coats, how color affects the scope of work, etc., is removed from the consumer's responsibility and resides where it belongs-with the professional. In the contract that's why retention is always a good idea-typically 10% is withheld from payment until the job is completed to the satisfaction of the customer. Of course in return you as the customer have to be reasonable about what constitutes a completed job. Just my $.02.
The companies with the best paint products are Benjamin Moore, Dunn Edwards, Sherwin Williams, and Vista Paint. As a painter I don't recommend Berh from Home Depot as much because it's quality is just marketing. Flat paint has no sheen and it shows its true color, but is not easy to wash or clean. Satin, eggshell have low sheen and is washable. Semigloss ang glossy has a high sheen and these paints are recommended for bathrooms and kitchen or where there's high humidity and steam.
"There's wisdom in a multitude of counsel" {Bible Book of Wisdom/Proverbs} I thank you all I learned so much here not only painting but contracting in general. After all this I realize how blessed my ignorance not taken advantage of by Greater Philadelphia area motivated young skilled pride-in-work honest hardworking + seasoned older employee of Scott Gribling Painting of Lansdale PA. I'm proud I had the idea that Tom Parkinson here taught me the phrase & affirmed paying daily "progress draws" & purchase receipts instead of advance deposit in case something happens to contractor, and as Tom teaches the natural effectiveness of receiving from the day's work :)
I found Warline Paint to be honest & very professtional from start to finish. The crew arrived on time, was friendly and cleaned up afterwards. They did an excellent job of prepping and paintiing. The walls look so smooth now. I am very pleased with the results. If you want top quality work done I would highly recommend them. Thank you to Warren and his hard working crew.
In most cases, you'll be able to remain in your home during a painting project. However, if you are painting multiple rooms or your entire home it may make sense to stay elsewhere for the duration of the job. If your project involves lead abatement or anyone in your family is sensitive to dust or fumes, you should consider leaving the premises until the job is complete.

Most interior painting projects will present corners and edges. Corners, trims, splashes and accents will require cutting in — which generally requires the most patience, preparation and skill. There is a lot of debate among painters whether it is better to cut in before or after applying the roller. Solo painters may want to prepare the surfaces first, apply painter’s tape where required and cut in before applying paint to the rollers. Painters working in teams can split cutting in duties in sections while other team members are applying paint with rollers.
The old adage says that you get what you pay for. With that in mind, does an expensive paint job guarantee the consumer better quality? Surprisingly, the difference in pricing does not reflect quality differences. Accurate price depends on the estimator’s business knowledge and estimating skills. The estimator of a successful painting company should know his or her “numbers”. How much a customer pays for the job is critical to the success (and often failure) of a contracting business. What is the right price for one contractor could put another out of business.

Carole, you raise an excellent point that should be included in this list. Any contractor coming on to your property should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance from his agent showing evidence of Commercial General Liability and Workers Comp. Without these protections in place, an attorney for a contractor's worker or a 3rd party injured in the course of the work on your property will name YOU in a lawsuit. It's a minor inconvenience up front to ask for this documentation compared to the cost of litigation when something goes wrong.
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...
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.
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.

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
The Cutters. Someone with meticulous attention to detail and a steady hand should be assigned the job of "cutting in," or painting a straight edge where needed, such as along a wall where the ceiling does not get painted. Many products are available to assist, but none work as well as a person who's good at doing it freehand. Ensure this person is skilled (ask them to show you). A poor, jagged, wavy or splotched cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it. Why more than one cutter? This job is nerve-wracking and painful to hands and arms after a few days. You'll want to give this person a break after a few walls.
Complimentary colors are not the end all of choosing paint colors. A popular trend these days is the utilization of adjacent colors on the color wheel for accents and multi-toned surfaces. While some color enthusiasts suggest the use of up to 5 colors (and by some we mean very few), it’s not uncommon for 2 adjacent colors to be chosen for a single wall. The way you would choose this is by picking the color you want to be primary on your wall, and go either left or right on the same value ring. Exceptions do exist here, however. You should avoid going from purple to red because, despite the fact that this is a ‘wheel,’ it actually represents the visible portion of the spectrum of light that we can see.
Before speaking to a pro, consider how many rooms you would like to paint. Ask yourself if your project will be limited to the walls of the rooms or if ceilings and trim need to be refreshed as well. Since standard equipment is used to prep a work site and apply most finishes, it's usually more economical for you to have multiple rooms painted at once.

Not only do I agree with what you are saying; but, I will not use Angie's List for referrals again. Their "A" rated painter did some of the exact things they are now warning against; however, they are still rated "A". I sent in a review and it took eight weeks to post it. They allowed the contractor to lie about what happened as a response. I had proof and photos. Angie's List is a scam; instead ask neighbors and friends for referrals!
I hired Warline for a variety of interior painting projects including all interior walls, baseboards, ceiling, and a bedroom feature wall with matching furniture. Heidi is a fabulous colour consultant with an eye for perfection and timeless style. The custom stenciled bedroom feature wall with matching painted dresser is a 'stunner' that belongs in a home decor magazine. All work performed by Warline is completed with professionalism and high quality - I always believe that you get what you pay for and this company delivers on their promise.
I hired Warline to repaint a room in my new home. I chose a very dark color and was scared that it might show flaws. Luckily, there was no need to be concerned, because the job was absolutely flawless!! Not only was the work done in an extremely timely manner, but the painter was very courteous, and the work is amazing! The room looks 100X better than before. Thank you Warline - I could not be happier.
The national average cost for an interior painter ranges between $450 and $900. Interior painters can tackle everything from complete color makeovers in each of your rooms to touching up an accent wall to painting pieces of furniture. The square footage and complexity of the project, along with the materials needed, are the main factors that will affect cost. Other factors include whether you supply the paint yourself or want the painter to do so, whether you move the furniture and do the prep work or ask them to do it, and whether any repair work is needed on the walls. Painting the ceiling and the trim will also have an effect on cost. The type of paint you choose can also raise or lower your house painting cost. A gallon of paint may range from $20 to over $100, depending on quality and brand. Ask your painter if they charge per hour or per square foot, and how much you can save by doing prep work (moving furniture, etc.) yourself.
To begin, move everything out of the room. Every painter we spoke with had a horror story about the time he didn't follow Rule No. 1. Bigger pieces of furniture can sometimes be left covered in the center of larger rooms, but if you are repairing drywall, says Chris Span, of Span's Quality Painting in Mobile, Alabama, "Take everything out. Drywall dust goes everywhere." Remove doors, light fixtures and hardware, and label everything with masking tape. Also, invest in drop cloths. "It's surprising how well a few drops of paint can cover a floor," says Rich Maceyunas, of Maceyunas Painting and Wallpaper in Waterbury, Connecticut. Buy high-quality drop cloths, such as canvas or paper-backed plastic. (Paint soaks right through lightweight fabrics and bedsheets.) Plastic sheeting works, but it's very slippery and doesn't absorb drips.

It's up to you. Outside is much harder because it requires more prep, patience, time, help, money and of course, effort. I have been painting my own houses and rental properties interiors for 20 years, and I painted the exterior of one, once. I then had it promptly done again by professionals who said it would have been cheaper if they didn't have to undo my work first. My advice is to get pros for the outside because everyone will see it.
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!
The best time to tackle windows is in the beginning of the day, when you're fresh," says Doherty. "But it still takes me an hour to do a standard window." For double-hungs, begin by raising the inner sash and lowering the outer sash until their positions are almost reversed. Paint the lower half of the outer sash first, then the entire inner sash. Once the lower sash is dry, return both to their normal position, but leave them slightly open. Finish painting the outer sash. "Windows take too long to tape," says Doherty. When painting, overlap the glass by 1/16 inch to seal the wood.
A good paintbrush is key to a professional-looking finish. "A quality brush costs $15 to $25, but you'll discover that pros aren't as talented as you thought," says Doherty. "The equipment has a lot to do with their success." Most of our pros prefer natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, but they recommend synthetics for all-around use. When choosing a brush, pay attention to the bristles. Synthetic brushes are made of nylon or polyester, or a combination of the two. Poly bristles are stiffer, which makes them good for exterior or textured work, but for fine interior work, Doherty uses softer nylon brushes. Look also for tapered bristles, which can help you work to an edge, and flagged tips, which help spread the finish smoothly and evenly. Brushes are available in 1- to 4-inch widths. Most painters keep an arsenal on hand to match the job. "Use common sense," says Maceyunas. "A smaller brush gives you more control, but no one wants to paint a door with a 1-inch-wide brush." Doherty recommends starting with a 2- or 2-1/2-inch sash brush. The angled brush makes it easier to cut to a line and puts more bristles on the work than a square-tipped brush.

House Interior Painting

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