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.
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.
I totally agree with this as well. I think every time I have read Angie's List reports, they are inaccurate and not researched enough. I had COMPLETE faith in Angie but lately I am hesitate on reports. I would check your local hardware store or even your neighbors to get a recommendation for painters. If you liked what you saw, you can be stress free with your results. I live in Texas and I have borrowed my hardware store opinion bc that seems to be the place most of the contractors or painters come to buy stuff for the jobs. If your neighbors painters, contractors, electricians and plumbers have shown good results, stress free you. I have been stress free with results, glad I asked for other opinions.Don't forget, the Hardware Store knows if that person is trustworthy and honest, their accounts would be shut down.
Nothing is more discouraging when you've finished painting than to peel tape off the woodwork and discover the paint bled through. To avoid the pain-in-the-neck chore of scraping off the paint, do a thorough job of adhering the tape before you start. "Apply tape over the wood, then run a putty knife over the top to press down the tape for a good seal," a painter with more than 16 years of experience says. "That'll stop any paint bleeds."
I had originally budgeted a lower amount for this project....painting had always been a DIY project in this home, so I didn't have a clue.    Now that I'm older and less nimble, I decided to hire it out.    Waldner's Handyman Services was very professional and worked with me to understand how costs were factored into my painting project.  I am very satisfied with the finished result and will use them again for future jobs. 
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.
I fully recommend this company; you will not be disappointed. They are perfectionists. I had requested quotes from four top rated firms to paint the interior of my year old townhouse. While all the prices were all fairly close, I chose Warline because of their payment terms (deposit not required); the work being done by their own employees; their ability to complete the job within a reasonable time frame (used four well experienced painters); and having a certified colour consultant to assist with colour choices.
I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.
As the homeowner, I've done all of our interior and most of our painting. Whenever you paint, preparation is truly key. Anyone can slap on a coat of paint and call it done. If you want something that looks good and lasts, take the time to clean the walls (also if there is a smoker in the house, nicotine sticks to paint), fill any holes, and take care of any imperfections in the surface. Also, tape off ceilings, door and window frames, and any other place you don't want paint to land. Depending on the size of the room and the number of doors and windows, it might take you 2-3 times the amount of time to prep as to paint. I've never had a contractor paint in my home, but if I did, the first question I'd ask is for a detailed list of how much preparation they would do. If it wouldn't be at least as thorough as mine, I wouldn't hire them. Also, ask about priming before painting, particularly if you're going to cover a darker color with a lighter one. There are now all in one primer/finish paints. If this is not going to be used, ask to have the primer tinted as close to the finish color as you can get.
Before your painter arrives, remove furniture, belongings, wall hangings and window treatments to make it easier for them to get right to work. Once they arrive, your pro will start preparing the inside of your house. Depending on the condition of your walls and the scope of your project, prep work could range from a simple dusting and washing to spackling, sanding, and minor drywall repairs. Your pro may also fill nail holes, caulk cracks around trim, scrape loose paint, skim coat uneven surfaces, mask trim or other surfaces, and apply a coat or two of primer that is suited to both existing and new paints.
A can of paint is generally labeled "low-VOC" if it has less than 100 grams of VOCs per liter for flat sheens and 150 grams for nonflat. Cans that meet standards set by Green Seal, an independent tester and certifier of paints, have even less—no more than 50 grams per liter for flat finishes and 100 grams for nonflat. A "zero-VOC" paint can't have more than 5 grams per liter, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards.

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.
Warline Painting is definitely a service quality company. We are extremely pleased with the interior painting work they did and have already recommended them to neighbours. The initial visit and orientation by Warren and Tyler was what sold us on choosing Warline as they explained everything about the process in detail so we knew what to expect. Their carpenter Jim was a surprise bonus as he repaired and improved a number of areas in our house that needed to be addressed before painting could begin and he did a wonderful job. The whole team was a joy to get to know. Thank you so much Warline for doing a terrific job!
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.
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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.
Generally, it will take a minimum of two gallons of paint to cover a room. At the highest end, paint will cost anywhere between $30 and $60 per gallon and come in three different finishes: flat, semi-gloss or high-gloss. Flat finishes are the least shiny and are best suited for areas requiring frequent cleaning. Semi-gloss finishes are a bit shiny but can also be easily cleaned. A high-gloss finish is stain-resistant and easy to clean. Traditionally, living rooms should be painted with a flat finish to allow the paint to stand out. Glossy finishes should be reserved for hallways, and a semi-gloss is best suited for trim. Invest in pre-primed paint whenever possible. This cuts down on time by combining the layering process. Almost any paint job will require a primer, which will cost anywhere from $7 to $15 per can. Primer helps the paint to stand out against the underlayer of paint it's covering, especially if the new paint is lighter than the old coat. You will need at least two cans of primer, if not more, to cover one wall. Here are some paint brands and their average price per gallon:
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