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
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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.
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.
Use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. A good method to use is the 'W method'. You start by painting a large 3 foot (0.91 m) square W on the wall. Then, without lifting the roller, you fill in the W. You can paint a wall section-by-section, and do the walls one at a time for best results. It's generally a good idea to use an extension pole for your roller instead of standing on a ladder. Make sure that neither the extension pole nor the roller has plastic handles, as plastic handles are flexible and this makes it difficult to control the painting.
Discovering what it cost to paint the interior of a home can be a little tricky. It all depends on several key factors: the type of paints, the amount of prep needed, how many coats, how large the space is and the amount of protection needed to non painted surfaces and areas. We have painted a bedroom that can take just a few short hours and cost $300 or so dollars on one home and then spend over a week painting a bedroom with two painters and cost over $5,000.
"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 :)

Determine the coverage area for each color and estimate the number of gallons you'll need for each. For odd walls with angled ceilings, make your best guess. If you're not comfortable doing this, measure the wall at its highest height and multiply that by its width. Now subtract the lowest height from the highest height, multiply that number by the width, cut that answer in half, and finally subtract that new number from the original height by width. That should give you the wall area.

After painting the ceiling, work from the top down: Start with the crown molding, then do the walls and then paint the casement molding around the windows and doors. Do baseboard molding last. "Painting the baseboards last keeps dust and grit from traveling off the floor, onto the brush and then up onto the freshly painted casements," explains Weeks.
The cost of paint is about 15-25% of the cost of the contract. Mid grade paint costs about $40 per gallon with contractor pricing. If you are painting your home for real estate purposes and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there is cheaper paint available. Stay away from anything that costs less than $25, you are buying watered down colour that is difficult to use. If you are thinking of using the most expensive paint available, you can spent over $120 per gallon from manufacturers like Farrow & Ball. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that since labour is your biggest expense, why not use the best paint your budget will allow.
Interior house painting costs are calculated on a few key factors. Nationally, interior house painting projects range from $200 to $2,500. The wide price range indicates how much square footage, paint selection and labor can affect cost. One pro uses a laser to measure each room, subtracting the size of the doors and windows, and then bases the quote on the square footage of the actual surfaces to be painted. Painters may provide you with savings if you opt to paint your entire home rather than just having one room or an accent wall painted. For example, the average house painting cost for an 8x12 room with 8-foot ceilings is roughly $200, when contractor-grade paint is used. Painting ceilings, baseboards and frames can also affect cost. Pros may charge per linear foot to smooth and paint baseboards. In one area pros might charge 50 cents per linear foot to paint baseboards, while pros in another part of the country could charge $1.50 per linear foot for the same task. Painters may charge flat rates for painting door and window frames, with one charging $20-$25 and another $60 per door. Geography and regional costs to do business play a major role in the cost of interior painting. The same painter in a rural region has less to pay in taxes, transportation, insurance and overhead than they would in a major city like New York.
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.
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.
I am not one to typically write reviews but I was so happy with the work that Warline Painting had done, they completely exceeded my expectations. Heidi helped us so much with all the decisions that go with an exterior renovation to ensure that everything came together and it looks AMAZING. I have had many paint jobs over the years inside and out and by far this is the best. The painters were meticulous, polite and the clean up everyday gave the kids back their space.
Thanks, all, for your time & efforts adding to the article & comments, especially Dave urging requesting both General Liability AND Worker Compensation insurance certificates to protect from real & fraudulent liability--from my experience especially in California, where insurance fraud is a popular income thief, even causing car collisions to collect.
An empty home is less expensive as the painters don’t have to move the furniture and cover it. If the customer does not live in the house, the crews appreciate the opportunity of starting work early or finishing later. The easier scheduling and flexible timelines is a win win for both parties and and our estimator brings this to the client’s attention. 
When I had my interior painting done, after clearing out all of the furniture, myself, I also removed all of the wall plates in all the rooms to be painted. They were a beige color and probably yellowed. The wall was originally an off white and I had it painted a light-mid grey, so those wall plates would look terrible. After pricing replacement plates, switches and outlets (Would have been way too expensive to replace all of them), I decided to just paint all of the wall plates, switches and outlets (Used just a black gloss spray paint). I sprayed the plates outside and used a small brush on the switches and outlets. It worked out just fine and the blacks plates, etc compliment the wall color. It has been 7 years and the plates, switches, outlets are holding up well.
Either you have the skill to paint your house, or you don't. Most South Jersey homeowners know what they can and can't do. They don't seem to consider the preparations nearly as much as the painting itself. I agree that great painting results rely on prep work. It can be tough to do these things by yourself. There are plenty of things to consider when hiring painters. repairsandpaints /hiring-painters/
Forget the stepladder and get yourself a telescoping extension pole for your paint roller. Extension poles come in various lengths, up to 18 feet long, but one that extends from 18 to 36 inches is good enough to paint rooms with 8- to 9-foot-tall ceilings. Check that your paint roller's handle has a threaded hole in the end, then simply twist it onto the extension pole.

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.

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.
Not only careful communication is essential, but we would greatly recommend, when you pick out your type and brand of paint that you go and pay for it, with the contractor's discount, which is given by Sherwin-Williams and most paint companies. Then you will know how much paint you purchased and the coverage. If it is possible, inspect the work of the painter daily.
To get basic measurements, measure the length and width of each wall you want to paint in inches. Multiply the length and height together, and divide by 144. This will give you the square footage for each wall. A gallon of paint typically covers around 400 square feet. In some cases, you may need a primer 2 first, then a single coat of paint, meaning that you may need one gallon of primer and one gallon of paint to cover 400 square feet. However, if the wall requires multiple coats, this will increase the total amount of square footage required, and therefore the amount of paint.

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