Your best assurance that a paint is formulated without nasties is a logo from independent testers Green Seal, GreenGuard, or Scientific Certification Systems. They bar more than 1,000 unsafe compounds, including VOCs such as benzene, heavy metals such as cadmium, and plasticizers like phthalates. Green Wise, another tester, bars 26 such chemicals. Can't find logos on products at the paint store? Visit Green Seal, GREENGUARD, Scientific Certification Systems, or GREEN WISE for approved paints.
WOW! I think the guy I hired read this first and I have photos that would make your skin crawl. Bottom line: he got me for $1900.00. Every single thing he painted had to be completely redone....that's when I discovered he did NOT use the colors I picked, he actually used leftover exterior paint from his mother's house! Because I have pets he said things needed to be sealed first and I did agree to that. What I did NOT agree to was using some kind of foul smelling gray stuff ON MY HARDWOOD FLOORS! THEN he painted them BLACK, telling me that all they were good for was covering over with laminate or carpet. He also dripped and tracked paint all over my ceramic tile floors. PLUS left a wet used paint roller in my garden window and had stuff piled in front so I didn't find it until it had dried. I have no idea how much that is going to cost to repair. Then he left without finishing (thank God) but left the "leftover" paint, uncovered, in the rain. Again, hid it so I didn't immediately find it. Obviously we will be going to court but I doubt if I see a penny from him.

As a painting contractor I find that most contractors charge between $20 an hour and $45 an hour plus paint and materials pending overhead here in Pennsylvania i figure $30 an hour is a safe bet. figure a good painter should be able to prep a 12 x 12 to a 12 x 15 room, caulk, apply 1 or 2 coats to the ceiling 2 coats on the walls and 1 coat on all baseboards, trim, doors and crown moulding in an 8 to 9 hour day. This is with minimal or minor spackling repairs like nail holes and nail pops, not cracks and peeling tape. Thats extra paint is usually  $30 to $70 a gallon pending quality. A room this size will need 1 gallon for the ceiling 2 for the walls and maybe 1 gallon for the trim, doors ext... the square foot price is $1.50 - $3.00 as far as asking for money up front I never ask. If the home owner buys the paint there is no need for money and if your buying the paint and your an established contractor you have an account with your supplier's.  any ways that's my input and guidelines 
Keeping our work environment clean is an important part of our process. We use Hepa filtered Festool dust-extractors as part of all our of prep and sanding, from drywall repairs to pole sanding. We also clean as we go. This means that for bigger projects that span more than one day, you get the benefit of daily clean up, contained mess and the ability to still function in your home during the project. We understand that renovations and painting can be disruptive to your home life, so we do everything we can to minimize the inconvenience for you and your family.
Safest way to ensure that everything is fair is to get it ALL in writing , signed by both parties. Specify each item that needs repair. Also, BUY the paint YOURSELF. That way, there is no incentive to water it down, and you KNOW that you are getting the grade/quality you actually purchased. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish; if you are paying to hire a painter, buy the best paint that you can afford, to ensure maximum life of this home improvement.
You may think you're home safe with a low- or zero-VOC paint, but once it's tinted with the universal colorants used in most paint stores, it could be anything but. On average, these colorants add about 150 grams of VOCs to a gallon; darker shades have more. To get around this, either settle for colors that are factory-mixed or look for paints with no-VOC tinting systems, such as Mythic, Freshaire Choice, or Yolo Colorhouse.
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.
Pros take a "load and go" approach to painting. They load the bottom 1 1/2 inches of their brushes with paint, tap each side against the inside of their container to knock off the heavy drips, and then start painting. By contrast, homeowners often take a "load and dump" approach of dragging the loaded brush along the sides of their container and wiping off most of the paint. "It doesn't do you any good to dunk your brush in paint, then immediately wipe it all off," a 16-year veteran painter says.
Sanding not only feathers out chipped paint but also provides "tooth" for the next coat of paint. For glossy trim, use a sanding sponge rather than sandpaper. Sponges mold to the shape of the trim and last longer than paper. When applying latex over alkyd paint or when he is not sure of the original finish, Brian Doherty, a painter in Richmond, Virginia, follows the hand-sanding with liquid sandpaper to make sure the surface is completely deglossed to prevent incompatibility problems. "I've seen homes where latex was used on oil-painted trim, and the paint started to peel in less than a year," says Doherty.
Some proposals simply say to paint the walls and ceiling and never specify the number of coats to be applied. If the colors are similar enough, it's possible to get away with one coat of paint and not discount your pricing. No matter how hard you try, tiny, pin-sized air holes will pop exposing the original walls. This may not bother you if you can't notice it, but principally speaking you should have paid your painter less for the work.
The problem with painting along the edge of textured ceilings is that it's almost impossible to get a straight line along the top of the wall without getting paint on the ceiling bumps. Pros have a simple solution. They run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. "This lets you cut in without getting paint on the ceiling texture," one of our pros says. "The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling, so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it. And you'll never even notice the missing texture."

Hi Patty, we are currently working on a manual for commercial bidding which we will provide once it’s completed. Most homeowners choose the middle bid believe it or not. Many companies think they have to be the lowest bid, but after setting up over 20,000 estimates, we’ve seen that the homeowner is often scared by the low bid, and thinks the high bid is too pricey. If your bid is in the middle and you present yourself professionally, you’ll have a much better chance of landing the job.
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.
A textured wall will need more paint than a smooth wall. The texture adds more surface area, even though it doesn't increase square footage. Determining the additional surface area depends on how much texture there is. Painters will probably estimate about 300 to 350 additional square feet of paint to account for texture. Factor additional surface area into your square footage calculations when seeking professional estimates.
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