Painting is something that’s more subjective than objective, a good paint job involves a lot of artistry—besides product knowledge and great prep work, you need a painter who seriously knows what they are doing.
2. Prep can take a long time
At least 30% of a good-quality paint job will be prep time. That’s where less-qualified painters lower their bids. That’s where problems come with paint getting on things it shouldn’t be.
The differences between a rushed paint job and one done properly are enormous: paint on the walls and everything else; uncleaned walls leading to a splotchy paint job; your favorite couch ruined by a misguided spatter. It’s easy to not put a dropcloth down. All that stuff takes time.
Keep an eye out for the painters that skimp on prep—the best way to find detail-oriented contractors is to ask previous customers for a reference.
3. Make sure your home is ready to paint
Don’t leave all the prep work to the painters. Things will go much smoother if you make sure your home is truly painter-ready.
For interior jobs, make sure you’ve cleaned all of the awkward spots, including behind the toilet, and picked up any knickknacks that might get in the way (e.g., soap containers, loofahs, and kitchen organizers).
For exterior jobs, the Master Painters Institute recommends trimming bushes and shrubs away from the house, leaving at least 18 inches of clearance. Making sure your gutters and downspouts are in “tiptop condition” can also speed up the painting process.
4. Ask for touch-ups right away
After the paint job is finished, ask for a walk-through. Most painters should offer this regardless.
Pick it apart. We want to get it all done while we’re there. Don’t be afraid to have a list of touch-ups.
Look at your house from a different angle, perspective and in different lighting but keep in mind that Master Painters Institute dictates that imperfections should be criticized from 4′ – straight on in normal lighting. Regardless, a good painter will work through imperfections of the paint job with you.
5. Compare the particulars of the bid
It’s tough to over-emphasize the importance of hiring painters who provide detailed bids before painting your house. Deciding between two or three contractors is hard enough; it’s more so if you’re relying on pure guesswork. A bid that is scribbled down on a napkin, isn’t a bid at all.
Look at the material costs. You don’t need to go with the painter who buys the most expensive caulk but don’t go with the cheapest, either. Since painting is an art, materials are it’s medium—and cheap paint shows. I use quality products from Sherwin Williams.
People sometimes confuse price with value. If you have to repaint your house twice as often because of cost-cutting methods taken to provide a lower price than you would have with a fairly priced good job, that’s not really a great value.