“Apples to Apples”: Tips for a Successful Painting Project

I am so relieved to meet more than one excellent painter whom I trust, whose presence in my home is at least pleasant and unobtrusive, who is orderly and respectful of my personal surroundings. Personally, I feel more comfortable with someone who works in my own home, or at my clients’ homes, who has a fairly low profile in the workplace and is focused on the project at hand.

You also probably want to be comfortable with the people in your household, even if you don’t know them well. There may be times when you are not there, but the project must continue! Although it is temporary, their presence is part of your life. Some of these things you can infer when you know them, and some things you may have to ask directly.

Apples to oranges?
Trying to level the playing field can be tricky, because when you start interviewing your painters, you discover that each can have perfectly reasonable explanations for the practices and processes. If you develop a way to keep track of comments and suggestions, and balance that with your own list of project requirements, you will have something to review to try and turn “apples to oranges” into “apples to apples”, to do your best. effort. -informed decision.

Here are some questions to get you started:

How long have they been in business?
Don’t be shy, ask for references.

Do they work alone or with others?
If you use a crew, will the owner be available for questions, follow-up and supervision? This will have a lot to do with your level of satisfaction and confidence.

What brand of paint do they use?
You may want to just follow the painters recommendation for the brand, but you should also feel comfortable discussing this and specifying the brand you want.

Painters often suggest substituting “we can mix any color in any brand” for markings. However, paint companies have base materials that differ and this can affect the result. For example, it is simply not possible to replicate a “full spectrum” paint color in a non-full spectrum method, no matter how it looks on a small piece.

Three questions about preparation

  • How would the painter treat moldy areas?
  • Will the painter plan to fill all the holes and seal the seams?
  • Will the painter sand the walls to get a smooth finish?

What is the typical painter’s procedure?
General painting practice specifies two coats of finish and often one coat of primer / sealer. Does the painter plan to prime the walls under the color coat? Some top coat colors require a tinted primer.

How many coats of finish color do you recommend?
What kind of paint for ceilings and walls? In most cases, matte finish paint is best for ceilings. However, the paint used for the walls is often of a higher quality than “ceiling white”, especially if a stronger tint or color is used.

Contracts are essential
The purpose of a written contract is to ensure that all parties understand the scope of the work, with a clear explanation and details about the surfaces to be painted, preparation, work methods, schedules, and payment procedures for the project. Once you’ve met the painting contractors in person, this is the best way to evaluate the different proposals you receive. And equally important, it protects both you, the customer, and the contractor. Reputable contractors will encourage the use of a written contract.

Last but not least: remember these important documents
Do you have commercial liability insurance? You can request a certificate of insurance from the painter’s insurance company.

As with most home repairs and other large projects, lining up the details ahead of time will set the stage for a better experience.

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