Some tips for getting a good paint job from a
low ball bid or from non-professionals or
if you really want to "Do it yourself"
We do understand that hiring professional painters is not within everyone's budgets. Choosing a low ball bid or non-professionals does not have to be disastrous. If you have the time to oversee your painting project the check list below will help.
The importance of this check list may be more apparent after a quick review of the following few photos. We painted the red house below in 2005. At the exact same time a house directly across the street was also getting painted by another local contractor. You will see photos of how they compared 5 years later in 2010
- We always recommend to new customers that they check references and not just from a list of a contractor’s friends and family, or their 4 or 5 successes. You should feel fairly certain that you will be getting a good quality paint job before the work begins. Too often a painting contractor that routinely undercuts their competition will extend their short cuts to the job site as well. Unfortunately, a coat of paint can temporarily cover up a variety of problems.
- Always use high quality paint. Most of the national paint brands make what they call a “Contractor Line”. Sadly, this is just cheap watered down paint that only favors a contractor’s profits. When someone hires a professional painting contractor they do so because they want quality, which can not be achieved with cheap paint. Call the paint store and be sure a contractor grade is not what is being applied to your place. Go on line and google the paint’s name. Look at the Volume Solids % listed on the data or specification sheet. This is the percent that actual stays on the wall or siding, and the non-solids simply evaporate. As a general rule that number should be above 35%. Exterior paint with 100% acrylic resins is also preferable. If you are serious about using the best quality products give us a call, we will share unbiased reliable information.
- Check with the “Washington State Labor and Industries" to be sure the contractor is Licensed, Bonded and Insured. Click Here Type in our license number STEVEPC966DJ when checking ours.
- Because there is potential for there to be lead-based paint on homes and buildings built before 1978 they must be tested or they must be assumed to have lead-based paint. It is usually found in the oldest paint layers on a structure. As of April 2010, all contractors working on these homes must be certified with the E.P.A. First offense is $32,500.00 per day. If a painting contractor does not fully disclose this issue you need to ask questions. For more information click here
- We would be doing you a disservice if we did not share our experience with painters we have tried hiring from a national franchise. There are some companies that work under the premise of helping students make summer income painting houses. Call us and we will provide you with a checklist of questions.
- Every painting contractor working in the Northwest needs to use a moisture meter. Painting over boards with internal moisture guarantees premature paint failure.
- Be sure you never see a painter adding volumes of water to the paint.
- Everything must be clean, dry and primed before it is painted
- All mildew and rust must be treated or it will bleed back through.
- Bed sheets work best for covering plants as painting tarps are too heavy and plastic can suffocate and burn foliage.
- Let your painter’s know that no overspray will be permitted.
- You may wish to express your sentiments about smoking and music before the job begins.
- Be absolutely certain that if the paint is applied with a sprayer it is back brushed. Be sure someone is around the days when paint is sprayed.