Is there something in your house that needs painting? Living in an old house there is almost ALWAYS something that could use new paint. I decided to tackle painting my son’s room. Until I started the prep work.
Flash forward, I’m standing on a wobbly ladder that doesn’t really reach. After much internal struggle that I don’t want to paint it myself. Did you know that each year there are 164,000 emergency room visits from ladder falls.
I called painters that I found on Thumbtack and Google. Read more about how to find contractors here. Two painters came and their information and bids were drastically different. This lead me to ask more questions that I thought might help you if you’re hiring a painter.
Here are questions you should ask a painter before you hire them.
- How many coats of paint are included on each type of surface, wall, trim, door, ceiling?
- What kind of paint will you use?
- How long have the members of your team that will be in my home been with the company?
- If you are painting wood trim what kind of paint will you use on that? (read more about that below).
- Will I be able to leave furniture in the room?
- Exactly what prep work am I expected to do? Take down window coverings, remove switch plate covers, take down art, remove rugs?
- Does your bid include patching/repairing any damaged places on the walls or wood trim?
- How will damage be repaired?
- What is the deposit? and How much will be paid upon completion?
- Is there a warranty and for how long? Does the warranty cover peeling, cracking, flaking or blistering? Be aware that any kind of warranty is not going to cover changes in the walls due to structural changes (like shifting foundation in Texas).
- How long will the project take from start to finish?
- If there are touch ups I notice after the work is complete, does your bid cover those?
- How will my floors be protected?
Pro Painter Tips Worth Sharing
One-Coat Paints – There are lots of “one-coat” paints on the market now. When I asked both paint companies if these could be swapped out they both responded that one-coat paints just don’t cover well UNLESS you are painting the same color.
Best Paint for Trim/Wood – When it came to painting the trim/doors I got wildly different information. One painter said that I MUST use oil-based paint because my house is old and there is no way that the existing paint is latex. Read more about how to tell if your paint is oil or latex.
The problem with oil-based paint isn’t the way it looks, it’s the way it smells. My windows don’t open and paint fumes can cause headaches, skin irritation and off-gasing. There is no way to get low VOC oil-based paint. Read more about the harmful effects of being exposed the fumes from oil-based paints.
The second painter I used suggested an alternative paint that is NOT oil based called Pro Industrial Alkyd Eurythane. This is a paint developed by Sherwin Williams to replace oil-based paint. I went to painter forums where the pros discuss different paints. The comments from real painters (with no skin in the game) supported this paint as a good alternative.
I hope these questions and tips help you the next time you have a painting project, whether you hire a painter or DIY.