Below you will find our Paint Contractor FAQ as well as other common questions people ask when considering a residential painting project or when hiring a professional painter.
1 - Is it time to get my house painted?
There are specific things to look for. The three questions below are not the only three questions to ask but are three key questions.
How long has it been since your house was last painted?
The national average for a paint job in the United States is seven years. This seems to hold pretty true, depending on the climate you live in. The more sun exposure your home has, the quicker the coating will deteriorate. If you live in a coastal environment, the coating will also deteriorate more quickly due to the salt in the air.
Is your house faded?
Once the coating has started to fade, the film thickness in most cases has deteriorated. An old car is a good example. We’ve all seen a car with the color still intact, but the clear coat has started to break down, making the car look unsightly and inconsistent. Once this happens, the color will inevitably begin to peel or fade rapidly. This also makes it accessible to other contaminants such as rust or rot, depending on the surface material.
Is there peeling paint?
Once the paint has started to peel, it is no longer protecting the substrate. Wood rot or rust is inevitable, depending on the substrate. Beyond the obvious unsightliness, the substrate will begin to rapidly deteriorate.
2 - During which part of the year or weather conditions should I get my house painted?
In most situations, heat is not a factor. In very isolated cases, we have experienced bubbling or blistering of the coating due to the heat. Again, this is rare – in most cases, it was an item that could not be moved out of direct sunlight, and it was painted a dark color such as black. The main concern is that if surfaces are painted in temperatures below freezing, it can affect the adhesion and the coating’s finish. Usually, as long as the paint feels dry to the touch once it has fully dried, you’re in good shape.
3 - Do colors affect the price?
This is a question I am asked on almost every estimate. The short answer is “no” unless you want polka dots or stripes. In some cases, contractors may charge additional for extra colors above and beyond their normal allotted amount (typically three). This is generally justified by the idea that it takes time to switch in between colors and clean your tools. Although this is true, it is a relatively minor time addition. We apply two coats of paint on all surfaces to ensure the longest-lasting finish (see below for more information about two coats); therefore, coverage is not an issue. Regardless of the color, we will apply two coats.
4 - Should I apply one or two coats of paint?
In almost every circumstance, we recommend two coats of paint. Two coats of paint are going to give you the longest-lasting paint job. Two coats of paint are going to provide more durability and color retention. As discussed above, once the film on the coating breaks down, the color will begin to fade and not protect the substrate. Although it is possible to apply one coat of paint cosmetically to make a surface look good, it will not provide the durability needed. When analyzing closely, you will see imperfections.
5 - Should I supply my own paint?
If you are working with a professional paint company, it will make more sense to have the paint contracting company supply it. Even with the discounts that many paint stores offer (20-30%), you will still pay more for the material than the paint contractor will pay with his contractor pricing.
Although the paint store may tell you that you’re getting contractor pricing, there are different contractor pricing levels, and it is unlikely you are getting the same price that your painting contractor would pay. In almost every scenario where a homeowner has purchased paint and then hired us, they spent more on the material than what we would have. If you do not trust your contractor to purchase the right material, you do not have the right contractor.
6 - What does it look like to get a painting estimate?
In most cases, the painting company requires a site visit to inspect the surfaces that will be painted. For some smaller jobs, this may not be necessary, but in most cases, you want to meet with the contractor to discuss the project and get an impression of the painting company that will be working on your home. Here is a quick breakdown of standard procedures within our industry:
Discuss any areas of concern or questions.
Discuss the timeline to get the project completed.
Discuss color options.
Discuss the process in detail.
Discuss expectations of when the estimate will be received if not completed at that time.
Discuss payment options and terms, if any.
Discuss any requirements for the homeowner to give access to certain parts of the project, such as removing a camper or boat to give access to the front door, etc.
7 - What type of insurance requirements should I have for a painting contractor?
The biggest thing you want to look for when hiring a painting contractor is liability insurance. This way, you will be sure that you are protected in case of damage to your property. Please consult with your legal counsel for more specific requirements for your unique situation.