Painting is a professional skill built on experience. The good news is that finding a professional painter for any given job, whether an interior or exterior painting project, doesn’t have to be difficult.
4 Quick Steps to Finding the Perfect Painting Contractor
1. Do Your Homework – Turn to your friends, colleagues and family
2. Plan an In-Home Consult – Assess personality and presentability
3. Get Three Quotes – Estimates are usually free
4. Get a Written Contract – Protect yourself by getting info in writing
+ Bonus Tip – Why prep work matters
1. Do Your Homework
A simple online search including your zip code will yield ratings, painting testimonials from customers and more. We recommend, however, leaning on colleagues, friends and family – everyone has painted at some point, so they make a great resource. Clearly, your local Benjamin Moore retailer has plenty of local connections as part of the painting community in your neighborhood. Simply find a Benjamin Moore authorized retailer near you, stop by, or call for a painting contractor referral.
Many painting contractors have websites – check them for before and after photos. And don’t be afraid to email a painting contractor for their portfolio. Many painting contractors may not be able to update their website regularly, but most have a portfolio of painting projects “offline” that they would be happy to share with you.
2. Plan an In-Home Consult
Qualities to look for when hiring a painter include being professional, polite and dressed appropriately. In addition to a neat and tidy appearance, personality matters. This person will be spending time within your home, so you want to make sure you and your family have a nice rapport with the painting contractor in question.
When describing your project to the prospective painting contractor, make sure you ask to receive more than one option. There are a range of paint systems available to you of different scope and price, so ask for at least two options. Get descriptions on each on how they differ, so you can understand what is available in order to make a fully informed decision.
3. Get Three Quotes
It’s a common question: How much does it cost to paint a room? Not surprisingly, pricing varies depending on whether your job is one room, an entire floor or the full exterior of your home. Plan three in-home consults, and get three quotes. Painting estimates are typically free.
The most common payment approach is an estimate by job. A painter will make an in-home assessment, so be sure to specify all the details of your painting project up front.
If you do not understand why it costs as much as cited in the estimate, don’t be afraid to ask. Painting contractors are professionals and are prepared to break down the pricing for you. Sanding, prepping, priming, caulking, clean up, and even moving furniture (pulling furniture out from walls, wrapping furniture in plastic to protect it) are all part of the cost of a job.
Money saving tip: Ask the painter what you can do to help streamline the project: Pulling furniture out from against wall and covering it with sheets or plastic may help you save. Another way to save? Invest in premium quality paint so that your paint job will last longer, saving you cash on future repainting.
4. Get a Written Contract
Once you’ve done a side-by-side comparison of the three estimates that have been provided to you, it’s time to request a written contract/agreement. A written contract is imperative–it should include:
- Details on surface preparation
- What paint products will be applied
- A time schedule and payment terms
We don’t recommend paying in cash, but if you go that route, ensure that you have at least an email chain verifying this form of payment so that should questions arrive regarding payment, you have back-up. A lack of documentation may cause problems later.
+ Bonus Tip: Why Prep Work Matters
Remember, if your walls are in bad condition, there’s no way around it: a high-quality paint job is going to be more pricey; it’s worth it to pay for prep because if your walls are not upgraded by a pro, your wall will look the same, no matter how beautiful or premium the paint you pick is. While a lower sheen paint choice will hide some imperfections, it can only do so much.