Homeowners How To: Selecting a Painter


Hiring a good painter is essential in getting a great new look that you will love for many years to come. So how do you select the right painter for the job? Here’s what you ...

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Whether you have decided to re-paint your home, renovate your kitchen, want a customized look or faux finish, or are simply refreshing the finish on your outdoor wooden deck, hiring a good painter is essential in getting a great new look that you will love for many years to come. So how do you select the right painter for the job? Here’s what you need to know:

The scoop on Lead Paint Safety: If you need painting done and your home was built prior to 1978, you must comply with lead paint safety laws and get a lead test done of any areas you want to paint, remove or modify. The law mandates that a certified professional test to see if lead paint is present. If it is, expect the project to be more costly than usual, as the removal, wall preparation or disturbing of any area greater than 9 square feet will require extensive plastic protection, ventilation units for the painters and careful cleanup and disposal. Once the preparation portion is complete, standard painting can begin. Make sure your painting professional is a certified lead-safety specialist.

As with the hiring of any contractor, you always want to make sure to do your due diligence and check out the company with your local consumer affairs office, website reviews, and by contacting references. They may be a part of a local organization, a union or the better business bureau where you can find out how long they have been in business and if they are a reputable company.

Always be sure to ask to see pictures of numerous jobs with the type of finish or work you want, and request to visit to a client’s home if possible, especially when hiring for a unique painting project, custom mural or faux finish. Most large custom or faux finish projects can be quite expensive, so go the extra mile, take a visit to see their work in person and talk to their past clients whenever possible. Always ask for at least three references so you can get a well-rounded idea about the company’s quality, service, reputation and job site etiquette.

Exterior painting can be troublesome. The weather and poor product choices can make the difference between a beautiful, long term end result and a nightmare project that is never done. Make sure the company you choose is experienced in outdoor work. If you are on a timeline, be aware that painting in bad weather is a bad idea and the job may be delayed if certain weather conditions occur. It is far better for the project to be completed correctly when the weather permits, than to possibly have to be stripped down and re-done if a chance is taken and the weather destroys the progress made. A quality company will offer to show you numerous photos of other exterior projects and will guarantee the project to last for a certain amount of time (based upon your selection). Always make sure the crew is using quality paint and finishing products, as the end result will not only be the most beautiful, but also will hold up for much, much longer than any inferior product.

If you are having a hard time with color selection, hire a local design firm for a color consultation. These are generally pretty inexpensive in relation to the project’s total costs and will assist you in making the right choices for your home the first time around.

The best advice when it comes to paint selection is this: Go pro and save money! “Color regret” and costly do-over’s need not happen if you hire a professional to help you select your colors wisely at the start.