Questions to ask a Professional Painter

Before you go and find the least expensive painter in town, or "do it yourself," you might want to ask yourself a few questions regarding painting:

What kind of paint is already there? How old is the existing paint?

When considering to paint your own home a major health concern is the existing paint. Most homes or businesses built before 1978 have been painted with lead-based paint. This can cause serious health problems when it is scraped or sanded for repainting. A professional painting contractor always knows the proper precautions necessary.

What to do in preparation and cleanup?

An expert painter knows that proper preparation of the surface to be painted makes all the difference. He or she knows all the different kinds of paint; how they should be mixed; and their best application. Also, once you're through painting you must dispose of any unused paint. A professional knows how to handle the hazardous wastes when it becomes part of a job.

Who to Hire for your House or Home?

Deciding on a painter is very similar to deciding on any other home improvement service. Friends, relatives, architects, design professionals and local paint supply stores are typically how most find a painting contractor. However, they can only give limited information. When hiring a contractor it is important to ask for references or check with the CSLB.

What should I look for in a painting contract?

All reputable contractors use written contracts. The contract should thoroughly explain the scope of work, surfaces to be painted, methods of surface preparation, time schedules and payment procedures. If you knows the scope of work to be done then you will be able to carefully evaluate the different bids received. The proper information keeps everyone on a level playing field. A contract serves to protect both you and the painter.

Should I Verify References?

Absolutely! First ask the contractor to provide you with references, preferably of similar size and scope to your project. Be sure to get name, address, and phone number of the previous client. It is also a good idea to ask for a reference of a project that is a few years old. This helps you gauge the performance of the work that was done. When possible, go and see the work, first hand.