Many of the tasks involved in preparation and painting, such as working on ladders and using solvents and other chemicals, can be hazardous. When preparing a previously painted surface, these materials can cause serious health problems. Experienced painters understand the appropriate steps needed to avoid these hazards, including how to properly prepare surfaces.

They are familiar with the appropriate paints and tools, as well as how to use them effectively to ensure a quality finish. Reputable painters also know how to handle and properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Tips for choosing the right painting contractor

Specify the Work

With each painter, make sure you receive quotes for the same work. Prepare a list of what needs to be done and be sure to include what paint color and gloss level you’d like. Provide a completion date.

Check References

A qualified painter will provide at least three references. The work completed for each referral project should be similar in size and scope to yours, and some should be a few years old to demonstrate labor and product performance.

If possible, ask to see some finished projects to verify results. Ask each referral the following questions:

  • Was the job completed on time?
  • Were you satisfied with the results?
  • Did the quote match the final cost?
  • Was the painter’s work disruptive?
  • Would you hire the painter again?

Once you have three qualified painters, invite them to visit your home and provide a quote.

Get Quotes

For each quote received, make sure the following details are in writing:

  • Painter’s contact information
  • Your contact information
  • Specification of the exact work to be done, including all areas to be prepared and painted
  • Products and colors to be used, including brand names
  • Completion date
  • Total cost

Each quote should be signed and dated by the painter. When comparing quotes, ask for a breakdown of material and labor costs so you can make a fair comparison.

Pay attention to presentation

As with most hiring processes, pay attention to each painter’s presentation. Are they polite, professional and dressed appropriately? Presentation will most likely reflect the type of work they do.

Ask about insurance

Ask to see a certificate of insurance. Painting can be hazardous work. It’s important to hire an insured painter so you are not held responsible for any injuries to the painter or crew members.

Check licensing

Contractor licensing laws and regulations vary in each state. Check your state government’s website for more information on laws in your area.

Get it in writing

Written contracts are a must! Both you and your painter should sign a written contract that specifies the project’s scope. This should include details on surface preparation such as specifying exactly how your property will be protected. It should also include how surfaces will be painted, the exact paint products to be applied, a time schedule and payment terms.

Payment tips

Don’t pay cash

Don’t pay more than 10% up front or $1,000, whichever is less

Keep all payment records

Only make your final payment once you are completely satisfied with the job

A word about paint quality

There are numerous choices when it comes to paint, but not all paints are created equal. A premium paint offers a smoother, more uniform appearance, as well as better coverage than an economy paint. Although a premium paint may cost more, it maintains its durability longer so your home doesn’t require frequent repainting.

Make sure you know exactly what type and brand of paint is specified in the contract and make certain those products are actually used.


Please note that these suggestions are provided as a service to you. We are unable to guarantee or be responsible for the results obtained by these procedures.
If you have additional questions, please call one of the experts in our customer service department.