Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor.
I put out a request for bids to several local house painters and quite a few seemed high. One was for over $6000 for painting the exterior of the house with putty fill as necessary, paint included. It was for him and one other guy to do the work. I said, "it's going to take you guys quite a while to get this job done" and he told me that no, they could do it in 2 days. I don't know about you but $1500 a day per painter seems more than just a bit high. I went with someone else and they had several people there for several days working like crazy and did a great job. There are too many scammers.

Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.
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I am a painting contractor and have been since 2001. Make sure the estimate provides in writing: What is EXCLUDED as well as INCLUDED. It should state the manufacturer and type of paint going to be used. Estimate says ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS. My estimates to my customers say "guaranteed coverage" eliminates the conversations of 1 coat vs 2 coat. I have my customers submit colors 5 days prior to start date. Customers need to inform me if they are going to use pure white, dark reds, oranges, and bright yellows they need to inform me in that 5 day window, so I can adjust my pricing for 3 coats. Although this more uncommon now than years past because a lot of paint manufacturers have primer with paint products. Let the contractor know if your doing accent walls. This takes longer to cut in straight lines and it requires the contractor to purchase more paint. If you add anything on the scope of work have the painter write out the description and cost prior to them doing the work. Have the estimate say how many days it will take to perform the work. Ask how many workers will be doing the job. Make sure to enforce that number of workers their everyday until the job is complete. Do not give final payment until you do a final walk through. Walk the job when its almost complete and point out areas that you want fixed prior to the contractors final walk through. Its best to do while the workers are still in that particular area as they will have tarps down and areas covered and it will be easier for them to take care of. Purchase a roll of blue tape and stick it to areas that you want fixed. This is called a punch list.


Picking exterior house paint colors is a lot different than picking a color for a shirt or a car.  It may help to drive around to observe colors that other homeowners have combined on homes that are of similar size and design as yours.  There are also online resources that provide homeowners with the ability to create virtual makeovers of their home by combining colors together through their software programs as well.

The time needed to complete an exterior paint job varies depending on the size of the home, the condition of your home’s exterior, the weather conditions and type of paint used on the job. An average project lasts 3-4 days, while a complex project may take a week or more. Additional time may be needed to fix loose or damaged siding or add primer to areas without coverage. Your painter will provide a timeline that explains how long the project will last and will schedule the job to avoid inclement weather.

I called House Painting Inc. for an estimate and the Owner James Lee called me back within minutes to set up a time to come see my house. He came the very next morning and then did a walk around of my property and told me he would have a bid prepared and emailed to me by the end of the day. As promised, this bid showed up around 4:00 p.m. I called several other painters to get estimates as well, always checking that the reviews were not fake (Like all 5 star reviews grouped within a month of each other, as if they had all their friends give them great reviews). I also checked with the California Contractors board to verify current Licences and if in fact the painters were working under their own license or working under some random contractor's license that wasn't even a painters license, (Some had no license at all!), I checked to see if the companies I interviewed were listed with the BBB, and if they were, if they had any unresolved claims against them. Only one Company, House Painters Inc. Passed the test. Current Licence in James Lee's name, continuously in business for decades with no infractions. CHECK Bonded with workers comp to protect me if someone got hurt on the job at my home. CHECK A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau with no unresolved issues. CHECK Hundreds of 5-Star reviews on yelp dating back to 2011. Check An address list and phone numbers of willing, former clients' homes for me to view in my area. CHECK To top it off, the best price of all the bids! CHECK I hired House Painters Inc. and set up a date for them to come. The whole operation took about 5 and a half days from start to finish. Sung and his crew were extremely conscientious of all our belongings and took great care preparing the house. They showed up on time at 8:30 everyday, and were completely unobtrusive with our comings and goings during their week here. They repaired some dry rot, repaired cracks in the stucco, installed some flashing on trouble spots on my eaves, scraped, sanded, power washed, dug trenches, protected plants and addressed every need I knew about, and they even pointed out, then fixed some things that I was unaware of. Everyday Sung and his crew worked clean and stowed everything away, every night except the protective sheeting. I was thrilled with the outcome and quality of their work. I painted my home the same color as I did 20 years ago, and I am ecstatic with how fresh and clean it looks again. I would hire these guys again in a heartbeat!
They painted our home exterior about 12 years ago and did the interior about 9 years ago as part of a major remodel. As it was time to re-paint the exterior again, we used James Lee again, and were very glad we did. In walking around to find 'punch list' corrections after they were done, there was pretty much nothing to find - they did a great job. They even used Henry's roof patch to fill in a gap on the roof. Kept everything clean and no over painting - great job.

Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.
If you're going to do any part of the painting or prep work on your own, you must know that the first step in preparing a surface is washing it. Since dirt can affect the smoothness of a surface area -- and therefore paint's adhesion to it -- use soap to remove any dirt or stains. Make sure there's no soap left on the walls when you're finished; also make sure to remove any gloss with sandpaper and vacuum up the leftover dust.

The contents of this web page are Copyright © 2018 Wilson & Hampton Inc. Painting Contractors. All Rights Reserved. Providing commercial & industrial painting in Southern California serving Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Imperial Valley, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County & Kern County
State Contractors  LIC #  388334 , Carry Workers Compensation  Insurance, Liablity Insurance , 36 Years In Painting Business, Over 650 A+ Review in Angie' s List  . We make it a point to never cut corners - keeping you informed throughout the entire project, we are dedicated to understanding and meeting your specific needs for each job. With over 30 years of experience, we are experts at every stage of the process -- from choosing the right paints to the finishing touches.  

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