I did go with the highest bidder and it did not matter. They did a shoddy job and threatened to take me to court when I pointed out mistakes that they made based on their work standards stated on the quote. I have not paid them yet, just filed a complaint with the BBB. No money down asked, no contract signed. The boss stated I have to high of expectations just because I live in a 121 year old house!
With that said, here's the reality of that particular scenario. Painters do put water in the paint, but not for reasons you would think. Some materials need to have their viscosity manipulated in order to slow drying time, allowing gravity to 'smooth' out the product for a better finish. It also prevents 'drags' and 'sausages'. I personally try not to do it too often, but from time to time I have to. I want my client to have a proper finish.
Sorry it is difficult to trust almost anyone in the trades. It is easier to do the work myself and not deal with strangers in and around my house. When I have to hire someone I tell them up front that I'll be checking every detail, pay extra to purchase the materials myself, and if they don't want the job - well good! I always fine someone who will work with me as I pay a bonus for that.
Yes the pricing does change, and quite significantly. I have worked inside the paint industry on counter sales outside sales and application for over 10 years. One thing many people do not understand is, the resins in the paint are more expensive to produce the higher the sheen goes. Therefore the company is at of higher cost making the paint, which in terms they charge more for the paint. I have seen a 15$ variance between flat-semi-gloss it is not uncommon and is not unrealistic to pay more for a higher sheen. Another thing to add is when doing samples on your wall prior to a painter coming is a good idea, however do not do them in huge squares with heavy coats, remember you are just wanting an idea. A lot of times the issue comes up of the paint not covering the sample coats, in fact it is covering quite well, however the paint sample applied is often times much darker than the wall color, creating a contrasting difference from the lighter surrounding wall and the sample placed on the wall. I recommend getting a piece of sheet rock and using it for the samples so you can move around with it etc.

Ours was a big job. We chose to work with three colors, one of which Sang and his partner painstakingly applied to all our window trim and grids. But before the colors came the preparation. The detail and precision of their work can not be understated. Even the taping of plastic was performed with purpose, each edge a clean line. Sang inspected all phases (patching, sanding, and power washing) with great attention and after three days of intensive work, it was time for primer and paint. Sang is knowledgeable and gave us great advice on how to best use our colors. Again, he payed close attention to detail, making sure that our house looked beautiful. We are extremely pleased!

Stucco is a specialized material that requires extensive preparation work (cleaning, caulking, filling in cracks, etc.). Additionally, paint suitable for rolling or brushing over stucco varies greatly depending on location and climate conditions. Some stucco paint varieties will chip and peel away in certain climate conditions, so painting professionals won't recommend them. These factors make stucco one of the more expensive siding materials to cover. You can expect to pay anywhere from $900 (~500 sq. ft.) to $3,000 (~1,500 sq. ft.) to have stucco revitalized with paint, depending on how much is needed to cover the home exterior.
I have been using housepaintinginc for more than 16 years. They have painted inside and outside for me. Always professional, always clean and respectful, and the best paint jobs I've ever seen! Recently, they painted my entire interior for the sale of my house. A well painted house sells houses! My house sold in 1 day! I couldn't be happier and I'm sure the professional painting was the reason! Thanks again!
I was taught to paint by a professional and when estimating the amount of paint needed, I always allow for a second coat just to make sure of coverage. We interviewed a painter who tried to tell me I bought poor quality paint without knowing where I purchased it, and stated he would have to buy all new paint. He had not seen the cans and was just guessing so I asked him where I should buy paint from now on. It was the same place I had purchased my paint and he wanted to charge me an extra 20 a gallon more than what I paid for. Needless to say, I have interviewed numerous painters and they are not all honest.
If you talk with a painting contractor long enough, you’ll inevitably hear; “There’s no good help out there.” It’s easy to hide behind this excuse, but it’s not true. There are plenty of reliable painters out there, business owners just don’t take the time to find them. It takes TIME to find good people, time you wouldn’t have if you were busy painting.

When their bids are successful, contractors meet customers to finalize their requirements and plan the order and timing of work. Contractors estimate the time required for surface preparation, painting several coats and drying time between coats. For interior painting jobs, they might have to allow time for clearing rooms. Exterior painting schedules might be dependent on the weather in different parts of the country. Exterior painting is not practical in very wet or very cold conditions.


The article and comments were great information to have before deciding how to go about getting a painting job done. I think the important point is that there are several key choices (who to do the work; color, sheen, quality, of paint; how many coats; amount of prep/repairs to be done and by whom, how long the job will take, provisions for changes, how detailed the contract needs to be; advanced deposit/progress payments/final payment; final inspection, etc.) that need to be made and it requires advanced research and planning in order to become well enough informed to make the right choices. Then it requires spending sufficient time to check materials and inspect the quality of the work while it is on-going, raher than waiting to do it all at the end. President Reagan's philosophy of "Trust, but verify." applies.
Contractors apply several layers of paint to achieve a suitable finish. They leave the first coat to dry for the recommended time and apply one or more finishing coats. They might choose paints with special qualities for different types of room. Manufacturers have developed paints for bathrooms or kitchens that have good resistance to moisture for example. When they have completed painting, they clear away any equipment and restore the area to its original condition.
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I turn away any job when the client refuses to pay anything up front. It sends a red flag. I also charge a scheduling fee which is non-refundable. I get 33 percent when I show up and begin work. Another percentage halfway through, and the balance upon completion after client is satisfied. There needs to be skin in the game for both parties as a measure of good faith. If you are dealing with a reputable company (did your due diligence, right?) why wouldn't you want to pay something as work progresses? We do this not only because we love to paint but we require cash flow to stay in business. There is not always 'money in the bank' as you suggest. It's tough these days. The suggestion buy 'Kim' 'Never pay a contractor a deposit' is nonsensical.
Stucco is a specialized material that requires extensive preparation work (cleaning, caulking, filling in cracks, etc.). Additionally, paint suitable for rolling or brushing over stucco varies greatly depending on location and climate conditions. Some stucco paint varieties will chip and peel away in certain climate conditions, so painting professionals won't recommend them. These factors make stucco one of the more expensive siding materials to cover. You can expect to pay anywhere from $900 (~500 sq. ft.) to $3,000 (~1,500 sq. ft.) to have stucco revitalized with paint, depending on how much is needed to cover the home exterior.
Stucco is a specialized material that requires extensive preparation work (cleaning, caulking, filling in cracks, etc.). Additionally, paint suitable for rolling or brushing over stucco varies greatly depending on location and climate conditions. Some stucco paint varieties will chip and peel away in certain climate conditions, so painting professionals won't recommend them. These factors make stucco one of the more expensive siding materials to cover. You can expect to pay anywhere from $900 (~500 sq. ft.) to $3,000 (~1,500 sq. ft.) to have stucco revitalized with paint, depending on how much is needed to cover the home exterior.
Even if you go it alone, specialize to keep your initial investment low. If you do only interior painting, for example, you might get by with one ladder, a few brushes, rollers, basic hand tools and such, for an investment of less than $300. Again, you can add to your tools as you need to (every job is a bit different), and parlay profits into the equipment necessary for exterior painting or working on large commercial properties.
I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.

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.
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