A painter pouring paint into a plastic paint tray.

6 Steps to Hiring Painters for Your House

A Plan for Hiring Painters

Veteran homeowners know this undisputed fact: painting is a chore. Getting the supplies, setting up to paint and cleaning up afterwards are all time-consuming, messy and headache-inducing tasks (while funny enough, actually painting is not all that bad). Here are a few tips and tricks to hiring painters to do the job you really do not want to do.

1. Ask Family and Friends

Don’t know where to start? Start here, by asking your family and friends for references. They’re going to be your best resources, plus you get the added benefit of stopping by their homes to see a job well done.

If you come up empty-handed with this method, your next best bet is stopping by your local home improvement or paint store and checking out their contractor bulletin board. Ask employees who they would recommend for a painting project.

2. Get at Least 3 Estimates

Obtaining at least three estimates from companies or individual contractors is highly recommended for any house project, not just painting. Three estimates will give you a good and accurate range of pricing and you will have a chance to scope out the various credentials of each contractor. Make sure your quotes are formally written up so you can understand the breakdown of the charges. This will also indicate the quality of paint and materials that are being used and how much each contractor charges for labor.

3. State Your Expectations

Contracted painters are not mind readers! Voice your expectations right off the bat and well before the project has started. For total assurance that your walls (and bases) are covered, ask for things like high-quality paint and at least two or three coats. If you want smooth, even walls, you will need to express this to your painter. It could mean that they need to mud spots in the drywall that have nicks or dents.

4. Ask Questions

You do not know what you do not know — so ask! Here are some important questions you might want to ask your painter:

  • What kind of paint do you use?
  • How long will this project take?
  • What are some extra costs surrounding the project?

Asking project-specific questions before your painter starts can help you understand what you are paying for and what you can expect. Knowing what brand and type of paint they are going to use will tell you the overall quality of the paint job. Contractors usually bring their own paint and materials to the job site, so you will need to make sure it is the appropriate type and that you approve of it.

Getting a timeframe for your project can be a necessity if you are asking them to paint a large area. Exterior paint jobs or whole-house projects can take quite some time. You’ll also want to ask about extra costs — fees that do not appear on the original estimate. Your contractor may need to charge for things like moving heavy furniture out of the way, extra materials needed, or if you need other pieces painted, like crown molding or baseboards.

5. Plan Your Project

Before you hire or even ask for estimates, you will need to do a little planning. Your potential contractors are going to ask you a few questions about your project, so this is where you will need to be prepared.

First, calculate how big your painting project will be by totaling up the square footage (you can jump online and find helpful square footage calculators).

You’ll also need to inform your contractor of what type of project this will be — are you needing them to paint the entire exterior of your house or just the living room? These are very different projects that your contractor will need to know ahead of time.

Remember that whoever you hire is being hired to paint, not serve as an interior decorator, so be sure to pick out your desired colors ahead of time.

6. Do a Little Research

Never go into a house project without doing some research first. Know what type of paint needs to be used for your project, like whether you need flat paint, paint for drywall, exterior paint, or paint that can withstand the humidity of a bathroom or kitchen. Do a quick search to confirm how much these materials cost so you are not blindsided by a quotation or taken to the cleaners over a can of paint.