It’s time for a new coat of paint! If time is too precious or you’re more disaster than DIY, you need an interior painter. This simple guide will help you hire the perfect paint pro. Let there be color. Or 35 variations on white. Your pick.
Do your homework. Ask for references. Check the Better Business Bureau. Before you even pick up the phone, scope their out their work and get a sense of the company’s work ethic and quality of service. You’re too clever not to.
Inquire the brand of paint the company uses and what its durability rating before giving the green light on a project. Subpar paint on your wall can end up looking wonky in years to come. Have a specific color you want in a preferred brand? Let your desires be known up front. If the company can’t work with you, find another who will.
Request a walkthrough
Before signing any paperwork, do a walk through (ask if the estimates are free!) with the pro to discuss exactly what you want achieved. Are the walls super dirty from years of toddlerhood? Ask what it will take to prep, prime, and paint them to perfection. Have heavy furniture? Don’t assume they’ll move your grandmother’s two-ton antique furniture to paint. Talk about area prep (measures they take to prevent a mess and protect your fancy furniture). Ask which of these will incur costs and what those costs will be. Negotiating these details will make up the contract you will sign together.
Can they do the job in the time you want? You’re hiring them because you’re a busy bee and want teal walls, now. Ask if yours is the only job the crew will be dedicated to until it’s finished. If not, that’s okay, just be clear on how long it will take. If you’re repainting the entire interior, ask how many people will be assigned to your house.
When do they begin and end each day? If it’s important to you, set the expectation of a consistent schedule for the duration of the job.
How do they handle lead paint? If your home has any paint dating from 1978 or before, chances are it has lead in it. There are special safety steps that the paint crew should take, make sure they’re prepared to handle the job.
What is the deposit and final payment plan? It’s standard for companies to request a deposit up front, but anything more than 50% is unnecessary. Many companies then receive another payment partway through the project, with a final payment upon satisfactory completion (with a walkthrough with you) of the job. Don’t be shy about asking questions and requesting fixes to any problems.
Does the company stand by their service? Ask if they provide a written guarantee of their work.
As a savvy Thumbtack consumer, you know life is better when details are spelled out in writing. When it comes to interior paint work, here’s what to include:
- Specify each area to be prepped and painted (No: Paint living room. Yes: Protect hardwood floors, prep and prime living room walls with Brand X clear primer, put two coats of Brand X Fuschia 267 on all four living room walls, paint baseboards Brand X White.)
- Indicate molding, baseboards, ceilings to be painted in each room
- Indicate type of surface preparation the workers will do (scraping old paint, etc.)
- Note what, if any, furniture the painters will move and replace
- Primer to be used and the fact it will be applied
- Brand and color of paint you want in each area to be painted
- Approximate timeframe for job
- How payment will be executed
- Satisfaction guarantee (if you’ve both agreed to this)
Prep on your part
Get the best outcomes for your paint job before the crew even comes! If you have cracks in your drywall or plaster, hire a handyman to fix it up before starting the project. Seriously, new paint doesn’t cover up drywall cracks.
The night before:
Expedite the process the day before the paint crew arrives by removing all the tchotchkes, light furniture, area rugs, wall art, end tables, etc., so they can come in and beautify your walls. It will save them time and you money!