Important Considerations When Hiring a Painter

interior-team-member-in-actionPainting is not only transformational, but also an important home improvement exercise that can easily enhance the value of your home. The painting can be interior, exterior, or both based on the need, preference, and budget. Although it looks quite a simple task, painting can be involving based on the complexity of the project. This is why you may opt for a professional contractor instead of doing the job yourself.

If you decide to go down the road of hiring a professional painter, there are critical pointers you must always include on your checklist to ensure you pick the right contractor for the job.

Experience and Knowledge Base

As pointed out above, painting works can become complicated and this is where the skill and experience of your contractor comes in. Ideally, the professional should make an estimate beforehand, detailing the materials to be used and give you a feel of how your project will turn out. Remember, the outcome of your painting project is the most important aspect and as such you wouldn’t want someone who is more into guesswork than the real job.

Employees versus Subcontractors

Take time to find out whether the contractor has direct employees or he gets people on a haphazard and contract-based also known as subcontractors. If he has direct employees, the workers compensation and liability insurance policies should be sufficient to cover them. However, in the event they are subcontractors, they should have arrangements of their own insurance policies. This is important because painting is a somewhat a risky job and the last thing you want is a legal claim due to injuries sustained at the workplace.

Formal Estimate

Some contractors have the habit of shelving some costs at the negotiation stage only for them to include them somewhere down the road. This is not professionalism and you should require that the contractor gives you an accurate, well-written and formal estimate of the amount of prep work and materials to be used. This will give you the scope of the work in monetary terms so that you can be prepared in advance.

Guarantee

In addition to the guarantees offered by the manufacturers of the paint products, find out whether your contractor has a service guarantee. Reputable painting contractors have a habit of giving their clients written service guarantees which mean any case of bad workmanship can always be revisited at no cost to you.

References

When hiring a contractor, it is important you ask him or her if there are any past and present clients they have serviced. This is important because someone who has consistently done a good job with previous clients is likely to do a good job for you. Do not accept to be a test run.

Preparation Work

Be keen to find out the nature of preparation work your contractor will do. Someone who cuts corners is certainly not a good fit for your project. A good painting contractor takes time to do everything that pertains to the preparation stage and your agreement.

Although cost-friendliness is a factor you should consider, try not to allow it to overshadow the above important aspects.

Should You DIY or Hire A Professional Painter?

paint-consultantsDepending on which side you are, the debate on DIY versus professional painters can be quite a contentious one. Getting someone to paint for you is seen as professionalism because you will enjoy the services of an experienced and skilled painting contractor. However, on the other side, painting yourself is obviously a cost saver and gives you the satisfaction that you have done the job with your own hands.

Looking at both sides of the coin, we can help uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each approach which is critical information for decision making.

The Quality of Results

While it is true that anyone can just pick up a couple of brushes and a can of paint, interior painting is much more than this. The goal is not to change the color only or do a touch up for your scratched or chipped paint, but rather to add value to your home and boost its curb appeal. Unless you are a highly trained DIY, you may not be able to achieve the level of quality a professional would.

Painting Ideas

This is another area where there seems to be much give and take between DIYers and the pros. The argument for the DIY guys is that they know better how their final product should look and as such can do it themselves rather than paying somebody to do the job. It is true that in the course of communication between the homeowner and the professional painter, some information may be lost in between resulting into a less than desirable outcome.

On the flipside, professionals use the latest technology to pick out colors and inspirational interior painting ideas that will leave your house looking and feeling the part.

Time Savings

Anyone can be able to do a job either on the first or subsequent attempts, but this will have huge implications on time. If you have a schedule that is less busy or the painting project is sizeable, you may want to try it yourself. The main advantage with professionals is that they deliver expedited results because they do this job fulltime. As a matter of fact, you can negotiate with them and come up with a deadline on when you want the work finished.

The Right Tools for the Job

It can be quite costly investing in topnotch painting tools and equipment only for you to paint once after so many years. In fact, some of these tools are expensive and meant for people who are in the job fulltime. This is where professionals come in. For them; this is a work-related investment and as such they do not have a problem buying advanced tools to help them deliver quality work.

The Financial Component

This has been the bone of contention between DIY specialists and professional painters. To some extent, the cost element can be influencing because some painters will charge you so much and yet the painting job may not be as extensive. However, if you negotiate well and do a cost-benefit analysis, hiring an expert painter can save you lots of money and money-making opportunities than doing the job yourself.

 

 

Understanding the Different Types of Paints and Finishes

color-coordination-teamIf you want to protect or decorate your surfaces, natural wood finishes and paint are among the first line materials you need to gather. This means an understanding of the different types of paints and finishes is important because surfaces differ and so are the paints and finishes. To have a successful project, you need to choose the right products, bring along the right tools and identify the best application technique.

Good planning with reference to how you want to tackle a painting project is also important as you prepare the surfaces to be painted.

Types of Paints

A majority of the paints can be assigned to any of the following categories:

  • Semi-gloss
  • Eggshell
  • Flat
  • Gloss

Depending on the surface to be painted, you may also have to apply first coat or primer. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation when applying paint.

Basecoats

It is essential to use the right basecoat if your decorative finish coat is to look good and last long. Basecoats can be further sub-divided into primers and first coats.

Primers are normally used on new uncoated surfaces. Their main job is to protect the underlying material and offer a good base for additional coats. If you are working on surfaces such as melamine or tiles, there are special primers that go with these surfaces.

A first coat on the other hand is a specially formulated paint useful in building up opacity under finish coats. Experts recommend one or two coats of paint before applying the decorative finish coat. There are water-based and oil-based first coats.

Finish Coats

When you are done applying basecoats, you can then apply the finish or decorative coat. These coats come in different categories as pointed above.

Flat finish coats are latex-based paints which are used for ceilings and walls. They also come in different varieties including matt, dead-flat matt, silk, and a water-based eggshell. Flat is sometimes used on siding materials to enable them cope with moisture.

Eggshell is considered more durable than flat. It is commonly used on interior wooden surfaces as a semi-gloss alternative. Because eggshell is easier to clean, it can also be used on wall surfaces requiring a hardwearing finish.

Gloss and satin is a hardwearing finishing paint mainly used on metallic and wooden surfaces. Latex-based gloss paints are relatively easier to apply unless vulnerable to yellowing, but do not provide a high shine compared to solvent-based paints.

Solvent-Based and Water-Based Paints

Paints are generally composed of a binder and pigment. Water-based paints also known as acrylic or latex use water as their binder while solvent-based paints make use of mineral spirit binders. When using thinner-based or mineral spirit products, you must have a plan on how you will get rid of the excess paint.

Although good quality paints perform exceptionally well in all commercial and domestic situations, sometimes it pays big to use paint that is formulated for a specific task also known as specialty paints. For instance, kitchen or bathroom paints are usually formulated to resist moisture or fungal growth while floor paint is solvent-based and extremely hardwearing.