Step-by-step Guide to Hiring the right Painting Contractor for your Project
Finding a contractor is easy, but selecting the right contractor for your project can be a little trickier. We’ve taken the guess work out of this process by providing the following guidelines for selecting the best contractor and crew for your paint project.
Preparation is the most important aspect of every great paint job, and different kinds of projects require different levels of prep. Having a clean surface is absolutely essential, and some substrates (surfaces) require sanding and/or de-glossing as well. A professional painter can determine if a primer coat is required. Caulking, filling holes and repairing damage prior to applying paint will assure a beautiful finished product.
VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds are a hot topic these days. VOC’s are toxic chemicals that are released from paint as it dries. Paint companies have been working hard for years to produce products that include low or zero VOC’s. There are several reliable low and zero VOC products on the market. At Sisu Painting we strive to protect the environment by using low and zero VOC products whenever possible.
A fully encapsulated house poses no threat, but once the paint starts to deteriorate, the risk of lead dust is probable. If the house is showing signs of paint failure, such as peeling and blistering, then the paint may very likely be releasing lead dust. If we are painting a house and disturb any lead paint, we are required by law to follow all EPA RRP and OSHA rules.
While it’s very tempting to take the low bid, it may not be the best idea. Most paint estimators base their price on the cost of materials plus the cost of labor with overhead and profit. If you go with the lowest bid, then you are paying less for the materials and/or you are paying for less labor. That means the low bidder may be taking short cuts to cut costs, such as not prepping adequately or using lesser quality products. As in almost everything else, when it comes to your paint project, you’ll get what you pay for.
Do your homework and check references. It’s always a good idea to search the company on the internet as well. Customers are savvy these days and like to tell about their experiences with service providers. You should be able to find reviews on line and it’s always a good idea to check with Construction Contractor’s Board to see if the company is legally licensed and if they have any complaints. After you’ve done your homework, make sure you feel comfortable with the attitude and ethics of the company you are choosing.
If you have painted siding that is blistering or peeling, the issue may very well be with the siding itself. This issue is especially common on older homes. If you see the peeling on the south or west side of the home, it’s very likely a sign that moisture has accumulated in the siding. To learn more, check out Nancy’s blog post on blistering and peeling paint.
We recommend a color consultation to assist you in selecting the best color for your project. Choosing the right color the first time will save you time, money and headaches down the road. Sisu Painting offers a complimentary color consultation with most paint projects.
Most latex products are dry to touch after one hour; however, paint takes much longer to fully cure. Latex paints generally take a month for a full cure and oil based products take about two months. During that time, you’ll want to be careful about bumping or scratching the paint surfaces.
Paint contractors usually receive special pricing from paint stores which is lower than retail prices and therefore a cost savings to the customer. Even if you find paint on sale, it’s highly unlikely the sale price will beat the contractor price you receive from us.
Great care is taken to make sure your furniture and belongings are protected. We cover all flooring with drop cloths, paper and/or plastic. All furniture and belongings are covered with plastic and/or drop cloths.
Unless you are allergic, it is unlikely that paint fumes will make you ill, however; you may find the odors unpleasant. To keep our painters and customers safe from any possible reaction to exposure to paint fumes, we do our best to open windows and doors to allow air to flow in and of the areas in which we are working. Fumes tend to dissipate very quickly, especially when we are using low or zero VOC paint.
Generally, we recommend de-glossing, sanding and priming to assure proper adhesion when applying latex over oil-based paint. However, there are some great new products on the market called modified alkyds, low VOC waterborne products that do not require a primer coat.
Two coats are always recommended. In some cases, ultra-deep based colors will require three coats. In rare cases, one coat will suffice.
Absolutely! A paint job is an affordable way to update your home and cabinetry. Painting trim and wood work is not cheap because to do it properly, it requires a lot of tedious prep work including intensive sanding, as well as a coat of primer and two coats of paint. Painting the trim is lot less expensive and disruptive than replacing it and the effect can really be lovely.
Generally an exterior paint job takes about one week from beginning to end, including pressure washing, prep, painting and clean up. Of course, each home will have individual considerations that may add to or take away from the projected timeline.
Rain will not damage the paint, as long as the paint is dry. Paint is formulated with drying agents to allow water to skim over the surface. However, if a heavy rain happens when the paint is still wet, the surfaces may need to be repainted.
Surfactants are necessary additives in paints which leach out over time. Under the right conditions, most commonly with dark colors, surfactants may leach out rapidly causing a waxy and/or soapy film on the paint. In rare cases, surfactants will ooze. Fortunately, surfactants are harmless and a gentle washing will remove surfactant residues and leave your paint looking beautiful again.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to get an exact match because there isn’t a standard for sheen. Therefore, even if you get a perfect color match, matching the sheen can be a challenge. When your paint project is complete, we’ll leave you with whatever paint is leftover so you’ll have some on hand for future touch-ups.
If your home is showing signs of paint failure (cracking, blistering, peeling, fading, thinning, etc.), don’t delay in getting it painted. It is very common for siding to be replaced because it wasn’t properly protected with a paint job and it got ruined. Siding replacement is far more expensive than a new paint job.