Painters usually find it hard to estimate the cost of prep work accurately. This is because the amount of work required varies greatly from job to job. The more the damage, the greater the amount of prep work required and hence, greater the cost. Dirty walls covered with grease have to be thoroughly cleaned for the new paint to adhere properly. Wood surfaces should be sanded 2 along the grain and dusted clean ($1.80 per square foot). Holes have to be patched up and caulked ($10 per square feet).
After the paint has dried for at least 5 to 6 hours—or, ideally, overnight—use a utility knife to score around the edges of each pane, then pull off the rubbery masking membrane, as shown. Next, shut the windows, and reattach the window hardware, light fixtures, and electrical covers. Now remove the painter’s tape, rosin paper, and drop cloths. Latex paints don’t fully cure for one to two weeks, so clean the room slowly to avoid raising dust, and don’t rub or scrub the finish during that time.

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Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!

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I started watching back in the Bob Villa days. It's funny when Bob left the show I thought well that's the end of my favorite show. I couldn't have been more wrong. TOH has gotten better and better over the years. I've gotten so many great ideas for my houses from watching close to every episode of TOH. Also, my confidence in being able to take on more and more complex projects at home has grown thanks to Norm, Tommy and Roger. Sorry Richard, I love watching you and learning about the latest greatest plumbing, heating and cooling tech but I hate doing plumbing stuff. My favorite projects would be #1 Carlisle House in 2004 and #2 Cambridge House in 2005. I've watched those seasons multiple times since becoming an Insider. Kevin is by far my favorite TOH host. His first couple of seasons were rough but once he hit his stride he just got better and better. I absolutely love it when Kevin and Tommy do their 'Sonny and Pops' routine. Who wouldn't want Tommy Silva to be their Pops! Thank you for 40 great years!

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This all comes down to the rules.....1. references....does the contractor have them??? I ALWAYS furnish all my prospective customers them....no excuses...2. insurance....again, I always furnish proof....3. Read the proposal carefully...I ALWAYS list materials down to tape used, the brand, the grit of sandpaper, the manufacturer, etc....its INEXCUSABLE to not list all of these items....I am a member of the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the foremost authority in the coatings industry and they also approve of what I listed....if you do not follow these guidelines, you will NOT get a job reflective of "professional". Look for the PDCA where any painting contractors are, if they are not a member, RUN!
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Meet the pros. Call in at least three different contractors for your job. (Friends and family are good reference sources.) And be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you’ll know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The longer he takes, the more realistic the estimate you’ll get. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. http://www.youtube.com/e/b6_WEt9k_Hw
I do not mean to come off with an edge, however, this is an article for people hiring low bid, uninsured, one man band painters out to "hustle" a buck. Hire reputable, established companies or hire someone you know or have a strong referral from. If you are arguing over watered down paint, ticky, tacky deposits, buying your own supplies, you have hired the wrong guy.
to be the devils advocate i have been a building contractor 20 of the last 30 yrs. i do know that if you go to a higher sheen of paint and or darker colors then any imperfections in the walls will show up much more dramatically…therefore the painter or a good drywall finisher is needed to prepare the walls extensively. this could cause more expenses…for it takes a lot of time to prep walls (smooth walls..not textured walls) and this cost has to be absorbed.

Depending on whether you're having your interior or exterior painted, the way a contractor applies the paint can make a big difference. For instance, primer is best applied with a brush while certain types of texture are best applied with a spray gun. Make sure the painter is skilled in using spray if you choose that method, as over-spray could become an issue and drive up the overall cost by using more paint.

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Purchase surety bonds. Surety bonds essentially act as a kind of agreement between the contractor and the person hiring them that the job will be performed to standard. You can obtain these through your current insurer as a separate form of financial protection. As a contractor, many states require you to be bonded before you can begin working legally.[16]
The question, “how is your warranty program funded?” will probably get you some puzzled responses.  The fact is, most contractors have never even considered how to pay the expenses associated with warranty callbacks, and some contractors just seem to vanish when they get a warranty call.  A professional contractor will be preparing for callbacks (they will happen, even to the best contractors) by including a line item in their budget for warranty work.  Ask the question and see what kind of response you get.  Sometimes, how the question is answered is more important than the answer itself! 

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