If you're going to do any part of the painting or prep work on your own, you must know that the first step in preparing a surface is washing it. Since dirt can affect the smoothness of a surface area -- and therefore paint's adhesion to it -- use soap to remove any dirt or stains. Make sure there's no soap left on the walls when you're finished; also make sure to remove any gloss with sandpaper and vacuum up the leftover dust.
In any service-based business, experience is something you can never get enough of. This is especially true of painting contractors. When you’re looking for the right painting contractor, make sure they have at least three years of experience in the business. This lets you know that they have established a reputable business and have worked on many projects over the years. Three years should be your minimum requirement, but the more the merrier.
Your contract should state that the contractor will use drop cloths or other coverings to keep the paint from spilling and getting all over your precious items. If the painting will be outside, how will they protect your shrubs and lawns? What will they do if paint ends up on your windows, and how do they plan to clean up the site? Stipulate that the contractor returns everything to pre-work conditions, especially if you're talking about the landscaping.
Don't hesitate to ask all the questions you need to feel comfortable hiring a professional. You can also ask 3-4 professionals to make sure you have the right quote in mind. You must make sure they have a warranty or some kind of paperwork stipulating the quality of their jobs. Insurance is also a #1 priority to consider, as damage can happen in the process of painting.
The cost to paint metal siding -- most commonly aluminum and galvanized steel -- will depend on a variety of factors. In some instances, a simple cleaning will suffice to prepare metal siding for painting. In worst cases, painting professionals will need to repair metal that is rusted, damaged or missing pieces due to climate conditions. In the case of severe damage, a professional will have to remove the old finish and paint to get to the original layer, which will add on to the final price. When you add the actual painting of the metal siding, you might be looking at a final bill between $400 (~250 sq. ft.) and $1,500 (~1,000 sq. ft.).