Hiring A Painter – Top Tips


In my first home, before kids, my wife and I painted our whole house. Quality bonding time, right? Luckily for us, house number one wasn’t very big, so it didn’t take too much time or money to paint. But I learned a very valuable lesson painting that house: I hate painting.

With this new-found knowledge embedded in my brain as we bought our current home, I knew I wouldn’t be doing any of the painting. This time, it would be left to professional painters. But as much as I hate painting, I hate the process you go through to find a quality painter. This is your house. You want to make sure you get it right and you’re happy, so keep these rules in mind when hiring a painter.



Rule #1 – Seek References and Multiple Estimates

Start by talking with friends and family who have used a painter, and do yourself a favor by scheduling at least three or four for an initial visit. Pay attention during the painter’s visit to how long they take walking through, how thoroughly they point out imperfections. If they take some time going through the house, odds increase for a more realistic estimate. You won’t want to take the first offer you receive, so evaluate all the quotes against one another. That leads right into …

Rule #2 – Ask Questions and Understand Their Quote

During their visit, ask as many appropriate questions as you can think of. What is the size of their crew? Does their estimate include doors? Trim? Ceiling? Are all materials included in the estimate? You may think this is overkill, but at the end of the day, you have to live with the result. Take the time to understand what you’re getting for your money.

Rule #3 – Make Sure They Are Insured

My house is a two-story. I’m not afraid of heights, but I certainly wouldn’t want to fall from 20-plus feet either. Mistakes and accidents happen. You just don’t want them to happen in your home. If a crew member falls off a ladder or ruins a piece of furniture, and the company doesn’t have coverage, your cost just went up.

Rule #4 – Ask about extra costs. 

Removing heavy furniture may not be included in the painter’s estimates. If you can’t do it, ask if there will be an extra charge. Also, having to paint crown molding, baseboards or walls/ceilings taller than the average of 8 feet can also add to costs.