When it comes to choosing a house painter, it can be hard to know where to start looking. How do you know they’ll do a good job and leave your home looking amazing? Research is key!

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In this newsletter, we will give you some tips to take the stress out of hiring the right painter. Even if you have been given a recommendation, it’s important to take the time to assess the quality of their work. What works for your family, best friend or neighbour may not be an acceptable standard for you.  Ask these questions and at least you’ll be sure you’ve covered the basics.

1. Are you licensed? How long have you been painting?

A handyman can call himself a painter but it doesn’t mean he’s qualified or even particularly experienced. If you want a professional job you need to employ a qualified and experienced professional. A painting qualification will ensure that your painter has been thoroughly educated on everything from technique to onsite safety procedures. It also doesn’t hurt for the painter to have a few years experience in the industry.

3. Are the images on your website your own work?

The easiest way to see the painter’s previous work is by viewing images and reviews on their website. However, be aware that the images may not be thir own work. It’s easy to buy images from Shutterstock and the like. The best way is always to see some of their work. Satisfied customers are often happy to show off their finished project.

3. Can I see your references?

It’s fantastic to be given a recommendation by a friend, but what if you’re not? Ask the painter for the contact numbers or emails of some recent clients. This will help you investigate the quality of the painter’s work. Most genuine painters will be happy to oblige. Go and have a look at a couple of their recent jobs if you can.

4. What does your quote include?

The details of the quote can say a lot about the painter even before you get to the final price. Firstly it should be in writing and on their business letterhead. Look for their Business name, ABN or Business Registration, License Number. Check they’re fully insured. It should be a thorough quote that specifies the following as a minimum:
  • Rooms and surfaces to be painted
  • Preparation details such as cleaning, filling & sanding, sealing and undercoating.
  • Number of topcoats and type of paint eg. Low Sheen Acrylic, Semi gloss Enamel, etc
  • Paint brand eg. Dulux, Haymes, etc
  • Estimated timeframe for completion
  • Is there a need to hire scaffolding and who pays for this
  • Total cost? You can ask for a breakdown if you decide you need to do the work in stages
  • What brand of paint will you use?

 Be aware of painters who:

  • Substitute paint brands because they prefer working with another one in particular. This is a potential disaster as each paint company has their own bases and if you make up one brand’s paint in another brand’s base it will NOT be the same colour. I’ve had a client make the painter repaint their entire ground floor because they put a Dulux colour in a Taubmans base!
  • Fill empty brand name tins with inferior paint so it looks as though they’ve used quality paint as promised
  • Don’t prepare surfaces properly before painting so the paint cracks and chips easily or lifts right off the surface
  • Forget to mask windows and other surfaces. I’ve seen a painter spray paint onto a large surface (which is acceptable), but forgot to mask the windows in the room. It resulted in the windows needing to be replaced… a very costly exercise!!!
Above all, remember that you are absolutely entitled to ask these questions! Painting is an expensive exercise so you need to know you’re getting a professional who’ll do a fantastic job. It’s the difference between the perfect finish that enhances the look of your home, and the poor finish that lowers your property value.

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