Painters should have a proper business license; this gives them access to wholesale pricing and lines of credit at a paint supply store. It's also important that your painter is bonded and insured. Bonding means that a third party company has reviewed the professional and has granted him or her a certain amount of surety bonding. The bond helps protect the homeowner from financial damage if the contractor refuses to complete work or doesn't pay subcontractors. Insurance protects both the painter and the homeowner in the event of an accident, injury or damage to the property. Ask to see all of these pieces of information and verify the dollar amounts.
Every painting job develops a unique choreography as ladders go up and come down and tarps are unrolled and folded up. But two basic principles remain: 1) Start at the top and work down. 2) Work in the shade, out of the sun's glare. As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.)
Painters often tint primer close to the color of the top coat, but Wallis thinks that's a recipe for "holidays," or missed spots. Instead, he tints his primer a contrasting color. "If I can see the color coming through, I know I need to apply more paint," he says. On the cottage shown in this story, he chose a gray-blue primer to go under a peach top coat. Westminster House Painting
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