1. Get several estimates
Before hiring a painter, get multiple estimates. Find recommended painters from friends. Ask a painter to specify how many hours will be spent on preparation and on painting, names of products to be used, how many coats will be applied and the cost for any additional coats.
2. Get a contract
Now, make sure you get your agreement in writing. Include time estimates for each aspect of the job. Use a simple contract, like “This is what we are going to do: We are going to caulk and putty the windows. We’re going to put two coats of paint using Pittsburgh Manor Hall eggshell, color to be determined.”
3. Don’t wait too long to repaint
Repaint — exteriors especially — before visible signs of wear appear. Don’t wait until you see peeling or flaking paint. If you must spend 40 hours preparing the surface before we can paint, that time is going to result in a lot of extra costs. But if I can spend 10 hours preparing the surfaces to be painted, you’re going to save money.
4. Think through color
By recoating your existing colors instead of changing colors, you may get away with one coat of paint rather than two, if the surface is in good condition. Also, avoid very deep colors, or use them on trim or accents. Bright reds and yellows may require four or five coats to cover well, so if you must use them, choose premium paints to get the job done with fewer coats. Darker colors look great on exteriors, but they fade sooner than lighter colors, so you’ll have to repaint more often. You can be more daring and bolder on the inside than you should be on the outside. If you want to have a fire-engine-red door, you can paint that every two years and it can be fresh and lively.”
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