Ten Tips for Hiring a Painting Contractor

Summer is here for some and just around the corner for others here in Canada. It is time to start thinking about doing some painting! There are lots of painting jobs to do.

Should you Do It Yourself or hire a contractor for some of the bigger painting projects?  Your house is important and the results should be everything you want.

beautiful house

Here is a check list from The Paint Quality Institute to help in choosing a painting contractor that will provide a quality job.

1.      Specify the Work:  To accurately compare quotes, each contractor must be quoting for the same work.  Prepare a simple list of the work required, specifying exactly which areas need painting, what gloss level and colour you want, and when you would like it to be completed.

2.      Get Quotes:  Talk with several contractors, and ask for written quotes.

3.      What is the Proposed Painting Process?  Check the details of what the contractor will do for each surface to be painted, including:

–          Surface preparation

–          Priming (including type and brand of primer)

–          Finish coats (type of paint, gloss level, brand, colours, and number of coats)      

 4. How Will Your Assets Be Protected?  How will the contractor protect the areas around the painting project?  For example, will nearby plantings be protected when the exterior is being painted?  How will furniture, fixtures and floors be protected during interior painting? painter high up

5.      Timing:  When will the work be started?  And finished?  How many painters will be working on the job?  What will the remedy be if the job is not completed on time?

6.      Warranty Protection:  Is there a warranty on the work?  Does it cover labor and materials or just labor?  How long is the warranty, and what is the remedy if there is paint failure?

7.      Recommendations:  Ask for the names of previous customers from each contractor as references, and contact them to get their recommendation.

8.      Presentation:  Is the contractor courteous, businesslike and appropriately dressed?  A dirty, unkempt appearance may indicate a lack of care on the job.

9.      Response:  Is the contractor punctual with appointments and in returning phone calls, and generally interested in doing business with you?  If the responses are slow before the job is awarded, improvement is unlikely when these things are important during the project.

10.  Paint Quality:  A painter has access to a number of products which are manufactured to different quality levels.  Insist on a top quality product.  The little extra it costs initially will pay handsomely because top quality 100% acrylic paints last much longer than ordinary paint and cost less over the lifetime of the paint job.

These ten helpful tips should ensure you a top quality job from a well qualified painting contractor.  Now you can sit back and let the professionals do all the hard work, giving you more time for other things.

happy woman

Check out General Paint’s Fresh Air colour card at any store or dealer for great exterior colour combinations.  Here are just a couple.



Don’t forget to check out our Design blog: Colorlife© The Emotion of Colour  @ www.generalpaintblog2.com for great colour and design discussions!

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Written by Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince, Colour Stylist for General Paint, has 21 years in the colour and paint industry. Colour is her passion and she is a self proclaimed paint geek.


  1. I love using different colours of paint to draw attention to a room. The possibilities are endless!

  2. I’m painting my house and trying to find a good contractor to help me out. I had no idea that there was a process for painting. I’ll have to make sure that the painting contractor has a warranty and that they do their best.

  3. I am going to need to have some painting done at our office soon, so this is very helpful. I definitely think that the contractor’s presentation is important. Would you suggest that I try to meet a few different painting contractors to see how they present themselves?

  4. I hadn’t thought about asking a painting contractor about the kind of paint they use. I can see why asking this can be very helpful; when trying to get a quality job done. I will make sure to ask about the quality of the paint as well as the other advice you have provided, Thank you for posting.

  5. These are great tips for those considering hiring a painting contractor. I like the questions asked in point four. Oftentimes we don’t think about how are personal items will be protected when we hire someone to work on our home, but we do need to be thinking about it and coming up with a plan so that if something goes amiss we are aware of it. It would not be good if something you held dear was destroyed due to painting or repairs being done on the home.

  6. My sister wants to get the walls on her main floor painted, as the old color isn’t quite to her liking. You advised making sure that the painting contractor has a warranty, and to consider how long the warranty is. If the contractor has a good warranty, they are likely confident that their paint will last, and look good for a long time. Thanks for the advice.

  7. I like that you suggest to prepare a list of things that the painter will need to do. I can see why this would help you get an accurate list of quotes before making your decision. My mom is wanting to hire a painter to help her paint all the rooms in her basement. I’ll have to help her make this list so that she can use it when getting a consultation.

  8. I am hoping to get my home repainted, so I appreciate the tips for finding a good contractor. I like your idea of getting quotes from several different contractors to compare. I used to think just picking the first one I found was okay, but now I know better.

  9. Thanks for the great advice on what to do when looking for a painting contractor. My wife and I recently moved and really need someone who can work some flexible hours. I never knew that personality was so important! Thanks again!

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