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Questions to Ask Potential Painting Contractors

Key interview questions to ask painters, before you hire!

You are looking to hire a professional for your project. We believe that hiring a contractor should not be difficult.   Get to know your contractor, make sure you can work with them. Find out who you are allowing into your home. You are entrusting this company and their employees with your home. With the following information and interview questions we hope to arm you with good information you can use to compare  companies  and make the best choice possible.

1.  Are they insured?

If a worker is hurt while on a customer’s property, the homeowner could be held financially liable if the contractor does not have sufficient insurance to cover their employees.  Ask the contractor if he or she has worker’s compensation.  You can ask to see a copy of both the contractor’s General Liability coverage as well as their Workman’s Compensation policy.

2.  Can they Provide References?

Before working with any painting contractor, it is a good idea to check some of their past references.  Any painting contractor should be able to supply a list of homes that he or she has recently painted and allow potential customers to speak with homeowners who have had first-hand experience working with the contractor.

3.  Do they have a pictures of past jobs?

It helps to see pictures to truly determine the quality of a painting contractors work.. Find high-quality pictures of the painter’s past work that include the staff working in the photos to make sure they aren’t using stock photography. Look for clean-cut lines in corners where there are different colors meeting and even finishes on walls.

4.  Do they keep a clean work place?

Experienced painting contractors understand it is important to keep your home neat and clean. At the end of every day, the painters should take the time to clean up all the areas in which they worked. When they leave the job they should leave it as clean if not cleaner than before they came.

5.  How will my house be prepped for painting?

This is an important question.  Holes, stress cracks, nail pops, etc. in walls must be repaired.  Any loose or peeling paint must be scraped and/or sanded to remove as much of the old paint as possible. Primer should be used after all repairs. Proper masking, taping, and floor and furniture covering are a standard part of any professional paint job.  For homeowners who are unaware of it, preparation is equally as important as the painting process itself.

6.  What grade of paint will be used?

Unless the homeowner requests a “contractor’s grade” of paint be used in order to save a few dollars, the homeowner should demand that a premium-grade paint is applied.  The cheaper grades of paint will not stand up to normal wear and tear, nor the washing or scrubbing necessary in most homes.  The old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to paints. The premium paints have been chemically designed for maximum wearability, resistance to fading, and excellent washability.  Also, put in writing ahead of time how many coats of paint will be applied.Two coats of paint should always be applied when changing color.

7.  Does the work come with a warranty?

A paint job using premium-grade paint should last somewhere around ten years, depending on the weather conditions in the homeowner’s area.  In any event, a painting contractor should offer a guarantee with the job and the ways in which the guarantee will be honored should be spelled out.  A vague guarantee is meaningless; get the terms in writing.

8.  Are they involved in the community?

It is an added bonus if you learn that any type of business gives back to the community. Not only does it show a confidence that the business provides the best in quality work, but it also shows that it cares about the people they work for.

9.  Will there be someone to answer questions during the job?

It is very common for questions to arise after the contract has been signed and the job started.   Not only should the contractor guarantee that questions will be answered in a timely fashion after the job is started, but the referrals that the contractor provided should also be asked how good the contractor’s communication is once the contract has been signed.


Do your homework before you schedule your bid.   Use the previous list of questions that we provide to zero in on your expectations. It is these expectations that must be set with your contractor that will ensure you of getting exactly what you want. This is the only way to get truly comparable bids.  Finding the right painting contractor is not easy, and the decision should not be made on cost alone.  One way to ensure a good experience is to make sure your expectations are clear.

7 thoughts on “Questions to Ask Potential Painting Contractors”

  1. My house is in dire need of a new paint job and I’m wanting to hire a painter to get this done. Thank you for suggesting that I should look at pictures of past jobs they’ve done. I’ll have to keep this in mind as I search for the best painters in my area.

  2. I like that you pointed out that we should choose those who offer warranties. As you mentioned, this will ensure that the end result will be a good one for a long period of time. I will share this tip with my sister now that she will be having her house repainted in preparation for selling it because they will move to a different state soon.

  3. You’ve got some great tips for finding a painting contractor. I love how you said that the work should come with a warranty. We’ll be sure to find a company which has a guarantee like that. It will be nice to find someone to paint our basement with confidence like that.

  4. I like your tip to make sure that the painting contractor you hire is insured. My husband wants to repaint the exterior of our home because he said it will increase curb appeal. I’ll be sure to find a painting contractor that is insured.

  5. Not many people to think to ask their painting contractor questions before hiring them, so it is great to get an idea of what to ask. I particularly like that the article recommends asking about the house prep. After all, you will want to know if you need to do any work before the painter starts working on your home.

  6. I appreciate the suggestion of asking for pictures of them working on past jobs to see what sort of quality we could expect from them. We’ve decided that the color of our home is unpleasant and we’re thinking of repainting it. Having fresh, bright walls might help our home feel more peaceful and less dingy.

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