How to Work with Painting Contractors

How to Work with Painting Contractors - Perkins Painting - Farmington, CTPersonally, I hate painting.

Well, let me walk that back a little bit. What I actually hate is all of the stuff that goes on before and after painting – the prep and the cleanup. I especially hate prepping.

Mind you, the actual painting part can be fun. Watching a wall or ceiling miraculously change from old and boring to new and colorful – right before your eyes – can be quite rewarding.

But, all that prepping and cleaning, if I never had to do that – ever – I might be motivated to paint a lot more often than I do.

Now, let’s talk about you. Do you feel the same way about painting as me? Do you procrastinate painting that dusty old wall, or that dingy old ceiling, because you know that you’ll probably get the most important part – the prep – wrong?

Believe me – the paint job will never be ideal if the prep is incomplete or haphazard. It just seems to be a law of physics, or the universe, or something.

You can turn to a painting contractor, hoping to find an interior painter who will be meticulous and careful enough to maximize your living space. When you do, you can improve your chances of getting that one-in-a-million painter by asking the right questions. This quick checklist can help:

Check references

A good (hopefully great) painter will be happy to show you how good he or she is.

If the painter is not forthcoming with information about prior paint jobs, you may want to progress to the next painter on your list.


Ask the painting contractor about how he or she goes about planning the job. How organized does the painter, and the crew, seem to be?

If the painting crew seems to be unorganized or unsure of their overall strategy, you might want to skip this group altogether.

Surface preparation

You certainly don’t want someone to come into your house and just slap some paint up on a wall.

Does the painter remove wall plates and other semi-permanent fixtures beforehand, or do they try to paint around them? Will the painter thoroughly wash surfaces beforehand? Will they scrape loose paint, and spackle any holes or imperfections, and caulk cracks if necessary?

Proper execution of these tasks will create the conditions for the perfect paint job.

Primers and priming

Most modern paints need no separate primer, but some situations do require it. Find out if and why or why not the painter will prime beforehand, and what kind of primer they use.

Taping and drop cloths

Find out the painter’s taping and/or drop cloth strategy. This can be especially important if you have wood baseboards or window frames that are not the same color or finish as the paint (i.e. – stained wood).


Assuming the painters have used tape, drop cloths, removed light switches, etc. – will they clean everything up and replace anything they removed previously?


Will the painting stop at some point to allow for you to inspect the work? This is extremely important toward the end of the job (before you actually pay them), and is a good strategy to incorporate at specific intervals.

While I was researching this article, I found a great website to use as a resource. I especially like their “15 Step Method for a Great Looking, Long Lasting Paint Job” page. Very detailed.

The folks at Perkins Painting are exterior and interior house painters serving the Farmington, CT area. Check out their website – it is loaded with tons of great information to help you get your painting done.

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