I managed commercial construction projects for many years, have built and remodeled several properties, and never once have I encountered any of these scams. The tone of this article is deeply troubling. The author seems to be saying that ALL painting contractors are inherently dishonest, and that has not been my experience. The underlying advice here is sound: get it all in writing and cover as many contingencies as possible--so pointing out potential pitfalls like coat coverage is helpful. But do that in the spirit of clear communication of expectations, not with the expectation that the person you are hiring will try to cheat you at every turn. Not every contractor takes outrageous advantage of change orders; not every contractor will sneak past necessary preparation and/or repairs. Contractors of all sorts get a bad rap as it is; reinforcing a stereotype with articles written from this point of view just seems unproductive.

Steve, not only did you come off with an edge regarding the article written for Angie's list but you came awfully close to being slanderous. The article was written if you will have read his bio by a very well established professional painter. The issue regarding the deposit was put in question by a responder. I have read your response in full as you suggested, and companies as large as yours are just as likely to use the tricks of the trade as the small guy as you suggest, if not more so. A large company has less oversight and workers get lazy with the boss not looking over their shoulder. I have had experience in this area, and thought that i was dealing with a very reputable company that had been recommended by a couple friends, my insurance company, and my adjuster who had dealt with the company. I had terrible problems with the company, who do full restorations and like your company paint in all areas. To finalize your statement that Established businesses do not cheat customers is completly false and is a very misleading statement. I am suprised that Angies list allowed you to post such an outragious comment. All you have to do is look in the Civil lawsuits section of the Established businesses that are being sued or are under investigation for fraud and cheating their customers!
I had florida home painters paint my tri level. Joe is a nice guy and owner who quoted the job. He was very helpful and gave us a paint sample book to choose from. He help to suggest colors for the patio floors which was a nice compliment to the color of the house.  His crew was fast and clean during the painting process. They used quality sherwin Williams paint the whole experience was great i would recommend checking them out for a quote
Not only do I agree with what you are saying; but, I will not use Angie's List for referrals again. Their "A" rated painter did some of the exact things they are now warning against; however, they are still rated "A". I sent in a review and it took eight weeks to post it. They allowed the contractor to lie about what happened as a response. I had proof and photos. Angie's List is a scam; instead ask neighbors and friends for referrals!
When I had my interior painting done, after clearing out all of the furniture, myself, I also removed all of the wall plates in all the rooms to be painted. They were a beige color and probably yellowed. The wall was originally an off white and I had it painted a light-mid grey, so those wall plates would look terrible. After pricing replacement plates, switches and outlets (Would have been way too expensive to replace all of them), I decided to just paint all of the wall plates, switches and outlets (Used just a black gloss spray paint). I sprayed the plates outside and used a small brush on the switches and outlets. It worked out just fine and the blacks plates, etc compliment the wall color. It has been 7 years and the plates, switches, outlets are holding up well.
This guy Joe told me he was an expert at refinishing wood doors so I hired him but he wanted to paint the whole house to make it worth it. He then sent two Hispanics. Only one of whom spoke English . They painted the house left a huge mess then painted my mahogany doors with primer. The next day they painted them brown thus ruining about 5000 dollars in doors .I was at work in the four hours it took them to ruin my doors. Never leave anyone alone without watching. That was my mistake. The owner Joe refused to fix them and was such a crazed person shaking and starting to cry so I paid him 4000 dollars to go away. A week later that ugly brown paint bubbled up. Again I texted him the pictures and asked him to fix them. He refused . I plan on taking them to small claims court. He is  not what he says he is. He actually didn't touch my house he has no idea how to refinish wood doors. Please come by and see my awful paint job at 615 SE 26th Ave. Ft. Lauderdale ,Fl  33301 Observe closely the brown paint over white primer showing through. So embarrassing.
This article with comments was terrific - it was so informative. I found the advice useful. It addressed specifics like the condition of the dry wall surfaces, any additional repairs such. pin holes, chalking, smoothing of wall surfaces, absorption of paint and number of coats that may be needed. It should also include insurance coverage, and reflect the clean-up afterwards. Having a written contract with the company's letterhead is a must.
Another good rule of thumb is to test out colors on your home before you start. Once you’ve noted what others have done, and have visited a paint supply retailer to get some more ideas, test out a few potential colors on a nondescript part of your home just to make sure it’s what you expect. Colors that look fantastic on a tiny brochure can strike you a lot differently when they’re covering an area of a couple square feet. Try out a few options so you can compare them, and give yourself a few days to mull over your impressions. Taking this advice can save you the dilemma of what to do those 20 gallon buckets of “Green Myth” that you quickly realized looked more like split pea soup once you started slopping it on.

This was very helpful. I wonder if i would really follow through and check to see if my painter was cheating me. I used a painter I found on Angie's List. This was 5 years ago. He did a great job. I know he did patching only for about a day and a half. We decided on the kind of paint before he started. that is what he used. I don't know if I could stay on top of him and watch him open every can of paint.
For interior paint I prefer the semi-gloss, provides a very subtle sheen and is super easy to clean -no flaking, chipping, etc. I've painted a lot, and found that Sherwin Williams Ovation paint has been the easiest to use, and provides the best coverage. I even painted my ceilings with it and WOW! I was done it no time at all, with perfect coverage.
The article was well-intended, but it makes it sound like painters are the crooks and consumers are innocent victims. That is blatantly un-true. Maybe there should be a follow-up article that educates consumers how not to be shysters by expecting a ton more than they said at the start, or not paying the balance of the job unless something else is done that was not in the contract. Tradesmen have a rough road when dealing with consumers that have short arms but long lists of by-the-way items. No, I'm not a painter...
Being in the business for 25+ years I have had the privilege of working with thousands of clients. Although they all came from different circumstances and backgrounds they all had one common goal in mind. Every one of them wanted to be respected, receive top value for their money, and get the best possible paint job for their most prized possession, their house!
When you’re ready to tackle your next paint project, we offer an amazing choice of colors from top paint brands, at the best price, and expert know-how to help you do the job right. Start outside by taking an inventory of your siding and trim. If your paint is fading or peeling off your siding, start the prep work by repairing the siding and trim with some waterproof patching compound. Once dry, sand and apply primer. Then, repaint those areas until your exterior looks fresh and clean.  

I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.
The beauty of Helena is renowned. It has the Continental Divide, Lake Helena, and the Big Belt Mountains with endless recreational opportunities. Long cold winters, however, are a part of this natural beauty, and residents know there is the potential for snowfall at the drop of a hat. Homeowners know the damage and wear that this kind of weather can take on the appearance of their homes. At Helena College Pro, we understand the extra costs that are associated with the upkeep of your Helena home. That is why we can help you keep costs down by providing a quality service at an affordable price. Helena College Pro hires local entrepreneurs who manage their very own teams of House Painters to provide much-needed painting services to the locals of Helena. We train our employees in the techniques that are used by professional painters while informing them on the difference between quality products and supplies. But our training doesn’t end there. We want our Helena house painters to become true entrepreneurs that provide customer satisfaction—no matter the situation or project.
It has the potential to be a good segment, but assuming all of the 'nightmares' might not be super obvious, I think instead of just laughing at pictures and making snarky comments, it would be helpful if they pointed out what exactly is wrong, why it's wrong, and what would be involved in remediating such a problem.With a home inspection as part of a real estate transactions, buyers are often faced with a decision of what to do with the information from the inspection- ex. do we walk away, asked for it to be fixed, just accept it, etc. So having the guys give that sort of context to the pictures would be helpful as well For example in the second photo with the little step, that might be really simple and cheap to fix, or maybe it requires a whole new porch be poured. Explaining that would make this so much better vs just snarking at the photo
When you’re ready to tackle your next paint project, we offer an amazing choice of colors from top paint brands, at the best price, and expert know-how to help you do the job right. Start outside by taking an inventory of your siding and trim. If your paint is fading or peeling off your siding, start the prep work by repairing the siding and trim with some waterproof patching compound. Once dry, sand and apply primer. Then, repaint those areas until your exterior looks fresh and clean.  

Back to the article. You can add water to all latex based paints / thinner to oil based paint. The tinting base has absolutely nothing to do with it. Say you are working outside and throughout the day you have to add a little water to keep the same consistency. If somebody really tried to add 20% to 50% water they no longer would be painting they'd be performing a whitewash or pickle finish.

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