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Interview Your Professional House Painter Before Hiring

hiring-painterHey there Friends…….as most of you know our huge project for this year has been our new home…..and thank goodness, it is just about complete.

I don’t know about you, but I am very particular about how a room/home is painted. 

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a Master Painter (I wanted to hire him, but he was way out of my budget) but he was nice enough to give me some helpful advice on hiring a contract painter and what to expect.

Here is my conversation with Ben the owner of Bell Painting Company and Master Painter.  

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Q & A session:

Question:   Hi Ben…..thanks so much for taking time to give me and my readers a few tips on selecting a painter.

Answer: No problem, hopefully, I can help out.

Question:  So I guess the first question is how do I go about finding a qualified paint?

Answer:  First, I would recommend that if you have a friend or know someone who you really like how their home is painted, ask them who they used. Second, you can also ask your local paint store for a list of their top painters, but you will still have to do some follow-up work on this list. Word of month is a big deal in regard to knowing what you will get.

Question:  Ok, so say I have a couple of painters I think might work, what then?

Answer:  You will want to meet with the painters, on site. Show them what you want to be painted, ask them questions, discuss your timeline.

Question:  What type of questions should we be asking?

Answer:  There are some very important questions to ask to get a feel for their work style and if they would be a good fit for you.

  1. Ask how many workers they have working with them?
  2. What brand of paint do they use?
  3. What is their process of painting walls, trim?
  4. How long have they been in the business?
  5. Do they have references to give you of other clients they have worked for?
  6. When can you expect a quote?
  7. What is their normal payment draw schedule?

Question:  In regard to the question about their process. What answers should we get?

Answer:  Any qualified, good painter will say that he sprays the doors and trim and rolls the walls. Professional painters never brush the walls or trim.
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Question: Paint brand,  what is best?

Answer:  There are many good paints on the market…Behr, Porter and Sherwin Williams to name a few.  The important issue for the homeowner is, of course, the color but the most important is the sheen?  Very, Very important.  I recommend that you use a washable almost flat paint for your walls. Trim, painting or staining, should be a semi-gloss or gloss.  Remember not all paint sheens are the same. EXAMPLE: Eggshell at Porters is a very washable flat appearance paint.  Eggshell at Sherwin Williams has a bit of a shine, so totally different looks. Porter’s eggshell and Sherwin Williams Pro Mar 200 low luster would be the same sheen, I recommend one of these.

Question: So how does the homeowner get the sheen they want?

Answer:  If you have used paint in the past that you like the sheen you can always take that sample into your local paint store and compare the sheens of other paints.  Also, ask the paint store to give you a sample of the paint so you can see the sheen before you make your final selection. Any paint store can match the sheen to the color you want.


Question:  Once we do hire the painter, anything else?

Answer:  Oh yes, your work has only begun. (chuckle).

Question:  Really, I thought I could relax now.

Answer: No, not yet.

Question:  Ok, what should we be doing?

Answer:  As the painter begins, check on each step to ensure the paint is correct, color, sheen, etc. First, he should prime the walls. Next will be spraying the doors and trim.  Once that is completed, then the wall painting will start.  Check every few days on the work. All walls should get two coats of paint. If you see problems point them out.

Question: A question about the draw schedule. What should we expect?

Answer:  Normally after the drywall paint primer, the painter will ask for the first draw. This should be only a small portion of the total price. A 2nd draw should be after all the doors and trim is completed.  BTW – doors should be removed from the frames and sprayed and then rehung by the painter.  The final draw should not be paid until you have inspected all the work, go around and make note of any touch-ups you want. Drywall dings etc. If touch-ups are needed that should be completed and then you make the final draw payment which should be the remaining half of the total cost. The final payment is a big payment.

Question:  Thank you so much for your time today Ben…..I know that I feel better now knowing what I should be asking and what I should be looking for in order to get a qualified painter.

Answer:  You are very welcome…I hope it helps.

That concludes the interview.

Well, I took Ben’s advice…..Once my painter said he was done I did my inspection.

See all the sticky notes in the photo above.  

This is drywall dings or areas that needed additional paint.


More repairs…I know the painters were not liking me very much…


 A few more…….



The paint job is something you will be looking at every day.  

I found that checking on the work and progress each day really helped with keeping everything on track.  

Communicate to the painter what you want to be changed or fixed and that you will be doing a final walk-through at the end to make sure it has been done to your satisfaction. 

What experience have you had with a contract painter?  Did you like the results? 

Thanks for stopping by……we have lots more to do on the Farmhouse… up is final cleaning, final inspections and then we start the moving process. 



  1. January 5, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    This is such a great post and I’m so glad that you have shared this information! We have paint issues in our home that we are keeping track of so that they can be repaired. I wish we had had a chance to look things over while the painters were painting…it would have made such a difference! Hugs!!

    • BonBon
      January 6, 2016 / 10:51 am

      I know what you mean…..this is the first time I have had the opportunity to get the paint job done correctly.I have had to keep pushing back on the painters (I know they hate me) but it is their job after all and they do want a paycheck. Just know that yours can be corrected and your home is already so pretty. Hugs!!!

  2. Judy
    January 6, 2016 / 10:34 am

    i just finished reading your post. I usually do all my own painting. My home has white woodwork with cove molding. It need to be repainted, which would be a big job for me. Ive thought of hiring a professional. I have never heard that doors and trim should be sprayed. Why is that?

    • BonBon
      January 6, 2016 / 10:57 am

      Hi Judy…..I have done a lot of my own painting over the years as well. The reason for the spraying of trim and doors is that it gives a smooth, no brush streaks look. But also this is normally for new construction only, when the home is not yet furnished and walls painted. If you hire a professional to come in to do a repaint they will be brushing your trim but the bonus is they are so quick at it and saves you all the time and work and if they are good it will look fantastic. Just make sure to get references. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have additional questions. I can ask the Master Painter.

  3. January 11, 2016 / 11:36 am

    This was a great post – giving us some great tips to use when working with a painter. Pinning this for future reference.

    • BonBon
      January 11, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Thank you Cathy….I appreciate you stopping by.

  4. January 11, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    What a great list of questions for a painter/painters! I would have never thought of asking some of those questions!

    • BonBon
      January 11, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      Thank Ruthie…..Yes, I was thrilled when I learned this information and felt more in control of hiring a qualified painter.

  5. January 11, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    These are great tips! I have considered hiring painters on multiple occasions because I just hate painting that much.

    • BonBon
      January 11, 2016 / 5:12 pm

      I love having someone else paint. It goes so fast and looks so good. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. January 11, 2016 / 5:46 pm

    Congrats on the new house! I have always done my own painting in the past but lately I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have someone else do it. Pinning this for future reference!

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:17 pm

      Hi Roxanne……thanks, I am still unpacking boxes and it seems it will never end…Ha! It really is so nice to have someone paint. They are so fast, it is amazing what they can get done, when it would take me 10 x as long to do myself. Thanks for stopping in.

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:18 pm

      Hi Chanell ….thanks I hope it helps anyone that is thinking of hiring a painter.

  7. January 11, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Great questions to ask and great tips from a pro! Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the moving process!!

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:20 pm

      Thanks for stopping in. I am still unpacking but we are making progress. Its round two of emptying the boxes in the garage. Ha!

  8. January 12, 2016 / 9:43 am

    These are great tips! We painted our whole house ourselves, but both my husband and I have said if we ever move we are hiring someone to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:22 pm

      Yes. I have done a lot of painting in my day but after hiring painters a couple of different times I knew that when we built this house it was going to be done by professional painters. They get it done so fast and so good. We would of never got it done. Thanks for stopping in.

  9. January 15, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    Awesome post! We always paint ourselves and I’m absolutely in love with Sherwin Williams. Thanks so much for linking up with The Alder Collective and hope to see you again next week! Have an awesome week!

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:24 pm

      Thanks Cristi…..Sherwin Williams has great paint. I love your link party and I usually make it each week. Take care.

  10. March 17, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    I agree that the painting in your home is something you will look at everyday. I don’t have the time to commit to painting my home. I think hiring a professional service was the best for me.

    • BonBon
      March 22, 2016 / 11:29 pm

      Hi Kenneth……I have painted a few times over the years and boy is it a job and takes forever when its not something you do everyday. It is so nice to have a professional painter come in and get the job done quickly and so beautifully. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. March 30, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    Hi there, came across your blog post from the DIY Dreamer link party! A lot of great stuff on here and would love for you to check out our DIY fixer upper blog!

  12. April 7, 2016 / 10:55 am

    I’m really glad that the Master Painter you talked to was willing to answer these questions! I like the questions that he recommended you should ask a potential painter, especially the one about their process. I didn’t know that professional painters would know to spray the doors and trims and roll the walls. Thanks for the interview and all the information!

  13. November 15, 2016 / 1:53 am

    Hey BonBon
    I am going to renovate my home so I was very much in need of a professional’s advice.Your post was a great help.Thank you so much. I hope you must be having a great time in your new home.

    • BonBon
      November 15, 2016 / 9:54 am

      Hi Richard I am glad my post information was helpful to you. Good luck on your project, and yes I am enjoying my new home very much. Thank you for coming by. Enjoy your day.

  14. November 15, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    Thanks for the great tips for hiring a house painter! I hadn’t ever thought to check local paint stores for their opinions, but that is a great idea. Granted, like you said, I would need to do some additional research, but at least that’s a good start.

  15. January 30, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Hey BonBon,

    Thanks for this useful resource. I hired once a bad painter and well…It wasn’t a fun experience.
    Had I followed your questions, the situation would’ve been different.

    Nonetheless, better later than never, right? Just bookmarked your post for the future.


    • BonBon
      January 30, 2017 / 10:27 am

      Hi Oliver…..yes it can be a bad experience with the wrong painter. Thanks for stopping by and glad this may be of help to you. Enjoy your week.

      • February 12, 2017 / 9:15 am

        Likewise, thanks for replying. Glad to have found your site!

  16. Ivy Baker
    May 10, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    I would have never thought about asking a painter question before hiring them to paint my home. The question you pointed out that I liked the best was about the schedule. Asking beforehand how long the process would take is smart. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be out of my home for a long time.

    • BonBon
      May 10, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      Hi Ivy…..Thanks for stopping by…I have found that asking questions really does help with finding the right painter. I appreciate your comments. Enjoy your day!

  17. May 11, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Definitely a painting job is something one must consider when doing renovations as this has great impact on the outcome. Glad that you are the kind that’s very particular with this stuff and you also do your inspection as well. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  18. June 27, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    You mentioned in the article that you should look for a painter that puts two layers of paint on each wall. I want to paint the living room and family room of my home, as I am planning on redecorating. With two layers of paint, it would probably keep its color for a long time and be more durable.

  19. June 30, 2017 / 12:57 am

    We all need to paint our homes with some frequency and unless we do it ourselves we need to hire a painter. Thank you for these practical questions and remind us to inspect. The sticky notes are easy to use, thank you for the tip.

  20. August 2, 2017 / 5:46 am

    I appreciate your post, these information really helps ๐Ÿ™‚ painting job is not a easy, so we need to always hire a professional painter. Thanks for sharing !

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