Checking Out Painters When I Need to Do Exterior Painting

Choosing the right painter for your home’s exterior isn’t just about freshening up its appearance—it’s about investing in your property’s value and ensuring its longevity. Whether you’re looking to boost curb appeal, protect your home from the elements, or simply change up the color, finding a trustworthy professional painter is crucial. But with so many options, how do you ensure you’re making the right choice?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through essential tips on what to look for in a professional painter, how to vet their reputation, and what you can do to prepare for a painting project.

Qualifications of a Professional Painter

When it comes to choosing a professional painter for your home’s exterior, understanding their qualifications can significantly influence your decision. Let’s delve into what makes a painter qualified so you can feel confident in your choice.

1. Essential certifications and training

First off, a well-trained painter is a must. Look for someone who has completed a professional painting apprenticeship or has received certification from a recognized trade school. These programs not only teach technical skills—like the proper ways to prepare surfaces, apply coatings, and use tools—but also ensure the painter understands industry standards for safety and quality.

Experience in the field is another form of training. A painter who has spent years on various projects will have honed their technique and developed a keen eye for detail. Don’t hesitate to ask about their past projects; this will give you insight into their expertise and style.

2. Insurance and licenses

Insurance and licensing are non-negotiable when it comes to hiring a professional painter. Why? Because they protect you and your property. A licensed painter is someone who has met the regulatory standards set by local authorities, which often includes passing skill tests and maintaining a professional standard.

Insurance, including liability and worker’s compensation, is equally critical. It ensures that you’re not held financially responsible if accidents happen on your property or issues arise after the job is done. This level of protection is vital for peace of mind.

How to Assess Reputation and Reliability

Choosing the right painter isn’t just about ticking off qualifications; it’s also crucial to gauge their reputation and reliability. After all, you want someone who not only knows their craft but also stands behind their work. Here’s how you can dig a bit deeper to find a painter whose reputation precedes them—in a good way.

1. Check reviews and references

Start by diving into online reviews. Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and even local forums can provide a wealth of information about a painter’s work ethic and quality. Look for comments about how the painter handled the job from start to finish, their punctuality, and their interaction with clients. Are there multiple mentions of the same issues, or do reviewers rave about their professionalism? This feedback can be telling.

But don’t stop at online research. Ask the painter for references and follow up with them. Speaking to past clients can give you insights that reviews might not, such as how the painter handled challenges or their follow-through on promises made. A reliable painter will happily provide references and proud to show off their work.

2. Experience matters

Experience is a significant factor in assessing reliability. A painter with years—or better yet, decades—of experience likely has a proven track record. This experience can also indicate their ability to handle different types of exterior surfaces and weather conditions, which is particularly important for enduring results.

Moreover, experienced painters are generally better at estimating the amount of time and materials needed for a project, which can save you from unexpected costs and extended timelines. They’ve seen it all and know how to adapt to the unique challenges your home might present.

3. Consistency is key

Lastly, consider the consistency of a painter’s work over time. A painter who consistently delivers quality results is likely to continue doing so. Check their portfolio, if available, or request before-and-after photos of recent jobs. This visual proof can speak volumes about their skill and attention to detail.

Preparations Before Hiring a Painter

Big Painting Job

Getting your house painted is exciting, but before you jump into hiring a professional, there are some essential preparations to consider. These steps not only help the painting process go smoothly but also ensure you get the most out of your investment. Let’s walk through what you should do before the painters arrive.

1. Select your color palette

Choosing the right colors can be the most thrilling part of the process. Whether you want a fresh take on your current color or a completely new palette, look at samples in different lights throughout the day. Remember, colors can look dramatically different under the sun compared to cloudy weather or in the shade. Don’t hesitate to buy sample pots and paint small sections on different areas of your exterior to see how the color truly looks on your home.

2. Identify problem areas

Take a walk around your home and note any issues like peeling paint, mildew spots, or areas where moisture collects. Pointing these out to your painter beforehand can help them better prepare for the job and ensure long-lasting results. It’s also a good idea to have any necessary repairs done before the painting starts. This proactive approach prevents future problems and makes sure the paint job looks its best.

3. Clear and clean the area

Help your painters by clearing away any furniture, planters, or decorative items from the work area. Trim back any bushes or tree branches that might interfere with access. A clear space allows painters to move around freely and safely, which can speed up the job and reduce the risk of accidents.

Additionally, give your house a good wash. Removing dirt, dust, and cobwebs ensures the paint adheres well and provides a clean, even surface. Most professional painters will handle this, but confirming it beforehand can avoid any misunderstandings.

4. Communicate clearly

Lastly, good communication is key to a successful painting project. Discuss your expectations, the scope of the job, and any specific requests with your painter. Clarifying these details ahead of time can prevent any miscommunications and make sure both parties are on the same page.

By following these preparatory steps, you’re not just readying your home for a new coat of paint; you’re setting the stage for a professional job that enhances the beauty and value of your property. With everything in place, you can look forward to the transformation with peace of mind.

Red Flags in Selecting a Painter

Hiring the right painter is crucial, but knowing what warning signs to watch out for is equally important. Being aware of these red flags can save you from potential headaches and ensure that your painting project is in trustworthy hands. Here are some key indicators that might suggest a painter might not be the best fit for your project.

1. Unusually low quotes

While everyone loves a good deal, quotes that seem too good to be true often are. Extremely low bids may indicate that a painter is cutting corners—perhaps by using lower-quality paints, skipping essential prep work, or employing less skilled labor. It’s important to compare quotes from several painters and understand what is included in each. If one quote is significantly lower, ask why. This can help you avoid poor-quality work that may cost you more in the long run.

2. Lack of formal contract

A professional painter should always provide a clear, detailed contract before starting work. This contract should outline the scope of the project, the types of paints and materials to be used, the timeline, and the payment schedule. A lack of a formal contract is a big red flag; it can lead to disputes about expectations and deliverables. Always insist on a contract—it protects both you and the painter.

3. Vague or nonexistent references

If a painter hesitates to provide references or their references don’t check out, this is a warning sign. Reliable painters who are proud of their work will have a list of satisfied customers who can vouch for their professionalism and quality. Take the time to contact these references, and if possible, visit previous job sites to see the painter’s work firsthand.

4. Poor communication

Good communication is the backbone of any successful home improvement project. If a painter is consistently hard to reach, doesn’t communicate clearly, or fails to provide updates, it could indicate potential problems down the line. You want a painter who responds promptly and ensures you’re informed throughout the process.

5. No proof of insurance or license

As mentioned earlier, insurance and proper licensing are non-negotiable. They ensure that the painter is qualified and covered in case of accidents or damage. A painter without proof of insurance or a valid license is risking your property and their safety. Always verify these credentials before hiring someone.

Comparing Quotes and Services

Man painting wall with roller

Selecting the right painter involves more than just accepting the first quote you get. Comparing different quotes and understanding the services offered can help ensure you get the best value and quality for your investment. Here’s how to effectively navigate this part of the process.

1. Understand what’s included

When reviewing quotes, it’s crucial to look beyond the numbers and understand exactly what each painter is offering. Does the quote include surface preparation, priming, and clean-up? What type and quality of paint are they using? Are minor repairs covered in the scope? Differences in these details can justify price variations and impact the overall quality and longevity of the paint job.

2. Break down the costs

Ask each painter to provide a detailed breakdown of costs. This should include labor, materials, the number of coats of paint, and any additional services. A transparent cost breakdown not only helps you compare quotes more effectively but also ensures there are no hidden fees or surprises.

3. Compare warranties

A warranty can be a significant indicator of quality and confidence in workmanship. Compare the warranties different painters offer to see how long they stand behind their work. A longer warranty might suggest a higher quality of service and materials.

4. Evaluate professionalism and timeliness

Consider each painter’s professionalism and their commitment to meeting timelines. How quickly did they respond to your inquiry? Were they punctual for meetings? Professional behavior often translates into how they manage their painting projects.

5. Assess compatibility

Finally, consider how well you communicate with the painter and if they understand your vision for the project. A good rapport can make the entire process smoother and ensure that your expectations are met.


Choosing the right professional painter for your home’s exterior is an important decision that goes beyond just picking a color. It’s about ensuring that the job is done well, with high-quality materials, and that it adds value and beauty to your home. By following the guidelines we’ve discussed—from checking qualifications and understanding what’s included in a quote to being mindful of red flags and comparing warranties—you can make an informed decision that you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.

As you consider your options, remember that selecting a local, reputable company like Custom Painting, Inc. can offer additional peace of mind. With our proven track record, commitment to quality, and excellent customer service, Custom Painting, Inc. stands out as a reliable choice for your exterior painting needs. Contact us at (925)-294-8062 or through an online form to get an appointment.