ANSWERS TO YOUR
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For your convenience we have provided answers to the top-30 questions we generally get asked by our customers. While we can’t anticipate every question you might have, we have provided answers here that should cover the basics. If you have more specific questions feel free to simply pick up the phone and give us a call.
General painting questions
Some people repaint their homes when they buy them simply to change the color and others repaint just before they sell their home to enhance its curb appeal. Normally though, you want to have your house painted every 5-10 years, and every 4-7 years if it’s stained. Homes along the shoreline tend to need painting more often due to the effects of salt air. Some factors that determine the lifespan of your current paint job include the amount of prep work done the last time (sanding, scraping) and the quality of the paint used. If your house is not well insulated and lacks a good moisture barrier then moisture from inside the house could cause peeling. If you have leaky gutters or if your caulking is cracking and separating your paint job will suffer. Siding can shrink, crack or begin to cup and nails can pop if the paint’s weather protection is beginning to fail.
With stain you can see the wood beginning to dry out. Paint can become chalky or faded with direct sun exposure. Cheap paint with minimal pigment can begin to look like different shades depending on sun exposure as well. Stucco should be painted every 5-7 years and if it’s not it can begin to crack and pieces can fall off the house. Many people tend to get into a routine of painting their home every 5-7 years in the same way as you would change the oil on your car – so that they prevent any damage from starting in the first place.
For exterior painting we use an Alkyd / oil hybrid primer and a latex top coat. For solid stains we use latex based stain and oil for semitransparent stain. We use oil enamel paint for metal railings. Exterior oil-based paints were outlawed years ago so at this point nobody uses them. For interior paint we use latex top coats, alkyd / oil primer (or latex primer as well). Depending on the situation the interior top coat can be oil as well.
We only use Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paints. Each makes a low, medium and high-end version of their paints. We only use the high-end of their product lines. We will use a paint you choose, or may have already but our preference is one of the two brands mentioned.
We are licensed Home Improvement Contractors with the state of Connecticut and we are fully insured. We carry two million dollars of general liability insurance and five hundred thousand dollars of workers compensation coverage. Our HIC license number is 0630904.
We do any and all carpentry work that would relate to painting. You don’t need to hire an outside carpenter if there are issues, we can fix them as part of our painting prep process. We repair trim, molding, siding etc. We also sand and patch sheetrock and caulk. The point is, we don’t just paint, we give you the complete finish you are after.
YES – EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by the EPA (or an EPA authorized state). You should only use certified painting contractors who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.
It’s very simple for us to check, and we always do. We use a 3M lead check swab, we rub it on surface and if swab turns red, there’s lead. If you have specific questions about lead paint the EPA maintains a phone number you can call to ask questions: 1-800-424-LEAD
A couple of factors effect this decision. On the exterior we use a very thick primer and top coat of the highest quality paint made by Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. If you are staying in the same color or just a shade off then one coat of each will cover just fine. If the color is going to change dramatically then we use 2 coats of exterior paint. Stain jobs are two coats unless you insist on just one and the wood isn’t very dry. We occasionally will do two coats on the sunny side of the house and one elsewhere but normally we encourage you to use two coats. When we paint over aluminum or vinyl siding, we always paint two light coats.
The exterior paint and primers we use are rated for 35 degrees or warmer, as long as there’s no freezing conditions the nights before. We normally like to paint only when it stays around 42 degrees or warmer.
You should contact us at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Because of our scale and the number of crews we have, we can almost always accommodate someone with a firm finish date (for a party or for a house sale).
No, a quick phone call to answer some basic questions about your requirements (or an email reply to questions) is all that we need to give you an exterior painting quote. We need to know certain things like what you want included (house, garage, deck etc.) and if you require a lot of carpentry work or window re-glazing etc. We also need to know if you are planning a complete color change. We do have a mobile phone app you can use to speed the quote process for both exterior and interior painting.
For interior painting, we can’t give you an accurate and binding quote based on just a description. We need to at least see pictures of the rooms and wall surfaces etc.
That is no problem for us. That’s normally when people have free time so we often give quotes on weekends.
We can supply you with a set of paint samples (a fan deck) that you can look at when we meet with you. You can also get sample cards at places like Lowes and Home Depot.
For interior and exterior painting, we will generally need to know what your choices are the day before we start. For exterior painting, if we have a lot of prep work then you can decide even slightly after we get started. For interior painting, when we are doing prep work, we can put some sample colors on the wall for you to see how they look in real life as well.
We can prepare a quote quickly, usually we are able to give you a quote within 24 hours after looking at your project or talking to you and viewing pictures of the area you want painted.
We have pictures of our work (see the menu choice on our website labelled “pictures“) and we can gladly provide you with references.
We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. We also offer financing options via a third party bank. It sometimes makes sense to finance if you want to expand your project a bit to get everything painted at the same time, or if you are about to sell your house and just want to increase its curb appeal to sell it faster.
When we come out to paint...
To prepare for interior painting you can move small items and things that are fragile. You might want to take pictures or mirrors off the wall but only if you can easily handle them yourself.
We will move any heavy objects that we can’t work around and we will cover everything in plastic and tarps etc. For exterior painting you should move small items, like potted plants, away from the house. If you have window-based AC units you will want to move them inside your house. We can help you with that if needed. We do ask that you don’t park near your house and that you turn the hose water on for our use.
Yes, you can go to work, run errands, etc. We are fully licensed and fully insured. We know it can feel a bit invasive but we are only there to paint and make your house look great. We have worked inside and outside of hundreds of houses (you don’t have to clean before we get there!).
No, even if it’s a very large amount of damage (which we would include in a quote as a separate charge), we do all the repairs so you don’t have to. It’s part of our preparation process.
We will replace any rotten wood trim, siding, or shingles as needed so that when we are done your house is weatherproof and no longer actively suffering any further decay.
For an average house we send a crew of 3-5 painters. If it’s a very large house, or we are working on a tight timeline we may bring as many as 8-10. We have multiple crews working all over the state on any given day so whenever we need to concentrate resources we can. That’s an advantage most contractors can’t claim.
A typical house’s exterior painting (roughly 2500 square feet) takes about 5-7 days. It depends on the amount of sanding, repair, re-glazing etc. that is required. We bring a large enough crew to each job to get it done in a timely manner without rushing. We also make sure the job doesn’t drag on for weeks by sending one or two painters. Interior jobs usually take about the same amount of time depending on the number of rooms.
It’s rare, and we always watch the forecast. If it does happen, we come back when its dry, prep that side again and repaint the section effected.
If it’s additional work we can discuss it and just add additional time and materials to the quote. If you change your mind about the color after its been painted (it happens!) we would charge for the additional paint and time to repaint the section or room.
Exterior paint usually dries to the touch within two hours. It has to dry at least 4 hours in order for us to recoat it. Interior paint is dry to the touch generally in an hour or two.
No, we put everything we move back where it was, we remove all of our own waste, scrap and materials. We vacuum as needed; our goal is to make it look like we were never there.
This depends on the climate, sun exposure and the paint surface itself. If you have good prep, proper slow drying primer, good sanding and caulking, no rot, a good moisture barrier and no gutter issues then high-end paint (which is all we use) should last about 8-10 years. Stain is a bit trickier to judge, it depends on the amount of sun exposure, climate and how dark the stain is but it can last anywhere from 4 years up to 12 years.
We always have paint left over at the end of the job and we leave that with you if you need some (interior or exterior) for future touch-ups.
If you still have questions feel free to give us a call at the number listed below. We are more than happy to talk about your painting needs and answer any remaining questions you might have.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE QUOTE TODAY!