How to Hire a Painting Contractor

There are certain home improvement projects, like electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC installation, where you’d naturally turn to a pro. But others, such as painting, seem like a no-brainer for a DIY project. After all, everyone knows how to roll paint on a wall, right? However, painting, like any other craft, can be more complex. It comes with its own equipment, specialized knowledge and skill set. Hiring a painter can help ensure you get the best and longest-lasting results for your paint job. So when you’re starting your next painting project, it may be worth hiring a paint contractor to help with the project. Read on to find out how to hire a paint contractor.

What Is a Painting Contractor, Anyway? And What Do They Do?

Professional painting contractors are painters who work for a general contractor or are hired directly by a homeowner. Painting contractors are usually small outfits, ranging from the solo painting pro to the small company of 15-20 painters. They mainly focus on painting, but some specialize in other areas like staining, wallpapering, painting cabinets and drywall repair.

Below are painting contractors’ typical responsibilities:

  • Prepping the area, such as protecting the floors and covering furniture
  • Surface preparation, such as removing wallpaper, repairing drywall, patching, sanding, stripping old paint from the walls, taping the edges
  • Priming
  • Painting, including detail work such as the trim, windows, doors, and ceilings
  • Touch-ups
  • Cleanup

How Do I Find A Contractor For Painting?

Word of mouth can often be the best way to find a trusted contractor. For example, many companies put up signs when they’re working on a home, so scope out signs in neighbors’ yards and ask your neighbor if they would recommend the painter. Alternatively, Paintzen has an extensive platform of paint contractors. Using Paintzen to hire your next painting contractor means you don’t have to research house painters, review several different estimates or worry about insurance and safety. All Paintzen paint contractors go through a background check, have insurance and more than five years of experience.

What to Look for When Hiring a Painting Contractor

There are several ways to assess the quality of painting contractors you’re considering hiring. Below are some of the top ways:

  • Online reviews
  • Contacting references
  • Reviewing past projects

Another essential consideration is only to consider painters who are insured and licensed where necessary. This ensures your home is protected against mishaps, which is especially important if you’re doing a project with oil-based products. Oil-based finishes like stains, varnishes, and polishes, can heat spontaneously as they dry. So, if an inexperienced or careless contractor leaves a pile of wet rags in a room, they can heat up spontaneously and catch on fire, putting your house at risk.

What Makes a Paint Contractor Worth Hiring?

Most contractors are equipped to do any paint job, from a single room to a whole house. A high-quality paint contractor should have years of experience with all products, surfaces and environments. In addition, they will have access to equipment or supplies they might need. With a high-quality painting contractor, you can expect the job to be completed quickly, with the highest quality.

While every painting contractor is different, it’s always important to ask and be clear on what is offered. However, below is what you can typically expect from a painting contractor:

  • An up-front discussion of your expectations and what they can realistically provide
  • The painter will cover the areas that aren’t going to be painted with tarps
  • The painter will prep the surface they’re painting – though don’t expect them to do major repairs. They’ll assume the surface is primarily ready to paint unless you say otherwise.
  • Paint the surfaces (two coats), typically on walls and ceilings
  • Paint baseboards and trim
  • Touch up missed spots
  • Clean-up
  • Final evaluation

How to Ask for an Estimate

While different painting contractors may price their jobs differently, it’s essential to have a baseline of questions to ask before hiring a painter.

  • Does the painter charge by the room size or hour? This average painter cost can vary based on experience, company, location, and the conditions of the walls.
  • What is included in the painter’s preparation and painting process? What is your preferred paint brand, how many coats are included, and what is the cost for additional coats of paint?
  • Depending on the state where you reside, ask if the painter is licensed and insured?
  • Can the painter provide a list of recent references?
  • Review a written contract outlining the scope of work that explains what you and the painter agreed is critical to have in writing. Having the details in writing will protect you and the painter if there is any miscommunication during your painting projects and will prevent any surprise fees.

8 Questions You Should Ask Your Paintzen Contractor

It’s important not to make any assumptions about your painter. While you have your initial discussion, there are several essential questions to ask your painting contractor.

Below is a suggested hiring a painter checklist

  1. Are the costs of paint and supplies included in the estimate?
  2. What type of paint (company and grade) will they be using? If you have a preferred brand of paint and finish, it’s important to communicate this.
  3. How many coats are included?
  4. How will they protect the areas not being painted?
  5. Will they move furniture?
  6. How long will the job take?
  7. How much do they estimate it will cost?
  8. Should you vacate the house while they’re working?


Your home is your biggest asset. So while you could paint it, having experienced licensed and insured professionals will get you the best, longest-lasting results. If you’re ready to begin your next painting project, fill out a free and instant online quote for your project, and Paintzen interior painters can be ready to paint your space in as soon as one week.