How to Hire a Painter
Follow these tips to help ensure that your exterior project goes off without a hitch
The exterior of your house is the first thing people see when they pull up to your property—and the paint is a big part of that. So whether you’re planning to stay in your home for a good long while or looking to sell, making sure the color looks crisp and clean can go a long way toward making a good first impression.
For the best results, most homeowners hire a professional painter to freshen up or completely repaint the exterior of their home. “Over time, paint fades and cracks. This not only makes the siding vulnerable to damage but also doesn’t look good,” says Rich Handel, Consumer Reports’ test project leader for paints. “A fresh coat of paint in a contemporary color can make your house go from drab to dramatic.”
All these benefits, of course, hinge on finding a capable contractor. To avoid miscommunication and disappointment, follow our must-know advice on how to hire a painter. Just a little due diligence will ensure a high-quality job that’ll boost your home’s curb appeal.
11 Tips for Hiring a Painter
Meet the pros. Consult with at least three different professional painters for your job. (Friends and family are good sources for references.) And be home for the initial meeting. That way, you can note how much time each contractor takes to assess the condition of your house. The longer it takes, the more realistic the estimate. Even an experienced exterior painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. Also ask each contractor about the size of his crew and their experience level.
State your expectations. The number of coats applied isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.
3 Best Exterior Paints From CR's Tests
Even the best painters can’t nail the job with poor-quality paint. To find options that are likely to last the longest, our engineers have evaluated more than a dozen paints with a series of rigorous tests. The picks below scored best overall for resisting cracking, color change, dirt, and mildew in extreme conditions equivalent to nine years of environmental exposure.