Frequently Asked Questions...
1) Do you give free estimates?
Yes. We provide you with a free, written, detailed estimate - a
firm, all-inclusive labour price up-front, so there are no surprises.
We also include a comprehensive list of approximately 400
local references of satisfied customers, grouped conveniently by
town or city - chances are, you'll recognize someone you know!
2) Do you advise on colour selection?
We can provide general colour advice at your quote
appointment, and come fully equipped with a colour deck for your
perusal, a digital colour scanner (in case you wish to match an
existing colour in your home), and even a test kit to determine
whether you have oil or latex on your trim (which determines
whether or not it needs to be primed).
For more specific colour consulting needs, we can you refer
you to an excellent local professional decorator that we work
with; we highly recommend this if you're at all unsure about
colours before investing in a paint job.
3) What kinds of paint do you use?
Our main supplier is Dulux, but if you have a favourite
premium brand as well, such as Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-
Williams, and others, we're more than happy to use it!
4) Do you supply the paint, or can we?
We usually supply it, but you may supply any premium brand
yourself if you prefer, in which case, we'll be more than happy to
advise you in terms of type and quantity as well. If you wish to
supply, please make sure you're available while we're on site to
get more paint as needed, and always double-check with us
before purchasing in regards to type and quantity.
If we supply the paint, and are using our main supplier, we
charge simple flat rates of $70 for primers and ceiling paints, $90
for wall and trim paints, and $100 for exterior paints.
Miscellaneous supplies, such as compound and caulking, are
generally supplied free of charge, unless otherwise indicated.
5) How much paint will be needed, and in what sheens?
We can tell you you how much paint will be needed, and in
which sheen etc. Generally speaking, you can figure on one gallon
of wall matt per average-sized room (or two small bathrooms, or
two gallons for a high foyer, for example), one gallon of ceiling
flat per two average-sized ceilings, and one gallon of trim semi-
gloss will do three to five rooms of trim, depending on how many
doors there are, and the size and type of trim you have.
6) Is the paint included in the price?
Generally no, unless otherwise indicated. Even if we are
supplying the paint, we normally quote the labour separately, and
then simply add the paint to the final bill, as per the flat rates
listed above. This tends to keep things simpler and more
transparent - you get a firm labour price, with no surprises , and
are only charged for the paint we actually use. The leftover paint
is yours to keep, of course, for future touch-ups.
7) Your prices include a standard two coats - what if a third
coat is required?
A third coat (occasionally even a fourth) may be required if
you're covering a dark colour with a light colour. This may already
be discussed and accounted for in your original quote, but in the
event that we're unsure until we start painting, or you've selected
a light colour after you've been quoted for the standard two
coats, the price would be adjusted accordingly.
To keep things simple, we have a standard flat-rate surcharge
of $60 per additional coat per average-sized room. In some cases,
we may quote you a separate price beforehand for potential third
or even fourth coat scenarios.
Bear in mind, that generally speaking, choosing lighter colours
to cover darker wall colours, or un-tinted white to cover off-white
trim will usually entail extra coats and add to the cost of your
project. White is of course the worst-covering "colour" (as it has
no tint at all) - any time you try to cover a dark wall or unpainted
wood trim, it's virtually guaranteed that four coats will be required
to ensure proper saturation and coverage, regardless of whether
the first coat (or two) are primer or not.
8) Do you require a deposit?
Generally, no. If we're supplying the paint, we may ask that
you pay our lead painter directly for the paint, as a separate item
from the labour. The main labour payment is always made to the
owner upon completion.
9) What if I am interested in having some additional work done while your crew is here?
If you'd like to have some additional work quoted while our
crew is there, please contact the owner/estimator directly for a
quote in person or over the phone. Our painting staff are not
involved with any aspect of pricing.
10) Who do I pay when the job is finished?
Payment is generally due upon completion, and when you've
verbally signed off with our painting staff that you're happy with
the job. Although you may pay our staff directly for paint
purchases at the outset of or during the job, the final payment for
the main labour quote is to be made only to the owner, who will
stop by at a mutually agreed upon time to settle up.
11) How soon can you start the job upon approval?
We can usually start anywhere from within a few days to a few
weeks or even months, depending on our schedule and the job
size. Small jobs are generally easier to squeeze in on short notice
than larger projects, which normally require more lead time.
12) What kind of hours do you work? Do you work week-
We generally work normal, 9-5 business hours, although we
may occasionally work a bit later into the evening, with your
permission of course, in order to finish a job, or a part of a job.
Many customers also find it convenient to provide us with a
key so that we may come and go without being dependent on
you being there, if, for example, you leave early for work, or plan
to be away on vacation while the work is done. The more
flexibility we have in this regard, the more productive we can be
and the more efficiently we can usually complete the job.
13) What do we need to do to get ready for you?
Please remove all small items, pictures and curtains etc in
areas where we're going to start (other rooms can be dealt with
as we progress). Furniture moving can be mutually decided.
It's a good idea to run the vacuum edging tool along the
baseboards and tops of door and window frames, and even a
quick wipe with a damp rag (no cleaning chemicals, even vinegar,
as they will interfere with paint adhesion). It's also an opportune
time to reassess and decide whether it's time to update and
replace switch-plates, light fixtures, curtain rods, etc, and remove
them accordingly, or let us know to remove them.
For exterior projects, remove any items that might obstruct
ladder set-up or our access to work areas, prune plants or
shrubs which are too close to the house, and park your vehicles
well away from the house.
14) What kinds of sheens and finishes do you recommend?
We generally use flat for ceilings, a scrubbable/washable, low-
sheen matt for most walls, and semi-gloss for trim, doors, and
kitchen cabinets. An eggshell finish is also sometimes used for
bathrooms, laundry rooms, children's rooms, and kitchen
cabinets. Bear in mind that the higher the sheen, the more it will
show flaws and imperfections on the walls, so if you have an
older home, or a sub-par drywall job that would really require a
dry-waller to properly address, an eggshell finish would not be the
best choice. The flatter the sheen, the better it is at hiding flaws,
so a matt finish would be a better choice in this instance.
15) We have an older home, with outdated-looking
panelling, bathroom tile, varnished wood, kitchen
cupboards etc - can these surfaces be painted?
Yes; many unusual surfaces such as these typically found in
older homes, can definitely be painted, provided they are first
coated with a super-adhesion primer, which can then be top-
coated with latex. Not only is painting these areas considerably
more economical than renovating or replacement - it's also
usually easier and more convenient.
16) Can aluminum and/or vinyl siding be painted?
It certainly can; in fact, it holds paint much better than wood,
and can be expected to last for fifteen to twenty years, as there
are no issues with cracking, rotting, water penetration etc, and
as such is arguably one of the most cost-effective exterior
painting investments you can make over the long term. It needs
to be washed down first, then double-coated with an acrylic
17) Do you remove wallpaper?
Yes. However, unlike our painting quotes, which are firm, the
paper removal portion of the price is not guaranteed, as
unfortunately there is no way of knowing how the paper will come
off until we actually begin to remove it! in addition to removal
time, there may also hidden wall damage that would require
further repair as we. For that reason, we will indicate the labour
allotment for that portion of the project on your quote, and if it
turns out that it will take significantly longer (this is usually
apparent within the first 20 minutes), we'll let you know
immediately and can give you an adjusted estimate, if you wish.
In our experience, we find that the paper comes off within the
expected time allotment most of the time; unfortunately, it.
occasionally comes off slowly in little bits and pieces, regardless
of method, and it can take twice as long.
If you wish to avoid the risk of paying extra for this service,
then we recommend you remove the paper yourself before we
get there, as it's understandably impractical for us to stop working
once the job is in progress.
If you do decide to remove the paper yourself, please take
care to minimize wall damage, as that will increase the prep time
later to fix the holes and dents etc, which may entail a price
adjustment if the paper was removed after the job was quoted.
18) Do you have any tips for looking after our new paint
Yes - go easy on it for the first month or so! Many people don't
realize that fresh paint takes about one month under ideal
conditions to properly harden and cure. During that time, it's
more susceptible to chipping and abrasion, so don't scratch it,
wash it, or hang any borders for at least four weeks, just to be
on the safe side.
Over the long term, washing painted surfaces is a simple and
cost-effective way to keep them looking fresh. Avoid using
abrasive cleaners; usually water alone works just fine without
damaging the finish. Use a sponge or rag on your interior walls
and trim, and a soft car brush and an extension pole for exterior
trim, doors, and siding.