Some help on painting contractor quote please

wi-sailorgirlSeptember 23, 2010

We're in the middle of a pretty major renovation, and my GC's paint contractor just gave the quote for the work. He has asked me to review it and discuss it directly with the painter.

Before I do that, I'd like some insight about standard practices with paint contractors. I've always done my own painting but because of the scope of this project and the cathedral ceilings, it's beyond my capabilities.

Here's the bones of the quote and some questions I have:

1. Two coats of SW Pro Mar 200 to drywall -- Any thoughts on this paint? I typically use Benjamin Moore paints, but if a painter is happier working with SW, I'm OK with it as long as it's quality stuff. Because of the height of this room it will hopefully be decades before we're faced with painting again.

2. Two coats SW Pro Classic oil satin to all doors and trim -- I'm not a fan of oil paint for various reasons and really don't want my trim done in oil paint. Is this a make-or-break thing with paint contractors? I know some have strong opinions about oil paint on trim (personally, I've done a lot of trim in my house with high quality waterborne paints including FPE and BM Aura and I've been more than happy with it).

There is a two-year warranty on labor and material and they remove all the light switches, etc., and clean up.

Is there anything else I need to be asking when talking with him about the quote?

Your views on it are very much appreciated.

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Using oil paint on the trim should really not be a deal breaker, but I suppose for some contractors it still is. What happens is these guys are resistant to change and so they never learn what new technology is available and how far it has come because they are not exploring acrylic paints. Hopefully, the contractor has experience applying both and will not have an issue with it. Aura and FPE are more expensive though than Pro Classic Oil so it may cost more for materials. ProMar200 is okay for walls if it is flat would be about the same quality as Regal Flat.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 11:18PM
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Thanks for the reply. He said he could do a waterborne paint for the trim but he "highly recommends against it because it's just not as durable as oil."

To me, this is red flag. As you suggested (and as I've read here before) this is a painter who has not kept up with current technologies. It doesn't mean he's not a good painter, but to me it is your job to keep current with what is happening in your field whether you're a painter, IT person or bartender.

The bigger issue with his quote turns out to be that he didn't even provide a quote for the whole project. I thought the quote was high (although I've never hired a painter so maybe I was underestimating the cost for the work) and then I found out it only included two bedrooms and a bathroom ($3,700 for less than 500 sq. feet!) When he found out that the bedroom ceilings will be wood, he said that would add considerably to the cost. The major part of the painting is the living room, which has a cathedral ceiling to contend with and wasn't even included in the quote (in his defense, I think there was a miscommunication with the GC about what the scope of the project would be).

Anyway I have several other painters coming out to bid on the project and it will be interesting to see where they line up on the project, as I suspect this first painter was WAY off base in his pricing.

I also think that we're getting quoted a premium price right now because most painters are booked trying to finish up exterior jobs before winter.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:00AM
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