How To Hire A Painter: Everything You Need To Know

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When you’re moving to a new place or giving your home a makeover, a paint job is just what you need for that fresh new look. Though many people try DIY painting, hiring a professional is always better to get excellent results. Hiring painters is no walk in the park, making mistakes is easy. 

Some homeowners try to take the shortest route by hiring cheaper options, but they almost always regret that decision. Before hiring a painter, you must ensure a thorough vetting process to confirm that you have the best person for the job. Otherwise, you may choose someone who does poor work or doesn’t finish the job at all.

That’s why we created this guide you can use to find and hire the right painting contractor or painting company. You’ll discover the questions you should ask when hiring a painter to know if they can do the job, mistakes to avoid when hiring, and lastly, the five qualities to look for in a painter.

Step-by-Step Process Of Hiring A Professional Painter

Painting contractors may work independently or own their own company employing subcontractors and/or employees. Some painting contractors may provide minor repairs and tasks depending on the job description. 

Here are our tips below on how to hire a painter.

1. Have A Plan

Before calling around for estimates, you need to have a plan clearly stating the job details. Your plan should entail the scope of the job and your expectations for the project. You can decide whether your want an interior or exterior job or how many rooms you want to be painted. It may also be an outside job where you decide on the best season to complete the project.  

In addition, it serves as a template to share your vision with the painting contractor. Most painting contractors can ask the simple questions to gain an understanding of what you’re looking for, but it’s always nice to meet them halfway.

2. Get Referrals and References

Sometimes, the best way to find a reliable painter is through a family or friend. You will feel better about hiring a professional painter when you have a trusted source. You can also check out local blogs in your community to see if anyone has recently hired a painting contractor. Additionally, you can ask your neighbor to recommend a good painter if you’re new in the area. 


Before you call in a contractor, you can ask to see samples of past work and a reference list. It’s generally not a good sign when a painter cannot submit two to three references from real clients. You can also check the company’s website to check clients’ testimonials on the quality of the painters they deliver.  

3. Consult With Professional Painters


Once your plan is ready, you can begin scheduling estimates with professional painters. You can research companies online by reading client reviews and seeing what kind of painters they have to offer. We also recommend talking to at least three contractors before hiring anyone so you can consider all your options.      


Hiring painters for your next makeover project is not something you should rush. It would help to look for experienced professionals with a quality portfolio and satisfied customer reviews. It would be best to be around for the first meeting to observe how the painter inspects the house before making an estimate. A lengthy inspection may also confirm the painter’s ability to provide a realistic estimate.

4. Review The Prospects & Their Estimates

Getting an estimate is the final step of the hiring process. After examining multiple painting contractors, you can ask your top picks to send an estimate. You should also beware of any painter that submits an estimate without visiting your home. The painting company may also send a representative to determine an accurate estimate for the project. 


In addition, you can observe the painter’s attitude while calculating the estimate to check whether they’re being honest. Some OG painters run more than one inspection to determine how much work needs to be done. Although pricing shouldn’t be a priority, a fair estimate would tip the scale against competitors.

5 Questions You Must Ask a Painting Contractor before hiring 

It’s important to ask all the right questions before hiring a painter and signing the final contract. You can also choose a contractor based on their expertise in answering these questions. The list below highlights five key questions you should always ask when hiring a professional painter: 


1. How many people would be working with you on this project? 

Whether you’re speaking with a company or an independent contractor, you need to know how many people to expect in your company. Some companies send actual employees or subcontractors to support work on your house. However, many subcontractors have terrible work attitudes, unlike employees who value the brand’s name.  


The painting contractor must tell you how many people they bring to your home. A full staff is also a good sign that your work will be done by the deadline. However, when you’re hiring from a contractor through a painting company, you can’t always know who is coming to your home. 

2. What kind of materials do you use? 

The quality of the primer and paint used can affect the project’s outcome. Poor quality paint will leave a dull result which is the last thing you want in a paint job. Meanwhile, you can ask them what type of supplies they have for a specialized coating or in case you want an intricate design. 

In addition, as the client, you should ensure quality control and maintain high standards to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. You don’t need to know the exact tools, brands, and materials they use, but ask about the quality of paint they use if you’re willing to pay for it. Ask about their prep work and how intensive they go since prep work is a major step.

3. Can you give me a timeframe? 

The good thing about working with professional painters is that you have an idea of when the project will be complete. You can ask for a timeframe of how the task will be completed, how many painters they see working on your project, and what times they’ll be around your house/business.

However, you should note that there are times when the project might have to take longer than estimated due to harsh weather or other underlying conditions. Still, communication is necessary, and the painting contractor should be open about their plan for the project and how long it might take. 

4. What is your safety protocol? 

Another question you should ask when hiring painters is proof of their training. A legit painting company conducts proper safety training for their workers to avoid any complications or delays in the job. To find out if a company conducts safety training, you can request a copy of the safety policy manual, 

You should also note that the safety protocol helps the painters avoid mistakes and protects the work’s integrity. It also marks out professional painters who aim to achieve the best results. 

5. Do you have insurance and licenses?

When hiring from a painting company in the US or Canada, you should look for two types of insurance: comprehensive business liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance protects you from any accidents or damage caused during the project’s duration. 

In addition, you should also ask the contractor for their license, which shows that they can work on your house. You can also be on the lookout for a bonded painting company that offers more security in case something goes wrong. 

5 Qualities to Lookout For in a Painting Contractor 

Hiring painters is not a small job; you must have a thorough vetting process to ensure you hire the right painter. Before entering a contract with anyone, you’ll need to look for the following traits. 

  • Dependability/Trustworthiness:  When you’re hiring a professional painter, it has to be someone you can trust to get the job done. Dependability is one of the most important traits of an excellent painter. In this instance, a trustworthy painter is someone who sticks to the schedule and keeps their word. Therefore, if your painting contractor keeps missing deadlines and appointments, they are not trustworthy for the job. 
  • Responsiveness: You should hire a painter that you can effectively communicate with. A good painting contractor will respond to your request with ideas, relay information, and share updates. The conversation should flow freely so you can clear up any confusion and negotiate a solid estimate. 
  • Professionalism: |It means competence, attention to detail, and a true perfectionist. You need someone to inspect your home and determine areas that need repair before painting, whether it’s an exterior or interior job. A professional painter must also have an eye for color and know what will work well for your room. 
  • Cleanliness: When hiring a professional painter, you can check the reviews to see if they clean up after painting. Clean-up is part of the job, and the hallmark of a good painter is to leave a clean-finished result. Some painting contractors may also bring a cleaning crew depending on the task.  
  • Versatility: A versatile painter is capable of interior and exterior painting, surface preparation, repairing, plastering, masonry, etc. You need a problem solver who can think outside the box when necessary. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring A Painter 

These are the most common mistakes to avoid when you need to hire a painter:

1. Not having a thorough contract. 

Relying on a verbal contract for a painting job can result in catastrophic results. Even if the painter is a close acquaintance, you need a contract that carefully states the terms of the agreement and what the job entails. A binding contract also means that you can avoid being taken advantage of by incompetent painters. The contract must include: 


  • Contact information, i.e., company name or name of the contractor, license, telephone number, and web address. 
  • Total cost in the estimates, including taxes 
  • Job descriptions detailing the whole scope of the project 
  • Duration of the project from the start date to completion 
  • Payment terms and conditions. 

Once this written document has been prepared, you and the painting contractor must sign the contract, where it becomes immediately binding. 

2. Making a full deposit 

It’s not uncommon to hear of painters who abandoned the job halfway after receiving the full payment. If hiring a professional painter, you shouldn’t rush to make payment to avoid scammers. You can make a 10-15% deposit and add more payment as the work progresses. Then you can make the final payment after you’re satisfied with the outcome. 

3. Not choosing your paint

Many contractors try to make bank by offering cheaper paint options, but you need to stand your ground. Choose the best exterior paint product you like, and don’t be swayed by the painter’s suggestion, except they have given valid reasons that are not based on cost savings. 

4. Hiring an unlicensed painter  

Hiring painters with no relevant work history is a big risk, and you’re more likely to hate the outcome. You have to be sure that the painter can do the type of work you want and ensure proper attention to detail before hiring. Hire a painter your friend or neighbor recommends, and don’t rely on word-of-mouth portfolios.  

5. Not asking for references 

Past client references help to build trust and confirm that the contractor is capable of doing the work. You shouldn’t hire a painting company or contractor before checking to see authentic client testimonials about their service. 


The bottom line is that hiring a painter isn’t as simple as calling the first number you see on the internet or a business card at Home Depot. A lot goes into someone being qualified to paint your specific project. You may find that your ideal painter is too busy and can’t start your project when you want them to. If you’re looking for a quality painter in the Phoenix area, then look no further than Hillis Brothers Painting