Frequently Asked Painting Questions
If you’re looking for a painting company, you probably have quite a few questions to ask. At Nolan Painting, we want to provide you with the best customer service and make sure you feel comfortable asking any questions that may arise. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked house painting questions for you!
General Questions to Ask When Hiring a Painter
Since you’ve decided to hire a painter for your house, there are common house painting questions you will likely want to ask before you decide they’re the company you want to hire.
1. What type of paint do you use and why?
We primarily use quality products from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. If there’s another brand you’re interested in using, talk with your estimator, we’d be happy to accommodate you.
2. Do you still use oil-based paints? What is the primary difference between oil- and water-based (acrylic, latex) paints? What are the benefits of each?
Oil-based paints have mostly been removed from the market for architectural applications. This is due to the constant push for less solvent and lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the paint formulas. Oil-based paints do have redeeming qualities, which include a smoother look, good moisture resistance and ultimate hardness and durability.
Unfortunately, because of the curing process, oil-based paints tend to become very brittle as they age, which leads to cracking, peeling and ultimately to failure of the paint. When used on exteriors and moisture-prone areas on interiors, oil-based paints have a tendency to mildew because some of their ingredients act as a food source for mildew.
Water-based paints, also known as latex and acrylic paints (these are the ingredients that “bind” the paint to the surface), have come far and now outperform their counterparts of yesteryear. Today’s latex and acrylic paints exhibit excellent qualities, such as moisture resistance, mildew resistance, flexibility, color fastness and block resistance (the ability to not stick to itself or other objects, such as items on a painted shelf). Most of the water-based paints we use are known as 100% acrylic, which are of the highest available quality.
3. What types of environmentally friendly options to you offer?
Most paints already have low VOCs. However, non-VOC paints are available upon request.
4. How many coats of paint are included in the quote?
We always apply two coats of paint, guaranteed. However, there are some cases where two coats are not needed and that would be discussed with the customer.
5. If I buy all of my own materials, will I be able to save money that way?
Our estimates include the cost of paint. You’ll not be saving money by buying your own materials. The reason is because we’ll be able to get better discounts as a business entity than if you made the purchase as an individual.
6. What is the typical longevity of a new paint job?
This is determined by a number of factors. 1. The exterior’s finish; 2. where you are located; and 3. the quality of your last paint job. Another factor to consider is how well the area to be painted is prepared. For example, some people like to save money by eliminating the preparation, as they’re only interested in a quick paint job that will spruce up their home so they can sell it. Other people choose to have superior preparation so they can expect their paint job to last longer.
Other factors that influence the longevity of the paint job include the quality of the surface being painted, how much that surface is exposed to the elements and whether or not the building being painted is protected by other buildings.
When you do see that the paint is beginning to peel, it’s usually because the base coats of paint have begun to deteriorate. Because the newer coats of paint don’t have anything to adhere to, they may start to peel away.
Interior Painting Questions
Though you feel like you’ve gotten some of the most basic painting questions answered, you may have more specific questions about how we will focus on certain areas of your home. If you’ve decided that the interior needs to be painted, we will be happy to answer any additional questions you might have.
1. I have an older home that might have lead paint. How will it impact my painting project?
There has been no lead paint used for residential purposes since 1978, when it was deemed against the law. But even if your home has been painted since 1978, if it’s older than that date, it’s highly likely that lead paint is present. Therefore, we are required to test for lead paint in any home built prior to 1978. Our painters undergo lead safe training and adhere to the correct practices.
If the tests for lead return positive, we must and will take all precautions to ensure that your family, our employees and the environment are safe and protected.
2. If a paint says it’s a paint and primer all-in-one, does that mean primer is mixed in with the paint?
These types of paints don’t actually have primer mixed in with them, but they do have a resin which gives them the property of good adhesion. This will make the use of primer unnecessary in many circumstances.
3. Would you need to prime an area before painting it with another coat of latex paint?
No, we don’t always need a primer when we repaint with another coat of paint. We would lightly sand the area you wish to repaint and clean that area thoroughly. Once this is done, we repaint the area — though you may need more than one coat of paint. If you’re changing sheens of paint or making a significant change in colors, we may need to use primer.
4. What are the different kinds of paint finishes, and how do I select them for each room?
Paint finish comes in three general categories:
• Flat Finish — Also known as matte finish
• Satin Finish — Also known as eggshell finish, or low-luster finish
• Gloss Finish — Also known as semi-gloss finish. Read about best places to use these types of finishes in your home.
5. What are the advantages of using a flat finish paint?
This type of paint will reflect a greater amount of light, and the surfaces will look more uniform. Imperfections are minimized and the surface area to be painted does not require as much preparation, meaning little sanding is required, unlike paints with a higher gloss or sheen.
Flat finish paints are less likely to show marks where the painting has been done, which are called “lap marks.” The lap marks will occur when you paint one section which dries before the other section has been painted.
6. Why would you want to avoid using a flat paint?
These paints are not very stain-resistant, and should not be used if you have a surface you will need to clean or scrub frequently. They are also not very resistant to moisture and shouldn’t be used in areas which have high humidity, such as bathrooms.
7. Why would I want to use a higher gloss or sheen paint?
This type of paint resists stains and dirt better, so the surface will stay clean for longer. Surfaces painted with higher-gloss paints are also easier to clean and more resistant to humidity. Therefore, these paints are best suited for high-traffic areas and bathrooms.
8. Why avoid using a higher-gloss paint?
These types of paints will show imperfections in the surface much more than a flatter paint. Additionally, it’s more difficult to do touch-ups with higher-gloss paints, as any touch ups will likely show. You will also need to sand surfaces to be painted with a higher gloss paint so that the new paint will adhere better.
9. Can you offer advice on how to choose a color?
Lighting, architecture and room décor are three factors to consider when choosing a paint color. An ideal paint color is one that considers all three elements and provides balance and unity to the space. At Nolan Painting, we offer a free consultation with our color consultant with any booked job.
10. What if I don’t like the color selected? Can I change it?
Yes. The final color is ultimately the homeowner’s choice, but note that there will be an additional cost for a color change. The additional cost is determined by how much of the job was already completed, along with the cost of the additional paint.
11. How can I ensure that my interior paint job will last as long as possible?
Because interior painting jobs will get dirty quickly, especially around light switches and door knobs, it’s important to wipe away any spots that accumulate, before they become trapped in the paint. Dirt spots are most likely to occur in areas near where you’re cooking. Cooking oil, once airborne, can land on the nearby walls.
You should first try to remove any spots with a soft cloth and mild soap so you avoid damaging the sheen of the paint before you resort to harsher cleansers. Once you have cleaned the spot, remove any residue left from the soap so it will be easier to apply paint, should you decide to paint the wall again in the future.
Exterior Painting Questions
Though quite a number of newer homes have vinyl siding, there are homes that will need to be painted on the outside. If you have decided it’s time to give your home a facelift, you may have questions about how to tackle the job of painting your home’s exterior.
1. Can you paint the exterior of my home in the winter time?
The exterior of your home cannot be painted in the winter. The winter season in the Philadelphia area lasts from the beginning of December to mid-April.
2. Are there certain times of year or weather conditions that would prohibit any type of service?
Temperatures below 35 degrees Fahrenheit are what stop us from painting exteriors.
3. How can I increase the length of time my paint job will last?
You will need to make sure you secure the highest-quality paints and materials, and will want to have your home power-washed at least every few years to extend the life of an external paint job.
Rule of thumb: Stucco should be repainted every 5-6 years, same with aluminum siding. Wood siding should be repainted every 3-7 years, or stained every 4 years.
Questions About Painting a Business
You may be starting a business, remodeling it or just brightening it up. Because the nature of a business is different from that of a home, you will likely have some very specific questions about the unique needs, preparation and follow-through required to properly paint a business. This is your livelihood we’re talking about, so it pays to have all the facts.
1. How will I know when I should paint the outside of my business?
Obvious signs that you need a new paint job include paint cracking, peeling, blistering or mold on the painted surface.
2. What procedures do you use to make sure the paint will bond with the surface?
Because all surfaces are different and have different abilities to bond to paint, your painter should carefully examine the surface to make sure we provide the best preparation and ensure proper bonding for a lasting paint job.
3. What paint brands do you recommend for use on the exterior of a commercial building?
Painters should use the top premium brands of paint that will provide a thick covering that’s durable and will be able to hold up to the weather in your climate.
Why Choose Nolan Painting?
As longtime participants in the residential and commercial painting industry, we understand that your property is one of your largest investments. That’s why we at Nolan Painting are committed to doing the job right the first time, and in accordance with your vision. Here are a few questions to help you get to know us better.
1. How long will the job take?
Depending on the project, you will need to call Nolan Painting to discuss the scope of work. However, we do guarantee the job will get done within 10 days or less (during the winter season only). A typical bedroom would take about a day or two to paint the walls, including ceiling and trim. You should plan on not having access to the bedroom for at least one night.
2. How quickly can an estimator get to my home?
The wait time for an estimate is generally one week or less. There are times during the year (April, May and June) when get many calls, and during which the wait time can reach two weeks.
3. What are the benefits of working with you?
Our success is based on delivering high-quality painting services with exceptional customer service. We stand behind our work and will make sure you’re happy with the experience and the finished product.
4. How do I prepare my rooms for your visit?
You will need to remove any small items from the tops of shelves and pictures from your walls. We can move the larger items toward the center of the room and properly cover and protect furniture/items.
5. How much will this painting job disrupt my home?
Disruption is kept to a minimum. At the end of each day, our crews will clean the areas we’re working in and move tools and paint to a shop area (garage or basement).
6. My room is wallpapered now. How will you handle that?
We will remove wallpaper prior to painting. Before we remove the paper, we will test an area to see how the paper was applied. If the wallpaper was not applied properly, it may lead to damage to the walls when the paper is removed. Your crew leader will discuss your other options if this is the case.
7. Can you fix water damage or holes in my walls, and if so, how long will it take?
We will fill old holes, fix water damage and make any other repairs as needed, as part of our preparation. The time it takes to repair is in proportion to the amount of damage.
8. Can I trust your employees?
Yes. Our professional custom painters are full-time employees, and not subcontractors. We perform reference and background checks for everybody we bring on board.
9. Are you insured?
Yes. For your protection and ours, we offer up to $2 million liability.
10. Are you licensed?
We have all appropriate licenses, which include PA Home Improvement Contractor #020814 and EPA Lead Safe Certified Firm NAT-26976-1. Each Crew Leader is EPA Certified. All employees receive Lead Safe Training.
11. Do you offer a warranty?
Yes! We offer a two-year limited warranty.
12. Can you provide references?
Yes, we can! We can give you a recent customer to call or have you look at our report cards that customers fill out at the end of each job. We also have excellent five-star online reviews posted on our website and on Angie’s List, Google+ and Houzz.