Choosing a painter

Choosing the right painter can be a very important decision considering how much the quality of the work can change from painter to painter. Here are some helpful hints on how to choose the right person for the job.

Be sure of the job you want done

Spend some time thinking about and writing out everything you need done. Make some decisions about the style of the job, and start thinking about things like colour and texture. Look at the area that you want to paint to try and see if you might need some extra surface preparation by checking for peeling or chipping paint, or cracking and crumbling plaster.

Make sure the painter is licensed

The Master Painters Association (MPA) provides licensing and ongoing training for Australian painters. This means that a licensed painter has access to the latest tools and techniques, and ultimately knows what they are doing. Unlicensed painters may not know how to prepare surfaces to hold paint, or how to safely deal with structural and electrical issues. This knowledge is a large part of a painter’s job, so if the painter can’t get licensed, there’s probably a reason why. If painters have a licence, they will be able to tell you their MPA number.

The painter should be insured

Public liability coverage provides up to $20m in case of an accident. This insurance covers both you and the painters, helping ensure financial safety for everyone. If a painter can’t afford or get insurance, it’s a sure sign that they shouldn’t be working and you shouldn’t hire them.

A team of painters might be preferable to an individual

You want your painting project to be completed in a professional and timely manner. Individual painters can sometimes fall ill or run into other issues that delay the completion of your project. Having a team of painters can mean the project is completed faster and prevent delays due to individual problems. Often, the most reliable painting companies have a staff of painters available instead of hiring subcontractors for each job. This ensures timely and professional service.

Experience is important

See how long the painter has been in business. Don’t be afraid to ask for (and check) references. Ask previous clients if they were happy with the job. Many experienced painters can also show you pictures of some of their work. It never hurts to do your homework.

Discuss the quote

If a contractor provides a quote without discussing specifics such as the extent of the area that needs painting and the types of preparation they will have to undertake, then it’s likely that they have not given you an accurate estimate of the cost. Competent painters will explain the cost to you and discuss the kinds of materials they intend to use, firm costs, and the number of coats they’ll need to apply. Anything less is unprofessional and incomplete.