How to Not Get Ripped Off By A San Diego Painting Contractor

Painting your house in San Diego not only protects it from the harsh sun and moisture in the ocean breeze, but also beautifies it, and increases its curb appeal. Because our weather is temperate, painting in San Diego can be done at any time of the year. Hiring a quality painter can be a bit tricky unless you know the common short cuts some unscrupulous painters take. While some large painting companies are popular for offering great service, they also come with a very expensive price tag. There are many smaller and mid-size painting contractors that offer the same impeccable service at a considerably lower price; you just need to know what to look for so you don’t get ripped off. This requires asking the right questions before handing over your hard earned money to a painting contractor.

Below are some practical strategies to employ to avoid missteps or getting ripped off before starting any painting in San Diego:

Inspect the Paint Before Starting

Verify you are getting the high-end paint you are paying for.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a painter to use low grade paint while having you believe that they are using a high-quality one. Check the paint that your contractor is using before they even start the job. Do not be fooled by the label. Some painters have no problem going to the trouble of putting low-quality paint into a gallon with a high-quality label. But how do you confirm that the paint is the one you asked for? See to it that the paint bucket has a label and sticker indicating the grade and specific color code or color name you selected, respectively. Another alternative is to ask the painter for the receipt, which will indicate the grade of paint purchased.

The Paint Before You Start

Use A Latex Paint Extender, Not Water

When spraying latex acrylic (water-based) paint, it is somewhat customary to add a half-cup of water per gallon, as up to 40% of the paint is lost in overspray (not on the surface it was intended for). A tiny bit of water also helps with flow when you’re brushing. However, unscrupulous painters will add significantly more water, which makes the paint thinner, and therefore less effective from a protection standpoint. Instead of letting them use water and risk being ripped off, ask if they use a paint extender instead. These products improve flow, hide brush marks and sprayer marks, and increase dry time, so the painter has longer to smooth out any imperfections before they harden.

Check the Primer

All the bare surfaces in or on your house will require a primer. The undercoat seals and protects the substrate being painted, and acts as the binder or “glue” for the paint to stick. Without a primer, the paint will fail.  Don’t believe the marketing gimmick “paint and primer in one”. It is NOT the same as applying a COAT of primer designed specifically for that surface.  To ensure that you get the best results, ask your painting contractor to use a primer designed specifically for the substrate they are painting. For example, a masonry primer should never be used on bare wood. Unfortunately, in order to cut corners and increase their profit, some painting contractors don’t even bother to prime at all. Don’t let a painter tell you they don’t need to prime a bare substrate because they are using a paint-and-primer-in-one – if they tell you that, they are being lazy, dishonest, and cheap.  At J Brown Painting & Cleaning Services, you are paying us for high-quality San Diego exterior painting services and that’s exactly what you get. We’re happy to provide our clients with all receipts, and show you the paint and primer we’re using, so you know you’re getting what you paid for.

Get It In Writing with a contract

Get It In Writing

Hiring a painting company that puts everything they promised into a written contract is another way that you can avoid being ripped off by a painting contractor in San Diego. The contract you sign should indicate the specific areas to be painted, the prep work to be performed before painting, the paint manufacturer, the grade of paint, the sheen, the colors to be used, the number of coats, the contractor’s license number and contact information, the total cost of the painting project, and your deposit amount. Keep in mind, in San Diego, a painting contractor is not legally allowed to collect more than 10% as a deposit. The best companies are so confident in their work, they don’t collect the other 90% until the job is completely done and the clients are satisfied.

We hope this helped you in your search for exterior house painting services! Still looking for affordable painting services in San Diego? Consider J Brown Painting & Cleaning Services. We strive to be everything you look for in a painting contractor: affordable, reliable, responsive, on-time, meticulous, friendly, and professional. We won’t pressure you into anything and will tell you how and where you can save money. We’re transparent with our pricing and we don’t mark up our paint. We’d rather have a happy customer that keeps coming back and refers us. Our painting services are quality and affordable.

Additionally, we provide a variety of related services, besides cabinet painting, interior painting, and exterior painting. If you need quality, affordable drywall repair, wood replacement, stucco repair, patio and driveway sealing, pressure washing, or gutter cleaning, call your local painting experts to find out more. You can also get a free no-obligation quote from us by calling us at 619-356-0830 or submitting the contact form.

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