Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions When Hiring a Painter

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For 30 years, the professional painters of CertaPro Painters® of the Main Line have been transforming the interiors and exteriors of homes and businesses. Whether we’re updating a 100-year-old home or painting someone’s first home, our team of experts has the skills and experience necessary to deliver extraordinary results every single time.

What types of preparation need to be done to my house?

Preparations differ based on the type of project. We require minimal preparation to be done prior to our crews arrival but provide our customers with clear directions for clarity (see below). Our crews are also accommodating and assist with  bigger items that need to be moved. The most important thing to know is you want to create space for the crews to work and make sure everything is off the surfaces that you are painting and everything of value. We walk you through this process..


  • Clear all items off deck
  • Clear all items off porch
  • Keep car away from house
  • Remove siding/wall decorations/art
  • Trim trees & bushes to allow clear work space


  • Allow clear access to work areas
  • Empty cabinets (if being painted)
  • Empty closets (if being painted)
  • Remove all paintings, pictures, wall decorations
  • Remove blinds & window coverings
  • Remove small and fragile objects
  • Remove wall mounted electronics

What is a ‘paint system’ and which is appropriate for my project?

The paint system is a combination of 4 items that make up your paint:

  1. Base
  2. Sheen
  3. Color
  4. Grade

The appropriate system is project specific based on objectives, conditions and surfaces. Your sales-person will provide recommendations during the estimating appointment.

What is the purpose of primer and when it is needed?

The right primer is the difference between a job that lasts for many years or one that fails too soon. It is imperative to have the right type of primer used based on your specific project. Some of the benefits and properties to primer are listed below:

  • Primer’s will establish an adhesion, bind drywall fibers, creating a smooth surface for the top coat.
  • Primer’s develop a consistent sheen across walls
  • Great for untreated woods and uncoated masonry which will prevent bleeding, protect against harsh weather, provide a foundation and good adhesion that will uphold extreme conditions.
  • Please make sure to address these questions with your sale rep at the estimate as well

How many coats of paint are appropriate for my project?

The amount of coats that will be used is determined from the paint system. Typically one coat will be satisfactory if your project is a color match using the same base and sheen and the areas to be painted are in good condition. Two coats is required for any change to the sheen, base or color change. If the color change is drastic your project may require a primer to ensure the old color does not bleed through.

What is elastomeric paint?

Elastomeric paint is a high-build coating that is designed to protect Masonry surfaces. One of the best reasons to use elastomeric paint is that it places a secure coating on the surface you are painting. This coating creates a barrier so that moisture is unable to penetrate the walls. This will work well on surfaces such as masonry, stucco, poured concrete, roofs, bricks, wood, and metal.

How long does it take the new paint to dry?

In optimal low humidity conditions water based paint will be dry to the touch within one to two hours, and will be non tacky and usable within 24 hours, full cure time is 3 weeks to 1 month. 

Oil based paints dry and cure very differently from Water based paints, Oil based paints can take 8 hours to tack up, 24-48 hours to become fully dry to the touch, and will reach full cure in about 7 days, rather than 25-30 days like water based paints.

How long should the new paint job last?

The longevity of the new paint job will vary depending on climate, quality of surface preparation, and product quality. The typical interior paint job will last 8-10 years before it begins to appear as though it is time for a new paint job. Exterior paints are designed to withstand the elements to the best of their ability but still require a freshening every 3-5 years

Is there anything I can do to increase the longevity of my new paint job?

Pressure washing the exterior once a year can increase the longevity of your paint job. As far as interiors go, the wear and tear on the paint happens most in high traffic areas, in which case a maintenance coat of paint in those areas can go a long way in between full repaints to keep your home looking its best while keeping your costs low.

Will I save money if I buy the materials?

In short you will not save money by purchasing them because the cost for materials is specific to the quality and amount of materials needed for each job.

Is there a difference between hand-brushed and sprayed paint?

The most noticeable difference between hand brushed and sprayed paint is that a spray finish typically gives a finer finish overall, but requires a greatly increased amount of surface preparation, brushing and rolling is most common for sake of ease with our customers, this generally requires simply removing items from areas to be painted such as corners, walls, and hanging from the ceiling.

What does VOC mean?

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are basically the fumes and chemicals that are emitted into the air and evaporate. There are many paint options now including NO VOC paint as well as LOW VOC Paint.

Are more expensive paints better?

It’s not about buying the most expensive paint, it’s about buying high quality paint that helps you achieve your project objectives. If you have a challenging project or a surface that needs extra care (i.e. cabinet painting) then there are specific coatings that we would recommend in order to achieve a perfect finish on your cabinets that is durable, washable and does not chip.

Which is better – oil paint or latex paint?

Latex paints or acrylic paints are fast-drying water-based paints. Oil based paint is a slow drying paint made with oil.

Latex paints are generally better for the interior of homes and on large surfaces. Oil-based paints are generally used on metals, wood and for paintings. The difference between oil-based and latex paint lies in their composition, properties, and ease of use. The fumes of the oil-based paint are also known to be toxic to health and harmful to the environment and is hence a less popular choice in home furnishing.

I’m not sure what colors I want to use. What help can CertaPro Painters give me?

We are happy to offer a one hour color consultation for free to all customers who sign our contract for jobs of $2,500.00 or more. We work with an amazing consultant that makes the project easy and enjoyable.

What if I am already working with a color consultant?

Whether you are working with our consultant, your consultant or simply choosing your own colors once a decision is made our office will need to gather the information and will send you our color confirmation form to be completed to ensure accuracy and no mistakes.

What if I am not happy with the colors once they are applied to the building?

CertaPro does not provide any warranty for dissatisfaction regarding colors. We advise our customer to get samples of the colors, apply to multiple areas of the paint project as lighting does affect the color, prior to the paint project starting. This is the best practice to guarantee you are satisfied with the colors.

Are there extra charges if I have more colors on my house?

Due to labor and materials your project is subject to additional charges based on the number of colors and/or sheens selected for the project. We have a breakdown of the schedule for color allowance which is determined by project price.

Will CertaPro Painters leave me with touchup paint?

Yes, crews will leave whatever paint is left over with you so you can use it for touch-ups or to color match for future use. 

A contractor comes to paint my house and his employee falls off a ladder and gets hurt. Who pays for his injuries?

We carry both Liability and workers comp insurance for all of our crews and employees so you would not be responsible.

I was told by a contractor that he would have to charge a lot more if he purchased worker’s compensation. He has assured me that my homeowner’s insurance policy would cover me in the event of an accident. Is this true?

This question is exactly why you want to go with a reputable contractor like CertaPro. All of our painters are fully insured, including liability insurance + workers comp so you would not need to have insurance in case of accident.

I have just met with the estimator – now what?

Our sales person will be your key point of contact while you determine your scope and pricing and your contract is finalized. Once you sign your contract we introduce you to our Production team that will guide you through every aspect of scheduling and production. One of the best parts of working with CertaPro is that you get an amazing amount of support during every single stage of your project.

I have reviewed the proposal and would like to proceed – what do I do next?

Let your sales person know that you would like to move forward and we will send you a final contract for approval. If you are not sure how to contact your sales person, just give our office a call at 303-274-2217 and we will take care of you. 

How do I address any concerns I may have throughout the project?

If you have any concerns on your project prior to production beginning you can call our office manager and we will help you with any concerns or questions. Once production begins you will have a Production Associate assigned to your job that you can contact at any time with questions or concerns and they will help you.

I plan on being out of town during the part or all of the project – is this okay?

This is not a problem for us, especially if it’s an exterior. If it’s an interior, we will just need access and directions to ensure that your home is always locked up and secured when we are not there. We prefer when homeowners are there so they can see the final product and walk the project with our Job Site Supervisor but are always happy to accommodate. 

What about inclement weather?

All projects are “Weather Permitting.” Inclement weather for exteriors can range from high winds, to rain, or extreme temps. Inclement weather for interior work is usually subjective to adverse road conditions or Blizzard like conditions, safety is always a main concern in any and every situation. No matter what the challenge we will always be communicating with our customers throughout the process. 

How is payment handled?

When your job is fully completed and you are happy with the workwe issue you an invoice via email. You can pay by check, ACH bank transfer or Credit Card. We encourage our customers to not use Credit Cards (when possible) because there is a processing fee that is included.

Does the crew expect a tip at the end of the job?

No, we do not accept tips. If you are happy with the work our crews would LOVE a 5 Star google review. We give our crews that receive a 5 Star review a bonus so that is the BEST way to say thank you.