Preventing Surprises

With more than 30 years in this business you would think we’ve seen everything that can happen on a paint job… but I am still surprised myself!  We know that our clients don’t like surprises – but we also know that they don’t want ten page contracts and/or a whole hour session on what could happen on their job.

Keep in mind if something comes up on your job we will “live the golden rule” and work out something that seems fair to both parties.

For clients that want to be better prepared and want to think through different scenarios, this list is for you!



Reminder we rarely commit to “hard starts;” rather, we focus on letting you know which week we will be starting – and your crew leader will work out the details with you as they know how their current jobs are progressing. You can contact your crew leader directly from OUR TEAM page.

Important – Although the windows will dry to the touch in several hours, they will not completely cure for 30 days or so. Please open and close all windows every several days or else THEY WILL STICK ! Also, to prevent doors from sticking apply a small amount of Vaseline or liquid dove soap to the stripping before closing.

We typically do not arrive with the tinted paint the first day – even if you’ve chosen your colors prior. We like to confirm with you the color, sheen etc. before making the final purchase.

If you change your mind on colors we will need to charge you for the additional paint we need to purchase and any time spent repainting the areas that were already painted.

We are happy to purchase and apply samples for your project. Beyond the complimentary samples, we do charge $45 per sample.
Projects under $2000:  up to 2 complimentary samples
Projects $2,100 – $10,000: up to 5 samples
Projects over $10,000: up to 7 samples

If you want more than one color on the walls, you will need to pay for accent walls (typically $75/wall).

If you want to use paint other than Sherwin Williams or BenMoore UltraSpec expect to pay the cost beyond $25/gallon.

Depending on the size of the room, it will take between one and three days. We may be able to make arrangements for you to use the room in the meantime (say to sleep in the bed at night), but it is best to prepare to not have access for several days.

If you change the trim color from its current color even slightly, expect that a 2nd coat will be necessarily and there will be a charge for that (most often outlined on the proposal)

Wallpaper stripping is a bit unpredictable –  our assumption is that it may be hard to remove, but not near-impossible – 95% of the time we are correct. Occasionally it is MUCH harder to get off. In this instance would discuss options including charging more to strip, or painting over (and charging less).

Carpentry is not typically included in our bids – but our crew chiefs can quote additional work for you and we are considered very fair – 95%+ of our clients say “that sounds great, please go ahead.”

Any carpentry work to be done by anyone other than CertaPro Painters must be 100% complete before we can begin the painting work.

Our typical proposal assumes you will choose one wall color per room, and no more than five wall colors in total, unless otherwise indicated in your proposal. There will be an upcharge of $50 per additional color chosen above five wall colors.

Our standard for bathrooms and powder rooms is to apply Sherwin Williams Satin Bathpaint for best mildew and moisture resistance. Some people also choose to use this paint in their kitchens. If you choose to go with another paint, especially a flat paint, please be aware that water marks and stains may occur due to water being splashed on the walls. If this occurs in the future, it is not considered a warranty issue.

On rare occasions, certain deep base colors (such as dark reds) may require more than two coats for proper coverage or depth of tone. If after two coats, you are not satisfied with the look, we will fill out a change order and proceed to apply additional coats at $42 per hour and materials (if needed) to achieve your desired outcome.

Walls that currently have a sheen higher than flat (such as Matte, Low Luster, Satin, Eg-Shel, Semi-gloss, Gloss), that require wall repair (spackling, sanding and spot priming) will also require a full primer coat UNLESS the new top coat paint is flat. Anything other than flat (without a full primer coat) will show flashing in the areas the walls have been repaired and spot primed. This would make the re-worked areas look patchy.

If you are choosing to have a color matched from an existing sample, we cannot ensure 100% accuracy. Color Matching though accurate is not an exact science, and human/mechanical error does come into play. If additional coatings are necessary to ensure your satisfaction, a charge for the additional paint and labor may be applied to your final bill.

I have specified all walls in this proposal as flat and the pricing includes wall preparation, based on what is visible under flat conditions (nail pops, wall indents). If you choose to go with a higher sheen, such as Matte finish, Low Luster or EggShell, it is more than likely that other wall imperfections become visible. Wall repair of these imperfections is out of scope of this contract and we would propose to do this work at $75 / man hour under a time and materials addendum to this contract.

Ceilings often only need one finish coat (which is included under our “Full Coverage” definition).

Please leave the nail in when you take pictures off walls and want to put it back in the same place after painting. If you want the hole filled, please take the nail out.

Be aware we have different size painting crews – we try to match the best crew (many factors) to YOUR job. Typically you will want to get several rooms ready for us, but several of our crews have the capability to get much more done faster and they may ask you to get more rooms ready so they can be efficient and you get your house back sooner.

We are a full service painting and paperhanging company that can help you make your home yours. Other interior services we provide include decorative and faux finishes, wallpaper hanging, moulding and trim installation, staining, garage and basement floors, and of course painting.

Exterior services include powerwashing, minor wood repairs, deck sealing and staining, and of course, painting.

Powerwashing as preparation for painting is a preparation step that we do to remove dirt and debris. We water down the plants around the home and under low pressure wet down the building with a mixture of water and cleaner.

Afterwards we wash off the cleaner under high pressure. This will not always result in a uniform cleanliness, but will make the house ready for painting. If we are powerwashing a home that is not being painted, we powerwash much more aggressively and therefore spend more time. Cedar is a soft wood that can not always be aggressively cleaned. We recommend not to powerwash old Aluminum siding without painting it, as the chalked paint would be removed with the powerwash.

Certain types of molds, such as target mold (little black dots) cannot be powerwashed off. Sanding will remove it temporarily, but more than likely it will come back very quickly. Removing mildew off of siding aggressively can also result in a stained look where the siding is a slightly different color in the areas where we cleaned.

If the clapboards on your home’s exterior siding were installed too snugly, they have the potential to trap moisture within the siding construction. Over time, this moisture can weaken the wood, rust the nails and cause exterior paint to crack and peel. You can stop the damage before it is too late, though, by ventilating the siding. Not ventilating the siding will void any painting warranty.

These stains do not result in uniform coloring of stained surfaces; some areas will be lighter and others, darker.

You may want to consider contacting your security firm if they have central monitoring of their smoke alarm and put your system on “test” during the work period. The drywall sanding does set off smoke alarms occasionally.

If the previous paint job has overlapped from the window frame onto the masonry or brick – we typically prefer to paint a nice clean line where it should be. Note this may leave some of the old paint on the brick or masonry (most likely this can only be removed through sand blasting and this is not included in the painting bid.)

We do NOT repair or repoint the masonry around wood windows that are set into stone or brick.  Pointing is a specific trade and is best left to pointing experts.

We typically place a lawn sign prior to starting your job or during the job. If you do not want a sign up, please let us know when you accept the job.

You will want to remove anything from the rooms we are painting BEFORE we arrive as you may not have access to it until the room is painted because it may be covered.

For baseboard heaters that are attached to the wall, we typically do not unscrew them and paint behind them.  Let us know if you want that painted and we can add that to the job.

We apply stain to decks using a combination of these three methods: spraying, brushing and rolling depending on the deck and conditions. We have found all to be effective.

Keep in mind that we typically are not stripping off ALL old paint prior to painting. Because of this we are painting over often times MANY previous layers of paint. There is always a chance that a layer of paint several layers down fails and causes our paint to peel off. While this is technically not under warranty, please reach out to us. We often fix it no charge or for a nominal fee at our discretion. The only way to be 100% sure areas do not peel is if you strip all old paint back to the bare substrate.

While we prefer latex paints and products that are better for the environment, there are specific instances where oil primers and paints are options that last much longer:  very shiny surfaces, after wallpaper removal, kitchen cabinets, ceiling stains.  If you have strong reactions to oil products, you may want to consider being out of the house for several days. A slight odor may linger for much longer. While we can use a latex product instead, we do not offer a warranty in that case.

All Latex Paints require a minimum of 30 days to fully dry and must not be wiped before, or they will degrade.

While 99.9% of painted cabinets last many years beyond our 2 year warranty, some occasional chipping is to be expected. Luckily touch-up of chipping cabinets can usually be done in under an hour.

You might want to check your air filter after we’ve completed your interior painting project. The drywall dust can fill up the filter.

It is hard to predict the final results  and we make no promises. We are not responsible for pitted or porous bricks or damaged mortar. We recommend you check in early and often during the process to make sure you feel comfortable with progress.

If your home or building was built prior to 1978 and you haven’t read and signed our EPA brochure, please sign and return before we begin your project. This document must be signed before we can perform any work.

We typically do not remove hardware, door knobs, light fixtures, etc. to paint around, but of course we can discuss an additional charge for this if this is your preference.


PREPARING ROOMS:  Before we arrive the first day please prepare 2-3 rooms: remove all pictures and paintings (leave nails if you plan to re-hang pictures in the same spot), remove unwanted nails so the holes can be filled, remove all small and fragile objects (tables, shelves and floors should be empty), clean out all closets/cabinets/etc. that we are painting, and remove all windows treatments. We are happy to do this work for you if you like at our hourly rate of $44/hr.

Several things to be aware of before we begin:

PAYMENT: We occasionally ask for partial payments based on progress and final payment is due the day your job is complete.  Please have a check ready for your foreman to collect when they finish the job – I trust my employees 100% with collecting checks.  If you would prefer to pay by credit card please call our credit card hotline 484-380-5612.  Call a 2nd time if it is not answered.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS: We do add a 2% surcharge to all credit card transactions to partly cover the costs. You can always pay by check.

WINDOW TREATMENTS / SWITCHPLATES:  Let your crew leader know if you are planning to rehang the window treatments, or if you are replacing them.  This way he knows to leave the brackets, or if he should remove and spackle behind.  Let your crew leader know if you are keeping the switch plates, or replacing them – occasionally we paint them if they were previously.

PETS: Please be sure that your pets do not have access to the rooms that we are painting. It is very easy to bump into a recently painted wall or kick up dust and ruin several hours of trim painting.

CLEAN-UP: We will do a surface clean-up each day, and a full clean-up upon completion of the job. Be aware that to do the aggressive spackling and sanding job that we prefer, we will create a fair amount of dust. We will get most of this up before we leave, but you should still plan to have a cleaning service come through your house after we have finished your job.



EXTRA PAINTING:  It is fairly common to find more painting to be done while we are there (and want us to get it done before we leave).  That is highly encouraged – Our Crew leaders are more than happy to put together a change form and give you prices for anything you want to add to the job we are doing  . . .  and we should be able to complete it before we leave!

MANY LAYERS OF OLD PAINT ON THE EXTERIOR: Be aware that unless you have us strip all of the old paint there is a chance that the paint that is left after scraping or sanding will come off during the warranty period taking off the new paint with it. This is technically NOT included in our warranty but we may do several hours of touch-ups for you at a nominal charge – consult your sales associate.

BUSHES: Please take time to check bushes and shrubs surrounding your house to see if they may inhibit the painters. If you can prune these bushes before the painters arrive it would be very helpful.

PREPARATION: Please be sure you have chosen the level of preparation you will be happy with when the job is completed.  Review the exterior preparation info if you haven’t already.  We have found that this is the area where expectations are the most important – if you expect more preparation than the level you have chosen you will probably be disappointed in the final job.

WINDOWS AND DOORS: Important – Although the windows will dry to the touch in several hours, they will not completely cure for 30 days or so. Please open and close all windows every several days or else THEY WILL STICK ! Also, to prevent doors from sticking apply a small amount of Vaseline or liquid dove soap to the stripping before closing.

COLORS:  By this stage you should be fairly certain of the final color selections.  Have your foreman apply a sample patch the first day if you’re not 100% certain of the colors you’ve chosen.  If colors are changed mid-stream, we do need to charge for any lost time and product purchased.

CARPENTRY:  If you are interested in any carpentry work please let us know.  If we find any rotten wood during the washing or preparation stages we will point it out to you, and offer to give you a bid to replace.

WINDOW WASHING:  We recommend having your windows professionally washed after the painting is completed. If you are interested in a proposal, let me know and I will arrange to have Jeremy Fanucci from I Do Windows, Inc. to stop by and quote your job.

CLEAN-UP:  Your crew leader will be performing a daily clean-up so your property is presentable, and a full clean-up upon completion.  Although our final clean-up is thorough, there are often many very small chips that give a “salt and pepper” look to your mulch until the first rain comes.

Whenever possible we recommend replacing rotten wood with new wood.  While it is often more economical to patch rotten areas, this work is NOT under warranty. Eventually it will fail (could be years, but sometimes months).

VARNISHED SURFACES: We do not warranty varnished surfaces. Keep in mind that if varnished surfaces get any direct sunlight they often start deteriorating in six months to two years. It is recommended that you get a “refresh” including a very light sand and re-varnish before the varnish fails, as that is much less expensive then waiting for the varnish to fail – at that point we need to completely remove ALL varnish, re-stain and re-varnish. Some of our clients ask us to put a fresh coat on their door yearly to keep up on it.

CLOSE HOMES: If your neighbor is very close to you ( property line within 15 feet of your house) please make arrangements for us to be able to place the feet of our ladders on their property. If you prefer we use a lift or scaffolding the additional cost would be on you.

Horizontal surfaces take a beating from foot traffic, rain, ice, and snow and will show wear before anything else. Many people choose to maintain them biannually or annually.