Residential Painting Expectations & Preparations

of CertaPro Painters® of Greater Media, PA

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Reminder we rarely commit to “hard starts;” rather, we focus on letting you know which week we will be starting – and your Office Manager will work out the details with you as the crews indicate how their current jobs are progressing. You can contact our Office Manager directly at any time.


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
Large color stickers are also available from Sherwin Williams as an alternative to paint samples.


If you want more than one color on the walls, you will need to pay for accent walls (typically $125/wall). Accent walls will be done with 3 coats and require extra prep for restoration level smoothness underneath.


If you want to use paint other than MAB, Sherwin Williams or BenMoore UltraSpec expect to pay the cost beyond $15/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 necessary 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 especially difficult to get off. In this instance we would discuss options including charging more to strip, painting over (and charging less), or installing thin 3/8” drywall.


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.”


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 painting, especially flat paint, please be aware that watermarks 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.


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.


The default finish on all walls in this proposal is 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 the scope of this contract and we would propose to do this work at $42 / 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, molding, and trim installation, staining, garage, and basement floors, and of course painting.


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.


Keep in mind that we typically are not stripping off ALL old paint prior to painting. Because of this, we are painting over oftentimes 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-ups 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. Stripping is done through chemical, heat, or abrasion. We are not responsible for pitted surfaces previously hidden on the wood or porous bricks or damaged mortar. We recommend you check in early and often during the process to make sure you feel comfortable with your progress.


We typically do not remove hardware, doorknobs, 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 on 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.
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.


LEVEL 3 – is the default for all surfaces to be painted based on our discussion at our appointment. Level 3 appears as a smooth surface when viewed at a 3′ distance. Note – old wood or surfaces with painted wallpaper will NEVER be smooth as glass or new. Expectations on surface smoothness must be clearly stated and agreed to prior to the job’s start.
As defined by Painting Contractors Association Standards (PDCA):
“This surface preparation level incorporates the requirements of Levels 1 and 2 with added emphasis on the quality of appearance of finished painted surfaces. This level of surface preparation includes filling, patching, taping cracks in drywall and properly dealing with “nail pops,” approximate matches to existing textures, and thorough sanding to minimize existing runs, sags, brush/roller marks, and the surface profile of cracked and peeling areas, and other existing surface defects. Under this level of preparation, the general surface profile is retained but defects causing abrupt surface profile differences exceeding 1/16 inch or 62.5 mils will be corrected. This level of surface preparation is normally recommended only on surfaces rated DSD-0, DSD-1, or DSD-2.”

RESTORATION LEVEL – will result in a completely smooth surface regardless of how many previous coats of paint have been applied. RESTORATION prep is an additional 50% minimum to the quoted price below and may require stripping, wood replacement or new 3/8″ drywall applied over an existing surface, etc.

Restoration – This degree of surface preparation is required when existing conditions indicate that the surfaces are severely deteriorated (DSD-3) or there is substrate damage (DSD-4). Existing coatings may be completely, or nearly completely removed (for example stripping to repaint rather than stripping to stain). Abrasion, chemical removers, or applied heat may be employed in order to remove a failed coating and/or to expose a failing substrate. Substrates may have to be completely replaced, repaired, or resurfaced.”