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pretzels 03-30-2011 08:50 PM

assumptions made, lazy painter?
wife wanted to hire painter to finish painting house, mostly the interior. shes tired of me working on the house all the time. thats another story altogether....

i had done all the trim throughout, and finished the upstairs, which includes 3 doors. We called out a painter to: finish all the drywall downstairs, prime and paint 6 smooth doors and their door jambs with water based latex paint. We also wanted them to do 2 plain smooth metal exterior doors inside and out, with an oil paint. our exterior is a metal building, so it had metal beams that needed to be painted, i did most, but there was some that needed paint. so they were supposed to do that.

Was I wrong to assume that the painter should have removed all doors and hardware before painting them with out me having to tell him too? Or have washed off all of the exterior metal beams before painting them. I thought all this was common knowledge. Thats just lazy right?

I rolled the paint on the doors i painted with a regular sized roller used on walls with no problems what so ever, no roller marks, no marks period.

They used some kind of 4 inch roller and looks as if they smoked meth because they had roller marks all over the place. They taped off the hinges, then since the roller couldnt get close to the hinge, they painted with a we have roller marks mixed with brush marks....and the hinge looks like crap cause the way the paint is half on it half off, and is kind of peeled back from tape removal. They did take the door knobs off the interior doors.

They cut in the drywall with a brush....i have painted 3 houses in my life not counting this one, and more than once....i have never used a brush.....they leave brush marks and looks horrible (i use foam ones, or rollers). So the cut in is all thin. I just always use rollers, cause you just squeeze them in the corners and it cuts in nicely, and it saturates the wall, and matches the rest of the wall, if you squeeze too much out, just roll over it a few times.

So now the exterior doors, they rolled, horrible again, didnt take off any hardware, so its on that too. So since they were rolling it, and didnt take off the hardware, they brushed around the knobs and hinges, with a brush.....that just looks HORRIBLE.

Since they didnt take the doors off, they didnt paint the top edge or bottom. Which you can see when your upstairs on the loft if a door is open.

I clearly talked to the guy, and wrote it out on paper to prime and paint the doors and jambs. Yet it seems as if they didnt use any primer, there were six doors and jambs.....I used half a gallon of primer just on 3 doors and jambs, they used apparently about 1/16th of a gallon, if that.

They knew they were running out of paint, so they "stretched it". they applied it so thin (we have textured drywall) that it looks like they didnt even apply pressure on the its not even fully covered with one coat, or they dipped it about every 10 feet.

With my experience, i have always made sure its completely covered with one coat, then i add this not a normal way to do it?

So, they left, told my wife they ran out of paint and had to "stretch it," they can come back and finish, or they will just knock off a couple hundred and it will be good.....

The exterior they clearly used brushes on the beams when i told them to use rollers.....cause now theres just brush marks all in the paint, and where there are brush marks the paint is thin, plus all i painted is rolled and smooth looking.

They did one coat on everything. Am I wrong to assume they should have done two?

They gave my wife an excuse that the paint was cheaper paint and was really watery. It was hard to get it stirred in. I have used this paint on the entire upstairs, with no problem, its premium paint from Lowes, olympic brand. It was a 5 gallon bucket. And i some how get the impression they stirred it with a stick, and not a drill attachment, which is ridiculous, i have like 4 of those, they dont? Plus isnt water based paint....made with water...

Two of our doors are full glass, wood around them. They brushed those. So now, up against my trim that was rolled, it looks completely different cause its brushed.....which isnt that big of a deal to me....

they got paint on 3 window shades, that i have to replace now....very cheap though. I specifically said, and wrote on my list, not to paint the window seals, because they are already done.....they painted like 3, with the shades in, so now at the top of the shade, paint is like pushed in between the shade hanger and the drywall, looks bad.

They are supposed to come out friday to "finish." They said they could take the doors off and spray them, out in our basically i would getting dirt in the paint rather than roller marks.

Wouldnt they have to sand all these down, or could they really just paint over these and fix it?

Should we just tell them to take a hike.....we havent paid them....but now im screwed if i have to sand ****.

I thought it was at least fair to let them try to fix it..... Am I being to easy on them by letting them try to fix it ?

Im tired of typing about this...

housepaintingny 03-30-2011 09:07 PM

In most states by law a contractor is entitled to be paid for the value of the services performened. Another coat of paint should help fix the problem. It is common to cut drywall in with a brush, as long as you keep a wet edge and use quality paint there will be no brush marks. Half a gallon of primer for three doors sounds like a lot of primer. Its common to cut around door hardwear with a brush and if your using quality paint and are experienced there will be no brush marks. I have literally painted 100s of metal doors, commercial and resedential, with no brush marks, so it can be done. An experienced painter should be able to paint doors while they are hung with out using tape and without getting paint on the hard wear. I rarely ever propose to take doors off of the hinges, unless the client wants to pay for the extra labor involved. If your painter was suppose to remove the doors it should have been outlined in the contract between them and you. If you had a contract? A reputable company will have a contract with everything clearly outlined. Sounds like you may have hired a painter based solely on price and not on the over all value that a painting company would give you. If the painting contractor is leaving roller marks all over your doors and hard wear he sounds like a fly by night. I would have used a DTM acrylic latex on the doors and not an oil base.

jsheridan 03-30-2011 09:34 PM

There's a lot to dissect there.

Firstly, it sounds to me like you happened across some hacks, especially if you made specific requests on certain things. Their conscientiousness and work habits aside, many of your gripes are standard procedure.

Cutting walls with a brush, not removing doors (however, painting the tops if seen from above is correct, most guys don't think that deeply), cutting in hinge hardware when rolling doors, etc.

It sounds to me like you take a lot of pride in your work, and no one else will match that, and the way you do things may lie outside of what is generally accepted in the trade.

I can imagine what it looks like, I've seen it before. But, without seeing it, I can't tell what are their shortcomings or your unrealized expectations. Much of what you are asking relate to what should have been set forth in the initial meeting and proposal, such as the # of coats.

Also, an attentive contractor would have tried to match the textures more closely to what you applied. All that said, and no slight intended, I think that the largest problem lies in your approach to hiring them. The approach should have been to request three estimates, and explaining what and how you want the job to look to each.

It's good to ask for estimates that will allow you to compare apples to apples. With exceptions, it's wise to toss the lowest of the bids. Choose between the remaining two based on your perception of the contractor, ie, is he/she someone you can work with. It's better to pay a higher price than have a grumpy, unyielding contractor when things go wrong, which they invariably do. I fear that you shopped this job based on price alone, and that's where you went wrong. If that's the case, don't feel bad, you're not alone.

Going forward, I suggest you explain to them what you think and see how they can make it more up to your standards, let them finish, and customize it yourself afterwards. Sorry if this wasn't what you expected, but your story is so typical that it almost has it's own page in the legitimate contractor's handbook. Good Luck.

beerdog 03-30-2011 11:53 PM

Is Olympic paint or anything at all from a Big Box considered good paint amongst professionals? It seems on this site and contractor talk just about every paint gets slammed by pros except SW and BM.

chrisn 03-31-2011 02:26 AM


Originally Posted by beerdog (Post 620425)
Is Olympic paint or anything at all from a Big Box considered good paint amongst professionals? It seems on this site and contractor talk just about every paint gets slammed by pros except SW and BM.


there is a reason for that

beerdog 03-31-2011 07:17 AM

That could explain the "watery pain comments, but not all the problems.

beerdog 03-31-2011 07:28 AM

One more questions for J.A.

-Should the painters have said they were running out of paint and given the HO a chance to get more?

DrHicks 03-31-2011 08:33 AM

Sounds to me like another chapter in the, "Not All 'Professionals' Are Good At What They Do," book.

housepaintingny 03-31-2011 10:00 AM

The post is clear. Th HO hired a contractor based on the lowest estimate and got exactly what he is paying for. Using cheap paint does not help the matter and then, as the HO states he is telling the painters how to do there job, wanting to be the superintendent of the job. A professional painting company knows how to complete the project at hand, does not need to be told how, and would not have used cheap olympic paint. Personally if I was giving the HO a proposal regarding the work and he said he wanted me to use olympic paint I would have declined giving an estimate.

Windows 03-31-2011 10:15 AM

Lazy painters for sure, and also a laziness on the part of the homeowner in doing their due diligence to ensure that they hired someone professional and trustworthy. Also, if you have very particular requirements or expectations, let them be known to the contractor at the outset so he knows to meet them, and so he can price them into his estimate.

pretzels 03-31-2011 10:49 AM

well to clear a few things up...

I have never hired a painter before. I clearly wrote a 2 page bulleted paper with what they should have done. I did have assumptions, and i guess i can take the hit on that one. He clearly asked me what I used when I painted, tool wise, I told him.

Price was no issue whatsoever, i wanted it done, and done right....I do not ever base anything on price, i would never choose the cheapest price.

I live far away, from anywhere, and some people didn't even show up to bid or kept moving the bid to another day.

When i asked them to paint things, i expected them to paint them. I asked to paint the doors and jambs....not not paint parts of them. You can clearly see behind hinges raw wood, and around and in the latch hole, raw wood.

Yes, i could have had plenty of paint delivered personally to them at my house if they asked....or let me know. I bought all the paint they said i needed, plus more.

I may have exaggerated on how much primer i had used before.....but they clearly didnt use enough, if any at all. And of course i was getting aggravated typing up the thread, so some statements i said concerning how they shouldnt have used brushes to cut in and stuff was over the top....cause i know its typical. (theres just a better way to do it)

And yes, if they did it right, and I couldn't tell, i could give a crap less how they did it.

I painted a wall upstairs with only one coat of the same paint myself......not one streak, fully covered. They clearly rushed it.

The exterior doors are just a joke, because they didnt take the knobs off, and swiped a brush around looks like swirls around the knob. Plus stuff stuck all in the paint, and they let the doors close and the edges look like crap. (probably what really made us upset the most)

Is painting over dirt a typical approach to painting.....If i ask you to paint something that is sort of dirty because its a part on the exterior....would you clean it off, paint over it, or at least ask me if your supposed to clean it before hand.....or tell me ahead of time to clean it.

Having something painted, is having it painted....covered. Nothing is covered completely. Its see through. If he told me in the beginning the price would be doubled for two coats or something. i would have agreed. But anything to do with payment is to be argued after the second attempt.

I have yet to give a bad attitude, and my wife and i have stayed calm when talking to them.

I am contemplating just telling them to finish the drywall, and exterior parts, and ill fix and finish the doors. Would that be weird to tell them, and could there be a deduction there in price...

How would i approach the problem with them painting on 3 window shades? Do i just need to buy them (they are seriously less than 20 bucks each and add in what Lowes would charge to install them, and tell them they need to deduct that from the final payment?? I dont know how to approach that.

I would honestly have them do a second attempt, pay them, and get them out of my life....

Faron79 03-31-2011 11:01 AM

Too bad for the OP. I feel bad for them!

If the OP had knowledge of FPE's ECO-Waterborne, or Eurolux-Satin or Gloss, they'd be DROOLING over their doors! Assuming a good painter did the "due-diligence" prep.
No, the paint ain't cheap.

The results...I'M hooked on it!
(and we don't sell it...I have nothing to do with them)

I have to paint some entry-door casings soon. GUESS what I'm using...


housepaintingny 03-31-2011 11:03 AM

Dosnt sound like you had a contract. A 2 page list of things to paint isn't a contract. That should have been a sign when the contractor didn't present you a clearly outlined contract, including what was going to be painted and the number of coats. If the contractor damaged your blinds he should pay for them. I'm sure he has insurance, which would cover damage to your property. Painting inside of the door where the hardwear goes is a little extreme and so isn't painting behind the hinges, especially when a lot of painters don't remove the doors to paint how could you paint behind the hinges.

beerdog 03-31-2011 11:04 AM

Pretzels....sounds like ya got whacked by some hacks.

NCpaint1 03-31-2011 11:10 AM

Give them a chance to fix it. Honestly, most products look like crap with one coat. If you want to paint the doors yourself, tell them.

From what it sounds like, these guys are commercial painters. Not custom home painters. What is acceptable in the commercial world, doesnt fly on the residential side. With the economy being the way that it is, commercial guys are branching into residential and vice versa to try and stay alive. Its rough out there for these guys. Im not making excuses, just trying to give the other sides point of view. You say that nobody came to bid. Well, you said that 1, you live far away. Thats probably a big turn off for most guys. Giving a free estimate when the vast majority of their calls are just "tire kickers". Gas is expensive, and those free estimates cost their company time and money, not to mention their closing rates are lower as well as overall pricing.

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