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Old 04-21-2012, 07:33 PM   #16
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


I see you are all over here spreading your special brand of joy.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #17
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I see. Sorry, I didn't realize this was an indiscreet question - I assumed most of you on this forum were anonymous.

You could have pm'ed with general costs - not your super special deal that you have with SW.
Do you mind telling us why you would like to know the cost?

This is an open forum and cost pricing is kind of a private matter to our business.

Talk about any pricing is not really a proper thing for forums. To many variables involved.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:30 PM   #18
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


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I see you are all over here spreading your special brand of joy.
You betcha!
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:48 PM   #19
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I've been courteous with you but you have not. If I ask a chef to make me a meal that takes slightly longer than a sandwich, will he charge me for more labor? There's a line where the contractor becomes annoying and he should be shown the door. I would show you and your cans of paint the door in 5 minutes.
So are you now implying that labor costs are not calculated into the cost of food prep? I thought you were a businessman. Of course they are.
As to what Brushjockey said, the only time I'm actually earning money, my wages, is when I have a brush in hand. Painting is a very competitively priced trade, and there are a lot of things to do other than holding a brush. I can only hope to recoup the time spent estimating, typing proposals, consulting, etc.
A smart painter/estimator qualifies his customer on a number of issues, personality being one. I'm getting pretty good at exposing hidden red flags. I walk away from some meetings with little to no interest in working for that person. It goes both ways, as said.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:49 AM   #20
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I have no doubt - that's why you have so much time to spend on forums

never mind

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Old 04-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #21
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


I have been following PB's threads for two days now and it is fairly easy to tell what he is wanting. He wants to know whether he is paying too much for his painting services....

As a 60 y.o. male that started painting when just out of school in 1970 and still do occasionally, if my responsibilities as a facilities manager over a ten million dollar property requires it. I do have a clue as what painting contractors deal with....

The readers need to understand that a painting contractor (as most all trades contractors) do not have set incomes. The contractors annual income is determined by the amount of bid jobs he won, and the profit/loss column at the end of the year. ...

Some jobs the contractor will do well on for profit, some he will lose his hinny on. "On the job" mistakes, employee turnover, on site mistakes made by engineers, designers and other trades people can often put a job in the red for any contractor...

In the end, the contractor is totally reliant on his/her ability to keep generating income. If they get sick, no one pays them for their down time like hourly or salaried people get. The only retirement they have is what they can put back during their "good" jobs.....

Sometimes they have to "carry" their employees wages in the slow times with no money coming in, just to keep them with their company so they will have their good employees available when business picks up. Overhead has to be paid right on weekly, with profit bearing jobs to do or with no jobs to do at all..

Add to this, one day the owner will not be physically able to work so hard and they will have to be totally dependent on other hired hands to make their living for them....

This is a daunting place to be in as trade workers enjoy a revolving door employer policy. As soon as the contractor down the street offers them .50 cents a more on the hour raise, they are gone. ..

Just a little perspective on what it is like to be a self employed contractor, as I was one for a while in the electrical field and found out it wasnt all its cracked up to be.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #22
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


It's in my nature to analyze things. I didn't mean to insult anyone by coming to the forum. I came here seeking advice and I have gotten some but the aloofness of some folks makes it hard for a discussion to progress.

The first question was "does it take more effort to use 6 colors versus 2" and if so how much more effort. The answer was not straight forward as some painters assumed. First, there is the matter of customer service - giving the customer what he wants goes a long way even if your margins go down a little on that one projct. In my case, where the person is making 10-15k in profit, the contractor's behavior was unacceptable especially since I'm buying the paint and that takes time and money. Second, it's not necessarily always the case that 6 colors reuqire more labor than 2 colors. It depends on how many transitions you use and also what patters you may ask. A client is far more likely to transition more often with 2 colors to achieve depth and dimension than with 6 colors unless they have no clue on how to use color. They may also ask for labor-intensive patterns like stripes or 2-tones - it'd be hard for any painter to argue that you would like a premium when you're using 2 colors! Even if you get the premium, you'd lose referrals so you lose either way. Depending on the space configuration, 2 colors might require more labor. It was a stunning revelation for me and for the experts!!!

Second, I asked if it was ok to use flat paint as primer which the SW store clerk recommended. I'm bright enough to understand that the chemical composition would be different even without having touched a can of paint in my life. This was confirmed by the folks on this forum and I switched to primer. Thank you guys!


Third, I mentioned that my contractor says that he buys 5 gal primer for $40 and 1 gal of paint for $20. That raised eyebrows and also it affects the credit I will receive. I just shelled out $750 for paint and I'm curious to see what credit my contractor will give me. To be honest, I might not give a damn if he gives me $200 for the paint that he would have used. More curious to see if it was reasonable.

Every forum has some nuts and there's nothing you can do about them. The only issue I have with them is that they prevent a meaningful discussion from being fleshed out. I'm not sure if they do it on purpose or simply are unaware of the chaos they add to each discussion. Either way, the end result is the same. The topic dies the moment they get involved...

Last edited by PaintBird; 04-22-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #23
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


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It's in my nature to analyze things. I didn't mean to insult anyone by coming to the forum. I came here seeking advice and I have gotten some but the aloofness of some folks makes it hard for a discussion to progress.

The first question was "does it take more effort to use 6 colors versus 2" and if so how much more effort. The answer was not straight forward as some painters assumed. First, there is the matter of customer service - giving the customer what he wants goes a long way even if your margins go down a little on that one project. In my case, where the person is making 10-15k in profit, the contractor's behavior was unacceptable especially since I'm buying the paint and that takes time and money. Second, it's not necessarily always the case that 6 colors require more labor than 2 colors. It depends on how many transitions you use and also what patters you may ask. A client is far more likely to transition more often with 2 colors to achieve depth and dimension than with 6 colors unless they have no clue on how to use color. They may also ask for labor-intensive patterns like stripes or 2-tones - it'd be hard for any painter to argue that you would like a premium when you're using 2 colors! Even if you get the premium, you'd lose referrals so you lose either way. Depending on the space configuration, 2 colors might require more labor. It was a stunning revelation for me and for the experts!!!

Second, I asked if it was ok to use flat paint as primer which the SW store clerk recommended. I'm bright enough to understand that the chemical composition would be different even without having touched a can of paint in my life. This was confirmed by the folks on this forum and I switched to primer. Thank you guys!


Third, I mentioned that my contractor says that he buys 5 gal primer for $40 and 1 gal of paint for $20. That raised eyebrows and also it affects the credit I will receive. I just shelled out $750 for paint and I'm curious to see what credit my contractor will give me. To be honest, I might not give a damn if he gives me $200 for the paint that he would have used. More curious to see if it was reasonable.

Every forum has some nuts and there's nothing you can do about them. The only issue I have with them is that they prevent a meaningful discussion from being fleshed out. I'm not sure if they do it on purpose or simply are unaware of the chaos they add to each discussion. Either way, the end result is the same. The topic dies the moment they get involved...
Customer service should not involve margins going down. How do you know exactly what your contractor is making? You still insist he is making 10-15k. Do you think that all a contractor pays for is paint and labor? Who do you think pays the taxes (fed., state and local), who pays the insurance ( liability and workers comp) who pays the equipment cost, office cost, vehicle maintenance and gas etc.
You still think because you are paying that a contractor is not entitled to charge you more for more work.
Some contractors spend that 10-15k that your talking about in one month for just labor, but you think a contractor is making millions and should not charge extra for extra work.
You want to know what contractors pay for paint. What do you pay for your supplies for your business? Do you want your margins to drop for your business?
Customer service has nothing to do with a contractor providing services for free and any one with common sense knows that and does not expect someone to work for free. Do you work for free?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #24
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


Paintbird, we're not here to break your stones, okay. We're here to help you. The routine for some who come here is to ask for help, but then not want the help, refuse to take the advice they're given, or insist upon questioning every logic and bit of advice they're given, and they get a hard time. As much as it may seem I enjoy being a pitbull, I don't, it bothers me. You don't benefit people by telling them what they want to hear, but by what they need to hear. You're butting heads here with, rough count, over two hundred plus years of experience, a conservative estimate. Questioning that amount of experience and insisting on your point is a bit disrespectful, and that was all the hook it took. We deal with the products and situations you're currently experiencing, one time, on a day in day out basis, over decades. What we're talking about here is second nature to us.
Since you're new to this forum, it's unfair to characterize it and the people the way you did. We have a great group of people here who are genuinely interested in helping people, and we all work together to make that happen. We agree on more than we disagree, and we do disagree. But at no time are we uncivil with each other. We each have our own areas of knowledge, experience, and ability that come together in great fashion, and the people who pass through here benefit from that. I don't think I know it all, I don't, and I don't think any others here do either, well, maybe one, but he's on a short leash. And each one of us, to the man, has the ability to tip a hat when they're corrected or make a mistake.
Our only aim here is too have some fun and solve painting issues, and you're welcome here. But if this forum doesn't fit your needs, go find one that does. You'll not find a better one.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #25
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Paintbird, we're not here to break your stones, okay. We're here to help you. The routine for some who come here is to ask for help, but then not want the help, refuse to take the advice they're given, or insist upon questioning every logic and bit of advice they're given, and they get a hard time. As much as it may seem I enjoy being a pitbull, I don't, it bothers me. You don't benefit people by telling them what they want to hear, but by what they need to hear. You're butting heads here with, rough count, over two hundred plus years of experience, a conservative estimate. Questioning that amount of experience and insisting on your point is a bit disrespectful, and that was all the hook it took. We deal with the products and situations you're currently experiencing, one time, on a day in day out basis, over decades. What we're talking about here is second nature to us.
Since you're new to this forum, it's unfair to characterize it and the people the way you did. We have a great group of people here who are genuinely interested in helping people, and we all work together to make that happen. We agree on more than we disagree, and we do disagree. But at no time are we uncivil with each other. We each have our own areas of knowledge, experience, and ability that come together in great fashion, and the people who pass through here benefit from that. I don't think I know it all, I don't, and I don't think any others here do either, well, maybe one, but he's on a short leash. And each one of us, to the man, has the ability to tip a hat when they're corrected or make a mistake.
Our only aim here is too have some fun and solve painting issues, and you're welcome here. But if this forum doesn't fit your needs, go find one that does. You'll not find a better one.
See, that's your problem. I'm in agreement with almost everything you and others have said, yet you assume that I've refused to take your advice. I disagree with the delivery, not the content.


Let the outsider be the judge of how good this forum is. Some folks are very helpful but some are like piranhas and try to gang up - it's common on all forums. If someone comes to this forum to post that I painted my basement and I love the colors, then this might indeed be a good forum. But any discussion worth having will bring about different points of view. How you reply to them is very important. Many comments have been extremely rude towards me and I got particularly upset when someone attacked the person that came to my defense by trying to belittle them.

I have a lot of respect for anyone who paints or does any other job that requires manual dexterity as I'm actually quite horrible and couldn't draw a straight line if my life depended on it
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #26
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I agree. The delivery needs work
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #27
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Customer service should not involve margins going down. How do you know exactly what your contractor is making? You still insist he is making 10-15k. Do you think that all a contractor pays for is paint and labor? Who do you think pays the taxes (fed., state and local), who pays the insurance ( liability and workers comp) who pays the equipment cost, office cost, vehicle maintenance and gas etc.
You still think because you are paying that a contractor is not entitled to charge you more for more work.
Some contractors spend that 10-15k that your talking about in one month for just labor, but you think a contractor is making millions and should not charge extra for extra work.
You want to know what contractors pay for paint. What do you pay for your supplies for your business? Do you want your margins to drop for your business?
Customer service has nothing to do with a contractor providing services for free and any one with common sense knows that and does not expect someone to work for free. Do you work for free?
I own a business. If the job cost 35k, the contractor must be making anywhere from 10-15k in profit - it just stands to reason. If anything, I would assume even more.

Customer service implies that you try to build a relationship with the client and always try to deliver more than they asked for. Nickel-and-diming them over a tray or complaining has never made the customer happy or made any contractor more money! Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy for any business and it's also free!


I have a degree from one of the best business schools in the world, so hopefully I know what I'm talking about.

My contractor is delivering more without charging me and I'm very happy with him and the quality of his work. His reaction to asking for 6 colors surprised me and I came here to find out if I was wrong.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:49 AM   #28
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And as I stated very early on, the op is asking a legit question that deserves a legit answer, without any condecending remarks.
Move on with your lives!!
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #29
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I just have a HS /trade school education but I think when someone doesnt react to a question the way they expected, the offended person should ask the offender, why they reacted negatively. Apparently the OP and his painter do not have the working trust relationship he implies. They both reacted poorly to a very simple request and appears both now have hurt feelings over it. jmo

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Old 04-22-2012, 11:11 AM   #30
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Cost of paint and primer for professional painters


It's not that you spent $100 for 1 hour of work it's that you saved 10 hours for what I can do in 1 hour.

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