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Old 04-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


Hi,

We're finishing our basement and we have 5 rooms that we'd like to paint in different colors. There are 4 corners with transitions from one color to another, otherwise color transitions occur as you enter another room or on totally separate monochromatic walls.

Our contractor was originally going to color with 2 colors and we have picked 6 colors. We'll provide the paint.

He says that switching to another color between rooms is going to add a crazy amount of time along with the 4 transitions cause he has to wash the colors and brush every 4 hours or so. With 2 colors we would have had at least 2-3 transitions so technically we're adding 1 or 2 more.

Obviously the ceilings and trim are not affected as they're white

Can someone please tell us which one of us is crazy?


Last edited by PaintBird; 04-19-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


Buy him some extra roller covers and tell him to get to work.
Yes it takes more time but not the whole bunch of time he's leading you to believe.

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Old 04-20-2012, 02:00 AM   #3
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


You should get what you want! Rinsing out a brush does not take that long. As Joe suggests, get a handful of nice, contractor grade roller covers. I find it hard to justify wasting gallons and gallons of fresh water to rinse them out in any circumstances unless they are special lambswool or something. I wrap them in plastic and stick them someplace cool until done and then toss them.

Basic labor for the painting is not going to change from color to color. Do plan on primer and two coats for optimum results. Sure it might be faster two paint everything in one or two colors but nothing as overwhelming as suggested. You know, I restored a couple of nice Queen Anne Victorians and the exteriors begged for colorful attention to the gingerbread details on the outside. The painters that did the work never complained about having to make color changes.

Last edited by user1007; 04-20-2012 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


Thank you for the replies. I guess I'm less crazy than he is although my wife would seriously object to that claim.

Thinking about it if we did 2 colors, we would have done a lighter and a more saturated yellow and used transitions on more walls to avoid a monochromatic look. I may have even possibly asked him to paint a room in 2 tones (top and bottom) to avoid turning 1200 sq ft into a bland space. I imagine the labor for that would have been even more so the 6 colors might save him time over the 2 colors.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


buy extra supplies and tell him to pull up his skirt and get to work
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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Old 04-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


Must say as long as being paid I nor any painter I know whined so about too many colors! Hope he didn't chip a nail!
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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Must say as long as being paid I nor any painter I know whined so about too many colors! Hope he didn't chip a nail!
We don't know if he is getting paid. OP didn't tell us what the original contract called for, and it wouldn't be unheard of if OP didn't think the color changes justified extra money, regardless of who buys the paint and covers, there is extra labor/time involved, a good bit in my opinion, to go from two colors to six. Are you kidding me? There is more time involved, time is money, therefore an extra charge is justified. You guys with the skirt and chipped nail comments are not being just to the painter. You surprise me Sdsester.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


2 Summers ago we did a house of 13 rooms with 12 colors. Ceiling White and white trim not included. One bedroom matched a bathroom don another hall. That was what an interior decorator does. I think we had 2 or 3 setps going. Once we did 2 rooms we could start back second coating. That was with 2 teams of 2.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #10
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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We don't know if he is getting paid. OP didn't tell us what the original contract called for, and it wouldn't be unheard of if OP didn't think the color changes justified extra money, regardless of who buys the paint and covers, there is extra labor/time involved, a good bit in my opinion, to go from two colors to six. Are you kidding me? There is more time involved, time is money, therefore an extra charge is justified. You guys with the skirt and chipped nail comments are not being just to the painter. You surprise me Sdsester.
yep that's right. i'm not saying this is the case but the additional colors could possibly push the job to an extra trip back to your house.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:28 PM   #11
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


The contractor is finishing the entire basement which is 1200 sq ft and painting is part of that.

I was remiss in not seeing that he had listed 2 colors in the contract and I take full responsibility for that. At the same time, he had seen our house and we have a different color in every room and 2 tones in our main living area so I'm not sure why he'd list 2 colors for 1,200 square feet with 5 different functional rooms.

I'm paying the difference for the better quality paint which will be an extra $350-$400 - he said he gets 5 gallons of primer for $45 and $20 per gallon of paint and he'll credit me for whatever amount he may have used.

I also don't mind paying a little more money ($100-$200) for the labor of washing the rollers as he goes from room to room but his attitude really took me by surprise.

To be honest, the 6 colors are not necessarily more work because he can paint the entire wall or room with a color. With 2 colors, we'd have to resort to changing colors on walls or two-toning with trim which would take as long I would imagine.

As you can see, I've had to resort to this forum as he's not providing any paint guidance whatsoever... He could have told me about using a flat paint as a primer but unfortunately he views my education as something he doesn't need to invest in:-)

I've spent 3-4 hours to understand the differences between paints and to make the right affordable selection and I feel that was his job to do as learning something like that is very time-consuming.

Luckily, I was able to draw on the advice on this forum.

Last edited by PaintBird; 04-20-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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Originally Posted by PaintBird View Post
The contractor is finishing the entire basement which is 1200 sq ft and painting is part of that.

I was remiss in not seeing that he had listed 2 colors in the contract and I take full responsibility for that. At the same time, he had seen our house and we have a different color in every room and 2 tones in our main living area so I'm not sure why he'd list 2 colors for 1,200 square feet with 5 different functional rooms.

I'm paying the difference for the better quality paint which will be an extra $350-$400 - he said he gets 5 gallons of primer for $45 and $20 per gallon of paint and he'll credit me for whatever amount he may have used.

I also don't mind paying a little more money ($100-$200) for the labor of washing the rollers as he goes from room to room but his attitude really took me by surprise.

To be honest, the 6 colors are not necessarily more work because he can paint the entire wall or room with a color. With 2 colors, we'd have to resort to changing colors on walls or two-toning with trim which would take as long I would imagine.

As you can see, I've had to resort to this forum as he's not providing any paint guidance whatsoever... He could have told me about using a flat paint as a primer but unfortunately he views my education as something he doesn't need to invest in:-)

I've spent 3-4 hours to understand the differences between paints and to make the right affordable selection and I feel that was his job to do as learning something like that is very time-consuming.

Luckily, I was able to draw on the advice on this forum.
Paintbird, where do I begin. Judging from everything you've written, and I've read it closely, I'm kind of nervous about your job. Firstly, the contractor who is finishing the basement is doing the painting? TSK, TSK. In my experience, that doesn't work out too well. We've one here, and that rarely goes well. If he was experienced as a paint estimator, he would have asked about color(s) in advance, sheens as well.

The prices that you list scare me. Twenty dollars doesn't even buy a gallon of Behr, and 45 for a fiver of primer?

As to rollers, they cost about $3.00 a pop. Any "painter" who would wash and use the same roller through 4-6 colors is a fool and, if you pay him an extra 100-200 to do so, you're a bigger one. Each color, one cover, beginning to end.

I'm sure you're an expert at whatever job it is you do, and I would never go to your forum and tell you how it is. For you to say that using six different colors as opposed to two isn't more work, when you obviously know little to nothing about painting, is ignorant. Whether you're using two colors in one room, an accent wall or chair rail split, or painting two different rooms with two different colors, it's more work, more time. Again, time equals money. More handling, more clean up, more equipment, more time cutting in where two colors meet, etc. I charge at least $50.00, plus material, to do an accent wall.

Where did you learn that you can use flat paint as a primer. Did he tell you that? If he did he's wrong. You can't. There are paints that claim they can be used as a primer, but you're not getting them at the materials prices you are paying. Is he not giving you a paint education, or is it that he is not instilling confidence in you as to his knowledge and experience? I educate my customers because I know my business. But, most of my customers leave it to me to give them what they need, without question. They trust me. Did you ask him questions about which paint, brand and type, you need? If he didn't answer your questions or didn't know what to tell you, didn't that raise any flags in your mind? That was his job to do? What, learn about paints?

With all due respect, your story sounds like the blind leading the blind. I'm not trying to bash you. It just seems like you know what you know, and regardless of what you hear here, you know better. I'm just trying to break through that wall of ignorance.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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Paintbird, where do I begin. Judging from everything you've written, and I've read it closely, I'm kind of nervous about your job. Firstly, the contractor who is finishing the basement is doing the painting? TSK, TSK. In my experience, that doesn't work out too well. We've one here, and that rarely goes well. If he was experienced as a paint estimator, he would have asked about color(s) in advance, sheens as well.

The prices that you list scare me. Twenty dollars doesn't even buy a gallon of Behr, and 45 for a fiver of primer?

As to rollers, they cost about $3.00 a pop. Any "painter" who would wash and use the same roller through 4-6 colors is a fool and, if you pay him an extra 100-200 to do so, you're a bigger one. Each color, one cover, beginning to end.

I'm sure you're an expert at whatever job it is you do, and I would never go to your forum and tell you how it is. For you to say that using six different colors as opposed to two isn't more work, when you obviously know little to nothing about painting, is ignorant. Whether you're using two colors in one room, an accent wall or chair rail split, or painting two different rooms with two different colors, it's more work, more time. Again, time equals money. More handling, more clean up, more equipment, more time cutting in where two colors meet, etc. I charge at least $50.00, plus material, to do an accent wall.

Where did you learn that you can use flat paint as a primer. Did he tell you that? If he did he's wrong. You can't. There are paints that claim they can be used as a primer, but you're not getting them at the materials prices you are paying. Is he not giving you a paint education, or is it that he is not instilling confidence in you as to his knowledge and experience? I educate my customers because I know my business. But, most of my customers leave it to me to give them what they need, without question. They trust me. Did you ask him questions about which paint, brand and type, you need? If he didn't answer your questions or didn't know what to tell you, didn't that raise any flags in your mind? That was his job to do? What, learn about paints?

With all due respect, your story sounds like the blind leading the blind. I'm not trying to bash you. It just seems like you know what you know, and regardless of what you hear here, you know better. I'm just trying to break through that wall of ignorance.
You haven't answered the million dollar question:

How long would it take you to paint a 1,200 sq ft of ceilings and 1600 sq ft of wall space?

How much longer would it take to color that space with 6 colors versus 2 colors? Assume the same number of transitions - 4 walls where you have to switch to another color for both. How much more would you ask for for labor only?

How much would it cost for paint with 2 colors + White for ceiling + Semi-Gloss for trim for those areas?

Thanks,

Paintbird
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:13 PM   #14
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


That's a tough question to answer. We have a policy here that we don't discuss pricing, for a variety of logical reasons. As far as time goes, an average 10 x 12 ceiling with a single center fixture, fan or light, takes about an hour to cut in and roll, one coat. Add more for larger room size and/or more ceiling fixtures. That same room will take about 2 - 2.5 hours to cut and roll the walls one time, depending on the amount/difficulty of cutting in. As to the price/time differential for added colors, that's hard to say without seeing the job. Planning it out smartly could keep it to a minimum. What I might say as far as price really has no bearing, it's what the contractor wants, not what I think is fair. Tell him you want the six colors, ask him how much extra to do it, and make the decision as to whether you think his price is fair and if you want to spend the extra money.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 PM   #15
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How much more difficult is it to use more colors?


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That's a tough question to answer. We have a policy here that we don't discuss pricing, for a variety of logical reasons. As far as time goes, an average 10 x 12 ceiling with a single center fixture, fan or light, takes about an hour to cut in and roll, one coat. Add more for larger room size and/or more ceiling fixtures. That same room will take about 2 - 2.5 hours to cut and roll the walls one time, depending on the amount/difficulty of cutting in. As to the price/time differential for added colors, that's hard to say without seeing the job. Planning it out smartly could keep it to a minimum. What I might say as far as price really has no bearing, it's what the contractor wants, not what I think is fair. Tell him you want the six colors, ask him how much extra to do it, and make the decision as to whether you think his price is fair and if you want to spend the extra money.
Fair enough. I'll see if he'll charge me more. I'm guessing he's making 10-15k off this project including his time.

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