When You Hire a Painter

There are several very important things to remember when you hire a painter!

You are paying a painter to do what you want.  The painter is working for you.  Not the other way around.  You are paying for the work.  If you decide you want a particular brand of paint and a particular paint color,  it is up to your painter to do it.  Tell your painter what paint you want and provide the color for him.

Many painters, particularly here in Florida will only use one type of paint from the company they have financial arrangements with.  That means discounts.  98% of all painters down here work with only one Paint Company like PPG, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Home Depot’s Behr paint etc.  Their estimate is based upon their experience for the room size, amount of paint, time, and most of all, “their discount cost” for the paint, which is always just one brand.  Be sure to have in your mind what color, texture, brand and type of paint you want.  Never ask a painter to give you an estimate unless you know exactly what you want and the type, texture and Brand of paint you desire.

Color Consultant/Decorator/Designer FIRST!

If you are using a paint Color Consultant (Colorist) or an Interior Decorator/Designer listen to that person and choose your colors and type of paint before hire your painter.  Just because you have a color chip in your hand from one company does not at all mean you can replicate that same color and depth in a paint from another paint company.  Just is not going to happen!  The bases of each paint company are often very different along with many of the ingredients that will not look the same. If you and your color consultant agree on a paint color that has been painted on a sample (not a paint chip or fan deck) from a particular paint company and type you are now ready to hire a painter.  If your painter uses a different paint product and a “so called” matched color you will be in trouble.  You hired the consultant and you agreed on the color and the type of paint based upon real painted samples of the paint.  Why would you allow any painter to use anything else?  You are doomed for failure.

Paint Chips/Fan Decks NEVER Work

Always be sure you have real paint samples from your Color Consultant not fan decks!  Fan decks or color chips are computer generated and printed with inks not paint.  This is a very, very big problem.  Want to know why the color on your fandeck does not look like the color on your wall?  Simple.. they are not the same color! Not the same depth and not the same texture.  Always be sure to use the actual paint as your painted sample provided by your color consultant.  Anything else will cause huge problems when the room is done.

Paint color Spectrometers

I am sure many of you have taken a sample of paint from a wall or piece of trim and taken it to the paint dealer and asked them to match it.  They will take taht sample and use a photo spectrometer to arrive at the colors to mix your new paint color.  You think it is going to be a perfect match when the paint salesman mixs up your paint.  Wrong!  The paint color piece you brought in (the sample to be analyzed) may be from a different paint company than the one who just analyzed your sample.  The problem is very simple…  the new paint may never be able to match the sample because of the basic ingredients in the new paint.  many years of experience in this has shown me that I can never match the exact color with a computer and many times not even by mixing the paint myself with my own titration methods.  You simply cannot do it.


Lets Review

  1. Hire your color consultant/decorator/designer first and be sure they bring you real samples made form the paint product you decide upon.
  2. Be sure you use real paint samples not paint chips or fan decks.
  3.  Put some samples on the wall if is necessary with your consultant.
  4.  Now you are ready to hire a painter who will do what you want with your colors and your specified paint .
  5.  Do not allow the painter to substitute any paint for any reason.  It will not work unless you are willing to accept the difference in paint color and texture.
  6.  Even though you may have a paint sample of the old paint from your wall or trim, the paint seller you take this too may never be able to match the color components of your sample.  Close perhaps but not a match because of the differences in the ingredients the paint itself.

In Conclusion

I have owned my own paint stores and my own paint line which I designed and developed with over 350 paint colors from with my private labels.  I have prepared thousands of gallons of paints over the years and I am always ready to discuss these issues with you.  I am always amazed when a client calls me after their painter has put finished and they are not pleased with the colors.  Invariably, the painter used a different company than the one specified and said it was a perfect match.  What a waste of time and money.  I have a few other very important tips for clients and painters alike.  Just click below on “Paint Tips” if you are interested.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and helping to make your painting experience the best it can be!

Sally Fretwell Color Consultant

Sally can help you with any project