Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.
I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.
Painting contractors work in the property maintenance sector. Depending on their skills and resources, they might specialize in painting different types of buildings, including houses and apartments, or commercial properties, such as offices, factories or retail outlets. Some contractors work directly for property owners; others find work through real estate firms, rental agents and property maintenance companies.
Using an airless sprayer to place paint on the wall (using low pressure) will speed up the process because your not having to dip your brush or roller. spray about 3 or 4 sq. ft. and then back brush or roll spreading and evening the paint. Because your using low pressure, mask and cover is at a minimum once you are accustomed to handling the spray gun and the type of surface being painted. Overspray will be larger droplets they tend to fall, than float around.
WOW! I think the guy I hired read this first and I have photos that would make your skin crawl. Bottom line: he got me for $1900.00. Every single thing he painted had to be completely redone....that's when I discovered he did NOT use the colors I picked, he actually used leftover exterior paint from his mother's house! Because I have pets he said things needed to be sealed first and I did agree to that. What I did NOT agree to was using some kind of foul smelling gray stuff ON MY HARDWOOD FLOORS! THEN he painted them BLACK, telling me that all they were good for was covering over with laminate or carpet. He also dripped and tracked paint all over my ceramic tile floors. PLUS left a wet used paint roller in my garden window and had stuff piled in front so I didn't find it until it had dried. I have no idea how much that is going to cost to repair. Then he left without finishing (thank God) but left the "leftover" paint, uncovered, in the rain. Again, hid it so I didn't immediately find it. Obviously we will be going to court but I doubt if I see a penny from him.
Hi Richard, Thanks for reaching out. Please visit our website to browse pro reviews in those areas or submit a service request http://www.homeadvisor.com/c.html. If you would like to speak w/ a rep about your project and get assistance finding the right pro in these areas please send your contact info to [email protected] and someone will reach out. -HASupport
Safest way to ensure that everything is fair is to get it ALL in writing , signed by both parties. Specify each item that needs repair. Also, BUY the paint YOURSELF. That way, there is no incentive to water it down, and you KNOW that you are getting the grade/quality you actually purchased. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish; if you are paying to hire a painter, buy the best paint that you can afford, to ensure maximum life of this home improvement. 

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When the homeowner is at the point of hiring a painter, they generally will have colors selected or at the very least a color in mind. I always ask for the colors before I bid a job. Dark colors, high sheen colors and specialty finishes require more labor, this drives price. If its not a color change or I'm going over a similar color I give the pricing option of one or two coats. The best advise I can give based on 25 years in the business is to put it all in writing,colors, brands of paint preferred, when the work can be done, who moves furniture and how payment will be handled. I never get up front money. BTW you most definitely get what you pay for with paint. Higher quality products results in and better looking job. Don't be a cheapskate when it comes to paint or the painting contractor. http://youtube.com/v/b6_WEt9k_Hw
In England, little is known of the trade and its structures before the late 13th century, at which paint guilds began to form, amongst them the Painters Company and the Stainers Company. These two guilds eventually merged with the consent of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1502, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. The guild standardised the craft and acted as a protector of the trade secrets. In 1599, the guild asked Parliament for protection, which was eventually granted in a bill of 1606, which granted the trade protection from outside competition such as plasterers.[2]

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This article with comments was terrific - it was so informative. I found the advice useful. It addressed specifics like the condition of the dry wall surfaces, any additional repairs such. pin holes, chalking, smoothing of wall surfaces, absorption of paint and number of coats that may be needed. It should also include insurance coverage, and reflect the clean-up afterwards. Having a written contract with the company's letterhead is a must. http://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=b6_WEt9k_Hw
When you go to the home improvement store, find out how much 12 gallons of the paint you want would cost, and that will help you determine your cost. Maybe it's a low-quality paint that costs $30, in which case you're looking at about $360 for paint. If you choose high-quality paint that costs around $70, your total paint cost could be closer to $840. Professionals also recommend that you add an extra 10 or 20 percent to your total square footage, depending on the type of siding you have. Some textures require extra paint because they're rough. This is especially true with wood and stucco siding.
Are you looking for interior house painters that are local, reliable and the best at what they do? Does the idea of painting the walls of your home fill you with dread? If you want to get the best results with minimal fuss, then make Handy your first choice when you need to connect with expert painting contractors. From preparing your interior walls and ceilings to achieving a neat, professional finish, Handy will put you in touch with the right people for the job. Customize your request by specifying your job details, from how many painters you need to how long you’ll need them. We’ll connect you with the painting professionals that suit you best with no compromise on quality.

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Work with a professional painting contractor. If you haven’t done so already, sign on to work with a painting company near you. As part of a professional team, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade and work in a variety of different environments, both commercial and residential. There’s no better way to accumulate practical experience than to do it on the job.[7]

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Our trademark promise of Reliable, Accurate, & Professional makes Absolute Painting the top choice for your commercial projects. Be on time and on-budget with a contractor you can trust. You can have peace of mind knowing that Absolute’s painting pros understand the challenges you face, the extra preparation, and precautions needed to keep your operation running smooth during an interior project.

All exterior painting projects are customized to your specifications. You may have a color in mind, in which case we can execute the project according to your vision. You may also need professional assistance in choosing a color. For this we provide a free consultation with a color professional, who can look at your home and your neighborhood to suggest colors that may work for your house.
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