Not so Special, Painting Specials

Have you seen one of those specials for painting where they will paint three rooms for $299? 

There was one I recently read online for a local painting company offering to paint a room for $80. Seriously? I see these deals all the time and they annoy me, to say the least.

Just the other day, I got a flyer stuck in my door advertising one of these specials. I almost threw it in the trash before I stopped and decided to do a bit of investigating about what you really get with these deals.

Here is the math and what I found out. You decide if it is worth the price.

The flyer that was stuck to my door was an offer to paint three rooms for $350. When I called to get more details, the contractor told me that they would paint the walls in three standard sized bedrooms (up to 140 square feet) with two coats of a mid-quality paint. The price would include paint and labour, but would not include the painting of closets, wood trim or ceilings. He also specified that all three rooms had to have the same colour and product, there was to be no prep work and most of the furniture needed to be removed from the rooms before they started work. 

They didn’t include that information on their flyer and it is no wonder. 

One Colour Wonder Jobs
You need about a quart of paint per room in order to get decent coverage in two coats. So that means you need 4 gallons of paint to do three rooms. Using a medium grade paint at a contractor volume discount price will cost at least $80. It’s part of the reason why the contractor insisted all the paint be the same for all three rooms. If he had to change colours, he would need to buy more paint. The other reason is the time he would need to spend on cleaning brushes, rollers and trays. But what if you don’t want all three rooms the same colour?

Plan on Doing Your Own Heavy Lifting
When was the last time you got a room ready for painting? Moving furniture, taking down pictures, taking down curtains and blinds. Don’t forget to remove all the plates off of switches and plugs and to remove wall vent covers. No respectable painter would paint around plugs and switches with the plates still on. So unless your room is empty, plan on the time and effort required to make the job easier for this guy.

Prep? What Prep
There is a fair bit of dust from sanding and prepping walls for painting so you want to make sure that what is left in the room is covered and protected. Same with carpets and floors. Oh that’s right, these guys don’t prep the walls. Do they sand between coats? If you have taken down a picture that you don’t want to hang back up in the same spot, are you are just going to leave that hole in the wall? And unless your home is brand new, you have dings and marks on your walls. Especially now that you have had to move all the furniture out yourself. Maybe you can fill and sand those all yourself.

Who’s Cutting Corners?
The actual painting of the rooms should take about five hours per room for a professional painter. That includes cutting in and rolling out all the walls twice. Think about what needs to be done. Cutting in with a brush along the ceiling (ladder), baseboards, four corners, around the closet, door and window, and then rolling out the walls – all twice. And if you have two windows or two doors, it will take longer because the more cutting in there is, the longer it takes. I wonder if the guys offering this deal are doing two full coats of the cutting in or just one thick ugly coat that leaves brush marks that can be seen across the room?

If Good Painters Don’t Work for Cheap, Who is Doing the Work?
If it takes 15 hours to paint three rooms and the cost of paint is $80, that means these guys are charging $18 an hour for their labour. That is before they pay WorkSafeBC, general overhead and all the other costs that go into running a legitimate business. That means they are probably paying the painter about $12 an hour. Good painters don’t work for that cheap, so you can guess the quality of workmanship you are getting with this kind of special price.

In the end you get what you pay for…
At Warline Painting, we don’t offer those kinds of deals because we know we can’t do the job properly for that cheap. From beginning to the end, we do the job right. 

We help with colour selection so that you get each room in the colour you want. We will help you choose the right paint that meets your needs and your budget. We protect your furniture and cover your belongings, move things out of the way, take down pictures, curtains and blinds. We take the plates off of light switches and plugs. We prep the walls including fixing holes, sanding walls and making sure they are smooth before they are painted. We work dust-free to protect your health and your home. We professionally paint your walls with two coats or more if the coverage requires a third coat. Our cut lines are straight. There are no hits on your ceiling or paint drips anywhere. And when we are done, we put your room back to the way it was before we got there. 

We make the job of painting your house hassle free and isn’t that a big reason why you hired a professional painter? The price we quote you in the estimate is the price you pay. No hidden or surprise costs and no asking for money up front. When we are finished, you get an invoice. It is the simple, proper way to do business.

Maybe these great offers are just lost leaders to get in front of you and then sell you all the extra costs that are required to do the job properly or maybe these guys are just providing a sub par service for a low cost. Neither one appeals to me very much.



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