By Gene and Katie Hamilton
"Painting Contractors" are listed in the Yellow Pages and many paint dealers recommend paint contractors who are their regular customers. You can go online and find a painter at a contractor referral service or type "paint paneling in (your city)" in a search engine like Bing, Google or Yahoo. Make sure the contractor has a certificate of insurance and workers' compensation insurance, if he has employees. Generally, the contractor will come to your house for an assessment of its conditions, before quoting a price in a written proposal or contract.
Here are the basic points that should be included in a written contract with a painting contractor.
- Specific siding, windows, trim, surfaces, etc. to be painted
- Total cost
- Payment schedule
- Start and completion dates
- Paint and primer brands with grade, colors, gloss and base; how they'll be applied; and the number of coats
- Type of caulk to be used and the extent of caulking to be done
- Specific preparation and repair work (i.e. wall cracks, broken glass panes) to be completed
- How the site will be protected from spills, splatters and over spray and who is responsible for removing them
- Who is responsible for clean up
If the price seems reasonable and you are unsure about the painter's reputation, ask for several references and make follow-up calls to determine if the homeowners are happy with the contractor's work. These should be referrals for similar work.
When choosing a color consider the size and function of the room. Pale colors will brighten and expand a small or dark room, and dark warm tones can make a large room appear more cozy. Consider the furnishings and flooring as well. If furniture for the room is bright and bold, choose a contrasting color as a backdrop on the walls. If the furniture and floor is dark, a lighter shade on the walls will strike a nice balance. A flat or eggshell (also called satin) finish is a good choice for paneled walls so they'll have a subtle sheen.