Here's some helpful tips from your BBB on Painting Contractors:
According to studies in the home improvement industry, home painting is the most requested annual home improvement. Each year 25% of all Americans paint their homes, or hire a company for the service.
To begin your search for a painting professional, check with friends, neighbors, and co-workers for references and then check them out with BBB. It's a good idea to get at least 3 bids for the work, and make sure that the estimates are based on the same set of specifications and materials to be used. Always ask for customer references and then follow up.
Once you have narrowed your search, make sure that your company has written liability and workmen's compensation insurance covering any employee injuries. Always thoroughly read and understand the contract before you sign. The contract should be easy to read and contain information about any advance prep work such as scraping, power washing, priming, etc. The contract should have a starting and completion date with payments of 1/2 or 1/3 upon the signing of the contract, and the other portion paid upon completion of the job and your satisfaction of the work.
All materials and labor cost should be individually listed on the contract, and a guarantee or a "touch up period" must be in writing. A general rule of thumb in the painting industry is for color change paint job, 2 coats of paint are required, for a same color job, 1 coat is usually sufficient. Different paints should be used on different surfaces, and each surface requires its own priming technique. The most important step in painting is the priming. If the house is prepped correctly, the paint will last longer.
Be cautious of someone coming door to door offering to paint your house, and remember, under the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act, if you sign a contract in your home with a purchase price of $25.00 or more, you have three days by law to change your mind. This information should be on the contract and cancellation of a sale should be in writing and mailed or delivered before midnight of the third business day following the sale.