How Do You Find a Good Painter?

Good Painter

Everyone has the ability to paint, but not everyone has the skill required to paint well. If you don’t have the time, patience or confidence to paint your home, it’s a good idea to hire a professional painter to ensure your project goes smoothly. But how do you find a good painter? And how can you ensure that your home is in good hands?

Traditionally, finding a quality painter was a real hassle. You may have asked around for friends’ recommendations or searched the yellow pages. However, Homespree can help you confidently hire a painter and ensure that your project is completed to your satisfaction. 

While we perform rigorous background checks to ensure the painters on Homespree are the best in their region, below is a list of good and bad characteristics of painters to make you feel comfortable with your next hire.

Characteristics of a Good Painter

You should be able to spot a good painter before he applies a drop of paint to your walls. By observing a painter’s demeanor, attitude and actions, you will be able to determine which person will be able to provide you with an exceptional quality paint job. 


A good painter is not only skilled at his craft, but also places tremendous emphasis on customer service. If a painter is slow in returning your calls or messages or late for scheduled appointments, he may not understand the value of a good customer experience, which can affect your overall project experience.


Quality painters create happy customers who rave about their work and often hire them for again and again as needed. A good painter should have a list of at least 5 references that you may call upon to discuss their experience with the painter during their own project.


While licensing is not required in every state, your painter should comply with local licensing laws as necessary. Furthermore, it’s important that your painter carry general liability insurance and bonding, to ensure you are covered in case something costly goes wrong with your project.

Quality painters go above and beyond to ensure they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and may also be members of professional painting associations.


The easiest way for you to gauge the skill of a painter is to take a look at their past work. Quality painters will be eager to show off their past projects because they are proud of the results. 

Characteristic of a Bad Painter

When you are reviewing painters for your project, there are several warnings signs you should be aware of to avoid some serious issues down the road. A painter who arrives in shoddy clothing, driving a vehicle that appears battered and worn simply doesn’t portray the image of a reputable business. A painter who doesn’t return phone calls in a timely manner, or one who doesn’t arrive to an appointment on time is probably not someone with whom you should work. Furthermore, if a painter does not have the equipment or supplies necessary to perform a quality paint job, he or she may not be professional. 

Find a Quality Painter with Homespree

Homespree truly takes the hassle out of hiring a painter. Our team verifies the background and credentials of all painters in our network to ensure you have an outstanding experience. We have high standards that each painter should meet because we know you have high standards for the work that’s done in your home. 

Homespree’s painters are properly licensed, bonded and insured. They must not have any outstanding complaints with the Better Business Bureau, and they must show a commitment to excellence. Homespree’s staff reviews references for each painter and verifies that they have no questionable reviews on any other online sites. 

Not only do we make certain that the painters in our network are the best of the best, but we also ensure that your experience hiring these painters is as simple and straightforward as possible. To use Homespree, simply fill out a form with your painting requirements and we’ll instantly provide you with 3 estimates from the painters in our network. You can review robust profiles for each painter and their estimates to decide who you would like to meet with in-person to begin the project.

Why Do Painting Prices Vary So Much?

Stressed Homeowners

When you request estimates from more than one contractor for the same painting job, the range of prices submitted may often amaze you. It is not uncommon for high bids to be twice as much as low bids. This range of prices can lead you to considerable uncertainty and anxiety in the decision-making process.

You’re left with important, but complex questions. Why do the estimates vary so much? Can I trust the low bid for basic quality? Can I trust the high bid for value? 

By understanding the factors behind price variation, you will be better able to identify risky or predatory pricing in the estimate process.

Common factors that drive price variation in home services include:

Estimate Approach­

Prior to Homespree, there was no standard way to estimate painting job prices, but many painters have traditionally used a cost-plus approach. Variations in the costing and markup will create significant job cost variations. Some painters use material and labor costs from recent, similar jobs they have performed. Others estimate from a standard cost/productivity reference book. Others may have portions of the work bid by a subcontractor(s). Once a cost total is estimated, the markup or profit (usually in the range of 10% – 20% of the costs) is added to create an estimate.

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What Should You Look For in a Painting Contractor?

Licensed Bonded and Insured 

So you probably have seen the phrase ‘licensed, bonded and insured’ on the side of contractors’ vans and on their business cards, but do you actually know what these terms mean?

If not, below are some straightforward definitions for these 3 very important credentials.


If a contractor is licensed, it means they have been granted a trade license as mandated by state and local laws. It typically requires completing business practice and trade skill tests, paying a fee and providing proof of insurance and/or bonding.


If a contractor is bonded, it means they have an arrangement with a third party (a private bond issuer or a recovery fund held by the licensing municipality) to reimburse homeowners if they cause physical or financial harm (due to poor work or failure to pay subcontractors)


If a contractor is insured, it means that they have an arrangement with a third party to pay claims should property damage or physical injury occur. Insurance typically falls into two categories: liability and workers’ compensation.

Liability covers property damage and injuries caused by a contractor’s work.

Workers’ compensation provides payments to injured workers for lost wages and medical services. It also provides benefits to a contractor’s family in the event of death.

Referrals / Testimonials

It’s one thing for a contractor to praise his or her own work, but it’s an entirely different story to hear it from the mouth of a past customer. A quality painter should offer up at least 3 references for you to call upon to verify his or her craftsmanship and service quality.


A quality painter should jump at the chance to show you some of his or her past work. You should feel entitled to ask for photos of their recently completed jobs.

Present on Job 

Many larger companies operate with a lead contractor and several helpers. In these instances, it’s easy for a contractor to sell you on a job, but never actually show up to oversee the work. Make sure when you enter into a contract with a painter that he or she agrees to be present on the job at least in the beginning, middle and end to ensure your needs are being met and the laborers are performing to both of your standards.


Just about anyone can slap some paint up on a wall, but the real craftsmanship is in the care taken during the preparation phase.

Make sure your painter repairs any holes and cracks, primes the repaired areas, and sands all surfaces at least once to help ensure a smooth surface and good adhesion.

Cleanliness and protection is also of huge importance. A quality contractor should lay drop cloths on all exposed flooring and place plastic wrap on any furniture that’s left in the room. 


Today’s paint is engineered to be durable and hold up for at least 15 years. If you experience issues with your paint, it’s most likely related to the quality of application. Be sure to check if your painter offers a warranty on his or her services.