Picking exterior house paint colors is a lot different than picking a color for a shirt or a car.  It may help to drive around to observe colors that other homeowners have combined on homes that are of similar size and design as yours.  There are also online resources that provide homeowners with the ability to create virtual makeovers of their home by combining colors together through their software programs as well.
I did go with the highest bidder and it did not matter. They did a shoddy job and threatened to take me to court when I pointed out mistakes that they made based on their work standards stated on the quote. I have not paid them yet, just filed a complaint with the BBB. No money down asked, no contract signed. The boss stated I have to high of expectations just because I live in a 121 year old house!

Every painting job develops a unique choreography as ladders go up and come down and tarps are unrolled and folded up. But two basic principles remain: 1) Start at the top and work down. 2) Work in the shade, out of the sun's glare. As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.)
Such a fantastic job. Thank you, Thank you Alex and his crew. Wow!! Our house looks brand new. I can't believe what a spectacular job Alex and his crew of two extra men were able to accomplish. They worked so efficiently as a team. What an incredible attitude they bought to our project. A few times, one of the team members was even singing on the job. My home looks absolutely beautiful. We went from peeling, buckling exterior paint to a gorgeous, pristine and fresh exterior. House Beautiful photographers, we are ready for you. Alex's crew were so well prepared and methodical as to how they approached our home. I had no idea at the onset how much detail work goes into painting the exterior. They made certain every detail was covered. If any hiccups arose, I was notified and we discussed how to correct the situation before they proceeded. Their communication skills are spot on. They are totally trustworthy and work so very hard every minute they were here. What a pleasure to have them here. I completely recommend them without any hesitation. Tremendous Thank You again.
The floor and ceiling surfaces cannot be ignored, as they are crucial elements of color combination. Most ceilings are traditionally painted white for a number of reasons — particularly for their ability to keep rooms looking bright and to avoid taking attention away from the walls. Lighter ceiling colors can also help to make a room appear larger and more open.
Painting the interior of your home can give it a fresh new look. People paint their interiors to revive tired or dirty walls, match a new interior design, brighten a dark room, or to visually change the scope of the area. Because many interiors follow what’s known as a “color story,” or a cohesive color design throughout the home, it’s not uncommon to paint the entirety of a home interior at one time.
HIGHLY recommend this company. We needed to hire someone to paint the interior of our home. The owner came over initially to give a quote and was very nice. Talked to him about his family and his business. He is very experienced and takes pride in doing great work. They are licensed and have workers compensation insurance, which was really important for us. The actual painters included Sandy, who was amazing and helped me select the right paint colors for our house.
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IF the average cost is $1700 to paint an interior, then that means the cost of paint is approx. $200 (12% of the job).  Or better said 5 gallons of paint (if the average cost is $40 retail).  The average room takes 1.5 gallons which will cover 3 average rooms.  Doesn't sound to average to anyone with knowledge of this industry or a average house.  You are misleading consumers and should do a better job in your research.  No wonder so pay people think prices to get work done by professionals is high.  Its not high, its actually average which is more like $3700.
Watering down the paint 50%? It will not cover. I am a contract painter and found that most people that I make a contract with immediately try to change the deal and get more than they are paying for. Sometimes, I let them cheat me as they may have other work that I wish to do but other times I put my foot down. I try to get the client to look at what I have done each and everyday if I am going from room to room. I cannot do this If I spray the entire project at once. Even when I have them inspect my work, they often just do not tell the truth and wish to scam me the contractor for more and more while paying the same as the original contract. Most people have not a clue how much work is involved in painting a house and just assume that the painter rolls out the work with no prep, sealing off the place to protect things that are not painted. All of my contracts state that if anything is in the way like babies, dogs, cars, plants and furniture that I cannot proceed and that it is their responsibility to move this stuff. I always seem to be turned into a furniture mover and never get paid to wrench my back. Fact is most people try to rob the contractor and this article tries to make it seem that the contractor is robbing the homeowners. My sister is a prime example of this as she always goes for the lowest bid yet expects a world class job. This means if you pay $500 for a two day paint job do not expect the contractor to live at your home for two weeks and make only $500.
Painting the exterior of your home is an essential maintenance task that can be challenging, time-consuming and extremely messy. The fastest and safest way to get the job done right is to hire a professional exterior painting contractor. A pro will have the right tools, equipment, and experience for the job, will be able to recommend the most effective paints for your particular project, and can handle the necessary prep work to ensure a lasting finish. They will also select the best time to paint your home to keep the project within your timeline and budget.

Dave, you said it best! Every pro painting contractor truly worth their salt would and should cut and paste exactly what you say here about where customary and legitimate practices and expectations should be in regards to what customers should expect from contractors and how contractors should professionally deal with their customers. By the way, Dave, if you work in the Atlanta area, I would like to hire you! Thank you for your valuable advice!
Contractors apply several layers of paint to achieve a suitable finish. They leave the first coat to dry for the recommended time and apply one or more finishing coats. They might choose paints with special qualities for different types of room. Manufacturers have developed paints for bathrooms or kitchens that have good resistance to moisture for example. When they have completed painting, they clear away any equipment and restore the area to its original condition.
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The color scheme that is chosen for the home creates the initial impression that an individual has of the premises as a whole.  Whether complimentary or unflattering colors are selected, the house will gain an identity of its own when the paint is applied.  There are many times that a homeowner misses opportunities to accentuate positive attributes that the home has to offer by failing to choose the best exterior paint colors. 
Referred by a neighbor, I got an estimate from Excel along with two other companies to paint the exterior of our home; their estimate was the cheapest by at least a grand compared to the other companies. They contacted me a couple of weeks earlier than expected and offered to do the power washing a week or so earlier due to an opening in their schedule, another opening got them to our house 2 weeks earlier than planned to paint!!! Hernan and his crew showed up promptly Monday morning and knocked out the job in just 2 days! Hernan was very professional and thorough. The house looks amazing and the care and detail-orientation of the crew is evident. I also felt very comfortable with them in and around the house whether or not we were home. We also got support from our contact person via email about paint selection. The only negative, and not worthy of losing a star, is that they don't take credit or debit cards. I was bummed to miss out on my cc points and it was annoying to have to mail in a check rather than just pay over the phone or online. For such a large purchase, I couldn't be happier with how it all went down and came out.
Generally, it will take a minimum of two gallons of paint to cover a room. At the highest end, paint will cost anywhere between $30 and $60 per gallon and come in three different finishes: flat, semi-gloss or high-gloss. Flat finishes are the least shiny and are best suited for areas requiring frequent cleaning. Semi-gloss finishes are a bit shiny but can also be easily cleaned. A high-gloss finish is stain-resistant and easy to clean. Traditionally, living rooms should be painted with a flat finish to allow the paint to stand out. Glossy finishes should be reserved for hallways, and a semi-gloss is best suited for trim. Invest in pre-primed paint whenever possible. This cuts down on time by combining the layering process. Almost any paint job will require a primer, which will cost anywhere from $7 to $15 per can. Primer helps the paint to stand out against the underlayer of paint it's covering, especially if the new paint is lighter than the old coat. You will need at least two cans of primer, if not more, to cover one wall. Here are some paint brands and their average price per gallon:
Yes the pricing does change, and quite significantly. I have worked inside the paint industry on counter sales outside sales and application for over 10 years. One thing many people do not understand is, the resins in the paint are more expensive to produce the higher the sheen goes. Therefore the company is at of higher cost making the paint, which in terms they charge more for the paint. I have seen a 15$ variance between flat-semi-gloss it is not uncommon and is not unrealistic to pay more for a higher sheen. Another thing to add is when doing samples on your wall prior to a painter coming is a good idea, however do not do them in huge squares with heavy coats, remember you are just wanting an idea. A lot of times the issue comes up of the paint not covering the sample coats, in fact it is covering quite well, however the paint sample applied is often times much darker than the wall color, creating a contrasting difference from the lighter surrounding wall and the sample placed on the wall. I recommend getting a piece of sheet rock and using it for the samples so you can move around with it etc.
Climate is another factor to consider. Sunlight, wind, rain and salty weather can all wear out exterior paint. Oil-based paint is durable against wind, rain and temperature changes, but sunlight tends to degrade it. Alkyd paint chalks and sheds very thin layers when it begins to wear. Latex paint is the more durable option for very sun-drenched and relatively dry climate areas. Latex paint with high vinyl content should be avoided, however. Acrylic resin is by far the more durable binder for outdoor latex paint.
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