Professional painters have done this before. It’s how they make their living. Through experience, they have learned tricks of the trade and the techniques used to get quality results. They are familiar with the type of paint to use in each situation, know what quality paint is right for each task and know how to achieve a perfectly straight edge – with or without the use of painter’s tape.
The right paint stroke to use in interior painting is highly debatable. It's not a talent as much as a skill that is learned through practice. Many experts paint in a “W” pattern when using foam rollers, but others simply roll up and down then sideways with either brushes or rollers. The motion isn’t as important as making sure that the application is even and drip-free across the entire area. However, technique is important when you're covering over wall repairs.
We had a bad experience with an interior painter years ago, with the crux of the problem being him overcharging us at the end for "extra work" he didn't anticipate. One thing I'd strongly recommend is making sure it's in the contract that any additional work or growth work is estimated and communicated to the owner as soon as it is identified, otherwise the owner is not liable to pay it at the end.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your exterior painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.
Research the licensing requirements for your area. These laws governing professional contractor work will be different depending on where you live. It’s important to be aware of these laws and what they mean from the outset. Contact the licensing board for your state or district to find out more about what you’ll need to do to get your business off the ground.
However, David, who works in Excel's office, really left a bad taste in our mouth for the whole project. We didn't love the color our house ended up being - a color match that Excel performed for us - and expressed as such. David was a nightmare to work with once we mentioned we had a problem. He had terribe customer service skills and repeatedly made us feel like it was our fault and that we were stupid. Painting our house was a big commitment and investment in our eyes, and he was not the least bit helpful in trying to get us to an end product we would be happy with. In fact, he succeeded in making us even more unhappy to the point that we gave up on even having Excel repaint to get us to a color we'd be happy with. A very disappointing experience.
Deciding which paint to use has gotten much easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints almost to extinction. The acrylics offer superior performance (they don't harden with age, the way oils do, so they move and breathe without blistering), they don't mildew as readily, and they emit fewer VOCs, so they comply with new air-quality regulations. They also work over both oil- and water-based primers.