4 steps to choosing the right master painter

Comparing paint quotes can be confusing, especially for those who haven’t had much experience in painting and decorating. You might be thinking that you only have a small job on the North Shore so why would you need a Master Painter? Well, although it might be tempting to hire the painter with the cheapest quote, you might end up paying for it in the long run. Here are a few things to look out for when organising your next paint job, and why a master painter is your best choice.


1. Preparation is key.

Whether you are doing a residential commercial or strata paint job, it is important to prepare for the job prior to commencement.

There are certain procedures that can mean the difference between needing to repaint your place in two, five, or ten years. The secret to a lasting finish is preparation.

It is always more fun to see the colour being put on surfaces but the most important things are the sanding, filling and undercoating of areas. There are a lot of older homes on the North Shore (link to residential internal page), so being aware of any problem areas and rectifying them before moving forward is important. This means addressing any rising damp, problem walls or rotting materials before painting. These are all things a master painter will (or should) alert you to before commencing the paint job.

Tip: Ensure you are familiar with your painter’s scope of works prior to giving the quote the go-ahead. A great master painter will explain their processes as well as the materials they will be using to ensure a lasting job. Always get this in writing so they can be held accountable.


2. Check the materials.

Good-quality materials equal a good-quality job. Don’t let a painter talk you into using cheaper materials, which they say are “just as good”. You should always ask for the product by name, for example, Taubmans which is a fantastic choice. Taubmans are continuously researching and developing their own products to ensure that their paint provides a lasting finish which will continue to look great, years after the first coat.

A great master painter will always use the best product for the job. This could factor into the quote, and is to be considered when comparing a few different painting contractors. Knowing what is being used on your walls can help decipher whether you will need to get them back in 2, 5 or 10 years to refresh the job. Take that into account when looking at a quote from a master painter, as they might be marginally more expensive, but offer lasting quality results that will outlive your colour choice!

TIP: Maintaining your paint job will further extend the work of your paint update. We covered this in a little more detail in our how to maintain your paint work blog post.


3. Licenses and Warranties.

In New South Wales, the Department of Fair Trading sets certain rules: A painter must be licensed if he/she contracts, sub-contracts or advertises to do residential painting where the reasonable market cost of the labour and building materials is more than $1000. A contract will need to be issued and signed. Also, any work exceeding a total of $20,000, will need Home Warranty Insurance. Only well-established painters will offer this but it is still a legal requirement. Don’t let your tradesman tell you otherwise. Job splitting is not permitted.

You can read more about the code of ethics followed by master painters here.

TIP: If a quote does not display a license number our best advice is throw it out. It is simply not worth the risk.


4. Affiliations and Recognition.

It’s always a good idea to check if your painter is part of the Master Painters Association (MPA). The Association seeks to advance, encourage and recognise the highest standards of trade craftsmanship and ethical business practice in residential, strata, industrial, commercial and historical projects and provides its members with the support to deliver only the best for their clients.

Summit Coatings is proud to be a member of the MPA and our principal, Robin Ottowa, has served as president from 2011-2013 and is currently the vice president.

Tip: For a winning job, look for painters who have been recognised by the MPA in the form of awards. These are judged by a panel of the countries’ top painters and decorators, so you can be sure you’re getting the best-of-the-best.

This entry was posted in General.

Why hire a professional painter?

A DIY paint job won’t improve the appearance of your home if it appears unprofessional or if the products used are substandard. A completed paint job is only as good as the prep, painter and products used. That’s why it’s important to hire a professional painter. Whether you require someone to paint one room or the entire house, it’s vital to hire a well-qualified professional, like Summit Coatings, to complete the job.

Why hire a professional painter

Here are some quick reasons, to get the professionals in:

There are only so many hours in the day
Where will you find the time to get the job done? This weekend? Next weekend? Next month? Doesn’t it always seem like something else (life!) seems to happen? There’s a wedding, there’s a sports game, there’s a function at school, a deadline is looming at the office – you get the idea. You can tell yourself you will eventually get to it, but in the meantime, you could have contracted the paint job and had it completed.

It’s a long way to the ground
In other words, when you fall off the ladder, it’s going to hurt. Painters are not only skilled in their profession, but they are experienced with the equipment needed to get the job done. If your spouse comes home to find that you just ruined her bed of roses because you dropped the paint bucket from the second story … you’ll wished you would have thought of calling that painting company she had suggested earlier.

Insured, licensed and protected
A professional painter should be insured. If they aren’t, look for someone that is. Why should you care? When their ladder bumps against your window and it shatters into a million pieces, you aren’t the one that will be replacing it. Ensure your painting contractor has Workers’ Compensation as it also insures any injuries sustained on the site are covered.

Consider your health
If your home is older than 1978, it may contain leaded paint. A professional painter will take steps to ensure that you and your family will not be at risk when it comes time to removing old paint. There are also fumes and chemicals to consider – fumes and chemicals that you’d be breathing if you were tackle the paint job yourself. Stay healthy, let a professional assess the risk.

No Clean-up
Possibly the worse job in conjunction with the actual painting. A professional will safely dispose of toxic items as well as any residue that may remain from the job, including those little “whoops” that were made along the way. Don’t forget to consider correct disposal of paint tins and other materials.

The right materials
A professional knows what works and what doesn’t. If you think that paintbrush you got at the two-dollar-shop will do a nice job for you, think again. It will only cost you time and more money to re-do and re-cover the project. A professional painter has years of experience selecting and collecting the best tools to get the job done right. Often, the more expensive the tools, the better quality they are – and all those brushes, rollers, dropsheets and paint trays don’t come cheap! Another aspect to consider is that a professional painter has access to wholesale paint prices, and the cost of quality paint can add up!

To get the most out of your next paint job, contact Summit Coatings today and see how easy it is to complete your next paint job.

Can you really trust online review sites?

Being in the painting game for over 30 years, we’ve lost count of how many happy clients we’ve completed work for. Whether it’s a residential home, commercial space or strata complex, our aim is always to ensure the best result for our customers (even if that means going above and beyond the usual call of duty).

A recent development since the dawn of this wonderful technology called “the internet” is the possibility for customers to share their experiences with a company – good or bad. Previously, if a customer had positive or negative feedback about a business, they could generally share it with a close circle of friends and the buck stopped there. Now we all have the potential to share our reviews to anyone interested in finding the information – be it locally, nationally or even globally!

Whilst it’s great that our happy customers can sing praises of Summit to a much larger audience, it also means addressing some of those not-so-happy customers who, regardless of what effort you’ve gone to keep them happy, simply can’t be pleased. And quite often, it’s these customers that like to take to the internet to share their frustrations (warranted or not). What’s more, there are cases of competitor businesses using these wonderful review platforms to slander businesses, in the hope of gaining deflective business.

This begs the question, can you really trust online review sites? We’ve put together a few top tips to help you decipher online reviews of trade contractors.

Check for a name

Many online review sites, such as Yelp, require reviewers to use their legal full name. This hopes to weed out fake reviews vs legitimate ones. If you’re using online research to determine whether to hire a contractor or not, make sure the review you’re reading use a real name (not an alias, or a nickname).

Has the business replied?

If there was a negative review, what has the company done to address the issue? As with all things in life, sometimes things go wrong. The key to finding a good trade contractor is seeing what they do to rectify a negative experience. Often all it might take is a 1 hour visit to the site and the problem can be fixed!

Majority Rules

Whilst it would be great to have a 100% positive feedback history, we know it might not be realistic to keep every single person happy. For example, as strata painters, we don’t just consider our client to be the strata manager or the members of the executive committee, but every single resident and owner in the complex. And when we’re working on multi-storey apartment blocks with over 100 units, that can get tricky! We’ve had reviews from strata residents in the past who we didn’t even know existed until their review popped up and diminished our 100% positive score – the issue was of course dealt with but it goes to show the power of online reviews! As a rule, if the majority of reviews about a trade contractor are positive and you’re dealings with them so far are favourable, don’t let one or two bad reviews change your mind.

As trade contractors, we’re not saying that every negative review is false or should be disregarded – we know there are many businesses which deserve the negative review they’re given, however the trick to deciphering these online review sites is to look at a few elements to determine how legitimate each review is and of course to trust your own instincts!