After deciding to add deep color (garnet) to the master bedroom that is 15 x 20 I was okay with the contractor needing two gallons of paint max to do the job. Well after 5 gallons of paint (in addition to white primer) I am not happy and ready to do the job myself. The materials are excellent quality. I need to know how to go about correcting this wrong? Would it be better to try another contractor? This one has done good work, has good references, but come to find out not that experienced in dark paints. Thanks.
Matt ~ New Albany, New Jersey
Hi Matt, One of the problems the downturn in the construction industry has caused is that many construction workers have shifted from the construction trade they were skilled in to another that might be in more demand until the economy gets a little better. One of the construction trades that normally gets flooded with workers when this happens is the painting field; the thought being that anyone with a paintbrush can be a painter.
Unfortunately this isn't the case; a good painting contractor is every bit as skilled and maybe more so than a trim carpenter or a roofer or any other skilled tradesman. Being a good painter requires a lot of experience and knowledge and being able to work with all types of materials in all sorts of situations. I don't doubt that your painting contractor had good references as he may have had a number of jobs that didn't require a lot of skill such as repainting an off-white room in another off-white color and he probably did a decent job and charged less than the going rate so the customer was very happy.
I am reminded of a situation that happened not that long ago with a home I built and the homeowner I got to know pretty well. The homeowner called me into the home one day to boast about a contractor he had hired who was going to run crown mold around the entire first floor and then paint it for an unbelievably low price. I didn't want to burst his bubble, but warned him he had better be careful because of unskilled workers looking for work. I ran into him several weeks later and asked how it had gone and it turned out that before the contractor had even finished installing the crown mold he had realized he had severely under priced the job. The homeowner ended up having to pay him more money just so he could finish buying and installing the trim and then had to buy the paint for the contractor.
Working with dark paints is very difficult as it can take several coats to cover and they are impossible to touch up. Most builders choose lighter colors as the standard colors in their homes because they can be touched up easily as the house is being finished. If a homeowner wants a room to be a dark color, the builder knows they are going to be repainting the entire room instead of touching it up at the end. I painted my living room an orange/red and it took three coats to cover up the previous off-white walls.
I recommend you chalk this up as a lesson learned since it was just one room and start looking for an experienced painting contractor around New Albany, New Jersey. When you check their references make sure they have had success in working with interior dark colors and the customers were happy with those rooms.