1781 Ashton Lane Austin, TX 78701 info@thepaintedarrow.com 512-457-6821

Choosing the right contractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s worthwhile to prepare yourself properly. After all, it could make all the difference between having a wonderful and fulfilling experience or one that’s a total nightmare!

Check references: when checking references, be sure to ask questions about:
The nature of the project
What kind of work did they have done?
How long did it take to complete?
Their relationship with the contractor
Had they ever worked with this contractor before?
How did they come to know about them?
Cleanliness and tidiness
Did the contractor show up to work on time?
Was the project completed on schedule?
Did they clean up after themselves properly?

Ask if you can take a look at the work done by the contractor

Verify insurance and licensing: ask your contractor to provide proof of insurance coverage (including workers’ compensation), automobile insurance, and general liability coverage for at least 1 million dollars.

Check the contractor’s record: contact your local State Attorney’s office and the Better Business Bureau to find out if your proposed contractor has any outstanding unresolved complaints against them. If they do, reconsider your choice!

Find out about any professional memberships or affiliations: a reputable contractor will generally belong to any number of professional associations related to their trade, such as trade unions, trade associations, etc. Being a part of such associations demonstrates an interest in their professional community and usually requires a pledge to abide by a code of ethics. We normally focus solely on painting, but this plumbing company has does a great job of making known to their clients their membership affiliations. This is what you would be looking for with a painting company.

Remember, it’s not all about getting a low price! Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so if you’re presented with a quote that is significantly lower than the others, find out why. Ask detailed questions as to how they can quote such a low price, such as:
Are their employees legally hired?
Are their workers properly insured?
How is the quality of materials and workmanship?
Are they reputable? How long have they been in business for?

How to choose which type of paint to use?

When choosing the right paint for your job, keep in mind the following factors.

Latex vs. Oil – Latex paint works well for interior applications, especially in areas where there is little ventilation, because of the minimal amount of odor they give off during application. Clean up with latex paints is very easy, simply wash all brushes, rollers, buckets, and spills with warm, soapy water. Oil Paints are more durable and are great for exterior applications where there is plenty of ventilation due to their strong odor. Mineral spirits must also be used for cleanup.

Interior vs. Exterior – Interior and exterior paints differ in their composition. Each contains additives specifically formulated for their intended use. For example, exterior paints will have additional mildew blockers and fade resistors that allow them to withstand the elements and constant sunlight. Interior paints contain additives that make them more durable for scrubbing and cleaning. For best results, be sure to use the paint that is intended for your project.

Paint Grades – Paint is manufactured to different specifications. In general these grades are: value grade, construction grade, and premium grade. When comparing pricing on paints, be sure that you are looking at similar grades of paint. Many paint stores carries top quality paints, so you can be sure you’re getting the best paint on the market.

Hiding Ability – This is a term that refers to the opacity of the paint. The greater the paint’s hiding ability the better it will cover up problem areas and previously painted colors. While you might think a dark color would have better hiding ability than a lighter color, it isn’t always the case. In order to make a dark color, less titanium dioxide (which makes paint white & opaque) can be used, reducing its hiding ability.

Color Choice – There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a color. Space can be the most important factor. Is your room small or large or is the side of the house a long, straight run? Colors interact with each other in various ways so it is also important to consider the color of objects in a room, nearby walls, furniture, and anything else that will be near your painted surface. For example, an off-white wall will appear pink when placed next to a vibrant red rug.

Another factor is the amount of light in a room. Since color is a reflection of certain rays of light, the level of brightness will effect how a color looks. Browns will look much deeper in a darker room than in a bright one. It is important to take the color swatch home and see what it looks like in the actual space where it will go and to consider the type of light you are choosing the color in. If it is an exterior paint, you should choose the color in daylight. While color is a personal selection, be sure to ask us for advice on color pairings to create just the right look and feel.

How to Pick Out Paint Color?

Few home improvement projects can make a large impact for a low price the way painting can. All you need to completely change the look of a room is a can of paint, some brushes and rollers, and some time. While actually painting a room can take quite a bit of energy, one of the most difficult things about getting ready to paint is choosing the right color. It’s not quite as simple as deciding you want to paint your walls a certain color, you have to settle on the exact right shade of your desired color.

Once you know what color you want to paint a room, go to the store to look at their paint samples. Trying to figure out which shade is right for you can take a lot of time and guesswork. Here are a few helpful hints to make the process a little bit easier.

What type of  Mood Do You Want for the Room

The color you choose to paint a room with can change more than the room’s appearance, it can change the entire mood of a room. Some colors are very calming to look at while others give off a more energized vibe, so the purpose of a room is something you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, if you’re painting a room you’ll spend a lot of time resting or relaxing in, such as a bedroom or a home library, you may want to consider cool, soothing colors. On the other hand, if you’re painting a room that sees a lot of activity, like a kid’s playroom, rec room, or a kitchen, you might feel like checking out some brighter or bolder colors.

Bring Items from the Room You’re Painting

When you go to the store to look at paint samples, it can be helpful to take a couple of things from the room you’re planning to paint. Things like throw pillows, cushions, swatches of fabric used on your upholstery or curtains, or even a leftover piece of your flooring can be nice to have with you since you’ll be able to see how they look next to various colors of paint.

Take Paint Samples Home

One very common mistake people make when choosing a paint color is buying the paint without bringing the sample home and seeing how it looks in their room. Even if you absolutely love how a paint sample looks in the store, there are a few very good reasons why you should always bring it home before buying a gallon of it. First of all, the color might look great in the store’s lighting, but the lighting in the room you’re painting will very likely be different, which can change how the color looks.

Secondly, bringing paint samples home with you will give you a chance to see how it looks with everything in your room. Even if you take things from the room with you when you go to the store to look at samples, there are lots of things that make a big difference in a room’s appearance that aren’t exactly portable. Furniture, rugs, and other types of flooring materials all make a big difference in how a room looks, but you can’t bring those sorts of things to the store with you and taking pictures of them isn’t always the most reliable way to get a true color representation.

Test It Out

Once you’ve decided on a color you like, have the store mix up a small sample size of the paint for you and use it to paint something like a piece of white paper or poster board. That way, you’ll be able to have a decently-sized sample to put on your wall for a few days. You’ll have the chance to see how it looks throughout the day in various lighting conditions. This can be a particularly smart step to take if you’re planning to completely change the color of a room or want to experiment with bright, bold colors.

Remember the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule is a guideline designers use when planning a room. This means that 60% of a room’s color scheme should be the dominant color, 30% should be your secondary color, and 10% should be an accent color. Since walls are such a large focal point of your room, you’ll probably want to have those account for the 60% and let the 30% and 10% come from other things in your room like furniture and accessories.

What To Do With Sheen?

Do-it-yourselfers often spend hours choosing the perfect paint colors, but frequently give far less thought to the sheen they’ll use. That can be very short sighted, since paint sheen affects both the initial appearance of a paint job and its long-term performance.

Top paint brands typically come in as many as six different levels of sheen, which is basically a measure of the reflectivity of the finish. Flat paint is the least reflective, followed by increasingly “shiny” options like matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and – shiniest of all – gloss or high gloss paint.

If your walls are in pristine condition, it’s fine to choose any level of sheen your eye desires. But if they are in any way rough or uneven, be aware that paint with higher sheen will make the defects more apparent, while a coating having less sheen will help conceal these imperfections.

Sticking with aesthetics, keep in mind that paints in higher sheen levels do a better job of reflecting light, rather than absorbing it. So, if you want to brighten your interior without putting a charge into your electric bill, consider using wall paint that is on the glossier side.

There are other aspects of paint sheen that may not be apparent on day one, but that may affect the appearance – and performance – of your paint job years later.

Paints with higher sheen levels are more durable than flat or matte paints. They are tougher, more mildew resistant, and more stain-resistant, so they’ll hold up better over time. As a result, if the room you’re painting gets heavy use, you’d be wise to apply paint from the glossier side of the spectrum.

Glossier paints are also easier to clean when they become soiled. High gloss and semi-gloss paints, in particular, will easily give up fingerprints and other common stains with some light scrubbing. So, they’re ideal for use not just on walls, but on windows, doors and baseboards, too.

Given these helpful characteristics, it’s smart to use semi-gloss or even high gloss paint in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas, as well as rooms frequented by guests, children, or pets. But parts of your home that are subject to little wear and wear, such as entrance ways or spare bedrooms, will likely hold up beautifully even with flat or low-sheen paint.

What’s the main takeaway? When the salesperson at the paint store asks which level of sheen you’d prefer, take time to reflect on your needs. In more ways than one, the sheen level of your paint is every bit as important as the color. We would be glad to help you with your painting choices. We have lots of sales associates or painters who would be more than happy to help.