Many painters require their customers to acquire the paint they’ll be using, because they don’t want to be responsible for a color or finish that doesn’t quite match expectations.  Others are happy to pick up the paint a customer selects –some will even request the homeowner use a specific brand due to a discount they receive on the paint.

When making the decision on how to handle customer paint selections, it’s important to remember that a homeowner doesn’t necessarily know enough to separate the paint from the painter.  This means that if the customer selects a cheap, low quality paint and it covers the wall poorly or leaves the imperfections in their wall visible, they’ll blame that on your work and not their paint selection.

Low quality paints can also require several coats.  If you’re pricing the job ahead of time, that will eat into your profits.  If you’re pricing by the hour, the owner will be upset that your estimate was not accurate and they owe you more.

So whether you select the paint color or they do, make sure to specify the paint quality by recommending lines of paint you trust.  Here are three factors to consider:

Solid Content: Solid content is what’s left after the solvent evaporates.  If a paint has a lot of solid content, the coats will be very thin and more likely to peel.  They’re also less likely to leave a sharp edge if you tape before you paint.

Binder: The best paints have 100% acrylic binders – not vinyl acrylic or vinyl copolymer.  A cheap binder in a paint will reduce its durability, and it also may not adhere to the wall as well.

Experience: Every paint is different – they dry at different rates, for instance, and brushes can hold different amounts of paint.  Sticking to high-quality paints you’re familiar with can not only improve the quality of the work, it can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the job – and in any business, time is money.

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