Frequently Asked Questions
At Arclight Painting we want to help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing someone to work on your most valuable investment. That’s why we will always try to answer your questions honestly and simply. We don’t hide behind jargon or try to confuse you! We hope that the information on this page will answer many of your questions. If not, please contact us any time to speak with a knowledgeable estimator who would be happy to answer any questions you may have about painting.
QUESTIONS ABOUT US
QUESTIONS ABOUT ESTIMATES
QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PAINTING PROCESS
COMMON PAINT QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS ABOUT INSURANCE
How qualified are your painters? All of our painters have at least 3+ years of professional experience unless they are one of our apprentices working directly under close supervision. Regardless, they all undergo a comprehensive, ongoing training program, and are held accountable to industry standards. This means that you can count on the fact that you will receive the highest quality paint job when you hire Arclight Painting for your project.
How do you hire your painters? All of our painters go through an extensive vetting process before they are hired. This includes a technical assessment to prove their skill as a painter, as well as an extensive background check to make sure they are trustworthy. We do this because we want our clients to feel 100% safe and comfortable with our painters being in their homes or at their businesses.
Are you hiring? We are always looking for good people to join our team! You can check out our current openings on our website at https://www.arclightpainting.com/team.
Who is the owner of Arclight Painting? Most of the team members at Arclight Painting, including everyone from the painters and estimators to the office staff, are also owners of the company, not just employees. So, you can trust that they are personally vested in making sure our clients have exceptional painting experiences.
Do you stand behind your work? We protect our clients after the project is complete with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and 5-year Iron-Clad Warranty. In the rare case that there is a paint failure due to defective product or application, we'll come back free of charge to repair the affected areas, no questions asked, and no documentation to submit. We even put this all in writing for you before you agree to hire us.
Can you provide references? Of course! You'll find numerous testimonials from our customers readily available on our website. Plus, your estimator will provide you with copies of all our reviews for you to take a look at while completing your on-site estimate. So, you don’t have to take our word for it. Let those whom we’ve served in the past tell you about their experience with us and how we went “above and beyond” for them.
Do you provide an estimate or a "firm" quote? We always provide a detailed estimate that breaks down exactly how much labor and materials will be required to complete your project. Once accepted, this estimate is converted into a contract and the price given is considered fixed. It will not change unless the client makes an alteration to the Scope of Work and any additional charge is accepted prior to starting the work.
How much will it cost to paint my house? Contact us today to schedule a free on-site estimate where we will evaluate the unique aspects of your project, collect detailed measurements of included surfaces, and determine what the actual cost will be broken down into total hours of labor and materials required. We do not give generic square foot prices or “guesstimates”! By taking the time to get the details upfront, we are able to provide accurate quotes that ensure you will get the best possible value for your money.
I have three quotes but the prices are so different. How do I compare them? We provide you with a Buyer’s Guide to help you ask the right questions such as: How qualified are their painters? Do they stand behind their work with any guarantees or warranties? Do they carry Workers Comp & General Liability Insurances? All of these factors can considerably affect the cost of the job. So, make sure you are getting what you pay for. Of course, our estimators are always happy to help you compare “apples to apples” and make the best decision.
Will you keep our property clean and tidy? YES! We have written procedures for keeping the work area orderly and all tools/equipment stored in one place daily. Painters are required to complete a daily opening and closing checklist to ensure we keep our promise of a clean job site.
What process do you use to prepare surfaces to make sure the paint "sticks"? We make certain to remove all loose and flaking paint from all surfaces according to painting industry standards for adhesion. Often, this is done by pressure washing or manually scraping. Sometimes, surfaces must be sanded, abraded, profiled, or spot primed to guarantee adhesion. That's why we always take our time where it counts – in the preparation.
Is there a difference between hand-brushed and sprayed paint? Basically, both spraying and brushing will provide a quality finish if the paint is properly applied. In general, spraying will provide a smoother appearance, as long as the surface has been properly prepared. There are instances when certain substrates should be back-rolled or back-brushed if they are sprayed. We will review these details during our estimate appointment with you so you can feel confident that your paint job will be done the right way.
Does all of the existing old paint on my house need to be removed before it can be repainted? No, not all of the old paint needs to be removed. It is important to have any loose, peeling, or flaking paint removed prior to painting. Areas that are bare after this preparation process will be primed before being repainted. This will ensure proper adhesion of the top coat.
Does my whole house need to be primed before being painted? It is very rare for an entire house to need to be primed. After power washing and hand scraping, any bare areas need to be primed. Sometimes this can amount to a large portion of a home needing to be primed with a peel-bonding primer if the existing paint was in poor condition in order to manage future peeling. Most often, however, only spot priming is needed in those specific areas where bare wood is exposed.
What brand of paint do you recommend? We mainly use Sherwin-Williams and Behr products because we have a strong relationship with these brands, and they produce quality products that are highly rated by Consumer Reports. If there is ever a manufacturing defect, we have a relationship with these companies and we know that they will stand behind our work and their products. However, we do make exceptions when there are superior products in specific situations, or if our clients have a strong product preference. Overall, we always recommend what we determine to be the BEST paint for your project so that you can be confident that your paint job will look good and last as long as possible.
Are more expensive paints better? In general, yes – especially if you are comparing within the same brand. More expensive paints typically contain more durable pigments and solids. These are what determine the quality of finish and how long your paint job will last. The way the product is produced can also impact how much labor it takes to apply. For example, better pigments or a different type of paint can mean fewer coats. Pricing across paint brands also varies, so the “best” at one brand does not necessarily equate to the “most expensive” compared to another brand. Regardless, it is important to evaluate the specific condition, needs, and budget for YOUR project. So, if you really want to save money, spend a little more on the RIGHT materials after getting the expert opinion of a qualified, experienced professional.
Will I save money if I buy the paint myself? It’s not likely that you will save a significant amount of money, and it will require you to take on the risk of potential overages. In fact, we get better discounts than the employees of most of the major paint manufacturers, and because we provide fixed quotes, if there are any material overages that are not caused by changes to the Scope of Work, we will take care of the additional cost. So, if you want the best materials without the hassle of having to run back and forth from the paint store, then let us get them for you. If you have a specific budget in mind, we are happy to discuss what your options are in terms of paint options to best fit your specific scenario. We don’t try to push every customer into using the same paint because each project is unique and may require different products.
What does VOC mean? VOC refers to “volatile organic compound”; some examples are paint thinner, mineral spirits, alcohol, gasoline, ethylene glycol, acetone and xylol. VOCs are harmful to both people and the environment. Most architectural paints contain some VOCs. The EPA is limiting the level of VOCs in paints, because when they evaporate into the air when the paint dries, they can contribute to low-level pollution.
Should I use Oil or Latex? Every job, no matter the age or condition deserves special consideration when choosing which products to use and how to apply them. We are very knowledgeable and experienced and understand each step of the painting process. We will choose the products and the application methods that give the best results. In most cases, oil or solvent-based products have been replaced by a VOC-compliant version which is the best choice in most cases. However, some were not replaced, and so may not be available. We will help you navigate these waters!
What is elastomeric paint? Elastomeric paint is a special coating designed for stucco, masonry and decking surfaces experiencing certain issues. The primary issues where an elastomeric coating should be a consideration are where water intrusion has been an ongoing problem and when there are multiple hairline cracks. It usually requires two complete finish coats to create a very thick film between the building and the environment. As the name implies, this coating has a very elastic nature that helps it to bridge underlying hairline cracks in the surfaces. The costs for a repaint with an elastomeric coating are higher than with latex paint due to a much lower spread rate and the additional work required to apply this product.
What methods of payment do you accept? We accept checks and cash, as well as bank transfers, credit cards and even bitcoin to make the transaction as convenient as possible. We also offer low-cost monthly financing so that we can help get your property protected now rather than later.
How much money do we need to put down for a paint job? We ask for a 20% up front to hold your place in our Job Calendar and ensure we have enough funds to pre-purchase the materials for your project. Otherwise, we accept final payment at the end of the project after the final walkthrough inspection and you are 100% satisfied! All deposits are fully refundable within 30 days of the project start date (less the purchase price of any non-returnable materials).
Are you insured? Absolutely! We protect our customers by carrying the appropriate coverages for general liability. We ensure this information is always up-to-date and verifiable through the Labor & Industries website. Additionally, we continually seek out industry-recognized certifications to add to our customer's peace of mind.
Does Arclight Painting carry worker’s compensation insurance? Yes, of course. We’ll show you current copies when we come to give you an estimate. Furthermore, we follow all state and federal laws and ensure all appropriate unemployment and workman’s compensation taxes are paid so that everyone working on your project is covered and you can rest assured that you are protected as well.
What happens if an employee falls off a ladder and gets hurt? Who pays for his injuries? Contractors, painters or other tradespeople who work on or around your home are required by law to provide worker’s compensation insurance and any injury would be covered under that policy. If the contractor does not have coverage or has discontinued his policy to save on premiums, you would be next in line to pay for a worker’s injuries and/or disabilities that occurred on your property.
Will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover me in the event of an accident? Absolutely not! Your homeowner’s insurance is not likely to offer any coverage in the event that a worker is injured on your property. It is more likely that your policy specifically excludes it. Alternatively, if your homeowner’s policy does cover it, your premiums are likely to be impacted by the claim. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
Is this true that a contractor is not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance if he only has one employee? This may be true if the contractor is a sole proprietor and doesn’t use any employees on your job. However, ultimately, you could still be left with the bill for injuries that happen on your property. So, it’s always best to protect yourself and your assets by only hiring contractors that are adequately insured.
How do I know for sure if a contractor carries worker’s compensation insurance? Ask for a certificate of insurance and check the date issued as well as the policy expiration dates. You can also check with the carrier before work begins to ensure that the policy is still in force. Otherwise, all painting contractors are required to register their insurance information with the Department of Labor & Industries which can be verified on their website: https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/