There are so many painting companies out there to choose from, so how do you decide which painter will be the best one for your home painting project?

How do you know if you’re dealing with a legitimate business or just some guy with a paintbrush?

If you are thinking of painting your house yourself or contemplating hiring a professional house painting company, you should consider asking these questions before your decision.

Whether you’re looking for interior painting or exterior painting help, asking a few questions before you hire someone, can make your project go a lot smoother.

Undoubtedly, painting is one of the most critical investments you are going to make to your property so you don’t want to pay a house painter to do a lousy job. If you are planning to have any part of your house painted, you need to find a professional residential painting company you can trust to deliver quality service from start to finish. You’re right to expect the kind of results that you can feel proud to show off.

You need to hire a company who can provide you with the specific services that you need. There are many good ones, but finding a prominent residential painting company in Brisbane can be difficult, and it’s incredibly crucial.

Armed with the knowledge you’ll gain from this guide, you’ll easily differentiate between the professional and ‘cowboy painters’ (as we call them), and decide which painting company is right for your house painting project. One that you can be certain will provide you with a lasting and superior paint finish without the hassles that can arise within this trade

At PowerHouse Painting, Brisbane’s Trusted House Painters, our company will always provide you with the highest quality painting services according to your demands.

We’ve put together some questions to ask that will assist you in selecting the best painting company for your property.

Question 1: Are you a licensed painting company?

Unfortunately, tradies can have a reputation for being a bit, well…dodgy. And although there are some great trade companies out there, there are plenty of ‘cowboy’ tradies as well.

So how do you know if you are dealing with a ‘cowboy’ or a legitimate painter?

Asking this simple question is a good start – Are your QBCC licensed and insured?

Licensing standards as set out by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), requires that painters meet the strict licensing standards.

Don’t take the risk of using an unlicensed painter even if it’s a small job under the amount of $3300. For more information please head to the QBCC website

Question 2: Are you insured?

Painters covered by Public Liability Insurance and WorkCover provide protection for customers, property, employees and themselves.

Public Liability Insurance:

Even the most careful painters can experience the occasional slip up, and although much care is taken, mistakes can unintentionally cause damage to property. Damage can range from breakage of a family heirloom to structural damage to your property caused by fire or water. It is important to note that your home and contents insurance may not cover the cost of damage caused by a tradie.

Public Liability Insurance provides a safety net for customers, covering the cost of any damage to property, should an accident occur during your project.

Ask to see the painter’s Public Liability Insurance certificate of currency to ensure that your property will be covered in the event of an accident.


Although painting may not seem as dangerous as other trades, painters can face a number of risks in their day-to-day work. No matter how many preventative measures are put into place, building and construction sites can be a relative minefield when it comes to accidents and injuries.

Question 3: Ask your painter for the step by step process that they will follow

Most professional house painting companies will have a system or step by step process they use. The process can include several steps including

  • The initial conversation
  • Inspection of your property
  • Estimate or total quote value of your project
  • Contact approval and the deposit
  • Painter introduction and color selection
  • Preparation including house wash, plastering, scraping, sanding, priming, caulking and masking
  • Scheduling Other trades that may be needed
  • Painting

Question 4: Is there any pre-prep you need to do? How many coats will you apply? What Thickness Are You Applying the Paint?

The painter should properly prepare your walls before painting so you can avoid a lot of paint problems in the future.  This will save your property from random bubbling, flaking and chipping. Ask your painter if any pre-prep work is required and how they plan to tackle the issue if any.

All paint cans have instructions that recommend two coats and how thick they should be. But paint is typically not applied at the proper thickness because it takes longer and uses more paint.

Question 5:  How many people will you have to complete this project? How long have they worked for you? Are the painters sent to your house verified?

A well-run company will arrive when they say they will, work a full day and then return each day until the job is complete.  An experienced painter will know exactly how long the job will take and how much man power is required on quoting.

Question 6: Will you start on time every day? Will you finish on time? How long will the project take?

A motivated and well-run group of painters will arrive when they say they will, work a full day and then return each day until the job is complete. Those crews that don’t will take longer and disrupt your life more than they should.

Some painters over-extend themselves and undertake too many jobs at once. Work progress slows or becomes intermittent as workers shuffle between jobs. This is a common problem avoided by painters whose business skills are as sharp as their painting skills.

The weather is another factor in job delays. With favorable weather, work moves right along. Unfavorable weather means everyone must be patient.

At PowerHouse Painting we make every effort within our control to ensure that your project will start on time and get completed on time

Question 7: Which brand of paint do you recommend?

PowerHouse Painting established a relationship with a particular brand – Wattyl – for a variety of reasons – knowledgeable help, quality products for a reasonable price being the most important. If a painter is reluctant to use another product, it’s fair to ask why. Strong belief in a product based on experience is fine, but when a financial incentive trumps all else, the advice you get may not be in your best interest.

All of this assumes quality materials – if you’re being steered toward a low cost product, find another painter. When it comes to paint, you never get more than you pay for. Also, most professionals do not use paint from the ‘Big Box’ chain stores for several reasons: product quality is one, limited selection, poor service, incorrect color matching and availability.

Question 8: Do you require any payment up front?

If your painter is a poor business owner, he may use your up-front payment to take care of last month’s bills and will then be in a big hurry to finish the job so he can pay his workers. You’ve just lost a good bit of leverage to ensure the agreed-upon quality work. A large up-front payment is often an indicator of an under-capitalized business.  A 10% deposit of the quote is all that is required to cover the painters initial purchase of paint and materials. A reasonable approach is to make a partial payment after a couple of days. The painter has committed labor and equipment to the project and the homeowner sees that work is progressing so both parties have an interest in satisfactory completion.

Question 9: Will my property be protected?

A quality painting company will drop sheet everything, arrange for prized plants to be moved or staked off and make sure that cars are out of overspray range. This type of conscientious preparation is often overlooked because it is a hassle – it’s easier for a painter to tell his workers to “watch out for the plants” or just hope they’re not careless. Attention to detail at the start saves problems for everyone later.

Question 10. Will I hear loud music, objectionable language or find cigarette butts in my garden?

Some painters assume that your home is, in fact, their work area. And then they act that way. Better to be clear with your expectations up front. The painters at PowerHouse Painting are inducted into customer’s service and customer satisfaction procedures so you will never witness any inappropriate behavior from our painters.

Question 11: What about lead paint and dust?

This question will tell you if the painter is informed about the lead issue or if he will downplay it to get the job. Lead paint is a reality that is best viewed from an informed perspective – and both the painter and the homeowner should be informed.

Any preparation of lead paint needs to be carried out by a Lead Certified painter.  It’s best to assume that any paint applied to your house before 1978 contains lead.  Companies that don’t carry out lead paint preparation correctly are doing wrong by the painter, the homeowner and the environment.

Question 12: Do you have a list of customers who would be willing to verify the quality of your work?

Any painting company worth it’s lacquer should be able to supply a list of homes that he or she has recently painted and allow potential customers to speak with homeowners who have had first-hand experience working with the paint company.  Be slightly skeptical if only a very small number of homeowners are available to speak with, as they could be the painter’s next door neighbor, sister-in-law or other “ring-ins.”

To double check their honesty consider checking their Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews.

Question 13: What will be cleaned up after the job is finished?

It may seem obvious to the homeowner that the painters will remove any old wood, trim, empty paint buckets, worn out drop cloths or other detritus associated with painting, but unless this is stipulated in writing, the painter may not remove everything once the job is complete.  Having everything in writing, with your painter, makes certain that every small detail is going to be taken care of.

Question 14:   Will there be someone to answer phone calls to answer any questions?

It is very common for questions to be quickly answered before a contract is signed, but then people who can answer questions have a way of mysteriously vanishing once a job is started.  Not only should the paint company guarantee that questions will be answered in a timely fashion after the job is started, but the referrals that the paint company provided should also be asked how good the paint company’s communication is once the contract has been signed.

Question 15: Do I need to do anything before you arrive?

Asking if you need to do anything before someone comes in to paint is a good up front question. Some companies don’t require you to do anything, while others may ask you to move your own furniture or do your own prep work. While this may not be a make or break question for you, it’s good to know so you can prepare if needed.

Question 16: Where will you store supplies & paint overnight during the job?

This is probably a question that isn’t thought about until the project is happening. It’s important to know because even if the project is estimated to take a few days, that doesn’t mean your life stops during that time. Making sure paint cans aren’t sitting in your driveway or hallways is an important safety measure, as well as stress reliever.

Question 17: Please explain the warranty you provide.

Not every company offers warranties and guarantees. Asking what kind, if any, will help give you some peace of mind. Usually, most companies will offer a 1-3 year warranty. Most issues with a paint job will show within the first year, so those are reasonable to expect. One thing to understand with the warranty is what is and what is not covered. Also, will you as the homeowner be responsible for looking for problems or will the company come back to inspect the work?

Finding the right painting company is not easy, and the decision should not be made on cost alone.  One way to ensure a good experience is to contact a company like PowerHouse Painting, which has years and years of experience and is a solid part of the community with a great deal to lose if they do not do an excellent job in the time they promised and at the price agreed to. 

Should you require a Free Quote please get in touch with our friendly team members on 07-3290 6749