"I was trained to paint for wealthy people." was what our wall painter said after he'd been at the house a bit. "Last week I told a client that and she said that she couldn't afford the kind or work that wealthy people would get. I told her that it didn't matter. She was getting all my skills and care for the price she'd been quoted." And then he sort of chuckled.
I was thrilled by his attitude and amazed by his work. I think by the time he was done patching imperfections in our stairwell there was more "mud" showing than wall. We hadn't even known most of them were there. He didn't use tape at the edges. He didn't need tape. He just did a beautiful job of painting the high walls as well as the trim around the doors.
He asked me if I painted and I said yes, we'd be painting more of the rooms in our house, we just didn't feel like risking life and limb on the two-story tall stairwell. So he offered me tips, saying he was always happy to meet a homeowner willing to learn to do it well.
We chatted a bit off and on (I was tiling a backsplash in the kitchen) and when he finished he wrapped it up and cleaned it up and even painted a bit of wall on the open side of the stairway that it hadn't occurred to me needed painting until he asked.
This is the way that I want to be for people if I'm in a service business - An authority not afriad to share knowledge. A careful worker who looks for and catches an extra small need or two.
Brian's Painting Tips
Get Benjamin Moore paint. it's a little more per gallon but if you ever need to patch something you can just use what's in the can. It will blend in perfectly with the previous paint, whether you use a roller or a brush, instead of looking like you patched it.
Get better brushes and tape them. Put painting tape around the metal that holds the bristles and lengthwise across the handle. Then you can just peel it off.and the brush portion is clean. If you wash them well you'll be able to use the brushes over and over.
Get one of the deeper heavy plastic paint bins instead of a shallow metal one with liners. The angles are better and there's a magnet on one side that will attract the metal portion of your brush. So you can edge directly from the pan without worrying about the brush falling in when you have to move to another portion of the wall.
There were a few other tidbits. But these were the ones that stuck.
If You Want to Hire My Painter
Brian works for Mike's Custom Flooring out of Furlong, PA. You can call them at 267-221-6101. I asked how a painter ended up working for a flooring company and he said it was because so many people commissioned new floors and then realized they should get the walls painted while they were at it. If I need more work done I will definitely consider them!
I came to them by a referral from a contractor that we've used for smallish jobs in our house - the things we can't or won't do ourselves - off and on for the last eight years. Bob Ebert of BE General Contracting out of Furlong, PA. You can call him at 215-340-9666 and I recommend him as well.