Pacific Painting and Decorating, Stockton
House painting Stockton
Pacific Painting

House Painting FAQ

Having your house painted can be a simple process if done right by someone who knows what they are doing, but can generate a lot of questions. Below are some questions we frequently get asked by homeowners

My handyman says he can do the job. Why shouldn’t I use him?
If he damages your property, you have no recourse. As as painting contractor registered with the State, I carry a $12,500 bond to cover any damages that may occur.

How do I know you are licensed?
My state contractor license number is 500945. You can see that my license is current by going to the state contractor’s board website at You will also see that I have been in business since 1986 and that I carry workman’s compensation.

Do you have references?
Absolutely. Once we talk about the work you want to have done, I can give you names of clients to contact. You can also check Google Places, Yelp and Thumbtack for reviews as well.

Are your employees documented?
Yes and they always have been. My crew members are journeymen level painters who have been with me for between 5 and 19 years.

Do I need to repaint or will touch up work?
If your touch up paint matches both the color and sheen of what is on the walls, you can touch up. Painting contractors leave partial cans of paint after a job for this reason. However, over time, both the paint on the wall and the paint in the can change, and they don’t always change in the same direction. Deeper toned paints, for example, are notoriously more difficult to touch up. Sometimes, paint can be made up to match what is on the wall, but sometimes it can’t. Products change over time to comply with EPA regulations and paint manufacturers will sometimes change their color tinting system. A good painting contractor should be able to discern when touching up a job is an option or if repainting is necessary.

Does it need to be primed?
If you have raw wood or heavily sun exposed exterior areas, you’ll want to prime them. On an interior, if you are painting over an oil based surface and you want to finish it with an acrylic or water based paint, you need to prime with an oil based primer. If you are painting over stained, varnished or lacquered wood, you need to prime with an oil based primer. Now you can top coat with whatever finish you want. Many people think primer is needed when it is not. Here is when a primer is NOT needed; when you have a well sealed exterior surface with no paint failure, a compatible finish on the top will be sufficient. Inside, if your walls are already finished and in good condition, primer is not necessary as long as you are going with a compatible paint (i.e. water over water or oil over oil).

How many coats will it need?
Part of it depends on the color you choose and also the condition of the surface you are painting. If you are changing from a darker to a lighter color, you will probably need two coats. Deeper toned colors (burgundies, dark greens and blues) will take two or more coats. If you have raw wood or heavily sun exposed areas, you’ll want to prime them and apply two coats of finish. In most of the United States, the south and west facing areas get the most sun. The further south you live, the more sun exposure issues you’ll have.

What is Elastameric?
Elastomeric is an exterior paint product designed to stretch, so it can bridge cracks and fill in rough surfaces. If you live in a stucco house with lots of hairline cracks, this product will make them seemingly go away. That said, it has a few downfalls; deeper tones do not retain their color very well; most colors fade in the sun; because of its soft pliable nature, it has a tendency to hold dirt more than an acrylic finish; it takes about three times as much material to reap the benefits of the product so there is added cost in terms of both material and time. At Pacific Painting, we often use elastameric as patching material, and then use a good quality acrylic over top to ensure color retention.

What colors should I use?
Color selection is a matter of personal choice, but it can the most daunting decision people have to make when painting their home. Picking a color from a color deck is difficult even for a professional. For me it is worth spending some time with my clients to help narrow down the choice. Once the choices are made, I like to have a quart sample made so I can make an 8x11 card. The card can then be moved around the room at different times of the day. It is amazing how colors can change with different lighting.

What sheen should I use where?
Kitchens, bathrooms and trim should have some sheen for washability. Satin or eggshell work well for ceilings and walls. Cabinets, doors, casings, baseboards and window sills are generally finished with semi-gloss. Living rooms, bedrooms, hallways etc. can be finished in flat, satin or eggshell. Flat finishes have a softer look and help hide defects on your ceilings and walls. Eggshell and satin finishes are often used when my clients have small children and pets as they are more scrubbable.


How long will the job take?
I will give you an idea of the number of days when I give you an estimate. We like to get in and out of a job, rather than have it drag on. Since I employ four journeyman level painters, I can have more than one crew member at your job as needed to get it done as quickly as feasible.

What hours do your crews work?
We generally work 8-4:30 with a half hour lunch break and 2 15 minute breaks mid-morning and afternoon. We can do work at other hours if needed, but these are our standard working hours.

Will my plants and yard be ok?
Yes. We cover plants with light weight sheets, we mask off all concrete and we use heavier drop cloths on appropriate areas. If you contact one of our references, this is a good question to ask them.

Will my house get dirty?
We use the utmost care to respect your home. We will cover any furniture with plastic and use clean cloth drop cloths in the access and working area. If the type of work is going to create dust, we mask off the rooms we are working in, so the dust doesn’t travel. If you contact one of our references, this is a good question to ask them.

When do I pay you?
Payment is due upon completion of the job. We will present you with an invoice and expect to be paid at that time. Be wary of someone who needs up front money to start the job as they may not be financially stable. An exception might be to pay for specially ordered paint.

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