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FAQs

How do I schedule an estimate?

Schedule an estimate online! It only takes a second.  Online estimates can be scheduled any time night or day, and a Blue Door Painters estimator will call you back promptly on the next business day to discuss the details.  Or, if you would prefer, you can call or email our office using the information below. TOLL – FREE: 1-888-448-4422 LOCAL: 703-504-2000 FAX: 703-550-3755 EMAIL: contact@bluedoorpainters.com

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes, Blue Door Painters is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. (DPOR, DLLR, and DCRA, respectively).

Can you provide references?

Yes, Blue Door Painters has a wide collection of former customers in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland, who are available to discuss the quality of our work and the experience of working with us – upon request.

You can also check out our Testimonials and Recent Press.

Are you EPA certified to work with lead paint?

Yes, Blue Door Painters is an EPA-certified lead safe painting company.  All of our workers are knowledgeable about lead paint risks and are prepared to educate customers about lead risks, as well as execute remodeling projects using lead safety procedures which contain contaminated dust and minimize all associated health risks.

How soon can I get the work done?

How soon do you need it done?  In scheduling our projects, Blue Door Painters takes our customers’ schedules into account, and if your project is urgent, we will do everything in our power to get it done to meet your deadline. Other factors that play into when we schedule our projects are the weather (for exterior projects), the availability of the necessary supplies (this is usually not a huge issue), and the existing workload of our crews. When you are contacted by a Blue Door Painters estimator and project manager, you can discuss the scheduling of your job in detail, and we will ensure that we meet your needs.

Do I need to be home during the project?

You don’t need to be home all day when the work is underway, provided the workers are left with access to the areas they need to do work on.  You only need to be home at certain touchpoints during the project.

You need to be home for the initial estimate, where you walk through with the estimator and describe the project. If you want to take advantage of our free color consultation, you need to be home for that procedure.

Finally, you need to be home when the work is finished and the project manager walks through it, so that you can point out any touch-ups or improvements that might need to be done on the spot.

Can the crew help me move furniture?

Yes, the crew can help you arrange your furniture in preparation for a painting project.  You should take care of the small stuff and clutter before they arrive, however, to make that process go more smoothly.

What time do the painters show up?

You can work out when the crews should arrive with your project manager and foreman, if there are scheduling concerns that you need to have accommodated.

Generally speaking, the painters will arrive first thing in the morning, or they will arrive right after they have picked up the necessary supplies for the project.

What do I need to do to get ready for an interior paint job?

You need to have the interior space ready for the work to be done.  That means that all of your personal belongings need to be either removed from the room, or put away into the drawers of larger furniture items.

You also need to have a route cleared from your door to the workspace so that the crew can bring in supplies.  Blue Door Painters will supply the drop cloths and equipment, so the only prep work you need to focus on is the arrangement of your personal belongings while the work is underway.

NOTE: If your house was built before 1978, you are at risk for lead exposure, and as a responsible contractor Blue Door Painters will follow the EPA-mandated procedures for lead-safe renovation.

These procedures involve setting up plastic around the entire interior work space in order to contain lead dust, so you may need to remove extra items from your room and walls in order to accommodate the extra protection.

If we judge that your lead risk warrants these extra precautions, your estimator will let you know.

What do I need to do to get ready for an exterior paint job?

Before we start work on your exterior, you want to make sure that your landscaping and outdoor space is ready for the work to take place.  Clear away all movable items (potted plants, deck furniture, grills, etc), and decide upon a designated place for materials to be stored while work is underway (they will be stored under a tarp).

You will also need to be prepared to have that part of your home inaccessible while the work is underway (be prepared to use your side door, for example, if we are refinishing your front porch). We will take all the care we can to interrupt your daily routine as little as possible while we work, but a certain amount of accommodation cannot be avoided.

What is a good paint to use?

Sherwin-Williams/Duron (the two companies share ownership) is our top choice paint brand.  They offer a wide range of paints suitable for any project, and their upper-mid-range paints offer the perfect balance of strong, dependable product and reasonable price.

However, we are happy to use any brand of paint that you select, and we have experience working with all of the major brands.  If you want to save on cost,  you can use cheaper paint brands like Behr or Glidden, which will be sure to fit your budget.

Alternatively, if you want to spend a little extra money and upgrade to the highest tier of paint quality, designer paint companies like Benjamin Moore and Farrow and Ball offer the finest paints on the market.

The rule of thumb with paint is that you get what you pay for; the more expensive the paint, the more quality and duration you will receive.  However, the difference between the best of the best and the good solid brands that we usually recommend is marginal; you can get paint that will perform to meet your needs without spending an arm and a leg.

Can I supply my own paint and/or materials?

Yes.  Just let your estimator know, so that he can ensure you are buying the correct amount of each product, and so that he can remove the materials cost from your estimate.

How long does it take to paint a house?

The times vary from house to house and project to project. The fastest a paint job can be completed is a couple of hours, for a very simple project with only a small amount of set up and necessary prep time.

On the other end of a spectrum, a complex project can take a couple weeks, especially if the work requires multiple coatings with long drying times, or if there is lead risk requiring lead-safe renovation precautions.

With exterior projectsinappropriate weather can greatly extend the length of time the job takes to completion, because the temperature and humidity will affect the way the paint cures.

It is Blue Door Painters policy to execute each project as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to keep a crew focused on one project until it is complete. Consult with your estimator and project manager to get a time estimate for your particular project.

How long does it take paint to dry?

That depends on the type of paint, as well as the environment.  Latex paints usually ‘dry’ to the touch within an hour, but they are not yet cured; they need about six hours before another coat can be applied, and they need 30 days before they are fully cured and can hold up to scrubbing.

Oil paints take longer, usually 12 – 24 hours before they are dry.  Once dry, oil paints are ready for the next coat and to stand up to the elements.  The environment (temperature, humidity, and ventilation) will also affect the drying time, as will the substrate and the particular brand of paint being used.  Consult with your estimator for a prediction of the drying time for your project.

Can you paint in the winter?

The weather does not affect interior projects (unless ventilation is an issue).  Exterior projects, however, require certain environmental conditions in order to dry and cure properly.  If it is too cold or moist, both latex and oil paints will not form proper films, and the entire coating can fail. The cutoff temperature is around 35 degrees.  For this reason, Blue Door Painters avoids doing exterior projects in the winter, and carefully monitors the weather  to avoid scheduling an exterior job for when it is cold or rainy during any season. The typical open season for exterior painting is roughly the second week in March through the first week in December.

How do I pick a good color?

Picking the right colors for your home or building is a challenging enough task that interior designers make it their life’s work.  You can choose your colors simply, just by picking an easy universal neutral (like a cream or an off-white) and painting everything that one color – but you risk your decor looking monotonous.

The other option is to create a color scheme. There are several techniques for using the color wheel to develop a solid scheme, and you can always use your own aesthetic intuition to guide your choice.  If you feel stuck, Blue Door Painters offers a color consultation service, free with any contract, or $175 for an hour consultation in lieu of any contract work.

Our experts can walk you through the color wheel, teach you the concepts of hue, value, and chroma/saturation, and help you develop the perfect vision for your space. It is also always worth taking the time to try out small amounts of the color you pick before committing to the full amount; buy a pint of the color you want and try it out on a patch of your wall or ceiling, checking out how it looks when applied to a wider surface.

Why not paint the house myself?

You will save in labor costs if you paint the house yourself, but the project will take up a lot more of your time and attention, and you won’t benefit from professional expertise in the project’s execution.

Painting, staining, replacing or installing drywall, wallpapering – none of these are inherently complicated or difficult tasks, but they are all processes where the final results depend on the quality of the execution.

Having a professional who can work efficiently and guarantee the quality of the work will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are getting the absolute highest value out of the materials you purchased and the money that you invested.

Do you offer color consultation?

Yes, Blue Door Painters offers expert color consultation, free with any contract, or $175 for an hour consultation in lieu of any contract work.

Can you paint a sample area so that I can see if I like the color?

Painting a sample area is a step we highly recommend for any project where you aren’t sure about your colors.  Many colors look different when applied to a large surface than they do when confined to a small color sample.

However, generally speaking, it is not worth the money you would have to spend to hire our crew to do this small portion of the project, so we recommend that you purchase the small can of paint and paint the sample yourself.

Since the sample will ultimately be painted over, the paint job doesn’t need to be perfect, just a random patch that will give you an indication of how the color looks in a large area and under the lighting conditions in your project area.

What do you do to protect my property during painting?

Blue Door Painters painting crews take every precaution to protect your property during painting.  Your furniture – interior or exterior – will either be cleared aside or covered with a strong plastic drop cloth.

The floor under the work area, be it carpet, wood, or an exterior surface like a deck, patio, or garden, will also be thoroughly covered with plastic drop cloth.  All of our tools and supplies will be neatly confined to a particular area, and all trash removed at the end of each work day.

Our crews will be dressed appropriately, and will have a route from the work area to the van that they can traverse without risking tracking anything into other areas of your space.

All safety precautions will also be taken, including responsible placement and use of ladders and power tools, and extra care to confine remodeling dust in areas deemed to present a lead paint risk.

How many coats of paint will I need?

For almost any project, Blue Door Painters recommends two coats of paint.  The first coat of paint, known as the “primer”, permeates and strongly adheres to the surface of the substrate, adding opacity to cover any underlying ‘ghost’ colors, and creating an even, ideal surface for the application of the next paint layer.

The second coat of paint is called the “topcoat”, and it is the layer that gives the paint most of its final aesthetic and structural properties.  There are different types of primer specifically designed for every substrate, but no matter what substrate you are working with, the integrity of your final paint job is greatly improved by the use of a primer.

There are also many types of topcoat; the one you pick should be determined based on how you want the final result to look, and what environmental threats it may need to withstand.  The combination of a well-thought-out primer and topcoat gives you the highest quality total paint job.

What is the difference between interior and exterior paint?

Interior and exterior paint have been engineered to have different functional and aesthetic properties, because they need to visually complement different spaces, and because they need to withstand different environmental threats.

Interior paint is designed to look good when viewed in indoor lighting.  Some interior paints are also designed to resist ambient moisture and dust, and to hold up under scrubbing.

Exterior paints, on the other hand, are designed to look good in strong outdoor light, and to hold up under the barrage of environmental challenges faced on the exterior: rain, UV radiation, temperature changes, and organic threats like insects, fungus, and bacteria.

The ingredients mixed into the paint are selected to achieve these goals; interior and exterior paints tend to have different binder, pigment, and additive ingredients.

How long does a new paint job last?

A properly executed interior paint job should be good for 10 years.  An exterior paint job, on the other hand, can be expected to last about 5-6 years, because of the extra stress that the paint undergoes when exposed to the elements.

The exact duration of the paint job’s lifespan will depend on the environmental conditions, however.

Did we miss something? Get in touch, and we’ll do our best to get you the answers you need.

If you don’t see your question on the list of frequently asked questions, give us a call or email today!

For more Frequently Asked Questions, click here.