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Finding a Painter for Your Rental Property

Key Takeaways

  • What’s better than a new coat of paint to refresh your rental space? Finding a painter who can get the job done affordably. Compare estimates and know exactly what to look for, including breakdowns of labor, project details, and materials.
  • Not all residential painters are required to have a license. In most Canadian provinces, it’s voluntary, except Quebec. Virtually all the U.S. states don’t require a license for small-scale projects.
  • Most landlords can find painting contractors and companies through their local paint suppliers, online reviews, or references.

Published on Dec 13, 2023 | Updated on Dec 13, 2023

A painter applies white paint to a blue wall in one scene. There is a close-up of the bottom of a ladder and a person painting a wall in another scene.

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If you’re a property owner who has decided to find prospective tenants for your home, the first order of business is to give the interior of your home a clean slate by making it look and feel as if it’s never been lived in. The most effective way to transform a space with lots of wear is with a fresh coat of paint. Learn how to find professional painters, check qualifications, and spot a good quote to answer all your questions.

Why hire professional painters for your rental?

The very thought of having to paint one room, let alone an entire apartment or house, can feel daunting. Whether you want to paint over an old wall that boasts many coats and layers of paint throughout the years, flawlessly cover garish hues with neutral colors, or have someone remedy the paint drips from a previous job, hiring a professional to spruce up the living space may be the best solution.

If the condition of the walls is poor, a painter and drywall contractor can make your walls look brand new.

What qualifications to look for in painting services

The qualifications needed for residential professional services will vary from state to state. While many states require a license for big projects, it’s not mandatory in most states if the project’s scale and costs are minimal. For instance, in California, a contractor altering a building with project costs that exceed $500 will require a license, including contractors specializing in residential painting. A house painter or commercial painter needs a license when the project exceeds $50,000 in Alabama.

Residential painters aren’t required to get a license in Canada, except for Quebec. The name of the license is 404C Painter and Decorator certificate.

If the project is small and you’re looking for a house painter or someone who can paint your apartment complex, look at online reviews. Ask how they plan to repair paint drips or punctures in the drywall.

Mac's Pro Tip

Ask paint suppliers like Sherwin Williams, Cloverdale Paint, and Dulux Paints for suggestions on hiring painters. Provide context on the job size so they can recommend a company suitable for the job. Contractors are usually more competitive with their pricing.

Getting estimates for a paint job

Before starting the job, a painter should give you an estimate. To provide an estimate, they need to conduct an on-site inspection. Every estimate you get may not look identical, but here are some essential items that the contractor may itemize in the quote:

Scope of the project

Some estimates may include the square footage or a brief description of which walls will be painted.

Quantity of colors and coats

The estimate should contain the brand, ounces, or gallons needed to complete the project.

Material costs

The material costs often combine the paints with the brushes, rollers, tapes, and cloths.

Labor costs

In addition to painting, prep work could be required, including pressure washing the dirt and debris off the home’s exterior.

Typically, business owners may charge between $1,000–$3,000 to paint the interior of a home. 

Estimated completion of project

The contractor may provide a time range of the completion date, which is usually more accurate than an exact date. The start and completion date will give small-time landlords an understanding of how much notice they need to provide tenants or how much time they have before advertising a property to potential tenants.

Labor costs are either broken down by hourly rate or by project. Various contributing factors influence the overall cost of the project. The complexity of the home’s structure, such as lofty ceilings, intricate crown molding, and other adornments, can increase costs. The quality of the paint color, the type of paint, and the number of colors can also increase costs.

Here are two examples of estimates from painting contractors. Note the difference in details.

If you want to save money on the project, tell the painter you will do the prep work yourself. Have the contractor walk you through the steps of the prep work they need to get started on the job as soon as they arrive. Once there’s fresh paint on the walls, you will see a refreshed version of the rental almost instantly. 

FAQ: How to find a painter for your rental property

Look at online reviews, ask for recommendations, and shop around for estimates. Suppose the company or contractor doesn’t advertise their business online. In that case, you can get references, review the portfolio, or interview the painter on the steps they will take and what experience they have.

You will likely save more money doing it yourself, but hiring a painter will save you time and guarantee better results. To save the most money, get estimates and ask that the company or contractor itemize each service and material cost to compare costs properly.

Ask the painters what they need you to do. The prep work will mainly involve removing rugs, furniture, or any items where the painters will be working. They may ask you to thoroughly clean the walls to ensure a smooth and clean application.

Our final thoughts

Having an attractive interior or exterior of your rental will help attract trustworthy and long-term tenants. SingleKey provides comprehensive Tenant Reports and information on how to screen tenants. For more information on effective ways to manage your rental property for any event, check out SingleKey’s podcast, FOR RENT.

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