Integrity and Painting
Integrity is important. In the business world, it means doing what is contracted. In the day to day of contracting, it also means doing what is directed or instructed. But what happens when there is a breakdown in the integrity of a paint job, or by a painting professional? What does that look like? And how, specifically, does integrity (or lack thereof) come to light in the painting industry? Let’s dive in.
Comparing The Trades
To begin, let’s set up a contrast. For most contractors, the integrity of work is ingrained in the function of the work itself. Either they do their trade right (with integrity) or it’s done wrong, and the mistake is obvious. For example, a plumbers work clearly isn’t right (and lacks integrity) when a leak rears it’s ugly head, or poor pressure plagues a system. Or if an electrician takes a shortcut, or has an oversight, it’s pretty unlikely that lights or power will work properly. However, with painting, integrity -or again, the lack thereof- can be harder to detect.
Now, let’s think about painting. Imagine you hire someone to paint, and they say things are done. Everything looks right. You’re pretty happy actually! How do you know if it was done with integrity? Can you know that it was done right? At what point (regretfully) will you find out it was done wrong?
Paint Hides Sins, But Sins Come to Light
The fact is, you usually can’t tell if painting was done right, or wrong, in the short term! Paint will hide the sins. Those sins often take months or years to come to light. This is scary if you really think about it! Some examples that can come back to bite you are:
- skipping a step, like priming. You’d never know if primer was there or not underneath, unless you have a lab test things (or saw it applied with your own eyes)
- sanding things, but NOT wiping them down before top coating. Your top coat will be prone to peeling and chipping and this will be apparent with use.
- skipping crucial product drying time, or premature recoat. You won’t know this either, unless you’re paying attention to the painters schedule and application of each coat.
- improper paint thickness. This you won’t really know either. Sure sometimes it’ll look thin, but good consistent coverage doesn’t always mean it’s thick enough.
- paint substitutions or product changes. If you’re not watching, how can you be sure the painter used what they said they’d use? Or how would you know that they’re suggesting a product change that benefits them financially but leaves you with something inferior?
Hire a professional painting company with a proven track record. Not the new guy on the block, the guy with inexperienced helpers, or unsupervised workers. Avoid or discard the guy who walks in and walks out and says they’ll send you a price. Instead, pay attention during an estimate or consultation. Engage with the consultant. Seek details and find differences. Seek out a professional painting company that:
- is in the know on product dry time, cure time, recoat time, and product specifications
- talks about the multiple steps that will go into a project
- brings up mil thickness (if your painter
- has highly experienced painters, with experience in what you need done
- takes pride in a great reputation
- not only has a warranty but better yet, examples of how they’ve honored it
With those points paid attention to, your chances for success go up dramatically! Good luck and be well.