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Licensed Painter in San Diego, CA

How to Hire a Good Painter in San Diego

While it may seem like a cheaper option to paint your home or carry out other home improvements by yourself, it is always in your best interest to retain the services of a professional for these tasks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, painting is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with workers in this industry estimated to have a non-fatal injury rate of 75 cases per 10,000 workers from falls alone annually. Considering this, you should always ensure that any painter you intend to hire in the City of San Diego is licensed, insured, and properly equipped to get the job done safely and on time. However, before signing off on the contract, ask the painter the following questions to determine their competency to complete your effectively:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of San Diego?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of San Diego?
  • What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of San Diego?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter in the City of San Diego

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of San Diego?

    Per the United States Environment Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, contractors that wish to paint any house or child-occupied facility in San Diego that was built before 1978 must receive EPA-approved training and certification before doing so. In addition to this, painters in San Diego that wish to perform painting jobs worth $500 or more, including the cost of labor and materials, are required to possess a state-issued C-33 - Painting and Decorating Contractor License. This license is issued by the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) to eligible applicants that meet the following criteria:

    • Are at least 18 years old
    • Can provide all required documentation at the time of the application. These include a properly completed Application for Original Contractor License Form and acceptable proof of at least four years journeyman-level painting-related work experience. Note that this experience must have been gotten within a period of no later than 10 years before the license application is made and must be at least four years' worth
    • Successfully pass a CSLB-administered licensing examination

    Painters in the City of San Diego that provide services worth $500 or more without possessing a valid contractor license are liable to face misdemeanor charges and can end up receiving a combination of monetary fines and jail time. These include first offender penalties of up to $5,000 in statutory fines, between $200 and $15,000 in administrative fines, and up to six months jail time.

    You should always request proof of licensing from any painter that you wish to hire in San Diego and verify this proof online via the CSLB's Check a License portal. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to direct any queries related to the licensing requirements for painters in San Diego that you may have.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of San Diego?

    When searching for painters in San Diego, it is always a good idea to get quotes from several painters near you to get a fair idea of the cost of your project. This is because the specific hourly or flat rate of painters in the city is influenced by factors like the cost of materials for the job and the nature and scope of the job. By getting several quotes, you can work up a reasonable budget for your painting project and also ensure that a particular painter is not overcharging you.

    A painter in the City of San Diego earn an annual average wage of $48,070. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in San Diego and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of California and several other major cities in the United States:

    San Diego Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.11
    California Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $25.94
    Chicago Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $29.15
    Dallas Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $18.75
    Los Angeles Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $26.36
    New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $28.06
    Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $24.24

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?

    Finding out the area of specialization of your intended painter is a necessary step to take in ensuring a successful outcome to your painting project. Painters in the City of San Diego typically provide a wide array of residential, commercial, and industrial painting services. However, some of these professionals may decide to specialize in a particular niche of construction and home improvement-related painting and accumulate the necessary skills and tools to expertly perform tasks in these areas.

    Some common areas of specialization that painters in San Diego focus on include sandblasting, interior painting, exterior painting, staining, wall washing, and wallpaper hanging. Therefore, it is advisable to always confirm if the painter you intend to employ specializes in providing a specific type of painting service and make sure that this area of specialization is in line with the requirements of your home improvement project.

    The cost estimates of some painting services readily available in the City of San Diego are provided below:

    Interior house painting or staining
    $0.70 - $1.85 per square foot
    Exterior house painting or staining
    $1.39 - $2.59 per square foot
    Paint removal
    $0.98 - $1.63 per square foot
    Faux painting
    $2.32 - $4.53 per square foot (for basic textures)
    Faux painting
    $1.80 - $3.75 per square foot (for marbelizing)
    Faux painting
    $1.60 - $2.50 per square foot (for metallic)
    Faux painting
    $3.50 - $6.30 per square foot (for paper and stencils)
    Faux painting
    $2.50 - $3.80 per square foot (for plaster)
    Faux painting
    $1.50 - $3.10 per square foot (for wood grain and stria)
    Texture painting
    $45 - $50 per hour
    Paint color consultation
    $37.50 - $52.50 per hour
  4. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of San Diego?

    Hiring an insured painter is a good way to insulate yourself from the financial and legal liabilities that are typically associated with unexpected work-related events such as on-the-job injuries and property damage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 21,400 nonfatal occupational injuries were recorded amongst painters and other general maintenance and repair workers in 2019.

    While painters in San Diego do not have to carry commercial general liability insurance, they are legally required to inform you on whether or not they do. In addition, these contractors are legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance if they have employees and also meet other CSLB-mandated bond requirements. As such, before retaining the services of any painter near you, always request proof of insurance and bonding and contact the appropriate insurance or bond provider to confirm its authenticity. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to make inquiries on its insurance and bonding requirements for painters that operate in the City of San Diego.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Painter in the City of San Diego

It is necessary to keep an eye out for fraudulent contractors and possible home improvement scams when searching for a good painter in San Diego. These nefarious individuals typically utilize unsolicited door-to-door visits, high-pressure tactics, insistence on cash payments, and other similar techniques to defraud unsuspecting homeowners in the city that require painting services. In June 2021, a series of sweeps and stings conducted by the CSLB in several locations across California, including San Diego County, resulted in unlicensed and allegedly fraudulent contractors in the area facing over 100 legal actions. You can protect yourself against potential home improvement scams in the City of San Diego by taking the following steps:

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited door-to-door offers of free or relatively cheap painting services
  • Utilize well-known and reputable online platforms to get referrals to painters near you. These include the directories provided by the CSLB, the Better Business Bureau, and the Painting Contractors Association
  • Always get quotes from up to three different painters before hiring one
  • Always confirm the licensing status of any painter near you that you wish to hire
  • Never hire a painter that cannot provide at least three verifiable local references
  • Always make sure that you receive and properly review a written contract for the job before the commencement of any work
  • Be wary of painters that insist on cash payments or significant upfront payments. Limit all upfront payments to a maximum of $1,000 or 10% of the total value of the project, whichever figure is less

If you are contacted by a suspected fraudulent contractor or happen to fall victim to a home improvement scam in San Diego, you can file a complaint with the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit of the City Attorney's Office at:

  • 1200 Third Avenue
  • Suite 1100
  • San Diego, CA 92101-4103
  • Phone: (619) 533-5800

Complaints can also be filed with the aforementioned office online or by reaching out to the San Diego Police Department via phone numbers (619) 531-2000 and (858) 484-3154 Finally, you can take private legal action against the suspected fraudulent contractor by retaining the services of an attorney near you and filing a lawsuit at an appropriate San Diego County Superior Court. You can get referrals to qualified attorneys in the San Diego area via the San Diego County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service.