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Licensed Painter in Seattle, WA

How to Hire a Good Painter in Seattle

Fixing a new paint is an affordable way to improve your home's curb appeal and market value. While you may want to do the painting by yourself, it may be worth it to pay a professional painter in Seattle $25 per hour to complete the job. Besides a fine finish, a good painter in the city will also help you to select the right colors and combinations, and save you from the health hazards of working with paints; being a chemical product. However, before you hire a paint in Seattle, ask the following questions to ensure you are working with the best hand around:

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

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter in the City of Seattle

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

    In Seattle, painters are mandatorily required to register as specialty contractors at the state level to be eligible to execute painting jobs for home improvement or construction purposes. Operating without the appropriate specialty contractor registration is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a variety of statutory penalties and fines. The Washington State Department of Labor and industries is the agency responsible for registering and regulating specialty contractors across the state, including eligible contractors in the City of Seattle. While there are over 63 specialty contractors categories in the state, painters are only required to register as painting and wall covering specialty contractors.

    A painting and wall covering specialty contractor can carry out activities like sandblasting, caulking, surface preparation, pressure washing, and installation of surface coverings including, paint, pigment, oil, fillers, and wax. To register as a painting and wall covering specialty contractor in Washington, applicants must first register their business with the Washington State Department of Revenue. Furthermore, each applicant is required to maintain general liability insurance policy, obtain a surety bond or provide evidence of savings, pay the contractor registration fee, and mail a completed, signed, and notarized contractor registration application form to:

    • Contractor Registration
    • P.O. Box 44450
    • Olympia, WA 98504-4450

    Once the application form is submitted and the necessary fees are paid, the Washington State Department of Labor and industries will review the specialty contractor registration application to determine if the applicant has met the requirements for registration. This usually takes three to four weeks and is often followed by the issuance of a specialty contractor certificate. You can verify a painter's registration status by requesting their registration certificate and contacting the Washington State Department of Labor and industries at (360)-902-5226 to confirm the details on the certificate. You can also confirm a painter's registration status using the Department's verify a contractor, tradesperson, or business tool.

    Finally, per the requirements of the lead renovation, repair, and painting rule, anyone who intends to execute renovation, repair, or painting projects that distribute lead-based paints in schools, child-care facilities, and homes that were constructed before 1978 in Seattle must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hiring a painter that is certified by the EPA protects you from exposure to lead dust that can cause lead poisoning. Additionally, it also helps you avoid statutory penalties that may arise from a violation of the lead, renovation, and repair rule.

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

    The hourly cost of hiring a painter in Seattle is typically dependent on factors like the square footage of the wall or ceiling that is to be painted, the state of the surface before painting, the type and quantity of paint that will complete the job, and the amount of labor required to do the job. Before hiring a painter near you, it is always good to get estimates from at least three different painters. This will help you get a fair price for your job while providing you with adequate information about the project and what to expect from the individual you eventually hire.

    A Painter in the City of Seattle earns $50,410 annually. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in Seattle and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of Washington and several other major cities in the United States:

    Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $24.24
    Washington Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $24.23
    New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $28.06
    Chicago Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $29.15
    Dallas Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $18.75
    Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $24.24
    Detroit Painters Mean Hourly Wage
    $22.48

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?

    Hiring the right person for your painting job can help you achieve great results such as improving your home's aesthetic value and curb appeal. Seattle painters offer a variety of interior and exterior painting services. Some of these services include but are not limited to, surface preparation, sandblasting, pressure washing, metal roof painting, concrete painting, and stucco painting, wall and ceilings painting, mantels and bookshelves painting, and baseboard paint.

    However, Seattle painters specialize in providing different types of painting services such as new painting works, repair, and maintenance. The aforementioned painting services are performed at different times and for different purposes. For example, new work painting focuses on newly-built structures and can only be performed once, while maintenance painting is performed on a routine basis to retain or improve the aesthetic appeal of a building.

    When considering hiring a painter for your home improvement or remodeling job, you should always ensure that the individual specializes in providing the type of service you need. Likewise, you should ensure that the individual is qualified to do the job. This is particularly important considering that painting can lead to negative effects if not done properly. For example, if your home was built before 1978, anyone you intend to hire for the painting job must be certified by the EPA as this is the only way to protect yourself and your family from exposure to lead poisoning. More so, you should ensure that the painter you intend to hire resides in your area. Hiring a painter near you means you are allowing someone familiar with the weather conditions and climate in your area to do your work. This can help reduce negative effects such as cracks, wrinkles, and uneven color appearance from occurring during your painting work.

    In addition to making sure that the painter that you intend to hire has the relevant experience and qualifications to do your work, you should also find out how much painting services cost in your area. Listed below is the cost estimate for some common painting services in Seattle:

    Interior house painting or staining
    $1.5 - $2.95 per square foot
    Exterior house painting or staining
    $1.73 - $2.73 per square foot
    Paint removal
    $0.70 - $2.5 per square foot
    Faux painting
    $2.31 - $4.76 per square foot (for basic textures)
    Texture painting
    $20 - $45 per hour
  4. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of Seattle?

    Per state requirements, specialty contractors, including painting and wall covering contractors are mandatorily required to maintain a general liability insurance policy. Purchasing a general liability insurance policy is one of the requirements for registering as a specialty contractor in Washington. Therefore, it is very important to find out whether the individual you intend to hire to do your painting work is insured. This gives you the much-needed protection against claims or liabilities that may result from work accidents that occurred during your painting job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 1,600 work-related injuries amongst painters in the United States in 2020. These injuries, which are generally caused by exposure to contaminants and fumes, slips and falls, and repetitive stress can occur at any time during a painting job.

    While you can not entirely prevent the occurrence of work accidents, you can protect yourself from the liabilities associated with these accidents by hiring a painter that is insured. You can confirm if the individual you intend to hire is insured by asking for their insurance certificate and contacting the insurance company that issued the certificate to confirm the information on the certificate.

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

In 2019 alone, the Washington State Office of the Attorney General recorded over 635 contractor fraud complaints across Washington, making contractor fraud complaints one of the prominent consumer complaints in the state. Before you hire a painter near you, it is important to understand that fraudulent contractors are always ready to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens who need home repair, improvement, and remodeling. These scammers typically employ various methods, such as collecting money upfront and not showing up to do the job, inflating the cost of materials and construction price, performing shoddy work that will require repair soon, and failing to pay suppliers despite collecting money for the supplies. You can protect yourself from potential contractor fraud by taking the following steps:

  • Be wary of any painter that refuses to provide a verifiable business address and registered telephone number
  • Always hire registered painters. You can confirm a painter's registration status by utilizing the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, verifying a contractor, tradesperson, or business tool
  • Get estimates from three different painters and ensure that they provide details of the work to be done
  • Ask the painters to provide references of past clients with similar needs. Be wary of painters that can not provide at least three verifiable references
  • Check Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been registered against the painter in the past
  • Always insist on a written contract and make sure that you understand it before signing an agreement
  • Avoid cash payments as much as possible and pay only as work is completed. Be wary of contractors who accept only cash

In a news report published by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, a contractor in Seattle received over $45,000 from homeowners for home improvement work that was never completed. The contractor pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree theft and four counts of unregistered contracting.

You can report contractor fraud in Seattle to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries online. Similarly, you can also report fraudulent contractors to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. This can be done online, by calling (800) 551-4636, or by completing and submitting a general complaint form to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • 800 5th Avenue
  • Suite 2000
  • Seattle, WA 98104 - 3188

Note that reporting fraudulent contractors to any of the aforementioned agencies does not guarantee that you will recover what you lost to the contractor. If you wish to be paid all that you lost to the contractor, you can consult your attorney and file a legal action against the contractor at the King County District Court.