Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Your price is too high, too low and just right?

Your price is too high, too low and just right?

We hear it all the time, your price is too high, we also hear your price was the lowest as well as it was right in the middle? How can this be?

The simple answer is we estimate everything, for the most part, the same way with the same prices and known production rates so what is the one difference on each project? The client is the unknown on each estimate.

Why the gap?

Everyone has their own idea of what something will cost, when you go to buy a car and look at a new BMW vs a used car from another lot, of course, there is a price difference. When you go to a fancy restaurant vs a Tgi Friday's you are aware there will be a price difference, it's expected.
But when you hire any contractor you expect all the pricing to come in around the same amount?

What's the difference?

Unless each contractor is on the estimate at the same time, using the same paint and has spoken to the same person on the site you will not have a chance of getting the same pricing from the contractors and even then it will all be different as each contractor runs their business a completely different way.
  • One may use all subcontractors and gamble they won't get caught by the Irs misclassifying their painters
  • One may have insurance but no workman's compensation
  • One may not have a training program for their employees and just gambles each job goes well
  • Do they treat their employees well? Are they happy? One secret in the painting industry is painters are migrants, they go from company to company once they burn their bridges from the other companies or anytime they can make an extra dollar. This is one reason we take recruiting very seriously and don't necessarily look for the 10,20-year experienced painters.

So what's the deal

What I am saying is we one price someone thinks seems high may actually below to someone else and it has nothing to do with how much money they have.
We hear all the time our cabinet refinishing prices are high, however, we are doing 5 cabinet projects a week and are always busy. Not every contractor is for every person, the same as not every store in the mall is for everyone, some may shop at WalMart and be thrilled and others prefer Macy's. That doesn't make you cheap or snobby at all.
It's also not a reason to get angry at the contractor, if a contractor is a low baller and that is their business model so be it, on the other hand, if they charge a price for what they give and it is loaded with value a price can be attached to that and it may seem high upfront.

here is a video we recently did on this subject.

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Kitchen Makeover

A kitchen makeover.

We hear it all the time when we finish a kitchen cabinet refinishing project. "It totally transformed our home"
It is something we love to hear also "we saved so much money" That savings comes from not having to install new cabinets.

Refinish don't replace

Refinishing a solid cabinet set is a great way to go, why rip them out only to put in the same or a lesser grade?
We did this project for a great client of ours in Easton, Pa
I could tell when I went out to the estimate this was an important project for them.
From timing to the materials and the color it was all equally important to them. I took all these notes down and once they approved the cost which was approx $2000 I set up the job folder and turned it over to our guys.

The job

The job starts way before we step foot on it, a kick-off meeting in the shop going over how we estimated it to the colors and what was expected from the client.
Once we do that a crew leader does a walk through before the job begins to make sure everything is as planned.
Once the project starts there are no surprises, we properly prepare the cabinets and I cannot stress that enough. With our team, they all know how a project will go as we have a very detailed written system.
We train this system all the time and no one can touch the cabinets until they pass the training.

The paint

Paint selections are key, now is not the time to skimp on costs, we have tested every paint we use in our shop to make sure it performs as expected out on the job.
I think you can tell from the pictures this job turned out awesome.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

How much will it be to paint my kitchen cabinets?

How much will it be to paint my kitchen cabinets?

Painting kitchen cabinets are the rage right now but buyer beware not every painter can do this fine finish work. Contacting your typical three estimates will not be a great judge of what results you will get.

To professionally paint cabinets takes skill, training, and the best products that have been used on every project. At Amato Painting we are consistently doing at least 3-5 projects per week and have honed in our system, from a climate controlled spray area to the proper preparation and knowledge to adjust with the ever-changing job issues such as moisture, temperature, different cabinet types and finishes.

Anyone can paint?

Well some people do believe this and maybe with a wall or a bedroom I would try it, I would not let "anyone" touch my cabinets, would you let anyone paint your car?

We do hear sometimes that is too much but if you break the project down, it is always much cheaper than replacing or refacing if your buying quality cabinets, again I will say if your hiring someone to install high-quality cabinets you could never do it for the same price as painting them. You don't want to skip any steps when painting kitchen cabinets or you may face paint failure which is the peeling you may be worried about

The process

The process has been tested by us, the products we use are all tested in our shop before being used on a project. We have guaranteed results and a free 3-year touch-up program on most projects just ask your estimator.

The price to paint cabinets

So what is the price? Typically we look at projects by the door openings and this price can vary between $80-$100 per opening, this varies due to detail, current condition and any odd-shaped cabinets such as wine racks, glass front or other items. This includes a full cleaning, prep and full prime coat. Adequate dry time and following the specifications is important however remember your painters are the experts and they sometimes make adjustments onsite. 

No site visit

Normally we don't even need to visit the site to give a price, however, we will come out to make sure we meet once an agreement is made to make sure we are a good fit for each other and you have been told of the whole process and what to expect.

What to expect

Remember with any painted surface, your car, a deck or anything painted you can scratch it or damage the paint. The good thing about this is they are painted and can be touched up. They are not bullet proof as some people expect however are very durable in most cases

Monday, September 17, 2018

Planning ahead to make a great painting project

The fall is coming

The fall is coming, summer is ending, were closing the pools, kids are back in school and here comes the cold.

Another exterior painting season is winding down. the rush to paint your interior rooms before the family arrives for the holidays.

Being prepared can assure you of being able to select the correct painting company to do your work.  If you already have one you trust and use and they are any good most likely they have a backlog.

Scheduling can be tough when the holidays come around. Everyone wants to freshen up their homes. What could worse than seeing walls all scuffed up or dirt and dust all over the baseboards?

Plan your projects ahead

Planning ahead will take this worry ahead. A professional painting company can make this happen.

We all want a home to be proud of and a fresh coat of paint can make that happen.

Some things to keep in mind when you call a painting company.  Do they use their own employees or will a different crew show up to do your work?

Wouldn't it be great if the person you met also trained the painters that are coming over?

Call a good painting company

When you call a good quality painting company will have a backlog.  They most likely should not be available the next day.

A professional painting company should and will supply their own paint. You don't take your parts for your car to a mechanic, do you?

Planning ahead to get the best painting company.  Knowing what you want to be done and knowing what you expect to  is key to having a great project

Monday, September 10, 2018

Choosing the correct paint sheen

Paint Sheens Made Simple

There are a million and one paint colors but typically only five or so sheens (finishes)  to choose from each manufacturer. Although they may call them something different the sheen will determine the luster and washability.

Paint sheens range from flat to high gloss and can be used on many different surfaces and applications however there is typically a standard.

Selecting the ideal paint sheen has both practical and cosmetic considerations.
Meaning using a flat paint on most high use areas will not last very long and vice versa using a high gloss finish on a ceiling that tends to not be finished as perfectly when spackling a new home can result in highlighting imperfections you do not currently see, a sheen can also extend the life of a paint job in many cases.

Different Paint Sheens

  • Flat has no shine, typically is used on ceilings or closets and in areas where you expect to touch up or on surfaces that are not perfect and you may want to hide imperfections.
  • Matte Finishes are flat looking straight on but have an angular sheen and can be scrubbed in most cases. A great choice for interior walls.
  • Eggshell has a soft appearance that resists dirt and can sometimes be washed, it should touch up but may not in some instances.
  • Satin has a pearl like finish and is easy to clean but most likely will not touch up.
  • Semi gloss has a shine and is typically used on trim such as baseboard, chair rail, doors and frames and is great when it comes to cleaning.
  • High gloss is super shiny, easily washable but will be virtually impossible to touch up. We typically use this on front doors as a showpiece or on cabinets and even some accent walls. Your surface should be free of any imperfections as they will show.

Choosing The Right Sheen 

Choosing the right sheen doesn't have to be difficult, with proper planning and expectations and using a professional who can help with a consultation you can be assured to choose the correct sheen for your application

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Benjamin Moore Scuff-X vs the competitor

Benjamin Moore Scuff-X vs the competitors pre cat epoxy

A head to head match up

It was a lazy afternoon in our office and as I was cleaning out a few things it popped through my head to show everyone else what we already knew about Scuff-X  in the office and some of our commercial clients know.

So I pulled out the competitors pre-cat epoxy water-based formula and grabbed a gallon of Scuff-X. For those who don't know Scuff-X is a single component paint that resists scuffs before they start.

Time to paint

I went over to a wall I had already primed and has two coats of flat paint on it and marked out the walls into two square sections and applied two coats to each square with each paint and let dry for hours.

Hiding and coverage

Once that was done I removed the tape and here is where the amazing results start. The first thing is the hiding and coverage of Scuff-X were clearly better than the pre cat, we use a lot of pre cat and trust me we know the coverage and hiding issues it has with most colors. I used the same roller cover for each a 4inch by half inch sleeve from MAB we had lying around the shop.

The Real Test

Here is where Scuff-X shines, I took a plastic spackle knife and ran it across each surface multiple times, there were NO marks on the Scuff-X, in fact, I damaged the drywall with marks and not the paint. The pre-cat side was a mess, marks all over. I then took my sneaker which if you have kids at home or in a mudroom know these create a million marks. I ran it across each side and again the pre-cat failed miserably. I was lucky enough to use this when it first came out in my basement stairwell as a test before we used it on any clients projects and we have ZERO marks.


If you have a commercial or high use area such as a doctors office, waiting room, gym or any other space I highly recommend this product, it will certainly save on repainting costs down the road.
here is the actual video from these tests

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Use a professional decorator to choose your colors

We all know choosing the colors for your painting project can be very stressful, frustrating and a scary ordeal especially if you’re dealing with an open space. Yes, you can try to use the paint store but guess what, typically that person is not trained or experienced enough to know all the in’s and out’s of color. They can sell you paint and maybe be able to pick a few colors for you.
We want only the best for our clients and trust me you don’t want myself or the painters choosing your colors, so we partnered with Jamie from FD design co who is a professional interior decorator and can assist in the color selection.
She also offers additional paid services such as home staging, commercial and residential interior design,e-                                                           design and more.

Interior decorating and color consults

Interior decorating is a true skill and to know what colors, sheens and more can be used or not used takes great skill, a fine eye for detail and to see things before they will be done. If you need a painting contractor who can help you every step of the way please give us a call at 484-821-7112 or schedule online here