Saturday, November 11, 2017

Why you should be cautious when hiring a subcontractor.

When you call a company to come out and give you an estimate whether a painter, carpenter or other you typically meet someone from that company as you would expect but what if once the job starts a totally different company shows up to do your project? Plus you weren't told.

Me I would be upset, I made a connection with the person who came out to give me an estimate I had been dealing with their office the whole time and now I have a whole new company who I never met, do not know my expectations and their whole agenda is to hurry up because they need to go fast to make their money.

Why do companies use subcontractors in the first place?

  • Cheap labor
  • No liability
  • They do not do that type of work
  • No taxes paid (payroll taxes)
  • No workers compensation
Some companies this is their whole business model, there is no way to monitor quality because if they really are a subcontractor they can't have any say in the work, schedule or when and how the job is being done or they are not a true subcontractor in the first place which most likely is the case.

One other very important issue is workers compensation, guess who is on the hook if someone gets hurt and you find out yes the company you hired has it but the subcontractor doesn't carry it and should have been. You're opening yourself up to liability with your home and insurance.

If a company is going to use a subcontractor (and some may be good) it must be written in your contract. 
Watch yourself when your hiring a contractor and make them be upfront, you will see in the future this will be a key area the IRS will target and many contractors will be put out of business or at the least owe a ton of back payroll taxes.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Behind the scenes of a painting estimate

Have you ever wondered what is involved with a painting estimate?

There is more involved than just showing up at the door

Let's go over a typical estimate from start to finish.

We all get excited when the phone call comes in, the client may have searched online, got a referral or saw the painters on another job.
However they reached us we take it very seriously and pride ourselves on knowing someone will answer the phone, we return calls and emails in a timely fashion.

Someone will answer that call when it comes in and spends 10-15 minutes with you gathering information, name, address, and type of work you're looking to have done.

This is also a great time for us to ask even more questions and get a sense if we're a good fit for each other before the estimate is even scheduled, we will ask questions such as have you used a professional painter before, do you have other painting coming out to estimate this work and timeline to name a few.

Some people are taken aback by this but would you rather waste your time after someone comes out to estimate it just to find out we do not do that type of work, or the job is not our specialty or the time frames just don't match up?

After this phone call we will schedule this estimate and discuss the phone call within the office and prepare to come out, we will gather any literature needed for your project, add this to our schedules and create notifications on our end to make sure we are aware it is coming.

A few days before the estimate we will send out a few emails explaining how the estimate will go and tips on how to make the most of it, so we're already into about an hour spent on your potential estimate.

The morning of the estimate I will gather my notebook and materials and make sure I am either early or on time.

We will walk the project together, letting you explain exactly what you expect and want to make sure we can offer this. After walking through with you I will walk through again on my own measuring and planning. At this time I will know if I can offer a price on the spot or it may require more time in the office to write it up.

Let's say we needed more time, I will head back to the office, sit down and put all my measurements together into a spreadsheet, once we have all of this done I will have a firm number to send over but we have to enter all of this and write up the proposal so even more time is spent on the estimate, we are typically into 2.5 hours now spent on one estimate we may or may not win.

Now comes the tough part, we send the estimate over and typically you have four types of people, the ones who give you a yes or no right away, the ones who need time to "think" and the ones who hide and do not return calls or email.

As you can see to do just one estimate can take about three hours whether we win or lose it, now some may be less and some maybe longer. This is why it is very important the person deciding is home at the estimate to not waste any one's time

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Preparing for winter

Winter is on the way:

For the painting business, this normally means one thing a slowdown, layoffs, scrambling for work etc.

Typically after the holidays painting may be the last thing anyone is thinking about, they had family over during the holidays they are paying off bills and simply regrouping.

For the painting company they should be preparing for this all summer and fall by marketing, contacting clients.

The theme of this blog is not marketing however it is how do we determine who continues to work?
This may seem like a tough decision but the whole summer and fall is an audition for this.
We track production of their jobs, return trips to correct their work, days they called off, refusal of overtime.

All of these things play a role is deciding when things slow down who will continue to work, without having routine employee reviews that superstar painter may not know his jobs have been underperforming or he is considered difficult to work with or the office cringes when we here his or her name.

Use this time to make your team stronger, remove troublemakers and it is also a great time to find painters that may be unhappy somewhere else but would be a great fit within your company.
It is not the time to lay low and let the winter pass by. It is the best time to find new painters, develop new systems and make your business grow.

Which brand of paint to use?

So you decided to paint your home and picked out your colors only to find out there are 5-10 different paints you can use from EACH company

Whether it is Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr or something else there so many choices sometimes it can seem impossible to choose not to mention each contractor has their own favorites and each store may give you different opinions

So what do you do? I am going to speak about our company solely here. When we suggest a paint to use it is after speaking to the homeowner for quite some time during their estimate, knowing what they expect and most important what is the budget for this project.

Each company makes at least one product we may use and we select based on the what the surface is, what results have we been getting from those products, there may be some jobs we use every different manufacturer on the project due to results we have gotten on other projects.

Some paints may cover better but not all and it also depends on what colors and bases are used. Some may flow better or go farther while some are better on wood while others are better on gypsum (sheetrock).

We have no set answer when someone asks "which paint should we use?" That is variable and can have many answers, it is an investigation to determine all of those factors I mentioned above.
Do your homework, read reviews from people who have actually used it, what a homeowner may use is not necessarily what a contractor may use.

One thing is for certain, don't cheap out when buying paint, spend the extra money if that top of the line paint performs for the application you need it for, it may last longer and really be less expensive in the long run.

Here are a few of our favorite paints currently. (and this changes often)

  • Cabinets: PPG Breakthrough, great adhesion, and nice finish
  • Commercial Walls: Sherwin Williams Pro Mar 200, price point
  • Residential Walls: Depends, Benjamin Moore Regal or Sherwin Williams Super Paint
  • Metal Surfaces: MAcro Epoxy from Sherwin Williams if we're speaking about commercial 
  • Ceilings: Here is one area to go cheaper, a sheen is not what your looking for here so we want something high in clay for coverage: Pro Mar 200 again flat 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Top Emerging Company

Ryan Amato Painting has been named as a 2017 finalist for Emerging business of the year by Lehigh Valley Business
The Business of the Year awards recognizes the Greater Lehigh Valley's most dynamic businesses and business leaders who share a commitment to professional excellence, business growth, and the community.
Finalists will be recognized and the winner in each category will be announced live during an awards dinner on December 5, 2017. Finalists and winners will also be highlighted in the Business of the Year event publication that will be featured in the December 11th edition of Lehigh Valley Business.
"We are honored to again be named by Lehigh Valley Business, we cannot thank our clients and staff enough"
Ryan Amato

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You will not ruin my day

A typical day in the life of a painting company:

A normal day in our office comes with many emotions and they are affected by the people we come across each day.

This could be a typical impatient general contractor, an awesome residential customer calling to give praise or one that is irrational and demanding but what we cannot do is let any of them change how our day goes.

Their emotions are not necessarily ours and letting them change how we act or feel should never happen.

So how do we do this? I will be honest sometimes this is tough but we stay grounded by knowing we have done our best in everything we do, appreciating what is around us whether that is a co-worker who is going above and beyond, our families or any number of things to be grateful for.

Who are the best people I come across? They are real people who appreciate honesty whether that is upsetting or not and understand the work it takes to produce a quality job and is thankful for someone helping them out.

When I come across these people I always make a note in their estimate folder so we all know this one is a gem and we do everything we can for them and more because of people like this travel together and guaranteed they have more friends and family who they can refer you to who have the same personality.

Now on the other hand if we have a difficult, unreasonable and demanding client the same may be said of their friends because if they act like this to us most likely they act like that in all aspects of their lives.

Don't take these people's actions and attitudes personal, in our office, we keep a list of them and reflect back upon them once in awhile, they don't even know they are treating people badly most of the time.

Forget about them and move on, remember the great ones and cultivate those relationships

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why it is impossible to compare estimates.

Why it is almost impossible to compare estimates.

Comparing estimates seems to be the thing to do, we all do it, get three estimates put them side by side and look at the pricing but when I tell you how impossible that is you may think and look at it another way.

The three estimates you received, if you took those three contractors and had them in the same room at the same time they still would come back with totally different ways to do the job, maybe using different materials, different applications. different workforces and for sure different overhead. 

The most important difference and one we aim for is a totally different experience. You all have called around to contractors, how many call you back? or take forever to call back or never do?

How many keep you updated on the process, help choose colors, train their staff and have a ton of resources behind them to help make sure your job goes well even when something goes wrong?

If they do show up for the estimate how long does it take to get the estimate back to you? For us it is the same day or next.

Do they have one person dedicated to making sure your project goes well and your totally satisfied? We do.

I am asking you to forget the norm and throw away price shopping for a second.
Yes, the price is important for everyone but if it costs a bit more for the satisfaction of knowing you have no worries or responsibilities and can be assured no matter what you will be happy isn't that worth it?

If you had an issue with someone calling you back or showing up on time for your estimate what happens once the painting project starts?

You will always find someone cheaper but at what expense to your home or project?


Sunday, October 8, 2017

How to paint your kitchen cabinets

So you have finally decided to paint the kitchen cabinets.
Most likely this after you found out how much it is to replace them or reface them.
Painting cabinets is ALL about the preparation work you do before you even open a can of paint.
This is a process and one not to be taken lightly or you could have a total failure of adhesion and just a mess down the road that will cost a lot more than spending the time doing it right the first time.

You should research the company you're going to use, have they done this before, will they be spraying or rolling or a combination of both, what products will they be using and how many coats will you be receiving? The number of coats is important for build-up up of mills (thickness of paint) and a ton more important than painting a wall.

What warranty comes along with this work? Do you know what to expect and understand it is still a paint coating and not indestructible?

This is the time to use the best paint you can get, not try to save $10 on a lower grade of paint. cabinets are used each day and take a beating, you want that coating to be hard, washable and last.
One great thing about painting them is they can be touched up when needed. Touching up doesn't mean you have a bad paint job at all, you have to expect heavy used areas or areas that rub together will wear quicker than others. If they are hit the paint may chip just as the cabinet may dent or scratch even without paint on it.

Here is a video I did explaining this process, should you have any questions please let us know, we would love to help paint your cabinets

Friday, September 29, 2017

What it costs to hire a professional painting contractor

What it costs to hire a professional painting contractor

When you call to make that first estimate you may have no idea what the costs will be
We are referring to reputable, licensed, insured with workman's compensation and highly trained painters here.
Atypical days work for a painter could normally cost between $500-750 dollars depending on what is being done and the difficulty and risk involved but for this blog let's assume were referring to a simple bedroom, here is a cost breakdown on a typical 10x12 bedroom and what to expect using three colors, one for the ceiling, one for trim and one for walls

  • Materials, tape, plastic, roller covers, let's assume that is it and it costs about $35
  • Paint, you will need one gallon for the ceiling with two coats, 2 gallons for the walls and one gallon for the trim with baseboards, a few doors, and 2 window sills, using a quality mid grade paint figure $50 a gallon so $200 total
  • Your already at $235 of materials and the painter hasn't stepped on site yet
  • This room we would bill at a one-day rate of about $500
  • So your total for this room would be around $750
  • This includes the painters, insurance, taxes, fuel, overhead, and profit. 
  • When you break it down the painting company may make $225 if they are lucky
  • So when the customer starts to lower or negotiate all of that is coming from the profit of the company to train, get new equipment and benefits for the painters

This is a typical scenario and yes you will certainly find lower prices and higher ones but this is a good one to go off of, again the difficulty and preparation will change this price
If you use this as guide you won't be surprised when the quotes start coming in, anything too low I would certainly question as the difference in price will be made upon the quality of your job for sure.

How success makes it tough sometimes

Running a "larger" painting company has its ups and downs and that is a story for another time but at the top of this list is how many clients, salespeople and others assume I am the person to speak to no matter what the subject may be.

Whether a job issue, a color selection, a new product they want me to buy, some marketing thing or their dog is sick and they can't work today.
When I don't answer these issues sometimes it may come off as I don't care or the matter isn't important enough. That is far from the case but look at it like this when you go to any other store or restaurant they have put people in place to take care of any need that may arise.

I worked very hard to get us into the position that I could start to bring in other personnel to handle most of these matters so I could step back and grow and manage the business, to be involved in every day to day matter would take away from the ultimate goal. That doesn't mean in any way your projector question is not important only that we have trained someone to specifically handle these requests.

I knew long ago to stick with what you do best and for me that is estimating and marketing, not worrying about the job site daily issues or a truck broke down. These issues are handled by our production and shop team, trust me the truck will get fixed and if not they will learn the lesson as we hold everyone accountable. They do not typically make the same mistakes twice.

So when someone calls the office and asks for Ryan, I have strict policy on taking calls, I am very focused and protective of my time, we only have so many hours in the day people so use it wisely, me being interrupted on something I am not that great on dealing with may take me away from a super opportunity or something personal I need to attend to.

On another blog I will explain how I manage my daily tasks, listen up as it will free you from stress and anxiety, you may ruffle some
 feathers but it's your life, enjoy it!

How to work hard

This may sound crazy to you if you're a hard worker but we have found when hiring not everyone wants to work hard or earn their success.
I was always taught to work your butt off for everything you get, if you work hard usually it comes to you, sometimes it won't but that doesn't mean give up and roll over

Working hard shows for me the first day you start, we can see it by the way you go from place to place, how you complete tasks, how you interact with other people, slackers usually hang out with slackers so when we fins a start usually he is surrounded by other stars and they are a great source of inspiration and other employees.

The people I and we do not get along with are those that skate by each day doing only enough to keep under the radar and not be noticed, but with our company, we track everything so that shows very quick unless another motivated worker simply calls and tell us "this guy is no good"

I do think working hard can be taught but must be done early in life, we are not normally going to take someone who slacks and turn them into a superstar so when we're looking for potential painters we are looking at past jobs, how they present themselves, do they stand up and shake hands when someone walks into a room.

We want to be surrounded by awesome people, people who lift us up and bring something to the table and that goes for customers too, if your complaining and grumpy each day we do not need to work for you or be around, we can move on to ones that lift us up and will be awesome clients who bring
other awesome clients.

In the newspaper today.

We used to watch a
show called “Extreme Home Makeover,” in which a crew of carpenters and painters and electricians and decorators would swarm over the house of some deserving family and remake it into something incredible.
The family would be sent off to Disney or somewhere during the work and would return for the big reveal, which was always a lump-throat extravaganza that m
ade you realize a reality show could, in fact, be a force for good.
Recipients of this largesse, chosen from nominations, usually were beset with some burden that made you wonder at their fortitude. Soldiers disabled in war, widows, and widowers caring for many children, youngsters with hereditary illnesses — all had their homes transformed into dream palaces designed to ease their lives.
Ten years ago, a California company that had taken part in the show, Allbright Painting, decided to create its own charitable project — Paint It Forward, in which deserving families or nonprofit agencies are treated to a free paint job.

Amato’s reason for doing so is simple enough and quite encouraging.
“I just like that feeling you get from helping people,” he said. “Whether that means just holding the door for someone, or other little things.”
When he hires at the company, which currently employs 25, he seeks people with the same outlook.

The strategy of asking for philosophical credentials rather than professional ones may be unorthodox, but it has never led Amato to grief. The company has received a ton of best business awards over the years.
Amato heard about Paint It Forward through online interactions on business chat boards.
“The painting community kind of all know each other,” he said. “Probably about two years ago I saw something about it. I had always wanted to do something like that. I go on a lot of estimates for people who want to help people out, and I often want to say ‘We’ll do this for free.’ ”
Too many jobs like that would put a bit of a dent in the bottom line, of course, but Amato figured once a year would work just fine. Besides, the Sherwin-Williams store in Easton is supporting the effort by donating the materials.
Amato does commercial and residential work, so nominations — which are limited to Northampton County — can include individuals and nonprofit agencies.
Nominations must be submitted before Dec. 1 on the company’s Paint It Forward page,
The page contains a form for contact information and a summary of why the nominee should be chosen.
“It doesn’t have to be any specific reason,” Amato said. “It could be anyone down on their luck, having a health issue, or a nonprofit helping people.”
The winner will be chosen Dec. 15. More information is available at

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's always nice to be in a magazine

I was flipping through the recent American Painting Contractor Magazine and there was my name contributing to an article about apprentices and trainees.

I have always felt after going through an apprenticeship program myself this is key to growing a business and at the same time giving back to the trade while enabling young people to have a trade that can support themselves and their families.

Any business you may be in, take the time to train new people, you may get through to someone and change their lives or someone around them and as they grow and learn can also teach others to do the same.

On the business end of it, it is great to bring in fresh new people that give a shot of energy to your company, without them we would have no growth at all.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What happens at a painting estimate

What happens at a painting estimate

What a typical estimate for us looks like

OK, so you decided you need a room, a few rooms or the whole house painted so now what? 
You can ask your friends who they have used, check Facebook or the other social media sites or like most of us search for a painter online.

You find a few painting companies and call them up, most won't answer and the ones that have a voicemail will either call back, never call back or take days or weeks to call back, remember this initial first call is a good indicator how you will be treated the whole time,

So you called us and first you will speak to either Tracy or Tanya who will get all of your contact information and ask some very important questions such as time frame, have you used a professional painting company before and what is your budget, these questions are super important as it will tell us if we can offer you what you're looking for and if we're a good fit for each other. Once they have all of this information they will set up a mutually good time for your estimate.

The day before your estimate they will send over some basic information on what to expect, the time we will arrive and also confirm this appointment is still good. It is important that whoever is making the decision will be onsite, so many expectations can be missed if this person or persons are not all at the estimate.

When I am on the way that day should I be one minute late we will call to notify you, my track record is awesome and I prefer to be early but sometimes things happen out of our control? When I arrive I will greet you and hand you a business card and ask you to show me and explain exactly what you would like done, when and by what means.

After we walk through I will go back to the beginning and measure each surface if needed and write all of this down in a clear and concise manner. Once I have all the measurements we will go back over the project, talk about paint choices, colors, accent walls and preparation of surfaces. By this time I have a pretty clear idea of what this project will take, sometimes I can offer a price right on the spot and this is preferred as we can speak about the budget at this time too. If not I will take it back to the office and in most cases email it over within a day or two.

Once we email it over Tanya or Tracy will confirm you received it and discuss moving forward at this time. We like to discuss the budget at this time to see if we need to adjust the scope of work to meet any budget issues, once we have agreed on a proposal, it is as easy as signing it, we get an instant notification you have accepted and we can begin the process on our end.

So trust me this an easy process at that, no hard pressure, when we give you a price it is the real price, we won't call back the next day giving a discount to sign now, our prices are real and we back it up , what we say is what we do.

Why you should love bad feedback

Sometimes bad feedback is a good thing

We all want each and every project we do to be perfect but that isn't real life.

So you have been on a job, you were excited to get started, you set everything up, all the painters show up on time, paint is delivered and you get going, everything is going smoothly for the most part and then something goes bad. You spill paint, you scratch something, you break something. The office doesn;t get right back to someone, you missed a spot, they think you need more painters than are onsite(different blog for another time) you get the point almost anything can and may happen at any time. 

Some of these are accidents and there isn't anything you can do about them, others are missed expectations either from the customers end because they never shared them, think they heard something else or the estimator didn't relay this information to the painter or the painter just simply didn't follow through.

So your great job you were going to be profitable on no has an angry customer and one that can make everyone miserable for the remainder of the job if not addressed right away or one that has everyone walking on eggshells and rushing to get done, or worse yet you have the customer who says nothing, you have no idea they are upset and they hir you with a bad review with your painters and office thinking everything was great.

This happens all the time and it knocks the wind out of everyone each time, trust me the painters and staff want nothing more than to make people happy from the customer to their supervisors to themselves, if you're in the painting industry you are a people pleaser for the most part and any bad feedback cab send us into a dark hole.

But don;t crawl in that hole, sometimes yes it may be a customer that no matter what you do nothing will make them happy, for people like this, smile and get the job done and move on, learn how to pre-qualify your leads better and learn a lesson but for the issues that are real where you missed satisfaction step back and thank the customer for bringing these issues up and use it to train yourself, your crew and staff in the office.

It is a magical moment and gift that customer gave you by telling you what is wrong in their mind!
They are letting you know how to get better, imagine if everyone did this around you it would be a daily chance to make things better for the next time and next customers and better yet win that damn client back by your service and gain new work from them and force them to refer you to other people, it has happened, we have had just the worst clients, most difficult people and in the end they thank us and refer their friends because we listened, got better and as it may have turned out they weren't really being difficult we just weren't listening and we were running scared of disappointment and negative feedback.

Again use this as a gift handed to you to make yourself and your company better.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Realistic Expectations On Home Shows

Home Shows

I love home shows but they have made some jobs hard

We all love to watch the home shows and the miraculous makeovers that they show and done in no time at all but what they fail to show is all the work going on in the background, the actual time it takes and any of the mistakes that happened along the way.

Remember these are television shows meant to entertain, in the real world on a job site or a residence sometimes mistakes happen, work is disrupted or delayed, it rains or things just do not go as planned. I wish each job could go just like a television show but it just won't happen.

On a normal job, there is pre-planning after the estimate, time spent picking up materials and paint, delivering all of this to the site, walkthroughs, preparation of the surfaces and multiple coats applied.
Hopefully, if it is an exterior paint job it doesn't rain, get too cold, or the humidity isn't too high. After all of that, there are still chances something may not go as planned. 

If life was like a television show we would all drive expensive cars and live in mansions but in the real world, we work for everything we get.

So the reason this has made some jobs tough is it has given some clients the unreachable expectations they see on these shows, from the timeframes of work being done to the perfection they perceive to see on them. Nothing is as great as it seems up close and neither would any of these shows.

Enjoy the process of your project and have realistic expectations, get to know who is working on your project, say hello and get to meet some great people.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Paint sheens and how to choose

Paint sheen and how to choose

Choosing paint sheen can be confusing but it doesn't have to be

So your ready to paint your home and you picked out the best color and know what brand your getting and than they ask you what sheen would you like to use and you look like a deer in the headlights. No one ever explained them and who cares what sheen we use, the color is what we want.


This is the most important decision you can make, the  sheen is what makes it sometimes washable or not, easy to touch up or not and will show imperfections or not.
We made this list to help you choose the perfect sheen depending on the situation, lighting, application difficulty and use of space will all effect the choice. Your estimator or office staff can certainly help assist in this decision.

We would like to thank you for the opportunity of earning your business.  Amato Painting, LLC would like to help you pick the correct sheen for your project. Please review our suggestions below:
1.    Flat:
a.    Look:  Non-reflective
b.    Qualities:  Hides imperfections, absorbs light, hard to clean, easy touch up
c.    Best Use:  Low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings
2.    Matte:
a.    Look:  low luster but with an angular sheen
b.    Qualities:  Hides minor imperfections, absorbs light, low stain resistance, easier to clean
c.    Best Use:  Medium traffic areas (bedrooms), interior walls
3.    Eggshell:
a.       Look:  Flat finish with little luster. Soft velvet like appearance
b.      Qualities:  cover wall imperfections, resists some dirt and grime , may not touch  up as easy as other sheens
c.       Best Use:  Moderate traffic areas (Living room, dining room)

4.    Satin:
a.      Look:  pearl like look
b.      Qualities:  easy to clean, can be used inside and outside, resists mildew, dirt and stains. Will show any imperfections on your walls
c.       Best Use: high traffic areas, and areas that exposure to some moisture (kitchen)
5.    Semi-Gloss:
a.      Look: radiant sheen, reflects light
b.      Qualities: easy to clean, resists mildew, moisture and wear, can be used inside and outside. Hard to touch up
c.       Best Use: high traffic and moisture prone areas (bathrooms, kitchens)
6.    Gloss:
a.      Look: Smooth, high shine finish, glass like finish
b.      Qualities:  very easy to clean, no touch up and shows every imperfection
c.       Best Use: surfaces that are frequently cleaned, window trim, cabinets, doors

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Warm Regards, Amato Painting - 484-821-7112

Monday, September 4, 2017

Resurfacing your acoustic ceiling tiles

Save money and resurface your ceiling tiles

Why replace them when you can make them better?

Everyone has seen them whether in a residential setting or a commercial ones, the dirty water stained ceiling tiles, they are put in place to have access above the ceiling to pipes wires and more.
But once they stain or get dirty they are horrendous looking.

Usually you would just replace the bad ones with new, what usually happens is you don't have enough and you end up having many different types of tiles in the ceiling.

What if I told you you can resurface them (apply a coating) at generally a third of the replacement cost while not effecting the acoustics benefits of them, or bridging them (gluing track to tile)
and giving it a fire rating? 

Yes this service we now offer and very little down time to your business if any at all.
all work can be done off hours and with a quick return to service. All speakers, vents can also be coated at the same time.

Here is a recent project we just completed in one day.

 This project was done on short notice in a school with a one day time frame, it took about 10 gallons of product and one painter to accomplish this.
If you would like more information check out our ceiling restoration page  or contact us for a free consultation at 484-821-7112 or email us.

The HGTV customer

The HGTV customer

How tv has made estimates and work difficult.

Everyone seems to watch all the how to and fix it shows flip this flip that.  They portray these easy and quick rehabs and renovations that make it seem like it can be done in a day with no disruption to your home.
What they fail to show is the difficulties throughout the projects, the mistakes, the long days.

What these idealistic shows have done is make a real renovation or repainting project difficult by giving homeowners a false sense of knowledge on their end and expectations that can not possibly be met with a normal budget.

We go through this all the time on estimates, with the homeowner that wants consultation work for free on the 15 different ideas they have from trim to specialty finishes they would never be able to afford under normal circumstances to how long a project will take or how it should be done.

Here is a video I just produced this weekend that can explain this a bit more.

When you realize these are ideal situations, produced and overly managed under budgets that the normal person cannot afford you will understand it is a show, yes some great ideas but I watch shows about $150,000 cars too, it doesn't mean I am going out to buy one.
When you need a real, truthful consultation give me a call I Would be glad to come out and take a look.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Recently completed exterior painting in Easton,PA

Completion of an exterior in Easton, Pa

We recently completed this exterior in Easton, Pa working on this project for a great family who was simply easy and awesome to work for every step of the way.
When we first looked at this one at the initial estimate we noticed it really needed a color change to set it apart from the other homes on the street. Once we determined our plan to do revitalize this home, we put everything together and along with the homeowner helping to choose colors.
We began by pressure washing the surfaces to clean and remove and mildew or dirt, now we use a soft wash technique, not usually blasting at any surface to avoid possible damage, sometimes customers see this and wonder if we're really cleaning at all but trust me if someone is washing your home any other way they are not up to date on the new techniques and your taking a chance.

After washing we began scraping any remaining loose peeling paint, oil priming the bare surfaces using Cover Stain by Zinnser and caulking every gap seen around windows, doors, and penetrations. This very important step is one that takes a professional eye.
Once all the prep was done we began using Sherwin Williams Resilience every painted surface receives a full two coats of paint.

There were some interesting angles and access issues on this home but our skilled group of painters is used to this and did a wonderful job safely accessing the top levels and completing the job in a safe productive and profitable manner.

The customer was thrilled with the results and left us a great Google review and sent in a wonderful report card, "it was an easy process every step of the way"

If you need your exterior done there is still some time left but you could also be one of the first up for 2018, give us a call at 484-821-7112 or email us

Painter for a day is a great deal

Sometimes small projects get pushed away from other painting contractors as they are sometimes more work than it is worth, we saw this issue and created a "painter for a day"
What this means is you don't have to take time meeting 3 or 4 contractors giving estimates and many of them won't show, so you took off of work and lost even more money.
We offer one fee of $500 for one experienced painter for one day.
We are offering a painter for a day:
Our Painter For A Day program includes all of the following for the low cost of $500.00. Job Specific Materials & Equipment are billed at our cost plus 25%. Job specific materials are paint, tape, roller covers for example:
  • One experienced painter during normal working hours
  • All necessary tools such as ladders, drop cloths
  • 8 hours of quality painting service
Painter For A Day services can include:
  • Painting your Office, Hallways, or Lobby
  • Painting your Common Areas or Stairwells
  • Touch-Up Interior or Exterior Trim
  • Paint your Doors and Door Frames to make them look new
  • Work on both interior and exterior surfaces
  • And Much More!
  • This would be great for a smaller job such as that one wall that needs to be painted, or a few doors and trim that you need to be spruced up before the family comes over.
  • This is not for large exterior work, anything needing an extension ladder or more detailed projects, for those you would want to get a proper estimate. This is for residential projects only but doesn't fret our commercial friends we also do offer painters for daily projects.
  • For you,  it saves time, no need for an estimate and knowing you will get your small project done in an efficient way.
  • For our end, it reduces costs as we do not have to come out for an estimate as those costs are built into the jobs, for a painter for a day you get a drastically reduced price and an expedited service saving weeks when normally placed on the schedule.
  • If you would like more information please visit our website at or email

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Your ready to paint your home now what?

You're ready to paint your home and now what?

Tips and pointers on how to get a great paint job and what to expect

You're sitting around your home and realize you haven't painted in ten years or you have a party or family gathering coming up soon and want to impress your friends so you decide it is time to paint but you have no time to do it yourself and it's so much easier hiring someone else to do it but you have never hired anyone before.

To some, this can be a scary proposition and once you start calling around it may get even more confusing sifting through the maze of qualified contractors. 
Here are some pointers.

  • If you call someone and they do not get back to you in a timely manner pass on them if they are not responsive now what's to think that will change when the job starts or if something needs to be fixed?
  • Look at their pictures and past work,  there should be similar projects they have done and most will have references. You should check references as everyone can have a fancy website filled with great pictures but are they real?
  • Take the time to meet them in person and ask who will be doing the work, one trick of contractors is to sub contract your work to a totally different company and one who is much cheaper in price and may not be insured or have workman's compensation
  • Ask what the process may be once you accept the project and when the project may be scheduled
  • Will they help with color selections
Ok so you have called a few painters and most likely you called five maybe three called back and two will show up for the actual estimate, I had this same problem while looking for other contractors for my own home and on almost each estimate I go on they tell me of the other contractors who never call back or show up.

When the estimate day is here, make sure to be clear on what you want to be done and how you expect it to look when complete, this is the time to let out all those expectations to avoid issues once the project starts.

We will typically give a price on the spot or sometimes email the proposal, it is a great idea once you receive it to review it with the estimator to make sure it has everything you want in it or to make adjustments at this time.

Remember your not looking for the lowest price as the only option, you want to pick a known commodity and one that can deliver your expectations within your budget, that most likely is not the lowest and sometimes may not be the highest price either, I always choose the contractors I am comfortable with when meeting them, there is a reason the successful contractors are busy and in business, they can deliver the jobs as requested and if something should happen they take care of it right away, that lowest price may not be around in a few months to honor that warranty.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sometimes the truth is not so popular

Sometimes the truth is not what people want to hear

When I go out to estimates or interact with clients, employees or vendors everyone generally has an idea of what they want to hear from me, for instance when I go on an estimate and we go over their project and the client will tell me how we should be doing it, what products to use and how to apply them.

So I have spent 25 plus years in the painting and coatings industry and have training constantly and train other employees and companies but for some reason, a client overlooks this entirely and speaks to me in a way that they should probably do their own work. I know this happens in any business and most small business owners will have this issue at one time or another.

Another example is product use, when I recommend a product is from past experiences with it, we have used it before and feel comfortable with the application, performance, and longevity of it but still customer insist on supplying their own products, this to me is a bit crazy, you're voiding your warranty, forcing the painters to use products they may have not used before, trust us one can of paint is not the same as the next and application, drying times all change.

When we say something can not be done sometimes the client is so dead set on another idea whether it is right or wrong they are going to use anyone who agrees with them, sometimes you need to get over yourself and put your trust in the professionals, not every job is a cookie cutter approach, when you find a customer like this you can try to give them your knowledge but most of the time it is wasted time and your better off passing, this can all generally be resolved when you make your pre qualification call.

Stand strong in your beliefs, you have spent years learning how to do your trade, don't let someone undermine you or your passion for your business and trade.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

How to not lose money on commercial painting jobs

How to not lose money on commercial painting jobs

We were recently the featured guests on PaintED a PDCA Podcast. Painting Contractors and Decorators of America was founded in 1884 with the purpose to help painting contractors succeed.
The one area for us they are worth any penny is the Industry Standards they developed.

The Industry standards take the guess work out of any situation and application and level the playing field against those contractors that demand and insist on wrong applications and additional work that is not yours to own.

These situations arise on each job whether touch ups to damage done by others, when they tell you once you paint the wall you own it, that is not the case at all, or how about caulking, they would have you caulk every inch of the building would there not be standards.

Sequencing of jobs is another very important topic, was the flooring done before you painted? If it was how much did that slow you down, was that listed in the schedule? Probably not
This list could go on and on, here a few key ones

  • Caulking
  • You paint it you own it (WRONG!!)
  • Touching up spackle work after you primed the walls
  • Additional coats because walls were not prepared correctly
  • Overtime due to sequencing of jobs
You know you have all lost money on the items above, it depends greatly on who is managing the job, the quality of the other subs and your own man power.

Not all contractors are bad at all, in fact, we have been lucky enough to work with some great ones and I can count on one hand the bad ones but they do leave a lasting impression.
Take a listen to the podcast and listen close, it could save you some grief and money in the future. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Go the extra mile

Going the extra mile even for a bad customer

Going the extra mile is something we hear about a lot and something w train here at Amato Painting but what happens when you have a difficult customer watching your every move, yelling at you or just never happy with anything?


You never know who is watching when you're bringing in the customer's garbage can or cleaning their windows after an exterior paint job. It could be the neighbor who you impressed by doing the small things or the person driving down the street and watching your painters sit outside smoking cigarettes on the back of the van, a great impression only comes once and that is where you can win over the clients and beat the competition. 

Going the extra mile is something that can be done not only at work but while out at the store, hold the door open for someone, let someone merge onto the highway, these little things will make that person happy for a brief second but as you do these things all through the day someone will notice and more importantly you will have a great feeling inside of you that you went above and beyond not only for customer's but in life in general.

We see very quickly when we interview someone if this trait is inside them, speaking on your cell phone during an interview is the same as using it in line at the grocery store while someone is waiting on you, put down the phone and enjoy the moment in front of you.