Frequently Asked Questions

Choose ProTEK Painters for Traditional, Ecological, Knowledgeable Service

As part of our commitment to your satisfaction, we offer an ever-growing collection of answers, information, and guidance to assist you in your painting or other home improvement project.

Are you Licensed and Insured?

We are fully insured with both General Liability and Workers' Compensation. We are licensed as a Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor (HIC#: 180296) and we are a Certified EPA Lead Safe Renovator (MA EPA#: LR001990).


Why does it matter to me that you are insured? Do you provide proof of insurance?

Yes, we provide a certificate of insurance of our General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance, naming you as the "certificate holder", not only for your protection, BUT IT’S THE LAW!


Do you offer a Warranty/Guarantee? If so, what is your workmanship warranty and is it in writing?

We provide a Two (2) Year Warranty. For a period of two years from the date of completion of the work described on the front of your contract, to repair peeling, blistering or chipping paint resulting from defective workmanship.


What will it cost to paint my home?

Without visiting the job site, it's difficult to project total cost. Two identical houses, with different needs, could have very different cost estimates.


Can I get an estimate over the phone or via email?

On smaller projects, with photos, yes it's possible. However, on larger projects, we always recommend a job site visit for an accurate cost estimate that's both fair to us and the client.


How do I get an estimate and what is the estimate process?

Calling 617-977-6835 - or by filling out our online self-scheduling form - are the most efficient ways of scheduling an appointment.  You can also email us at contactus@protekpainters.com.


Can You Separate the Bid into Several Parts or Line Items?

Absolutely! We realize you may have priorities and we are glad to help in any way we can to get your project done, all at once, or piece by piece.


What Should I Do to Prepare for my Estimate?

It’s best for all decision makers to be present at the time of the estimate. If not, make sure you discuss the project together ahead of time.

We recommend that you:

  • Make a list of all the work you want to be done for each room or on the exterior of your home.
  • Choose colors and/or finishes.
  • Make a list of what you did and did not like about your last paint job or painter.
  • Identify your budget. We realize that painting your home is a major investment. We want to earn your business and can tailor a proposal for every budget.

How Long will the Estimate take?

The Estimate will take approximately 30-60 minutes.


Will the Estimate be itemized?

Our proposals are extremely detailed and extra work can be itemized so you know upfront what your total costs will be.


How much money do I need to put down to begin the project?

Typically, for projects of > $2000, we ask for a deposit 1/3 of the total contract price. We don’t ask for a deposit on projects of $2000 or less. Financing available.


How quickly will I receive the estimate and what happens next? How soon can you begin the project?

In most cases, you will receive your estimate the same day, if not on-the-spot. Once you let us know your agreement to move forward with your project, you can expect the work to start within thirty (30) days, weather permitting. Within 2-3 weeks we’ll be contacting you to schedule the pressure washing and then 7-10 days after that we arrive to start the preparation and painting, weather permitting.


Once you start the job, do you stay until it's done?

Not only do we stay until your project is completed, we don’t leave until you tell us “it’s done.”


Who will be supervising my project?

Our fully trained experienced foremen are on the job site 100% of the time, with daily visits from our owner, John Guarino, to ensure the work is proceeding as planned and to address any needs you may have.


What hours does the painting team work?

Typically, from 8am to 6pm/7pm.


What about the mess of the project itself? Will the painters clean up after themselves?

We state this on all our proposals “Cleanup daily and in full upon project completion.”


Who will keep me updated on my painting project? Who do I talk to if I have questions or concerns during and after the project?

For immediate feedback, your project foreman can answer most questions, otherwise, Owner John Guarino is just a phone call away.


Do you work with Home Owners Associations?

Yes, we would be more than happy to work with your Home Owners Association or Property Management Company to find the best solutions for your painting needs.


Do you provide commercial painting services?

Yes, we offer commercial services all year long. We can paint exteriors and interiors of buildings including new construction, multi-family units, apartment complexes, condos, and more.

  • Hospitality
  • Industrial
  • Education centers
  • Property management
  • Religious institutions
  • Gyms and fitness centers

What credentials do your painters have?

We are not only staffed with a team of trained, knowledgeable painters, who are expertly knowledgeable in all phases of the painting process, but we treat every house as if it were our own!


Do you have references and examples of completed projects?

We have hundreds of references of past projects that you are encouraged to call or drive-by. You will also find that John Guarino is not an absentee owner, in fact, each one of our references will know him personally.


Do you use paint products that are Zero- or Low-VOC and Eco-Friendly?

We actively seek to deliver environmentally-friendly products that include:

  • Hazardous materials awareness (VOC specifications, lead paint, etc.)
  • Surface preparation
  • Environmentally safe clean-up procedures
  • Optional application methods
  • Use of environmentally safe paints and coatings
  • Environmentally safe disposal methods

This is a mission we believe in and one we’re proud to help our clients achieve.


What Paint Brands Do You Use?

We work with multiple suppliers including Sherwin-Williams®, Benjamin Moore®, BEHR®, and California, or you can choose any brand you prefer.


Are more expensive paints better?

The old adage "you get what you pay for" is true in paint longevity. More expensive paints can last up to twice as long as cheap paint, without chipping, cracking or fading. Premium paints also contain thickening additives to help them roll on more slowly, providing an evenly coated brush or roller stroke. This creates a more uniform surface and requires fewer coats to achieve the desired coverage.


What are the differences between latex and oil paints?

The fundamental difference between latex and oil paints is the use of different carriers and binders. The carrier is the liquid that evaporates, leaving behind a layer of binder and pigment. In latex paint, the carrier is typically water with glycols or glycol ethers as a solvent. In oil-based paints, the carrier is a formulation of mineral spirits and petrochemical solvents.


I see paint sales advertised all the time. Can I buy my own paint for you to use? Will I save money if I buy the materials?

Yes, you can purchase your own paint. However, any discounts a paint manufacturer is offering off their retail price still doesn’t compare to our competitive pricing. Also, if you purchase the paint, you’ll be obligated to work with the manufacturer, if any paint failures are caused by the paint itself.


Will you give us the leftover paint from our project?

Yes, any leftover paint is left at the job site upon completion.


What can we do with leftover paint from years past?

Latex paint once hardened and with the lid removed, can be placed with curbside trash. However, oil/alkyd-based paints need to be disposed of at your local recycling center. There are also companies that provide this service.


What does VOC mean?

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are solvents that get released into the air as the paint dries.


How Do you Apply Paint - Spray or Brush?

While each job varies, a combination of brush and roll is typically used to paint interior walls, ceilings, and trim. We spray cabinetry for a high-quality finish. Exterior siding is commonly sprayed and back-brushed or rolled and back-brushed.  In either case, brushes are always used!


How many painting projects do you average each year?

Our project average about 150/year, both large and small.


Does someone have to be home while the painting is done?

No, as long as we can access the house.


I am concerned about fumes and odor. What can be done about that?

We can use zero-VOC paints, which will minimize fumes and odors.


What do I have to do to get ready for the painters? Do I have to move my own furniture?

Typically, we ask you to remove/replace wall hangings, window treatments, and small & fragile items. Anything heavy, we'll take care of.


How many painters come to my home?

That will depend on the project size, but typically 2-3 painters.


How are my property and furniture protected during painting?

We state this on all of our proposals - “Extensive use of drop cloths/plastic sheeting to protect all work areas.”


How do you prepare the surfaces of my walls/ceilings for painting?

We repair holes & cracks and then sand smooth prior to painting.


We have drywall damage. Do I need to get it repaired before you come?

Depending on how extensive the drywall damage is, we can usually handle the repair.


Will you remove wallpaper prior to painting?

Yes.


When is primer needed?

New plaster, bare wood, and stains are your typical uses for primer.


How many coats of paint will I need?

Typically we apply a 1-finish coat to match to the ceilings, 2-finish coats to the walls and 1-finish coat to match to doors, windows and trim. There are times when ultra-deep colors will require additional coats.


What are the differences between flat, satin, high gloss, and eggshell finish?

Flat paint has no shine; high-gloss is all shine. In between are eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss, each with its own practical and decorative job to do.


Do you provide help with color selection?

Because of the magnitude of colors and shades/hues within the same color, we suggest an initial visit to your preferred brand paint store to collect samples to bring home. We will gladly work with you to identify the best color selections/combinations for your home and give you our opinion.  Also, because of our special relationship with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, we can provide you a professional color consultant, who will come to your home, free of charge.


I like the color inside my friend’s house. Can you match the color and will it look the same? Or can you match my existing paint color?

Yes, as long as we have a sample to bring to the paint store. With today’s computer matching technology, it’s easy to get an almost exact match.


How long should I wait before washing the walls after you paint? Do you recommend a particular cleaning agent for washing painted walls?

Waiting a week before washing with a mild soapy solution would be ideal.

Does someone have to be home when the painting is done?

No one needs to be home. However, if doors are to be painted, we’ll need to arrange access.


What should I do to prepare for the painters?

Mostly, moving cars away from the house is all you need to prepare initially.


How many painters come to my home?

That will depend on job size, but typically 3-4 painters.


What weather or temperature conditions are needed for exterior painting?

Ideally, temperatures should be between 50-90 degrees. However, there are paints brands that can be applied down to 35 degrees.


What preparation is done before you begin painting?

In a nutshell: pressure washing, scraping, sanding, caulking, priming and then painting.


How are my landscaping and other property protected during painting?

We state this on all of our proposals: “Extensive use of drop cloths/plastic sheeting to protect all work areas.”


I have rotted wood in some areas. Do I need to get that repaired before the painters come?

No, we provide light carpentry services.


How do I choose the right exterior paint color?

Because of the magnitude of colors and shades/hues within the same color, we suggest an initial visit to your preferred brand paint store to collect samples to bring home. We will gladly work with you to identify the best color selections/combinations for your home and give you our opinion.  Also, because of our special relationship with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, we can provide you a professional color consultant, who will come to your home, free of charge.


Can you match my existing exterior paint color?

Yes, as long as we have a sample to bring to the paint store. With today’s computer matching technology, it’s easy to get an almost exact match.


Why does the paint begin to fade or peel? Is there anything I can do to help make it last longer? Also, there is quite a bit of peeling under the eaves of my house. Why did that happen and can you prevent it in the future?

Paint fades mainly from sun exposure and ultra-deep colors are more susceptible. The main cause of paint failure (peeling) is moisture penetration, which is why we caulk all cracks, gaps, and voids.  Making sure your home is well ventilated, gutters are cleaned regularly and shrubbery is not overgrown are the most important steps any homeowner can take to extend the longevity of any paintwork.


There is mildew forming on my home’s exterior. Can you remove it and prevent mildew from reoccurring in the future?

When we pressure wash, we use a mild TSP/Bleach solution to remove loose dirt and mildew. All the paints we use are mildew resistant. However, mildew is airborne and shady areas will always be susceptible to growth.


What finish do you use with exterior paint?

We recommend either a flat or satin finish on the siding and a satin finish on the trim.


Can you paint aluminum or vinyl siding?

If properly prepared, yes.


Why does the wood on my deck cup or warp?

Mainly from the sun and moisture penetration caused by a lack of maintenance.


Do you paint decks, fences, or other outside structures besides my house?

Yes.


How long should I wait before cleaning my windows after you paint?

Waiting a week before washing with a mild soapy solution would be ideal.


How often should I paint the exterior of my home?

Because of the harsh New England weather, we recommend a self-inspection after 5-6 years to make sure there are no major issues.  However, to maintain your home, a new paint job should be taken on at the 7-8 year mark to avoid costly labor charges in the future.