FAQs

Below are questions we get asked frequently. To read the answer to one of the 25 questions below, click on the question and your screen will scroll to the answer.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in this list, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

1. Do you charge for estimates?
2. How does the estimate process work?
3. How do you determine the amount you will charge for my painting project?
4. How long will it take to paint my house?
5. How long has Dick Miller & Son Painting been in business?
6. What color should I choose?
7. Do you use oil or latex paint?
8. What are different paint sheens?
9. What are the advantages of flat and lower sheen paints?
10. What are the disadvantages of flat and lower sheen paints?
11. What are the advantages of higher sheen paints?
12. What are the disadvantages of higher sheen paints?
13. How long will it take for the paint to dry?
14. Will you complete my job in a timely manner without interruption?
15. What kind of paint do you use?
16. How will my personal property be protected from paint?
17. Do you have references?
18. When I get different bids from several companies, they are never the same. Some are high and some are low. Why is there such a price difference?
19. Do I need to move everything from the rooms before you paint?
20. How can I tell if my house is painted in oil or latex?
21. How do I know if my house was painted with lead paint?
22. How do you deal with lead paint?
23. How do I maintain my interior painting job?
24. How long will my exterior painting job last?
25. How do you paint hardy plank and hard board siding to get it to last?

Do you charge for estimates?
There’s no charge for estimates, and there’s no obligation to select our company.

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How does the estimate process work?
The customer schedules a consultation with our office. Then a representative from our company will meet the customer at the project site to determine the costs associated with what they want painted and how they want it painted. Finally, the customer will receive either an e-mail or a fax of the project estimate.

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How do you determine the amount you will charge for my painting project?
Each paint job varies. It depends on whether or not there’s a lot of preparation, primer, and how many coats of paint are needed.

Most of all it really depends on what the owner wants to have done.

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How long will it take to paint my house?
A basic exterior paint job that has to be cleaned, primed, and painted will take between five to seven days. Scraping, caulking, sanding and power washing all add time to the project.

An interior paint job depends on whether the project is one room or the whole house. The color has a lot to do with the amount of time, because of the number of paint coats it could take. Ceilings, doors and woodwork will all add time to the project as well.

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How long has Dick Miller & Son Painting been in business?
We’ve been in business since 1964. We are family-owned and operated.

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What color should I choose?
Everyone has a different idea of what looks good. We suggest the customer should get a test sample from the paint store and try it on the wall in the room where the paint is going to go, instead of simply holding up or looking at color swatches. All colors look different on the wall, depending on where they’re painted and the amount of natural light there is in a room.

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Do you use oil or latex paint?
We have switched over to 100 percent latex. Latex is environmentally safe and meets the needs of today’s homeowners.

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What are different paint sheens?
Simply put, there are enamel and flat paint sheens. But each type of sheen has varying sheen as well.

In the enamels group, there is low sheen, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss.

In the flats group, there is flat flat, and flat with a side sheen.

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What are the advantages of flat and lower sheen paints?
The flatter the paint, the less the imperfections of the surface show. The imperfections don’t disappear, they’re just not so obvious to anyone looking at the surface.

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Low sheen is the best material to use on the exterior for a washable surface. Low sheen doesn’t have as much side sheen as do the other types of enamel.

What are the disadvantages of flat and lower sheen paints?
Flat paint is not very washable and doesn’t touch up very well. When you wash a spot on a flat wall you can see that area from the side.

Low sheen paints tend to show a little shinier when touched up.

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What are the advantages of higher sheen paints?
Eggshell and satin are the best products to use on walls if you want washable walls. They both touch up better than low sheen, gloss and high gloss.

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What are the disadvantages of higher sheen paints?
The higher the sheen, the more the imperfections show. And the more sheen a paint has, the harder it is to get the paint to touch up well.

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How long will it take for the paint to dry?
All paint dries by evaporation, so the more humidity in the air, the slower the paint will dry. When paint is applied in the sun, the surface may feel dry, but underneath it’s still wet.

On an average day in the Northwest exterior paint will dry in three to four hours.

Interior paint dries within two hours.

Woodwork paint can have a second coat applied in four hours and totally dry in 24 hours.

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Will you complete my job in a timely manner without interruption?
That depends on the weather and the type of project.

If we’re painting the exterior, as long as we don’t have any weather issues once we start we’ll stay on site until the job is finished.

When painting the whole house’s interior, we’ll work a schedule out with the owner.

If the customer is living in the house, we may need to work on a part of the home at a time. If we’re painting one or two rooms, we will be there until we’re done.

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What kind of paint do you use?
On the west side of the Cascade Mountains, we use Kelly-Moore, Rodda Paint and Sherwin-Williams. On the east side of the mountains, we use Rodda Paint, Sherwin-Williams and Columbia paints.

Any one of the three paint companies can match any color as long as they have a color sample. They will match the sample and we will give it to the owner for approval prior to beginning the project.

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How will my personal property be protected from paint?
When working inside, we cover furniture with tarps; we also tape and cover the baseboards, casings, switch plates and windows. We cover all floors with drop cloths.

There are normally a lot of items that can’t be moved or taken down. What to do about these items will be worked out with the owner at the time the estimate is done.

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Do you have references?
We sure do, and we’ll be happy to give you names and phone numbers. Simply give us a call to request them.

We’re members of the Master Builders Association, and we’re accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

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When I get different bids from several companies, they are never the same. Some are high and some are low. Why is there such a price difference?
When getting estimates from different contractors, it’s important to make sure each company bids on exactly the same thing. (For example, primer, sanding, two coats of paint, walls, ceilings, etc.) Some contractors make bids using low-quality material, so find out what products they intend to use.

It’s also important to make sure the contractors have a license, are insured and pay their taxes.

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Do I need to move everything from the rooms before you paint?
Small valuables and breakables should be removed from rooms that are going to be painted. All pictures should be taken down, as well as the hangers.

If the project calls for painting walls only, the furniture should be moved four feet away from the wall. If the project includes walls and ceilings, the furniture should be put in the center of the room. Discuss whether to remove curtains and drapes during the bid process.

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How can I tell if my house is painted in oil or latex?
Sand a small area to get past the surface sheen. Dust the area off. Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab or cotton ball and rub the area. If the cotton has paint on it, the paint is latex.

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How do I know if my house was painted with lead paint?
Lead paint was last manufactured in the early 1950s. A home probably has lead paint on the surface it was built and painted around the mid-50s and not repainted. To know for sure, a homeowner can cut a piece of the paint off and have it tested by professionals.

How do you deal with lead paint?
Any time we believe we’re dealing with lead paint we prime all surfaces and repaint.

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How do I maintain my interior painting job?
If your walls are painted with a latex enamel, you’re able to wash dirty marks off with light scrubbing.

If the walls are painted with a flat enamel, you can try to wash the spots. If that doesn’t work, touch up the spots with the paint that’s left.

Paint fades in interior spaces like it does on the exterior of a home, it just takes longer. The more sun that shines in the room, the faster the paint will fade. Interior paint should be able to be touched up for at least six months.

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How long will my exterior painting job last?
Hard board siding: Original paint jobs without primer on new siding will last a maximum of three years. When repainted, if the job is done correctly, the paint job can last up to seven years. Everyone waits too long before repainting the exterior. When you see peeling paint, you’ve waited to long. It’s not that it can’t be repainted, it just costs more because the siding will need to be scraped, among other things.

Hardy plank siding: Original paint jobs look really good with a small amount of paint. But that amount of paint isn’t enough, because hardy plank siding is really absorbent. Original paint is only good for two years without needing to be repainted. You can tell when hardy needs to be repainted by applying some of the original paint to the sunny side of the house. You’ll probably see a two-shade color difference in the body color. Also, the caulking will look darker than the paint on the siding.

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How do you paint hardy plank and hard board siding to get it to last?
To get a paint job to last, you should clean any dirt, dust, mildew and moss from the surface. Re-caulk any joints where the caulking has come loose. Prime the entire house, overhangs, trim and siding with a good exterior latex primer. Paint the siding with a quality low sheen exterior enamel paint.

The low sheen paint can be washed with soap and water to keep it clean. It’s also more color fast and protects the siding better than the flat paint does.

A paint job done in this manner could last up to 10 years. It’s not the cheapest way to paint an exterior of a house, but the longevity should make up for the cost.

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