Why Hiring the Cheap Painter is Bad for your Home

a bad paint job by a cheap painter

Let’s address the issue of the cheap painter. You want to paint your home and search Google for “painters Toronto”. There is a plethora of painters out there and they all want your business. You end up at the online classifieds and this $99 dollar room special sounds too good to ignore. Later in the day, this person from your Facebook group has a cousin that knows somebody that will do it for cash. Most of the time these prices are too good to be true. Painting is not a commodity but a service. It is a highly skilled profession that takes years to learn. If it was that easy, anyone with some free time on their hands would be able to do an acceptable job. If it was easy, painting companies wouldn’t have such a difficult time finding good painters. At Ecopainting we literally go through hundreds of applicants, to hire just a handful of painters. Most of the time we end up hiring good people instead and train them ourselves.

The Big box stores portray painting as a simple weekend fun activity. “You can do it – we can help” they proclaim. Big Box stores are not a bastion of DIY positivity, far from it. They just want to sell paint to unsuspecting homeowners.

A Cheap Painter is not a Good Painter

Not all paint jobs are the same and not all painters are good painters. How is it possible for a student painter to learn how to paint in one week when a painting apprenticeship takes years? A painting apprenticeship literally requires over six thousand hours of field experience and a lot of classroom time. An experienced professional that values his trade wants to make a living by painting. It is safe to say that not all painters are good painters. In fact, nine times out of ten, a cheap painter is a bad painter that will produce a sub-par job. A terrible paint job can cost the homeowner a lot of money to fix, especially if personal property is damaged and the paint is spilled where it’s not supposed to.

If you spend some time reading painters reviews, you will find comments like these:

“The kitchen looks terrible, it could use two more coats!”
“These scratches on the floor were not there before.”
“Dust is everywhere in the house, we were only doing the downstairs!”
“The lines are terrible, I could have done a better job myself.”
“Now that the snow is melting, I can see cigarette butts everywhere, when did they have any time to paint with all these smoke breaks!”
“The walls look terrible, they painted right over the patches.”
“Don’t they sand anything?”
“There are empty paint cans everywhere.”

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Sure they were the cheapest, but the painter said he is very experienced and he will do all the work himself. During the pricing estimate he said that they do Quality work at the Lowest prices.

Three Signs that you Have a Bad Painter and What it Means for Your Home

A terrible and likely cheap paint job

  1. He is not being able to paint straight lines. There is nothing that shows a bad paint job more than cutting lines that are not straight. “Cutting in” is the skill of using a brush’s edge to paint the areas that a roller cannot. Cutting in requires edging around areas that should not be painted (hardware, baseboards, etc). If there is one single skill that would define a good painter, it would be this one.
    There are DIY tools, such as masking tape and “guides” that are supposed to help with this task. Reality is, a good painter has the ability to do the cutting in “free hand” and to do it well and fast. We see so many homes with terrible cutting lines that scream: “horrible paint job” If the damage to the adjacent not-paint-able areas is not that serious, that can be fixed by a professional painter. Sometimes the damage is extensive and very time consuming to fix. This type of fixing is expensive to fix. By the way, the Ecopainting proposal guarantees straight and true lines.
  2. Not covering the floors properly. You can’t blame someone for trying to get value for a paint job but hiring the cheapest painters is not the way to do it. It may end up costing hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars in repairs later on. Protecting floors properly takes time. Teaching painters on how to cover floors properly also takes time. Professionals are very diligent in covering floors properly. Paints today dry very fast and adhere very well to surfaces. Cleaning spilled paint from hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, grout and carpet is time consuming and sometimes impossible.
    Not protecting your floors from dings/scratches. Sharp tools and objects can easily damage a floor. A professional will protect hardwood floors with rosin paper in addition to using drop cloths. Floors can also be damaged by carelessly moving heavy furniture and appliances. There are certain procedures that Ecopainting folllows certain procedures for protecting floors when moving furniture.
  3. Not protecting your belongings.


Homeowners have many items of value, be it of financial or personal value. It could be the beautiful artwork that needs to carefully moved away from the work area. Maybe the antique dining room table needs special care. Sometimes the children’s play area needs to be sealed so that sanding dust doesn’t get in there. These are important preparation procedures that take time. A reputable contractor will take their time to protect customer property and valuable belongings. In addition, the work areas need to be scheduled with the customer ahead of time, and updated daily.

Saving money by not using a professional painting company is actually very expensive.

A reputable painting contractor with professional painters and a solid reputation is good value. Considering all the clean ups, possible damage, and having to re-do areas again, the initial cheapest estimate, is not that cheap at all.

I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said:

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten

Call Ecopainting at 416 733-7767 or request a painting quote. You may find that doing the job properly is not as expensive as you thought, and certainly is a great investment to your home.

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