How to Choose the Right Paint Company on the Central Coast

Most homeowners have painted a bedroom, some may have even painted complete interiors, or braved exterior painting. But as the job gets larger or more complex, you may want to consider hiring a painting contracting company. Painters come in a variety of sizes and skill sets, so we have put this guide together to help you make the choice that best suits your application.

Always ensure that the painter you choose is licensed by the Contractors State License Board and carry General Liability and Workmens Compensation Insurance.

The metrics you should use to evaluate the quality of a paint company are:

The Independent Contractor

Independent contractors or recently founded companies may be the right choice if the job is simple or small. One to two rooms or front doors are jobs where an independent contractor may shine.

They typically have the technical skills and have invested in basic materials to apply paint quicker and more thoroughly than the average homeowner, though they may lack the resources or experience required for more complex paint work.

Customer Service

Paint contractors will often wear many hats and will be involved in all aspects of the job; from estimating, to scheduling, to applying the paint at the job site. Together the homeowner and the paint contractor work out the details. The paint color and type, scheduling and the logistics of performing the interior or exterior work are all considered.


Be sure to ask about employee credentials, as newer paint companies may employ painters who lack training and experience, or were unfit to work at other professional paint companies. Many large paint contractors have high employee turnover requiring them to be constantly training painters, often on your job.


Margins are slim in painting, and one way a painter makes up for that is by using inferior quality materials. The use of cheap paint is sometimes the only difference in a paint bid. A savings of $500 may sound great at first, but will often require the homeowner to spend several thousand more dollars within a few years. High quality paints will look great for 10-12 years before requiring touch up or a repaint.

If you think an Independent Contractor is right for your job, we recommend that you ask if they're licensed by the Contractors State License Board and carry General Liability and Workmens Compensation Insurance.

The Small Business

Small businesses may be the right choice if the job is larger in size, such as projects that involve several rooms, an entire house, or multiple houses. Small businesses will typically use multiple trailers, employ trained professional painters who use specialized tools and techniques, and have access to off-site resources like cabinet shops.

Customer Service

Small businesses are usually composed of a paint contractor and several skilled employees. A good paint contractor will be involved throughout the process. Look for a contractor that sets up, oversees and then reviews the finished product for quality. When hiring a small business, you can expect the same personal service as you would with an Individual Painter, though since paint work is delegated to employees, the paint company is better able to work with your schedule.


If you care about the quality of the work, hire a Paint Contractor that has been in business at least 6 years. That is about the amount of time it takes to gain the experience needed to perform well on most jobs. Smaller paint contractors (8 or fewer employees) typically employ talented and well trained painters with at least several years of experience. Experienced painters will get the job done quickly, courteously and use proper techniques. Skilled painters won’t be learning on the job.


The high quality, paint contracting business will use high quality paint and materials. This ensures that the paint job lasts for many years. Quality materials will typically last 12 years, which is 3-4 times longer than subpar paints. Spectrum Painting provides a 4 year guarantee* on paint work.

We recommend hiring a small business if you need several rooms painted complete interiors and exteriors or have a special application like cabinets. Professionally run small paint contracting businesses are a good balance of personal, professional service, well trained workers and quality materials, with low overhead.

The Large Business

Large businesses may be the right choice if you have an exceptionally large application. Typically larger businesses will focus on commercial work. They will have offices, fleets of vehicles, and office staff. Large businesses can handle the same type of work that small businesses and sole contractors do, although they have higher overhead costs that will be factored into their bid.

Customer Service

Large businesses can provide the same quality customer service as small businesses, they’ll have dedicated salespeople, estimators, and general contractors. The large company paint contractor is unlikely to be personally involved in the job, leaving the homeowner at the mercy of the “employees” and the quality of service will vary depending on which employee is sent to the job site.


Like small businesses, large companies will also have access to skilled painters, though turnover can be high at large companies as painters gain experience and leave to become paint contractors. Their vacancies are often filled by new, inexperienced painters. A larger company may have one experienced painter on a job with the rest non-professionals.


Large companies will typically use high quality materials. Although beware of cheap quotes from large companies, as they may be sacrificing the quality of materials in order to price competitively.

We recommend hiring a large paint company if the project is exceptionally large and requires a large crew to complete within the required timeframe.

Spectrum Painting uses only the finest quality materials, our professionally trained craftsmen have worked with us for several years, and we offer a 4 year guarantee* on paint work.

* some conditions apply