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Get Quotes from Top Painters in New York City, NY

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter in New York City

More than 50% of the residential buildings in New York City were built before 1960, and as such, they still have lead paint on a large area of their surfaces, including walls, doors, and windows. When upgrading the outlook of these buildings it is best to leave the job to trained painters who has the knowledge and tools to deal with the hazards of lead poisoning. Nonetheless, when you are in search of a painter in the city, endavor to ask the painters you meet these questions to pick the best hand for the job:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in New York City?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires all individuals that wish to perform certain home repair and improvement activities on pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities in New York City to undergo mandatory lead-safe work practices training and certification. These activities include painting, surface repairs and maintenance, and any other activities that involve the disturbance of more than 6 square feet of interior surface or 20 square feet of exterior surface. At the local level, all individuals that provide any type of construction, repair, remodeling, and home improvement-related services in New York City are required to obtain a Home Improvement Contractor License from the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP).

Painters that wish to obtain this locally issued Home Improvement Contractor License are required to submit certain documents, which include an application form, proof of local tax registration, proof of insurance, and proof of EPA certification. Applicants will also be required to pay stipulated examination and licensing fees, pass a DCWP-administered licensing examination, and meet any other requirements that the DCWP may deem necessary at the time.

Providing painting services or any other form of home improvement-related services in New York City without possessing a valid Home Improvement Contractor License is punishable by city-imposed sanctions and penalties, including fines of up to $500. You can direct inquiries on NYC painter licensing to the DCWP via phone numbers 311 or (212) 639-9675. You can also verify that your intended painter possesses a valid Home Improvement Contractor License by making use of the DCWP's Online Services Portal.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in New York City?

Several factors affect the rates that painters in New York City charge for their services. These include, but are not limited to, the size of the surface that requires painting, the amount of work required to properly prepare this surface for the painting, and the type and cost of the paint to be used for the job. To get a fair estimate of the cost of your painting project, you should consider requesting bids from up to three different painters near you and comparing these bids. This is also a good way to protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors that practice price gouging.

A painter in New York City earns an annual average wage of $58,360. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in New York City and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of New York State and several other major cities in the United States:

New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$28.06
New York State Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$27.22
Los Angeles Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$26.36
Chicago Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$29.15
Dallas Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$18.75
Washington D.C. Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$22.66
Detroit Painters Mean Hourly Wage
$22.48
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?

Painting generally involves a wide range of services, and so it is necessary to make sure that your intended painter has the necessary skill set to perform the specific services that your project requires. Some common painting services that New York City painters offer include wallpaper hanging and removal, interior and exterior wall painting, surface preparation and power washing, and staining. In some cases, these painters may further specialize in working on particular types of buildings and structures, with some painters sticking to residential buildings and others focusing on painting commercial and industrial facilities. As such, you should always make sure that your preferred painter is not only licensed but is also properly trained and equipped to handle the specific nature of your project.

Listed below are cost estimates of some common NYC painting services:

Interior house painting or staining
$1.64 - $3.66 per square foot
Exterior house painting or staining
$1.89 - $3.68 per square foot
Faux painting
$13.50 - $20 per square foot (for plaster)
Faux painting
$3.61 - $6.85 per square foot (for basic textures)
Faux painting
$7 - $12 per square foot (for paper and stencils)
Faux painting
$7.33 - $13 per square foot (for wood grain and stria)
Faux painting
$8.33 - $13 per square foot (for marbelizing)
Faux painting
$9 - $14 per square foot (for metallic)
Paint color consultation
$50 - $195
Paint removal
$3.50 - $5 per square foot
Texture painting
$50 - $75 per hour

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in New York City?

Painters routinely face numerous on-the-job hazards, such as slips, trips, and falls, as well as exposure to dangerous substances. Therefore, the importance of hiring a painter that is licensed and insured cannot be overstated. Working with a properly insured painter ensures that you do not have to make any out-of-pocket expenses if a work-related injury occurs during your project. This general liability insurance also covers the cost of any damages that the painter may cause to your property during the project.

All licensed contractors that wish to provide their services to residents of New York City are typically required to maintain general liability insurance of a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence and meet other applicable insurance requirements. To this end, you should always request proof of this insurance from your intended painter and authenticate it with the appropriate insurance company. It is also advisable to contact the NYC Department of Buildings at (212) 566-5000 to get more information on the specific insurance requirements that may apply to painters that wish to work on your project.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Painter in New York City

In October 2020, the New York State Attorney General announced the arrest and arraignment of several local contractors for their involvement in a large-scale fraud scheme against numerous homeowners across upstate New York. The previous year, it had been reported that home improvement scams were routinely one of the most common types of consumer complaints made in New York, with over 900 reports filed in 2019 alone. Therefore, when looking out for good painters near you, it is necessary to take certain steps to ensure that you do not fall victim to a home improvement scam. These steps include:

  • Be wary of door-to-door contractors. It is advisable to get referrals to painters near you from trusted sources like friends, colleagues, and online platforms like the Better Business Bureau and the Find a Painter website maintained by the Painting Contractors Association
  • Always have a clear idea of what your project entails and resist high-pressure tactics from contractors that attempt to urge you to carry out unnecessary, and potentially expensive, work
  • Always confirm the licensing status of any painter that you intend to hire
  • Get written bids for your project from up to three different painters
  • Make sure that your painter is duly insured
  • Make sure that a written contract is provided for the project and that it clearly details the estimated timeline, cost, and description of the project as well as a payment schedule for the work done
  • Never sign any contracts that are unclear or that you do not fully understand
  • Avoid cash payments and never pay the full cost of your project upfront. Hold on to final payment until the project has been satisfactorily completed
  • Keep all copies of documents used for or involved in the project, such as receipts, contracts, and warranties

If you take these steps, and still, unfortunately, fall victim to a home improvement scam, you can file a complaint with the DCWP online, by calling 311, or by completing and mailing two copies of a consumer complaint form to:

NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
Consumer Services Division
42 Broadway
9th Floor
New York, NY 10004

The completed consumer complaint form can also be submitted via fax to (212) 487-4482. You can also take further private action against the painter or scammer in question by retaining the services of an attorney and filing an appropriate lawsuit at a New York City Court. You can find attorneys near you by contacting the New York City Bar's Legal Referral Service online or by calling (212) 626-7373.