On first glance when I tell customers that I average around $50 per painter per hour on my quotes, people are sometimes taken by shock. One prospective customer even told me that it’s like paying someone $100000 per year for painting (based on 2000 hrs working per year)! Unfortunately no, this simply isn’t the case, so allow me to explain why we have a $50/hr charge rate (as of this writing in March 2018) for our services.
The painters that work in your home are skilled craftspeople
Our painters are skilled craftspeople with an eye for detail that the average person simply does not possess. Some people think of painting as a low skill minimum wage type job, but if you pay low skill labour, you get low skill results.
Currently (as of March 2018), our average wage rate is in the low to mid $20s per hour.
However, we have employees, so we have additional costs that are incurred. We pay WSIB on our employees, we pay EI, CPP and other source deductions. We also offer health benefits to keep our team happy and healthy!
Why do we do this? We could just use all subcontractors, like many other painting businesses. Well, it adds value for you, the end client. Employees are covered under our WSIB and Liability Insurance policies, whereas subcontractors are not. This gives you peace of mind, that if (heaven forbid) any injuries or accidents occur while on your property you are not liable.
So, when all is said and done, our average wage rate plus our labour burden puts our cost per hour at an average of $28.
We don’t skimp on the extra job-related costs
With any paint job there are little extra job costs. A roll of plastic to cover furniture. A roll of paper to cover floors. Caulking and patch to fill holes and gaps. Drywall tape to ensure that cracks are repaired correctly and don’t return. Roller sleeves and brushes. These are all little in and of themselves, but they add up to 5% of the overall cost of the job
We invest in our business to make it a great experience for our clients
Any business has overhead expenses. Just because we don’t have a retail space, doesn’t mean that we don’t have overhead.
We have ladders! We have step ladders, extension ladders, ladders that will fit into stairwells, extension ladders that will fit into elevators for condo work, ladders for uneven ground.
We want to make sure that we can access all parts of your home in the safest and most efficient manner. We easily have thousands of dollar invested into many different ladders, so that we can transform your home.
We have proper tools. Painting tools aren’t just a brush, roller and roller tray. We have dropsheets, drywall repair tools like mud pans, drywall knives.
We have dust extractors so that when we sand dust doesn’t get through your home. We have air cleaners that filter the air in a 400 square foot room every 10 min. One dust extraction system that we use is worth over $3000.
We have vehicles to transport equipment to your home. For us, the average cost of running a vehicle is in the range of $8000 – $10 000 per year
We have a storage unit to put our equipment in when it’s not in use. This costs us another $2400 per year.
When we total up our numbers for the year, our overhead generally runs 20% of sales when all is said and done.
So how do the numbers shake down?
$50 per hour charge rate
Minus $28 per hour average labour cost (wages plus associated costs)
Minus 5% for assorted sundries, which equals $2.50 per hour
Minus 20% for overhead, which equals $10 per hour
So when you do the math we net out an average of $9.50 per hour profit, which gives us a profit margin of 19%. So, if we do $300 000 in sales in a year our net profit is just under $60 000.
Why should you as a client be concerned if we’re profitable? Profit keeps us running our business and doing excellent work for our wonderful clients. When we stay in business we can honour our warranties and stand behind our work.
So if you’d like CAM Painters to Transform your home with lasting beauty, why don’t you book a quote?
So you’re planning on renovating your Toronto home?
CAM Painters can help! Not only can we do the painting, we can recommend the sequence of painting so that it’s done as efficiently as possible.
Step 1: After the drywall has been installed, taped and plastered
Prime walls and ceilings, Paint ceilings, Prime and Paint trim while it’s loose
Once the place has been drywalled, taped and mudded it’s a perfect time to have us in to prime and paint the ceilings. Ideally this can be done before flooring goes in. As an added bonus, if the trim and casings are onsite, we can prime and get a coat on those before they are installed.
The benefit of getting the ceiling and walls primed early on in the renovating process is that if there are any deficiencies by the drywallers, these can be seen and rectified. It’s better to have these deficiencies fixed before the floors, trim and other finishes go in.
Getting a coat of primer and paint on the trim while it is loose is more efficient than after it’s installed, so it saves time, which in turn saves money.
Step 2: After flooring and trim has been installed
The next phase of renovating would be to have us in after the flooring and trim has been installed.
This phase would consist of the following:
- Filing nail holes in the trim
- Caulking gaps between the trim and the wall
- Painting the walls – 2 coats
- Painting the trim – it already has 1 coat, so it just needs the final coat
At this point the project would be complete, except for touch ups
Step 3: Final touch ups after move in
Although most movers are careful, there is always some wear and tear from moving furniture back into a home. So we recommend allowing for a day of touching up the paint, which can be scheduled shortly after you move in.
Final thoughts to consider when planning your renovation
You should allow enough time in your renovation schedule that painting can occur when there are no other trades. As careful as other trades are, the more of them that are onsite, the more damage that is likely to happen to the paint.
Your contractor should ensure that the HVAC system is running properly prior to having any painting. If a house is too cold, or too dry, it can have a negative impact on how the paint dries.
Your contractor should also ensure that there is a laundry sink and that water is available to use. We need water to clean brushes, mix patching compound and wet rags to clean off surfaces.
Also, please make sure your contractor has the wood casings and trim are on site a week before painting starts. This allows the wood to acclimatize to the house and do any expansion or contraction before primer and paint is applied.
If you’d like to have CAM Painters handle the painting portion of your renovation project why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
So you’re thinking about bold colours for your Toronto home? Bold colours can be tricky to paint with, so here’s our list of tips to make sure that it goes smoothly.
Intense colours are notorious for bad coverage. I’ve heard many stories about certain intense colours taking 7, 8 or more coats, and they still don’t look right.
First, let’s explore why this is so. Paint comes in different bases starting with a white base, all the way to a clear base. To these bases tint is added to achieve the desired colour. For a very light colour, not much tint is needed and the the paint is able to get a lot if it’s coverage from what’s in the can of paint.
As we go to more intense colours, such as bright reds, bright blues, oranges, bright yellows a clear base is used. If a white base was used, the colour would be muted and not bright at all. When a clear base is used, the paint is getting all it’s hiding power from the tint alone. Therefore, in most cases the paint looks almost translucent and requires many coats to cover.
There are some steps you can take to minimize the number of coats required and end up with a better finished product.
First, Use a grey primer
If you use a grey primer, you’ll be further ahead than just painting over the previous paint, or using a primer of any other colour. The depth of grey should be matched to the depth of the topcoat colour – any reputable paint store should be able to advise on the particular depth of grey primer to use.
Second, Be careful when choosing level of sheen
Tint gives the paint more sheen, which doesn’t matter for most colours. However when dealing with bold colours with a lot of tint, the effect can be that an eggshell looks closer to a semi gloss, or a flat looks closer to an eggshell. So choose your sheen level wisely and perhaps choose a less glossy sheen than you would otherwise.
Third, Be careful with your brushing and rolling technique
The extra tint can cause the paint to leave more texture, or stipple than normal. Basically, you’ll want to be extra careful that you’re not leaving any unevenness in the paint when you roll it out. I would also brush and roll one wall at a time, just to be on the safe side, rather than brush the entire room and then roll.
Expect that you might need an extra coat with bold colours
Even with all these steps, you still might need a 3rd or even a 4th coat. So make sure you’ve given yourself enough time that you can come back the next day for another coat or two.
Some product recommendations
When it comes to bold colours we find that Benjamin Moore Aura offers the best coverage. However this paint can be a little difficult to work with, be sure to follow all the directions on the can and ask the paint store clerk if you have any questions.
READ MORE: Colour Selection 101
Bold colours can really transform a space! If you’d rather leave the application to someone else why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
Many paints advertise “paint and primer in one” and this can potentially be a time saver. However, there are certain situations when priming will greatly help a paint job, either in terms of efficiency or durability and sometimes both.
Here is our definitive list of when to prime!
Primer is recommended for drastic colour changes
Certain primers are designed to have higher coverage than paint. Therefore, these primers are handy in a few different situations:
- When going from a dark colour to a light colour. A white primer can hide the dark colour better than the finish coat can. We recommend 1 coat of primer for most deep colours, and in some instances we’d recommend a 2nd coat for very dark colours. After the surface is primed you can usually get the finish coat to cover in 2 coats
- When going from a light colour to a dark colour. The primer can be tinted close to the finish coat colour. Usually 1 coat of primer will suffice, and then 2 coats of the finish paint and you’re done!
- When using an especially vibrant colour. Many bright reds, yellows, greens and blues can have coverage issues. To ensure good coverage a grey primer is recommended. A reputable paint store will be able to recommend the specific depth of grey that’s needed.
Helpful tip: If a paint store recommends a lighter version of a vibrant colour as a primer, don’t listen to them! A grey primer is essential under any vibrant finish coat!
Our recommendation for this application is Sherwin Williams Multi-Purpose Water-Based Acrylic-Alkyd Primer. This particular primer has great coverage so it’s perfect as an undercoat for colour changes.
Primer is recommended when adhesion might be an issue
Paint has trouble adhering to certain surfaces, these include:
- Glossy surfaces
- Bare drywall patch
- Bare metal
- Bare wood
Glossy surfaces can be either sanded to de-gloss, primed, or both sanded and primed. Sanding breaks open the surface and allows the paint to penetrate deeper and get a better bond with the surface.
Bare surfaces, such as bare patches, bare wood or metal should be primed as well. Priming acts as an intermediary step, it bonds to the surface and then gives a porous surface for the finish coat to bond to.
Priming is recommended where there are potential problems with stain bleeding
These areas include the following:
- Mould-prone areas such as bathrooms
- Wood where sap from knots are staining the surface
- Greasy areas such as kitchens
First off, what is stain bleeding? Paint has trouble covering certain substances, such as grease, sap and mould. Consequently when these are painted over, the stain discolours the paint and “bleeds” through the surface.
Greasy and stained areas should be washed first with TSP to clean the grease off the surface. However, even after cleaning there can still be a little bit of residue remaining, especially if there’s extensive staining. To completely eliminate the potential of the stain bleeding through one can use an alcohol-based primer.
If you’d prefer CAM Painters to take care of your painting needs why don’t you book a quote? We’d love to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
If you take a few simple steps to prepare your Toronto home you can have a great painting experience! The painting experience can run very efficiently and be done with minimal inconvenience, however, there are things that you should do to make this a reality. In this post, I’ll give you a checklist of the things that should be done to prior to painting.
Ensure that your colours are chosen well in advance
Colours are tricky, they can look different on your walls than on the paint chips. Also, they can look different on various surfaces and at varying times of day.
What we recommend at CAM Painters is to have a colour consultation from an interior designer. We can even recommend interior designers based on your budget and location. A good interior designer will save a lot of time and frustration in the colour selection process, so it’s definitely a good investment!
READ MORE: 3 Reasons to have a colour consultation prior to painting your Toronto home
If you’re wanting to do colour selection yourself, at least buy some tester pots of the colours you’re thinking about so that you can test them on the walls. A rundown of the procedure is here:
Colour Selection 101 for your Toronto Home
We usually like to pick up colours a few days before the job starts. If you can prepare your final colour selections a week before the job starts, that would be best.
Arrange access to your home with us
Our hours of work are generally 8:30 to 4:30. We don’t need someone on site with us in order for us to do our work, but we do need access into your house. If you are not available, we have lock boxes that you can leave a house key in. If you’d prefer to meet us in the morning to let us in, that’s fine too.
Make arrangements for your pets
We are pet-friendly at CAM Painters, so if your dog or cat wants to say hello, that’s fine with us. However, once we start working it’s best if pets are not in our workspace for their own safety. It’s best if they can be shut off in another area of the house, so they don’t get into our tools or wet paint. Yes, we have had cats get wet paint on their paws and track it all over the floor!
Prepare your rooms for painting
This is not as daunting as it sounds. All we are asking is that you remove any small, fragile objects from the room and remove pictures from the walls. If you are planning on putting the picture back in the same place please leave the picture hook in the wall. If you are planning on repositioning or leaving off the wall altogether, please remove the picture hook and we’ll be sure to fill in the nail holes.
We don’t mind moving a couple of pieces of furniture per room, which we cover with plastic to make sure it’s protected.
There are a couple of items that we prefer not to move, which you should make arrangements for before the painting begins:
- Wall-mounted TVs
- Fridges – these can damage floors if the wheels don’t move freely, and fragile water lines can break too
- Washers & Dryers – brittle hoses and vent ducts can be damaged during moving
So if you can arrange for these items to be moved that would be great!
We at CAM Painters want to give you a great painting experience and if you follow these guidelines you can ensure that is what you get! Feel free to book a quote! We’d love to Transform your home with lasting beauty!