Martin Painting’s Guarantee and Job Description


Martin Painting guarantees that there will be no significant problems of any kind resulting from our workmanship or methods of application, or from undetected defects in the workmanship or materials used for a pro-rated four years, as detailed below. So far no one has ever needed this guarantee!

Second Coating Guarantee

Second coats are frequently not necessary, particularly when the new color is close to the old one. Yet second coatings on siding will be done by adding only 29% to the itemized price listedwith advance scheduling. How often do you buy something that you cannot see? If there is no visible difference between a test spot where one and two coats can be seen side by side, then you may not need two coats; but even with good coverage there can be excessive variations in the sheen, even on flat paint. But too much is as bad as too little! However, even if you pay someone for two coats (nod nod, wink wink), you seldom actually get two (when there is no visible difference) unless you stand there and watch. Also with paint (but not stain) there is the option of using super high grades of paint (like Miller’s Evolution), which puts virtually two coats on in one application. This option is listed on the contract.

We always leave the decision to have a second coat at your discression, yet to pay only 29% more for a second coat, we have to have immediate approval so that we don’t waste time, since we need to start painting trim immediately after a side of siding is finished. We recommend that you test a spot in advance. If you later decide to second-coat siding as an afterthought, any finished trim will need to be redone as well, if it’s a different color. Consider having us do a second coat on the most weathered sides only. It’s best to use a solid stain on rough sawn wood. Stain wears off gradually so that it doesn’t build up into thick, troublesome layers as paint does. But some sides weather off faster than others. A second coat is specified on this quote when it is probably necessary. (Note: We always put two coats on previously unpainted stucco, and all aluminum and vinyl.) Procedurally, we stay in the shade whenever possible, giving better results. Incidentally, I have never had a complaint about anything sprayed since I began spraying in 1986.


We always spray siding. People who don’t spray need to add about 50% to their bid for extra labor. I have never had a spraying incident. Any horror stories you may have heard of, would have involved solvent-based paints. Mist from these can float around for blocks and wreak havoc. Any mist from water-based products dries within a few yards. Spraying puts on a much more even coat. With a brush, most of the paint comes off almost immediately, while the space a few inches away is covered with a dryer brush. Actually, it is not so much how many coats are involved, it’s about how many gallons are used! One persons two coats is another persons one. Often, a sprayed on coat looks nicer when it is not back brushed, so long as the surface is not porous. That is why you have probably never seen a brush painted car.

Stained Cedar

Staining cedar siding and trim is one of our specialties. Lighter colors last longer because they reflect more harmful light rays away. Badly sun-damaged wood can never look as nice as well-maintained wood does. The stain goes on less evenly. It is best to prevent weathering, especially sun damage, in the first place by not waiting too long between applications. The USDA has determined that bare new cedar siding exposed to as little as thirty days of weathering suffers some permanent damage to its ability to hold paint or stain. Latex stains will fade slower than ordinary oil stains. Any real paint store can match almost any color but they may not get it right the first try. The exception is that there are sometimes limitations to very dark colors in stainsask the store about these. Latex stain is self-priming and doesn’t require applying combustible materials to your house or the use of explosive clean-up materials. You may have an old can of oil stain in your garage: check the fine print, it’s likely specified for use only on bare woods. We almost never use semi-transparent for anythingit is simply “watered down.” Latex stains will protect wood for five to eight years, not just color it, though some fading will occur. Consumer Reports rates Sherwin Williams, for example, among the very lowest rated.


The following information explains our detailed procedures and recommendations. Should a defective-product problem ever occur, it would usually become evident immediately, or else very soon after application. Problems arising within the first year of application will be corrected free of charge. The following pro-rated guarantee applies to everything itemized on your contract except decks, varnish, and windows, as explained below. After one year, any item will be corrected for 25% of its itemized cost. After two years, rework would cost 50% of the itemized cost. Between the third and fourth years, rework would cost 75% of its itemized price. Again, no one has ever had to pay us for any of this. Sherwin Williams products are not guaranteed at allsee Consumer Reports.

Stucco Painting

Properly painted stucco looks nicer than new stucco! After a rain, your painted stucco won’t look soggy, because the surface is sealed and protected. Painting eliminates ugly stains and stops surface erosion. The rough surface grips paint better than any other surface! Hairline cracks in stucco are not a problem: these are seldom caulked because of unsightly glaring. Guaranteed for four years. Repaint two-coated stucco after ten years or more.

Pressure Washing / Water Blasting

Read any can of paint or stain. It will say apply to clean surfaces only. Paint won’t stick to dirt, chalk, mildew, air pollution films, etc. When your entire home is being painted, pressure washing becomes a relatively insignificant portion of the entire cost, especially considering the large area at risk. If you don’t want this preventive maintenance, and you have visible surface contamination, you may experience significant flaking in some of these dirty areas. Serious mildew areas are cleaned and painted or stained with products containing mildewcide. Pressure-washed stucco and cedar are guaranteed to hold paint and stain without significant flaking, except as noted. We use 3000 psi professional-strength equipment. Water blasting is by far the most cost-effective means of removing loose paint, but it won’t look sanded. Vacuuming of paint chips costs extra. Chemicals are not used when we pressure wash except on a spot basis. Please be sure to have your windows closed and have the screens removed, or at least unlocked, prior to our arrival. We sometimes don’t quote a pressure-wash price on trim jobs or small jobs because it is not cost effective for you unless there is a mildew problem. Following pressure washing and painting is the best time to have your windows cleaned on the outside. Filthy runoff doesn’t easily rinse off. It’s very helpful to have screens removed when we paint. A great time for you to clean your screens is while they are off.


Decks are high maintenance. Even the best deck products may fail predictably. When peeling has begun, it generally worsens, necessitating belt sanding. When a deck top begins peeling within one year of our application, we guarantee to recoat it freebut you will need to hire, at your expense, someone to belt sand at least the affected horizontal surfaces first. The safest way to do a deck is to sand it first, but it’s an expensive insurance few are willing to pay for. Between one and two years we will recoat for half of the original price. After two years it is usually time to recoat anyway. We cannot guarantee any deck that is peeling from previous work. Pressure washing is necessary for surface preparationnever seal in dirt! We only use real deck products. Semi-transparent oil deck stains only work on porous wood. Even the best oil deck stains only protect for about two years. Expect semi-transparent deck stains to appear thin: you’ll see the underlying color. Don’t “over protect” a deck by staining annually. Color changes require one or two coats of solid stain. When using semi-transparent oil in cool or cold weather, it must be bone dry. I like to wait two days after a rain, and we should be between jobs so that I don’t have to walk out on someone else. We use Olympic Deck and Siding stain for non-porous surfaces (surfaces that bead up in the rain). It doesn’t have to be so dry either. Solid stains could last for six years, instead of only two, but the risk of failure is still present. When peeling begins, some or much of the previous product will continue to peel off, taking our topcoat with it. Clear “stain,” even with a UV additive, protects for the shortest period of time. Again we do not guarantee Sherwin Williams deck products. Deck undersides are not included in the bid. Deck stripping: We can often take off enough old stain from your deck top with a simple spray-on stripper, just prior to power washing, for 50% of the staining price, by using the deck stripper as we wash. Solid stains may not strip well this way, and would require experimentation with a garden hose.

Premium Quality Paint

If you want to use anyone’s superior grade of paint ($40$50/gallon), it will add 10%12% to the cost of any particular itemized item. The paint lasts considerably longer and is far less likely to require a second coat, because the paint film is so much thicker. These paints concentrate a very high grade of acrylic and more titanium dioxide (the good stuff). What little of this I have tried did not have as nice of a finish/look as the standard paints that are not so excessively thick. Not recommended for stucco.


We use siliconized acrylic caulking with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 2550 years for all caulking, which is primarily re-caulking cracked old caulk rather than caulking “unusual” new places. Pure silicone caulk can’t be painted. We guarantee premium quality paintable caulking to remain flexible, though some of your underlying caulk may later fail. The biggest problem I’ve seen around board siding is that the siding moves, and sufficient movement forces the caulking to rip. The cause is a lack of boards underneath to nail onto. Cracks larger than a quarter inch should not be caulked. We caulk primarily where wood meets wood. Long vertical trim boards, such as are on the corners of homes, aren’t usually caulked by homebuilders and we don’t do them either, because it will virtually always rip apart. Caulking next to brick, metal, stucco, or stone will cost extra.

Wood Windows and Sliding Doors

These are notorious for having the paint flake off, especially on the west side and the lower portions. The reason for this is that the horizontal portion gets a direct hit from the sun and an indirect attack from light reflected from the glass. They are literally cooked. We can’t guarantee against the inevitable. This is an exception to the guarantee. Touching up every couple of years is sometimes necessary. Only the exposed parts of windows are automatically included in the bid; that is, the part that can be painted with the window shut (nothing behind glass). Paint buildup in the inner portion is a frequent cause of windows sticking shut. If this area is to be included, then allow 50% more for windows. It’s necessary to have each window opened slightly, immediately after it’s painted. Ideally, check windows for sticking occasionally for a month, as the paint takes that long to cure. Fake pane dividers on the inside cost extra.

Painted Doors

We generally price these at $35 per door, for one side only. Doors with side lites cost more. French doubles count as one door. Differing colors add $10 per extra color. Screen doors (if desired) cost extra. Sidelights count as half of a door each. About the only thing we need from you, once we start working, is for painted doors to remain open for a couple of hours, and painted windows moved occasionally. The sun will dull the sheen over time.

Varnished Doors

If exposed to direct sunlight, doors should be varnished (one coat) at the very first sign of peeling, to avoid very costly stripping. Refinished doors seldom are mistaken for new ones. Doors in shady locations need only to be varnished with spar varnish or polyurethane when other painting is done. Touchup on the underlying stain will be done free if you provide a suitable half pint or so of penetrating stain for any bare spots. Trial and error is necessary to find a suitable color. Guaranteed one year.

Gutters and Downspouts

When painting is desired, these should be made to exactly match the trim. If they have already been repainted or stained, we generally price them separately and assume that you want them painted. Unpainted gutters should be pressure washed before coating for me to be able to guarantee them. Modern aluminum gutters hold paint better than the old galvanized ones, but it’s still best to postpone painting gutters until the sheen dulls.


These are priced for being painted where they are (we’re that good). If you want them removed and reinstalled for any reason, the cost is doubled.

Other Preparation

Loose paint is always scraped or water-blasted off. Sanding, stripping, bleaching or other chemicals, should you specifically request it, may cost significantly more. Belt sanding is billed by the hour; hand sanding by the week! Exterior spackling is also an option in some situations.


If you remove the numerals, we’ll coat it free for the asking.


Everything that we intend to paint is itemized. Examples of things not included are fences, anything metal or plastic, freestanding garages, barns, sheds, playhouses, furniture, etc. These items may also be priced at your request.


I frequently have to go to the end of my waiting list to find customers who have selected colors! This puts me behind schedule for some people but perhaps ahead for you, if you test your colors and call us. You can be scheduled with just a phone call. Typical trim takes about two days; only very large or old houses take more than six working days. We paint Monday through Friday. We are closed Saturdays. I try to guesstimate my days to arrival to your house within a week. If there is some kind of a deadline that I must meet, I should be made aware of it when the work is scheduled. We are often told that we completed the job much faster and better than the previous painters. Expect the same. Since 1995, we have been able to paint and stain year round using cold weather paints. These can be applied in 35° weather. They are top-of-the-line products.


We do not require a deposit in most cases; however, on jobs larger than $4000, a partial payment, when you feel that we are halfway finished, is appreciated. See “The Fine Print,” article 3, on the back of your contract, for the required partial payment arrangement on jobs of $6000 and above.

CCB License# 185641

No longer taking on new jobs.