Painting: am I being unreasonable?

Hi all,
I could use some opinions here.
I hired painters to paint four modestly-sized rooms in our older house (sizes range from about 15x15 to 8x12). Price was $2.1k, in a lowish cost of living area. These guys came highly recommended, and they've certainly been fast. Paint is mid-grade, some latex, some oil. The contract specifies "patch, paint, trim"
My issue is with their wall and trim prep, or lack thereof. It's an older house, so there are places where the old paint had chipped (especially on the oil-based trim), places where drill holes in trim needed to be patched, etc. With the job almost done, I'm seeing a number of places where holes have been painted over but not patched, and places where we'd patched previously but hadn't sanded the patches, that were painted without sanding. In short, these guys put paint over whatever what there, without much if any patching. (I have seen no use of sandpaper or patching compounds, although I haven't been hovering over them all that much.)
Should I be insisting on better, or is this pretty standard? My feeling is that I could have done better had I done it myself, at least in terms of wall and trim prep.
Thanks!
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Don't be a doormat. They didn't patch, they didn't sand, tell them they have to do it. Simple as that.
S
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Yup.....make them fill & sand.
cm

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unless you paid them upfront...I would tell them NO PAY until job is completed properly. Especially where your contract says specifies "patch, paint, trim" Muff
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You are probably unreasonable as far as the painters are concerned. I have always heard that professionals consider preparation to be at least 50% of the jog and this is why they appear to be so expensive. These guys seem to have skipped all preparation and gone straight to painting.
I am extremely fussy, if I hire a pro I expect a near perfect job otherwise I would have done it myself. When I do my own work I try to make it as perfect as I can, and it is often better than most pros, but I take about 4 times longer to do the job.

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Everyone knows you need to use your HANDS to check a wall out for smoothness - obviously they didn't check the wall properly before painting... AND when you patch a wall properly, it needs dry time... which they didn't want to wait for ,... and sanding creates dust and cleaning up to do (or paint won't stick to the wall properly)... so obviously they've done a time cutting thing ... don't pay until they job is right - most contracts are 50% upfront - 50% after. Good luck.
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You said some oil was used, was that on the trim. or was Latex used on the trim over an oil. If latex is put on gloss-semi gloss oil without sanding your job can peel of with any abrasion, even your fingernail at areas that have oils from hands, like doorways and doors. You said they did no sanding, that is completely wrong, just read one of the paint can labels they used.
I would not accept or ask a customer to accept, holes, unsanded compound, or poor wall repairs. Take a handheld lamp with shade you can`t see through, a work light, and check wall repairs at night to be sure things were feathered smooth.
For 500$ a room you deserve a very good job. I would pay no more till you go over it all and they fix everything. If they did put latex over unsanded, dirty , hand oiled, trim. It will very likely need to be stripped in the future. If that is the case you owe them nothing even after they make your rooms look good. I know people that paid a few thousand to have their interior trim painted in latex over unprepped oil. And paid two to three times as much a few years later to fix the error. Find out what was used, where, and even post photos for everyone, its hard to really say without seeing and knowing everything, even paint type.
Wait to pay until you are satisfied the job was done as agreed and correctly
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m Ransley wrote:

They put oil over the existing oil-base painted trim, so that part of the job is right, at least. And latex over existing latex on the walls.
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wrote:

Unlike many of the trades, there are some jobs that anyone can do. Anyone can paint. If you want painting done fast and cheap, you get some paint, brushes, a bunch of friends, some rocking music, and pizza. And you live with the results which, though they may be distressing, are mainly cosmetic.
That leaves the only reason to hire professional painters is that they do a professional job. They do the prep work, they pay attention to detail. So if you care enough to hire professional painters, you should get a professional job. The walls should look no less than perfect.
You are not being unreasonable. Hopefully they will correct the problems and should you ever recommend these people to anyone else, be honest about what happened.
BTW, you said "guys." How many? My interior painter is solo or works alongside another and always does a great job. OTOH, the time I had the exterior done, that painter did the house but also had "helpers" whom he did not supervise well (he went off and did another job while they did trim). This was not good and I won't use him again.
Perhaps your painter didn't supervise closely.
BTW, you do have to watch everyone closely (though surreptitiously) unless you know them. Don't be afraid to stop and cut your losses if necessary. I had to do that with the exterior guy.
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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