Painting NJ Homes:
It Can't Be Cheap, Fast and Good

Contractors' quotes for painting NJ homes can vary so much, it's confusing.

One company can estimate your project at $1,000 while another will ask for $500 for the same amount of work... and then there's always somebody who will promise to do the job for just $100.

  • Is the first company trying to rip you off?

  • Is the last painter offering you the best deal?

  • Or should you just play it safe and always choose the one in the middle?


It depends.


You see, in addition to comparing apples to apples when looking at different painting quotes, you need to be clear about what it is you want.

What exactly are you looking for and expecting from your NJ painting contractor?

  • Is quality your main concern?

  • Do you need it done yesterday?

  • Are you working with a shoestring budget?

Then here's a simple way to make sense of the estimates you receive for your project:


Cheap, Fast or Good -
you can have any two,
but you can't have all three.


That's just how the law of business works in the real world.

And that is why there really are no different price levels, only different levels of service  (something to keep in mind when choosing between NJ painters).

Painting NJ Homes...

...CHEAP and FAST - but it won't be good

If you choose this option (usually the lowest bid), please realize that you must be willing to sacrifice the quality.

Because in order to do the job fast and cheap, and still make some profit, your house  painter has but one choice, and that is to cut corners everywhere:

  • on surface preparation
    (by skipping thorough scraping and sanding, caulking, priming, spackling, cleaning the surfaces, etc.);

  • on materials
    (by using the cheapest paints and sundries);

  • on details
    (by doing a production work vs custom work);

  • on maintenance
    (by not offering a guarantee or not honoring it - because he simply cannot afford to come back and correct mistakes, or he will lose money).

...CHEAP and GOOD - but it won't be fast:

If you choose this option, you'd better have a lot of patience.

Usually you get such a deal either from:

  • a one man show painter
    (who will work on your house for what will seem like an eternity if you have a big project - because there's only so much one person can do in a day);

    or

  • a desperate painting contractor
    (who will beat any price, overbook himself and then take forever to start on your project).

And in both cases, you can often expect your painter to come for work at different times each day, or not come at all, as they are trying to juggle several projects simultaneously.

...FAST and GOOD - but it won't be cheap:

Quality has its price.

It costs a painting company a lot more to do a great job, and do it fast:

  • Quality materials are more expensive, but they will last longer and look better;

  • Proper surface preparation takes time and requires specialized equipment and skills, but it will determine the end result;

  • Professional workers are costly to staff, but they have the experience necessary to do the job right the first time.



Of course these are not absolutes but "you get what you pay for" still holds true for any product or service, including house painting. NJ paint contractors' quotes become less of a mystery when you look at them from this perspective.

"There is hardly anything in the world
that someone cannot make
a little worse and sell a little cheaper,

And the people who consider price alone
are that person's lawful prey.

It is unwise to pay too much,
but it is also unwise to pay too little.

When you pay too much,
you lose a little money, that is all.

When you pay too little,
you sometimes lose everything because
the thing you bought is incapable of doing
the thing you bought it to do.

The common law of business balance
prohibits paying a little and getting a lot...

It can't be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder
it is well to add something for the risk you run.

And if you do that you will have enough
to pay for something better."

John Ruskin, 1819 - 1900

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See Also:

Should a NJ House Painter Guarantee His Work?

Checklist to Compare New Jersey Painting Contractors

People Painting New Jersey Homes: Who Are You Trusting?

Guide to Choosing the Best Painting Contractors in New Jersey

HOUSE PAINTING TUTORIALS