The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Painting Companies

How to Select the Best Painters in San Francisco

When it comes time to paint your home, you have a choice: You can paint it yourself, or you can hire a high-quality San Francisco house painter. There are a number of professional painters who do everything from the prep work to the final coat in a fraction of the time it would take you. There are also some decorative painters who specialize in faux painting & faux finishes.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best painting companies in San Francisco and issues related to hiring them.

Updated July 16, 2014

 The TOP 10 Painting Companies in San Francisco CA

Ross Painting
Send an email to this Company
(415) 455-0766
4316 Redwood Hwy # 200
San Rafael, CA 94903
State Contractors License #526659
   Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10  Diamond Certified NARI (National Association of The Remodeling Industry) PDCA (Painting & Decorating Contractors of America) EPA Lead Safe Certified

Areas Served: San Francisco
Services: painting contractors for house painting / house repainting, commercial painters, ...
Key Brands: Benjamin Moore Paints, Sherwin-Williams Paint

Sunrise Painting Inc
Send an email to this Company
(650) 726-9500
80-Q N. Cabrillo Hwy, #515
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Contractor's License #465702
   Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10  Better Business Bureau PDCA (Painting & Decorating Contractors of America) Build It Green Chamber of Commerce-Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce-San Mateo IFMA (International Facility Management Association)

Areas Served: San Francisco Bay Area
Services: Painting contractors, residential painters, house painters, commercial painters
Key Brands: Sherwin-Williams, Kelly-Moore, Benjamin Moore, Mythic Paint, RustOleum

Keech Painting Contractors Inc.
Send an email to this Company
(415) 331-6047
PO Box 483
Windsor, CA 95492
State Contractors License #675879
   Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10  Diamond Certified  Better Business Bureau NCBE (North Coast Builders Exchange)

Areas Served: Bay Area including San Francisco
Services: High-end residential and commercial painting specialists
Key Brands: Benjamin Moore Paints, Dunn Edwards (Dunn-Edwards Paints), Kelly-Moore Paints, Rust-...

Pacific Coast Painting and Waterproofing Co., Inc.
Send an email to this Company
(415) 238-1323
1745 Adrian Rd
Burlingame, CA 94010
State Contractors License #434682, EPA Lead license #20001
   Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10  Better Business Bureau EPA Lead Safe Certified

Areas Served: San Francisco & Bay Area
Services: painting contractors & house painters, residential painters, commercial painters, ...
Key Brands: Benjamin Moore Paints, Dunn Edwards (Dunn-Edwards Paints), Fuller O'Brien Paints, ...

San Francisco Renaissance Painting
Send an email to this Company
(415) 381-0788, (415) 987-6329
1001 Page St, #3
San Francisco, CA 94117
State Contractors License #362282 & #935100
   Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10  Better Business Bureau PDCA (Painting & Decorating Contractors of America) EPA Lead Safe Certified

Areas Served: San Francisco incl. Sea Cliff, Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Sunset ...
Services: painting contractors, interior painters, exterior painters, house painters, ...
Key Brands: Benjamin Moore Paints, ICI Paints, Sherwin-Williams Paint

How to Select the Best Painters in San Francisco 

Licensed painting contractors in San Francisco are those with a C33 license from the state of California to do painting, including interior painting, exterior painting, residential painters, and commercial painters in San Francisco.   The C-33 license for painting companies is a legal requirement for all projects over $500 including labor and materials. The painting contractors must be licensed to be able to submit bids.  

If the painting contractors have employees, they're required to carry workers' compensation insurance. If a worker is injured on your property and the contractor doesn't have this insurance, you could be liable to pay for their injuries and your homeowner's insurance may not cover those costs. 

Painters in San Francisco are not legally required to have liability insurance; however, all painting contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have general liability insurance coverage which reimburses their customers in the event of any damages, in addition to passing all other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 such as our research phone calls to their previous clients, hiring only documented workers, verified license and workers' comp insurance, clean complaint record, and more.


Things To Look For with Painters in San Francisco

Preparation Work Should Be Done By The Painter
Preparing the surface that's to be painted (prep work) is critical because a poorly prepared surface won't hold paint properly no matter how good the paint is or how well it's applied.  The best painting companies in San Francisco will do thorough prep work.  Preparing the surface can include pressure washing, possibly with a product that kills fungus and mildew, hand scraping surfaces, sanding, filling holes with caulk or epoxy filler, treating rusty nails, and removing wood rot. And prep work is labor time so the cheap painters in San Francisco often promote cut-rate pricing because unknown to you, they're not preparing the surface like they should, and this can mean the paint begins to flake and chip within months, or comes off the next time your home or building is power washed. 


Paint Quality
Price quotes from painting companies in San Francisco can differ and one reason might be the paint they're planning to use because paint costs can vary widely from $12 to $45 per gallon.  And it's not just about the brand. Every brand, even the best ones, have starter grades that aren't meant to last as long. In fact, the starter grade of a high quality brand will not perform as well as a higher grade paint within a less expensive brand.  These cheap paints can fade noticably in as little as a few months.

The best painting companies in San Francisco will specify in writing the
1) Brand
2) Grade
3) Product number 

Getting that information allows you to see why price quotes might differ. Also, some painting contractors water down the paint in order to use less of it. It's another way that cheap painters in San Francisco can appear like a bargain when they really aren't. So make sure the written bid includes the number of gallons to be used, and if it seems low compared to someone else, be sure to ask why.

The type of paint to be used also influences price quotes. Flat finish paints may be water based, where semi-gloss can be oil-based or latex-based paints. Oil-based is considered more durable so the job will last longer but latex will hold its sheen better. If you have a preference, make sure the painting company has experience with it, since some new painters have never worked with oil-based paints.    Many painting companies in San Francisco CA have experience working with organic paints, no-VOC and low-VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compounds). These options can cost a little more but some consumers prefer these paints as more environmentally friendly, or better for interior painting since they can have less of a smell with less off-gassing of chemical components.  Other options include elastomeric paint, which boasts increased durability and flexibility, and water repellent finishes, which last longer in outdoor environments.


Paint Application
Many painting companies in San Francisco use only brushes and rollers, insisting that this traditional method means a longer lasting paint job because the paint adheres to the surface more completely, and allows for better detail work.  Other painting companies use airless sprayers, a modern method that can cut the time it takes to paint.  Some painting contractors might use a combination, starting with airless sprayers and then going over it with brushes and rollers.   


Color consultation
Experienced painters in San Francisco will have seen different designs and color combinations over hundreds of previous painting jobs that they can share with you. They may also know what color combinations are among the latest trends in painting.   Some painting companies in San Francisco provide virtual computer color consultation so you can really see the potential result of your choices. These devices have virtually eliminated the guesswork involved in optimizing your new color scheme.

If you have custom colors done, ask the painting contractors to provide you with a custom color card with actual samples of the paint that was used as a record for the future, including what brand and the exact mix formula. Then if you need touch ups in the future, you'll know the exact match for your existing paint. 

Labor
The owner of the painting company is a state-licensed painting contractor and may have years of industry experience, but what about the crew who will actually be doing the painting? The best painting companies use experienced, long-term employees and journeyman painters who know how to apply paint in a way that lasts for many years. Cheap painting companies often hire day laborers off the street with dubious levels of experience and whom the painting contractor doesn't even really know.


Faux Painting  in San Francisco (Including Faux Finishing / Decorative Painting in San Francisco)
Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used for a wide variety of decorative painting techniques. Sometimes the intent is for the painted surface to look like some other material such as marble (faux marble) or wood grain (faux wood). Decorative painters in San Francisco are also who to call if you're looking for muralists (mural painters). These faux painters in San Francisco can paint scenic murals, or ones that create an optical illusion (trompe l'oeil) such as painting the illusion of three-dimensional depth on that flat wall or ceiling.

Some painting contractors do offer faux painting services or decorative painting services in addition to their house painting. A company that is decorative painting or faux finish painting only, need not be a licensed painting contractor. However, all decorative painters in San Francisco recommended by The Prime Buyer's Report still needed to show our research staff proof of general liability insurance, and if they have employees, proof of worker's comp insurance as protection for you.

Faux painting is more than just faux finishes and decorative finishes. Decorative painters in San Francisco can create texturing effects too. Sponge painting (or ‘sponging') is one commonly used method of adding texture to fresh paint.

The cost of faux finishing & decorative painters in San Francisco varies greatly depending on the skill and experience of the faux painters, the type of faux finish desired and on the complexity of decorative painting effects. Many good decorative painters in San Francisco will want to see the space to get decorative painting treatment, in order to give you a detailed estimate for the faux finishing or decorative painting you desire.

Some Painters in San Francisco Are A Much Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these painters in San Francisco CA: Ross Painting, Sunrise Painting Inc, Keech Painting Contractors Inc., Pacific Coast Painting and Waterproofing Co., Inc., San Francisco Renaissance Painting, Painting By Tom, Interior Painting Contractor, Ultimate Painting. Other painting contractors in San Francisco CA who might still be in business include: Golden Hill Painting. Didn't find what you wanted with the TOP 10 Painting Companies in San Francisco? Then click here to see additional companies in this category.

 

 

 

Questions To Ask Painters in San Francisco 

When it comes to interior and exterior painting by C33 licensed painting contractors in San Francisco, ask some questions about the abilities, experience, and credentials of the commercial painters or residential painters you're considering spending with.

• How long have the painting contractors been house painters or commercial painters in San Francisco?

• How many clients have the painting companies serviced in San Francisco?

• Can the painting companies give you names and numbers you can call as references? (All painting  contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their customer references called  by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

• Do the painting companies have experience in the same kind of project as yours, such as residential painting versus commercial painting in San Francisco, or interior painters versus exterior painting?

• What are their hours of availability?

• How do the painting contractors determine pricing for residential painting or commercial painting jobs?

•  Can the painters vouch that all their employees sent to your property are legal to work in the U.S.? (All painting companies bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already signed an agreement to only hire documented workers.)

• Do the commercial or residential painting contractors in San Francisco have active workers' compensation and liability insurance? (All painting  companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already shown proof of insurance to research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)


• Will the painting contractors provide written estimates and if so, will it detail the exact brand of paint, grade of paint within that brand, number of gallons to be applied, and number of coats to be applied,  allowing you to make accurate comparisons among bids? For the same purpose, will it specify how many hours of prep work will be done, what tasks are included in that prep work, i.e. sanding, filling small holes, removing rot, etc.?


• Does the painting contractor provide written warranties for their labor beyond the 1 year warranty mandated by the state of California for C-33 licensed contractors?

• If the existing paint contains lead as is typical with paint applied many years ago, is the painting contractor EPA Lead Safe Certified for safe removal of the old paint and will they be following the required protocols to ensure your safety and avoid causing you legal liabilities from improper removal of lead paint?

• Does the painting contractor perform all phases of the work or do they hire subcontractors to finish the job?

• How long should it take the painting crews to complete the work?


• Are there any measures you should take before the painters show up (moving furniture, covering valuables, patching nail holes, etc.), or will the painting contractors provide such services?

• Do the licensed owner personally hire and train their painting crew?


• How and when do the painting contractors clean up the job site?


• Will you have access to your home while the painters are working?


• Will they provide a written contract and will it detail the amount of paint to be used, the brand, the grade, the product number, the number of coats, and the number of hours to be spent preparing the surface?

When you've selected the most suitable house painting or commercial painting contractor in San Francisco, make sure they are still licensed in good standing with a C33 contractors license to perform your painting services. (All painting companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)




 

 

Key Resources for Painting Companies in San Francisco 

Licensing & Trade Organizations Related to Painting in San Francisco
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com)
CSLB Contractors State Licensing Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
FCA Finishing Contractors Association (www.finishingcontractors.org)
MPDA Master Painters and Decorators Association (www.mpda.net)
MPI Master Painters Institute (http://www.mpi.net/)
NAPP National Alliance of Professional Painters (www.thenapp.com)
NPCA National Paint and Coatings Association (www.paint.org)
PDCA Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (http://www.pdca.org/)
IDAL (International Decorative Artisans League) www.decorativeartisans.org


Painting and Decorating Media & Web Resources
The Faux Finisher Magazine
Painting Magazine
PaintPRO Magazine
Painting and Wallcovering Magazine
Faux Effects World Magazine



The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Painting Contractors in San Francisco within the following zip codes:

94170, 94168, 94146, 94112, 94165, 94188, 94107, 94120, 94102, 94131, 94110, 94108, 94167, 94157, 94119, 94124, 94172, 94105, 94125, 94127, 94104, 94123, 94114, 94147, 94169, 94126, 94116, 94117, 94115, 94118, 94101, 94111, 94122, 94109, 94121, 94158, 94140, 94159, 94141, 94129, 94164, 94103, 94132, 94142, 94166, 94133, 94130 and 94134


Painting Companies San Francisco CA

A&B Painting San Francisco CA 94124
A Classic Brush San Francisco CA 94134
A D Painting San Francisco CA 94122
A Hernandez San Francisco CA 94112
A2Z Painting San Francisco CA 94123
Ace Painting San Francisco CA 94116
Aesthete Painting & Wallcovering San Francisco CA 94103
AFC Painting San Francisco CA 94114
Alpha Painting San Francisco CA 94124
American Mastercraft Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Anthony Costagli Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Apollo Painting San Francisco CA 94117
Atlas Painting San Francisco CA 94124
B&C Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Baca & Son Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Bay Area Ceiling Pros & Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Bay Cities Painters San Francisco CA 94105
Bay City Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Beautiful Homes San Francisco CA 94131
Best Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Bloom Painting, Inc. San Francisco CA 94124
Braun Painting San Francisco CA 94127
Brophy Painting San Francisco CA 94122
Butch Kardum Painting & Color San Francisco CA 94110
Cap's Painting San Francisco CA 94107
Cassidy & McAuliffe San Francisco CA 94122
Certa Pro Painters San Francisco CA 94122
CertaPro Painters of San Francisco San Francisco CA 94122
Classic Shades Painting San Francisco CA 94122
Color & Concepts San Francisco CA 94110
Color Link Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Color Quest Painting San Francisco CA 94115
Colorfast Painting San Francisco CA 94117
Conor McClorey Painting San Francisco CA 94132
Corinthian Decorative Finishes San Francisco CA 94115
Creative Paint Design San Francisco CA 94121
Cristoff Painting San Francisco CA 94114
Cronin Painting San Francisco CA 94116
Daigian Zaven Painting San Francisco CA 94121
De Marta Marino & Co San Francisco CA 94124
Dietlin Painting San Francisco CA 94104
Doherty Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Doug Kitt Painting San Francisco CA 94117
Druzeta Fine Painting San Francisco CA 94114
Elijah Painting San Francisco CA 94188
Emmalyn's San Francisco CA 94103
Estrada's Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Euro Painting & Restoration San Francisco CA 94131
Evens & Rhodes Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Faux Real San Francisco CA 94107
Fine Custom Painting San Francisco CA 94109
Forum Renovation San Francisco CA 94122
Four Star Painting San Francisco CA 94107
Fred Grafelman San Francisco CA 94122
G&M Painting San Francisco CA 94116
Geikas Painting San Francisco CA 94112
George Bountouvas Inc Painting San Francisco CA 94121
Gibbons Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Golden Hill Painting San Francisco CA 94103
Guevel & Schwarz Painting Co San Francisco CA 94124
Hardie & Roe San Francisco CA 94105
Heather & French Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Hilcias Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Horns Painting San Francisco CA 94116
Ignacio's Painting-Decorating San Francisco CA 94110
ITC San Francisco CA 94103
J&K Painting San Francisco CA 94122
J Wood Painting & Restoration San Francisco CA 94132
Jeffrey Derderian Painting San Francisco CA 94121
J-I Painting San Francisco CA 94124
John Gross Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Kavanagh Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Kazakoff's Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Keith Magruder Painting San Francisco CA 94118
LC Painting San Francisco CA 94121
Le Noue Images San Francisco CA 94110
Liberty Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Liberty Painting San Francisco CA 94114
Lisa Crowley Painting San Francisco CA 94112
MS Painting San Francisco CA 94118
Magic Brush San Francisco CA 94124
Magic Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Magpie Decorative Painting San Francisco CA 94123
Marino Painting San Francisco CA 94108
Master's Painting San Francisco CA 94122
McCartney Painting San Francisco CA 94116
Metro Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Miller's Housepainting San Francisco CA 94102
Monticelli Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Mulderrig Painting San Francisco CA 94131
MVP Painting San Francisco CA 94118
Nolan Brothers Painting San Francisco CA 94109
O'Connor Brothers Painting San Francisco CA 94118
Oliva Associates San Francisco CA 94117
Painting the Town San Francisco CA 94188
Painting USA San Francisco CA 94112
Patterson Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Peaches Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Peanuts for Painting San Francisco CA 94123
Peninsula Builders San Francisco CA 94107
Perfection Painting San Francisco CA 94118
Peter Kardum Painting Contractors San Francisco CA 94127
Point of Departure San Francisco CA 94102
PRGM Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Primary Painting San Francisco CA 94107
Prism Painting San Francisco CA 94121
Q Painting San Francisco CA 94164
Rael PCS San Francisco CA 94124
Raymond Anders Tung Painting San Francisco CA 94104
Rhodes Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Richard L Dickinson Painting San Francisco CA 94131
Rockwell Painting San Francisco CA 94124
Russell Hinton Co Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Sophisticated Brush San Francisco CA 94134
Southside Painting San Francisco CA 94103
Spectrum Painting San Francisco CA 94107
Tara Pro Painting San Francisco CA 94112
The Experts San Francisco CA 94124
Tom Gorman Painting San Francisco CA 94122
Tony's Painting San Francisco CA 94134
Tsunami Painting San Francisco CA 94110
Ultimate Painting San Francisco CA 94122
Victoria Painting & San Francisco CA 94112
Villa Painting San Francisco CA 94112
Vlaho's Painting Contractor San Francisco CA 94116
Vogue Painting San Francisco CA 94117
Wall Craft San Francisco CA 94122
West Bay Painting San Francisco CA 94124
West Coast Painting San Francisco CA 94118
Windsong Painting & Finishing San Francisco CA 94110
Zarich Painting San Francisco CA 94134
ZHY Paint San Francisco CA 94134