Get Quotes from Top Painters in San Jose, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter in San Jose

As a homeowner in San Jose, you can easily earn an extra two percent premium on your property before sales by applying a new paint. Even when you are not selling, a new exterior paint will increase your home's curb appeal in the neighborhood. Note, painting completed by yourself or some untrained person may not qualify for this premium or earn the attraction of your neighbors. Working with a professional painter ensures that the job is done properly and safely - as paints are chemical products. However, before you pick a painter in the city, ask the following questions to determine the competency of the professional:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in San Jose?

Per federal requirements, any individual who wishes to perform repair, renovation, or painting jobs on homes, schools, and other child-occupied facilities built before 1978 must undergo EPA-approved training and certification on lead-safe work practices.

In addition to this federal certification requirement, painters who wish to perform work worth $500 and more in San Jose must also obtain a state-issued license from the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Failure to meet this state-level licensing requirement can result in a combination of statutory and administrative penalties that include up to $15,000 in fines and six months of jail time. Note that these penalties are for first-time offenders, and repeat violators generally face much steeper sanctions.

San Jose painters who wish to obtain state-issued licenses must complete an Application for Original Contractor License Form and provide any other documentation and fees that the CSLB deems necessary. This documentation typically includes verifiable proof that the applicant has attained up to four years of journeyman-level work experience within the last 10 years. Once the documents have been submitted and accepted, the applicant will be sent details of a licensing examination date and venue. This examination consists of a trade portion and a business portion, both of which the applicant must pass before they can obtain the requested painting license.

However, the CSLB operates a reciprocity program with the States of Nevada, Louisiana, and Arizona, and per this program, eligible applicants from these states may waive the trade portion of the CSLB's licensing examination.

You can get more information on the licensing and certification requirements for painters in San Jose by contacting the CSLB via phone number (800) 321-2752. You should also always ensure that any painter you hire in the city has been duly licensed by this board, regardless of whether or not your project is worth more than $500, cost of labor, and materials inclusive. You can verify the licensing status of San Jose painters via the CSLB's online Check a License platform.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in San Jose?

Per figures published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, painters in San Jose are estimated to earn a mean hourly wage of $25.10, which is a few cents less than the mean hourly wage for painters across the rest of California. Nevertheless, the specific amount of money that you will pay a painter in the city for their services is influenced by several factors, some of which are:

  • The nature of the painting project
  • The size of the surface that requires painting
  • The state of the surface that requires painting and the amount of labor required to prepare it for the paint
  • The type of paint to be used for the job
  • The overall labor intensity of the project

Before retaining the services of any painter in the city, it is advisable to get cost estimates from several painters near you to get a fair assessment of the total cost of your project.

A painter in San Jose earns $52,220 annually. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in San Jose and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of California and several other major cities in the United States:

San Jose Painters Mean Hourly Wage
California Painters Mean Hourly Wage
New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage
Chicago Painters Mean Hourly Wage
Dallas Painters Mean Hourly Wage
Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Painters Mean Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?

Painters in San Jose offer a wide range of services, which include, but are not limited to, wallpaper hanging and removal, interior and exterior painting, sandblasting, power washing, and staining. Some painters may also specialize in applying specific types of paints, such as oil-based or water-based paints, while others may only provide strictly residential, commercial, or industrial painting services. Providing some of these services typically requires specialized skills and tools, so ensuring that your intended painter has the proper training, skills, and tools to provide the specific type of painting service that you require is important.

In addition, you should ensure that the painter provides a written estimate for the cost of these services. Listed below are cost estimates for some painting services provided by painters in San Jose:

Interior house painting or staining (per hour)
$25 - $45
Exterior house painting or staining (per square foot)
$1.75 - $2.75
Paint removal (per square foot)
$0.95 - $2.30
Faux painting ( per square foot [for basic textures])
$2.87 - $5.74
Texture painting (per hour)
$25 - $45

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in San Jose?

Painting is a highly hazardous profession, and painters are routinely exposed to dangerous chemical preparations and substances while also facing ergonomic and physical hazards like slips, trips, and falls from heights. An average of 842 work-related fatalities are estimated to have been caused by falls, slips, and trips between 2016 and 2020, with an average of 596 fatalities also attributed to exposure to harmful substances during this same period.

Therefore, while San Jose painters don't need commercial general liability insurance, it is always in your best interest to hire a properly insured painter. Working with an insured painter protects you from out-of-pocket expenses and other financial or legal liabilities that may arise if an on-the-job accident or injury occurs during your project.

Note that all licensed contractors in the State of California must maintain surety bonds of at least $15,000 during the validity period of their licenses and carry mandatory workers' compensation insurance if they have employees. It is advisable to contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get more information on its bonding and insurance requirements for contractors in San Jose and the State of California as a whole. You can also confirm that your intended painter meets these requirements by requesting certificates of insurance and bonding from them and authenticating these documents with the necessary issuing organizations.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Painter in San Jose

The home improvement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with homeowners across the country spending an estimated average of $2,600 annually on home improvement projects. Expectedly, the amount of money in circulation in this industry has drawn the attention of con artists and fraudulent contractors who are looking to scam unsuspecting homeowners and fleece them of their hard-earned funds.

In 2018, it was reported that two San Jose contractors were facing over 30 felony counts for allegedly defrauding homeowners out of more than $800,000, a case that has been tagged the largest recent contractor fraud scam in the area. While these home improvement scams may take many forms, they generally end with the contractor receiving payment for work that is either not done or done shoddily and unprofessionally.

As such, when searching for painters near you to tackle your home improvement projects, you should take certain preventive measures to ensure that you do not fall victim to the activities of con artists and fraudulent contractors. These measures include:

  • Consider getting referrals to legit painters near you from trusted sources. These can be friends and family or reputable online platforms like the Better Business Bureau, the CSLB's Find My Licensed Contractor portal, or the Find a Painter website maintained by the Painting Contractors Association
  • Always verify the licensing status of any painter that you intend to hire
  • Avoid unsolicited painting or home improvement offers
  • Do not fall to high-pressure tactics or schemes that urge you to take advantage of cheap or limited-offer home improvement and repair deals
  • Always get and compare multiple estimates for your painting project before settling on one best suited to your budget
  • Always request at least three local references from any painter that you intend to hire
  • Insist on a written and well-detailed contract for the project
  • Never pay the full cost of the project upfront. Limit advance payments to either a maximum of $1,000 or 10% of the project's total estimated cost, whichever amount is less. Subsequent payments should be made per the degree of completion of the project
  • Avoid cash payments and be wary of painters who insist on this form of payment

Home improvement scams that occur in San Jose can be reported to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, either online or by submitting a filled-out consumer complaint form to:

Santa Clara County
Office of the District Attorney
Mediation Services
Consumer Protection Unit
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the complaint resolution process that this office utilizes, you can take further action by filing a private lawsuit against the subject of your complaint at an appropriate Santa Clara County Superior Court. However, it is advisable to get legal advice before taking this step. You can find qualified private attorneys in San Jose by contacting the Santa Clara County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service at (408) 971-6822.