Parent Q&A

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  • Dear fellow parents,

    My 1918 home is in dire need of a facelift. After getting the knob-and-tube wiring replaced, there are holes in the plaster that need patching and new paint is needed inside and out. I'm a single mom and need to watch costs, but I'm also not that talented with home repair. So...

    1. Should I hire one person to do it all (painting inside/out and plaster repair) or find specialists for each? Alternatively, should I break down and hire a general contractor?
    2. Who do you recommend? (Anyone I should avoid?)
    3. How can I watch costs while ensuring that I get high-quality workmanship?

    Thanks for your help!

    For this question and the following question about small house painting, I have used Happy Day Construction,, several times over the past three years for painting and other repairs. The owner is semi-retired, but his employee is excellent at painting and patching. If you contact Happy Day, they will likely refer you to contact the painter directly. Pricing is fair and upfront. Keep in mind that it takes approx two days, 5 hours each day, to get a room or two professionally prepped and painted.

    Most painting contractors can handle plaster/drywall patching and repairs, so you shouldn't need a GC for this.  I can recommend Platypus Painting (; I just had them do a repair and interior paint job for me; they did the repairs on a time-and-materials basis but came very close to their up-front estimate, and the painting was a fixed price.  They also painted the exterior of my house a few years ago, and did an excellent job.  And in between those projects, I hired them for wood finishing/refinishing - for our front door, kitchen cabinets, and a table.  Their workers are conscientious and polite, and we've been very satisfied with all three jobs.  Didn't get competitive bids this last time, but I did for the exterior painting a few years ago and theirs was the best price.  

    You can probably get a lower price from an unlicensed handyperson, and you might consider it for the plaster repairs if you find a craftsperson whose skills are praised by people you trust, but even if you're confident of their skills, you probably won't get any warranties, and you're taking on risks that your home insurance may or may not cover if the person is injured while working on your home.  A properly licensed and insured contractor is a safer choice, especially for a project like exterior painting which may affect your home's weather protection and which involves working on ladders!

    After reading your post and having gone through a similar situation my thoughts are these. Hiring a general contractor might be a little easier as he/she can arrange for everything but it usually adds 10%-15% to the cost. If you consider hiring a large company they are usually quite expensive as they have a lot of overhead. To avoid the extra expense I have hired Jackie Stoltz many times in the past to undertake the same type of jobs as you are describing. She is very experienced, reliable and does very good work as she is conscientious and detail oriented and can advise you on colors if you need opinions in that area. She has painted one room as well as a whole interior and exterior of houses for me. Jackie uses only high quality materials and paint so the finished job will last a long time. If you wish to make contact her number is: 510-910-2953. She would be happy to meet you and take a look at your project. As far as keeping as keeping costs down you could ask for bids so that you would know how much you would be paying from the outset.

    We highly recommend our handyman Uriel Paredes, of Paredes Bay Area Construction for something like this.  He's done exactly what you need for our house--some plaster/paintwork inside and outside- and he did an excellent job!  He was prompt, thorough, and meticulous, and made sure every crack in the plaster was sealed.  We paid him $65 an hour and he got the work done in just a few hours.  We found him through Thumbtack where he had many great reviews.  His phone # is (415)-612-7173.

    Jacques Burgering did all our interior painting, including some walls that needed plastering. He is experienced and his pricing is very reasonable, and moreover he’s a good person who is trustworthy and hardworking. He put in extra long days to get the job done sooner just because it was more convenient for our family plans. Reach out to him! jacquesjburgering [at] (jacquesjburgering[at]gmail[dot]com) or call/text 518-368-8207

    This is from the original poster. For those interested, I contacted five painters, all licensed, some on this list and some who I found elsewhere.

    The estimates were: $22K, $25K, $27K, $35K, and $75K -- quite a range for the same work. The firm that inspired the most confidence was actually one of least expensive bids. Go figure. I'll report back once the work is done.

  • Seeking community input: our lovely Berkeley bungalow is 100 years old and the interior trim is all painted. Some areas are showing wear, and there are some spots where the paint is rubbing off, such as between door and door frames. It’s not a huge surface area but I’m assuming there’s lead paint in the under layers so I’m looking for an interior painter/painting company who will do it right and follow the mitigation safety guidelines (we have a baby and want to take care of it and then deep clean asap). We got an estimate from MB Jessee and I’m wondering if anyone can recommend others for comparison. Also interested in any feedback on MB Jessee, their description of the approach seems thorough and safe, but the estimate came in twice as high as the ballpark figure they shared at the walk-through and it’s not itemized so I’m not feeling as confident. 

    We have used Stahlschmidt Painting and restoration several times for both interior an exterior painting on our 1912 house, and chose them in part due to their lead safety.  They are highly skilled and qualified to deal with lead paint.  Owner Hans is also communicative, listens, and has a great eye for color. The crew has been pretty consistent over the years, too, so I feel like they are probably treated well  They appear to wear appropriate safety equipment (unlike some I've seen around)  

    From their website: "We are one of the few outfits that have the training and expertise to legally handle the work on older pre-70s buildings that have underlying layers of lead paint on their interior and exterior surfaces...."

  • I am looking for a painter or paint company who has experience doing an excellent job with full gloss paint and leaving a mirror finish. I know it is a trickier paint finish that can easily get messed up so I would love a recommendation for a painting contractor from someone who has had walls or trim or cabinets in their home painted with high gloss mirror finish with excellent results. It's a smaller job too so I know that may effect who is willing to take on the job, but I would love recommendations from personal experience. Thanks!

    Any experienced professional painter should be able to do this for you. If you want to make sure you're getting a painter who has met state licensing benchmarks for job knowledge and experience, the state of California has a lookup database of licensed contractors - you just plug in their last name or their business name:

  • We are looking to have the exterior of our 100-year old Oakland Duplex repainted. The exterior stucco is in good condition, and the building is two stories, so some minimal scaffolding might be required.

    I'd love to know if anyone has a recent recommendation and/or some recent price comparisons. We got our first bid and the number was over $25K which was a bit shocking!

    Hi, I am an HOA member of a three story with 6 units in Berkekey. We split our building in two to afford painting and completed the two most weather beaten sides sides about 3 years ago for just under $30k. We just finished the other two sides with more millwork for $35k. We got bus from Certa Pro and MB Jessie this time who both do excellent work. It’s just expensive now to do anything.

    We recently got our ~3000 sq ft duplex in Grand Lake painted.  Got quotes from $20k-28k.  We went with the lower bid, but it ended up around $25k after dry rot repair and some other add-ons.  

    We just finished painting our (much smaller!) home, and sad to say, we did not get a single quote below $25K. Maybe we just called the wrong people, but we finally gave up and went with the lowest of the bids. I had expected it to land closer to $15K so it was definitely a shock, but it's the last of several home projects we've done recently and all of them have been far more costly than the quotes we got for the same work just 4-5 years ago. I suspect a lot of that is rising labor costs, although paint has also gotten much more expensive in recent months with inflation. (That's something we've experienced firsthand, since we did our interior painting ourselves.) Hopefully someone will have a suggestion of a less costly painter to try, but the quote you got doesn't sound out of line with what we got, assuming you are looking for someone licensed and insured (as we were).

    Painted a 5000sf triplex in the city last year. Cost about $50k. Three levels so significant scaffolding, which I recall was a significant portion of the cost. Fair amount of dry rot repair. I also think that we got a much lower bid with an unlicensed/uninsured painter (workers comp insurance in CA is significant).

    I like the idea of the HOA in Berkeley that did two side one year, if that's an option.

  • I am so sad and angry. We saved for 3 years to get our house painted. The painter who was recommended by a friend of a friend totally botched the job. Paint is bubbling. Splotches and sprays have been left on door knobs and frames. It’s really tacky and sticky. The caulking is rough and looks messy. The painter says it’s because the new paint is pulling the old paint, so it’s not their fault. Paint is already peeling off in several places after less than 2 months. Windows and doors and sticking and scrapes off paint. Window trims are messy. I didn’t hire a color consultant because we wanted the same exact colors. I had no idea that the painter will put glossy and lighter color paint. I need a highly skilled painter to give us a 2nd opinion and provide an estimate for the fix. I am crying… I already spent $15,000 for this job. Am I going to need to come up with $20k to redo this? Any recommendations for expert painter who know how to paint historic homes  or suggestions will be appreciated. 

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. If the painter you used was licensed, I would urge you to immediately contact the Contractor's State Licensing Board. Information here:…

    They can assist with dispute resolution. I had faulty drainage installed by a licensed contractor and went through this process. Unfortunately in my case more than four years had passed (four years of drought and the work should lasted much longer, but anyway.. ) so they couldn't do too much for me. But I had a good experience with the CSLB people, and based on that and the fact that your work was recent I think you will have an excellent chance of recouping some money that can go towards the new painter. It's dispute resolution rather than simply a way to get a refund, so be prepared for the solution offered to be having the original painter redo the work. You'll have to stand firm on wanting a partial refund (it won't be full, I'm sorry to say). 

    There's also the "nuclear option" of getting lawyers involved. For $15K I would not recommend that. You would have to have signed an iron-clad contract with the old painter specifying your right to recover legal fees -- a rarity! -- for it to be worth your while. And even then, no guarantees.

    Feel free to get your own advice, of course. That is just what a respected attorney told me in my case and it was around the same amount of money as yours.

    Anyway, I really feel for you and hope that the CSLB will help. By all means proceed with getting an estimate from another painter at the same time. Hopefully others will chime in with good recommendations.

    One last thought -- do you have a home equity line of credit you could use toward the paint job? I don't know your personal situation, but home values are high right now and loans are available.

    Best of luck to you.

    If the new paint is pulling off the old paint then the painter did not prep the house properly.  I suspect the painter used "cheap" paint which doesn't holdup well.  If the Windows and doors are sticking it's because they did not remove of the old paint?  I would start by visiting a couple of paint stores and see what they have to say.  I have a historic house as well.  Just to replace the two windows in the front of our house was $18,000 and yes the paint has failed.  We have to paint the windows sills and sashes every 3-5 years.  The new paints just aren't as good as the toxic paints they used when the houses were built.  Just say the other post about consulting a lawyer.  Don't.  It will cost much more money than the painting your house.  The licensing board might help, but you probably agreed to the "cheap" paint so the painter will say they used the paint you wanted.  What was the warranty on the paint?  You could try contacting the paint manufacture.  But they will blame the painter for not applying the paint properly. 

    The paint stores have good well trained professionals.  They should be able to help you.

    I am so sorry this happened to you!

    Try reaching out to Platypus Painting ( We were honestly so impressed by their professionalism, how quickly they worked, the color matching, the price(!), and the quality of the final product. Not sure if they do historical paint jobs or how they would go about fixing the botched job you got, but they did a great job on the stucco repairs we needed prior to actually painting, so they may be able to help you. Best of luck.

    I am so sorry this happened to you! We got our craftsman repainted earlier this year and have been very happy with the results. Cannot speak highly enough of JJ's Fine Painting. He and his team were extremely thorough, and they did a spectacular job.

    I'm a licensed painting contractor, although my license hasn't been active for years as I've moved on to other things.  I have painted everything from detailed SF Victorians that required extensive scaffolding and required 10 different colors, to simple stucco homes that had two colors and could be done on foot.

    If the contractor you used was licensed, then as another post suggested, contact the State Licensing Board and file a complaint.  If you did NOT hire a licensed person, and already paid them $15K, that was a very costly mistake and you'll have to eat the loss.  Could try small claims court, but that probably won't get you much.  Did you not do a thorough walk around before cutting a check?  Any professional should have you inspect the job before taking your money.  

    You don't need to higher a color consultant to paint a house.  They're a luxury and any decent painting contractor should be able to give you color brochures that paint manufactures provide free of charge and/or sit down with you and discuss colors.  I still have several color combination books, brochures and color wheels that I used to use with clients.  

    Caulking and window trim should not be messy.  Paint can stick though until fully cured, which can take a while, like days to weeks, and will scrape off if you open them too soon.  Sounds like an overall bad prep job, but then again, I once painted an exterior door for a client that she'd bought used from Urban Ore.  The paint looked perfectly fine, like all it needed was a quick sand, coat of primer and paint.  But, it got direct sun all afternoon, and the original paint did begin to bubble from the heat produced by the new dark color.  The only way to remedy it was to strip the existing door down to bare wood and start over, or get a new door.  I don't know what she ended up doing, but my work was not to blame.   

  • The entire exterior of our three-story house needs to be repainted after the initial paint job from our home remodel in 2004. My husband worked out an arrangement with our neighbor for him to paint the exterior of the first story of the house (no scaffolding needed) but my husband plans to hire paint professionals to complete the painting of the upper stories. My question is: Will a professional painter be likely to decline the job if it was started by someone else? Are professional painters particular about the type of paint they use for their jobs or would they be willing to finish the job with the same paint that the neighbor picked out from a big-box hardware store? Will the professional find a need to re-do or "correct" the job done previously? My experience with professionals in general is that they don't want to take on a job that was started by someone else (especially if that person is a non-professional). Please enlighten me if this is a different case for paint professionals or other house contractors.

    Sure - just use a smaller business. If you're willing to have your neighbor do part of it, just hire someone similar to do the rest. Put an ad for the job on Craigsist gigs and you will get a MILLION responses. Ask for references and call them. We had our house painted that way by a great guy who cost about half what companies like MB Jessee quoted. In fact I had larger companies quote me $12-15,000 - the painter I hired cost $5000 plus I bought supplies. He did a great job. Make sure you hire someone who has done work like this and understands prep, plus can safely use (and source) the equipment needed. Call references ...

    I'm a licensed painting contractor.  My license is inactive as I've moved on to other endeavors, but I can answer your questions.

    Whether or not a painter will take on your job will be very much dependent on the contractor.  I wouldn't have a problem with it, but some might.  

    Some painting contractors are brand loyalists.  I used to prefer using Benjamin Moore, particularly for interior work, as the paint didn't splatter when rolling it on the way cheaper brands did, which meant much less prep and mess.  BM was also a superior exterior product too.  But, it wasn't a deal breaker if the client wanted me to use another brand.  At one point I put my foot down and stopped using oil based paint for interior work for the sake of my health, and moved on to environmentally friendly paint only.  But, I was a rarity at that point.  

    You also may find them hesitant to warranty work if you request they use an inferior paint from a big box store.  One way to resolve this would be if there's any corner or break between the old and new paint, say like a piece of trim or even just a corner, a skilled the painter can have the big box store matched to a better quality paint and apply it so it won't be noticeable.      

    If the already painted part of the house isn't expected to be covered by any warranty, and you offer to exclude that part from any potential warranty issue in a contract, I can't see why they'd need to fix the previously done work.

    I think the only way to find out is make some calls and get some estimates.   

  • Hello, families!  I'm looking for a painter to paint my son's classroom at his pre-school.  It's just one classroom, around 480 sq ft, so we're looking for someone who's willing to do a small-ish job indoors, who charges reasonably, and who does quality work (the previous painters definitely did not).  I would love any recommendations you have!  Many thanks.

    His name is Santos and his English may be limited but I am very happy with his work and reasonable bids. Please contact me for his number. 


    We used Ros Wyatt of Green Plumb Painting to do our interior. (510) 356-8582. Ros was helpful, responsible, and on time. Plus she has an outstanding color sense. She was wonderful to work with.

    Good luck,


    We have been thrilled with John Erickson. He is a painstaking interior painter with outstanding attention to detail (and general overall handyman, if you ever need other work). John has done a lot of interior painting for us, and we've always been happy with his work. And he's a great person to have around too!

    Email - johnerickson701 AT gmail

  • Exterior House Painting

    Mar 23, 2021

    I'm looking into painting the exterior of my house. It's a small two bedroom house, stucco style in Albany. I have no idea what it costs to gets this done and I'm on a tight budget. If you had your house painted in the last year or two, could you please share the approximate cost? I'd like to have a ballpark before I contact painters. Are there any tips to save money (i.e. should I buy the paint/raw materials myself)? And if you have any recommendations for specific painters that would work with a tight budget, please share!

    We have needed to pain our house for the last 3 years. We have received a quote ranging from a little over 10k - $28k. The lower end people have been extremely flaky. We agreed on the price but over 2 years, they have not given me a date to pain despite numerous calls and texts!!! So, I am now wondering if I need to go with the more expensive outfits. *sigh*

    The trim styles and the amount of detail work needed as well as dry rot condition affect the pricing. Our house is 1600 sq ft on a slope (1 story on one side, two story height on the other) with a fair amount of trim work and a covered deck.

    I'm thrilled to recommend Bart Alvarez to paint your house.  He did mine about a year and a half ago.  I got his name from a friend who's hired him many times for both work and home painting projects, when price was a priority, and who's always been very pleased with his work.  His bid was dramatically lower than that of the other companies I talked to, but he used the highest quality paint without my even asking.  His crew members were polite, meticulous with detail, and cleaned up afterwards very well.  His number is 415-760-5273 - please tell him Laura from Richmond recommended him if you wind up using him!

    I have used Michael Robinson from By Design for many years. He has painted my personal home and many, many homes for me that I listed as a realtor. He is as professional as they come, his prices are great, and he is easy to work with. Licensed etc. His number is 510-882-0804

    Platypus Painting painted the exterior of our Albany home (2 bedroom, approx 1200 sf, mostly stucco siding with wood trim plus one area of wood siding that needed a ton of prep work) and -- after a delay because the original start date was the day of the first pandemic shutdown order! -- they did a great job.  The contract price was $13,000 which included $412 for some minor dry rot repair and other carpentry work, and did NOT include the detached garage. There were no unexpected increases or extras.  (We did have one change order, long story, and paid more for them to stain and finish a new front door, instead of painting the old one.)

    Platypus was one of three bids we got in late 2019.  The other two quotes were $13,800 and $14,950.  (Their being the lowest bid is not the only reason we chose Platypus but it certainly didn't hurt!)

    The paint and other supplies are a small percentage of the overall cost of the job, and trying to buy them yourself is not really a money-saving move.  You won't get a contractor's discount, you are more likely than a licensed and experienced painter to end up paying more because you mis-estimated the quantities of everything you need, you don't have the same relationship with suppliers and manufacturers to rely on if there's any problem with the materials.  Really the only way to save a substantial amount of money is to do the job yourself (which costs you a lot of time and effort) or to hire a handyperson (which is a risk for all sorts of reasons -- they may not carry enough insurance for any on-the-job injuries or damage to your house, they may be flaky and/or underqualified, causing longer-term costs).  You may be able to save a little by limiting the number of different colors and/or finish types to be used, or excluding certain areas (like, maybe you can manage the doors and window trim yourself, after the pros do the stucco); of course that really depends on your specific house.

    Good luck!  I know it is really frustrating how expensive it is, we definitely had some sticker shock when we got bids.  But it is also really incredibly nice to have fresh new paint in colors we love. :) 

    We had our 2 bedroom house in Oakland painted in 2020 for around $6000 by Vision-Painting Plus. It's a very simple and small wood-sided house.  The owner, Carlos Guillen was our contact. They did a good job  visionpaintingplustracy [at]  (415)876-8788                                                                                                                                       

    In my experience, you get what you pay for. When we had our house painted, the five cost estimates we got ranged from $5500 to $22000. We tossed the cheapest (no way you could do a decent job at that price) and the most expensive one. The other three were between $15000 and $17000. We choose based on which company made the best impression on us. Some companies will ask how long you plan to stay in the house. They can do a slap-dash job on the cheap, but you will need to get it redone in a few years, but fine if you plan to sell anyways. We opted to pay more as we plan to live in this house long-term. We wanted them to do a thorough job and not just make it look pretty for the next few months. Things that make it cheaper: Not using multiple colors. We had a different color for the trim, a different one for the railings and another different one for the front door.

    We chose Arana Craftsman Painters. They were great to work with. All communication once they started went via email. They were very detail-oriented and did a great job. Their offer also came with a visit from a color consultant which proved valuable.

    I'm not sure if this will help with your situation but after putting it off for nearly 20 years, I bit the bullet and hired a company last year to stain/paint our shingled house. The cost was $50k for a three story, 5000 sqft house. The prep, including dry rot repair on about 1/2 dozen windows, took 80% of the time/effort. The staining/painting was almost a second thought. Approximately $10k was just for the scafolding alone. It seemed like a lot but when I compare it to our neighbors who paint their house every 5 years, we probably got lucky that our dry rot situation wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

    I highly recommend Phil's Painting  (510-317-1844).  He does both interior and exterior painting at reasonable prices.   He recently painted the interior of my Oakland home; a neglected 1920's Craftsman which has plenty of crown molding and baseboards that require a ton of prep.   Phil and his son did an excellent job and both demonstrated all the qualities I wanted in a contractor;  punctual; friendly; knowledgeable and meticulous throughout the project .  With so many overpriced and flaky people, I feel lucky to have found Phil.  There is only one downside ,he is frequently book so call sooner rather than later.    

  • Can somebody recommend a really good, reliable and fairly priced painter.  I'm looking to have the entire inside of my house painted...trim and all!  There are so many out there but I'd love a first-hand recommendation, please.  Thanks so much and Healthy Wishes to you all!

    My painter, J Allan Chausse is great! The work he's done for me is always perfect, plus he's a pleasure to work with.

    We used:

    Ros Wyatt
    Green Plum Design Inc.
    roswyatt [at] (roswyatt[at]greenplumdesign[dot]com)
    510 356 8582
    They were professional, responsible, and knowledgeable. Roz helped us choose amazing colors and matched one I chose from a book cover. She is wonderful to communicate with and I really enjoyed working with her.

    I hired O'Connell Interiors a few months ago to update my house paint.

    I have small children, so you can imagine how bad my walls were looking.

    They took into consideration all my request and the job was spectacular, I would highly recommend them. 

    Their contact: (510)898-8154 

    Our recent painting job was exterior, not interior, but I definitely recommend Platypus Painting.  Their quote was the lowest of the three we got for the job, and their crew was great. They were scheduled to start on our house just as everything shut down in March, so we had a few punches to roll with!  But once they were able to start, they did the work quickly and well!  Good communication, took good care of our next-door neighbor's garden that they had to work around, very fair about changes during the job and touchup after.  And the house looks great.  We plan to hire them again to refinish our kitchen cabinets.

    O'Connell Interiors did a fantastic job painting several rooms in our house that were in terrible condition.   They cleaned, primed, and painted, and I am thrilled with the result.   Working with them was easy throughout the process.  They were helpful, responsible, and professional.   They made sure everything was done safely and thoroughly during CoVid.  I highly recommend them!   

  • We're looking for an exterior painter for our two-story duplex in South Berkeley. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    We had a great experience a couple years ago with Just Us Painting Co out of el Sobrante (510)459-0543.  They painted the exterior of our house and its surrounding fence. Very happy.


    I'd highly recommend Davis painting.  They are a black family-owned licensed business and did an excellent job with our exterior.

  • Hi - I'm looking for a  recommendation for a painter for the interior of an apartment?  Does anyone have personal experience  with a painter they’d recommend for a large interior job?


    We've used Platypus Painting ( for a couple of projects (one interior, one exterior) and liked their work, communication and cleanup.

    We used Rayco Painters for an exterior paint job; to paint a 2 bedroom apartment; and to paint 15+ doors, hallways and common areas in a multifamily building.  

    The quotes were thorough, communications with Tony Lima (510) 600-7368 exceptional; and the workmanship top notch.  

    If you'd like to see pictures of the large unit where they painted the woodwork, cabinetry and walls, I can email them to you.


    Yes, I can highly recommend a professional painter named Jackie. She has worked for me for over 25 years and has painted many of my apartments over the years as well as my house. She is honest, reliable, hard working  friendly and does not smoke. If you want ideas for color she has a very good eye for it and even matched colors for painters at a local paint store for awhile. She can be reached at 510-910-2953.

    We have used James Jacaitis several times to paint various rooms in our house including the stairwell!  He is very prompt at replying, and also very meticulous.   He is also very pleasant to have around.  He brings his own little vacuum and cleans up before leaving.  I highly recommend him.

    510 501-5994

  • Interior house painter

    Jan 25, 2020

    I am looking for an interior housepainter.  I have a small house in North Berkeley that needs a complete repainting and am looking for a reasonably priced (obviously I guess) capable painter(s).  Does anyone  have any recommendations?

    Leo did my house. He had the lowest bid & did a good job. Can be a bit slow to respond. 1 (415) 419-4933

    I used Rosalyn and her team. her color sense was spot on, and she was a joy to work with. 

    Ros Wyatt
    Green Plum Design Inc.
    roswyatt [at] (roswyatt[at]greenplumdesign[dot]com)
    510 356 8582

    I recommend Phil Lawhun of Phil’s Painting. He handled interior painting for us a few years ago. He was knowledgeable, careful, timely and pleasant to work with.

    Custom Painting in Livermore is fantastic, and fully licensed/insured.  There was a mishap outside their control on our job (a mischievous kid walking by threw a rock and broke one of the windows they were painting outdoors - in addition to painting walls, etc.) and their insurance picked up the replacement and they didn't make us pay a dime on the entire job until the window was back in place and painted one-off - even though that was 60 days later due to a delay with our window supplier.  When the window came in they re-arranged their painters to ensure someone could literally come the same day it was getting installed so our home could be complete "as soon as possible."  The hallmark of a really great vendor for me is not only high-quality work (their painting was flawlessly impeccable) but standing by their brand and work and making any issues/hiccups right.  Custom Painting did all of this! They serve Berkeley/Oakland/Emeryville in addition to the tri-valley area (we live in North Oakland).

    I highly recommend Platypus Painters. They did some interior and exterior work for me and they were responsible and professional and the painters told me they take worker safety seriously. They are more expensive than other self employed painters and handymen but after dealing with some shady handymen/painters and also the aftermath of their shoddy work, nowadays I prefer to pay a bit more and hire someone I trust. 

    Yes, I love my painters! Juan and Ozzie Contreras are a father- son team who have painted multiple houses for us over the past 10 years. They do excellent interior and exterior work - they’re affordable and easy to work with. Their business is Painting Concepts. 510-482-9029. Contrerasozzie [at]

    I have hired and recommended Jackie for many years and numerous jobs as she is reliable, friendly, dependable, reasonable in her pricing and does a thoroughly professional job. In addition she is really good with colors if ones needs assistance in that area. Her number is: 510-910-2953.

    We highly recommend Jorge Zermeno of Zermeno's Painting (510-846-8705). He's done several painting projects for us (interior and full exterior), as well as projects for our friends in Berkeley and in Oakland.

    Everyone we've referred to him has been very pleased with the work.

  • I am looking for current recommendations for exterior house painters. Our house in El Cerrito was painted about 8 years ago but the painters did a poor prep job and we have had a lot of peeling and fading and looking generally ragged. We'd like to redo it. Looking for an affordable quality paint job that will last. Thanks!

    We live in El Cerrito as well. We had Arana Craftsman Painters paint the exterior of our house a bit over a year ago. We were very happy with it. Once they started, pretty much all communications was via email, which worked great as we work full time and were never at home while the painters were there. They were very detail-oriented and did a great job. I also liked that you get one hour with a color consultant. That really helped in choosing a great color scheme (our house previously was pink and we knew that we definitely wanted to change that).

    I can highly recommend my painter David Zurun at 510.524.8928 and davidzurunpainting [at]
    He is easy to work with, knows his craft, smart and gave my 1939 house the highest quality work for exterior prepping and painting. He found the tiny water leaks that others did not. He lives in El Cerrito and wants work close by so I encourage you to contact him. He was able to save and repair a friend's windows too.

    Level Five Painting did an outstanding job on our two-story home in Berkeley, California.  Prior to bidding Juan Cerritos carefully reviewed all surface materials and conditions, recommended top-of-the-line sealant for joints between stucco and wood surfaces, and proposed adding weep holes at deck railings after repainting to improve drainage.  The crew assigned to the job, Javier and Marvyn, were prompt every day, worked very hard and were always courteous.  They were very thorough in their prep work and the application of finish coats to insure long-term integrity of the job.  I learned about Level Five on BPN -- the company sets a high bar for quality and customer satisfaction.

  • Hi there, 

    I'm looking for recommendations of reasonably priced person to do a small paint/wallpaper installation job. It's a medium sized room - 2 walls to be painted and 2 walls to be wallpapered. I reached out to one highly reviewed person on Yelp and the quote was nearly $900. I'm skeptical around how high this cost is - we're supplying the paint and wallpaper, so this is really labor and supplies costs only. Anyone else have a contact of someone more reasonable or can give me a sense if this is a normal cost? 

    Thanks in advance! 

    In my experience, the people who do wallpaper don't typically also do painting, and vice versa. So you might try hiring a painter to do the painting and a wallpaper person to do the wallpaper.  Ask the wallpaper person whether they want you to paint before or after the wallpaper goes up. It depends on the room, and the surface for the wallpaper has to be specially prepared.  About 5 years ago I hired a local wallpaper person that I found on a google search.  The wallpaper was an 18" border around the ceiling of my 20' by 20' living room. The labor cost me $800. The paper cost close to that, so I wanted somebody good, and she WAS good, and it looks fantastic. So yeah, $900 is ballpark. 

  • I have an old, large house with a two story back house. I need an exterior painting company, a good one! About 10 years ago I had it painted. Unfortunately, the painter did a poor job with no proper prep. So now I have a peeling, bad paint job over cracking, old paint. Anyone know of a reputable company? Thanks?

    Hi Ruth, I can totally commiserate with your situation. As a Berkeley real estate agent, I have seen many, many, failed paint jobs where the painter did not properly prep the job. When a painter gives you a low bid, you can be sure that he/she is saving time by not doing the laborious but crucial work of dealing with the old surface before applying the new surface.

    I highly recommend Joel Sajche. He has done a lot of work for me personally, and for many of my clients. He does top quality work for a reasonable price, and he does it right. You can find him (and read his reviews) on Yelp, and/or feel free to call me for more info.

    Hello I'd like to recommend my wonderful professional painter Eduardo Garcia. He has painted our house in Albany for many years, both outside and inside. He was worked for companies that did upscale homes around the entie Bay Area. I don't recall the name, but he can tell you. What he and his team do is prep prep and prep before they paint. He is very patient and very good at suggesting or trying colors and combinations. He is very friendly and profesional. If you want to you, you can come by and see my house and what he has done. just send me an email Eduardo 510-872-4602

    We used Arana Painting to do our prior house in Montclair.  (510) 567-9559

     Very professional, thorough job and they gave a ten-year guarantee on the exterior. Since then we've moved to Glenview, and numerous other people on our neighborhood listserv have used and recommended Arana for exterior painting. 

    Try Martin Klein, mklein330 [at]  We were very happy with his work, and his pricing is reasonable.  His crew did the best job possible with prep.  He stands behind his work; he's been willing to come back to address unexpected issues at little to no cost.  He and his crew are all personable, too!

    Thousand Oaks Painting is currently painting our home and we couldn't be more pleased. The amount of prep they've done is amazing and Roland has been helpfully guiding me through choosing colors. They were affordable and have done a great job so far. I couldn't ask for more

    Hans Stahlschmidt painted the exterior of my house some years ago and he fixed all the problems that the previous painter created by not scraping and not priming.  Hans does it right. His paint job lasts for a long time. He is licensed and he has a crew that has worked for him for many years, and they are experts. When I need a painter I call Hans and I don't bother getting quotes from anybody else. 

    We just had our house exterior done by Royal Painting. I was very happy with the results, and our house needed lots of prep IMHO. We will definitely use Royal again.

    Hans Stahlschmidt was the interior paint sub used by our contractor 7 years ago, we thought the results were fine too but I don't have that direct experience managing the work.

    You may already know this, but this is not the right time of year to have your house painted. If I were you, I'd start calling around in January for a spring job.

I can give you two recommendations for the work you wish to have performed. For the carpentry work I suggest you call Gene at 510-845-3516 and for the painting reach out to Jackie at 510-910-2953. I have known and hired both of these professionals for many years and for a multitude of projects. They are very good at what they specialize in and have a wide range of talent and experience. In addition, they are honest, friendly, reliable and their fees are very reasonable. You will be glad you hired them if you choose to do so.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Advice about Paint & Painting Related Pages

Painter for interior rooms--pricing estimate and recommendations

May 2016

Has anyone hired someone to paint interior rooms? I'm trying to get a sense for the possible cost. One room is approximately 200 square feet. If you have any local painters you'd recommend, please let me know! Price is a big factor--debating between doing it ourselves in slow pieces or getting it done all at once at a cost. Thanks! Painting Help

I suggest you call Jackie at 510-910-2953 as she would be a very good source with whom to talk about your choices. She is an independent painter who has many years of experience with many types of situations and projects. She is thorough with her prep work and a fine eye for detail. I have hired her many times over the past 15-20 years and have always been pleased with her work. She is talented, knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Plus, her rates are very reasonable. Roger

I have a recommendation for a wonderful painter! James Jasaitis!
James has been painting for my family and my friends for more than 15 years. He has an eye for which colors might brighten a space, or what palette might be best for a room for a certain kind of purpose. We wanted to make a space for entertaining at night, and he helped us choose what would be best - and it worked out beautifully! (In case it matters, he speaks English perfectly.) But most of all, his NEAT and ARRIVES ON TIME! And he is a sweet guy - he always answers our calls with, 'It's James The Painter!' His cell number is 510-501-5994. His work number is 510-547-5994. He always does a great job - we highly recommend! Signed, Oakland Family

Antonio Medrano does an excellent job. He painted the exterior of our house. Very good price, quality work, and a pleasure to do business with. He fixed dry rot, mended broken window jambs. You can contact him at tonymedrano25 [at] Jan

We highly recommend Phil Lawhun of Phil's Painting, who we found on BPN. East Bay locally owned small business. Phil and his crew painted our major fixer upper 1914 Craftsman home in Alameda, completely transforming our home. Their workmanship was impeccable and they could not have been nicer to work with. We have recommended him to others and he is currently painting my family home in Contra Costa County. Phil's bid was affordable which I assume is in part to lower overhead as he is a sole proprietor. In any event, we couldn't be happier with their work… and I'm saying that as someone married to nit-picky husband. currently, our house is the second row on the 'gallery' section of his website. Phil is a five star business on Yelp, who also gets five big stars from me! ~~pretty house

I wanted to add to the recommendations for Phil's Painting. Phil just finished painting our house this week, and I'm very pleased with his work. He has a very small crew, which may be why his bid was less than others. Careful attention to detail, clean and tidy, flexible and communicative. In fact, when I had a color crisis halfway through that was entirely my fault (the wrong yellow!!), he was very patient and nonjudgemental. He rearranged his schedule and met me at the paint store to work it out, which we did. I'm happy with the result. (I learned my lesson, too, about putting in the time in advance to choose colors, and if I'm going to veer off the beaten path - those color-combination booklets are there for a reason, apparently - to make very large sample swatches.) Ari

Looking for a painter

Aug 2015

The post for 'Looking for a painter' did not come though on my computer, but I would like to make a recommendation. We would like to recommend Antonio Medrano. His number for calls or texting is 510 677 3950. His e-mail address is tonymedrano25 [at] We have been Kensington residents since the 1970s and have known Antonio for many years. He is thoughtful, sincere, polite, an excellent hard worker and a person of impeccable integrity. We have relied on Antonio for many years to do all of our internal and external home repair and maintenance. Most recently, Antonio prepped and painted the inside and outside of our home in Kensington, and repaired and painted the moulding on our house's windows, removing soft wood and then patching and painting. Everything that Antonio has ever done for our home has been of the highest quality and attention. In addition to the painting that he has done for us, he has done flooring, fencing, deck repair and construction, stonework, tilework, and garden work. We recommend him without any reservation whatsoever. jbehrsin

David Zurun Painting is the man I can rely on to finish the job. On time, on budget and produces quality results. His preparation is always thorough and meticulous and he is a master in wood restoration. David is friendly, gracious, thoughtful and courteous. I highly recommend him. kelly

I have just had a really great experience with Ros at Green Plum Design House Painting. She was great to work with and has clearly had a lot of experience with color and painting all types of houses- we were able to look at a lot of her work in the area. Her crew were the best - very efficient and tidy - they even cleaned all the windows! I was very impressed with how long they took over the prep work which was one of our main areas of concern. Also competitively priced. Highly recommended, call Ros 510 356 8582. Sheridan L., East Bay

Ros Wyatt of Green Plum Design did a fantastic job for me recently. She repaired a cracked ceiling in my living room that had water damage. Her team took great care to open up and seal all the ceiling cracks before applying paint. She also did some outdoor painting, including french doors that were sanded down before primed and painted. They painted a newly remodeled bathroom and sanded and painted original 1938 doors. Very thorough and the paint will last! She is also great at choosing color if you need any recommendations. She is careful about dealing with lead issues, as well. Great painter!! Her phone is (510) 356-8582. Ashley

We hired Ros Wyatt of Green Plum Design to paint the front of our home in Orinda. There was a lot of trim and several colors, plus a garage door. Ros communicates very well, there were no surprises,and her crew is very skilled and conscientious. The job was done on time, including some additional work that we asked her to do during the job. Their prep work was fantastic and it showed in the result. We highly recommend her. Jack C

Looking for Interior painting contractor

Feb 2015

We are looking for a recommendation for painter to do most of the interior of our house in North Berkeley Hills. It is a relatively small house and currently being rented out. We need a quote so that the work can be done after the tenant moves out (late spring) out and before we move back in early July. At a minimum we will need all the doors, baseboards and window frames done, since these were never painted originally. Judy

Most amazing painter EVER. I have referred him to others and everyone falls in love with him. He's reasonable, thorough, and pays attention to detail. Very talented, hard-working guy: Omar Gutierrez: 925-595-7186 Lauren W

Need good, Reliable Handyman/Indoor Painter

Feb 2015

Does anyone have some good references for a good handyman & indoor painter for us to contact to start getting our home 'in perfect shape' to put on the market ? We have our list already made, and are anxious to get started on getting things done. If you have had a good experience and can recommend anyone, we would most appreciate it. Thank you, judy

I am very happy to recommend Marco Florian, for any project around your home. He has completed numerous jobs for me over the last few years including painting, plumbing, tile work and general handyman services . Marco is keenly devoted to his work, however he is also a pleasure to be around. I have needed his services sometimes over the weekend and he never hesitated to help. He is detailed oriented and has great ideas. I recommend him wholeheartedly as a handyman jack of all trades. You will not be disappointed! You can contact Marco directly at 510-301-5629 or marco.a.florian [at] Ana B

Need an interior painter

Dec 2014

The reviews posted for painters are old - please send your recommendations! I need some interior painting done by an AFFORDABLE painter, experienced and good, common sense, good clean up, nice lines, etc. None of my projects are difficult. The walls are all in good shape and the rooms are average to small. I'm a single mom and just cannot afford to hire a top of the line painting company - I just need a nice, trustworthy person, who is experienced and solid. My first project is painting primering 1 wall then painting white walls a better white ... not a difficult project but needs to be done. Many thanks! sarah

Hey - I've been using this painter for the last two years. Incredibly nice man, very efficient, and affordable, and HIGH quality. Really can't recommend him more highly: Jaime Hernandez: 510-260-3233 Mano

This is in reply to the request for a house painter. We would like to recommend Antonio Medrano. His number for calls or texting is 510 677 3950. His e-mail address is tonymedrano25 [at] We have been Kensington residents since the 1970s and have known Antonio for many years. He is thoughtful, sincere, polite, an excellent hard worker and a person of impeccable integrity. We have relied on Antonio for many years to do all of our internal and external home repair and maintenance. Most recently, Antonio prepped and painted the inside and outside of our home in Kensington, and repaired and painted the moulding on our house's windows, removing soft wood and then patching and painting. Everything that Antonio has ever done for our home has been of the highest quality and attention. In addition to the painting that he has done for us, he has done flooring, fencing, deck repair and construction, stonework, tilework, and garden work. We recommend him without any reservation whatsoever. jbehrsin

If you want a professional painter with many years of experience in many different types of painting, is clean, neat, efficient, friendly, and really knows her stuff I recommend you call Jackie at 510-910-2953. I have hired her for many years to paint everything from a bathroom to whole rental apartments to the entire exterior of some houses I own. She is thorough, really knows her trade and you can consult with her about colors if you wish as she has a keen eye. In addition, she is very reasonable in her fees. I cannot say enough good things about her. Roger

We like Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973. All of our relatives and friends use them. They are professional, neat, and really nice guys! You can check out their website at I highly recommend you give them a call. Joseph

I highly recommend Phil Lawhun of Phil's Painting 510-317-1844 info [at] for interior and exterior painting work. This summer we had our 4 bed/3 bath home in Lafayette painted inside and out by Phil's Painting. Phil handled wallpaper removal, plastering, and some light repairs in addition to doing an excellent, prompt, and super detail-oriented job of painting at very competitive rates. Phil helped us with color selections and coordinated closely with the different guys doing the hardwood floors, new carpet, and bathroom tile. When the City changed their street closure schedule, Phil juggled his timing to keep us on track. Phil also has a good eye for finish touches and when we invited his input, he had solid suggestions on hardware and fixture replacements. Phil and his son and a small crew did great work for us and we're pleased to recommend Phil. Mike B.

Need Painter for House Interior

April 2014

We need to get the interior of our house painted. We will need someone who is willing to carefully move things around, and deal with badly chipping paint in some areas. Thanks. anon

For painting jobs, I cannot recommend Jackie Stolz highly enough. She and her crew were able to paint three rooms in our house on very short notice and in a very tidy and quick manner. She was great about communicating with me and giving input on choosing paint colors. Extremely professional and excellent work, and extremely knowledgable about her trade. Highly recommend! jackfauxs [at] 510-910-2953 C.--------

We used Athens painting to paint the exterior of our house and we liked them so much we asked them to paint three interior rooms. We have an old house and the interior hadn't been painted in a long time. We also had some water damage so a lot of old plaster had to be torn out. So it was a big job. They did a conscientious job and we were very pleased. They did help us move some of the larger pieces of furniture and were very careful with our stuff. I heartily recommend them. Call Petros Firas at 510-637-8973. Chris Ansell

Painting aluminum window frames

March 2014

The hard problem is painting over some black aluminum window frames to match our new white fiberglass frames. The rest is easy and not a big job altogether. We hope to find a professional to do this. feldman

Call Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973. They offer a free color consultation, which we took full advantage of, when we met with their professional colorist. They are great at resolving issues like that. Also, no worries, because they are licensed, bonded, insured, and carry workers comp. Martin

Painter in Oakland/Berkeley for stucco & interior wood

Feb 2014

Seeking a painter who is capable of doing exterior stucco work and interior wood work. We have an old house with very dated beech wood that I want to paint in some areas and refinish in others, and so we need a painter who has the skill and patience to do this kind of work. Additionally we have large stucco walls that need to be patched, primed and painted. We also have some areas that need new sheetrock work, so we'd like it if the same painter could remove and reinstall sheet rock so that it matches the existing textured stucco. We'd appreciate suggestions.Thanks Larry

Platypus Painting is the company I recommend to all my friends. They really pay attention to the detail work and make sure the job is done right (versus the job that chips the next month). Colin Baird is the contact person/owner and is wonderful to work with. Bonus - the paint crew does a great job at cleanup too! elaspir

I highly recommend James Alesi Painting. He is a smaller company so James is able to give very individualized attention to all his clients. He is very meticulous and neat and can customize his work to fit your budget whatever it may be. He does both interior and exterior. hmmfierce-

My husband and I have a wonderful painter who we use all the time. Esbin of Esbin and K Painting is terrific. We have an Oakland 1923 house that Esbin has worked on over the years. We first worked with Esbin's group when we bought the house and needed the interior painted. The job called for repairing interior walls and plaster, removing sconces and patching the holes, sanding, priming and painting tons of interior dated and worn beechwood doors, windows and hutches, and then painting a complex interior, including barrel coved ceilings. Esbin did a great job. We've subsequently used him to paint the exterior of the house, including removing old paint from windows which needed patching and priming before painting. Esbin also needed to paint a large stucco wall the surrounds the property. I thought he had done a great job when the job was finished, but Esbin returned and insisted on doing a 3rd coat on an area where the stucco had been extensively repaired. Though I couldn't see it, Esbin wasn't happy that the paint blended well enough, and he insisted that he not be paid for the 3rd coat of paint! Esbin and his brother Aldo are terrific painters and people, delightful to have around as they work quickly and unobtrusively, and I am happy to recommend him and his firm for simple to complex painting jobs. Esbin himself, a former sign painter also does excellent sheet rock and plaster work. You can reach him at Esbin and K Painting, phone 925-382-3440 or by email esbinqualitypainter [at] Amy

The same three painting companies?

Dec 2013

Hi BPN, Out of the thousands of people on this list and the hundreds of reputable contractors in the Bay Area, I find it odd that the same three painting companies consistently get recommendations every time someone asks. With experience with one of them, I'd really prefer to find a new recommendation... Please, if you've used a great exterior or interior painter in the last three years, and you don't usually respond to these queries, please do! We need some more diverse recommendations on the list. Thank you. Rachel

[moderator] lots more than just 3 on this page, which has just been updated.

This last summer we used AC Professional Painting & Decorating Co. This is my review on Yelp: Zeus came to me highly recommended by a contractor who had worked with him several times. He was completely professional and thorough. His crew did an excellent job prepping and painting the exterior of our house. We were out of town and he kept in touch with me on a daily basis, even sending photos of their progress. And another thing, Zeus is a really fine, honest person and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend him. His bid was reasonable and not among the highest. I believe this is his number: (510) 862-4822 Email for Zeus Velazquez: zeuspainting AT larkst AT

I have lived in Albany/Berkeley since 1976 and have used many Contractors. Since I started using Thousand Oaks Painting I have never wanted or needed anyone else. I have had a number of tough projects and they have always done great work. Clean, quick and professional. Always the same guys, never seasonal employees. These are guys that were born and raised in Berkeley/Albany. They grew up going to local schools and their kids go to local schools. When they are not painting they do a lot of work with local volunteer organizations. Show me one painting company that does half as much for our community! Their work is absolutely flawless. These guys take great pride in their profession and it shows in their product. Contact: Roland DeLaTorre at (510) 205-2552 For the best paint job you have ever had. thedix

Hi, I have never responded to a recommendation request but have been very happy with the painter we have used, We were happy and relieved to find Dan Gladstone and ended up hiring him for a several paint jobs. He did a great job repainting our bathroom, the peeling exterior paint on the garage, and our interior and exterior porch and steps which included a lot of small detail work as well as being conscious of weather considerations. He did an excellent job each time. We found him to be reliable, friendly, and trustworthy, as well as very reasonably priced. Our neighbors hired him to do their porch, stairs, trim and driveway and were very pleased as well. He is licensed and can be reached by text or email (he is deaf but speaks and reads lips and so communication was never a problem) Dan: 510-283-3678 or dan [at] Best Wishes Mzima

Royal Painting did a meticulous job on my home this past fall. They were easy to work with, were on time, cleaned up every day, and gave me a great price, too! I absolutely will use them next time I need interior or exterior painting done. 510-593-3358/540-6578. Satisfied customer

Here is our painter who we really like working with and does extraordinary work on both interior and exterior - David Collins Painting 925-254-6882 dcollinspainting [at] Love our painter!

Painter Wanted!

Dec 2013

Hi there, We need recommendations for followings: Plumber, to install sink faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher. Electrician, to install our electric cooktop. Painter, to paint kitchen cabinets, walls and baseboards. Please email me your recommendations if you are a homeowner who has worked with any of above or a contractor with any of these specialties. Thanks, Sam

Hi Sam, We completely renovated our home last year and can recommend the following contractors: Painters: Miguel Mendoza: 510-809-6268 (interior walls, trim, doors) Roberto Dominguez: 510-978-8699 (interior walls, trim, doors, exterior) Kiren

Painter for a quality job on old house

Nov 2013

Hey, all We need a good house painter who will do quality job for the older house in Berkeley. Any suggestions ?? thanks J H

Dan Prine, 510-860-9166, painted our house, and we were delighted with his work! Our house hadn't been painted in 30 years, so it needed a lot of prep, and he was very thorough. Now the house looks great, and we've gotten lots of compliments. He was easy to work with, reliable, on time, and also cheerful, kind, and nice. Then, recently, we hired him to paint our brand new Little Free Library in colors matching our house (maybe you've even seen it here on Curtis Street?). He did a terrific job and took joy in helping us fulfill a dream. The two houses--our regular one and the Little Free Library in front--look great together. I think you would enjoy working with him. toni

I simply can't say enough about Arana Painting! They are conscientious, thorough, honest, CLEAN! Great quality work and simply said: great people to work with! Contact Catherine at 510-567-9559

Call Gateview Painting Co, Inc. Jim Spain. 620-0164, 301-6061 (510) He does residential, commercial and industrial, has a great reputation and really stands by his work. June

I am an interior designer in Oakland and frequently refer Arana Residential and Commercial Painting to many of my clients and have seen first hand the quality and skill they consistently deliver. They specialize in restoring older homes and have very high integrity which I feel is an important quality when dealing with my discerning clients. They are a family run business which another big plus from my perspective. Laura

Try Arkenstone Painting. They did a great job on our house, including recommending colors. The owner is Kushi Gavrieli, (510) 872-9872. Anonymous

Last year I hired Arata Residential and Commercial Painting and they were fantastic. I am in the residential real estate business as a mortgage banker and come across many vendors. Their price was reasonable and their quality of workmanship was excellent. They did beautiful window repair work as well. My home is a 4000 square foot 90 year old traditional home and it looks gorgeous thanks to ARC Painting. More than that, the entire crew was respectful, clean, and right on time. I hired them to also paint a newly remodeled bathroom and outdoor kitchen. I will only use them going forward. info [at] is their email. Dianne C

For house painting, I highly recommend Arana Residential and Commercial painting. ARC Painting is one of our 'go-to' painters, who always does a great job. Excellent quality, pleasant to work with, highly recommended. Michael McCutcheon

Reply to 'JH' requesting recommendations for a house painter. We would like to recommend Antonio Medrano. His number for calls or texting is 510 776 7233. His e-mail address is tonymedrano25 [at] We have relied on Antonio for many years to do all of our internal and external home repair and maintenance. Most recently, Antonio prepped and painted the inside of our home in Kensington, and repaired and painted the moulding on our house's windows, removing soft wood and then patching and painting. Everything that Antonio has ever done for our home has been of the highest quality and attention. In addition to the painting that he has done for us, he has done flooring, fencing, deck repair and construction, stonework, tilework, and garden work. We have been Kensington residents since the 1970s and have known Antonio for many years. He is thoughtful, sincere, polite, an excellent hard worker and a person of impeccable integrity. We recommend him without any reservation whatsoever. jb

I recently had the exterior of my craftsman bungalow painted by Royal Painting, and they did a fantastic job! They did an excellent job with the prep, were on time, hard-working, pleasant to work with, and did an all-around meticulous job. And the price was very reasonable. 510-540-6578. They are associated with a color consultant who I also recommend most highly: Victor Cohen- Stuart; his number is 510-654-2965. I have worked with Victor several times on interior and exterior paint color selection, and I think his advice has saved me a great deal of frustration and expense had I attempted to select colors on my own. Money well spent! I could not be happier with the result. Satisfied client

I highly recommend Mike Kotwinski. I found his name from a previous post at the BPN. He replied my call very promptly and scheduled the job within 2 weeks, I got my pair of very old and deteriorated front doors patched smoothly and repainted. I called many different painters and they all found the job too small to bother. It turned out Mike was an experienced painter and he just painted the whole house for a neighbor in Piedmont. He tried to fit me in when there was an opening in his schedules. He is nice and helpful and a pleasure to work with. Contact him at: 925 890 0361 and email paintingmichal [at] Hingman

My recommendation for a very talented and caring painter is Jackie. I have hired her for many projects (both interior and exterior) over the past 20 plus years and have always been pleased with her work. She is the kind of person to whom one can give instructions and have no worry that they will not be carried out. If she has questions or suggestions, she does not hesitate to ask as she is very good at communicating as well as being reliable. In addition, her prices are very reasonable. Her number is: 510-910-2953. Roger

I recommend Dan Prine. He is honest, reliable, and does great work. I have used him for both interior and exterior projects on my 100 year old Victorian. He does amazing prep, and keeps a very very clean job site (your home). And he has very reasonable pricing for the quality of work he does. If you want it to look nice, call him 510-860-9166 - old home owner

I've recommended them before but I'll chime in again since I have a 100-year-old classic craftsman in Berkeley that has been very well taken care of by the skilled painters who work for Hans Stahlschmidt stahlschmidt [at] His website is Hans is a licensed contractor who provides benefits and WC for his long-time employees. He uses quality paints and is lead-certified. He has painted the exterior and interior of my house and he also will send someone over for small touch-up jobs. He is prompt and responsive. He also does a beautiful job refinishing wood panels and trim. Hans is top notch. Ginger

I highly recommend Juan Rodriguez Painting. Juan is a great all around painter for both small and large jobs. He's trustworthy, dependable, easy to work with, super friendly, and does an excellent job. AND his prices are very reasonable. His number: 510-593-9331. andrea

If you are looking for a great house painter call Juan Rodriguez 510-593-9331. He has worked for us on a number of occasions and we have always been thrilled with his work. He offers full service from a professional consultation to picking up supplies and paint for you and all of the necessary prep to make the application flawless and protect the rest of your house. Juan is excellent and very reasonably priced. You will not find a more courteous person to work with. I've recommended him on BPN before because he is just that good. Call Juan 510-593-9331. Jamila D

I have had the best luck with Juan Rodriguez. I have used different painting contractors over 25 years to maintain my Rockridge craftsman house, but for the past ten years I have found Juan to be far and above the most ethical and responsive to my needs and the needs of my house. Juan will do whatever it takes to do the right thing. Call him at 510 593-9331 Andy

Need indoor painters in Walnut Creek area

Oct 2013

Any recommendations for indoor house painters in Walnut Creek area? We also need the light wood frame around our windows stained a darker color. Wouldn't mind doing the doors too if it was reasonable price. Any recommendations on how to do this or someone who does this? Thanks in advance! house in need of a makeover

This responds to the posting requesting recommendations for indoor house painters in Walnut Creek area. We would like to recommend Antonio Medrano. We have lived in Kensington for 40 years and have known Antonio for many of those years and he does all of our home maintenance for us, including all indoor painting. Most recently, Antonio prepped and painted the inside of our home and repaired and painted the moulding on our house's windows, removing soft wood and then patching and painting. Everything that Antonio has done for our home has been of the highest quality and attention. In addition to painting that he has done for us, he has done flooring, fencing, deck repair and construction, stonework, tilework, and garden work. He is thoughtful, sincere, polite, an excellent hard worker and a person of impeccable integrity. We recommend him without any reservation whatsoever. His number for calls or texting is 510 776 7233. His e-mail address is tonymedrano25 [at] Please feel free to contact us for any questions. jb

Dan Prine is a terrific painter I have used for many projects inside and out. I think he is located in the Berkeley/Oakland area, but I know he also does work in San Francisco and Orinda, so I am sure he would travel to Walnut Creek, especially since that would be a reverse commute. He is very knowledgeable, does excellent work at a reasonable price, and is conscientious about keeping his work site, your home, clean. I highly recommend him. He can be reached at (510) 860- 9166 - happy with my painter

For your interior (as well as exterior) painting needs I can highly recommend Jackie and her crew. I have hired her on many projects over the years and have always been pleased with her work. She has painted several rental properties as well as our house (inside and out) over the past 20+ years. She used to work at a well-known paint store for a long time matching colors for other professional painters and she can do faux painting as well. Her eye for color is very good if you want suggestions. I can assure you is honest, reliable, reasonable in pricing and very skilled and you will be glad if you hire her. Many of the members of BPN have worked with her and recommended her as well. Her number is 510-910-2953. Roger

We once again used Mike Pierce Painting and were even more knocked out by his crew, his service and his pricing. Our experience several years ago was terrific as well, and this one was even better. Great guys, easy to deal with, clean up immaculate...pricing very fair. He can be reached at (925) 200- 2470 and is in Walnut Creek. Julie

Reliable painter for Lafayette house

Sept 2013

We are looking for a good reliable reasonable house painter to paint the outside of our house. We live in Lafayette so I guess East Bay referrals are preferable. Thanks for your ideas. G.

Get a quote from GreenPlum design in Kensington 510-356-8582. We had the exterior of our house painted in July and they did a fantastic job. I had gotten several quotes and GreenPlum's was very competitive. Ros Wyatt, the owner, was so lovely and great to work with. She helped me choose colors and come up with affordable repair solutions throughout the project. With young children, I was very concerned about the flaking lead paint on the exterior of my house. The crew was meticulous and took great care in taking all the necessary measures to keep everything safe. Careful attention was paid to all of the details. I look forward to working with Ros in the future. s_r

ARC painting, Ernesto and his crew painted our house about 5 years ago, and we are very happy with their work. Top notch preparation on our nearly 100-year old redwood sided house that had tons of peeling paint to work on. Timely, clean, reasonable price. We got several bids, including some much lower (you get what you pay for) and one much higher, ARC came in about middle-, middle-high range, but provided top results. Susie

We had our house painted this summer by Platypus Painting (, and they were reasonably priced, courteous and thorough. Great attention to detail and follow-up. JP

We had our house painted by Sorin Feraru's crew. Very efficient, reliable and reasonably priced. They took care of the inside and outside of the house. The end result was absolutely amazing. We really love our newly painted house. Sorin did different other projects for us in the past and we've always been very happy with the work and the process. We've already recommended him to all our neighbors and now to you. You can reach Sorin at 510-228-7366

Clean & conscientious painter for Oakland home

May 2013

I recently moved to Oakland, and need to find a good painter. Right now I need interior work done, but in the future I will want the exterior done also. I am looking for someone that is clean and conscientious of my home, and goes the distance with the prep work. I would like someone with reasonable rates, but I want quality work done, so I am willing to pay a little more. I know from past experiences, that it is well worth it to pay someone to do it right the first time! - New home owner

I would like to recommend John Wichman. He painted our nursery last month and turned a pretty sad looking little room into beautiful, smooth walls. He's a perfectionist and a really nice guy. 831-224-7505 Amanda

We really like Petros Firas at Athens Painting. (510) 637-8973. Petros is very detail oriented and absolutely wants you to be happy with the job. We would use him again and would recommend him readily. Anonymous

I highly recommend Dan Prine. He has done extensive work on my old Victorian, and has done wonders for it. It is old (it is a Victorian after all) that had been a foreclosure, so was very neglected. Inside, there were places where it looked like someone literally threw paint on the walls and let it dry in huge drips. It took a lot of work sanding down and re-texturizing those areas to match the rest of the room. As well as having great attention to details, and prep work, I was always amazed at his ability to contain the dust etc. from the rest of the house, and how clean he kept everything. We also had him paint the exterior, and he again impressed us with the work, and cleanliness of the site during the work. He can be reached at 510-860-9166 - Victorian owner

Ernesto at Arana Residential and Commercial Painting did our interior. His team was thorough in prep, careful in moving furniture and wrapping, and perfect on the painting itself. We highly recommend him. His bid was a little higher than others but worth the extra money. (510) 567-9559. He's been recommended frequently on BPN, and for good reason. Don T.

Joe Carlig CarligHome [at] painted the entire interior of our house last fall. He has great attention to detail and I really like the guys who work for him. He even came in on the weekend to make it happen so that we could then get our floors finished! Good luck! Lisa

We recently had interior painting done by Phil's Painting. Phil and his crew did a great job with complicated work (including wallpaper removal and extensive plaster repair). He is very personable and easy to communicate with. All in all, I was very satisfied with the job and intend to have him do some exterior painting as well. His phone is 510-317- 1844. See his website at Lucy B.

If your house was built before 1978 you'll want to make sure the painter is lead certified and cares enough to use lead-safe work practices, otherwise you'll end up with lots of toxic lead dust all over your house - not good especially if you have kids and/or pets. It's really not that hard for them to take some basic measures to contain the paint chips and dust. The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program offers free in-home consultations and on their website they also have a list of local lead certified contractors and a guide to hiring them - what questions to ask, etc. It's now required that painters and contractors be lead certified and use lead-safe work practices but there are still many of them out there that don't. I'd highly recommend checking out the lead program resources at or call their information line at 510-567-8280. Julie

I've been stalking local painters for the past 2 years, after a bad experience 6 years ago. Asking people, checking out painting jobs in the neighborhood, etc. I'm quite impressed with Charmed Painting. Their customers tell me that they're responsive and responsible, put plenty of time into prep, have great color recommendations if you want them, and have competent, reliable, respectful work crews. More than one customer told me that Charmed Painting made the whole process easier than they expected. Their prices seem very reasonable. Based on the feedback, I'm actually looking forward to getting the house painted as soon as I can justify it! Anne

My recommendation for a very good painter is Jackie Stoltz. I have known and hired her for over twenty years for all my painting projects both interior and exterior. She is well-versed in all areas of the painting profession and does a terrific job with both the preparation work and the finish coats. She wants her clients to be completely satisfied with all her work and will not consider a job complete until they are. I like the fact that she is honest, reliable, friendly, on time and commits to only one job at a time so she gives 100% attention to the task at hand. Her fees are very reasonable and I do not have to supervise her as she carries out my requests with care. Many clients of hers are BPN members. Her number is: 510-910-2953. Roger

Petros Firas of Athens Painting Company comes to mind when I read your request. I recently had him paint the exterior of my former home in Oakland, and I was really impressed with his preparation of the surfaces prior to applying the paint. His bid was not the least expensive of the ones we received, but I chose him for the job because, like you, I was looking for quality work. Petros included a level of detail in his estimate for painting the house that was missing from the other bids I received, and he was available to answer my questions by telephone or email whenever I contacted him. During the actual painting process, he kept me up-to-date on the progress of the job (necessary since we were no longer living on-site) and would regularly email me photos of the house while the work progressed. He even came back and painted the front door three times because he wanted the paint to dry properly! Because the work took place during the winter months, he was particularly cognizant of the weather and its effect on the drying paint. In the end, I wished we were staying in our house because the end product was so spectacular. Petros is licensed and insured, and he can be reached at (510) 637-8973, or at athenspaintingco1 [at] Karen

I highly recommend Marco Florian, he is a great painter. He has done numerous interior as well as exterior painting jobs in our home and properties. He is very careful with the prep job as well as the painting. He can work on weekends or evenings if needed; Marco always goes the extra mile to make sure his customers are happy and his rates are very reasonable. He is reliable, polite, creative, good nature man. You can reach Marco directly at 510-301-5629 Ana

Highly recommend Ken White: Lives in Napa but paints everything, everywhere. Definitely worth a bid, been doing it forever and came in lowest for us because of it. KL

Hi new home owner, I recommend you use Phil's painting 510-317-1844 We have used Phil's painting for several jobs. First we hired Phil to paint the inside of our home. We wanted different colors it needed lots of trim work. From the very beginning to the end of the job Phil was great. We trust Phil and his stable crew immediately, So much so that we left for an unscheduled vacation while he was painting the interior of our home and gave him a key. The interior paint job was so fantastic and Phil attention to detail so great that we hired him later to paint the outside of our home. Phil did an impeccable job. On time and on budget. The work was fantastic as usual and he and his crew made our whole family including our two small children feel comfortable. The bottom line is that if you're looking for a detail oriented, hard-working, trustful, dedicated on time reasonably priced painter, then Phil's Painting is a great bet. hardgymnastics

I encourage you to check the state contractors licensing board web site when you hire a house painter, including checking that they carry workers comp insurance for their workers. You don't want to be responsible if a worker falls off a ladder! Unfortunately, many (including some highly recommended on BPN) try to save money by claiming they have no employees, yet they definitely arrive with a crew! anon.

My Family and I can Happily and unreservedly recommend Phil's Painting! 510- 317-1844 about 13 years ago they painted the interior of our 100-year-old Berkeley brown shingle craftsman. They did such a nice job that, this year, following a major renovation, we had them paint the exterior(stuco)and interior of the nearly 100 year old Piedmont Prairie style craftsman into which we recently moved. Both times, Phil Lawhun, the owner, carefully planned out the work, personaly supervised a small team of painters on-site, did quite a bit of the painting himself, and checked in with us daily to make sure that he addresses any concerens that we had (we didnt, but we liked consulting with Phil about colors, styles, and paints, he's just so knowledgeable and experienced!) Phil is great at communicating and goes out of his way to anticipate concerns. He was therefore able to manage our projects so smoothly that they finished exactly within the estimated time frame-even when unexpected things came up! For example, When we asked him to re-paint a room because we didn't end up liking the way the color looked, Phil cheerfully re- painted the room and didn't charge us extra--even thought it was our mistake! Another time, Phil pointed out a problem with the new stuco texture on the house. When the stucco contractor was delayed in coming back to the house to fix the problem, Phil took care of it himself. Again, this was done with a minimum of fuss and at no additional cost to us-and the stucco and paint look terrific! Phil and his team are trustworthy (we gave Phil keys to our house each time they worked for us, and he and his crew treated us and our house with respect and courtesy), Reliable (they showed up everyday with out fail before 8:00 am) thorough (before painting, they carefully cleaned, patched and sanded--we have substantial crown molding in nearly every room in our house), and just nice to have around. even our neighbors commented on how considerate he and his crew were, and also noted admiringly that they were painting the stucco the 'right' way-- by using a roller instead of spraying the paint on. Last but not least, Phils bids were very reasonable and fair--especially for such high quality work! you cant go wrong hiring Phil's Painting: 510-317-1844 Piedmont home owners

I Need a Painting Contractor

Feb 2013

Can anyone recommend a good, dependable painting contractor who is licensed and understands the importance of properly prepping before painting a house? I need someone who is good with both interior and exterior. Thank you.

I highly recommend Fitzgerald and Friedman Painting. The job they did was one of the best experiences I have had with contractors with regards to value, professionalism and attention to detail. House looks amazing!! They did both interior and exterior. John Fitzgerald is easy to work with, attentive and makes sure the job is complete on time. Hope this helps!! Information: Fitzgerald & Friedman Painting 3143 Reed Way Concord, 94518 #925-383-9927 Marc

We can highly recommend Ernesto Arana and Catherine Baldi at Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They did our interior in December, and their crew was superb: careful and thorough prep, minor repairs to a rotting window, and extra care in shrink-wrapping and protecting our furniture. (510) 567- 9559. Don T

Contact Catherine at Arana Residential & Commercial Painting -- 510-567-9559 They are good people: dependable and thorough, plus they do beautiful work. Angie M.

We had our house painted last August and we hired Bob Antonelli (415-724-4301) -- and we are SOOO GLAD we did!! From the minute he first walked in I was impressed, and as a major perfectionist I am not easy to please. First of all, Bob took about an hour and 15 minutes to inspect the house VERY carefully, jiggle every windowsill and downspout, and gave me a very detailed idea of what needed to be done. Our house is 90+ year old and had been badly run down by the last owner. Just slapping some paint on wasn't going to do the trick, it needed lots of caulking, filling holes, nailing wood pieces back -- a job only for someone who really cares about what they are doing. Bob's crew is incredibly professional and courteous. They are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, punctual, and never turned down one of my requests. I love the fact that they rolled out the paint instead of spraying it -- Bob explained that this way the coverage is MUCH better as the paint gets in every nook and cranny, resulting in a paint job that lasts much longer. And lastly, they were NEAT! They cleaned up at the end of every day, and when they left the place looked like no-one had been there in the first place! I hired a window washer the week after the painters had finished and they wouldn't believe me that the house had just been painted -- they said they had never seen a house that had been left by a painter that clean!! Call Bob

I highly recommend Arana Residential Painting. This company does a great job on interiors and exteriors. I have seen their work on many, many occasions, and I have been consistently impressed not only with their level of preparation but also with the quality of their painting. Arana Painting is a local, family owned business, and they have terrific customer service as well. Arana Painting 510-567-9559 Lisette B

I just had my house painted by Petros Firas of Athens Painting Co. (Athens Painting Co. 510.637.8973 My house is c. 1906 and hadn\xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xe2\x84\xa2t been painted for years so the prep work was enormous. Petros repaired every crack, every little hole, re-glazed old windows, shaved, sanded, liberally caulked everything including my old front steps - just completely renewed the house. This is so much more than what other painters said they would do. Petros was reliable, stayed in touch, answered questions, was helpful with and tolerant of the changes I went through with colors, checked in on site every day to work with his skilled workers. You know, I really can\xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xe2\x84\xa2t say enough. If you want a great prep job which is really the meat of painting the exterior of the house, Petros is the guy. And not only that, but he\xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xe2\x84\xa2s cheerful. You get what you pay for. Lauren

My neighbors use Luis Gonzales for all their painting. He is *meticulous* in his prep work and painting, both interior and exterior. He does very high quality work. Reach him at 510-230-3722 and see if he meets your needs. We'll be using him when we need painting for sure! Upper Rockridge Homeowner

If you need a great painting contractor, I highly recommend Arana Painting. They are a small painting company, husband and wife owned, based in San Leandro and they are known for their attention to detail, honesty and really doing a great job at painting and preparing. The most important point is that they take their time to do proper preparation which makes the paint last longer and prevents leaks! They are also great at picking out colors. Arana Painting (510) 567-9559 Sharon

I am VERY happy with Vastago Painting! The owner, Crespo, is very professional and was very helpful in the entire process (picking colors, describing all work that needed to be done [ie. prep work], providing an easy to understand bid, etc). The entire crew was professional, friendly and clean. They were careful in my home and I am so pleased with the painting! The best review I can give is that we are looking forward to working with them again on a future project in another area of the house. Call Vastago, you won't be disappointed!. 925-382-3434. Michelle

Feraru and Associates painted our house, interior and exterior and we are very happy with the result. The crew took great care in prepping the job site and cleaning after they were done. Amazing work at a reasonable price. Call Sorin (the owner) at 510-228-7366 or email him at office [at]

It's very important especially if you have children that you use a painter who knows how to work in a lead- safe way if your home was built before 1978. Prep work is important and can create high levels of lead dust if not done correctly. The law now requires painters to be lead certified and contain the paint chips but many painters are still not doing that and are creating lead hazards that remain in your soil for years to come. There ARE ways to do painting jobs safely. Call or go online to the Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. They offer free on-site consultations and a list of local lead-certified contractors: 510-567-8280 or Julie

Best painter ever is Jacob Watson. He works for G F Watson Construction and Painting. Whoever you go with, be sure they are licensed and insured! Check feedback online. Dolan Construction recommended Watson to me, and I use this company for everything. THANK YOU DOLANS! marilyn

Highly recommend Ken White, who painted my house inside and out. Honest, affordable, and very experienced. Great guy. Really good with color choice too if you're waffling: (415) 533-0999 Lives in Napa but paints all around the East Bay, SF and Marin. happy & painted!

Seeking a good Painter for Oakland Area

Jan 2013

Have a very old house for which I am seeking interior and exterior painting and am looking for a painter who is good, reliable and fairly priced.The house is stucco on the exterior and has lots of interior wood that needs preparation prior to painting. Also need some stucco wall repair prior to painting. Thanks for your recommendation! Larry

My suggestion is to call Jackie at 510-910-2953 for your projects. We have used her for our interior and exterior painting needs over the last 20 plus years. She is a true profeesional who knows her trade very well and has a good eye for color and details. She is honest, reliable and reasonable in her prices. One cannot go wrong by hiring her. Roger

The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program just posted a list of local lead-certified painters and contractors on their website along with guidance as to how to interview them and monitor their work. It's really important if you have an old house to make sure the contractor knows how to work lead-safe and will actually use lead-safe work practices so they don't get lead paint chips all over your property or in your home. They also offer a free in-home consultation which helps if you're planning a painting or remodeling project and/or have kids. It's really a great program. For more info go to or call their public info line at 510-567-8280. Julie

Based on a positive Berkeley Parents Network recommendation, I phoned George Takash, an East Bay painter, for some indoor work. Bad idea! When Mr. Takash learned I had gotten his number from BPN, he became agitated: He said BPN'ers are 'bad people,' he would never work for anyone associated with BPN, he had too many bad experiences, he wanted no part of my job because of BPN...until I hung up. He sounded quite hostile -- perhaps he's been driven mad by his customers? Anyway, I wouldn't bother calling. prospective customer

Interior house painter needed Walnut Creek

Jan 2013

With any luck I will be buying a condo or townhouse in Walnut Creek sometime in the first quarter or first half of 2013. I wanted to get recommendations ahead of time for an interior house painter. It is important to me that the painter be licensed, bonded, insured. It's a bonus if the painter has some design sense and may be able to also provide some recommendations for shades of color and the like. I do not want an all-white interior. Thanks!

I had good luck with Color folio. Maybe pricey but high quality. east bay homeowner

I would recommend J.B. from JB Construction. I have used them for many years for my clients.My clients are all happy with him as well as I am. He is reasonable in price and does a great job. His contacts are 510-735-4052 or you may email him at powerlabor [at] Maksuda

If you need an interior painter, I would recommend Mike Kotwinski (925-890-0361). I have an old house (built in 1926) with a newer addition (1957). OK. Maybe you wouldn't consider 1957 to be newer...that might be a subject for another posting. Mike has painted both the old lath and plaster rooms as well as the rooms with drywall. I can't tell you how pleased I have been with his work. He is meticulous in his preparation, which, as I'm sure you know, is key to any painting project, and very careful in all the finishing work. I look around my house, at the rooms Mike painted, and just smile. Give him a call. He really is a great painter. His email is paintingmichael [at] J.B.

Painter 2 complete stripping of Dining Room ASAP

Nov 2012

I started the tedious process of stripping the board and batten walls in my craftsman dining room over 2 years ago. I've done much of the work, but ended up being a big quitter and it's yet to be completed. I'm expecting family for Christmas and would love to use the dining room as it's meant to be used for eating. Any reccommendations for painters that can complete this job for me as quickly and affordably as possible? Thanks! Tina

We recently had some painting done and used a painter recommended on Berkeley Parents Network. The painting job was not great because we had to have him come back a number of times, so I will not recommend him. I checked the licenses of many of the painters recommended on Berkeley Parents and only one had workers compensation insurance. The one who did was three times in price of the other ones and he had the best reviews. Be aware that many of the contractors on Berkeley Parents have people post positive reviews for them, so the recommendations for house repairs are not always that accurate. Get the names of their last 3 jobs and a job they did several years ago and check out the references and other sources like friends and houses in your neighborhood that recently had work done. Yelp reviews are not that accurate either because they charge companies to list them first in a category and also charge them to manage their reviews such as move negative reviews to the bottom. Anon

Hi, I used a painter I got off the BPN Phil the painter of Phil's Painting 510-317-1844 I needed some interior paint work done in a hurry for guests arriving last spring. Phil came to give us an estimate with in a few days of calling him. His bid was the lowest of the 3 bids we received. He was very professional, honest and generally a nice man. He was very persisted with his bid and time frame of how long it would take to complete the work. He removed several layers of wall paper and stripped the wood around the fire place back to original. After he completed the interior work for us we hired him again to do the exterior of our ranch style home. Again he stayed on task, on time and on budget. He worked around my crazy schedule and a house of kids and animals. I can't recommend him enough. Also he is a licensed contractor. Good luck ps

Check out Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. My friend, Catherine Baldi, runs a great company. I am a general contractor and have had them do many jobs successfully for us, including our own home. Highly recommended. ARC Painting - Catherine Baldi info [at] Michael M.

Top-notch house painter for both interior and exterior

Nov 2012

Can anyone recommend a top-notch housepainter who can do both interior and exterior and who is meticulous in keeping things clean and tidy. Thanks. Ron

I can recommend Arana Residential & Commercial Painting ( They have hired me as a photographer to document before and after shots of their work on several occasions. I have seen houses with crap paint jobs and severe damage get transformed. Their attention to detail is amazing, and they are kind and good people. When my cousin needed a painter, I sent her to them, and she has been very happy. Alex Schoenfeldt alex [at]

Call Colin Baird of Platypus Painting 510.508.0736. Unrivaled professionalism. kyle

I recommend Arana Residential Painting, excellent for both interior and exterior. They use skilled painters, help in color selection and are great to work with. They just don't paint the surface but more importantly make sure the surface is prepared and they are skilled to do small repairs to the walls if needed. They are extremely careful about cleaning and protecting furniture inside. It's great to see painters who take pride in their work! They will also advise you on the best time to paint for weather conditions. Call Catherine at 510-567-9559, and their web site is Sharon

Hi there - I just completed a major addition and renovation and hired Scott Wojno of Mastercraft Custom Interiors to do the work. Scott and his partner painted my 2200 square foot home from top to bottom, inside and out. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He is very nice, extremely detail oriented, very good at making recommendations (if you need them), and will do whatever it takes to get the job done within the budget and the timeframe. His prices were very competitive and he was willing to work with us on our cost. And the final results are stunning! You can contact Scott at 510-530-8843. And you can feel free to contact me if you have more questions about Scott. Good luck, Karen

Marco Florian is a great painter, I highly recommend him. He is reliable, honest and his prices are very reasonable. In addition of been a great painter he can also do numerous jobs like tile, plumbing, carpentry and much more. He is creative and goes the extra mile to make sure his customers are satisfied. He is also willing to work on weekends if needed. You can contact him directly at 510- 301-5629 Ana

We recently had our house painted and we went with Bob Antonelli (415-724-4301) -- and we are SOOO GLAD we did!! From the minute he first walked in I was impressed, and as a major perfectionist I am not easy to please. While every other painter took about 10 - 15 minutes to have a quote ready for me, Bob took about an hour and 15 minutes to inspect the house VERY carefully, jiggle every windowsill and downspout, and gave me a very detailed idea of what needed to be done. Our house is 90+ year old and had been badly run down by the last owner over the last decade. Just slapping some paint on wasn't going to do the trick, it needed lots of caulking, filling holes, nailing wood pieces back -- a job only for someone who really cares about what they are doing. Bob's crew is incredibly professional and courteous. They are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, punctual, and never turned down one of my requests. They were very patient when I was hesitant about my final choice of color, and even offered to put up the first coat and then let me choose whether I wanted to lighten or darken the color a bit. Bob does not work for any specific manufacturer of paint, so he goes with what is right for the job and not what makes him the largest profit margin. I love the fact that they rolled out the paint instead of spraying it -- Bob explained that this way the coverage is MUCH better as the paint gets in every nook and cranny, resulting in a paint job that lasts much longer. And lastly, they were NEAT! They cleaned up at the end of every day, and when they left the place looked like no-one had been there in the first place! I hired a window washer the week after the painters had finished and they wouldn't believe me that the house had just been painted -- they said they had never seen a house that had been left by a painter that clean. We used to have the ugliest house in the neighborhood, and now people constantly stop me in the street, at the kids' school, on a walk to tell me how great the house looks; but most importantly, me and my family absolutely LOVE it!! Call Bob

We recently had the exterior of our house painted by De Colores Painting, who are based in Berkeley. They did a great job prepping the house and cleaned up every evening. We chose them after getting three estimates; they and another company gave almost exactly the same estimate and the third was much, much more. Antonio Chavarria, the owner, is a pleasant, efficient guy and his workers were too. They're a very good outfit. happy Albany customer

Alberto Martinez at JAM Construction is GREAT. He was orginally recommended through Berkeley Parents Network and I've called him for a number of projects. He's thoughtful, reliable, works quickly and whenever I've had him come for a project I've always found more for him to do. He's responds quickly by email and can send you his cell: jamconstruction81 [at] sachens

I recommend Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973. The whole team is VERY neat and professional. Petros Firas, the owner, was on site everyday to supervise the work and answer any questions. He even assisted me with a free color consultation. I love the job they did on my interior and exterior and Athens Painting Co. is also Lead Certified for any lead issues. You will be very happy with the results! dj

I can highly recommend George Takash,he is what you described Ron, ,he can do both interior and exterior and he is meticulous in keeping things clean and tidy.He is also an excellent painter and carpenter and is very responsible,reliable and honest. I rent so he hasn't worked for me but has for 3 of my landlords.I have seen many houses that he has painted and he does wonderful work.Actually he has just started a painting job,outside and some inside of a house he did 20 years ago. At that time he also did 4 other houses on that street after neighbors saw his work,painting and carpentry

He just put in a screen door and a back door for my landlord and fixed up some repairs that were not done right by cheap workers my landlord had hired. He also had build a wonderful wooden railing and handrails by my back door and installed a shower insert,painted my bathroom, and put in a bathroom fan. He has worked for many neighbors ,friends and people I worked for before,doing painting, tile,fences, decks,remodeling, adding a room doors and windows , etc. He is very honest,excellent worker responsible and reliable. He can give you other references and has been working in the El Cerrito- Berkeley area for over 30 years. I hesitate a little recommending him to Berkeley parents network, because ,I'm sorry to say some people who respond are just looking for the cheapest work, and are getting many people over,just have him look at the job, run around to price materials, make bids etc and then they won't even have the courtesy to even call back.Good employers are as important as good workers. One person took his exact ideas and gave the job to someone cheaper. George noticed that when he drove by to see if the work had been done yet.Please don't call him if you are not serious or won't treat him right. Anyone who hires him is lucky to have someone like him with such a good work ethics and talents. George Takash 510-231-0558 He does work alone but he does a wonderful job whether it's painting,carpentry ,tile work,etc.He did just start a house painting job,so you'd have to arrange a near future date.Any questions for me,you can email me. George Takash 510-231-0558 wendy

I can highly recommend Jackie Stoltz for your painting projects. She has painted many of my apartments over the years and has always done a terrific job. She recently painted the exteriors on two houses of a friend of mine and she was very pleased. Jackie has a good color sense and can help with color selection if you choose. Her number is 510-910-2953. Roger

I highly recommend Petros Firas ( 510-637-8973) of Athens Painting Company. I saw his sign outside a neighbor's house that was painted beautifully, and after getting several other bids, went with Athens. He and his crew of 3-4 painted the exterior of our house in Berkeley. He is professional, skilled, and has great communication skills. He was able to repair a lot of dry rot on our windows, making our aging house look new again! His price was higher than other painters, but we got what we paid for and we're very happy with his work. Kaye

I am happy to recommend Petros Firas of Athens Painting. He and his team transformed the exterior of our shingle house from a flaking paint eyesore to a gorgeous home that looks brand new. Petros is a passionate about his work and takes great pride in meticulous attention to detail. He spent time with us reviewing the process as well as all of our options. They started the project when he said they would, kept us abreast of decisions that needed to be made along the way, provided expert guidance, arrived early every work day, protected all the ground surfaces from debris and paint, left our house tidy every day, and lastly, completed the job exactly when he said he would. We could not be happier with our experience and the results. His website is Please tell him that Hae sent you. sitting in our beautiful home

Several people recommended Athens painting. I just want folks to be aware that this business does not carry worker's comp for its employees. The on-line record on their license states: 'This license is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they certified that they have no employees at this time'.

Your choice, but be informed. anon.

Reasonable Local Painter for small job (Interior)

Sept 2012

i'm looking for a reasonably priced painter who can do a small job. any suggestions? mike

I have used JB Construction for all my painting jobs at my property management company. I have used him for seven years and my clients are happy about his work and have rehired him number of times. He works with your budget and does a great job. I am glad to recommend him. His name is Baha from JB Construction. his email is powerlabor [at] and his phone number is 510-735-4052 Hope this helps. myuksel

Aug 2012

I found De Colores House Painter online and gave them a call. Antonio made an appointment to see our house that day, and it was clear that he knew his craft. He gave suggestions and guidance that were exactly what we needed. We had found a house color that we wanted to replicate, and he went to that home, met the owners and recreated then their colors on our house. It is just what we wanted. He and his crew were incredibly careful, skilled and followed through on the absolute smallest detail. They painted the outside of our house with speed, efficiency and care - then began work inside the home with the same level of detail and care. We have ourselves new house painters! Without a doubt, I'll be calling Antonio and De Colores any and every time we need to hire a painter. They were fantastic! Martha

Looking for painters, floor guys, plumbers

Aug 2012

My husband and I just bought a new house and we need to get the hardwood floors refinished, have some rooms re-painted, and do some plumbing work. The house is in North Berkeley. Looking for recommendations for each of these 3 areas. Thank you!! Caitlin

For Painting I strongly recommend Josue Lands of JB Painting. Josue is a super nice guy, really easy to work with and gave us great advice about colors. 510-282-1431 We used Big Blue plumbing for our house in Oakland. Jose and Jack were great, hard working and good fun, clearly very proud of their work. 510-540-6060 Barry

House painter- Phil of Phil's Painting 510 317.1844. Does quality work, reasonable pricing, honest, and through. Laurel

Contractor to paint kitchen *and* reface cabinets

Aug 2012

Hello, Can any of you recommend a contractor who works in the East Bay who can both paint walls, refinish wood trim, and reface kitchen cabinets? I want to do it on the cheap, but don't want to hire two separate contractors. I'd like someone who is knowledgeable, skilled and easy to work with. It's a pretty small project also, probably best for a solo craftsman rather than a big crew. Thanks! depressing kitchen

Hi- we have someone doing the exact same thing in our kitchen this week, and he's doing a great job. Recommended by our neighbor, we are very happy with his work and rates. His name is Bill, Godlen Star Painting Company, and his number is 510-773-3732. happy with our newish looking kitchen

We used Jeffrey Swafford at Pride & Joy Home Improvements and we love our 'new' kitchen. Our 60s kitchen needed updating and we opted to have Jeffrey replace cabinet doors and drawers (made by the prior owner), add a cabinet and resize two others rather than do a cabinet reface. Since we also were replacing the countertop and floor we ended up doing the painting ourselves with advice from Jeffrey. The cabinet doors and drawers look great and are high quality. He does refacing and full kitchens and is flexible and helpful. He works with one helper. His phone number is 501-5677. anon

Marco Florian is a great painter, I highly recommend him. He is reliable, honest and his prices are very reasonable. He reface your cabinets and leave them looking great! In addition of been a great painter he can also do numerous jobs like tile, plumbing, carpentry and much more. He is creative and goes the extra mile to make sure his customers are satisfied. He is also willing to work on weekends if needed. You can contact him directly at 510- 301-5629 Ana

Saeed Movehed does excellent work. He is flexible, careful, and keeps to the schedule and estimate. You can reach Saeed at 510-872-4806 or saeedmovehed [at] merry

I recently used Certapro Berkeley, 981-0321, and found them to be excellent painters, reasonably priced and they were experienced in working lead-safe, which is important for any pre-1978 home especially if you have children. Whoever you hire, be sure to ask if they are lead-certified and how they will contain the paint chips. They should know to tape down plastic drop cloths, close off the work area, work wet and/or with a HEPA vacuum attached sander, wear respirators and clean up really well. Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program can help you in this process and even do an in-home consultation free if you own a pre-1978 home in Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda or Emeryville. 510-567-8280 or visit Julie

How much will it cost to paint 1 - 2 rooms?

Aug 2012

We're thinking of hiring someone to paint a few average size rooms in our bungalow. Paint is pretty good shape, just don't like the color. What's a typical, recent cost to get a room painted professionally? No longer into DIY

Hi! I recently bought a Victorian fixer, and now know a lot about painting costs. The cost of having a room professionally painted is going to vary depending on several things:

A) what shape the current paint is on both the walls and trim- if things need to be sanded and scraped that means more prep time and it will cost more,

B) how many windows et- the more complicated the trim that needs to be painted, the more time and therefore a higher cost

C) what colours are the old and new paint: If you are going from a dark paint to a light paint, or a colour with lots of red, yellow, or orange it will take more coats of paint which equals more time, and more materials, and therefore a higher cost. A little known fact for non-painters: yellow, orang and red pigments, and also clear greens and lavenders, don't cover as well as the earthier greens, blues and earth tones.

D)A rule of thumb would be approximately $4-500 per room (including materials), but if the rooms are less complicated (reasons stated above) and there are multiple rooms, you will likely get a discount. For a professional painter to come out for a smaller job- like just one room, he will still have to factor in his travel time, loading into and out of a job, so the more rooms you do at one time, the less overall cost.

You could probably get a handy man to do it cheaper, but the results won't be nearly as nice: in painting you do 'get what you pay for', mainly because you want good clean prep, and a nice clean finish, not a hack job. Also professional painters leave the 'job site' clean and liveable when the finish for the day. After having my whole house painted inside and out, I have a new respect for the work of a good painter! Happy Home Owner

Good Painter

Aug 2012

Hi BNPers, I have been looking for a interior painter that would be willing to do a fairly small job. Prior to moving into our home, holes in the wall were covered, but never repainted. We have this issue in every room. Annoying. Anyway, I had one quote from someone for $400 (way too expensive for this job) and another quote for $100, but that painter flaked out completely (never called back after two attempts to set it up). I am wanting someone professional to paint over these spots in a few hours and cost about $100. We have all the paint. Please let me know if you have anyone... Thanks!! Too many white spots

For your painting needs I can highly recommend Jackie at 510-910-2953. She is honest, trustworthy, very skilled at different finishes and is very willing to accept jobs such as yours. She will do a fine job for you at a reasonable price and you can rely on her to call you back and show up when she says she will.I have hired her many times over the years and have always been pleased with her work. Roger

I HIGHLY recommend Ramon Meza! 510-875-5479 meza_painting [at] He and his team were incredibly professional, efficient and friendly. They repainted all of the rooms in our home and did a fabulous job. They covered all of the furniture and carpets so there weren't any issues. We had to change colors once or twice and they were great about it. They hung up all of the pictures when they were done. Ramon came by about 1 week after he was done and to fix up any little scratches or nicks that had appeared (even things that WE'D caused since they were done)- at no extra cost! Also, we had a few doors that stuck and they took them off the hinges and leveled them off for us at NO extra cost. They're amazing. We would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for a painter. Also, Ramon's English is very good, which was helpful for me because I don't speak Spanish. Very happy with Ramon Meza the painter!

I highly recommend Ken White. He just painted the interior of my 1922 home, taking it from funky and dingy to fresh and polished. He and his team are friendly, flexible, and excellent communicators. Ken also has excellent taste and will work with you until your get the colors right. I got 5 quotes and his prices are more than reasonable. I would not hesitate to use him again. Ken White 415-533-0999 Jessica

We live in Berkeley and after 20 years of fading and cracking we needed to have our house repainted. Moving forward, our biggest concern was the quality of the prep work. We had a lot of stucco cracks that needed to be repaird and after interviewing 7 painters we got 7 different appraisals of how our house needed to be prepped. After each interview, our knowledge base grew so when it was time to decide on a painter we were 'primed' We decided to hire Esbin and Aldo Aguilar. They were knowlegeable and straight-forward in their assessment on how they were going to go about repairing the stucco and prepping the house. Their bid was not the least nor most expensive, but it was concise and detailed.

While on the job they followed through on their bid. The stucco was repaired and patched comprehensively, the house was power washed, prepped meticulously, and the quality of their painting lived up to their promises and our expectations. They go about the business of painting professionally by showing up on time and never leaving a mess after they leave. I wholeheartedly recommend them. esbinqualitypainter [at] 925-382-3440 John

Painter in North Oakland

July 2012

I just bought a nice townhouse in the North Oakland/West Oakland area and I'm looking for recommendations for a good and affordable painter to help me paint the interior of the townhouse. Thanks everyone! Jay

I have used and can highly recommend Jackie Stoltz of Jacqueline's Painting and Decorating for your painting needs. She has painted both interior and exterior surfaces over the years and we have always been pleased with her work. In addition to painting she worked at one time for a local paint store matching colors for professionals and do-it-yourselfers. She is also very good at faux painting and staining should you need or want that type of work performed. Jackie is very focused and takes only one job at a time and stays with it until the client is satisfied with the results. She is friendly, knowledgeable, puts her client's wishes first and her prices are very reasonable. One receives top quality results for less than an expensive cost. Her number is: 510-910-2953. Roger

I highly recommend Marco Florian, he is a great painter, handyman, carpenter, plumber, tiler etc. He has done numerous jobs in our home. He can work on weekends or evenings if needed; Marco always goes the extra mile and his rates are very reasonable. He is reliable, polite, creative, good nature man. You can reach Marco at 510-301-5629 Ana B.

I'd highly recommend Crespo from Vastago Painting he is licensed and insured, he is very detailed, thorough, he cleans up every day before they leave, i will definitely use them again if I need any painting done, you can call Crespo at 925- 382-3434. Michelle.

Removing Paint from Baseboards

June 2012

Hi BPNers! I am in need of some advice as I don't know the best way to handle a paint issue I have regarding the baseboards in my parent's home. They have a 1928 Spanish style home that used to be adorned with beautiful cherry colored wood baseboards in their living room, dining room and other areas of their home as well as the front door and other doors. A couple of years ago they hired someone who painted over these boards and doors without their consent and I was beside myself. Now that I am in charge of remodeling their home I want those beautiful baseboards back. My question is two-fold: 1)Is it worth removing the paint? I would love to hear personal stories others have had regarding this. I am really missing the beauty it once had. 2)Does anyone have recommendations of someone who could remove the paint and restore the boards/doors at a very affordable rate. If pricey, I'd like that information too. Thanks for your help! Desperate for Restoration

We just finished removing the paint from the baseboards, windows AND wainscoting in our dining room and living room. It was a lot of work, but it looks terrific. I can't believe the wood was painted over! The key to doing this successfully is heat. We bought the Speedheater infrared paint remover plus a small heat gun from Home Depot and followed the directions we found on this youtube video: I don't have anyone to recommend because we did the project ourselves. Just make sure they are going to use heat, not super-nasty chemicals. Love the natural wood!

I would highly recommend Gil Cohen for all your painting needs, both inside and out. He does quality work and pays attention to the details. He has a good eye for color and is easy to work with. You can see samples of his work on his website: or call 510-233-7020. Satisfied customer!

House painter for older wood house

May 2012

Our 1922, wooden, large (@3000 sq ft), SW-facing house needs to be painted once again. That combination seems to demand painting more often than most. The last time I called a couple of BPN-recommended painters they rejected the work because they were solo painters and this was too big for them. I'm looking for someone who does excellent prep work, is used to that combination of SW exposure and wood, and yet ~dream on~ is reasonably priced. Suggestions?

I would recommend a wonderful and trustworthy contractor, Levitan Construction. Reasonably priced and many year of experience. Owner is Barry Levitan and can be reached at 510-913-1044 or bjlevitan [at] He's licensed, bonded and insured, of course. happy customer

Alberto Barrera is the guy for you! 510-219-4907 He's a great guy and is priced LOW. He's not licensed (he can't afford it), but his work is top-notch. We also have a house just like yours, with all the same issues. We've had to paint it frequently as well. Ergh. But Alberto is a fair, honest, skilled painter. He also happens to be a sweet man and a loving father (my wife taught his children over the years, so we've gotten to know the family well). BTW, he is fanatical about doing the prep work RIGHT, so no worries there either. Mailisha

Ron Firman runs Artdeco Color ... he has that eye for detail AND color sense. cell: (510) 260-5366, email: decocolor [at] He does both inside and outside painting, lives in Berkeley and is a great guy as well. I am a carpenter & handyman who doesn't like to paint ... so, been working with Ron at my customers' homes and my home for a few years now. oren

Try Colin Baird with Platypus Painting. He has integrity; his work is beautiful; and he is detail-oriented. His crew even cleans up after themselves - imagine that! (510) 508-0736. Camille

Painter recommendation needed

March 2012

I love Jerri! She painted my exterior and interior. She is very clean and respectful of house pets! She brought my dog treats! She is super honest and her prices are great. She is truly a good painter and trustworthy. Debbie

I highly recommend Vastago Painting!, We bought our first place and needed a quick turn around on the painting, I called Crespo (the owner) and he came over the next day, he did a walk through, answer all the questions we had, put together a solid estimate for drywall and painting. The house looks great, the work was done quickly,the crew was very professional and made our house look spectacular. I would have to say they are definitely five star painters. Fully license and insured they can be reached at 925-382-3434. Michelle.

If you need a very good painter who has lots of experience, skill and knowledge for a reasonable price, I highly recommend Jackie Stoltz. She is very good in assisting with color ideas, can match colors well, and is also a faux painter. She has completed many jobs for me over the years both on the interior and exterior of my house and apartments. I am always pleased and satisfied with her work as it is of high quality. Her number is:510- 910-2953. Roger

Athens Painting did a great job at our house in North Oakland. They were very clean, detailed, thorough and pleasant to have around. They get along great with kids and animals. Check out their page on Facebook and contact the owner Petros if you like what you see. Our house is the Craftsman with the orange windows.

Housepainter for 2-story house

March 2012

We are looking for a house painter that can paint our two stories house in Berkeley in the next two months. I checked BPN and did not see any new recommendations. Thank you. Berkeley resident

We have a house in Berkeley and have hired Jose Abel Beltran several times to paint for us, most recently last month. He and his workers do a very good job - - they are very experienced, responsible and honest. His prices are very reasonable. He has wonderful older reviews in the archive that can be referred to as well, that's how we found him. Jose Abel Beltran can be reached on his cell at (415) 225-5624. When we need more painting we will definitely be calling him again. Dianne

I highly recommend Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973. They painted our house 2 years ago and I continue to get compliments on the way it looks today. The team does a lot of preparation to achieve beautiful results. Their attention to detail really surprised us. We absolutely love the color which really transformed our house. They finished on time and on budget. We are so happy we chose Athens Painting Co. Check out the website Lynn

We worked with Petros Firas at Athens Painting (510) 637-8973 this year and we can recommend him without any hesitation. We have been through a number of painters over the years - some good and some not so much. My wife was also a painter in her past life and knows the trade. Petros and his crew are thorough, conscientious, accessible, punctual, knowledgeable, tidy, detail-oriented, and reasonably priced. It was a pleasure to work with him and we would hire him again for our next job. Berkeley Homeowner

I would highly recommend Color Touch Painting! They are very quick, accurate and meticulous, and seem geared towards client care and full service. Todd helped me create a perfect color palate for my home, and then they executed it perfectly. They've done interior and exterior work for several family and friends and everyone has loved them. Their web-site is R Nations

Can anyone recommend a good painter?

Dec 2011

I am looking for a very good and not too expensive painter to re-paint a few rooms in our Rockridge home. anon

I highly recommend Juan Rodriguez as a house painter. He does interiors as well as exteriors. His pricing is very reasonable. He is honest, trustworthy and had a great personality. Call him:510-593-9331. Jamila

I just had a great experience with Charmed Painting. Very firendly, affordable, and great work. Cassie

I suggest calling ARC Painting, otherwise known as Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They are clean and careful, and leave their clients with beautiful walls. I have worked on jobsites with them, and I have always been impressed. Arana Painting: 510-567-9559 Lisette

We just had a great experience with John Briggs who did some interior and exterior painting for us. 510-851-2039

Recently I had both interior and exterior work done by Dan Prine, and am really happy with it. He is a small independent painter, who does most of the work himself. I had a really bad paint job inside from the previous owners - it looked like they literally threw the paint on the wall and let it dry with drips everywhere. He did an amazing job prep-ing the walls to remove the drips and re-texturing these patches to match the rest of the wall surface. His prices are very reasonable, but not as low as the people out there calling themselves 'painters' that don't know how to properly prep, mask off, and paint cleanly(beware!). He does excellent work, is very reliable and trustworthy, and keeps your house clean while he is working on it. I would highly recommend giving him a call. His number is (510) 860-9166 - Love my painter

We have just finished a full exterior and partial interior project with Arana Residential and Commercial Painting ( and have been extremely happy with them. We interviewed a lot of painters and ended up liking Arana and one other painter based on a combination of personality, references, EPA lead-certification, insurance (Arana is licensed, bonded and insured) and price. We ultimately moved forward with Arana based on schedule and great referrals I received on them around their removal of lead-based paint and have been SO happy with them that I can't imagine having worked with anyone else. ARC is a family-owned and operated, really easy to work with, listens to and works hard to accommodate your needs, on time daily, communicates clearly and consistently on status of the project, trust worthy and respectful of your space, high quality paint job... I can't say enough good things about Arana. You can reach them at 510-567-9559. joonx

I highly recommend Marco Florian, he is a great painter/handyman. He has done numerous painting jobs in our home and properties as well as anything else we need to be done like painting, plumbing,tiling,carpentry; he has also remodel a couple of bathrooms He can work on weekends or evenings if needed; Marco always goes the extra mile and his rates are very reasonable. He is reliable, polite, creative, good nature man. You can reach Marco directly at 510-301-5629 or marco.a.florian [at] Ana

Recently used the services of Paul Shinn on a challenging bathroom remodel. He is meticulous, courteous, and did excellent painting work, as well as drywall, flooring, and tile work. Met Paul because he is also a sub-contractor for Bowflex equipment installs. Contacts are 510-427-2957 and Mr.Shinn [at] Suzette

We have completed our house in Hercules. JB Construction have been there for us. Check out their website: Contact Baha directly at (510) 735-4052 Or e-mail: powerlabor [at] Cristina

I have an excellent painter for both interior and exterior work. Dave Ritter of Surface painting and Decorating, License # 474258, 510.482.3370. Dave painted our home this summer and our newly renovated bathroom last week. Dave is thorough and careful with prep-work, meticulous about masking off area's not to be painted, and quite knowledgeable about paint, surfaces, and finishes. Dave will work with you and let you know your options for any given job. He is the only painter I'd trust with my house - inside or out. Lucy

We have a large bonus room that we needed painted in a hurry (trim, walls). I also recommended him to a friend who had to get her apartment painted, crown moulding and baseboards installed for carpet installation. Jeff is a contractor and he was able to do our project and my friend's on time and on budget. Here is his phone number -- 510.928.5559. pm

I can highly recommend Jose Gutierrez, whom I found from BPN: Best Bay Painting CA. Lic. # 927954 Jose Gutierrez bestbaypainting [at] Cell 510-517-8748 Jose painted our live/work loft in March. I'm perfectionistic (anal, lol?) about things like edges, prep work, cleanliness - he attends to all that!. Jose is easy to work with, great price, lovely guy...can't ask for more! Jessica

I can recommend without reservation for indoor and outdoor painting, 'Phil the Painter.' Phil Lawhun, 510-317-1844. He is licensed, was very reasonably priced (we had a number of people bid on the job) and knowing his work, I would have picked him even if he had charged more than the other bids. He has done both the exterior trim and interior trim of our entire home. He is easy to communicate with, friendly, and punctual. He had to move furniture inside and to move outside planter boxes and did a great job putting everything back in place. I felt comfortable leaving him and his colleagues alone in the home and had no worries about giving him a key. We will without a doubt be using him again in the future. lk

I highly recommend Sorin Feraru. His crew painted our house inside-out. We've been working with Sorin and his crew for a long time and they've completed various projects for us. The are hard working, honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable. You can reach Sorin at 510-228-7366 or check some of his work at

We recently had Ken White paint our exterior and he did a fabulous job (he did our interior too). He's a great guy and will generally come in lowest on the bid - he also helped us make sure that some of our other contractors weren't padding their bids (LOL).

I also appreciated that he will point out the touch-up spots and that he takes his prep work really seriously - he spent an entire day scraping where the water blasting didn't pull off the paint (we did that ourselves... apparently not well enough...)

A really great guy and has been doing it for like 30 years. You should always get 3 bids on any job... and on any paint job I'd say you should have Ken do one of them! (He lives in Napa but paints all over the Bay Area, especially the East Bay.) (415) 533-0999 newhouse

Looking for a reliable painter who preps carefully

Oct 2011

We need someone who will carefully strip old paint and then paint our kitchen, dining room,and living room. Recommendations please! M.

I have been very happy with the work that Dan Prine (510) 860-9166 has done both inside and outside of my house. He understands the importance of good prep work and is also extremely contentious of keeping the 'job site'- your home- clean while he does his work. He is an excellent painter! happy home owner

Seeking house painter to repaint shingled exterior

Sept 2011

We need to repaint our 1915 craftsman. The house is shingled and years ago it was painted (not stained, painted) by a previous owner. I would love to replace the shingles but I fear that will be prohibitively expensive. Does anyone have experience dealing with a similar situation? We're looking for recommendations for house painters with experience prepping and repainting shingles. Laura

I recomend Marco Florian; he is a great painter!. he did some very unusual painting job for us to recreate an antique look. He has done interior as well as exterior painting as well as various jobs around our properties,He is very reliable, trustworthy, creative. His rates are fair and he can work on weekends. He's honest and great to work with. He has great skills on everything related to construction.I highly recommend his work. You can contact him for free estimates at marco.a.florian [at] or by phone at 510-301-5629 Ana

Ken White is a fantastic painter and an all-around good guy. He will also come in lowest on your bid, which is one of the reasons I like recommending him - because he works for himself (and has been doing this for 30 years) he's quick, very skilled, and sensitive to people being taken advantage of by contractors (especially women - he looked at ALL our construction bids for us, including duct work and plumbing).

He also ended up painting our very elderly neighbor's house after we found out she'd had a guy out to bid her job. That guy told her that he'd just paint over the ivy growing on the side of her house (!!!) Ken stepped in, came in way under, and also helped her arrange to have floors and landscaping done.

He has done a number of high-end commercial jobs (Cesar in Oakland, LA City Hall, SFO) but is primarily doing his own home projects now, both internal and external. He can also help you with color choices and can do high-end finishes like Venetian plaster and lacquer. Or he can just paint a hallway. His number is (415) 533-0999

Legal painters needed for 4-6 week job

July 2011

My husband is a general contractor who needs two legal painters for a 4-6 week job. Can anyone please recommend painters they trust? Claire

I would like to highly recommend a terrific painting company Esbin Quality Painting run by two brother Esbin and Aldo.

I have used this painting company exclusively since I purchased by 90 year old home 5 years ago. Since that time Esbin and Aldo have done a number of jobs some very complex. For example, they have painted all of the tired looking gum wood which is extensive in the house baseboards, doors, window casings, built in hutches and more-- and this required lots of sanding and stripping of the old finishes, patching, priming and finally painting, and the wood is now beautifully updated.

They have also removed over 20 dated light sconces which required patching these many holes in the old stucco, and they careful matched the new plaster finish so that the wall plaster is seamless, and they did this so well that I canC,bt find where the old scones were located.

They have painted the home exterior and surrounding stucco walls and most recently (this week) they have painted nearly half of the interior rooms including the kitchen which was face lifted. The kitchen is now beautiful, really special as Esbin and Aldo used 4 shades of a cream color in different finishes chosen by my color designer (my new wife!) who is very exacting (I mean picky!), and the results are spectacular and the room is beautiful and makes us feel happy and relaxed in this kitchen family room area.

Esbin and Aldo have other important skills as well - they have done some complex sheet rocking, insulation installation and other carpentry work as well for us. As important as their painting skills, these are very gentle and kind professionals who are totally unobtrusive while working in the house. They are trustworthy, my work requires me to be gone a lot and they have completed projects with little guidance or presence on my part, and they are very fair about their fees.

Esbin and Aldo are excellent painters who are also excellent people. I highly recommend them. There contacts are: 925-382-3440 or email esbinqualitypainter [at] Larry

My wife and I decided to have our 100+ year old mut of a Berkeley house (combo of stucco, wood siding, other materials not to be named) painted. We've been in the house for about 4 years and knew it was time. Bob Antonelli came over to meet with us to give an initial estimate; and right away we felt very comfortable. It was immediately apparent that he knows his business and immensely cares for his work (his expertise is in carpentry, weatherproofing, and painting among related areas); is amazingly detail-oriented; is a true craftsman; a keen assessor; and is very professional. During our initial walk-around, he kept describing the job as a 'restoration' job, not just a paint job. We cringed with unease; and that said, we were pleasantly surprised when he gave a VERY reasonable estimate - and ultimately came in at budget. So we happily decided to go with him after receiving other not so great bids for less work and lesser quality. Bob and his crew came in, got down, totally restored our house - complete with an incredible waterproofing paint job.

In addition to the big job, we had a basement-level 1/2 bathroom needing major fixing up. Again, the cost estimate was completely reasonable given the fixes and cosmetics. The downstairs bathroom is now a thing of beauty and no longer feels like the prison bathroom it was once.

Here're just several reasons why we love Bob: 1. Thoroughness: Bob and his crew were amazingly thorough and detailed in their initial project scope and eventual work. 2. Professional, courteous, friendly, attentive, unobtrusive, respectful. 3. Clean: The crew cleans up very carefully at the end of each day. 4. Most bang for your bucks. 5. General Awesomeness: Enough said.

We couldn't recommend Bob and his guys more highly. Contact him at 415-724-4301. Joshua

Looking for a painter named Roberto

July 2011

Around 8 years ago I had a wonderful painter do work at my house. His name was Roberto Ibarra and he was from Guatamala. I lost contact with him as did the contractor who recommended him to me. I believe a few members on this list worked with Roberto and I'm hoping someone has contact information for him as I have many painting needs and his work was outstanding. Thanks! Needs painting

Did Roberto have a contracting license? You should be able to track him down if he is legitimate. If not, you may wish to be careful whom you allow into your home. I see a lot of unlicensed contractors recommended on this site. The thing about unlicensed contractors is that a lot of times (more often than not) they have a criminal history. YES, they are cheap. YES, they do great work. BUT- Do you really want to let conviced felons into your home without a background check? Fact Checker

Seeking a licensed painter with good references

July 2011

Hi, I am looking for a good painter to paint my house. I would like to have a licenced contractor with good references-..Any suggestions ? Thanks HJ

We recently used Arana Residential & Commercial Painting to paint the exterior of our house. It's run by a husband and wife team, Ernesto and Catherine. They were delightful to work with and priced very fairly. You can see the results of their work here... Leanne

I highly recommend Guillermo Chicas. He is licensed, insured, and just plain nice. He was recommended to me by a friend whose house he painted years ago and just like my friend said, he has been very professional, reasonably priced, and detail-oriented. He is currently painting the exterior of our home and his prep has been incredibly thorough. Unexpected repairs have come up along the way and he has been very knowledgeable about fixing them as well. He can be reached at (925) 759-7564 or (925) 212- 6798. VK

A wonderful painter is Robert Candelaria. We won't use anyone else. He is so caring about his work, meticulous with the prep and the painting, but with a quiet manner. He is also very efficient and thorough. He love his work, and it shows! He is very respectful. He does a good job of cleaning up every day. He comes as promised - on time. His prices are reasonable. He is the best I've seen! 415-720-8329. He is in San Rafael, but I live in Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville area, and he comes out this way happily. Meg S.

For interior or exterior painting, I highly recommend Athens Painting Company, (510) 637-8973. The owner, Petros Firas is detail oriented, thorough, with a good eye for design and color and an amazing work ethic. He is also personable, which, although not necessary, is a definite bonus. His crew is great and I was pleased with both jobs they did for me, an entire exterior and, at a later date, 4 interior rooms. I will hire them again when I need painting done. Erica Binnewies

We had a very good experience with Hans Stahlschmidt in Berkeley a few months ago. website He is a licensed painting contractor. I noticed that a lot of my neighbors were using him, so I asked him for a bid. His bid was fair and reasonable - not cheap, but also not over the top, and I appreciated being able to correspond by email. I wasn't sure how much interior painting and wood refinishing I wanted to do, and he gave me several estimates that included different options, and worked with me to stay within our budget. He delivered a quality job that exceeded our expectations. His painters are all long-term employees, and they are efficient, expert painters, keeping things very tidy and cleaning up at the end of the day. His team also did a beautiful job refinishing the worn wood panels in our dining room. I had no idea they could ever look that good. We were very pleased with the work and plan to hire him again when we get ready to do exterior painting. Ginger

For interior or exterior painting, I highly recommend Athens Painting Company, (510) 637-8973. The owner, Petros Firas is detail oriented, thorough, with a good eye for design and color and an amazing work ethic. He is also personable, which, although not necessary, is a definite bonus. His crew is great and I was pleased with both jobs they did for me, an entire exterior and, at a later date, 4 interior rooms. I will hire them again when I need painting done. Erica

I highly recommend Tracy Boyko for a painter. She has been in the business for more than 15 years. Tracy is great with colors, has helped me select color combinations that worked well with my floors, cabinets and other rooms and decor. Tracy also does faux finish painting and after some wall damage, did some patch work and you can't even discern the difference between the previous work and the patched section. Tracy is easy to work with, cleans up after herself, takes great pride in her work, does an excellent job. you can contact Tracy at: tboyko [at] check out her website: fussy

I have a painter for you. My husband and I have been so happy with the work Gil Cohen (Fresh Paint) has done for us over the years. Gil is terrific with colors and so meticulous with prep and clean up. He was originally recommended to us by a contractor. He was so terrific that we continued to hire him to paint other parts of our house, both inside and out. But perhaps the best part is that he not only paints well, he is such a delight to have around. He may be the most dependable and personable contractor we've ever hired. Reach Gil on his website or at 510-233-7020. Patrice in Berkeley

Hi, I would like to recommend Ramon Meza as the best painter I've ever hired. He did an excellent job painting the entire interior of our house a couple of weeks ago. Ramon pays great attention to details and his team works really hard to get the job done well and on time--my husband and I were impressed with their work ethic. Towards the end of the project I changed my mind about the color of one of the bathrooms, I talked to Ramon and he patiently told me to choose a new color and re-painted it. We will be hiring him again to paint the exterior of our house in the Fall. I'm very picky and don't recommend anyone lightly, Ramon Meza can be contacted at 510-875-5479. Judith

We recently used Athens Painting for the exterior of our home. Petros and his team did an amazing job. They prepped the house thoroughly (including repairing eaves and window sills that needed work) and were meticulous painters. They were also easy to work with and completed the job on time and on budget. We highly recommend them. Their website is Petros can be reached at 510-637-8973. Steve and Dave

Affordable painter for exterior trim and painting

June 2011

I am looking for a good and affordable painter to prep, replace some trim and paint my house. There are also several large cracks in the stucco that need to be repaired. I am hoping for a small company or one painter. It's a 2400 square foot house in Elmwood. I've had some bids from 8-10k not including trim replacement, but no one I'm comfortable using. Anon

I highly recommend Ken White, (415) 533-0999. He does interiors, exteriors and high-end finishes (lacquer, Venetian plaster) as well as commercial projects - he painted Cesar in Oakland, etc. You'll find him very personable, knowledgable, skilled and, best of all, very reasonable! happy with my paint job

I have found a great painter and handyman who is very reasonably priced. I have dealt with a lot of contractors and handymen over the years, and this guy is definitely as good as they come in terms of honesty, reliability, attention to detail, etc. His name is Walter Gama. His cell # is 510-507-0335. He is Brazilian, and has a fairly strong accent, but he is fluent in English. You can say that you were given his name and number from Michael. michael

I'd like to recommend Victor Carmona, a painter who just prepped and painted our exterior. We bought the house last year and it hadn't been painted in about 15-20 years. It had a number of cracks in the stucco. Victor and his guys did excellent work on the cracks and on prepping the house overall, in addition to the painting. They were respectful, responsible, reliable, hard working and a pleasure to have around. We were REALLY happy with the outcome. Victor's English is limited but he can get by. His prices are extremely reasonable... by far the lowest bid we got. His phone number is 650-771-2701. tf

Check out Dan Prine 510-860-9166 He has done a lot of interior painting work for me and will be doing my exterior this summer. I have an old Victorian, that needs/needed lots of prep both inside and out, including trim replacement. He is very good, detail oriented, and reasonably priced. Cleans up the job site every night, and is very respectful. I highly recommend him. Lisa

I highly recommend George Takash. He is very experienced and excellent at any work he does.He has been working in the El Cerrito-Berkley area for over 35 years, and has wonderful references. He is a talented, honest reliable, responsible person. George has wonderful work ethics. He has not worked for me because I rent but he has worked for 3 of my landlords and many people I know or have worked for(babysitting, house sitting).I've only heard rave reviews. He keeps a really clean work site.He is an excellent painter, he also does almost all handyman work. He also is a professorial carpenter,he does fences, decks etc,he also does tile work, bathroom and other remodeling, doors and windows. He does it all extremely well and creatively. As you are looking for someone good and reliable, he is also looking for good clients who treat him honestly and fair also. Please don't call him if you are looking for the cheapest work and just want as many bids from a bunch of different workers,or just want to take and use his ideas, and shine him on.It's important to have good people to do the work and good people to work for.It really goes both ways.I wasn't sure, when you said you've gotten all these bids. He works really hard when he comes and looks at the work. He really puts a lot of work when he writes his bids up.He runs around checking on prices and materials if needed.He is very conscientious, a good person, honest and a hard worker. If you are interested in his contact information please email me Thank You. Wendy wendy

Contact Sorin Feraru at 510-228-7366. We had our windows and trims replaced and the exterior of the house painted by Sorin's crew, among other things and we are very satisfied with the job. They've put in high quality work, attention to details and excellent craftsmanship. Also, you can check some of his work at

House painter for shingles & stucco exterior

May 2011

I'm looking into getting estimates from house painters to work on the exterior of my house. I have stucco and shingles. Of course, I'd like someone who does thorough prep work as the west side of my house gets intense sunlight. I prepped and repainted on my own the shingles but those facing the west are already beginning to peel after 6 years (I used Benjamin Exterior Paint). I live in the El Cerrito Hills. Many thanks. Time for a facelift

I wish I had used Tony Cataldo for my exterior, as I did for the interior. Rather I used one of those, 'five guys and a spray gun' and its very true that.. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PREP . Tony does do exterior as well as in, has been for like 20 years and watching him is like watching a true craftsman. He's very nice to have around as well email me and I'll give you his contact info.. which I will get in a minute. Just FACEBOOKED him. Reenie Raschke Photography reenie

My coworker recommeded painter Ramon Meza because I needed to fix problems from previous poor work to my Alameda home. He's completely repainted inside and out and I wouldn't hire anyone else. He's trustworthy professional, and does beautiful work that will last. Best paint products, excellent prep, straight lines. Susan

The only painter we use anymore is Robert Candelaria - because he is so good. He does excellent prep work. He does his work carefully, yet efficiently. He is respectful and considerate always. He cleans up thoroughly. He thoroughly protects everything that can be affected by his work (plants for exterior, and furniture, etc. for interior). He is honest, prompt, and a joy to have around. Good luck! Meg

I would like to highly recommend Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They do both interior and exterior work. We recently (the past week) had them paint our interior windows, and plan on using them to paint the interior of our house. We were impressed with the communication from both Catherine and Ernesto (husband/wife team who run Arana), and extremely pleased with the quality of their work. Our windows look exceptional, and they left their work area spotless. They also patched and painted some areas near the windows for no charge. Their prices were extremely reasonable, and we are looking forward to working with them again! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. - Sarah

We recently had our house exterior painted by Rafael Silva. I was impressed by his professionalism and how quickly he got the job done (three days for a small bungalow.) His rates are extremely competitive. You can reach him at (415) 680- 5987. Leila

To an earlier question on painters, I highly recommend Dave Ritter, owner of Surface Painting and Decorating. We used him to paint our stucco house last fall and we were so impressed by his work and reasonable rates that we had him paint a number of rooms inside the house this spring.

Dave does most of the work himself, and has many, many years of experience. He does meticulous prep work before painting - filling holes, sanding rough spots, even plastering bigger problems before the actual painting.

I got estimates from three businesses (all recommended on BPN), and Dave had the best price. All his references were also very enthusiastic.

Dave's number is (510) 390-2186 Irene

Looking for a Licensed & Insured House Painter

May 2011

Hello, We need to paint parts of or all of the exterior of our house and are looking for an excellent house painter. It is very important to us that the painter be licensed and his/her crew have health insurance/workman's comp. Please recommend anyone you know who falls into this category. Thank you, Stephanie

Colin Baird owns Platypus Painting which is both licensed and insured. This operation is the real deal from interior to exterior, power washing and more. I highly recommend Colin and his team.510-508-0736. Nina

I would like to recommend Saul Espinoza for your house painting job. He is not only an excellent painter, but also an unusually nice and gracious man. His number is 510 233 3690. anon

Hans Stahlschmidt is licensed and did a very nice job painting 4 rooms for us a couple of months ago. It says on his website that he has long-term employees who have health insurance and profit-sharing with the company, and they pride themselves on their ethics and quality. I can attest to the quality! G.

Stucco and paint contractor

April 2011

Hi, I am looking for stucco and paint contractors that do a good quality job and have reasonable prices. Thanks diana

I had my stucco house repainted last summer by Chris Scyphers and his team (510-710-7410). The stucco is _really_ rough, so I figured it would be challenging. They did a thorough power wash, then fixed areas that needed repair. The priming and painting seemed like the easiest part. They used the rubbery elastomer paint -- and it is holding up perfectly so far. We did a bit more construction after the initial job was complete & they came back and touched things up as needed. Robb

Reinstall a window and then repair and paint the wall

Feb 2011

Hi. We had our home painted about 3 years ago by Roger Mejia, a recommendation from BPN. He did a great job, but I lost his number. I found the old referral but the number did not work. If anyone used his services more recently, could you post his number? If not, can I get a recommendation for a reasonably priced person who would take out a poorly installed window and reinstall, plaster and paint the window wall, and entire bedroom. Thanks. dr

Hi, I am new to the newsletter, but I can answer your question: I recently converted a garage into a room and this guy, Albert, did a great and inexpensive job. I personally don't remember the price, but I remember that it was at least 10% less than the average bids. He changed the window, he painted, and he even clean after he did everything!!!!! I highly recommend him! His number is (510) 459 9453, and if you want you can mention me. Hope he will help you, Cecilia

We live in Oakland and used Arana Painting to paint our new windows and they were super great. We had the windows installed by The Window Specialist and they came behind them and did all of the finish patching and caulking. The finish painters did a beautiful job! We spent a lot of money on those windows, so we were happy with final product. The windows were done in a day and the painting took another 2 days. They left everything completely clean. Their website is Highly recommend them! Christina Christina

Editor Note: reviews were also received for Window installers

Looking for Color Consultant/House Painter

Feb 2011

Has anyone on this list worked with a color consultant who also does specialty paint finishes, is creative and can help me with some on-going re-design projects in my home? Thank you anon

I highly recommend Ron Firman, (decocolor [at] or 510-260.5366) when you need a painter with an artist's eye and a craftsman touch (gee, that sounds over the top). But seriously, sense of color and design... he makes it happen when it comes to painting and staining. We met at a job i was doing... he was the painter, he also painted a beautiful custom sign with house numbers/etc... our paths cross frequently and his work is great. oren

I recommend Petros Firas (510) 637-8973. He is a licensed painting contractor who specializes in Artistic Plaster and Finishes. He has a keen eye for color. He is a meticulous painter/artist. Lynn

Hi there, I have a friend who is a painter that does scenic design and is a wonderful faux painter. She is great with color and has painted 3 areas of my house. I love her work and it is very dramatic. Her pricing is not bad considering the time and quality of her work. her name is Tracy Boyko and her website is; email is tboyko [at]; ph#4155161480 check her out, get an estimate and see her portfolio... you won't be disappointed!! faux lover

I used a color consultant and a house painter. It depends if you painting outside or inside. Outside you want the best painter b/c it takes a long time to paint. We chose O'Brien Painted to Last. His crew was amazing! quiet clean and very thorough. It took them 15 days to paint our house, because they had to remove the previous paint first. I am extraordinarily happy with the entire experience. Their reputation is stellar in the industry.

I know this because I hired three different color consultants (all three knew of O'Brien). The first two are often recommended on Berkeley Parents. I thought they were both fine, but not particularly talented. I was still unhappy, when I found a house in the neighborhood that I loved. They gave me Victor Cohen Stuart's name. He was a professor of art, but has also spent many years as a house painter. He knows house paint colors better than anyone I have met. He also has an the most elegant eye. His prices are comparable to both other colorists I tried, but his service is much more extensive! He came by two times to talk with me about the house colors. I would use him for either indoor or outdoor projects. Good luck

Editor note: reviews were also received for Color Consultants

Jan 2011

Re: Repainting existing kitchen cabinets
Phil Lawhun just finished painting the entire inside of our two story house and did an excellent job! We found him on BPN. He is extremely pleasant and polite and very meticulous! We did not have to take down, move or pack up anything; Phil did this very carefully. He left the house very clean each day, neatly keeping the paints/supplies out of our way. I was still deciding on paint colors when he started and Phil never pressured us to make a decision, instead starting off with the rooms we were sure of and testing out colors for us. Phil does the painting himself, sometimes with the assistance of a partner, and is always on site. His fees were more reasonable than large companies. He is licensed and bonded. Phil Lawhun 510-317-1844. Our house looks amazing! Melissa

2009 - 2010 Reviews

Detail-oriented painter, good at prep

Sept 2010

Hi - we are getting ready to paint our home, and I'd love recommendations on painters you have used recently. We are looking for someone who is detail-oriented, good at all the prep. needed, etc. Thanks! anon

Enrique Rodriguez, 510-812-3150, is a terrific house painter for both interior and exterior. He does meticulous preparation and careful painting. laura

We hired J.P. Aspatore to paint our house exterior about a year ago, and we were (and still are) extremely happy with the job. We had three painters come out for a consultation and quote, and J.P.A. were clearly the most professional, knowledgable and detail-oriented of the three. Check out their reviews on Yelp. Nick

Ramon Meza does outstanding interior and exterior painting - high quality and service at reasonable prices. I have been very satisfied over several years with his work and feel lucky to have found him. He was originally referred by my neighbor who is quite a perfectionist. Watching his meticulous prep work, many of our neighbors now employ Ramon and are equally satisfied. His prices are quite reasonable. He can be counted on for complete clean-up and follow- through. When in the neighborhood, he has stopped by to do touch-ups at no cost and, once, he even had his workers help me move some furniture and refused to let me pay him. Altogether a man of honor and integrity. Ramon Meza: (510) 875- 5479

This is in response to both ads for house painters listed in the Sept.15 newsletter. One was for someone who did good prep work and was detail oriented and the other for a good painter to paint a stucco house in Berkeley. There also was another request for a painter/ wood worker to stain pine windows,My response(recommendation) would apply to their request also. I am recommending George Takash.

I am a renter so I haven't hired him but I have seen many jobs that he has done, and spoke to many people he has worked for. He has a great reputation and has many local references.George Takash has painted the outside of many houses of people in the El Cerrito/ Oakland area for over 30 years. He does inside painting, staining and installing wood,doors, window etc. He has worked for my landlord and painted and have done work for many houses of people I've known and worked for.

Many years ago he had painted the outside and inside of a house plus some carpentry work,for people I did childcare for and not only were the people very satisfied,the neighbors loved his work. He ended up doing many jobs on that street.The same thing happened on a street he worked for in Oakland.He is detail oriented,can determine what prep is needed and does an excellent job. He keeps his work site neat, he is talented,honest, responsible, has great work ethics and creative to name a few of his attributes. He also is a professional carpenter and has created, decks, fences, stairs,does remodeling,tile work, and has built additions. Lastly he can also do almost any kind of handy man work. I think you will be pleased with his work.He is also nice man. Wendy

We just painted our house in the North Berkeley Hills and we can highly recommend Garry Lovell at Just Us Painting. (510) 237-6981. His attention to detail was exceptional and his prep work was incredibly thorough. He worked very well with our color consultant and was patient with our changes as we went along. His rates were very reasonable. All this and he was an absolute pleasure to work with. Satisfied Homeowner

We just had our kitchen painted by a wonderful painter and his family! Andy Frasheski afrasheski [at] (510) 644-3711. His son and son-in-law assisted and our kitchen looks beautiful. Andy also fixed a very dangerous electrical outlet, tiled our backsplash and installed a new toilet in our 1910 house. Everything done beautifully. His prices were very reasonable and he worked quickly and efficiently. We have had other contractors in our home before and Andy and his team were the first to care about our living situation while working in our home. They cleaned up everyday and did a great job of sealing off the area and protecting cabinets and floors while they worked. We have a one year old and they honestly cared about her welfare with paint fumes and chocking hazards created by construction. They were a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend. Jennifer

I would strongly recommend MB Jessee painting for both exterior and interior painting projects. This is truly a professional company with skilled, friendly, neat employees who care about the quality of their work, the concerns of their clients and will take wonderful care with your project. Their pricing is competitive and they are great to work with. Please contact Ricardo De Jesus at 510.851.1023 for a quote. His email is ricardo [at] Best of luck to you! Rebecca

I would like to highly recommend a fantastic house painter. Phil of Phil's Painting just painted the exterior of my house (Oakmore area) this past July. It was one of the best experiences I have had with hiring someone to work on my house. Phil is professional, polite, highly experienced, and has a great sense of humour.

I hired Phil before I had selected the exterior color of my home. He was patient and helpful throughout the whole process. He finished on time and left my house and it's surroundings impeccably clean and tidy. He was very gentle with the plants in my garden. Best of all he did the work with one other person so I could talk to him about the progress each day. And his rates are reasonable!!!! He can be reached at 510-317-1844 maria

CertaPro, owned by Soumil Amin, is an excellent painting company which I have used personally, and recommend to my clients. Great work and customer and outstanding customer service. Reach them at 510-981-0321 and 825-787-1843. Alisa

Good painter for 1930s stucco house exterior

Sept 2010

Seeking recommendations for a painter to paint the exterior of my 1930s stucco house in Berkeley. Thank you! kmac

I just had my house exterior painted by Rafael Silva and he did an absolutely stunning job for a very reasonable cost. I found him actually after reading a BPN recommendation of him, and I am so grateful that somebody recommended him! He is a best painter I ever had. He is a very honest nice person and he and his crew were quick, hard working and cleaned after every day. He used the very best paints and multiple coats. (I am a paint nut). His phone number is 415-680-5987. I am definitely going to use him for the interior also this winter. very satisfied

We used Athens Painting company last year for our two story stucco/wood trim Berkeley home. Petros, the owner, was great to work with. The price was reasonable, the workers were efficient, and the job they did looks great. We were very satisfied. annie

One-man painter operation for odd painting jobs

August 2010

Does anyone know of a reasonable and GOOD house painter for small jobs ( i.e. paint a room or rooms, or hall or outside trim)? I have hired some in the past but they did a fast and bad job (not enough prep and didn't hold up). I'm looking for a one-man or small business, not a crew, for odd painting jobs. Ann

We've had great results using Mike Pierce Painting. He is a sole owner of his business, is easy to deal with, is quick and clean. And our job has held up for several years now, and still looks fine! He can be reached at (925) 200-2470. Julie

Dawn Karim at Paint 2 Perfection is an excellent painting professional. paint2perfection [at] and (510) 334-7751. She painted my office and it looks great! The friends I recommended her to for office and house painting have all been very thrilled with the quality, speediness, and cleanliness of her work. Her rates are very reasonable. Highly highly recommend her! Rosie

Jose at Best Bay Painting is the best painter we've hired (and we have hired a lot). I would never use anyone else. He was very conscientious, did bee-u-tiful prep on our old doors, trim, stair rails, and walls. Can't say enough. Plus he is extremely nice and pleasant to have around. I believe his # is 510-517-8748. Happy at Last

I can recommend a GREAT painter. His name is Chris Menefee. He is detail-oriented and reliable. He's painted the exterior of our house, and several rooms inside. He has done touch up on other parts. His number is 510-841-3558. He's got over 20 years of experience. I'm happy to answer any other questions you might have, or simply call him. Jane

My neighbor is very good: careful, thorough, reasonable, and has a great aesthetic (he picked the color for my kitchen when a pro decorator and a troop of friends/family had failed). He works only by word of mouth in or near Berkeley. He also does carpentry. Flavian Levert, cell 207-8461 Niki

We used John Aspatore ( to paint a small bedroom and a stairwell in our house recently and were very pleased. He did all the work himself including prep, painting with low-VOC paints, and clean-up. He was very easy to work with. The paint job looks great and the price was reasonable. John can be reached at 510-367-6997. li

I can highly recommend Stan Weitzer for painting, large and small wall repairs, plastering and tile/grout work. He has done many jobs for me - both exterior and interior painting and repairing water damage. He has many years experience, is a meticulous craftsman and a really nice guy. He can be reached at 510-878-8537. Barbara

This is in answer to Ann's quest for a good painter who works alone from the Aug 1 newsletter. I recommend George Takash. He is honest, reliable, responsible, has great work ethics, keeps a clean work site when done and of course an, excellent professional painter. He has been doing work in the Berkeley-Richmond area for over 25 years and has a lot of local recommendations. Since I don't own a home he has not worked for me ,but has done work for my landlord for my house and others he owns. He also has worked for many people I have house-sat and babysat for. They rave about him. He paints, inside and out and does big and small jobs(small jobs if it is in his area) George also is a professional carpenter, has built fences, decks,remodels and add ons etc. He has done bathroom and kitchen remodels and tile work plus handyman jobs. wendy

Painter who understands importance of prep work

June 2010

Seeking someone who understand that prep work is 90% percent of longevity of the project. Thanks for any tips. Bill

I can recommend Dan Prine 510-860-9166. He has odd hours sometimes, since he works at the East Bay Paint Center during the day, but he does excellent work. I have an old Victorian, that was abused and needed lots of prep-work: re-sanding and mudding badly done patch work, matching the wall texture, etc. My house was definitely 90% prep and I am very happy with the results. Plus he was very clean and professional while the work was in progress. Happy customer

I have a great referral for interior and exterior painting Dave does the best work I've seen. His preparation is incredibly thorough, and his jobs last far longer as a result. He's honest, has great ideas for color schemes, and has been a licensed painting contractor for many years. He came highly recommended to us, and has always called back even if he's too busy. As a result of his work efforts we have used him at least 5 times, always with great results. You may contact Dave Ritter (510) 390-2186. william

If you need a painter, I can strongly recommend Marian Gheorghe. He does beautiful, meticulous work, keeps things clean and completes work in a timely manner. He has painted three rooms in our house, but he's also helped with much more to transform our kitchen (including putting up new cupboards, incorporating a shelf that he built himself, and more). Marian's contact info: 510-300-7529 ; g_marian71 [at] Maude

HIGHLY, to recommend an exceptional painter- PEDRO CORNEJO (650-219- 6664) JC PAINTING, He is an amazingly skilled and professional painter. with Lead Certificate. He is clean, courteous, organized, responsible, and true craftmen. I have worked with with them on several occasions and have been incredibly impressed His finished work was wonderful. Claudia

I highly recommend Jeff Mertens or Mertens Painting. He and his crew did a great job on the exterior of my house for a great price. John

I'm responding specifically to the question about painters who do adequate prep, and just had to respond. We recently hired Hans Stahlschmidt of Stahlschmidt Painting & Restoration to do a 5-color paint job on our 100-year-old wooden home. We were SOOO impressed by their care, preparation, and thoroughness. Throughout the job, we had neighbors of ours who are contractors and people just passing by who know the business tell us they had never seen such a thorough prep job. The whole job took close to 4 weeks, and most of that was just preparation. The workers were also polite, careful, and cleaned up after themselves (although there's always going to be some mess in such a big job). Hans was a pleasure to work with, and really helped us select colors we know we'll be happy with for years to come.

Also, to the person looking for an individual painter to work with, some of Hans' crew occasionally do side jobs, and I would certainly trust any of them to do excellent work. Loving my new colors!

Reasonably-priced painter

May 2010

I'm considering hiring a painter named Rafael Silva for an exterior paint job on my house--I found him here on the BPN but the couple recommendations are from 3 years ago. I've spoken with several other painters, but Rafael's bid is the lowest and he seems like a good guy. I am concerned that his prices may be too low, and want to make sure he'll do a good job. Has anyone used him recently, and can anyone tell me how his work has held up over the years (any notable peeling, etc.)? Otherwise, if you have a reasonably priced painter who will do a good job, please let me know. Thanks!! Leila

Hi - I was probably one of the people from the archives who recommended Raphael Silva for paint jobs. He did our house (interior) and our neighbor's house (exterior). He also did our front walk. Raphael was incredibly reliable, honest and hardworking and I would hire him again in a heartbeat. You want to make sure that he's the one on site, overseeing the job though as his work is good but sometimes the people he works with aren't as detail oriented. When we hired him, he was working with another outfit and the days he was on site he was great, but others were not so good. Then he went off on his own and that's the last time I had contact with him (right after he did our front porch). The quality of his work has held up well and he was a pleasure to work with. You can email me if you have any other questions. cameron

I hired Athens Painting Co (510.637.8973) and was very pleased with the results. Petros (the owner) was wonderful to work with and cared very much that I was satisfied with the final product. I absolutely recommend him. Laura

I recently had my house exterior painted by Petros Firas, owner of Athens Painting Company. I am so happy with my the job that he and his team did! You really don't want to go with anyone else. His bid came in the mid-range, but the work was outstanding. He was on-site for most of the work, which is not something you will find with most painters. He and his team are meticulous in their work, on-time, tidy, and the paint job excellent. He really worked with us to find the colors we wanted and helped us by testing many samples. He guarantees his work like no one else I know. Also, he's very friendly and personable and will be a pleasure to work with. I have gotten so many compliments on our new paint job from family, friends and strangers. Many strangers stop to ask who painted our house. Check out his website: and give Petros a call: 637-8973 Sabrina

I have no experience with Rafael, but we used Best Bay Painting (Jose Gutierrez) 510-517-8748 to paint the entire inside of our house about a year ago. We had a lot of old trim and doors that he prepped to perfection. He was also very indulgent in putting up sample colors on the walls. At the time, our son was still napping and Jose and his crew would tip toe around, and close the doors so gently, he was never awakened by them! They were the most considerate painters, and they always did a fabulous job cleaning up at the end of the day, since we were living there. We actually missed them when they were gone. It was nuts. I would get a bid from Jose since his price was very competitive, especially in light of the high quality of the work. Good luck! Lynne

We had our house painted last fall. Our painting contractor was James Tama. He also painted Three houses on my parent's block in north Berkeley. He has alot of happy customer's. Tama Painting Co. 510-758-6060 Happy Blue house homowner

I highly recommend our house painter, Esbin Aguilar of Esbin Quality Paints. Phone 925-382-3440 or 510-472-6788. He and his brother and another worker did a beautiful, meticulous job on our interior. I asked him to do specific things, like no tape on our new wood stairs, and painting some baseboards that had yet to be attached. All of my requests were granted and I only had to ask once. A wonderful bonus to working with Esbin is that his wife, Karen, is the business manager/scheduler. She responds quite rapidly by email or phone. Working with Esbin was an all around great experience. Carey

Green-conscious paint removal and exterior painter

Feb 2010

We are looking for someone to remove the paint from the outside of our house and prepare it for painting. I am concerned about the toxicity of this process as our vegetable garden surrounds the house. Can anyone recommend a green-conscience paint removal company?

I hired a great painter named Antonio Chavarria (tel. 510.390.2307) to paint the exterior and interior of my house. He and his crew did a wonderful job. He washed the exterior of the house with bleach to kill the mold and mildew, then finished the prep and painting in two days.

Additionally, when Antonio saw termite damage on the garage, he removed, replaced and painted the damaged wood at no additional cost. Antonio told me he did the extra work because he did not want me to think he did a bad job.

His finished work was wonderful. My neighbors are always commenting how nice my house looks. ttaki

I'd highly recommend Petros of Athens Painting for interior and exterior painting work. His contact number is 510.637-8973. We've worked with several painters over the years and feel like we've finally found ''the one.'' His attention to detail and commitment to delivering superior work are impressive. We have an older home that had been painted poorly, inside and out. The portions that Petros has re-done are meticulous. He's a true craftsman and a super nice guy to boot. Stephanie G

Reasonably-priced painter

Jan 2010

I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive painter to paint two bedrooms and a hallway. I've gotten quotes from three professional painters who were recommended on BPN, but their prices are out of my price range. I'm looking for someone with painting experience and who has references, but is maybe not a professional painter. I feel like there has to be a person who is somewhere between what I could do myself and a professional painter. LT

Hi! My husband and I had the same issue last year, and finally found Mike Pierce, a professional painter, insured and bonded, but half the price of the other quotes we got. It might be worth calling him. He can be reached at (925) 200-2470, or (925) 837-9037. He's easy to deal with and did a great job for us. Julie G

Johnathan Youtt is a great part-time painter (and full time puppeteer/performance artist). He's very affordable and good, please check him out. His phone number is 415 374 6336. Don't forget to use only ZERO VOC PAINT and PRIMER. You don't want to subject your family to toxic off-gasing for the next year or so.... I recommend AMERICAN PRIDE brand paint from Eco Home Improvement in Berkeley at the corner of San Pablo Ave and Carlton (just north of Ashby). Idan

I highly recommend Julie Perkins for painting your small interior rooms. Julie is very attentive to detail, and works hard to make sure everything is patched and prepped flawlessly before she paints. She is responsive, helpful, flexible, and friendly, and her prices are very reasonable. Julie has painted two different locations for me in the last few months, and I have been very pleased with her work. Her numbers are 510-525-8385 and 510-427-3978. Betsy

HIGHLY, highly recommend our house painter, Tony Cataldo, phone #(925) 247-0637 He is fabulous, spends time sealing cracks, does very clean work. (He's also a great guy and fun to have around!) Don't be put off by the 925 area code. He's from Oakland and is happy to be working anywhere in the East Bay. Feel free to call me for reference 923-1576 Deb K

I may be too late on this, but I'd like to recommend Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They did some interior work for us when we moved to the Bay Area and did such a great job. Good Luck! John B

Painter to safely strip and repaint interior

Dec 2009

We're looking for a recent recommendation for a painter who will safely and carefully strip down and repaint some interior walls and wooden door frames, window frames, trim, etc. The house was built 1918 so I'm pretty sure there is lead-based paint underneath the latex paint on the walls now. Unfortunately, it seems that when we bought our home last year the stagers had just painted over the old color and now it's showing through in little patches. The walls are also speckled in texture and I'd love to have them sanded smooth. I would try to do this myself as a nice longish project, but I'm pregnant and so obviously don't want to go risk the lead exposure and paint strippers, etc.

So... can anyone recommend a good person for this job? And does anyone have even a ballpark figure for how much it costs to prepare and repaint a small bedroom (12 ft x 10 ft or so). I have no idea if it's $300 or closer to $3,000 (!). (I know already that the no-VOC paints are way more costly. I was thinking of using Sherwin Williams' Harmony line.) Thanks! Need fresh paint!

I used Greg Watson in El Sobrante 510-223-1541 (office) or 510-453-5638 (cell). You can't go wrong if he isn't too busy -- he's really good, and his prices are very reasonable. His son, Jacob does all the painting, and Greg makes sure it's done perfectly. Jacob is not messy like some other painter's I've worked with. Watson is fully insured too, which is important to me. Marilyn

I want to whole-heartedly recommend Gustavo Anaya (510-860-8718), a house painter who my wife and I have used multiple times over the last three years. We have had him do large projects ? a full house interior ? and small projects ? single days of work patching and painting damaged walls. He has done interior and exterior work and has been excellent every time. His rates are reasonable and he is completely reliable and trustworthy. It is also noteworthy that he listens very well to input and makes every effort to do the job the way you want it. I have recommended him to my friends many times and they have also had excellent experiences. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about Gustavo at: pageandkains [at] -Themios

good, fast and CHEAP exterior paint job

Oct 2009

We need an exterior paint job - good, fast and CHEAP. Can you recommend? I don't need someone who is meticulous, an artist, a craftsman, etc. Just a basic, decent paint job. Licensed and with insurance preferred. Also - I have a quote from CertaPro. Does anyone have experience with them? Thanks in advance for any recommendations! mwg

I can strongly recommend Rob Lewis as a house painter. He was recommended to us by other parents in our daughter's pre-school. He is conscientious, attentive to wishes, good bedside manner, reasonably priced. He was thorough at all stages, from prep work (sanding, filling, etc.) through finishing trim. Fully legit in terms of insurance, etc.

He lives in Oakland but serves a large area including Contra Costa County. For our job, he had one helper and did much of the work himself. Our job was exterior only but I believe he does interior work too. Rob's cell phone is: (510) 333-9119; email: mouseandbelle [at] Paul

Try J. Allen Chausse--(925) 689-4623. His bid was better than Certa Pros and he delivered when I needed my mom's house painted quickly and at a good price. Very nice, good crew. LK

I know a great guy: Alberto Barrera 510-219-4907 ~Mailisha

Hello, I highly recommend Asen Angelov with Uneverse Painting hes work is exelent and affortable his number is (510) 520-2171 you will be glad that you call him Best Regards Mr. Martinez

You should call Rafael Silva. I found him originally through postings here on the BPN, and I have used him over and over again. His prices are very reasonable, he is an incredibly nice guy, he is always on time, leaves the house and surroundings clean, and most importantly, he does really, really good work. He painted the exterior of my house a year ago, and has since done interior painting as well as plastering. I will never use another painter again. Rafael Silva 415-680-5987 Jennifer

I highly recommend Marco Florian, he has done numerous painting jobs in our house, exterior and interior. He also can do numerous jobs around your house, He si trustworthy, reliable, polite and his work is great! You can contact him directly @ 510-301-5629 Ana

Esbin Aguilar of Esbin Quality Painting recently painted most of a house exterior for me (one side was already painted.) Esbin's paint job was below average, and I would not recommend him. He has several positive reviews in the BPN archives--that's how I found him. One of Esbin's workers did good prep work on the wood siding. No prep work was done on the windows or trim before painting. The finished work was very sloppy. A few areas of the house were missed entirely. All the windows were completely sealed shut with paint. A big mess was left for me to clean up. Overall, Esbin delivered a poor paint job that won't hold up because of poor prep work. Esbin agreed that the job was not satisfactory, so he took $500 off his bid and said he was willing to re-do parts of it next year. I don't think so! home owner

I want recommend a wonderfully skilled and detail oriented painter named Juan Rodriguez (510) 593- 9331. I couldn't recommend a painter any higher. Juan and a small crew painted my 1924 small craftsman house in Berkeley. The house needed a lot of patching. prepping, sanding, and filling. In his bid Juan walked around the entire house with me, pointing to every spot that needed attention, and sure enough, they attended to every spot with utmost care in the two weeks they were here. Never missing a day, and never late.

Juan was honest, punctual, friendly and his bid was extremely reasonable. His work is absolute quality. They also do a job cleaning up after each day. 5 stars all the way. Alexis Alexis

Good yet reasonable housepainter

August 2009

We are in need of a good yet reasonable housepainter who can work with a really tricky house layout. CR

David Moreno of Brush & Hammer has painted my house and other friends' houses. He's not a paint contractor but does great work and has very reasonable prices. HIs number is (510) 701- 5395.

I have been working with Petros of Athens Painting this week to paint my new apartment in Berkeley. I found him to be very gracious and personable. He heard from me my stress in moving and getting everything done on time- and he accomodated my crazy schedule, by working overtime. Then to my dismay, I realized how much I hated the color I picked for the living room! Petros has seen to it to make time to go back to my apartment before I move in to re paint it- at a very reasonable price. He has been terrific in listening to me and calming my nerves. I found his work to be really great- clean and professional. I will recommend him to anyone who needs an honest man to do a great paint job. Athens Painting- 510 637 8973 kathy

We have worked with Olson's Painting (Alameda) for one exterior and two interior projects over the past 2 years. They have always been extremely professional, schedule conscious, and make the extra effort to be helpful. If we were told that the crews would arrive at 8am in the morning, they would arrive at 8am. During all jobs, the crews cleaned up every day and made sure that equipment was put away. This was especially important during the preparation period when they sanded - they would vacuum sanding residue and chipped paint. On the last project, they used an environmentally friendly paint which we greatly appreciated. It was very noticeable how much less of a smell it left when applied. Once our projects were completed, not only did they complete touch-ups where needed and/or requested, they cleaned behind our appliances before replacing them, cleaned our fan blades prior to reassembling them, and put back our furniture. They even replaced some dry-rot found around one of our windows prior to painting - it was finished off very nicely and worked better than before. The owner, Myron Olson, makes sure that as his customer, you are happy and that your expectations are met. You can contact Myron at 510-521-3351. John

NEED A GOOD & AFFORDABLE PAINTER? I'd like to recommend Terry Lee with TLC Painting. Terry painted several rooms in our house recently and did a perfect job. His bid was very reasonable, he was friendly, very neat and paid close attention to details. He painted extra trim and details that came up at no extra cost. We are very happy with the finished living rooms and baby room and plan to hire him again for the rest of our house- inside and out. His phone # is 510-652-7933 email: terrylee3 [at] George

Due to good recommendations on BPN I hired Athens Painting. If you choose to hire Petros I strongly urge you to get EVERYTHING in writing. anonymous

I highly recommend Payless Painting ( They are a small, family owned and operated company in the East Bay. I was very pleased with the work they did in my home - friendly, efficient, easy to work with and great painters. It's definitely worth getting a free estimate. Kerri

Guillermo Chicas (925) 759 7564 or (925)754 9713. Check out the BPN archives. That's where I found him. We've used him and referred him several times and are always thrilled with the results and the prices. Guillermo fan

I know a great guy who will do a high-quality job for a nice price: Alberto Barrera 510-219-4907 Mailisha

I hired Miguel Iraheta (415)794-8299 to perform interior painting in my 2 bedroom 1 bath home. He conducted the following work:

1. Primed all surfaces to be repainted. 2. Painted a large living room (14' x 11') -- two colors were applied (one for the wall, other for baseboards and door casing). 2a. From the baseboard removed the black cable, filled holes, painted baseboards. 3. Kitchen -- patched holes, spot-primed, and painted one wall 4. Bedroom -- patched holes, spot-primed, and touch ups 5. Primed and painted additional baseboards in kitchen and hallway. 6. Corrected ceiling/wall paint line w/ out repainting the ceiling (a seemingly impossible task).

Miguel lives in San Francisco, and traveled to my home in Berkeley to give me estimate on a Thursday evening during rush hour traffic. He showed up on time, took his time reviewing my home, made suggestions, and his estimate was unbeatable and fair.

Miguel met and exceeded my expectations, and went beyond the work I asked him to do to improve my home. On the day the work was supposed to be performed, he showed up at the agreed upon time, and went to work immediately. He's professional, friendly, and gets the job done so beatifully.

His prep work is noteworthy. He spent A LOT of time putting down plastic sheeting and taping it to the walls to protect the hard wood floors and the new tile floor in the kitchen. After removing all the switch plates, he even covered the switches with tape, etc. Even our tile guy noticed he was above average.

FYI, my entire home was repainted about a year ago, and the tenants badly damaged one wall to the point that the wall looked like it was painted 5 years ago. I did not need to have the whole kitchen repainted so he took a little chip, and had the paint matched. The result was unbelievable! It looked identical to the rest of the kitchen. A perfect match.

He painted the living room in the color I specified, and hand painted the baseboards w/out tape! The final result was perfect, and all the patch work was AMAZING. He made little holes disappear and made walls look brand new.

The work he did beyond my asking included a wall in the kitchen. It had this light black streak on it and I did not ask him to remove it or paint, when I came around later in the day it was gone. It was like brand new. ndramali

I've written a recommendation before, but I'm doing it again because I really loved working with Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They did an interior job for me and handled it so nicely. Ernesto helped me choose the colors, his crew protected my floors, and left everything cleaner then they found it. Christina

Exterior home shingles treatment

June 2009

Our exterior home shingles need to be painted with wood preservative and treated. Can anyone recommended someone who has done a good job with this kind of exterior treatment? Thanks in advance! Diane

I highly recommend Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973. They are very professional, on time and neat! I have shingles on my house and they came out very nice. Great results! Ilene

Meticulous, detail oriented painter

April 2009

Anyone have a reasonably priced painter for an interior job? A meticulous, detail oriented person who will stay on the job, rather than farm it out to laborers is preferred. Thank you in advance. Anon.

Miguel Iraheta is wonderful! He does the work himself and is very reasonable. He also pays great attention to detail! If you go to the website: he is on the first page about 3 down. Best of luck! Jocelyn

Petros from **Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973 does all of his own work. Great local guy from the East Bay. Licensed, and takes pride in everything he paints. Very detailed, and neat. Great prices and very trustworthy. Great interior and exterior quality work. Petros was trained in Europe and he does marbeling and faux finish texturing as well if you want to take your look up a notch! Call (510) 637-8973 or Laney

I can confirm the excellent work that Abel Beltran and his crew does. Julie

Hari Charendas is an excellent painter. He does all the work himself. He is incredibly hardworking, reasonable priced and personable. He painted the interior of my house and my nursery school I recommend him highly. He can be reached at (510)848-1465 Feel free to contact me, Michelle, at (510) 527-2362 if you would like to discuss his work further. Michelle

I highly recommend Gil Cohen for all your painting needs. He's done both the inside and outside of our house, is highly detail- oriented, and is so pleasant to work with. He's also a great handyman -- helping us with broken windows, cabinets, etc. Gil can be reached at (510)233-5783 or Deborah

I have had many great experiences with Thousand Oaks Painting. They have always given me good prices and they are very professional. On time every day, well organized and quick to complete a project. Call (510) 410-6806 and talk to Bruce, Roland or Mark. I've had a lot of projects over the years and for painting, all I've ever needed to know were those three words: Thousand Oaks Painting. Another Satisfied Customer

I recommend Alan Chausse (1-650-400-4885). He does work with a crew, but is onsite most of the time. He's thorough and punctual. Lola

I used Arana Residential and Commercial Painting for the interior of my home (not a rental property) and they did such a great job. Ernesto was hands on the project and his guys were extremely polite. They protected my floors and furniture and everything looks so crisp and clean. They also used the top recommended paint from Benjamin Moore and it made our color choices stand out even better. good luck! Christina

Tony Cataldo (510) 652-2836 This is current - he just did work for us in March. He does not subcontract - does the work himself. He is meticulous, spends time prepping so that the end result looks great. He's offering lower rates due to the economy (our needs and his). Also a great personable guy. Deb

I have a rental in SF and Cydney Ortzow Painting did the interior and it looks great. Also, the exterior back was done and it matches the existing front. Everything was kept neat and all was done in a timely manner. Her phone number is 510-652-4034. Her web site is Ronna

Painter- after interviewing 4 painters, I hired Esbin who was highly recommended by this site. I chose him because his price was one of the lowest and I liked his demeanor. He is not pushy or aggressive. His work was neat, professional and quick. He did an excellent job. He was assisted by his brother. I felt comfortable leaving them in the house with doors and windows open. His phone: 925-382-3440, or 510-472-6778 Wendy

I recommend you use Phils painting 510-317-1844 He's great with both interior and exterior painting. He has done several job for us. I found off the BPN and have been pleased with his impeccable attention to detail and his reasonable rates. Sharon

Licensed paint contractor for interior and exterior

April 2009

Hi, I am looking for a painter to paint both interior and exterior of my home. I would like to have a licenced contractor with good references....any suggestions??? Sharon

I used Jeff Mertens (510-520-4467 or 510-849-3704 )for painting both the inside and the outside of my home. I liked his work and his crew so much that I have recommended him to several friends. We all think he does a great job for a great price. vk

Hari Charendas painted the interior of my house, and he has also painted the interior of my day care center. He is excellent - he is professional and reasonably priced. He is reliable and easy to have working in your home environment (a quality I appreciate). He paints exteriors, I know, but I have not had him do this kind of work. Feel free to contact me - Michelle

I highly recommend Jeff Mertens Painting. They did a wonderful job, very thorough on the preparation which is very important, were considerate and timely, and cleaned up every day. They painted the outside a couple of years ago, and the inside last year. Jeff also included a color consultation. His phone number is 510-520-4467. cm

I HIGHLY recommend ATHENS PAINTING CO. (510) 637-8973 They are licensed and very professional. Petros the owner is trained in Europe and he is friendly, on time, and very neat. You will love the beautiful results! Check out the website at (510) 637-8973. linda

I recommend Jim Bezanson of Bayview Painting as an excellent painting contractor with years of experience in residential and commercial work including older homes needing restoration. I hired him for my Craftsman style home which had terrible cracks in the lath and plaster walls and even left him the keys while we went away for 2 weeks. He has great technical know-how for complicated problems and the soul of an artist and has even given some of my friends good advice on their color selections, a bonus when one cannot decide which color to choose! Call Jim Bezanson 510-593-6893 cell and say Judy referred you. Judy T.

I enthusiastically recommend a WONDERFUL painter based on the following recommendation posted by another user of this network: ''Jose Abel Beltran was recommended to me by a fantastic local cabinet maker who said his work was outstanding (I needed my cabinets painted). I hired him to paint my cabinets and we ended up also having him paint our kitchen and the exterior of our house. He is exceptional at what he does, takes great pride in his work, is affordable, and equally important, he is a TRUE gentleman, very honest, very reliable, clean, friendly, and a joy to work with. He worked for many years for a large painting contractor and he's recently started his own painting business. I will hire him again for ANY painting projects that I have. I know you'll be happy with him. He's a gem! His cell: 415-225-5624.

My experience duplicates the above. I called two references and he got rave reviews. His other number is 415 585-5116. He does interior and exterior. Julie

You should try Athens Painting Company in the East Bay (510-637- 8973). The guy was really nice, professional and did an awesome job. Hanah

I would highly recommend Antonio Chavarria from De Colores Painting. He is a licensed painter. I hired him based on many positive reviews I read on BPN and yelp. We had 2 bedrooms painted. Both rooms had picture rail moldings, the door and window trims were not simple, straight lines, so the paint job was pretty intricate. Antonio's crew did a great job on the trims. I was really pleased with how the trims turned out. There were a lot of back and forth initially about removal of wall paper and paint color. Antonio was very patient and accommodating through the process. Throughout the whole job, he kept saying he wants us to be happy with the job and he held true to that. We are happy with the paint job that he did and will hire him back for future paint jobs. Antonio is easy to work with and honest. His rate is reasonable. Contact Antonio at 510-390-2307. Grace

I can highly recommend AKD Construction & Painting. They painting both the interior and exterior of my craftsman and did an excellent job. Clean and fast. Yes they are licensed. You can reach them on 510-381-9399. Anon

Universe Painting, Asen Angelov, 510-520-2171. They do terrific work, are fast and clean. What more can you ask? If you call, he'll get back to you that day, and if you ask for a bid, it will come in 1 or 2 days. Everyone in the crew works super hard and are very professional (no bad language or loud music or lunch trash strewn around). sueoda

We just had Joe Carlig paint out kitchen and he's the best there is as far as I'm concerned. This is my review from yelp: I met Joe at the paint store where he was kind enough to give me a lesson in painting ceilings when he overheard my frustration filled conversation with the nice lady working the register at East Bay Paint. He took time out of his busy schedule to give a complete stranger a lesson. I thought that was pretty cool so I got his card and had him over to bid on the kitchen work we were planning to do (a living room I can handle, but a kitchen and its cabinets is far above my skill level as a weekend warrior). Not only was his bid competitive, but he was 100% honest about the length of time it would take to do the work and even offered to show me some things I could do to make the prep time less lengthy and thus make the job less expensive. We hired him for the job and he showed up on time, every time, did top notch work, and brought with him the kindest, most hard working assistant I've seen in a long time. Joe is what one might call a ''high end'' painter, accustomed to doing big jobs in the most exclusive neighborhoods in the Bay Area. But he's also willing to share his expertise with those of us with fewer means. His rates are more than reasonable--he appreciates what it means to be on a budget-- and the quality of his work can't be exceeded. Jason

You should call Sorin Feraru with Feraru Building and Design. Sorin is a licensed contractor and has great references.Before he started working at our project, we saw some of his finished projects and we were completely amazed by the quality of the work and the reasonable prices.During the whole project, Sorin made miracles to our home.He had always answers to all our questions and great ideas for improving our project.We are very satisfied with everything and we highly recommend him.His phone number is 510 228 7366 and website R

Re: house painting (inside). We have a fabulous house painter: Tony Cataldo (510) 652-2836 He is meticulous, very reasonable, completely trustworthy, and offering lower rates right now due to the economy. Deb

I recommend Freddy Castillo, Barry Construction. He has been painting for 20 years. Freddy works conscientiously and with great attention to detail. His work is high quality at a fair price. He is also happy to help with choices of color and texture. Anushka

I recently moved to the Bay Area and found Arana Residential and Commercial Painting through the BPN website. They did some of both interior and exterior painting for me and they did a great job. I appreciated that they recommended doing things that spruced up my house and actually saved me money. I'm going to need a complete exterior job next year and I will be calling them back. John

March 2009

I highly recommend Gil Cohen at for all your painting needs. He's done both the inside and outside of our house, is highly detail-oriented, and is so pleasant to work with. He's also a great handyman -- helping us with broken windows, cabinets, etc. (we have two active boys!) Gil can be reached at(510)233-5783. Feel free to email with additional questions.

We live in Alameda and have used Phil's Painting 510-317-1844 for several jobs. First, we hired Phil to paint the inside of our home. We wanted diffrent colors and needed lots of trim work. From the very beginning to the end of the job Phil was great. We trusted Phil and his stable crew immediately, so much so, that we left for an unscheduled vacation while he was painting the interior of our home and gave him a key.The intreior paint job was so fantastic and Phil's attention to detail so great that we hired him again to paint the outside of our home. There was alot of stuco repair that needed to be done to the exterior. When Phil was finished my 75 year old house looked brand new. After we sold that house, we hired him again to paint the interior of our new home, which included removing 50 years of bad wallpaper. Again, Phil did an impeccable job - on-time and on-budget. The work was fantastic as usual and he and his crew made our whole family (including our 2 small children) feel comfortable. Our friends even commented on the high quality paint job. sharon

Feb 2009

I have a fabulous painter and carpenter to recommend. He painted my entire kitchen, including the cabinets. He worked for a number of years for a green construction company and applied his skills in our bathroom doing the finishing carpentry work. Our bathroom had been remodeled but he came in spent hours putting on the finishing touches before painting. I've seen few people pay so much attention to detail. If you need someone to good work for you for a good price, this is your man. Contact Colin directly at greenhomepainter [at] Feel free to contact me for more information. Sarah

Jan 2009

I want to recommend my painter Esbin. he did a wonderful job paiting my house. I saw multiple postive feedback on the Parents Netowrk about his work. that's how I chose him. his bid price is in the low end of what we got. his work is excellent. esbin is honest, professional and did execellent job. his prepping job is especially good. that will ensure the paint will stay longer. he is also a very good carpenter. he recommended and used redwood to replace my windows trimming for a very reasonable cost. our house look spectatcular after the painting. his phone #: 925-382-3440 or 510-472-6788

Jan 2009

Hi - I've just had a great experience with De Colores Painting. I'm usually very picky about the neatness and prep work, and I was very happy with their process. They meticulously prepared their work area, covering all floor and furnishings completely. In addition, which is more than I can say for most of my previous painters, they smoothed all the surfaces before priming and painting which makes for wonderful results! Also, I found Antonio and his team to be very easy to work, Antonio seems like a good boss and is responsive to his customers. Diana

I would highly recommend Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973 Petros is such a skilled painter. Professionally trained in Europe. He has great rates and very neat. Also he has incredible landscaping skills! Good luck! anon

Antonio Chavarria and his brothers recently painted our new condo (three rooms, two colors in each room) and did a really nice job. His company is called De Colores and the number is (510) 390-2307. His rates were very reasonable and he made sure I was very satisfied with the outcome. Our place looks beautiful now! momo

I would highly recommend Francisco Machado for interior painting. He does some other work too, like dry wall and kitchen and bath remodeling. We used him to paint several rooms in our house (on two different occasions). He is on time, and had reasonable rates. Edwin was his assistant who did most of the painting and he was so polite and conscientious about his work. We were very happy with the whole job. He can be reached at: 510-331-5942 or email: francisco1973m [at] Andrea

I highly recommend Arana Residential and Commercial Painting. They came out and did a fairly small interior project for me, but Ernesto was knowledgable and he took care of our project as if it was his top priority. Their pricing was competative unlike other contractors, they cleaned up and left our house immaculate and beautiful. Their number is 510-567-9559. Jenny

2007 - 2008 Reviews

Painter to do several small inside jobs

Oct 2008

Looking for a good painter to do several small inside jobs. Recommendations please sk

I recommend Marco Florian, he is a very good painter. He has done very good painting jobs around our house as well as tiling, building a fence and other small jobs. He is reliable, honest, creative and easy to work with. YOu can contact him directly @ 510-301-5629 or feel free to contact me. Ana

I can recommend Antonio Chavarria. My wife and I recently did a face lift to our kitchen. It was mostly painting with a few new appliances and new counter tops. I wanted to keep the 1940's cabinets. Lots of cabinets that needed cleaning preping and painting. We had a small budget. Antonio's bid was right, and he was so pleasant to talk to regarding the job that I wanted him to do the work. Half way through the job we changed our minds about one of the colors (after the first coat was done!) He handled that smoothly and with humor and scheduled his guys to work the job till it was done. The complexity of spraying the cabinets also required extra time and he was willing to stand by the original bid. I was very impressed with that. His company's name is De Colores Painting. He can be reached at (510) 390-2307

Be sure to check around as painters seem to be as good as their recent jobs. Also don't go with the cheapest. We did that twice on our prevous house and it ended up costing double, once because they really weren't professionals and made mistakes that were costly to fix. On our new house we asked around and got many references, even went to look at a few finished houses. We would highly recommend Joe Carlig and his small crew. He is very knowledgeable, clean, skilled and detail oriented. Even hung some new lights for us! He was really wonderful with our kids too! Our house looks great and we get lots of complements! Joe Carlig 510-524-1397 or email: freshpaint [at]

We used Kim at Woodhouse Interiors (Woodhouse Interiors 510-435-0712 kim [at] we had just bought our new house. We could not decide what we should do for our windows or where our pictures and our furniture should go. Kim was great. She walked through our house, talked to us about it and spent time understanding our vision and our budget and came up with a plan. Her suggestion for the window covering was unique and greatly enhanced the look of our rooms and helped us greatly balance our needs for privacy while being able to enjoy our view and get lots of sunlight. The day Kim came in and personally helped us put up our pictures was the first day we knew this was our home. Kim had given us plans for not just what we could do today but also more long term plans and we are working towards making those happen. We love Kim's ideas!

For house painting, inside or out, I'd highly recommend Payless Painting. They are a family run and operated small business in the East Bay for almost 50 years. Payless Painting painted the interior of my home and I couldn't be happier. Very friendly, very reasonably priced and easy to work with. twoslocs

We had Bob Antonelli and his crew paint the exterior of our house in 2007, and recently hired him to paint the interior in preparation for sale. We had a very tight schedule for the interior work, and Bob and his crew worked hard to meet our deadline. He was enthusiastic, helpful, and courteous throughout - and most importantly, did a great job on the patching, painting, and other little details that helped the place sell quickly. If you're looking for a painter who takes pride in his work and will provide more than just a quick cover-up, call Bob, 415-724-4301. Stacy in Berkeley, CA

We have been lucky to know Neo Wright for twenty two years during which time he has painted almost every square inch, indoor and outdoor, of our 1911 Elmwood 4 BR house. He does excellent preparation, caulking,glazing, patching ( including drywall) and waterproofing. He is also a terrific guy to work with. I want all BPN to know about him. Kate

Recommendations on the cost and contractors

Sept 2008

we just moved in to a house and would like to paint a couple of the rooms. any recommendations on the cost and contractors? new houseowner

Cost of painting really varies depending on what you're painting over, how much prep is involved, if doing doors/baseboards, etc. I highly recommend Payless Painting ( They were very reasonably priced, easy to work with and did a fabulous job on our house. twoslocs

Hello: I highly recommend '' Dynamic Construction Group, Inc. The owners name is Tracey Ansar Greenwell. He has a excellent painter Nathan, who is professional, clean and fast. He respects your home to minimise dust caused by sanding, and asking to leave the room ''furniture free''. He also covers your floors to prevent paint dropings/splashes even though I had not seen Nate do anything like this whilst he was working. He has experience in working on high end homes in Marin. I highly recommend both. Tracey is a liscensed contractor: #909485. You can call him at 510-996-8720 or email him at greenwell [at] You can say I recommended him. Hope this helps, and good luck with the paint job. I still love looking at the great job Tracey and Nate did. :) Hannah

I loved working with Antonio Chavarria. His company is called De Colores Painting. I was unsure whether or not I could get a quality paint job for the interior of my house on a budget? Boy, was I wrong! Antonio was recommended by a friend of mine who really liked his work. Antonio showed up on time, he was courteous, he took my questions seriously and his work was impeccable. I was so happy I tipped him! Anyhow, you will be glad you met him...a professional job AND a very reasonable price AND an honest tradesman! Pleasantly Surprised

I'd like to reccomend DeColores Painting who recently painted my new kitchen. They did a beautiful job, spent tons of time on filling holes and prepping very detailed woodwork, and were very neat during the process. There quotes were very reasonable (about $350 for a medium sized bedroom with tons of hard angles) and the owner Antonio Chavarria speaks English beautifully and is a nice guy. I had a couple of quotes done and they were by far the best deal. Antonio can be reached at (510)390-2307 or mycolors10 [at] I live in Orinda. jaunie

Reasonable and quality painter

June 2008

We are looking for a reasonable and quality painter that does exterior and interior work. We are in need to have the front of our duplex painted (only the front)at this time and looking for some good references. Thank you kindly, Carol

I highly recommend Paint Today, run by Jose Luis Daboin. Several of my friends and family have used his company and have been very happy with the work. He and his crew are also nice to have around. Just as an aside, (I am a contractor working in construction, so this is from experience), you don't want to go too cheap with this work - you get what you pay for. Jose Luis is reasonable (but not the cheapest out there, as everyone and their mother says they can paint!); his work is good. Jose Luis at Paint Today: 510 938-5927 susanjane

I am recommending a talented painter, Gabriel Lopez, (408) 210-9083, for exterior and interior projects. He has done both for our house and we continue to use him for new projects and touch ups. He and his team are very talented, professional and easy to work with. His rates are incredibly reasonable. Give him a call (you will glad you did) and let him know Lisa sent you. Lisa

Lamorinda interior house painter

June 2008

Hi - has anyone got any great references for an interior house painter that is either located in Lamorinda area or will work there. I have read previous reviews on the site and a couple of them won't come out here. We have several areas that need painting and am looking for good work at reasonable price. Thanks. Julie

Hari charan Das painted the interior of my house. He is an experienced painter/contractor and extremely careful and conscientious. The results were excellent. His rates were very reasonable. He is easy to have around and that's important when someone is working inside your house. He is a meditation and dharma teacher on the weekends! I highly recommend Hari. You can write me if you want more details. michelle

I enthusiastically recommend a WONDERFUL painter based on the following recommendation posted by another user of this network: ''Jose Abel Beltran was recommended to me by a fantastic local cabinet maker who said his work was outstanding (I needed my cabinets painted). I hired him to paint my cabinets and we ended up also having him paint our kitchen and the exterior of our house. He is exceptional at what he does, takes great pride in his work, is affordable, and equally important, he is a TRUE gentleman, very honest, very reliable, clean, friendly, and a joy to work with. He worked for many years for a large painting contractor and he's recently started his own painting business. I will hire him again for ANY painting projects that I have. I know you'll be happy with him. He's a gem! His cell: 415-225-5624. My experience duplicates the above. I called two references and he got rave reviews. His other number is 415 585-5116. He does interior and exterior. lm

I can't recommend anyone as highly as Aurel Painting. I just had him do my upstairs floor-I live in a large Early Craftsman with 20' ceilings in places and the work he did is marvelous. He takes great care every step of the way, sanding, priming, and hand painting. No spray jobs here. Truly he is an artist and he takes great pride. He is from Romania and is honest as the day is long. His prices are very reasonable. I will be having him back when the downstairs is finished. You can reach Aurel at 510-303-4691. Susan

This guy is very good and the paint job is great: Margarito, 510-334-7502. our walls look great

Dear Julie, I read your request for a good quality painter. I had De Colores Painting company, the name of the Contractor is Antonio Chavarria and I was very satisfied with his work. He painted my living room, bedrooms and hallway. He also did an excellent job painting the exterior section of my house. He pays attention to all necessary details and his preparation procedures was of the best quality. His phone # 510-390-2307 Ling

I have used De Colores Painting (510) 390-2307. Antonio, the owner, is really meticulous and ensures the work he does is long lasting and of great quality. He is also super clean which I really liked. He recently painted the outside of my home and I was really pleased. My home is stucco, but on the top parts of the wood that were all dried out and cracked, his crew took all the old paint off and made it look like new. He did the same on my wood windows. I am now using him for an inside job to do all my new trim. Karlyn

Marty Klein is a fantastic house painter, both interior and exterior. He lives in Montclair but has no issues going through the tunnel. He recently painted the exterior of our house and was extremely helpful in color decisions and willing to try several options out while my husband was making up his mind. His prices are extremely fair, he is very reliable and cleans up really well each and every day. He has also done quite complex interior work for us and done a fabulous job. His home phone is: 510-339-2588 and his cell is: 510-332-1254. penelope

I just had a very good experience with Bernardo Guerrero on a small job. He works for a painting company and does jobs on his own when he's not otherwise occupied. He smoothed out some old cracked plaster walls and did a nice job prepping and painting the walls and molding in our bedroom and in a new bathroom and laundry room we just added. He also patched and painted our porch. Bernardo has his own equipment (sprayer, power washer, etc.), was very punctual and cleaned up well afterwards. I bought the paint myself (using his contractor discount) and he charged us $22 an hour for labor. Benardo's cell phone is (510) 875-3213. Bernardo's English is fair but you can also try his wife Gloria (she is a native English speaker). Her cell phone is (510) 921-1495. Carrie

I had good luck with Arana Residential & Commercial Painting 510-567-9559. They did a great job on the exterior of my house, paying attention to small details, and cleaning up after themselves every day. Everyone on their team was friendly and respectful, and they were able to do all of the work on schedule and on budget. I would recommend them without hesitation. John

Top Quality House Painter

May 2008

I am searching for a Top Quality House Painter and A's De Colores Painting Company, Contractor's name is ANTONIO CHAVARRIA was recommended to me. I would like to know if anyone has had the opportunity to use their services. Please let me know immediately because I am in need of having my home painted, exterior/interior. Thank You very much!!!

Hi, We used Antonio Chavarria (510) 390-2307 for our exterior house painting job. His company name is De Colores Painting. My wife always reminds me that I'm not one to compliment often but I liked him from the first appointment. He was on time, professional, knowledgeable and very concerned with really making sure I got exactly the paint job I wanted. I really appreciated his attention to detail, the care he took with our house and how pleasant and attentive he was any time my wife called with a question. The price was good, his work was top quality and we have recommended him to 3 different friends and 2 of my business associates. If you want to work with a great painter, you won't be disappointed! HAPPY CUSTOMER

I recently had the interior of my house painted by Hari charan Das. He is an excellent painter, reasonably priced. Any work done in one's home involves having the painter around for a while, and Hari has a calming, friendly, low key presence as he goes about doing beautiful work in an efficient manner. He's lived in Berkeley for 16 years and is a dharma and meditation teacher on the weekends. I HIGHLY recommend Hari and you can contact me for more details if you'd like. He can be reached at 848-1465 michelle

J. Allan Chausse did an excellent job house painting for me (exterior, but he does interiors as well). The house looked fabulous when he was done. Showed up on time, gave a good bid, communicated well, completed on time and on budget. He went the extra mile to work with me. Nice guy, knows his stuff, good crew. I have his phone number as 650-400-4885. Laura

We just had a very good experience having the exterior of our house repaired and painted by Bob Antonelli ( cell 415-724-4301). We hired Bob over some of the other painters from whom we got bids because he was so thorough and detail-oriented when he looked at our house. He noticed all kinds of things nobody else had commented on, and he had ideas for solving problems and fixing things that went way beyond just a paint job (such as waterproofing, fixing brick stairs, replacing a rotted threshold, securing handrails, repairing downspouts, etc.). He also had ideas about adding some nice aesthetic touches (such as putting up shutters on our front windows). The quality of the work he did was very high, and he and his workers were always very considerate and pleasant to deal with. We got both lower and higher bids for painting our house, but we felt we got excellent value from Bob Antonelli. A happy customer

I highly recommend Alicia ''Joey'' Brite, house painter and color consultant. Over the years, she's helped us choose colors for all the rooms of two different houses. Her recommendations have been spot on time and again. When we moved, she looked at our new living room and said ''This color here, that color there'' but I thought I had a better idea. After painting out one wall with my ''better idea'' it was obvious that I am no match for her twenty years of experience (big surprise!). We ended up doing exactly what she had suggested to begin with -- and we get compliments all the time. It's perfect. She's an incredible house painter, too -- interior and exterior. Super thorough and conscientious prep work (including wall repairs), really clean and fast painting. She also helps with furniture placement, recommends decorating enhancements, and does top-notch faux finishes. Joey's an amazing resource! Her phone number is (510) 459-6072 and her website is Chris

Need to paint my garage walls and floor

May 2008

I am looking for someone to paint my garage walls and floor. The floor will need sanding. Looking for a painter that does quality, long lasting work for a reasonable price. If anyone knows someone I would appreciate a recommendation, and a possible price for a single car garage paint job. Thanks. East Bay Home Owner

I highly recomend Marco Florian, he has done numerous jobs for us, including painting all the interior of our house, he also did the most fabulous job building our fence. He is very reasonably, very reliable and hard working man. He is very easy to work with. He also does any job from title, painting, sheet rock, etc. You can call him directly @ 510-301-5629 Ana

I gave a recommendation earlier in the newsletter and will repeat it here: J. Allan Chausse did an excellent job of exterior house painting for me late 2007. Reliable, good price, good communicator. Contact him at 650-400-4885. Laura

April 2008

Re: Painting a Dutch Door
A very fine painter and firm is Esbin Aguilar Quality Painting. Esbin has done several projects for me including painting extensive gum wood trim and hutch, interior plaster, new sheetrock and exterior stucco of an old house with extensive caulking, wood trim and in need of careful elastameric caulk and paint. He has also done plaster patching which my contractor said would not be possible to do. Esbin did it perfectly so that the repair work is not detectable. Esbin and his team are terrific, reliable, and fairly priced. Esbin and his brother Aldo are great to have around during painting projects. I have worked with a number of painters in the past, and I intend to only work with Esbin in the future. Esbin's number is 925-382-3440 larry

Painting a Dutch Door

March 2008

For a painter with attention to detail, I would recommend Roger Mejia. He recently painted an interior bedroom (latex)and bathroom cabinet and trim (oil) and did a fabulous job. He is kind and easy to work with. His cell is (510) 692-1275. Good luck! Hilary

Good painter for exterior

Jan 2008

We need to have our house painted and are looking for a good housepainter. Any recommendations? Berkeley house owner

I highly recommend Enrique Rodriguez at 510-232-1899. He has done both exterior and interior painting for me, and does high quality, reasonable work. laura

I highly recommend Bob Antonelli cell 415-724-4301. We hired him to paint the exterior of our house but he also does carpentry and repair work as needed for a proper paint job (replacing rotted wood, patching plaster) etc. My wife and I are architects and we were very happy with his honesty and his top quality work. Tell him Sharon and Todd recommended him.

Try Yvonne Kettels of She Custom Building - 510-520-0295. She does great work, is skilled, experienced, responsible. Yvonne is experienced painting both interior and exterior of houses. She is careful and efficient. Has done lots f work for me (painting, fence, deck, shelves, window seat, kitchen and bath ), and for friends, and families at our school. tlfitz

After some bad luck looking for a house painter a friend recommended Alexis Calcano at Calcano painting. The owner, Alexis did all the painting himself with one assistant prepping and he was very responsive to our questions and needs, showed up when he said he would and did a great job. He also took care to leave things clean at the end of the day. I can't tell you how much this meant to my wife who had a HORRIBLE experience before when remodeling. He came back promptly once to take care of small details even after we had paid him which we also appreciated. The price was fair as well. He painted the exterior of our house but I believe he also does interiors too. His phone # is 510-384-8570. Daniel

If you are looking for a house painter. I just had a work done in my house by this fantastic painter from German. He is very detail on his work, reponsible and do a great job. He has over 20 years of experience and went to school to learn how to paint houses the right way. He was highly recommended by a friend of mine as he has done work for several of her friends. If you would like to get in touch with him send him an e-mail to chica10 [at] with the details of the type of work you need to get done and ask for an stimate or appoitment. Martha

I highly recommend Ahmet Yeksek of Options Painting. Ahmet has done numerous painting jobs for us, including both exterior and interior painting and (interior) skim coating of plaster walls. He and his men are extremely competent and reliable, and his fees are exceptionally reasonable. He can be contacted at (415) 420-5061 or yeksek [at] Amy

I recommend Arana Residential & Commercial Painting. Ernesto and his crew painted the exterior and interior of our 4,000 square- foot house in Berkeley in summer 2007 and did an excellent job. The price was great and the workers were very nice, hardworking and reliable. Nice family-owned business. You can reach them at: 510-567-9559. Janice and Dan

There's a great painting contractor--Cydney Ortzow Painting. She has extensive experience and she pays attention to details. She has painted some complicated houses such as Victorians where there's lots of detail. Her number is 652-4034. Her website is Ronna

We recently had the interior of our house painted by Nick Gobbi Painting and Restoration and I highly recommend him. He is my neighbor so I was already familiar with the excellent work he did on the exterior of the house next door. In addition to wanting to change the color of a few rooms, we wanted the look of our woodwork, windows and french doors to be improved substantially. Previous paint jobs had been sloppy leaving drips and clumps on the walls and woodwork. Some windows were painted shut and all the woodwork had paint that was chipping and peeling. Nick did an excellent job cleaning up and repainting the windows (they all work now!), doors, baseboards and walls. He is not the cheapest painter out there, but he is a great choice if you are looking for quality work and attention to detail. I also wanted to use low VOC paints and Nick helped me find products with very low off-gasing of harmful chemicals. He is also a great guy and new dad so you would be supporting a small local business and neighborhood family. Details below provided by Nick: Nick Gobbi Painting and Restoration. Interior, Exterior, not the cheapest, but high quality; cabinet refinishing; plaster and drywall repair; specialty finishes; knowledge of low VOC paints... (510)295-9654.

Someone earlier recommended Bob Antonelli. I have to say that I do NOT recommend him. I did not have a good experience with him. (I was disappointed since he had such good recommendations from a long time ago on the web portion of BPN.) He kept making commitments to do things and then he'd never ever show up; this went on for months. Sorry! Anon

I ALSO must add to the list of unhappy customers of painter Bob Antonelli. He talks a good talk, but did not follow through on any of it. His staff did a marginally decent job, but took 3 months instead of 1 month (going into the rainy season); whole house is now covered in bubbled-up paint; at one point, he even asked me to go pick up the paint for his staff who were waiting around at my house! He kept calling me for months afterwards, promising to make it right (since I withheld some payment) - yeah, right. I can confirm all these facts as needed. Cassie, Berkeley Homeowner

I have really appreciated the follow-through and attention to detail from MB Jessee Painting and Decorating. Phone 510-655- 7361. They did a superb job on my exterior q I think I only found one spot that needed a touchup, and I'm a picky customer...everything else was PERFECT! They recently did the interior, and actually it wasn't as good as I wanted it the first time, and they were absolutely committed to redoing it for me so that I was happy. Rahel, a picky customer

We found Myron Olson from BPN reviews, and on interview he had all the right answers for making our interior paint lead-safe, repainting our exterior trim and varnishing our new shingles. What ensued included: lead paint chips scattered all over the yard where our daughter's co-op plays, incorrect shingle coating chosen and then repeatedly sprayed on with no back-brushing (our new cedar shingles are now laquered orange), mismatched color for the interior touch-up poorly applied, windows all painted shut, and exterior trim that is already peeling. Most of this was due to there being little or no supervision of the crew. In hindsight we should have terminated the contract much sooner, but we wanted to give him the chance to make amends. When we said we wouldn't pay for the work until it was satisfactory he threatened us with legal action. With the help of a lawyer we averted this, paid him off, and will contract another painter to finish the job properly. Sadder and wiser

Response from Myron Olson:
It\xc2\x92s regrettable the owner was dissatisfied with our services, but every reasonable attempt was made to resolve the situation in a mutually agreeable manner. Olson\xc2\x92s Painting prides itself on being part of the few elite teams of licensed painting contractors (License #706404) that has been educated on lead safe practices at U.C. Berkeley and through Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention. Lead safe practices are used at all times as described in our BPN September 2006 review. On this specific project, Olson\xc2\x92s Painting went above and beyond its contractual obligation such as offering to remove all freshly applied Cabot stain from the owner's cedar shingles. The owner was unhappy with the visual outcome of the stains final appearance. The owner declined our generous offer of stripping and restaining. We recommend that homeowners and/or their painters apply stain samples on the desired location prior to final approval. This will eliminate any confusion. The appearance of the finish will vary depending upon the porosity and color of the wood surface. Thank you BPN members for your continued support and positive reviews (July-December 2005, September 2006, June 2007, and January 2008) recommending Olson\xc2\x92s Painting (510) 521-3351. We look forward to serving you on all your interior and exterior needs, large and small. All our work is fully guaranteed.
Myron Olson, Olson\xc2\x92s Painting

You have to try our painters. They have painted our house here in SF and they have painted houses for friends and clients of ours all over the Bay. They pay an incredible amount of attention to detail, they never skimp on materials, they really take care to prepare your house and they are so NICE! They took care of all of our shrubbery and trees around the house and were so careful of our indoor areas when they came in. Everyday the jobsite was clean and neat and tidy and everyone was so polite. When I needed help, I called and got assistance right away. Their price was competitive! It certainly wasn't the lowest, but I didn't want a cheapy job. All of our friends have raved about their work too. I have to say, I am one PICKY customer and I am nothing but smiles! Brandi

ARC (Arana Residential & Commercial) Painting did an amazing job painting our home in Montclair recently! I can recommend them totally and absolutely. (would've done so much sooner but we've been out of town for a long vacation.) They primed and painted our brand new doors and windows, leaving no detail unattended and were thoroughly clean and professional. We also loved how they are a local, family business. Just call Catherine Baldi (510-567-9559) or check out their website: Good luck with your project! -Jerry

When we needed to get our house ready to sell we called Action Plus Painting (Michael Kim Owner) 510-913-7000. In my opinion they did an excellent job and were very good about cleaning up each day. The owner checked in with us frequently to make sure we were satisfied with their progress. And he came back at the end and did the final inspection and touch up himself. I will use him again when I need my house painted. G. Bridges

We recently had the entire exterior of our house painted by Olson's Painting (510-521-3351.) Their work was excellent and the price was very competitive. They did a thorough job of patching all our stucco cracks and sanded and prepped all of the wood trim. Several neighbors commented on how great the house looks and how hard working our crew was (the job foreman, Omar, was fantastic.) They were very responsive to our questions and left the space very tidy at the end of each day. We would have them back anytime. Jenny, North Berkeley

We found a fabulous house painter named Carlos Santana. He does great work, is very reasonable, is very considerate and works very hard to make sure you are 100% satisfied. He does small and large jobs. Email me if you have questions about him. His number is 510-575-5157 jfish

Oct 2007

Tony Cataldo has painted for me for years and is completely reliable and reasonable and works very efficiently and quickly. You can count on him to show up exactly when he says he will, and finish on schedule. Very considerate, takes care to do all the proper prep and clean-up with low impact to the rest of the house. Works Oakland and Berkeley primarily, call 290-6095 cell or 652-2836 home. L Anderson

This is an unsolicited post for a great painter: Jose Abel Beltran. We recently bought a large old house and had another painter lined up to start work immediately after close of escrow (we had only two weeks to get the job done as we were moving out of a rental). Two days before work was due to start, the other painter bailed and I found 5 alternatives on this website. Of the 5, Abel was the lowest bid (and the nicest guy and was able to start immediately. He worked from 7 am to 8pm every day (and also worked weekends to get it done which included all trim, ceilings and walls for a 3000 sq ft house + painting the interior and exterior of my wood kitchen cabinets. The downstairs has 100 year old oak panelling to waist height throughout and that was carefully protected. Abel also re-caulked all the edging between the wood edges and walls which resulted in a great finish. Abel has lots of experience with a large contractor and is starting his own business which means he is hungry for work and intent on building a great reputation. He can be reached on 415- 225-5624 KC

Recently Pacific Northwest Painters in Alameda (510-523-8108) painted the outside of my house. Their carpenter also made a window to replace a rotted window and replaced a cracked pane of glass in another window. They were courteous and pleasant to work with at all times. They cleaned up around my house after the job was finished. I'm pleased with their work. Camille

I almost hate to post this in case she gets too busy from people calling her, but a wonderful painter is Patricia Dunne of Dunne Painting. Several friends had reffered us to her and we adore her. she has done inside and outside work for us, is very fair in her prices and her crew is not only very nice but very clean. i have given her name to two friends and they love her too. i actually wish i had more work to give her she's that great. Give her a call and tell her leigh sent you. 415-516- 8445. leigh

Sept 2007

I want to add my recommendation for Phil Lawhun of Phil's Painting. I found him through the BPN and he was one of three companies I spoke with about painting my home. I chose him after clients on his reference list spoke very highly of him. He did a great job painting my house. Previous residents had done shoddy paint jobs and Phil had to spend quite a bit of time prepping the stucco to be painted properly. He and his crew were punctual, pleasant and did keep the yard in good shape. If you need interior or exterior painting, consider calling him. His phone number is (510) 317-1844 Mari

I am recommending a FANTASTIC PAINTER, ABEL ALFARO. Abel came into our lives after a friend recommended him during a major remodel. He painted every room in her house except for one. He has since come to our house to do 4 projects. At least 5 of our other friends and neighbors have also used Abel based on our recommendation and have had great experiences with him. Many have also hired him back for multiple jobs. Abel is extremely detail oriented, does general handyman work (electrical, drywall, etc), is honest, hard working, has amazing work ethic, is a family man and is sweet with our kids. Abel is always willing to do what we ask of him (and more), and says yes with a smile on his face. He comes when he says he will be here and leaves the job site tidy. We used to be do-it-yourselfer painters. We did a nice job, but ever since Abel started painting we realized his work is far superior and have not picked up a paintbrush since! Call Abel directly at (510) 932-2383 cell or (510) 724-3545. Anastasia

I want to highly recommend Terry Roedel, of TL Painting. Terry is very professional , neat and tidy, quick and his rates are incredibly reasonable. He'll do small jobs or large with the same meticulous, organized and professional manner. I have referred him to my clients with complete confidence and have also worked with him personally. If you are considering any painting project, indoors or out, give Terry a call at 652-7933. Laura

Our house painter was Terry Richards of Transformations Painting, 925-228-4879. He is a small business owner that takes pride in his work. He did a great job at a fair price. Terry will consult with you to determine the right colors for your home. We were very pleased with his work. Go Bears/Giants berkeley mom

July 2007

Terry Roedel is a great painter who is very neat and meticulous and quite reasonably priced. He's willing to do small jobs as well as large ones. I'm a designer/color consultant/faux finisher, and have been highly recommending him to my own clients. He's also very trustworthy and clean cut. Give Terry a call at 652-7933. Laura

lEsbin Aguilar runs a spectacular, unofficial paint company with several of his relatives. They all work hard and very carefully, and are extremely responsive to any issues that you may raise with them. My house was completely transformed by his work, instantly going from the worst appearing house on the block to one of the best. Although he has a 925 phone number, a lot of his work is in Berkeley and Oakland. Last Christmas day (2006), my mother and I drove around Berkeley and Oakland to compare his work with that of a formal, licensed company whose bid was about 60% higher than Esbinms. I expected to find that the official companyms work was better but the question I expected to answer was whether they were better enough to justify the higher price. In fact I found to my surprise that Esbinms work was clearly better. Due to the rain I then waited until the following June, six months later, to do the job and he honored the original bid. He is from Guatemala and some of his workers donmt speak that much English but he definitely speaks well enough to do a job with him and his wife is fluent in English and can translate for particularly complicated requests, if need be (though I doubt it would be necessary). Esbin operates informally, which is no problem for someone of his caliber, but if you do want a formal signed contract you will have to make sure it happens. He is happy to do it. He also seems unaware of California law that all payments to contractors (including painters and including supplies) happen upon satisfactory completion of a job. I ended up compromising on this point even though I probably didnmt have to. This is not at all a criticism of him though and I would give him the highest possible recommendation. You can reach Esbin at 925-382- 3440. Steven

June 2007

My house is being painted right now by Raphael Silva. (415-680-5987 - ask for Raphael) Cynthia

We are very happy with the paint job just completed on our home in El Cerrito by Todd of TLC painting. Phone is 510-703-4777. E- mail address: tzboray[at] Our house had had peeling paint for many years. Toddms crew did a very thorough prep job, including filling, priming then filling and priming a second time prior to applying the paint. He had a crew of 3-5 people working hard for a week and a half, completed the job and left the work site extremely clean and professional looking. Todd included replacement of rotten wood on stairs and handrails as part of his work and the result was a huge improvement in the appearance of our home. He protected our shrubs, pruning them but leaving them mostly intact. His price was fair and he gave us the option of upgrades on paint quality and other details. He and his workers took care of everything, including repairing the stairs while we were out of town, to minimize any inconvenience to us. He was able to do the job on fairly short notice. Many of our neighbors have commented on the high quality of his work. I would recommend his paint company without reservation. wenfitch

We recently needed to have the exterior of our home in Alameda painted. Being first time home owners we didn't really know what to expect regarding price. We consulted five different companies and the five bids were all over the place. Olson's Painting was the company we chose because of the integrity of the owner, Myron Olson. Upon meeting him the day of the bid we felt we would be hiring a quality company that would honestly do great work. We were right! The crew was timely, professional and easy to work with. A thorough clean up was executed every night before they left. They took their time to ensure all the prep work was completed and it shows in the final product. We couldn't be happier with the way our house looks! Myron was a pleasure to work with. He pays attention to detail and makes you feel like your home is him most important job. We highly recommend Olson's Painting. Their phone number is (510)521- 3351. Valerie

I would like to shout out a huge thank you to all the BPN'ers out there who contacted Rafael Silva for painting work. I posted an unsolicited review of his work last fall and he ended up getting so much work that he came around to our house yesterday and offered to paint our front porch for free!! He's a really great guy, reliable and his prices and quality of work are really great. He has done at least 6 houses now within about a 4 block radius of our house and everyone has been pleased with his work. Contact: Rafael Silva, 415 680 5987 Feel free to contact me if you want to see the work he's done on our house or others in our neighborhood. cameron

I wanted to share my positive experience working with Ven Crespo. We bought a fixer in the grandlake area and interviewed several painters before we went forward. Ven was the crew leader on our project and did a great job. Ven is now starting his own business and I would recommend him for both interior and exterior jobs. Because he is just starting up, he rates are a bit lower than most. His phone is 925.382.3434 carolyn

May 2007

Bruce Dixon of Thousand Oaks Painting & his crew (849-9018, cell 410-6806) did an excellent job painting the interior of 2 stories of my house, including lots of woodwork, small window panes, etc. He was prompt, reasonable, did good work and pays attention to detail, really wants the results to look nice and tries to go the extra mile. He paints all types but especially enjoys working on older houses. (In his free time, he's also very involved with volunteer work and received an award usually given to charitable organizations as ''Local Hero'' by the Newman's Own/Give Something Back Business Products.) Joan

April 2007

I highly recommend Gustavo Anaya for house painting. Gustavo preps carefully, works neatly, and cleans up thoroughly. He is responsible, friendly, and accommodating-- really delightful to work with. His rates are very reasonable, and hems prompt. I would happily hire him and his wonderful staff to paint the inside or outside of my house again. Gustavo Anaya can be reached at 510.860.8718. Feel free to email me for more info. Deborah

April 2007

I strongly reccomend Bob Antonelli. He painted the inside and outside of my house and did a terrific job for a great price. He has an excellent work ethic and I was very happy with him and his crew. They also do some carpentry and have a can-do attitude that is refreshing. His number is 415-724-4301 Daniella

April 2007

We've been quite happy with our painter, Sue Higbee 523-2936. We had new windows installed and she painted the interior woodwork and trim for us, and she also has painted our bathroom. She only does interiors. I don't think that she is licensed. We were very happy with both the quality and price. Dan H.

April 2007

Hi, I would like recommendations for a reasonably priced interior painter. Looking for someone who is available within the next month to paint two rooms and who can give advice about removing or painting over wallpaper. Thanks! john

I have recommended these people to so many of my friends and clients in the East Bay and all of them have loved their work. They are a family owned, local business, take great pride in their work and they pay attention to all the important details. It sounds like wallpaper and other cosmetic things might need particular attention. Anyhow, I've used them many times and have felt every penny was extremely well spent. And to boot they are super nice peopleV but they are good and well priced so sometimes they are booked ahead for awhile. Tell them that Brandi referred you, they will appreciate it. Arana Residential and Commercial Painting 510-567-9559 Good luck, One Happy Customer!

This is basically a re-post of my unsolicited review from a few months ago. Karma does interiors as well as exteriors, and can provide references from folks he's done that for. I recently had my house painted by Karma Painting Service, and had probably the best experience I've had with anyone who's worked on my house. Karma spent an hour or more just looking over the house to prepare the bid. The bid he gave us was complete, clear and easy to read. He did meticulous prep work. He took care that no debris was left behind, and no dust got into the house. He went back over certain areas multiple times to make sure the work was up to his standards. He and his crew were an active pleasure to have around. They befriended both my dog and my young daughter. When the front porch turned out to need close to half replacing rather than minor repairs, he found us a pleasant, competent carpenter to do the work. He was more than willing to do small side jobs as he went along, and took care of a number of maintenance headaches we'd never been able to get to. He was incredibly patient with our indecision over color, and put up innummerable samples for us. I would say the work speaks for itself because the finished product is quite beautiful, but you'd have to have seen the neglected ''before'' to appreciate they way he brought the shingles back to life. If you want to see what his work looks like email me, and I'll send back our address. He can be reached at karmatsewang[at] or 510 932-1298 Kirsten

March 2007

Hi, I'm surprised at the negative reviews of Varsity Painting. I used them this past summer to paint my two-story shingle house. I got several bids - not only was theirs the least expensive, they presented the bid and contract in a very professional manner, with summaries of all expenses. The painters were prompt and careful, cleaned up everything every day. They repaired some shingles on the house and cheerfully added a paint job for the garage. The house looks like new. I was very satisfied with them. Cris

March 2007

I'd like to recommend Susanne George (510-289-0713)as an excellent painter and color advisor. She helped me decide what to do about color after I had paid quite a bit to a color ''specialist'' only to be made very confused. After the color scheme was clarified, she went on to paint several rooms quickly, efficiently, and very neatly. She is pleasant, reliable and also had connections to other tradespeople which enabled me to get some carpentry and electricity work done without having to wait endlessly and pay too much. Her price was was also very reasonable. Shauna

Feb 2007

I chose Varsity Painting after reading the negative and positive reviews. I also read positive reviews on Bay Area Checkbook website. I got several bids. Varsity's bid was in the middle. I told the estimator that I was picky...He said that I would be happy with the work. They sent out Frank Robles and I believe Sebastian worked with him. They were a great team. They get along great together and so the work environment was very friendly and easy to be around. I don't care how much I could have paid for the work, I could not have gotten any better quality of work. Frank Robles is extremely skilled. He mixed the colors since Benjamin Moore seemed unable to do it. On the exterior I wanted a layer of sealer then 2 coats of stain. For the interior, I used several colors. And although Frank was feeling that he needed to complete the job within the time estimated by the company as reasonable for the job, when time ran over he still made every effort to be patient with me, do a great job and get the job done quickly. After the work was done I called Varsity to complain about some small damage done to a piece of antique wood furniture. I wanted them to pay for refinishing the drawer. Then, I decided that they had done such a great job for me and had done everything I had asked for (and I asked for a lot), that I didn't want to ask them to repair the drawer and that I could pay for it. But, they said for me to be sure to call them back if I changed my mind and I wanted them to pay for the repair. So, I have to say the esimator said that I would be happy with the work and I was very happy with the work that Frank and Sebastian did for us. Every exchange that I had with the company was positive. JJ

Feb 2007

Hello, I've been using a very good woman painter in the East Bay: Susan George 510-289-0713. She is reliable, has given me great color advice, works carefully and cleanly. Her price is competative as well. Hann

Feb 2007

I want to highly recommend our house painter, Armando. He is an amazingly skilled and professional painter. I know he has taken many classes on painting and takes pride in his work and professionalism. He can do exterior, interior, faux finishes, wood touch-up, etc. He is clean, organized, responsible, and even great with my young boys (on his own time, he taught one of them how to paint faux wood). He has all his own equiptment and his rates are very reasonable. Jennifer C

Feb 2007

I wanted to reaffirm the earlier positive reviews of Ted Reiner, a truly service-oriented plumber. Ted has done several jobs for me, including installing a new hot water heater. Unfortunately, we had a run of bad luck in obtaining a new one that worked (would you believe that two band new hot water heaters could be defective?). The first service rep was not helpful. Ted spent countless hours at no charge, working on the heater and dealing with the supplier until we had hot water again. He's someone that you can count on, which means a lot nowadays. His office number is (510) 525-5335; cell is (510) 375-7690. Ann

Jan 2007

I want to recommend a fantastic painter and designer, Laura Cusack. She just finished my son's ceiling, and now it has literally hundreds of little glowing stars just like the real nighttime sky. She even included a comet and my sonms favorite constellation. I've never seen anything like it. My son & I can't take our eyes off it at bedtime. Itms celestial magic! And this isn't all that Laura does. I've seen her faux finishes in a friendms house, and they're absolutely gorgeous. All this, and shems incredibly nice to deal with. She'll help you figure out what you want and she makes the process fun. She has the most wonderful energy. Shems very reasonable too. I can't say enough good things about her. Her number is 655- 0678. Natalie

Jan 2007

We would once again like to recommend a great painting company: COLOR TOUCH painting and decorating, run by Todd Worsfold. We used them a couple of years back and recently had the pleasure of working with Todd and his crew again. They have done both interior and exterior work for us and have always been thorough, exacting and professional. We have recommended them to friends with stellar results! They have a web-site: The office number recently changed to 415 469 7261. Tom

2005 - 2006 Reviews

Dec 2006

I would like to recommend Dave Davis, of Dave Davis Designs, for interior painting and color consulting. I initially hired him for painting only. But I soon realized that I also needed his guidance in choosing paint colors in several rooms. He helped me settle on colors that complemented each other and worked well under different lighting conditions. He has an eye for detail and does a meticulous job of painting. On top of that, he was fun to have around and I feel like I made a friend in this process. I would use him again, without hesitation. To reach Dave, call 510-684-0132 (cell) or 510-452-2591 (land line). Please feel free to contact me by email for a reference

We recently used Esbin Aguilar to paint the exterior of our house and were pleased with the results. He is very hard-working and has a great attitude and work ethic. His english is not great, but it was not a problem, as his wife Karen speaks english well. His cell is 925-382-3440 anon

This past summer I hired Vaughn Painting to paint the outside of my house, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. My house is a small stucco two-story, with modest amounts of stucco detail. Steve Vaughn helped me enormously through his advice about selecting a color palette that brought out these details without ''shouting'' color or pattern. His crew are extremely polite, hard-working, and careful. They also did a terrific job in the prep work, and cleaned up thoroughly when the job was done. I was also appreciative of Steve's willingness to send one of his crew back (more than once) to fix a stuck window, or whatever I requested. I had three sets of workmen at my house this summer (roof, bathroom remodel, and exterior painting), and Vaughn Painting clearly were the most professional of the bunch. I would recommend Vaugh Painting without hesitation for either interior or exterior painting. Peggy

Dec 2006

I would like recommendations for a good inside house painter. Someone who is reasonable, very neat, non-smoker, reliable, timely and conscientious. Anyone have a great experience, please let us know, Thanks!

I wanted to enthusiastically recommend a WONDERFUL painter to you. Abel Beltran was recommended to me by a fantastic local cabinet maker who said his work was outstanding (I needed my cabinets painted). I hired him to paint my cabinets and we ended up also having him paint our kitchen and the exterior of our house. He is exceptional at what he does, takes great pride in his work, is affordable, and equally important, he is a TRUE gentleman, very honest, very reliable, clean, friendly, and a joy to work with. He worked for many years for a large painting contractor and he's recently started his own painting business. I will hire him again for ANY painting projects that I have. I know you'll be happy with him. He's a gem! His cell: 415-225-5624.

I would like to recommend an exceptional painter--Richard Smith Painting-- Richard Smith and Nancy Brown are trustworthy, thorough,detailed, talented and enjoyable. I have worked with with them on several occasions and have been incredibly impressed. Richard Smith 510-232-2362

Nov 2006

I previously listed a great painter, Jeff Sibley. He specializes in interiors, and takes great care to do the proper prep work. He buys most of his supplies from Elmwood Hardware, a wonderful family run business. He is also experienced in the use of environmentally friendly/less smelly paints. Unfortunately I listed the wrong number! He can be easily reached at 772-2753 mbrian

Nov 2006

Amazing Painter
Hi, I have to rave about our painter. They are called Arana Residential and Commercial Painting 510-567-9559. Ernesto is the owner and his wife Catherine does the business management inside. Right from the start Ernesto was friendly and personable and super professional. His pricing was very reasonable and when I called his references they glowed about the attention to detail he gave and how thorough he was. I decided to try him and several jobs later I am so happy I did. Ernesto has painted several jobs (big and small, inside & out) for us. His work is impeccable, he is extremely thorough, super hard working and his prices were terrific. I referred him to some friends who have businesses and they have used him for several of their office buildings and they couldn't say enough about how much they loved their paint job. I especially like that I'm working with a husband/wife team in a family business. They really care about their customers and are so friendly to work with. They are the best painters I've ever used and though they are based in Oakland they have done jobs for us in SF and Marin too!

Nov 2006

How much does interior painting cost? What should the labor be? We have high ceilings (18 feet) in the living room and entry, and 8 foot priming needed, very little prep (new construction.) We need the ceilings, doors, walls and trim work (not much moulding if at all...) Do painters charge by the square foot of surface area? Or home's square footage? Please educate us.
home needs paint!

Alonzo's Painting do very detailed interior and exterior paint jobs. They are located here in Berkeley, and do a wonderful job. If you call them they can easily give you a quote on what you need. Their number is 510 204-9108, ask for Alfonso Alonzo.
Friend of a Friend

Sept 2006

I am looking for recent recommendations for exterior house painters for an older stucco house. Our house has not had a decent paint job in many years, and it probably needs substantial prep. We are also concerned that we get someone who can spot cracks and do a good waterproofing job. On the other hand, this is a 70 year old house, and we do not expect it to look brand new. We have had two estimates already (from Bridge Painting and Steve Vaughn, who is recommended on this network). There was quite a spread in the estimates. We would like to get two more estimates from more recent recommendations, and would also appreciate comments regarding Bridge and Vaughn. Thanks! Kim

Our 2 neighbors have just had their houses painted by GLM Painters and they have been very pleased with the jobs they have done. Both houses are similar to yours - stucco, built in the 1910s-1920s, hadn't been painted in many years. They did excellent work re-glazing windows, filling cracks in the stucco and their attention to detail was amazing. So amazing in fact that I hired them to do our living room and 2 bedrooms. And best of all, their rates were unbelievably reasonable. email me if you'd like to come by and see their work - we're in Oakland, Rockridge area.
GONZALO LOPEZ GLM PAINTING License # 801635 229 Theresa St. San Francisco, CA 94112 Phone: (415) 608-7152 Office: (415) 401-0798

We had our 80 year old stucco house painted this summer. We had extensive cracks that needed to be repaired and we wanted waterproofing as well since we had leaks last winter. We got several estimates and decided to go with Olson's Painting. The owner is Myron Olson and was recommended on BPN. His number is 521-3351. He's really down to earth, easy to work with and it was a pleasure to have his crew at our house for a week. They were thorough and did a terrific paint job. You would never know we had all those cracks. He also pays particular attention to lead containment which is important with children in our home. And on top of it all, he gave us one of the lowest estimates and was very flexible with the scheduling since we were waiting for other contractors to finish their work first. When we need more painting, we will definitely call Myron.

Sept 2006

We have an old mission style home in the hills that badly needed a serious paint job. After a fair amount of research and several bids we settled on Todd Zboray of TLC Painting -- it turned out to be a very lucky choice. He was immediately responsive, and although not as charismatic a salesman as some of the other folks -- including one obviously very good painter who keeps showing up on the BPN list -- very straight ahead, easy to work with and totally honest. He was ready to paint right away, bid the job at a very competitive price and said he would be done within a week, despite the enormous amount of prep and finish our old home needed. Todd and his hard-working crew did a superb job on both the prep and the paint and finished on time, bringing in a lots of great help when the crunch came. I'm fairly fussy about thoroughness and detail and I was quite satisfied with both. He was pleasant and totally professional throughout the job, took on some added work that I didn't expect but was so glad to learn about and always showed up on time. What's more, I felt very good and safe about leaving the house with my family inside as the painters worked outside and inside, as I did when no one was home. Cleanup was adequate, but I may be too rigorous about that. I hired him again to paint some interior spaces and was once again very pleased. I've worked with a lot of interior and exterior painters over many years and Todd is the man. You can reach him at 510 703 4777 or tzboray[at]

Nice Painter
I would like to recommend Esbin Aguillar he painted my other house, his price was the lowest of 5 I received, he is a great painter, please consider Esbin, he has painted for my friends too, he was very flexible also did a good cleanup once the job was finished. He also changed my old windows. We are very happy with the results. He can be reached at 925-382 34 40 or 925 753 4838 konie

Great Housepainter
Davis Painting 558-3129 I heartily recommend Lou Davis's company for painting interiors and especially exteriors. We've hired his firm to do both and have been thoroughly delighted with his service, the price, and the result. Lou first painted several of our interior rooms, and assisted in the selection of paint types to be used. His recommendations were spot-on. Based on this job, we hired him for a complete repainting of the exterior - a very involved job on a near 100-year old house. His crew was professional and very courteous. Attentive to detail, they were very patient as we tested several paint combinations. We are delighted with the result. I am so very glad I hired Lou. Working with him, I found him to be a man of tremendous professionalism and fairness. I regret I have no more painting work, but I hope to see someone else share the same experience I had working with Davis Painting. Jeff

Sept 2006

We have some small painting jobs -- a patch of redone stucco and a couple of window frames, a deck, a cement floor and walls of a basement workshop that need doing in early September. We'd love to find a painter we can call on again and again over the years as we need more painting done. Hedy

Hello, Hedy. I recommend you call Soumil Amin of CertaPro Painters. Office 510.981.0321. Cell 925.787.1843. I know several people who've hired him and everyone was very pleased. Best wishes, Ann

I would like to recommend Beth Edwards for interior painting and wall paper. She is fast, clean and efficient, and very reasonable priced. She painted and wallpapered a friend's living room and he is very happy with her work. Her # is 415/668-3346

Sept 2006

Hello - I'm seeking feedback from anyone that may have used Varsity to paint the interior of their home. We are considering them for a fairly large project (smooth-wall + paint). Feedback is much appreciated -- quality, timeliness, professionalism, cost, etc

Regarding Varsity Painting, I would not recommend them based on my experience. I hired one of their foreman to paint the exterior of my house and for someone who's supposed to be in charge - he and his crew not only left a total mess outside my house, but they spilled and splattered paint all over my walkway and driveway it needed to be repainted. Buyer beware! Anon

I agree with another posting that I would not recommend Varsity Painting. We used them for a small bedroom and it was a disaster! The guy ''in charge'' never prepped the wood, so it was still bumpy and gross from layers of old paint. He didn't remove any screws, and just painted over ancient window fixtures. For a project that could have been completed in a couple of days, it took weeks. He didn't show up when he was supposed to, did not work for days on end, and he left our house a mess. There was paint all over the new hardwood floors, and whatever he used to clean it up took off the finish. We ended up complaining, big time, and they gave us a huge discount. But, aside from the walls and ceiling in that room eventually being the colors we wanted, the whole project was a bust
Regretting that decision in Alameda

August 2006

Our nanny's husband is a great painter in the East Bay. I got him a job painting two neighbor's houses and he was fast, gave a very competitive quote, clean and showed up. Him and his wife are loyal and hardworking and would appreciate the opportunity to get your business. His name is Esbin Aguilar and he can be reached at 925-382-3440

Gustavo Anaya provides clean, quality painting of interiors and exteriors, homes and offices. He is very reasonably priced, honest, and thorough in his work. I highly recommend him. Jerry

I would like to recommend Esbin Aguilar who painted the exterior of our house, he did a terrific job. He is efficient,reasonably priced and a skilled carpenter.

If you're looking for a great painters, VARSITY PAINTING (1-888- VARSITY) should be your first stop. We got 3 estimates to get the exterior of our house painted, & they were by far the most professional, reliable, etc. To our surprise, they were the cheapest quote as well & we couldn't be more pleased with the service! They were efficient, pleasant, & truly did great work on our house. After a year, we had a small area with some peeling paint, & they held true to their 5 yr. warranty & came immediately & happily back to repaint the area. Thanks VARSITY! bengl

January - June 2006

I wanted to take the time to recommend Tony Menjivar for any of your house painting needs, both interior and exterior. He is very thorough, hard working and conscientious and, of course, does an excellent job prepping, painting and cleaning up. He is also a very nice man, easy to have around and whom I trusted explicitly and would leave in my house alone all day. Plus, he has two young kids so he was both considerate of my two, particularly during naptime, and conscious of trying to air the place out and paint in such an order as to minimize fumes for them. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you have any difficulty reaching Tony. Tony can be reached at H) 510-724-1523 or on his cell at 510-672-4084. Thanks! Susie (6/20/06)

Soumil Amin of CertaPro Painters is very professional and does a great job. After he and his crew leave, you can't tell that they have even been there! Other than the beautiful paint job. They respect your time and your space. 925-787-1843 Julie (5/30/06)

Regardless of the references, when hiring a painter you should verify some independent references and if possible see the work. Last summer I hired Nu-Cote Painting, and they promised to sand and prime before painting. Well it didn't happen, and it's been expensive to fix and re-do all the work. Essentially, I've paid twice and the process was a big headache. bdh (5/30/06)

To the person who posted asking about Carlos Avalos. We have used Carlos several times after getting his name from this website and have always been very pleased with his profesionalism and the quality of his work. He has done both inside and outside work for us, charging very reasonably for time and materials. Most recently, he painted 2 accent walls for us in December. One wall required much more work than originally anticipated because it was difficult to get the dark color to take hold on our wall. Carlos came back 4 or 5 times to add one more coat of paint(even on Christmas Eve). We were quite pleasantly surprised when he charged us his original estimate in spite of the additional work. We paid a little bit extra, but it probably still didn't cover his costs. Carlos is also a very nice guy- doing magic tricks for my kids. I highly recommend him. Susan (5/30/06)

I just wanted to let everyone know about a great painter who does interiors and exteriors. Scott Wojno is a thorough, detail-oriented, very considerate and talented painter who takes great care in his work but manages to do so very quickly too. He is extremely concerned with customer satisfaction and has graciously indulged my changed mind on numerous occasions. He works alone and is totally trustworthy to be given a key. His fees are very reasonable and I just can't say enough nice things about him. His company is called Mastercraft and his number is 510/632-5181.
Paint Me Happy (5/4/2006)

We also had a very bad experience with Bridge Painting. Without rehashing all the unpleasant details, suffice it to say that he did not deliver on any promises, made us all crazy for a period of two months, and ultimately left us with an unpainted (but ugly from water blasting) house to welcome our out-of-town houseguests for an important family holiday. We eventually hired another painter and started over, even though it cost us extra money.
Not a Bridge Fan (3/30/06)

We have had good results with Richie Bucher. He is a very detailed painter who first helped us with some complicated painting around our stairs. We had him come back to paint our kitchen after a remodel. He is neat and the finished results look fantastic. He was less expensive than many of the bids we received and his estimates for both jobs were on the money - a good find. I know he does exterior work too, but we havent seen his results there. Richie can be reached at (510) 654-7658. David (3/30/06)

We just used a very good painter for the 3rd time. I have used him & recommended him to many people. I recently heard of some horro stories from people that had had many problems w/different painters. I felt that I hould let people know about Jeff Jolly (our painter). He is a one man show and only does interiors but he is very quick and reasonably priced. He lives in S.F. but does a lot of work in the east bay. His phone # is 415-250-4520. I know he is looking for work right now so you might even get a better price. Michael (3/8/06, phone number updated 11/20/06)

I want to counter the recent posting recommending Bridge Painting. They presented me with a stack of glowing recommendations, one written by someone I happened to know, gave the lowest bid, and promised to get the job done within a certain amount of time even though they were busy and were squeezing us in.(It was a small job-rafters, trim, and windows, all in really bad shape.) We discussed our concerns with the owner about handling the peeling, chipping lead-based paint on our home, and he assured us his crew was equipped to deal with it. Well, long story short, they dragged the job out for weeks, had different people on the job, most of whom took no precautions in dealing with the lead based paint (lead-based paint chips all over the place), the prepping was terrible, and then the owner felt he was doing us a favor by not charging us more because three coats of paint were needed to get good coverage. Perhaps my experience was out of the norm, because, as I said, I did read through quite a pile of glowing recommendations. Does anyone else want to chime in? anonymous (3/8/2006)

Gustavo Anaya painted the interior and exterior of our house and the house across the street. He is an excellent painter, very trustworthy, works hard, and his rates are very reasonable. Call me for more details. Call Gustavo if you are looking for a great painter this spring. He gives free estimates. Jerry (3/8/2006)

I wish to alert the membership to Bridge Painting. They did an outstanding job of preparation, painting, and clean-up on our exterior paint job. A crew of 3 worked all day, every day, really prepping the surfaces, and sealed up all of our windows really well to keep dust out of the house. They were courteous, hard-working, and did a really outstanding job. Every day they cleaned up any debris and left the place spic and span. The final job was really fine. Christine (2/22/06)

I'd like to recommend Susanne George. I think she calls herself Susie the Painter. She works in the East Bay. She painted several rooms in my house and did a perfect job. She was thoughtful, pleasant, timely about all aspects of the job. In addition, she gave me good color advice, obtained samples for me, picked up the paint, and even took some old cans I had to be recycled. Her price was the lowest of 4 estimates I received. Susanne George 510-289-0713
arbor (2/22/06)

After looking a long time for a good painting referral, I recently hired Joaquin Ramirez to repaint a bathroom and refinish a number of old windows. He did an excellent job. He was pleasant, hardworking, responsible, honest, very helpful with color selection, and reasonably priced. He has had over l7 years experience, does interior and exterior work, and specializes in restorations. He also does cement work, plaster, and sheetrock repair. I originally got his name from Ace Hardware in Kensington, where he has worked for a number of businesses and private homes. He had a lot of prior references that I checked out, that were all very pleased with his work. His phone is (510)827-5934.
alma (2/6/2006)

I would like to recommend Allan Pollack, his email address is mymaya91[at] He has more than 20 years experience, is very careful and reliable, but also fast. He specializes in interiors and can do small handyman jobs as well. He lives in Oakland and I found him to be very trustworthy and dependable.
dfigman (2/6/2006)

We have used the services of Carlos Avalos Painting several times over the past 5 years both inside the house and, most recently, the outide. We initially found Carlos via the BPN. He and his crew just finished painting the exterior of our 70-yr old 2-story mediterrean home which has a large deck and over 30 wood windows. We could not be more pleased with the quality of work. Carlos is extremely knowledgeable, has an excellent crew and work standards, and does exceptional work at reasonable rates. Carlos can be reached at 510-568-0510 (office) or 510-798-3100 (cell). He also has a new website ( with several pictures of this work. Our house is not yet on his website but will be in the near future.
Hal (2/6/2006)

A good friend, Jeff Sibley, recently moved to the area. His painting company, Sibley Painting and Restoration, specializes in interior painting, and Jeff knows everything there is to know (including the use of environmentally friendly paint). He painted our house and a neighbor's dining room with great results. You can reach him at home (510) 772-2753, or by email jeff[at]
mbrian (2/6/2006)

Rain damaged the living room plaster & lathe ceiling and walls in our 1925 home. On the referral of a BPN'er, we hired Phil Lawhun of Phil's Painting for both the plaster repair and the paint job. He finished the job today and I want to second the earlier recommendation. Phil is a meticulous painter and - almost as importantly - a gentle, soft spoken man. I work from my home and never had any trouble with noise while he was here (three days). I also didn't worry about having my very impressionable daughter around Phil -- the harshest word I heard him say was 'gosh!' Our living room is better than before the rain damage; Phil took time to sand down and fill all the abnormalties that result from earth movement. And the plaster job... what can I say? You can't even tell that there was ever any damage. Phil does both indoor and outdoor repair and paint. You can reach him at 510-317-1844. Let me know if you have questions.
becky (2/6/2006)

Antonio can be reached at (925)-382-3440 his cell, and (925)-753-0784 home, I higly recommend him, he did a great job, his rates are reasonable and fair. Next time I will hire him again! Thank you!
Kerri (1/12/2006)

If you need a professional and honest paint job, i know Ven is one of the better options in all the bay area. Recently he did an excellent job in my house, he painted the interior and exterior, as good as i ever seen before, and the best thing of it all, his rates are very reasonable. Ven can be reached at 925-382-3434, 925-753-0784.
yec (1/12/2006)

July - December 2005

We recently bought a house in Berkeley that needed to be painted completely inside. The painters that we hired showed up to do the job then said it was too much to do an left. We then called Myron Olsen, of Myron Olsen painting and they really saved our lives. They quickly and efficently painted our entire house in record time so that we could move in to a freshly painted home. After the move and bathroom and kitchen remodeling. They came back and put the finishing touches on the paint job. It's usually hard to get people back once you pay them. Myron stayed true to his word, returned calls promptly and did a beautiful job. His workers were clean, neat and respectful of my newly renovated home. I can highly recommend him and his team. Please call him at 510-521-3351.
eva (11/30/2005)

We had Ramon Herrera paint our stucco house last summer and were very pleased. He also just finished our neighbor's house on our recommendation. His number is 415-314-0065.
Kim (11/14/2005)

We highly recommend Martin Perez of Martin & Sebastian Painting. They are based in Manteca, but Martin is local and can be found by calling: 510-304-9408 or 510-538-6271. We were getting backed up preparing for the arrival of our son in December and Martin gave us a very reasonable bid for the small job of painting one bedroom. He did an excellent job with the prep, painting (ceiling, walls and baseboards) and cleanup. He arrived on-time and was finished with everything very quickly (5 hours start to finish) and even caulked our baseboards before painting. He was friendly, clean and meticulous. We couldn't be more pleased with his work. ~Marilyn & Jonathan (11/1/2005)

We just had the exterior of our house painted and wanted to recommend Frank Cefalu of afc Painting (415) 308-1645 to anyone who is planning on hiring professional painters. Frank's team is extremely conscientious in their preparation, painting and cleanup. True professionals. Very thorough, no shortcuts taken, very responsive to client needs and wants. Frank's pricing is very fair. He was a mid range bid for us, but provided an additional coat of paint (we got one primer coat and two top coats) for the price. Our house is now the standout on the block and in our neighborhood. Sharon (11/1/2005)

We enthusiastically recommend NewCoat Painting, a locally owned painting company. We recently had the exterior wooden windows and trim of our house painted. Jorge Aguiar, the owner, did a great job. Not only was he knowledgeable and meticulous, he worked extremely hard and did not cut corners on the prep work (he spent a tremendous amount of time on prep work). He was conscientious, reliable, neat, and honest. He is a true professional. His pricing was also very fair. NewCoat Painting does both interior and exterior jobs and is licensed, bonded, and insured. Jorge can be reached at: 384-3216 or newcoat[at]
Pleased with Jorge's work (10/20/2005)

Louis Davis just did a huge job for us, painting our house, inside and out. He and his crew were amazing. The work they did was terrific. They were tidy and responsible, responsive and easy to have around. They worked long hours to get us back in the house, and were easygoing about redoing rooms when we changed our minds about colors (and without charging us more!!). I can't say enough about Lou. He's a great guy and a wonderful, professional painter.
Ayelet (10/20/2005)

I have a recommendation for a fantastic and affordable house painter- Salvador Romero (510) 910-2313 cell phone. He and his crew painted our house, many colors, high ceilings, lots of detail and many changes. They were thorough, tidy and timely. Most important, they were affordable. They were not the lowest bid i had gotten, but they were clearly the better choice. So I went to Sal and asked if he would be willing to match the lowest bid I had received, and he agreed. They were great to work with, and I highly recommend them. Sal- (510) 910-2313. Let him know Margaret recommeded him. (10/20/2005)

I just moved into a new house here on near Indian Rock (Berkeley Hills), and had 2 rooms on the inside and the entire exterior painted by CertaPro Painters. I was really impressed with the service I received, and the attention to detail. I have had other painters in the past, and these guys were very professional, and kept the place immaculate. The sales guy really listened to me, and had a pretty good sense of colors. You can get a hold of him at 925-787-1843. His name is Soumil Amin.
Marie (10/12/2005)

I found the GREATEST painter in the world!!!! I have had several not so great experiences hiring tradesworkers but all that has changed.I discovered this guy by noticing the good work he was doing on my ex-husband's house. I hired him to basically totally redo the paint job another company had botched. His estimate was etremely reasonable and even more importantly his work is excellent. He and his crew are considerate, trustworthy (I can leave my house open all day) and really have the expertise to do a quality job that will last. I am so excited about this guy that I just want to tell the world. Finding good skilled workers is tough and this crew is a real gem. J.P. Painters - Jaime Portill0 510 639 4599....cell 510 381 7195. He says he does carpentry and landscaping too but the only thing I have experience with is his prep/painting work which is truly first rate.
Jessie (10/12/2005)

I'm posting regarding a painter (Susie George) who I hired a few months ago from a recommendation on this list. She's a well-meaning person, has a great eye for color, but her attention to detail is really off. I asked her to mask trim and cover the floors when she worked--I had to ask because the first time she slopped all over some wood I had just stripped and painstakingly refinished, and she left blobs of paint on the floor that I had just done a ton of work on. Even after I made the request I had to spend a ton of time scraping paint off the floors. I'll have to refinish the molding that she slopped. When I asked her to fix a few areas that she left looking really rough, she came back and slopped so much paint on the area that it ran down the wall. In addition, she didn't dust off the baseboard before painting it (I'll have to redo that). On a more personal note, she would leave the door standing open, even after I had asked her not to (and told her why) and cats came in and sprayed my living room. It's also possible that someone came in while the door sat open because now my engagement ring is gone. I hate to be negative about folks because nobody's perfect, but I'd feel bad if someone worked with her and was unhappy like I was. Anon (10/12/2005)

I wanted to give a recommendation for Steve Roberts painting in Walnut Creek. He did our exterior and then did four other houses on our block. He has also done some work for us inside as well (ceiling painting, stripping wallpaper and texturing.) At the end of the jobs he always makes sure we are 100% satisfied, and if there are any touch ups, he has his guys out there quickly to take care of it. He was so polite and his crew was efficient and courteous. We would use him again in a heart beat. We have had a lot of contractors in and out of here, and he is the only one we feel comfortable recommending. His number is: 925.705.0230
jennifer (10/12/2005)

I wanted to update my recommendation for Phil's Painting. I posted a review in May 2003 raving about what a great job he did with the poor condition of our stucco exterior. He just completed (Sept 2005) the interior of our house which was also in poor condition with 85 year old lathe and plaster walls spiderwebbed with cracks.

Once again, the house looks like new and several major cracks around the fireplace are impossible to detect. We also opted to paint our kitchen cabinets instead of refacing and they look beautiful. Because of Phil's attention to detail and thorough work, we saved $8K and saved the character of the house.

Phil Lawhun's number is (510) 317-1844. I can't say enough about how impressed I am with his work as well as his ability to manuever around our hectic household of kids, a huge dog and lots of chaos. Lauren (10/12/2005)

I just wanted to respond to a recent request for a color consultant and painter. I also used Cass Morris, and got her referral from BPN. While I found her to be excellent at recommending colors and paint combinations, the execution of her painting was sloppy. She left paint splatters on my hardwood floors, sink backsplash and kitchen counters. Corners and edges were also not completely painted. While I would recommend hiring her for color consulting, I would not recommend using her for the paint job.
Looking for more careful painters (8/13/2005)

I would like to recommend a wonderful painter who has recently painted most of the interior of my house. His name is Mason Koelewyn. Mason is very meticulous and professional, detail oriented and knowledgeable about paints and colors. He cleans up thoroughly every day so that your life doesn?t get too disturbed. Best of all, he is a very sweet guy, someone you don?t mind having in your house all day. His prices are reasonable and he works quickly and efficiently. Give him a call! Kim (7/24/2005)
Phone number for Mason Allen Koelewyn 510-847-3517 (updated 8/29/2006)

Jan-June 2005

We just had Steve Vaughn of Vaughn Painting finish an exterior paint job for us. He did an excellent job and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a quality job. His crew of about 5 worked long hard days paying attention to detail, being curtious to myself and my son and cleaning up at the end of the day. Steve spent alot of time working with me on colors, explaining the process and updating me regularly on progress. Vaughn painting is definitly the most outstanding group I have contracted with to do work on my home and without hesitation I would recommend them. Steve can be reached at 510-918-0655. mcarroll (6/29/2005)

I feel compelled to mention, as we are all into the house cleaning/painting season, that we've recently experienced a really great painting company. The name is Color Touch, and they were not only very concientious and did great work, but also courteous, respectful, and basically a pleasure to work with! We would recommend them highly. They have a website, it is: The owner's name is Todd and his phone # is 415 826 1710 Tom M. (6/29/2005)

A short time ago, I posted a very positive review of Joe Parente, who painted the exterior of our house. I am informed that Mr. Parente now only does interior jobs. In fact, we recently used him to paint our bathroom. His work was once again stellar. His estimate, although not the lowest, was reasonable and fair. Moreover, the job was perfect and timely. Plus, Joe really makes an effort on the clean-up. We had nothing left to do but admire our new room. His number remains 415-730-0917. joe (6/11/2005)

Guillermo Chicas was recommended as a painter on BPN (4/8). Based on that recommendation we hired him to paint our entire interior. He did a terrific job, was very neat, trustworthy, willing to work with many different colors, was always a pleasure to have around during the process. His rates are reasonable. I highly recommend him! He is willing to work anywhere in the Bay Area. Please call him at (925) 759 7564 or (925)754 9713 Amy (5/19/2005)

If you are in need of a knowledgeable handyman/carpenter, I will refer you to our 'painter' an all around home repair expert. He has over 20 years of home construction in San Francisco experienced. Extremely helpful with waterproofing and deck coating. Will work on carpentry and plumbing. You can best reach Bob Antonelli on his cell 415-724-4301. He has 100's of referrals. sue (5/5/2005)

Tony Cataldo does great work! He painted a very large area in our house that need a ton of prep. He is great painter, smart and fun to have around. He was very flexible in allowing us to do as much of work as we wanted to bring down the price. He offered wonderful tips that I will carry on to future projects - secrets of the trade. Call him for a quote 652-2836 April 4/8/2005)

If you need meticulous interior or exterior painting work, please consider Guillermo Chicas. He has painted for me on several occasions and has done excellent work. Guillermo can be reached at 925-754-9713 or 925-212-6798 (cell). Maria (4/8/2005)

I just got a great paint job from a young lady named Megan C Melton. It's very high quality work for a cheap price, plus she did a color consultation to bring out my artwork. I highly recommend her! Her number is 510.655.7866. Rose (4/8/2005)

Meticulous Painter Wanted

Hello, There are numerous recommendations for painters on this website - it's hard to know where to start. I am looking for a METICULOUS painter to do a large interior project. I am extremely fussy when it comes to things like woodwork paint, clean straight lines, even application of paint. If you have had experience with an above average painter who does quality work please let me know. There are so many so-so painters out there and a lot of so-called painters! Thank you. Loraine (1/25/2005)

In the last newsletter, I asked for recommendations for meticulous, above average painters and I got a number of direct replies to my email. So I'm posting names and numbers here for all to share:
Olorin Painting.(510) 292-5137 (recommended by wife) Jessica Munck (recommended by self) 510-978-8233 Guillermo 925-754-9713 home or 924-212-6798 cell Carlos Duarte - no number given Aidan McIntyre - 510 655-0551 Ramiro Magana - (510) 501-8472 Loraine McVey

I recommend Pacific Northwest painters. We found them very professional and reliable. They are wonderful. Heather (1/25/2005)

Interior Painting & Carpets
I moved into my husband's house six years ago when we married. He had lived in the house for 10 years and the carpets had never been cleaned...they were already a mess; and the walls discolored by years of smoking over a period of years by two inhabitants. (My husband hasn't smoked, after 30 years, for over 7 years!) We need help with reclaiming the house, which involves repainting all the interior rooms, then installing carpet. This also involves a huge moving job, as we have lots of furniture pieces and both my husband and I work at home and have lots of files, papers, etc. In addition, my sister, ill with cancer, has come to live with us. It looks like this: we need someone/crew to come in and move furniture, paint, then recarpet every room of the house ([at] 1500 square feet). Are there people out there in these professions who can help us in a sensitive, room-by-room way (BTW, I'm busy conducting a live radio show from home once a week, too, so that has to be worked around!) Help! I can no longer live with these walls and carpet! And thanks. Ilene Ilene

Hi Ilene, I think I have just the person for you. Her name is Alicia Brite (510-568-3217) and she is primarily a color consultant and specialty painter. She has been a painter for years and also has project management experience. You can check out her website: She has all the lskillsn you need for the specific work but there are two other reasons I am so excited to turn you on to her. It sure seems you could use some help making the space better than just clean and fresh but actually supportive of all the things going on in your lives. This is exactly what she does with color. The second reason is her sensitivity to what her clients really need. I actually think she does what she does to work with families such as yours where her work can have a transformational effect. I wish you the best of luck with your project. Jenny

house painter recommended

I wanted to recommend a housepainter who I originally found on the UC Berkeley Parents Network from a recommendation that was a few years old. Bob Antonelli and his crew (phone: 415-724-4301) painted the stucco exterior of our house in north Berkeley and replaced missing window trim as well as stained the redwood decks and replaced rotting deck boards. He also does interior painting. The crew did very thorough prep while painting and took care of a lot of details like filling in cracks, holes, clipping nails, etc. The brushwork was neat and tidy, with clean edges. They also did a good cleanup once the job was finished. Bob was very responsive to taking care of all the little fixes I kept track of and was not done with the job until my to-do list was complete. We were very happy with the results. Please feel free to contact me if you wish for more details. --Mollie (1/6/2005)

2003 - 2004 Reviews

Oct-Dec 2004

I've been using a good woman painter. She works alone, is very responsible, does great work, and is low cost. Susie at 510-289-0713. Caroline (11/7/2004)

May-Sept 2004

We just recently got my mothers master bedroom and bathroom painted, and I was so impressed that I just had to recommend this guy. His company is Olorin Painting, and John was by far and away the most reliable, professional and easy to work with painter that I have encountered. Not only did he do excellent work, but he really went to great lengths to explain what needed to be done, what prep-work he needed to do and why, and was just an all around nice guy to interact with. He was very reliable and communicative throughout the job, patient with my mom (who can be a bit demanding) and I thought he was a wiz with colors - he really knows his stuff. Best of all, his bid was quite reasonable, especially considering the high quality of the work. You can reach John at 510-292-5137. This is a guy who actually CALLS YOU BACK, and keeps his appointments! Lisa (9/24/2004)

I would like to recommend a painter who recently completed the exterior of our house and is now doing a neighbors across the street. Gabriel 510-685-0086 He is available on weekends only and has a crew of 3-4. His rates are extremely competitive and he is very responsible and thorough. Sherry ((9/10/2004)

We recently had the pleasure of using Glen Larsen Construction to paint the inside and outside of our home. He was conscientious, thorough, and did a beautiful job. One of the things that really helped was Glen's color design experience. We used deep tones and color accents and he worked his way through room by room, helping us make excellent choices that people compliment us on when they come over. We will be using us for all our painting work in the future. His number is 510-232-9122. Warren (7/23/2004)

I would like to recommended two excellent professionals. One is a carpenter named Kifle Zereat. The other is a painter name Kezete Kifle. They did several small jobs in my house. They did a marvelous job, they were professional, they were on time and they were on budget. Kifle Zereat's phone number is (510) 387-9041 Kezete's phone number is (510) 472-0577 Abiud (7/11/2004)

Joe Parente (415-730-0917). We recently had the exterior of our house painted by Joe and his assistant. He is energetic, knowledgeable, friendly, timely, considerate, meticulous and most of all, a great painter. His estimate was the lowest of four we received and he was the only owner/painter we found. That is, he actually does the work himself instead of sending a crew out. Joe also recommended a color for our front door that we had not considered and we are thrilled with the results. He cleans up every day and walks you through all the details of what the job entails. As you can tell by now, I strongly recommend this guy and his assistant. (7/11/2004)

I just had a wonderful housepainter do the inside and outside of my house. Her name is Sigal -- phone 510-209-8590. Excellent neat work. Great with color consultation -- did multiple samples to make sure it was perfect. Fair pricing. Showed up on time every day. I loved working with her and she was easy to be around. tine (7/1/2004)

We highly recommend Dave Davis Design - painting, color and interior specialist. Dave did a great job redesigning our living space including painting, color, restoration, and furniture to optimize our small living space and match our lifestyle. He helped us transform our living room and dining room to be both functional and also very comfortable and beautiful! Dave worked collaboratively with us and communicates well. He also is extremely conscientious and reliable. Dave Davis can be reached at 510-525-4624. Mary (7/1/2004)

I've just had my house exterior and interior painted by a house painter who is so terrific that i just had to post an enthusiastic recommendation. His name is Tony Cataldo. When I checked out his references I heard people say what I am now able to say from personal experience: Tony cares about his work and takes great pride in it. He is thorough, easy to communicate with, appropriately perfectionist, works quickly but methodically, and is reasonably priced and totally reliable. he suggested colors and shades that were in tune with the spirit of my home. Just thought you might like to know about him and his work. his # is 652-2836 Justine (5/1/2004)

I can recommend Kellie Frederick for interior painting. Her partner, Mason Koelwyn has been painting my kitchen, which included removing the wall paper and completely restoring the walls. Mason was able to repair cracks, pits, areas where the wall board was showing through and general unevenness. He did it all, plaster repair, patching, skim coating, etc. I have a toddler and was concerned about fumes, sanding dust, etc, and Mason has cleaned up very thoroughly every day and I have been able to use my kitchen throughout the process. I highly recommend them. I found Kellie's recommendation in the archives. Valerie (5/1/2004)
Editor note: As of Jan 2006, Kellie Frederick is no longer in the area, but Mason Koelewyn can be reached here: Mason Allen Koelewyn 510-847-3517 mason AT

We have sometimes had a hard time finding an affordable painter who does high quality work. I would like to recommend Steven Naylor of Naylor Painting. He's an energetic and very reliable graduate student with 10 yrs experience. He takes both interior and exterior jobs and some handy jobs like pressure washing, deck/patio cleaning and sealing. Good references and careful bids. He's in Berkeley at 510 684-6004 or cashphillips at Jen (5/1/2004)

I would like to recommend Milko Cudina Begovic. He did a remodel of the bottom floor of my house. He is a skilled carpenter, painter and also builds and repairs walls, stairs, doors, etc. He also can build custom lighting and built a sliding internally lit door for the entry to the bathroom. He is detailed-oriented and trustworthy. He is also sensitive to families with young children and will have a safe and clean job site. You can reach Milko at 510 234 0745 or at milko at Alice

March-April 2004

Recently Ross Painting in San Francisco painted our house inside and outside after a big remodling project. They were great, and the cost was reasonable. They were very patient with last-minute drastic re-dos, like me changing my mind about the Tomato Red walls in the kitchen. They did a gorgeous job with very bright colors and contrasting trim - lovely straight lines and rich hues. They also removed the tattered 1950's grass wallpaper from one room, patched and painted the walls. I get a lot of compliments about the paint job. Ginger

I wrote a recommendation for Bob Antonelli, but forgot to put his phone number. 415 821 2661, 415 608 6239 Recommendation: We used Bob Antonelli for painting the interior of our house, but his speciality is exterior painting. He did a WONDERFUL job on the inside of our house (people actually comment on it when they come over). We will definitely use him when we get to repainting the exterior of our home. He is reasonably priced, and efficient. He was recommended to us by a friend who is a designer, and I know that a contractor she was working with always uses Bob. I highly recommend him. Vandy

To the folks looking for an exterior paint job: I highly recommend Carlos Avalos (510) 568-0510!! He is very nice, professional, and inexpensive. I got his name from the UC Parents archives and have been very pleased w/ him and his crew. CG

I can enthusiastically recommend Carlos Avalos, who I found on the Berkeley Parents Network. He completed exterior painting of our stucco home last fall, and he and his workers did a meticulous and professional job filling cracks and doing all the other prep work necessary. (My husband is extremely detail oriented, and was very impressed with the work each day.) Carlos and his workers were courteous, conscientious, and neat, and his bid was very reasonable. The handyman on his crew also built some deck stairs for us and fixed a gate, and did a great job. In addition, Carlos is a very nice person. His phone numbers are 510-568-0510 and 510-798-3100 (cell). Sima

June-August 2003

This is an unsolicited recommendation for Javier Espinoza and his painting crew. They just finished painting my house and I'm so pleased, I want to spread the joy! Aside from being reliable, tidy, and detail-oriented, Javier is an incredibly sweet man. Best of all, his prices are significantly lower than any other painters I've talked to. Give him a try! His phone number is: 510-967-7588. Ellen

i have used steve page and sons painting for both the interior and exterior of my home. it is a father/son run business - steve painted with his father who began painting in the 1920s and now his sons paint with him. they are out of antioch, but work all over the east bay. they are excellent painters, reasonable pricing, and really nice, honest guys. i have been exceedingly happy with their work. steve will come to do a free estimate. they are busy so you may need to book them a month or two in advance. if you would like to see what their exterior work looks like, send me an email and you can drive by our house to see. Page and Sons Painting 925 827-2048 chalynne

We recently had our living room painted, and I loved our painter! I got Kellie Frederick's name from this board, and called her for a bid. She was one of 4 estimates (the lowest), and she did a super job. She helped me with color selection by making large ''sample'' boards, she moved all the furniture out and back, and the job was done flawlessly while I was away one weekend. She was very easy going and fun to work with! Give her a call. East Bay or SF. Kellie Frederick, 510-923-0319 Jennifer

Hi to all of those who are looking for a good painter can i recommend myself? My name is Jessica. I have worked in the bay area for 2 years already and in my country. Did many jobs in Berkeley, Oakland hills, Cerrito while i was woeking for my boss. Now i've started my own business and i am willing to give you the best of me. This means a reliable person that will do a good quality job for a reasonable price. Since i am starting my business i can give you a special price on your project. Give me a call and let's talk abou it! Thanks, Jess Jess jessmunck AT

May 2003

I used Phil's Painting (Phillip Lawhun)out of San Leandro, to paint the exterior of my stucco home that was in terrible shape. I can't recommend him enough. He was incredibly thorough and didn't cut corners on the prep work and our house looks like it has new stucco. I was also so impressed with his ability to stay on schedule and clean up daily so that we could use our yard. I plan to use him this year to paint the interior of our home. His number is (510) 317-1844. He has painted several houses in our neighborhood if you would like to see his work. Lauren

If anyone is looking for an honest, efficient, neat and detailed painter to do interior/exterior commercial/residential paint work, you can't go wrong with Quality Touch painters. I've recently had a number of large and small commercial indoor and outdoor jobs done by them and am extremely pleased with the quality of workmanship and the overall attention to detail. Additionally, Quality Touch's pricing is competitive. I am so pleased with Quality Touch's work that I wanted to pass this information along to anyone who might be looking for a painter in the near future. You can contact Quality Touch (Victor) at 510.381.4131. You will not be disappointed. Also, feel free to e-mail me with any questions you may have. Anne

For the multiple posts requesting a recommendation for an interior/exterior painter: I must recommend the painter we have used, though like all good painters, his schedule is tight, so you are lucky if you can get him. His name is Declan Banfield, and I originally found him through a recommendation here on the UC Parents network. He has done interior painting for us in two houses (we moved and hired him again in our new house), and he does exterior as well. His number 510-548-6485. He does high quality work for a reasonable price, and is a really nice guy to boot. Good luck. luisa

Roberto Ibarra recently painted my daughter's room. Excellent work and reasonably priced. I especially liked the fact that he used oil paint for doors and wood trim. Feels wonderful to the touch -- so smooth and no brushmarks to be seen. I'm wanting all my doors and trim to be painted in the same way as a result. All future painting at my house will be done by Roberto and his small crew of family members. Lisa

2002 and Earlier

Oct 2002

I would like to recommend a house painter. She did a small exterior painting job for us. She works in the Berkeley-Albany-El Cerrito-Oakland area. She uses environmentally-safe products. She is very professional, reasonably priced, gives a detailed explanation of exactly what she will do, and is easy to work with. She also gave me some do-it-yourself painting tips for areas that I want to tackle myself.
Name: Kellie Frederick Phone: 510-923-0319 kelfrederick AT aol DOT com


August 2002

I'm looking for an experienced painter to paint the exterior of our house. We have an older home with wood sidings and will need a lot of thorough preparation. Any recommendations? Thanks, Loraine

I recommend Eric Saarni, 658-8313. He has done both the exterior and interior of our house. The last time, we had someone else do it (lower bid, excellent references, and suggested a double coat) and regretted that we hadn't had Eric do it. -Fran

I just recently used Carlos Avalos for some painting on the interior of my home. I called many of his references and they all had great things to say about his work - he does both interior and exterior painting. He also has a handyman on his crew who can fix things around the house for you! He was wonderful to work with not to mention the lowest of all the bids that I received. I got his name and number from this listserve. He can be reached at 510.568.0510. - Amy

April 2002

Peter, the Painter (Peter Dumas), 644-3392. Peter has done an incredible job on our exterior of our house and restained our back decks. Very careful prep. work. He has a free color consultant come over to work with you on the colors. Was willing to repaint our front door multiple times until we got just the right color. If you want to drive by and see the job, we are at 1825 San Lorenzo Ave. just above Colusa. He is a bit quirky and intense in manner, but just a super good painter.

I'm just about finished having my house painted and I felt I had to put in a plug for this terrific guy. Our house is being painted by Declan Banfield and he is terrific. He is a man of integrity and kindness in addition to being just superb at his job. I have felt comfortable leaving him in my house as well as giving him a key. He is fast, efficient and comes when he says he's going to. He also does beautiful work, he has an eye for detail. Just wanted to let you all know, I think he's terrific. His number is 548-6485.

I would like to recommend a very dear man who has painted many houses -- inside and out! in our neighborhood. He will soon be painting my son's bedroom. He is a very special person and is feeling the economic pinch right now and is looking for more work. His name is Elvis, and he can be reached at (510)6827035

We recently used George Croitou, 925-642-6325 for a complete re-painting of the interior of our home. He worked very hard and efficiently, was very responsive and courteous, and detailed-oriented. The job was very difficult, but he persevered. We believe that his prices were reasonable, and given the size of the job, he offered us discounts as we thought of new painting projects. Of course, as with all household services, you have to take the time to monitor the situation. He also did an excellent job on re-tiling our kitchen floor, but he brought in a friend to help him with that.

Hello, I am a general contractor I do small carpenter, painting and repair jobs. Decks, doors, interior painting, some tile, and flooring. License # 333-913 References upon request. I do excellent work. I show up and I get the project done in a timely manner and within budget. Call for a consultation, leave name and # and best time to call. 510-339-3304 Richard

I recommend Eric Saarni, 658-8313. He has done both the exterior and interior of our house. The last time, we had someone else do it (lower bid, excellent references, and suggested a double coat) and regretted that we hadn't had Eric do it.

I just recently used Carlos Avalos for some painting on the interior of my home. I called many of his references and they all had great things to say about his work - he does both interior and exterior painting. He also has a handyman on his crew who can fix things around the house for you! He was wonderful to work with not to mention the lowest of all the bids that I received. I got his name and number from this listserve. He can be reached at 510.568.0510.

April 2002

We recently used George Croitou, 925-642-6325 for a complete re-painting of the interior of our home. He worked very hard and efficiently, was very responsive and courteous, and detailed-oriented. The job was very difficult, but he persevered. We believe that his prices were reasonable, and given the size of the job, he offered us discounts as we thought of new painting projects. Of course, as with all household services, you have to take the time to monitor the situation. He also did an excellent job on re-tiling our kitchen floor, but he brought in a friend to help him with that. linda

I'm just about finished having my house painted and I felt I had to put in a plug for this terrific guy. Our house is being painted by Declan Banfield and he is terrific. He is a man of integrity and kindness in addition to being just superb at his job. I have felt comfortable leaving him in my house as well as giving him a key. He is fast, efficient and comes when he says he's going to. He also does beautiful work, he has an eye for detail. Just wanted to let you all know, I think he's terrific. His number is 548-6485. Feel free to email me for further info. if you'd like. Molly


We just had our El Cerrito ranch-style house painted by Michael Borbridge at Bridge Painting. (510-232-3340) These folks are probably not the cheapest bid you can find, but they do a wonderful prep job that will last far longer than many other deals. Michael helped us to choose the color and it's just spectacular! When driving on Colusa Avenue look for moss green house with the purple door. Fine company, local references...and he's in a band that plays at Club Muse in Albany on the weekends!

We had fabulous housepainters; Butch and Don of Don Foster Construction (the two of them are the whole company.) Their bid was the lowest of the 4 I got, and they were exceptionally thorough in prep on our wood-sided house, (which was in really terrible condition, the paint falling off in sheets, all the window putty falling off, etc.) They use top notch materials; Benjamin Moore all the way. They were pleasant and very friendly with my two children (I would get home with a car full of groceries, and they would leave me blissfully free to put-away, so eager were they to chat with their new buddies.) They did a very good job, and were happy to go around at the end and check with me for any missed spots or flaws. PLEASE say Valerie recommended them; I want them to know it! Don Foster Construction 235-0363

I can highly recommend housepainters at Scillitani Painting. They were very thorough with my house, which was in terrible shape. And, they were very reasonable. Greg Scillitani can be reached at 925-833-8115 or 716-2365. Feel free to use my name. Elizabeth

I highly recommend Carlos Avalos for house painting and other odd jobs. He's a former union painter who's building his own business. We've used him for several jobs, and have always been impressed. He and his crew are good, clean, reasonable and reliable. His cell phone number is 510/798-3100. In addition to painting, we've had him help on other odd jobs, including ripping out a bench in a sunroom, and replacing the paneling and slate tiles. They also did the demolition on our kitchen, and we were very impressed by the cleanliness of the site when they were done. He works with one or two other helpers, and all are very hard-working, conscientious, great about showing up on time and cleaning up after themselves. He's very good about recommending environmentally-friendly paints as well.

We had the entire interior of our house painted in September by Carol Paulus, 864-2240. Her estimate was the lowest of the three we received. She did a very nice job, including substantial patching, and was very accommodating. -Shelley & Robin

Dobson Painters recently painted the outside of my house, and I was quite pleased. They were also the most reasonably priced of the painters who quoted. They are also reviewed on the web site (which is where I found them in the first place). Sorry I don't have their number anymore. Good luck! -Polly

We used McCloskey painters about a year ago for interior work and were very pleased with their work. J. Sanders


Brad Catron of Catron Painting & Decorating recently did some work at my house. He was prompt, reliable and did excellent work. You can check to see if he has availability now by calling him at 923-0459. Eastbaymom

Jae Kim owns All Pro Painting. He did an excellent job on my house (almost three stories tall), is a hard worker, was a reasonable price. I've recommended him to others and they've been very happy with his work. Camille

Unfortunately, I have too much experience with bad or just OK house painters. I can highly recommend only one painter. You may pay a bit more, because he does more and is thorough, responsible, and friendly. He just finished my house. Do call Declan Banfield: 548-6485. Urthlink

Roger Langford did our house. He's wonderful. 510-652-7960 Cbgord

I recommend Saul Espinoza. He did a beautiful job on our house, both interior and exterior. He and his brothers are meticulous and do a good job cleaning up and protecting the rest of the house from dust and debris, and they are also nice people. He is unlicensed, however, which makes him less expensive but may not be desirable for some people. We recommended him to many of our friends who have used him again and again, and also to my boss, who also thought he was the greatest. His telephone number is 233-3690. sahoko

My name is Ivy Johnson and I have been mentioned once or twice here already by my wife. We just moved up here a bit ago and I am trying to start up my paint business with new clients. I have already done a job here in Oakland so I have a local referral to give from people who were very pleased with my prices and my work. Please contact me if you have any painting or re-finishing needs, at one of the following numbers. home (510)523-3631 pager (510)997-0938 (e-mail address) tippetteer AT I look forward to working in the area and developing a new group of satisfied customers.


This is in response to a request for a painter recommendation. I recommend Enrique Rodriguez 232-0107. He painted the outside of my house last year and did a great job. He was very reasonable compared to other painting companies who would have charged me several thousands of dollars more and done only 75% of the work that he did. He is a licensed painter and very honest. He uses very good paint and does good prep work. My general suggestion for looking for a painter is to get references, and call them, then look at their actual work. Of course this is easy if they have done outdoor jobs. Good luck! Lisa

I've had good luck with Chris Shutes. 841-6161. Tell him I recommended him. He and his partner Bill are great painters. They aren't the cheapest, but the work they do will last a long, long time. Linda

A while ago, I followed up on a recommendation found in this email for a painter named India Dobson. She and her husband have a small company that paint interiors and exteriors. We were very pleased with the interior painting she did for us and plan to continue to use her (and her crew) to repaint our deck. My husband has years of experience in remodeling and was very pleased. And, for doing such a good job, her quotes have been very reasonable. Great work at a great price. Dobson Painting - 644-0334. -- Shanta

As owners of a 1931 fixer-upper, my husband and I are veterans when it comes to hiring various contractors. We have found most to be either nonresponsive or we haven't been blown away by the results, so I am delighted when I find someone I can recommend. We just had a bathroom, kitchen and hallway painted by India Dobson at Dobson Painting, who was recommended to me by another painter (who was too busy) in the Berkeley/Oakland Good Service Guide. She is very responsive, prompt, reasonable, skilled, and just plain nice. You can reach her and her husband at Dobson Painting in Berkeley, 510-644-0334. LK

I recommend Oyle Painting for house painters. They can be reached at (510)-528-9461. Fred Oyle is the owner. They do excellent work and are a pleasure to deal with. Julie

We used Gateview Painting (222-0744) to paint the interior of our home two years ago. They did a beautiful job. They were the lowest bid that we got. (However, I think they underestimated the amount of work; it took a little longer than they had anticipated.) Ellen

I was/am very happy with the exterior paint job we got from Omni Painting Co. last year. The owner, Amar (forgot his last name), was very responsive and went out of his way to make sure I was happy with the work. He even spent an extra day and a half without extra charge just touching up minor details. Based on the little bit of research I did, Omni's prices were considerably less than most painting companies in the Berkeley/Albany area. His crew was pleasant enough to have around. I would caution that I was around the house a lot while the work was being done, and I was glad of it, because I pointed out and asked for correction on several details that would have gone unnoticed if I hadn't been watchful. But for me, the lower cost made it very worthwhile for the little bit of extra effort on my part. Best of luck to you--I found the whole project exhausting, as I studied what colors to use, etc. Meg

I would like to recommend Pacific Northwest Painters, run by Eric and Cornelia Grunseth (510/465-4085). They have done two interior and one exterior job for me over the past five years. Cornelia is a wizard with color. She communicates well and has helped me turn my ideas into success. Eric runs the painting crews. He has hired good, reliable guys who have been with him many years. I find them both very responsive and easy to work with mctorr

I highly recommend Signature Painting in Alameda for good quality house painting. Dan has a good eye for color combinations and will spend time working with you. Randy


I recommend Eric Saarni, 658-8313. We found his prices to be reasonable (mid-range compared to other painters) for the quality of work he does. The experience of our next door neighbor, who has had their house painted several times since we moved in, is that you get what you pay for when it comes to exterior painting. Fran

My husband is a painting contractor (CA Lic #738605). He is also bonded and insured. He mostly works alone (which means you get expert painting, not just a good contractor and hack-painters), although he will hire someone for big jobs. He has about 10 years experience in the area (the last 2 as a contractor) and would be willing to provide references. He welcomes inquiries and gives free estimates. He is a one-man show, so no uninsured, unskilled people will show up to do the actual work--he has painted for 10 years and you get all that expertise. He has local refererences and a portfolio. He doesn't advertise and isn't in the phone book (and for 7 years it hasn't been a problem). Eric Sorensen Painting pager/voicemail: 510-330-8469

Even if you do not contact Eric, I would encourage everyone to be very careful about hiring people who are not licensed, bonded, and insured. If they mess up your house (break your window, disappear in the middle of the project, etc.), you have little or no recourse. Finally, the state contractor's license board has an 800 number you can call and punch in the contractor's license number to check if there are any complaints or actions on a certain contractor (ANY type of contractor: general, earthquake retrofitters, painters, landscapers, etc). I think this is a good idea.

Eric Sorensen Painting
pager/voicemail (510) 330-8469
our home (510) 540-8363

Laura Beth

Housepainters: I've been very happy with Bob Brokl and Al Crofts who are by far the most reasonably priced house painters I've found and are also a pleasure to work with and do a good job. I've recommended them to other friends who have been thrilled, their prices being from half to 20% of what other painters would charge for similar jobs. Their number is 655-3841. April

I highly recommend Frank Haskell. He has painted the inside and outside of our home. Frank is a true professional. He and his team take tremendous care in the preparation -- helping clients select colors, removing old layers of paint and wallpaper where necessary, filling in cracks, smoothing out walls and applying primer. The result is a flawless paint job that lasts. I don't have his phone number with me now, but he should be listed in Oakland. If you have trouble finding him, call me. Stephanie

We have used James Painting in Berkeley to paint both the interior and exterior of our house twice. They are extremely professional, curteous, and CLEAN. You can reach them at 510-841-6571. Feel free to use my name as a referral. Linda

Do not use James Painting. He painted our house a few years ago and did a less than satisfactory job. He mis-calculated how many coats of primer our house would need, then tried to convince me he was doing me a big favor by putting an extra coat on. His painters painted over a couple of windows, but didn't take off the paint, and several months after the paint job I realized that none of our windows would open. Make sure that after the paint job is done, that they un-stick all your windows. Toby

I've used Teressa Romain, but you'll have to look her up in the phone book. She's extremely pleasant, neat, and does a fantastic job matching colors and completing the work. Wendy

I highly recommend John Dumitru, a painter that works through Cole Hardware in San Francisco. Andrea

Low emission paint/low VOC paint

Least toxic interior paint? Child with asthma

March 2010

I am befuddled by paint options. We have a child with asthma, and need to paint a room at a time while we live in the house. Can anyone recommend the least toxic interior house paint available? I guess that means the least off-gassing? Many thanks, Anne

Benjamin Moore makes a fantastic line of super low VOC paints called ''Aura''. Not sure if cost is an issue for you, but if Aura is too expensive, I would also recommend their Eco Spec line. I did lots and lots of painting with both of these paints not long ago and was amazed at the lack of odor. There was no ''new paint'' smell. If you live in or around Albany, I'd recommend the Benjamin Moore on San Pablo and Buchanan. The staff there are really knowledgeable, although the store can get busy at times. happy painter

I've used both yolo colorhouse paint (bought from Eco Home Improvement on San Pablo) and the Aura line from Benjamin Moore. Both were great - yolo has no offgas but a somewhat limited color selection. The Benjamin Moore color selection is overwhelming but the paint has a small off gas (if I remember correctly). With both we never had the normal paint smell - it was great. Good luck! happy with our paint

Ecohome Improvement in Berkeley sells ZERO V.O.C. paints. No toxic emissions at all. We've used their paints and they are great. They are just like other paints, but without the horrible vapors/smell. You can sleep in the room right after you paint it, no problem. I am a person who HATES the smell of paint, so after trying zero V.O.C. paint, I will never use anything else. Andi

When we moved into our house, we had to repaint the trims and we went to a paint store in Berkeley (ecohome?) and bought no VOC paint. Since I had to actually paint the trims myself, I'm glad I got the no-VOC ones instead of low-VOC. The people at the store can help you w/ your choices. I've also heard that all Behr paints are low-voc, don't know if it's true. anon

I can't vouch that it's the best out there, but we recently used Yolo Colorhouse, which is a ''low VOC'' (not no-VOC) paint. The salesman said that it was more eco than some ''no-VOC'' paints, but I forget why. At any rate, we painted our bedroom and slept in it that night - no smell at all, which was amazing. In full disclosure, I have a friend who worked for that paint company at the time (but no longer does), so that influenced my decision as well. I found the folks at Eco-Home Improvement on San Pablo in Berkeley to be helpful. They carry at least three brands of low- or no-VOC paint. Good luck. Erin Chalmers

anne, look no further than AFM Safecoat. i am extremely sensitive to paint off-gassing and have had to repaint the two homes that i've purchased in my life, including the ceiling for one. while there are other zero-VOC paints, AFM Safecoat is the only one which molecularly ''seals'' the layer below. to be honest, i haven't tried the other brands because AFM Safecoat worked so well, but when i had trouble finding places to buy it, i spoke with an eco-paint vendor and another paint manufacturer - both said that while their paint would help, it wouldn't seal the layer below. the only place i can get AFM Safecoat around here is in san francisco - it's a store called Spring on Polk Street (cross is vallejo, i think). the paint is very expensive, and you have to call it in to get the paint mixed since they have to get the formula from AFM itself. i gave the benjamin moore color codes, and Spring will match it for you perfectly in a few hours. it's the best - totally blocked out the previous smelly paint odor and off-gassing, so no more sinus/breathing issues. so there ya go: AFM Safecoat, available at Spring. chemical sensitivity sufferer

Paint makes me quite sick. I try not to be at home when the painting is done. I prefer Benjamin Moore's Aura Latex Paint over any other, even their Natura. The latter is recommended for nurseries and has ''No Vocs'', yet I and many others who are chemically sensitive or react badly to paint do better with the Aura Latex. It has a lovely selection of colors. I did find that the enamel took a long time to dry fully, and until everything is fully dry, it probably won't be good for anyone with asthma to be near it. Do consider air purifiers, fans, heaters, etc., and wait until warm weather if you can. As a paint expert told me, the VOC's refer to what's in the pigment, and not everything in the paint. I tried one from the ECO Home place and didn't do well with it, though others might. You could also consult Debra Lynn Dadd's website, and if you have a good allergist, I would start by asking her or him for ideas. Have you considered other arrangements, like a visit away from the house for your daughter, if she is old enough? Or maybe the family could house-sit for someone while your house is painted, so that your daughter needn't spend time there, or sleep there. Hope this helps. Judy

We recently used the Natura brand paint from Benjamin Moore (from Raimondi's in Montclair). I was amazed at the lack of odor in the room. I didn't have any real sensitivity to latex or the fumes in the past, just didn't like the smell. But now that we have a toddler, I figured this would be better. And it is maybe double the cost of a gallon, but still, not a lot more money overall. I'd recommend Natura. Bryan in Oakland

No one mentioned the new low VOC paint called ''The Freshaire Choice'' at Home Depot. I just painted a room with it that had not been painted in like 60 years. I chose a pretty deep color and it covered in one coat; over deep stucco, that was white! No smell at all. It cost $36. a gallon. They only have earthy colors, 26 shades, and if you add tint you change the VOC according to their web site...anyway it didn't splatter much overhead and I really liked using it better than any other paint...Most paints are too thin and messy! Also, a friend recenyly popped for the eco home clay based paint and it looks gorgeous. It was about $60. a gallon. She said there was no smell and it was one coat. (Her's was a similar color though.) It looks really good. exhausted

We used Benjamin Moore Eco-Spec to paint some of our rooms and had great results, even with very dark colors. Eco-Spec is a zero-VOC paint marketed to contractors. We found it to be less expensive than the Natura or Aura lines. I'm not sure it is out on retail shelves, you might have to ask for it. We bought ours at East Bay Paint Center in Albany. Happy painter

For low emission paint, go to Eco Home Improvement, 2619 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley. Give them a call at 510-644- 3500. They have lots of low emission paint. DC

Painter needed--zero VOC

Jan 2007

I need to have interior rooms re-painted and am extremely sensitive to paint fumes. I have no experience with this, but understand that there are paints that have low or zero volatile organic compounds (??) that don't have the fumes problem. I would like to find a painter who is experienced with these, who also does a great job and isn't too expensive (am I asking too much?) grateful for help

You don't need a special painter, you just need special paint. Low VOC paint (I don't know of any ''no VOC'' paint works just like any other paint, but it costs a bit more and sometimes won't come in deep, dark colors. Benajmin Moore's line is called Eco-Spec, which we have used and liked but I think other paint companies have a similar product. We've used Eco-Spec and been very happy with the results in terms of the paint and in terms of having virtually no paint fumes. Hire a good painter and then just tell them you what kind of paint you want. Be sure they use low VOC for primer and trim as well Satisfied Eco-Spec customer

Ecohome on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley has a good selection of low and zero VOC paints. It goes on like any other paint, although you may need an extra coat if you are using a darker color. It is more expensive than traditional paint, but well worth it. L

ALmost every major brand has zero/low voc line. Kelly Moore has E-spec. Visit and check out their access green database - it will give you every paint manufacturer that has zero/low voc paints in the Bay Area (which is almost all of them). Any painter can order the paint just like they would standard and the paint works just like the standard paint. We just had our painter use KellyMoore's Eco Spec and he was so glad not to have a headache at the end of the day! One word of note, the darker the paint color the more VOCs there will be in the paint. GOod luck

I dont actually have an answer to your question but wanted to let you know a little more about the no-VOC paints that may help your search. I dont know much myself but recently have been looking into it as a measure to reduce environmental toxins in the home.

First - on the money question. Non-VOC paints are MUCH more expensive than regular paints. I would say close to 4x as much. That was our experience. So, in terms of your search for ''not too expensive''. just using the non-VOC paint itself will drive the cost way up, depending on how much you are planning on painting. Not saying its not worth it, but just wanted to make sureyou know about that.

Second - on the fumes. Yes, the fumes are much much much lower, but the can still says to use in a well-ventilated area and I dont consider myself to be super sensitive but could smell a trace of it, so much so that I didnt want my toddler to sleep in the room for several days (and we didn't paint the whole room, just did some touch ups around the windows). So, if you are that sensitive, you may need to evacuate anyways.

Third - on a painter to do the job. Non-VOC paints function just like regular paint. You dont need someone special to do the job. Like any painter, you can go pick up the paint yourself and provide it to her/him. No special expertise needed.

Hope thats helpful genevieve

Paint in the winter, or not?

Jan 2009

The painter I'd like to hire says he can paint the outside of house which includes staining or painting wooden eves in the winter Others I've talked to say I should wait till spring becasue the paint won't dry properly in damp weather. I also have to remove some roof tile to allow the painting . But we do often have sunny stretches in the winter. I honestly don't know if this is a good idea or waiting is best. anon

You said, ''I should wait till spring because the paint won't dry properly in damp weather'' That has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of paint job. The paint will dry perfectly well, especially in this recent weather we've been having (Jan. 19th 2009) What matters greatly, and this matters in the summer as well, is the presence of moisture in the material that you are applying paint to. Water that gets sealed in by paint must go somewhere eventually, that's why peeling and especially blistering of paint are prime indications of either painting over surfaces that are too moist or surfaces that have moisture (leakage) problems. Don't get pushed into having work done until your are sure there is a very low moisture content in the wood before it is prepped,primed,and painted. Removing the first course of roof tiles genuinely worries me too. That's the kind of thing that I'd leave to a very good roofer, and I've been doing painting and remodeling for thirty years now. Ask Michael Green at Precision Roofing for his opinion maybe, he knows his stuff. 510-436-7575. As for painting, well, I don't do that anymore and my guy is too good too give away, sorry. But pay attention to the moisture content before the paint goes on and make sure it that roof never leaks afterwards! Good luck! Erich H.

Paint Colors and Brands

Exterior Paint ~ brand recommendations please!

May 2012

looking for paint reviews & recommendations. (painter not needed, thanks!) after years of renovations we're finally painting the exterior of our alameda craftsman; darker color brown or green... all prep work will be thorough/superior; we heed the mantra, 'prep, prep, prep & prep some more'. lead paint removal will be to epa standards (got certified as RRRP renovators) would love to hear paint brand pro's and con's. Sherwin Williams Duration has great ratings, but heard can be hard to work with for diy'rs. true? (we plan to spray) benjamin moore? california? others? many thanks~ finally on to the glam work!!!

I am sure you will receive many thoughts and recommendations on various brands. After painting professionally for 31 years I still prefer Pittsburgh and Benjamin Moore paints but only the top of the line,especially if it involves the exterior. One final thought. Be sure to strain the paint before you spray it otherwise it will clog the machine. Happy painting. roger

I can't believe you only received one response as the paint brand makes such a difference. After trying different brands over the years (Sears, Kelly Moore, etc) I will use nothing but Benjamin Moore, the highest quality Regal. Goes on smooth and thick, drys well, keeps its color, and if prepped well doesn't peel. smooth like butter

Do you have a great shade of yellow?

Oct 2008

hi! rather than start from frustrating scratch, we were wondering if anyone has found a great shade of warm yellow (for the interior of a townhouse). the yellow will be framed by white accents (some moulding). thinking warm butter to even a lighter butterscotch but open to suggestions. thanks so much! judy

Try Desert Tan from Benjamin Moore: it's a warm, soft earthy yellow, rather than a primary yellow. We have it in our living and dining rooms and constantly get compliments--we liked it so much that we just painted our sons room the same color! A yellow that's not, well, too yellow. Good luck. Amy

Try Benjamin Moore 'Honey Wheat'.... My parent's just used this in their remodeled kitchen and everyone loves it so much and asks for the name. They got it themselves from a store owner who used it in their store and said everyone asks them for the name, too, and that the color is one that looks great during the day and at night. We are in the process or remodeling and will be using it in our living room/dining room as well. Sarah

Good question! After quite a bit of agonizing and testing, we chose Behr's Banana Cream for our kitchen, and I love it -- it's a warm buttery yellow that lights up the whole room (but not in an overpowering way). Also in the running was Behr's Honey Butter, which is just a bit darker/browner. Getting a sample, or even just a paint chip, and living with it in different lights is invaluable -- some things that looked great in daylight were hideous in incandescent light and vice versa. Cautious with Color

Yes!! It is called Harp Strings (color #213) and is made by Benjamin Moore. We love it so much, we repainted our family room and kitchen the same color after our remodel. Benjamin Moore's website allows you to sample colors in sample rooms online. It is pretty fun. Color can be funky on computer monitors, but it gives you a feel: We used Decorator's White for our molding and trim and Swiss Coffee for the ceiling. I recommend that you sample a few colors, be sure to paint them in the corners and on different walls to get a feel for how the color plays in different lighting and at different times of day.

Good shade of yellow paint?

August 2006

Hi, I'm looking for recommendations for shades of yellow paint for our living room. We want a shade that is more on the warm and buttery side rather than bright and yellow. It is a medium sized room with great light. Any recommendations for shades of yellow to consider (or to avoid) are greatly appreciated!

I have painted nearly our entire house by myself and have tried lots of paints- I absolutely love Devine brand which in particular has nice shades of yellows. The paint goes on smooth, thick so splatters very little, and has lowest odor of all I've tried. They have a shade called butter you'd have to try in the room as with any others, they look so completely different depending on the light. I really like their ''custard'' color, too though lighter than actual ''butter'' it's just a warm, with warm yellowish tone, hue. They have small sample paint pouches and also 8 x 10 paper samples to try. I have gotten it at Pursel Paints, top of University Ave. past Ace. Chris

We used a Benjamin Moore color called Fresh Butter in our family room and guest bath. From your description of what you want, I think you might like it. If you find a yellow you like that might seem a little intense, you or the painter can cut it with white until you get the intensity you like. The Benjamin Moore website has great tools for testing colors in various rooms online anon

Dec 2005

We are moving my son into a new room in our house and he has requested we paint the room yellow. Anyone out there have a recommendation for a good shade that you've used? Lots of them look either too pastel or like pee or an egg yolk... Would love to hear if you have a shade that you're happy with. Thanks in advance.
Mellow Yellow

We just painted our new baby's room a pale, creamy yellow: Benjamin Moore Windham Cream (HC-6). It's available in their low-VOC line, so it's not fume-y at all. You should give it a look... caroline

To the person who wanted a nice yellow for her son's room: We wanted yellow for our daughter's nursery, and our painter recommended a lovely warm yellow called Devine Butter (the brand name is Devine - it's a more expensive paint, but worth it). However, it is really important to paint a large patch on the wall, wait overnight, and make sure it looks the way you want it. We went through a few different shades of yellow and were surprised at the way a few of them turned out (compared to how they looked in the swatches). Devine Butter worked on our wall, but it might not on yours.

Martha Stewart's Pale Naples Yellow is a great shade of yellow. I tried over twenty yellows to get to this one. I have used it in two homes in my daughter's room. It has looked good with all directional exposures. It isn't too yolky or too grassy. The quality of the paint hasn't been very good, so have another company mix the color to match.
Picky About Paint

For the person whose son wants his new room painted yellow: color is so personal I almost hate to make a recommendation, but we have one wall of our bedroom painted Benjamin Moore Showtime. It's a sort of 1960s mustardy color, and I totally love it. It's a strong color, but we have it on just one accent wall, and the other walls are a super-pale butter color called Lightning White.

This is to the couple looking for just the right yellow for their son's bedroom. We have our kitchen painted in Hawthorne Yellow from Benjamin Moore and I couldn't be happier with the color. I'm extremeley picky about colors and went through three (useless) color consultants before I came up with this on my own. It's saturated with out being yolky, and it is neither pastel, nor drab. It has a slightly retro-feel to it - I believe it's in Benjamin Moore's Historic Colors collection. There is one shade lighter on the strip called Flax, which we have in a dark hallway. It's also a great choice for a room that might need extra brightening, though is every so slightly on the pastel side.
Benjamin Moore Fan

Painting a metal bannister

June 2007

I have a house that has a black metal bannister. I would like to paint this a pewter color. Can this be done and what kind of paint would I use? Thanks anon

Krylon makes some really nice metallic paints that can be applied to metal. I'm not sure how they'd wear, but I've used them on a variety of surfaces/projects and they look beautiful. Rust-o-leum and Plaid also make metallic paints, if Krylon doesn't have the colors you're looking for. I'd say it's worth a try. DIYer

Our new paint job is peeling off

Sept. 2003

We have a problem that we don't know how to fix. We recently moved into our house and started repainting. The biggest problem is in the kitchen. We put up two coats of latex primer and then two coats of latex paint, which is now peeling off in many places, and can easily be scratched right off. Does this mean that we painted over old oil- based paint? If so, how do we remedy this? Do we need to sand all the way back down to the original paint? Or can we apply oil-based primer on top of what we've already done? Discouraged Painter

We had a similar problem. I found out from several contractors why paint may peel. Our maintenance guy painted and scraped about 5 times, spent hours upon painful hours with the paint bubbling in areas. Our problem was that the dry wall was slightly moist from having wicked up from the wet pergo flooring.

Other reasons that ''experts'' told us were:

1) oil based paint and latex cannot be painted on top of each other. Need a primer in between. Correct.

2) You cannot mix two different brands of paint, and particularly not latex and satin, for example. They were wrong about this.

3) Need to prime before painting. Correct.

4) Walls may have residues of wall paper dissolving solution, so you need to wash walls well prior to painting otherwise it'll bubble up and not stick to walls. This wasn't our problem.

Good luck! Perhaps it's moisture like our situation? We did have to scrape all the way to the bottom, re- texturize, it took a long time and I recommend someone w/ experience! Susan

I hate to even think about it - but we had a similar issue with our moldings (a main difference is that we hired painters and they botched the paint when they were mixing it). I could literally scratch off the paint with my finger nail without even trying. It looked awful, was totally child-unsafe and completely bummed us out. After several experiments, the best remedy, as you say, is oil- based primer. They didn't sand off the original mess - which worried me, but it looks fine - actually good. For most of it, they did use an oil-based paint to finish - but not everywhere. Good luck, anon