If a quote seems high, ask the contractor what is increasing the price point. Perhaps it's something that can be negotiated, or maybe this business is just overpricing their services. On the other hand, be skeptical of any price points that seem unfathomably low. There could be a reason their prices are below the industry norm - perhaps their quality standards are uncommonly low, too.
I was a painting contractor for many years and never asked for a deposit upfront. A good contractor should have great credit with his suppliers and an even better contract if the deal should go south before the job is done. Get to know your customer and explain how each paint covers so they understand fully before you have to apply 3 or 4 coats. If you didn't bid your job right and the client has already signed the contract then that is on you not the client. Yes I haven had to eat the difference but the client was happy and a return customer for years so I made up for it.
"I had called the last minute for an interior painter, because I had flown into town for just 5 days, to get my home painted. PPP Paint Services made time for me. Made an appointment on a Monday and they were there by Thursday and done by Friday. 9 rooms including trim work. The job came out great, and at a great value. I would highly recommend this company."
This was very helpful. I wonder if i would really follow through and check to see if my painter was cheating me. I used a painter I found on Angie's List. This was 5 years ago. He did a great job. I know he did patching only for about a day and a half. We decided on the kind of paint before he started. that is what he used. I don't know if I could stay on top of him and watch him open every can of paint.
Buying a can of premium paint, then bait and switch over to low-line products? Again, complete nonsense. Think about it for a moment; the Painter needs 5 gallons of wall finish. So, he buys one can of premium and the rest 'cheap'? How is he going to hide the 4 other gallons? What's he going to hide it in??? He only has ONE gallon of premium. It's not as though he's going to keep older can labels, they would be covered in paint of a different colour.