There's no getting around it - the key to a good paint job is the prep work. Don't try to cover old problems with a fresh coat of paint because they'll only resurface.
"Anybody who's done any painting knows that to get a good result, you need to make sure the surfaces you're painting are smooth to start with and clean," said Kevin Brasler,executive editor at checkbook.org. "If you are doing the work yourself, it takes a lot of effort to do that. If you're hiring somebody, you need to make sure they are going to do that prep work."
That should be spelled out in the contract, along with all the others things the painters are going to do.
"A contract that says 'paint bedroom' is not nearly as good as a contract that says 'clean and sand all surfaces for prep work, paint ceiling, paint trim, paint walls and clean up,'" Brasler explained.
The contract should also specify the number of coats and who supplies the it - you or the painter. If it's them and you want a specific brand of paint, make sure that's written down, too.
Before you hire any contractor, check with the state to make sure they are registered and in gppd standing with the state.
Protect My Home: Tips from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries