Even an old lamp with a bare bulb held close to a wall will make minor cracks, bumps or nail pops jump out. Carmen Toto, owner of C. Toto & Sons in Madison, New Jersey, uses painter's putty or a lightweight spackle for minor cracks and dents; he uses plaster of Paris for dents deeper than 1/8 inch. Instead of the standard tape-and-spackle method for bridging over recurring stress cracks, Maceyunas uses a rubberized spray-on primer called Good-Bye Crack. Damaged wood requires a slightly different approach. "Don't use spackle on wood," says Toto, "because it just won't stick." For damaged trim, he uses painter's putty or a two-part wood filler, such as Minwax's High Performance Filler. Smooth any repairs, bumps, and nibs with a drywall pole sander. For smoother walls and better adhesion, some of our pros sand all previously painted walls regardless of the shape they're in.
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Started out funny, got kind of hapless, but at least one painter became sucessful. Actually John's dry sense of humor was present throughout the book, but just not as much as in the beginning. I am just about to start a painting and minor maintenance business and I must say, this book does not make me want to go rushing into it enthusiastically, but I am going to do it anyway as my business model is sole proprietorship and not a bunch of painting employees working together in one company. Lots of great painting tips in the book, but nothing compared to the wealth of information on John's website.
If you are going to hire a contractor (professional painter) give a room by room punch list of the fixing of holes small or big, have it identified for the painter to tell you if you need a drywall finisher or if he does this type of work good. Wall repairs can be 3-5 steps to do repairs ( one per day for good drying of patching material and a good sanding) this is what gives you a good paint job only using high quality paint.
When hiring a contractor it is always best to hire one who is personally referred to you by someone you trust. Hiring through ads or phone book is hit and miss. Check with your local paints stores, they know the good guys from the bottom feeders. Go to the stores that sell the high quality paints like Benjamin Moore(nonpareil), Pittsburg, Sherwin Williams or Glidden. Don't go the the big box stores for referrals, the people there don't know squat!
This painter Scot never came and finished the job.  Texted me at 6:30 in the morning saying that he isn't able to do the job I gave him.  I would not recommend this painter to anyone.  I will make sure everyone I know won't use this guy.  He is the worse business owner I have ever met. I don't know how he is in business.  Be very careful of this guy Scot.  Don't trust him and don't pay him for anything for any work.

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