Ask Woodiwiss: Do I need to stay home with the house painters?

This question comes up from time to time, but we assume most people ask it in their heads 100% of the time: “Should I stay home while the house is being painted? Can I leave my home unattended?” Alternatively, commercial offices and businesses wonder the same thing.

The answer is: it’s up to you. You don’t have to stay home with the painters for an interior painting project, but you can if you want or need to. Exterior paint projects are even less a scenario since most people won’t stand outside and watch all day anyway, even if they’re at home.

Further, you have the right to watch the paint crews work or check in on them, but truthfully it is a little troubling when people watch anyone work. That goes for anyone in any industry. We can all recognize there are times when we need to concentrate and having someone hover over us constantly can be distracting. 

Get a sense of security from your painting company

We know the three biggest concerns customers have when hiring a painting company :

  1. Are they insured?
  2. Are they bonded?
  3. What’s their security and background check process?

It’s a reasonable question of any reputable company, not just painters. Trustworthy crews are the cornerstone of a professional painting company. Woodiwiss Painting is insured, bonded, and conducts full security and background checks on all our contractors.

You should ask your contractor the same questions and go deeper with these questions:

  1. How long will this project take?
  2. Will the same employees be here for the entire project length?
  3. Do I need to be here for any part of the project?
  4. Do you have a theft policy?

Unless someone becomes ill or has an emergency that prevents them from finishing a painting project, we always keep the same highly-trained painters on the job until it’s finished. We also have a zero-tolerance policy for theft, but we’ve never had to exercise it.

We usually ask homeowners to meet in person before the project and at the end for a final walkthorugth. When we start interior painting, our Project Manager will do a walkthrough prior to the first day to verify color choices, locations, and other painting needs. 

For instance, if we’re also painting the kitchen cabinets, our crews will check they’re empty as part of the prep process. If we’re leaving one bedroom unpainted, we’ll verify and note that, too. We may also need to move some furniture around to create space depending on equipment needs, like setting up a safe clearance for a ladder.

It’s also common for us to ask if we should patch any holes in the walls. Sometimes people want to leave the nails or screws in place to hang items back on the wall when they’re done. You can tell your Project Estimator about that, but it’s always helpful for the painters to get a final confirmation.

We’ll also do the same walkthrough at the end of the project to ensure the entire interior is done to your satisfaction.

Interior painting project safety tips before leaving the home unattended

If you want to stay home while your house is painted, you are absolutely welcome to—it’s your house! But if you choose to leave either because you’ve got things to do, need to go to work, pick up the kids, or just don’t like sitting in a room with all your furniture stacked together, we recommend a few things.

  • If you have pets and can’t put them outside or take them with you, they need to be secured. This is for our safety and theirs (curious dogs stick their noses in lots of things, like wet paint!). As we get the home interior painted, we may need you to move them from one room to another.
  • If you need some personal space to set up a laptop or take some calls during the day, let us know so we can try to retain access to the kitchen table or couch or a bedroom. If you know you have a call in the afternoon, we can try to paint those spaces in the morning before having the rest of the home interior painted.
  • Let us know if one room or another needs to get painted first. Maybe the kids are coming home from school later, or a client meeting is happening in the conference room in a day and you want to give as much time as possible for paint odors to dissipate and get the room put back together. This is common of residential painting and commercial projects.
  • In nearly thirty years of business, Woodiwiss Painting has never had a customer worry about or accuse their painters of stealing anything. Not one nickel. But if you worry about it and it gives you peace of mind, you can secure some of your valuables in a different place, like the garage. Firearms, collectibles, jewelry, cash and piggy banks, small portable safes or fire-proof lockboxes, and small high-value electronics like iPads and laptops are worth tucking away.


Most bedrooms can be painted with two coats in about 2-3 hours if we’re only painting walls. This includes the time to lay down painter’s tape, floor protection, and cover up the furniture with blankets.

Your Project Estimator can answer any questions about the estimated project length depending on your specific room size and paint job. If we’re also painting ceilings, a room might take half a day. The time estimate might help you plan your day better if you know you need to run a few errands while one or two rooms are being worked on.

Ultimately, if you decide to stay home or are concerned the kids might be uncomfortable during any time they might be home for a little while before you tell a neighbor or have a grandparent come over. 

We can’t speak for other painting companies, but we want to care for your property and make everything worry-free.

Contractor and home safety tips for exterior paint projects

Staying at home for interior painting projects can be a hassle. However, exterior paint projects are a breeze for most people because aside from some brush strokes or power washing on the outside of the house, you probably won’t notice anyone’s around. Our biggest safety concern might be you forget we’re even there!

Our professional painters will walk you through the timeline and set everything up for the space around your home or office, but generally, you should follow these tips:

  • Let everyone in the house or anyone who might come by, like a family member of a child’s friend, know there’s a painting company working outside. It’s crucial to be mindful anytime someone backs a car out of a garage.
  • We’ll probably have to leave the fence gates open at least some of the time to work in and around the gates if you have a fence. It’s a great idea to put a sticky note on your back door reminding you the gates are open before letting the dog out. It’s easy to forget out of habit once they start signaling to go.
  • You don’t have to stay home during exterior residential painting, but it’s probably best to park on the street or at the far end of the driveway if you come and go.
  • The chemical agents used to pressure wash exteriors are mild and usually nothing more than simple soap or a bleaching agent. But if anyone has an allergy or is worried about odors, talk to us first to work through a plan.

Ready to hire a painting company you can trust?

Trustworthy crews, years of professional painting experience, and the peace of mind knowing a well-done job is just hours or days away. You can have all that with Woodiwiss Painting in the East Bay area. Our professional painters are hard-working people who care a lot about each project. It’s not just a paint job when you see it as a craft.

Call (925)-595-3081 or email to get started. You can also message us on Facebook with questions.