Greg Mrakich Painting Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

February 19th, 2011

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Greg Mrakich Painting has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

“I’ve always taken pride in providing my customers a great paint job at a fair price. Receiving the Angie’s List Super Service Award four years in a row is icing on the cake!”

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm serving the greater Indianapolis market (Marion, Hamilton and Boone counties). Prior to relocating to Indianapolis from Pasadena, California in 2000, Greg Mrakich was licensed in painting and decorating by the State of California Contractors License Board.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2010 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on


Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.

Greg Mrakich Painting: Interior Painting Considerations

January 15th, 2011

A long time client of Greg Mrakich Painting in Indianapolis, Indiana, recently decided to move from their home of the last 50 years, a modest 1960’s ranch, into a two year old house with an open floor plan. They were going to have me come over to help them pick out some new colors and do some interior painting in the new house. The home’s interior painting scheme is currently a very neutral builders beige throughout, and these clients like color. Well when I got there, I noticed that they had a problem. And they knew it too. None of their furniture really worked in the new house. The scale was wrong for the open floor plan with 10 foot ceilings. The furniture looked, and was completely out of scale for the new house. What had worked so well in their older, traditional ranch, was not “at home” in their new home.

This is something people need to consider when making a move. Your furniture that worked in your old house might not work in the new house. The cute little couch you bought for the inglenook at the old house may be dwarfed by the scale of its new home. I bring this up because I have had a few jobs where my clients have made such a move, and wanted to paint the walls the same color in the new house as they were in their old house. When moving into a new house, color, scale and style of house, as well as your furniture (both style and color),  all need to be considered to get the look you want, and one that suits both you and your new home.

My advice to anyone who has moved or is planning to move into a new home is to hold off on interior painting in those rooms where  you plan to buy new furniture, particularly if you will be buying couches, chairs or any furniture pieces that are upholstered in fabric or leather. I can’t tell you how often I’ve worked with clients on determining paint colors and we’ve selected wall colors that tie into the colors found in the client’s furniture fabrics.

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it is sometimes best to wait on painting until you have the furnishings you want in place to make sure the paint works with the room and the furniture.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an award winning and EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me about scheduling an estimate for an upcoming project, click here.

Greg Mrakich Painting: Should I Hire One Painter Or A Paint Crew?

January 2nd, 2011

My name is Greg Mrakich, and I’m a professional painting contractor based in Indianapolis, Indiana with over twenty years experience. I established Greg Mrakich Painting in Pasadena, California, where I was  licensed by the state of California in painting and decorating. When my wife was transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana for a marketing manager position, I re-established Greg Mrakich Painting, in Indianapolis. Indiana has no licensing requirement for painting contractors. What this means to you as a homeowner in Indiana, is that anyone can call themselves a painting contractor (regardless of their level of painting and contracting experience).

Greg Mrakich Painting consists of me, Greg Mrakich. I do it all – sales, project estimator, billing, prep-work, painting and everything in between. Over the years, I have learned that some homeowners prefer a one-man painting company, while others prefer a crew. I think that some homeowners worry that if they hire one painter, he or she will be at their house forever (think Eldin Bernecky, from the television show Murphy Brown). While other homeowners don’t like the idea of a crew taking over their house for the duration of the project. Who are these painters and can I trust them all? I always get a laugh when I read ads from painting companies stating that all their painters have passed drug tests and background checks. If you are a big painting company running crews, wouldn’t that be table stakes? If the prospective clients were not worried about that before, they most certainly are now!

When I do a house painting estimate,  a homeowner will almost always ask me, “So who is going to do the work?”  I tell them in 90% of the cases, especially when it is interior work,  that it will be only me, Greg Mrakich, “the Greg Mrakich” of Greg Mrakich Painting. In my experience, homeowners usually have one or two rooms done at a time if they are currently living in the home. The disruption of more than a few rooms is more than most people can swallow at any one time.  I have one client for whom I have painted one room a year for the past four years. When it is a one or two room project,  there just is not work enough to justify hiring a crew. With me doing all the prep work and painting, there is continuity from beginning to end. The estimate and all subsequent discussions are with me, all color decisions, scope of work, and scheduling are all between you the client, and me, the painting company owner.  There will not be five strangers in your house, only me.  If you have any questions about your project, you know exactly who to ask.  The level of the work and attention to detail is the same from start to end. There is no, “I thought HE was going to sand that before I painted it.”

New clients are often surprised at how quickly and efficiently I work. With my years of experience, I know how orchestrate a project to get in and out in a timely manner while giving my clients a top quality paint job. Many of my repeat clients schedule their interior painting projects for when they are out of town. Knowing that I am going to be the only person working in their house while they are away is comforting to them.  They feel safe trusting me with their alarm codes and their houses.

Whether you will be home or away during your scheduled painting project, know who will be doing the work and what there experience is when it comes to residential house painting.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an award winning and EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me about scheduling an estimate for an upcoming project, click here.

Winter in Indianapolis is a Good Time to Paint Interiors

November 17th, 2010

The interior paints available today allows for interior painting year around.  Even in Indianapolis in the dead of winter, you can get your interior painted without the smell of paint lingering for a week or longer.  I’ve noticed over the past  few winters, that my painting company, Greg Mrakich Painting of Indianapolis, Indiana is getting more calls for interior painting during the winter months than I did five years ago.  It used to be with the old formula paint that your house had that “just painted” smell for weeks after the painting was done, even in the warmer months when windows could be left open to air the house out.

Over the past 20 years, the EPA has regulated the paint formulas to take harmful chemicals out of the air as the paint dried.  These chemicals known as VOCs,  helped  paint cover better, be more stable and dry quicker but left a distinctive paint smell. Now homeowners can choose a very low VOC paint that has almost no smell after drying, or a zero VOC paint that has no smell at all. These paints are great for use in offices and restaurants and in homes where medical or environmental concerns warrant its use.

If you are thinking of painting the interior of your house, there is no need to wait until Spring with these zero or low VOC paints available today. Plus, painting your interior in winter is also a great way to beat the winter blahs.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Winter in Indiana is a Good Time to Paint Interiors

Greg Mrakich’s Painting Tips for Textured Walls and Ceilings

October 29th, 2010

Greg Mrakich Painting, Indianapolis, Indiana was asked to provide painting tips for textured walls and ceilings by Phil from Westfield, Indiana.

Thanks for asking me Phil, this is a great question and something I run into quite frequently – especially when painting homes built in the past 30 years. In some areas of the country, even the exterior stucco walls can have a very rough texture.

Textured ceilings are the standard now with 90% of new construction and not for the reasons you might think. Yes, they look nice but that stamped drywall mud is hiding something. New open floor plans create huge ceiling surfaces.  The framing can never be perfect because the lumber that is used in the framing can never be perfect. On a smooth surface, any and all imperfections in the framing would be translated to the finished ceiling, making it look wavy. We might only be talking about 1/32 of an inch, but normal room lighting and sunlight would give away flaws. A stamped textured ceiling will ‘break up’ the surface and mask imperfections.

Builders love textured ceilings for two reasons:

  1. No need to apply the final two drywall finishing coats
  2. No need to paint the ceiling because the drywall mud used to stamp the ceilings dries a nice even white, and is considered a finished surface when dry (leaving it for the homeowner to paint later and at his/her expense)

So, how to paint your textured ceilings? If possible, empty the room of furniture.  Cover the floor in plastic.  On a normal flat surface, you would use in most cases a 3/8 inch roller cover, but on a textured ceiling, you may have to go to a 1/2 inch.  Try a 3/8 first. The shorter the nap on the roller, the less it weighs when full of paint, and the less splatter created.  For unpainted drywall, it will first need a primer coat before the finish coat is applied.  In most cases, a full bodied primer with white tint added looks great when dry, and a finish coat may not be necessary.  I always offer this as an option to my clients and I have NEVER had anyone ask for an additional finish coat once they see how nice the dried primer looks.

If you are painting a textured surface that has been painted before, the ‘roughness’ of the texture, will dictate the nap roller you will need. You will use more paint because of the added surface area. Also, paint a little slower than you would on a flat surface because rough surfaces cause much more splatter than  smooth surfaces.  All of these tips are for walls and ceilings, interior or exterior.  Be sure to wear protective eye wear. You WILL get splattered with paint speckles.

Greg Mrakich Painting

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Indianapolis Interior Painting Deals – Too Good to be True?

October 26th, 2010

My name is Greg Mrakich. I am the “Greg” of Greg Mrakich Painting in Indianapolis, IN. Like many of you, my wife and I subscribe to an email service that offers daily deals from Indianapolis area retailers, restaurants and various home improvement and other service providers at highly discounted rates.

A couple of weeks ago, we received an email offer for painting one room from an Indianapolis painting company. Being an Indianapolis area painting contractor, I was very interested in checking out this interior painting deal. In addition to knowing what my competition was doing, I was looking at it to see if it really was a deal for the homeowner or not.

Although this painting deal has come and gone, the next time you respond to a deal from a painting company, be sure to ask the following questions, and then you can decide for yourself if it really is a good deal:

  1. Many painting promotional offers include a limit on the size of the room for the offer price. Find out  how much you will be charged when a room’s dimensions exceed the offer terms and conditions. The rest of the questions should always be asked when getting an estimate from a painting company.
  2. Is paint included?  If so, what manufacturer or brand, type of paint (oil or water base) and grade (contractor, designer high end or somewhere in between)?
  3. What paint do you recommend for my project? Why?
  4. How many coats of paint will be applied? (the answer will depend on color chosen and color of paint currently on walls etc.).
  5. Are ceilings and closets included in the price?
  6. Does the price include trim (baseboards, moulding, doors, window frames)?
  7. What prep work will be done (such as cracks and nail holes filled and sanded)?
  8. Who will do the work?
  9. When can you (or your paint crew) start the work and about how long will the job take?  And for houses built before 1978, (in cases where lead dust will be created) a painting contractor must be  EPA lead-safe certified to meet the new government requirements for lead safety.
  10. Are you an EPA lead-safety certified firm? Proof of certification is required.

If you were to call Greg Mrakich Painting for a painting estimate, we would discuss the scope of the work you would like done and I would base my estimate from our conversation. It would take into account the size of the rooms, number of coats of paint to be applied, and the grade of paint that we agree to use for your project. Prep work and paint is included. Most of the time, I am the only contractor that will be doing the painting. Although from time to time, I will bring in other skilled trades people to help me complete a job when schedules are tight.

My goal is to exceed your expectations and build a trusting relationship with you. I want you to call me again for all your painting needs, and recommend me to your friends, family, neighbors etc.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Wallpaper Removal: When to Call in a Professsional

September 6th, 2010

For the most part, people stopped putting up wallpaper about 15 years ago.  It went out of style,  but there sure is a lot of it out there that needs to be removed so walls can be painted.  In the past few weeks, Greg Mrakich Painting received a handful of calls just to remove wallpaper and paint the walls. Wallpaper removal can be very easy and quick and neat,  or it can be something that will drive you to drink.  If the wallpaper went up over a nice painted wall, chances are that it is not going to put up too much of a fight. In my experience, houses that were build in the 1980s-1990s, wallpaper was hung directly on unpainted and unprimed drywall.  I guarantee that this was a shortcut taken by the builder to save a few dollars. He’s not concerned about the trouble or difficulty that you or the next person who owns your home will run into when removing the wallpaper.

When taking down wallpaper in an older home or one with real plaster walls,  99% of the time the wall is painted and primed. This will make the removal of the wallpaper quick and painless.  In these cases you pull the outer layer of the wallpaper off,  leaving the backing.  You wet the backing down with hot water and in about 10 minutes the backing is ready to peel off.  Let the walls dry overnight, fill in any now revealed holes or cracks, sand  the walls lightly and you are ready to paint.

In homes 20 years old or newer, you will often find that the wallpapered walls were never primed or painted before the paper was hung. In these cases,  the paper is VERY hard to remove,  and cannot be done without damaging the walls. What has happened is that the porous drywall has absorbed the wallpaper glue. Had the drywall been originally primed and painted, it would have acted as a barrier, protecting the drywall from the wallpaper glue. With no primer and paint protecting the wall, when you attempt to remove the wallpaper, you may pull up some of the drywall with the wallpaper backing.  If this happens, the drywall will require extensive work to repair – turning a $500 removal quote into a $750 change order pretty quickly.

When I give a quote for wallpaper removal,  I ask the prospective client if I can pull a small section of wallpaper off so I can better see what I am up against.  If you decide to do it yourself,  take it slow and easy.  You can’t rush it…it is ready when it is ready and trying to scrape it off before it is ready will only cause more damage to your walls.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Three Questions You MUST Ask Before Hiring a Painting Contractor

August 15th, 2010

Here are three questions to ask painting contractors when getting bids for your next painting project. These questions will help you make a smart decision.

Who is going to do the actual work?

This may seem like a silly question, but it really is the most important one you could ask.  When you hire Greg Mrakich Painting in Indianapolis Indiana,  you get Greg Mrakich doing the work.  On bigger jobs I may have some help, but the people I hire to work with me meet my standards, so they will meet yours. The more highly skilled the craftsmen are who are working on your home, the better the results.

With many companies, especially the bigger painting firms that run paint crews, the only time you will see the owner (if you even see the owner) is when he comes around to collect the payment (unless there is a problem with the quality of the work). Also, some of the bigger firms employ estimators to price the job, and use a separate paint crew to do the work. You may never even meet the owner.

The second question to ask the painting firm before hiring is what brand and grade of paint products do they use?

All paint is not created equal.  I always use top of the line products for the best and longest lasting results. The labor is the same so why would anyone use a cheap paint?  The cost savings are not worth it.  You want a paint that will last,  can be cleaned and if need be, easily touched up.  This goes for interior paint projects as well as exterior paint projects.

How long will the job take?

A reasonable question that a professional painter should be able to tell you.  If the contractor has inspected the job closely there really should be no surprises. Find out if they do several jobs at the same time or if they will only be working your job until it is completed. Some contractors will work several jobs at the same time,  and this will drag out your job time and disrupt your daily routine longer.  I only do one job at a time…get in and out so my clients can get back to their normal routine with minimal, if any, disruptions.

The following very important question applies only to homes, schools and child care facilities built before 1978:

Are you an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm?

If your home was build before 1978, anyone you hire to do any renovation, repair work or painting in your home MUST be Lead-Safe Certified from the EPA to even bid on the job and they must  provide you with the proof of certification and the EPA pamphlet, “Renovate Right” before starting the job.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Exterior Painting, EPA Lead-Safe RRP Guidelines

August 10th, 2010

Boy is it Hot! I’m currently painting the exterior of a home built in 1938 in the historic Butler-Tarkington neighborhood of Indianapolis.  It is my first exterior paint project on an older home since the new EPA guidelines for repair, renovation and paint (RRP) came into play.  These guidelines have slowed me down by about 30%. Although I am not doing any sanding, this particular exterior requires a ton of scraping. There were lots of paint chips to account for, lots of plastic sheeting and lots of sweat. The afternoon highs have been hitting 90 degrees with 70 to 80 percent humidity.  A house DOES have four sides so in theory, you can always work in the shade. When painting an exterior with temperatures above 80 degrees, you never want to apply paint in direct sunlight. The paint will quickly “skin” over, trapping gasses underneath which will cause the paint to blister.

The weather has definitely slowed me down. There have been a few days when I have had to stop working at 1:00 pm because it was just too hot…heat index was around 110 degrees. Throw in a few pop-up thunderstorms in the mix and its easy to see how a schedule can get thrown off. When I am hired to do a painting job, I have to take the good with the bad. This job is going to take about 40% longer than expected because of a combination of weather conditions and following the EPA guidelines for repair, renovation and painting. The good news is that the house is looking great, and I know the paint job will last. That is something both the customer and I want.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

Paint Protects Your Home. Don’t Defer Painting.

August 1st, 2010

Stop and think about what you are asking your paint to do for you.  On the exterior of your home you are asking it to stand up to changes of over 100 degrees over the seasons.  It has to stand up to the expansion and contraction of the wood siding and other wood surfaces.  And it has to stand up to wind, rain, and here in Indianapolis, where Greg Mrakich Painting does business – snow and ice.  Interior paint has to stand up to the everyday wear and tear of you, your family and your pets.

Both interior and exterior paint jobs have a life span. The time to repaint your exterior is at the first sign of chipping and peeling.  It is only going to get worse from there forward and require more prep work, which means it will cost more money to repaint.  Exterior paint protects your house from wood failure and other expensive repairs. I have worked on several historic homes in the Indianapolis area that were over 100 years old that still had the original wood siding.  This is because over the years the wood was prepped properly and protected with a good coat of paint. I have also worked on houses that were less than ten years old and needed extensive wood replacement because the wood was not properly primed, caulked and painted.  The exterior of your home should be painted once every 7 to 10 years (sooner if using a color such as blue that fades more quickly).  That is about how long you can expect paint to last in Indianapolis with the extreme weather conditions.  If you wait until it looks like it needs it,  you have waited too long.

Interior paint is a little different. Bathrooms and kitchens have to deal with humidity and steam, but a good paint job with the proper product (sheen) can last up to 10 years in a bath or kitchen that sees everyday use. The life of the paint on trim and the walls in other rooms depend on if they can be cleaned/touched up anymore and not have the touch ups highly visible. As with the exterior, the longer you put the interior painting off,  the more prep will be necessary.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting, click here. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.