Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 8 months ago

Do you give them leftover paint, even though it is of no use to them?

We are painting over bathroom partitions and metal doors in a restaurant. Seems repainting is about 1/4-1/3 the cost of replacement of items. They are bad, but not too bad.

We are creating as near as possible a factory finish. Everything had to be taken apart, sanded, primed, painted. This is not ordinary primer or acrylic paint. In fact we had to sand away some amateurishly applied acrylic paints on some pieces and that was extra work.

The paint and primer MUST be sprayed on to get as close to the factory powder coat finish as possible. If a powder coating company did the job, it was close to the cost of replacement, about $1,500 per room. We did both rooms for $1,000 and that included painting all the metal plus all the drywall and ceilings.

They want the paint from the ceiling and walls. That's fine, it is a custom color. It is about a quart for the walls and less than a quart for the ceilings.

We have about a quart left over from the partitions. This is not exactly a custom color. It is the most popular of about 50 possible colors. We use it all the time. It is worth about $20 and we use it often. 

The paint can't be brushed on or rolled on. It will look like crap. It must be sprayed. The client doesn't fully grasp this is not an ordinary paint. Margins are too thin to give away something he couldn't possibly use. Besides, it was not part of the work order.


He is withholding the final payment on the whole place, about $1,000 because he wants this paint. Do I just give it to him and make him happy? My guess I will never work for him again and the place will not make it 6 months.

11 Answers

  • Mark
    Lv 6
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Give him the paint.  Why are you even questioning this.  You'll never have a shortage of ignorant customers.

  • 8 months ago

    i am a former painting contractor. i now own a paint store. give him the paint, get paid and move on.

  • 8 months ago

    He is demanding a can of paint worth 20 bucks (you claim you can simply get it at a hardware store). He can too.

    And withholding a thousand because you wont let him have the paint.

    You don't want to give it to him or work for him.

    Give him a ultimatum in writing stating its not in the contract to finialse the bill by such and such a date then he doesn't pay file and sue for payment in small claims court.

    You've done your part you should be paid in full.

  • Jen
    Lv 4
    8 months ago

    I get precisely what you're saying.  You gave Client a great deal with great quality work, making it so that you have very little profit in it for yourself. The client doesn't seem to know or care, and feels it is his right to get any left over paint. My opinion, however -- from experience at that -- is to give him the paint. Why? If you do, he will go around saying that you didn't want to give it to him but he talked you into it; What a great guy he is. If you do *not* give it to him, however, he will tell everybody what a rip-off artist you are.You will look in the wrong, even though you're not.

    We made a mistake once getting hired by a friend. She followed husband around to be sure there were no mistakes, requested a TRIPLE LAYER of paint in places at no extra cost. (Wood was old, absorbing paint.) Oh and then wanted a bigger discount! In end, we didn't even want to be friends with her anymore. So I get it.

    Source(s): Experience
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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Your wording isn't very clear and concise (government speak for WTF are you even talking about?!) but it really would depend on the situation.  What are YOU going to do with the paint if you keep it and it's a custom color?  

    If the customer paid for the paint and you keep it then that constitutes theft.  If YOU paid for the paint but have no other use for it I would just give him the paint for touch-ups and tell him it must be sprayed on rather than brushed or rolled on.  

  • 8 months ago

    Why is it useless?

  • John
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    I'm just happy I don't need any painting done and I hope you live far, far away.

  • 8 months ago

    Your agreement was that he got to keep the left over paint. Apparently you remember that as being only the ceiling/wall paint, but he thinks it meant ALL the leftover paint.

    The fact that it will look bad if he brushes it on later is irrelevant. that's his business, if he gets a big scratch a brushed on cover is probably better than nothing, or maybe he has a paint sprayer he can use.

    But that really doesn't matter - your agreement was to do the work and leave the leftover paint for him. So leave the paint and collect your payment. If your profit margins are so thin that $20 worth of paint on a $1000 job make or break your company then you need to rethink your pricing.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Wow, he is paying for the paint, it's not yours. In the U.K. the workers don't take the left over paint away.

    How long have you been doing this job?

  • 8 months ago

    Jobs are typically prices and time and material. Any left over material you leave with them because they paid for it.  (Unless they don't want it.)  If margins are too thin, then you did a bad job of pricing the job given you're worried about $20.

    If you gave a flat price, without breaking out material, for the job, then that's his cost.  Period.  You get to keep the $20.

    You don't just give it to him to make him happy.  You give it to him because it's beyond stupid to hold up $1000 for a partial can of paint worth about $20.

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