Paint Warranty vs Workmanship Warranty: What’s the Difference?

April 20, 2023

One of the most important items to discuss before hiring a commercial painting contractor is warranties. In the painting industry, there are two separate warranties you need to be aware of when planning a painting and maintenance project: the paint warranty and the workmanship warranty (also called the painter’s warranty).

These two warranties work together to protect your investment by making promises as to the quality, state, condition, durability, performance and characteristics of the painting products and their application. While businesses voluntarily offer warranties, once you’ve made a purchase with a warranty, it’s legally enforceable under Australian Consumer Law.

A reliable and good commercial painter will include both paint and workmanship warranties in your painting and maintenance project.

Paint warranty

Paint warranties cover the painting and coating products used in your project. The guarantee is provided by the manufacturer, such as Dulux or Taubmans, and doesn’t cover the application of the product itself. Sometimes warranties may vary depending on the use of the coating, so ensuring you have the correct information for your context is critical.

For example, in a commercial context, Dulux guarantees that their WEATHERSHIELD® Gloss coating will not blister, flake or peel for 15 years when applied to new brickwork or blockwork in the correct manner, as outlined in their written specifications. However, in a residential context, the Weathershield guarantee is for as long as the consumer lives in their home provided the coating is applied according to the instructions.

Talking to industry experts is the best way to ensure that you make the right choices for your project, including the choosing best coating for your surface that maximises the finish and provides long-lasting protection with the support of a warranty. Additionally, a good paint manufacturer or painting contractor should discuss your responsibilities under the warranty, such as regular surface washing according to paint manufacturers guidelines, as this is often overlooked by customers.

Minimum warranties

NSWVictoriaTasmania and Western Australia all provide the following minimum durability table in their state Guides to Standards and Tolerances for building projects. If your commercial painter doesn’t suggest a manufacturer whose warranty meets these guidelines, then choose another company and paint supplier.

Minimum durability of coated finishes
Exterior acrylic 36 months
Exterior enamel 24 months
Exterior semi-transparent stains 12 months
Exterior clear finishes Not recommended
Interior – all finishes 36 months

Workmanship warranty

While the paint warranty covers the coatings for your project, the painter’s or workmanship warranty covers the labour undertaken by your commercial painting contractor. This includes tasks such as the cleaning and preparation of surfaces, application of the paint and any painting maintenance or repairs that are carried out.

A licensed painter should comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2311:2017 Guide to the painting of buildings, which outlines industry best practice painting procedures to ensure the quality of the finished product. Higgins also chooses to comply with internationally recognised ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems as part of our commitment to quality assurance.

Whatever standards your painting contractor complies, their warranty should cover any paint defects and blemishes that arise as a result of their workmanship, including paint runs, wrinkling, colour variations, surface cracks, holes, unfilled depressions and irregular or coarse brushstrokes. However, if the defect is a result of other forces, such as movement of the substrate or abrasive cleaning products, then it likely won’t be covered by the contractor’s warranty.

If your commercial painter won’t commit to a minimum one-year workmanship warranty, then you should be concerned. Higgins offers warranties of a variety of durations depending on the client’s needs, starting from one year. We can also offer packaged warranties with all major paint manufacturers as part of our complete painting solutions, simplifying the process of protecting your project. And if you want to get the most benefit out of your investment, we recommend our customisable painting and maintenance plans that can be implemented over a number of years to your paintwork in good nick.

Your paintwork is an investment that needs protecting to ensure the ongoing appearance of your building and reduce future expenses. Learn how to keep your paintwork looking fresh for longer with our handy guide to painting maintenance.

This article was contributed by Nick Higgins – Higgins Coatings

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