Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor. 

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Wow, James Lee's painters are amazing- David and his team were professional, worked incredibly fast, did not make mistakes, and even did some extra work for us free of charge. This is one of the best businesses I have ever found through yelp over the last 10+ years. We got three different bids to paint our home and James Lee's was significantly lower than our highest but also quite a bit more than our lowest (although I do believe the lowest bid painters were planning on painting much less & cutting some corners). James gave us the most professional & comprehensive bid we received, just as others have mentioned. He had a wonderful portfolio of work and I am so glad we chose his painters for our home. Apparently James Lee gets a price cut from Dunn Edwards Paint because they purchase A LOT of paint and it 100% felt like this discount was passed on to my family.
Even if you go it alone, specialize to keep your initial investment low. If you do only interior painting, for example, you might get by with one ladder, a few brushes, rollers, basic hand tools and such, for an investment of less than $300. Again, you can add to your tools as you need to (every job is a bit different), and parlay profits into the equipment necessary for exterior painting or working on large commercial properties.

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We had a bad experience with an interior painter years ago, with the crux of the problem being him overcharging us at the end for "extra work" he didn't anticipate. One thing I'd strongly recommend is making sure it's in the contract that any additional work or growth work is estimated and communicated to the owner as soon as it is identified, otherwise the owner is not liable to pay it at the end. Home Painters Wheat Ridge, CO
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 45 percent of all painters are self-employed, though that number may be slightly higher if companies hire freelancers or self-employed painters as part of their team. The price that painters charge for their services is largely dependent on their association and whether the job is completed in the warmer or colder months (painters often charge more in the summer and less in the winter, given demand and other factors). More information regarding painter rates and associated factors is included below.
Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.
Every painting job develops a unique choreography as ladders go up and come down and tarps are unrolled and folded up. But two basic principles remain: 1) Start at the top and work down. 2) Work in the shade, out of the sun's glare. As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.) 

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For particularly heavy deposits of paint, heat may be more effective than muscle. One way to apply heat is with an electric paint remover, which is a device with a platelike heating element that "cooks" the paint and has a built-in scraper to pull it off. Wearing heavy gloves, hold the heating element against the surface until the paint sizzles. Pull the remover firmly over the surface. The attached scraper will pull off the cooked paint as you go.
This was very helpful. I wonder if i would really follow through and check to see if my painter was cheating me. I used a painter I found on Angie's List. This was 5 years ago. He did a great job. I know he did patching only for about a day and a half. We decided on the kind of paint before he started. that is what he used. I don't know if I could stay on top of him and watch him open every can of paint.
The crew assigned to our job was David, the foreman and two assistants. They began promptly at 8am and worked tirelessly until 5 pm everyday. They were experts in every way scraping, sanding and repairing our weathered stucco and wood framed house. At the end of each day, they would meticulously clean the areas around the house and pick up any debris.

Safest way to ensure that everything is fair is to get it ALL in writing , signed by both parties. Specify each item that needs repair. Also, BUY the paint YOURSELF. That way, there is no incentive to water it down, and you KNOW that you are getting the grade/quality you actually purchased. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish; if you are paying to hire a painter, buy the best paint that you can afford, to ensure maximum life of this home improvement.

If we’re being honest, exterior house painting is a backbreaking task when you go it alone. Between vertigo inducing ladders, sanding down old paint, washing off dirt and taking caution not to paint the windows, there is a lot to think about. Our team of professional house painters make it easy. We are equipped with the right tools and training to get your house painting project carried out without a hitch.

Painters will need several supplies for your home exterior project in addition to paint. Consider personally providing any materials that can be obtained without a license to reduce project costs. Painting supplies are also handy to have around for maintenance and touch-up jobs after the job is complete. The cost to invest in painting supplies will probably run you no more than $200 to $300, unless you buy really high-quality products from specialized paint shops. Consider purchasing the following:

Small random-orbit or pad sanders make this job go faster. (Wallis first covers these boundaries with Synkoloid patching compound so no edge is visible after sanding.) As shown, you want to make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that might get close scrutiny, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to erase any scratches. Home Painters Wheat Ridge, CO

When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
• One room or the whole house? Applying one coat in one room is a reasonable DIY Saturday project (especially if you have help and beer). Multiply the time spent moving furniture, prepping walls and sanding old trim by the number of rooms in the house, and you might want to hire real help. It's the same outside. You can probably tackle one shady garage wall that needs a little scraping and sanding plus a coat of paint, but covering all surfaces of the house is usually best left to a pro.
If a quote seems high, ask the contractor what is increasing the price point. Perhaps it's something that can be negotiated, or maybe this business is just overpricing their services. On the other hand, be skeptical of any price points that seem unfathomably low. There could be a reason their prices are below the industry norm - perhaps their quality standards are uncommonly low, too.

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