This page was created by me, Chris Benard, to address serious concerns I have about the conduct of Mr. Thomas J. DiaPaul of DiaPaul Painting. I am in no way associated with Thomas J. DiaPaul or DiaPaul Painting in any other way than being a previous customer who feels wronged.

The Story

How we got involved with Thomas

I got Thomas J. DiaPaul's name from my then girlfriend, now wife, Amanda. She filled in for a BNI representative in the Shreveport, Louisiana chapter of BNI on a regular basis.

"BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world. We offer members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals."
- BNI's web page

Thomas J. DiaPaul has actually worked on the set of a few movies, where I am sure he did a much better job than he did at my house. I feel that he did not take my job as seriously as he would take someone that was with a company, or perhaps if I was older than him, as he made an age-related comment in his phone conversation.

Thomas is actually very good at painting itself, as well as texturing, and he did a good job on making my cabinets look nice by re-coating them with some spray chemical. However, I am dissatisfied with the way I have been treated and the things he has started to say, in addition to the work product itself."

I started talking to Thomas DiaPaul around June 4th, 2009, or at least that is when I have the first text message from him. He came to look at the house on June 7th, 2009. He gave me a bid of $2,800 to paint the entire house, texturing both bathrooms and the kitchen, removing the border around the top of the bathroom, treating the cabinets to make them look "almost like new", and power washing my exterior bricks. $2,800 is a lot of money to me, so I told him I'd have to think about it. He even said he might want to work something out where I could take some money off to sell him my projector and screen that I had mounted in the house. He said he'd be able to patch those holes up with "no problem" and paint over where they both were, and in the end, he actually did that very well.

I told him I'd have to sleep on it, because I wanted to get competitive bids as well. However, he kept calling and texting for several days, both Amanda and I, because he really wanted the job badly. He even finally, without me asking him to, knocked $300 off the total price, bringing it down to $2,500. I still hadn't gotten any bids, because I knew how good Thomas was, since I had heard this from Amanda acting as a proxy for BNI. I decided, in the end, to go with Thomas DiaPaul of "DiaPaul Painting", which by the way is not registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State as a business at the time of this writing (7/13/2009).

Beginning of the end

The end being July 12th, 2009, though. Thomas got arrested in the middle of my job, according to his girlfriend, because of an unpaid parking ticket warrant that had been issued for his arrest. He also took off another day because of a migraine headache, and I think because he had some other higher paying customers, he prioritized me last. I accepted this, because I thought that I would at least be treated fairly.

What is really unfortunate is that I thought his conduct was mostly professional, with the exception of the massive amount of profanities that come out of that man's mouth. I have never heard the F bomb dropped as frequently as I have heard when dealing with him, especially not around his two young children (I believe 3 and 7 years old). That brings me to another very important point: his children were always in my house, when I went over to it to meet with him during the job at my house. Thomas J. DiaPaul and Heather (unknown last name, since it is my understanding they aren't married, but she goes by Heather DiaPaul) kept the children entertained by using a television and DVD player in one of my smaller bedrooms. I thought this was unprofessional to make a work site a daycare, but as I was using a low-price contractor, I accepted this as well.

When I went to the house to check out the progress, as Thomas encouraged, I found parts of one of my toys (I am a computer nerd, so I'm required to have lots of NERF toys) all over my house. It was a dart gun and parts were missing and other damaged irreparably. I decided, in the end, not to even say anything to Thomas about it, on Amanda's suggestion because, as she said "kids will be kids" and I hardly ever played with it anyway. I accepted this too.

Two times Thomas asked us to give him a list of things that were wrong with the paint job. Again, he did a very nice job for the most part, but there were very small issues that I asked him to fix, or things he said he would do but didn't. I didn't think these were horrible, and we made lists for him, and he graciously accepted them and confirmed he would fix them. He did fix some of these items, but then he told me, via a voice mail that to the best of his knowledge, the interior of the house was completed, but he was still waiting on the power washer to complete the agreed-upon power washing of the exterior of my bricks.

Amanda and I went over to inspect and immediately noticed a lot of small things wrong, and we made a list, that you can see below. I was very upset, because of the glaring omissions, like paint on faceplates, missing paint, missing faceplates, and missing screws in a faceplate, in addition to other things. You can see all of those below, but I didn't take those pictures that night. I took them on 7/12/2009, which I will explain in a moment.

A point I forgot to mention: at this point we were calling Heather's cell phone because Thomas broke his phone's screen and it no longer made or received calls. He wasn't able to afford to get the touch screen phone he wanted immediately, so he resorted to using her phone. In addition, I asked for a contract upfront, and he had Heather draw up a handwritten contract that was missing things like the cabinets and power washing. I wrote those notes on there, and requested a typed contract. He expressed he did not have a functioning computer and would have to send Heather to the library to type it up. Needless to say, I never got that contract, but it specified an upfront payment of $500 (which I paid), a "drop" in the middle of the job of $1000 (which I paid), and then the remainder at the end of the job (which I paid).

The night we made the list (7/11/2009), we came home, and Amanda called Thomas DiaPaul (Heather's phone) on my behalf around 9:15 and then 9:30. We got her voice mail both times and Thomas called me back, but then handed the phone to Heather to write down our concerns, which I also thought was very unprofessional, but shrugged it off. Heather took down the items, but this time, after paying them, had quite an attitude. In response to "Where is the missing extension tube for my vacuum cleaner?" and "Where is the pole that opens and closes the back door blinds?" she responded "I don't know." In response to our concerns about the window blinds being remounted incorrectly, her response was "I did the best I could." Not exactly professional responses.

Unsatisfied with these responses, I asked Heather to have Thomas call me back when he "got out of the shower" because he had "just gotten in the shower." Today (7/12/2009) though, Thomas told me he was listening to that entire conversation between us, so that was not necessarily the truth. In any case, he called us back about 20-25 minutes later. I started with "Thomas, I'm very upset right now, and I'd like to talk to you about some of my concerns," being as professional as I could be, not wanting to offend him, but just wanting valid concern given to my concerns. His response was to start in on me, saying "I'm upset too, and I think you two are way out of line..." and continued talking for several minutes, as he always does. Thomas likes to interrupt and continually talk and not let anyone else get a word in edgewise.

When trying to tell us how upset he was, he said that while working at the house, "some n***** (racial slur for a black person)" came to the house, accused him of being my boyfriend (I am not gay, if you didn't pick that up from all the girlfriend references) and then followed both he and his family half of the way home. He repeated the story today, which you can hear in the recording below. He goes on to accuse me of making out with "some black guy" in my driveway and then implies that I am a closeted homosexual and that he didn't want to embarrass me before. Obviously the one remark is racist, and the rest of it makes me wonder if he is homophobic. I'm not sure if he thought it would push my buttons, but you can hear my response in the recording, as well as Amanda's.

He found out that Amanda talked to the actual representative for the BNI chapter, who had recommended Thomas DiaPaul and DiaPaul Painting to his father for a job twice the value of mine. Faced with the likelihood of losing this job, he felt extremely threatened, especially since he may be removed from BNI after all of this is brought to light. This will significantly affect his earning power, since BNI is a formidable networking organization with massive amounts of referrals between members. He said we were "playing dirty" or "playing "low". I can't remember at this point, but his response is to say that, even though I had paid him the $2,500, he was going to put a lien on my house to prevent me from selling it.

At this point, I started recording him, but I didn't get that part recorded; nor did I get the part recorded where he said if we met up he was going to "punch you in the f***ing face." I didn't know I should have been recording from the start, but I definitely wish I had been. Most of the recording is me saying "Thomas" like usual in our previous phone conversations, because he has to dominate every conversation.

So, the end result is, I paid him the $2,500 we agreed to, I paid him before he completed the minor issues, because he had completed the majority of the work (well, I might add) and because he called me multiple times asking for money and I felt sorry for him. He said he was going to put a lien on my house to prevent me from selling it or even "changing out the dishwasher" (listen to the recording). He is being completely irrational, and I believe he is acting this way because he is feeling threatened.

During the very abusive conversation today, he said he took care of everything, including the missing faceplate he made fun of me for noticing was missing after the interior was "complete". We went over to take a look, and indeed, everything is mostly taken care of, with the exception of a couple of things that I certainly wouldn't bother complaining about at this point. If he had just taken care of the issues instead of calling me gay, calling a black person a racial slur, calling Amanda fat (listen to the conversation), and otherwise just being generally abusive, especially the blackmail lien part, I wouldn't have had an issue with him at all! The work product was well, as long as you're constantly giving him lists of the small things that need to be taken care of. Of course, there are a lot of cigarette butts all over the place in the yard, and I found a couple in the toilet the other day when I went over there, but I flushed those. I wish I had taken a picture of those as well.

I hope that anyone considering using Thomas J. DiaPaul of DiaPaul Painting will read this, watch the attached video, view the pictures, view the canceled checks, and especially listen to his conversation. Any rational person will be able to make up their own mind.

BNI did not remove Mr. DiaPaul. They seem to have felt it was in their best interest to ignore his conduct and allow him to remain in the organization. Let this be a warning to others: BNI Shreveport does not care whether or not the conduct of one of its members is becoming of the organization. So caveat emptor when dealing with any BNI Shreveport referral, especially Mr. Thomas DiaPaul.

I have since sold the house, and I am glad to be done with Mr. DiaPaul, but I will leave this site to be a warning to future potential customers of DiaPaul Painting.


These are the pictures for visible closeups of the problems that we had and documented:

The list that Amanda read to Heather (Thomas J. DiaPaul's girlfriend, to whom he handed the phone, instead of taking the problems directly) over the phone, none of which do I believe are unreasonable. This is the list that Amanda read to Heather (Thomas J. DiaPaul's girlfriend, to whom he handed the phone, instead of taking the problems directly) over the phone, none of which do I believe are unreasonable.

Here is the Flickr photo set of the rest of the issues that still existed after the interior was done to the best of his knowledge.

One example:
Stain in one of the bedrooms left by the painter. Click for more pictures.

Cashed checks

Here are the edited images of the checks that he cashed, in the amount of $2,500 as we agreed. I paid Thomas J. DiaPaul when he completed the majority of the job, but before he finished some minor issues, on the recommendation of someone else. Even though he cashed the final payment, the one marked "Payment in Full" with no protest on the endorsement, he is now saying he is going to put a lien on my house, so that I won't even "be able to change out the dishwasher" (listen to the conversation) because he doesn't want to get kicked out of BNI.

Check 1 Front
Check 1 Back
Check 1 Front / Back
Check 2 Front
Check 2 Back
Check 2 Front / Back
Check 3 Front
Check 3 Back
Check 3 Front / Back


This is the video walkthrough we did of the house after the interior had supposedly been finished: (link to YouTube)


The part of the phone conversation from 7/12/2009 I was able to get recorded after he threatened me and told me he was going to put a lien on my house, even though I paid him in full.

If it does not automatically play, right click the link, and click "Save as" or "Save target as" and save the audio file to your hard drive. Once downloaded, it should play fine if the automatic streaming method did not work.


This page was created by Chris Benard to address serious concerns I have about the conduct of Mr. Thomas J. DiaPaul of DiaPaul Painting. I am in no way associated with Thomas J. DiaPaul or DiaPaul Painting in any other way than being a previous customer who feels wronged.

If you have any questions or wish to contact me to get more information, please visit my contact page.