April 28

4 Factors Affecting the Cost of a Commercial Paint Project


cost of painting

A fresh coat of paint keeps your commercial property looking great and gives customers a good first impression of your business. Additionally, your staff will be more productive if they work in a well-maintained work environment. If it’s time to paint your commercial exterior or interior, then you’ll want to hire a professional painting company that can stay within budget and provide a high-quality finish that lasts.

Business owners need to gather cost estimates before hiring and beginning a paint project.  When hiring a professional commercial painter, a reputable contractor should have a pricing method that allows for quick and accurate estimates. Estimates should not be set in stone. Modifications may be required as the job progresses.

Estimating Commercial Painting Costs

Free commercial painting estimate

As a business owner, sticking to a budget is important when considering maintenance projects. Interior or exterior painting of a commercial building involves assessing the scope of the project. Professional painters must be able to calculate the costs associated with the project such as labor, materials, equipment, and miscellaneous items. Estimates should be flexible and adaptable to changes.  

Accurate cost estimates are necessary for the successful completion of any project, especially when it comes to exterior commercial painting. Below are a few things that will affect the cost of a commercial painting job.

1. The Condition of the Building 

There are physical elements in commercial buildings that can cause significant fluctuation in the price of repainting it. Different types of buildings can be a challenge due to their height and structure. Specific tools and skills may be needed to paint those buildings. Costs can increase if major prep or repair work is required.

Minor cracks and nail holes are included in standard prep work and price, but large cracks, holes or warped drywall will cost more. Textured walls can also cost more to paint because it will require more paint to cover them.

2. Square Footage to Be Painted

Professional painters price their work based on the square footage. The measurements of the walls, windows, and doors in the space to be painted should be calculated. The larger the area, the more it will cost to paint.

The owner or facilities manager must determine if they want just the walls painted, the ceiling or any trim. Multiply the length of each wall by its height to get the square footage or area.  Other items that can complicate a paint project, such as trim, safety tasks, or outdoor obstructions will be factored into the cost of the project. 

Once you’ve determined the total square footage that needs painting you can calculate the amount of paint needed.  One gallon of paint covers at least 300 square feet of a smooth wall. If two coats are needed, then double the amount of paint. More paint means more money to purchase premium quality paint.

3. Materials

To calculate the cost of a commercial paint project, you must include the costs of tools and materials to complete the job. As the customer, you should receive a detailed list of all supplies needed from the painting contractor. These include but are not limited to:

  • Rollers
  • Brushes
  • Paint Trays
  • Drop Cloths
  • Painters Tape
  • Pan Liners

To get the building surfaces prepped for paint application, the additional costs of a power-washer rental, fuel, and insurance should be included. Lodging and mileage may affect the costs of materials if the paint job requires the painter to travel long distances.

painting preparations
4. Labor Costs

Labor costs are an important factor affecting the cost of the job. It's essential to establish how many hours a painter will need to complete the job, from prep work to clean up. 

Labor costs are generally charged on an hourly basis.  The tools a painter uses, such as a sprayer versus a roller, can determine the speed of the job. On average, a professional painter covers approximately 150 to 200 square feet an hour.

Depending on the condition of the building, the prep work may take several hours to complete. Preparing a room to be painted may take as long as painting it. Surface preparation, covering woodwork, floor surfaces, outlets, and protecting property is just as important as the painting itself.

Good prep work is essential to a quality finish. This beginning step must be done thoroughly and accurately. It may involve washing, caulking, scraping, treating problem areas and priming. Cleaning up after a paint project is also part of the process that should be considered.

If the commercial paint project is a large one where there are multiple buildings to be painted, you must factor in the cost of additional employees to help complete the painting project. The hourly pay for additional labor will increase the overall costs of the project.

What to Ask a Commercial Painter

Commercial and industrial painting require experienced painters and the proper materials. Painting companies or contractors should provide you with enough information to prove they can handle a project. Be prepared to ask questions about their process and experience.

Asking questions will provide insight into exactly how the painting company works. If possible, try to meet the manager or estimator in person to go over details. If you must communicate through emails or by phone, make sure you understand every detail.  There are additional questions to ask a painter that are as important as knowing the cost of the project.

Do You Have Insurance or a License?

A professional commercial painter should have both. Painting contractors have state licenses that are specific to each state. Licensing for contractors usually involves passing exams and meeting criteria to prove they are fit for a trade like painting.

Insurance not only protects the contractors during the job but also the client from being financially responsible for any damage or injuries. Call the insurance company and confirm the validity of the insurance.

There are two forms of insurance that the painting crew should possess:

  • Comprehensive Business Liability: protects your property from damage by the contractor during the job.
  • Workmen's Compensation: protects the client and painters from liability in case they are injured while they are working on your commercial property.

If you use inexperienced painters for a job, you will likely get inferior results and may have to have it redone. Choosing experienced painters will save money in the long run. Find out how long they have been in business. Ask how many projects they have completed in their time as painters. The fewer the projects, the more red flags will be raised as a warning to you.

trusted painters for 40 years

The materials used by a commercial painter will affect how it looks and how long it lasts. Ask what the brand and grade of paint will be and how many coats the surfaces will need to have. Painters who have experience will guide you with the choice of colors that look great on a commercial building. 

Some contractors will try to take advantage of you by claiming they are using high-quality materials. Do your research to know what they will be using before they are hired. Other than the paint type and the coatings, other materials should be vetted as well.

Management and Communication

You may work with an estimator before the project begins to discuss the cost and details. Discuss who will be heading the project management aspect of the job. They will provide the planning and oversight of:

  • The list of services that are agreed upon
  • Detailed phases of the project, such as preparation and clean up
  • All changes to the project (including any additions or deletions)
  • A system for the crew to check their work after completion
  • A walk-through when the project is completed to check customer satisfaction
  • These details should be outlined in writing and signed by both parties.

One of the most important parts of a paint project is how the project manager will communicate with you. You should be kept in the loop about what is going on day-to-day, as well as any problems that arise.

Reviews and Warranties

Do not be afraid to seek out reviews or references. Though the customers may not be listed by personal names, references may be listed by the company instead.

Check for testimonials from customers of the painter from past projects. Former customers will likely mention any problems they encountered, saving you from facing them yourself. Certifications and memberships in accredited organizations can add to the company’s credibility.

Another item to ask about is the warranty. Warranties provide peace of mind for a set amount of time after the project is complete. One-year warranties are the most common for paint projects.

Improve Your Building’s Appearance

At The Painting Pros, we take great pride in offering durable and quality paint finishes. Our team pays attention to the details of every project we’re hired for. Whether you need an entire office building painted or just want to update your interior, our team is committed to getting your project done right and exceeding your expectations.

Schedule a service call with a professional!

Expert painting services.


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