April 8

7 Factors in a Commercial Painting Estimate


Whether you own the space for your own business or rent to tenants, an attractive building will keep your tenants in the building longer, as well as drawing additional customers to the location. Keeping it painted can help tremendously. But how do you know if the estimate you get from painting pros is comprehensive and includes all that it should?

Understanding commercial painting costs can be challenging when requirements vary from one project to the next. Whether those variances are due to the quality of paint used, permits needed, or additional building repairs required, the quote you receive for your commercial paint project may be noticeably cheaper or more expensive than your last project.

What a Painting Estimate Should Include

commercial painting estimate

It’s important to understand how commercial painting costs are calculated. Each item influences your final painting quote.  This can help you determine how your budget is being used to achieve a successful paint project for your building.

1. Quality and Type of Paint

The brand and type of paint you use has a big impact on the results and longevity of your project, so you don’t want to skimp on a cheap product. High-quality paints and specialized coatings will cost more but deliver a better finish. A good paint brand will protect against elements such as corrosion, industrial environments, weathering impacts, or abrasion.

Certain paints include a primer built in, so you’ll save on buying that separately. Better paint will also reduce your maintenance costs and how often you need a full repaint.

2. Number of Coats

The other crucial aspect of paint that influences commercial painting costs is how many coats will need to be applied. If you’re planning a dramatic color change, more coats will be needed compared to a simple refresh of your existing color scheme. Not only will the quantity of paint increase, but so will the work hours needed to apply it, both impacting the final cost.

3. Design

If you have something creative in mind for your building, then this will also influence the cost as the complexity increases. The final look can be aesthetically appealing and be an opportunity for you to set your property apart from your competitors.

4. Special Equipment

Commercial painting contractors often need to use specialized equipment to access parts of a site, whether that be the upper levels of a skyscraper, apartment building, or high ceilings above a stairwell.

Rope access, swing stages, scaffolding, and elevated work platforms will increase your costs. Equipment of this type ensures that your project is completed in a safe and timely manner, not only for the workers but also for your staff and customers.

5. Repairs and Extra Attention Needed

Several maintenance problems may affect the scope of your project. Concrete issues, foundation failure, efflorescence, leaks, and lead paint are common commercial building issues that need attention prior to painting. They can affect the structural integrity of your building, and the longevity of your new paintwork if not addressed before the painting begins.

Many commercial painters have experience repairing building maintenance issues and can include them in the painting estimate. This will save you time and money in hiring multiple contractors.

6. After Hours Work

Experienced painting and maintenance contractors usually offer the option to complete the project after hours. This minimizes the disruption to your operations or tenants. The cost does increase, however, as workers must be paid to work outside normal business hours.

7. Size of Project 

Naturally, the bigger the scope of your project, the more it will cost. The more buildings or surfaces that need painting, the more paint and labor are needed to complete the job safely and to a high standard.

Hiring the Right Commercial Paint Contractor

Hiring the right painting contractor can be a time-consuming process. You need to be certain of many essential factors before deciding who will be the best choice for your commercial building needs. Do your research, and consider these important aspects before deciding on who to hire:


The best way to find a reliable contractor is through word of mouth and asking around. Get a referral from a close acquaintance that has used the company on a project that is similar in size and scope to yours. You can visit the site of the project and personally check out the quality of work that was done.

Online searches are convenient and abundant. Choose companies with a heavy online presence. Look over their website for details on what they do and past projects. Finally, look over their customer reviews on Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau to assess customer satisfaction and learn about the company before you invest your time in meeting with them.


Like with any job, you want someone that knows the specifics, but also has the education, licensing, and certifications to back them up. They must know which paint works well for the project, what is the best approach, and how they should organize the operation.

Choose a contractor that has at least 5 years of experience. Any less could result in poor work from inexperienced contractors. Meet with the painting contractor in-person to review the project and qualify their character. Are they someone you trust and want to do business with?

Make sure that you and the contractor are on the same page when it comes to your project. Let them know what type of colors and finishes you want and what areas need to be completed so they know exactly how to price the bid.

Color Consultant Services

Before you start choosing paint colors for your commercial building, whether it be for the exterior or interior, enlist the expertise of a color consultant.  This service is overlooked by many business owners but can be very helpful.

Consider the type of building you are painting. It would be to your advantage to know the colors that will affect people psychologically and influence their purchase behavior. Think about what colors will improve your professional appearance to clients and customers and increase the likelihood of them returning. Your building represents a huge monetary and time investment. Ensuring you paint it with the right colors and correct paint will increase your long-term investment.


Before you choose a painter, don't forget to compare estimates to see who can give you the best value for the job. That doesn’t equate to lowest price, so beware of contractors low-balling the bid.

The bid should be complete and accurate, including details on services that will be performed. It should also include the cost of materials, the amount of surface area to cover, and the time required to complete the task. Some companies will charge differently for certain items, so ensure you've asked for at least 3 estimates before making a final decision.

Benefits of Painting Your Commercial Building

A fresh coat of paint on your building provides more than an upgrade to its curb appeal. There are other benefits gained by painting both the exterior and interior surfaces of your building.

  • Protection from the elements - Paint gives the exterior of your building protection from sun, water, and insects. Depending on the type of paint used, it can include special properties, like resistance to heat, water, mold and corrosion.  All are important properties to help prevent damage.
  • Extends the lifespan of siding - A good quality paint should last at least five years on your commercial building’s exterior siding.
  • Better customer perception - Some customers use aesthetic factors to decide if they want to patronize the company.  A repainted building gives the impression that your business is welcoming, and you offer quality services.
  • Improves morale - Changing up the environment at your business may provide a boost in employee morale. New paint colors on the wall can get workers excited again.
  • Mood changer - Research shows that colors affect the way we feel. Green gives balance, while red paint color elevates the energy in the room. A change in colors can change up employee attitudes.
  • Save money on interior decorating - Redecorating a meeting room or lobby area does not have to be expensive. New paint can cut costs simply with a change of color.  You can use two different colors on the wall in place of more new decor to make a space inviting.

Reasons Your Commercial Building May Need a New Coat of Paint

Painting a commercial building has many benefits. It protects the surface from water and sun damage.  If your building or commercial property has been around for a while or has suffered some damage, it may be time for an update. Here are a few problems that may arise.

  • Peeling or chipping paint caused by moisture or an improperly prepared surface
  • Corporate changes requiring different colors, logos, or a name change
  • Pockets underneath the paint that create bubbles on the wall
  • Fading or uneven coloring on exterior walls

The Commercial Painting Professionals

Cost is a big concern when it comes to painting a commercial building.  Getting an estimate that includes all charges with no hidden fees will help you plan your budget and project.

At the Painting Pros, we’re always upfront about all the details and costs involved in your commercial paint project. We provide professional service, expertise, and dedication, making us a top choice in quality commercial painting


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