What Is the Typical Cost per Square Foot for Commercial Painting?

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Appearances Matter

As a property or facility manager, you know that potential customers and residents make a judgment about your business the moment they walk through your door. First impressions are important in business, and keeping your commercial space looking its best is critical to your company’s success.

The problem is you likely have a limited budget for projects that maintain and beautify your commercial space. Knowing what to expect can help you move forward in painting your commercial property at the right time to make the biggest impact.

How Do You Determine How Much Paint You’ll Need To Complete The Job?

There is often confusion in how this is determined. It’s important to know that space is determined by wall space rather than by floor space. A 14’ x 14’ floor space, for example, is 196 square feet. Some facility managers make the mistake of assuming this is the square footage that will need to be painted. But you’re not painting the floor. You’re painting the walls, and you need to determine wall space. This is done by multiplying the length of each wall by its height and adding them together. In an office that is 14’ wide x 14’ length x 9’ high, this equals 504 square feet of wall space.

Most paint manufacturers advise that their paint covers roughly around 250-400 square feet per gallon, but it’s a good idea to lower that square foot coverage a little to make sure you have enough paint. Then, multiply the coverage by 2 or 3, depending on the number of coats your project will need.

An online tool to help you evaluate how much paint you’ll need for a project is Sherwin-Williams’ paint calculator.

How Do You Determine Labor Costs?

A site visit gives a contractor a more accurate labor cost estimate, but these are the types of guidelines that are used to help determine labor costs:

Remembering “wall” square feet (not floor square feet), an average professional painter should be able to paint the walls with a two-coat painting system in a regular office (14’ wide x 14’ length x 9’ high = 504 square feet) in about 3.5 hours of time. (An average painter should be able to cover about 150 square feet an hour. If you divide 504 by 150 you get 3.36.)

professional commercial painting contractor will charge between $50-$80 per hour with today’s rates, taxes, and insurance.

Keep in mind that the painter has to cut in clean paint lines along all the edges of the room (ceiling, baseboards or floor, doors, and window frames, etc) using a brush, and then roll the walls two separate times with a paint roller. (In vacant or new facilities, sprayers may be used to go faster.)

The cost of painting the walls with a typical brush-and-roll two-coat paint system should be around .45 cents per square feet.

Note: This price doesn’t include extra masking, major prep work (peeling paint, large cracks or holes), paint materials (quality and prices vary) or major furniture manipulation. These all need to be identified. Sometimes, pictures are enough to get a good visual of the situation, but other times, it’s best to schedule an onsite estimate with a professional for a visual inspection.

Do You Charge Extra For Textured Walls?

This depends on the amount and type of texture. For example, orange peel texture is common and typically light, so it usually doesn’t require additional charges unless there are a lot of repairs to get it looking even and consistent.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you opt for more texture, you may need to pay for more paint to cover your walls. Where one gallon might cover 350 to 400 square feet of a non-textured wall, a textured wall may require a gallon for every 250 square feet (or even lower).

Do You Charge Different Amounts For Different Wall Paint Materials?

Yes. Pricing varies dramatically between paint manufacturers. Some manufacturers may charge $14 per gallon, while others may charge up to $100 per gallon. However, the average cost is $25 for a good quality interior paint that will hold up to a few scrubs.

What Type Of Paint Do You Use, And Why?

Typically, professional contractors will use a medium to a higher grade of paint for offices in a commercial space. But if your estimate is coming in low, it would be a good idea to inquire as to the type of paint the contractor will be using.

Can The Customer Provide Supplies To Reduce The Cost?

Yes. Talk with the painting contractor first to determine if they can work with your supplies.

Do You Repair Cracks And Warps, And How Do You Factor That Into The Cost?

Painters expect to find a few hairline minor cracks and nail holes, so many, like ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING, include those repairs in their standard preparation and price.

Large cracks and holes, or warped drywall repairs, cost extra because of the amount of labor it takes to repair these areas. This will usually be identified and discussed during the onsite visit.

Request Your Free Estimate

We proudly serve the Greater Los Angeles Areas. Our team of experienced field managers and foremen are ready to take on your commercial painting project. Call us at (661) 294-1159 to request your free estimate or get started by clicking here.