Understanding The Costs of Painting Your Commercial Building

Commercial Painting Estimates

Painting a commercial structure or  space is quite a bit different than a residential painting project. While the paint inside or outside your home is designed to protect your home and make it look good, a commercial painting customer is going to have much higher expectations as to the performance and longevity of their building.  As a business you need to attract and retain customers, make them comfortable in your establishment and get them talking so their friends come by too.

Color plays an important role in the appearance of your commercial building and it’s paramount to how the public will perceive it.  For these reasons commercial painters who are good at what they do, and reliable are usually in very high demand and often booked well in advance.

Coating System EconomicsBecause of the additional work and special circumstances that can arise while painting a commercial space it’s no surprise that commercial painting projects are often more expensive then their residential counterparts.  Often a business or property owner will be quick to suggest the painting contractor is charging to high of a price.

This can often be the case especially if you’ve received several bids and one seems way out of whack. However, and this happens more often then not, it could be a case of the property owner not fully understanding the scope of the project and what is involved on the part of the painter to complete it.

To make the problem much worse, there are many small painting companies masquerading as professional commercial painters. These are the painters who’s work we are often called upon to repair. Thankfully these painters who don’t run reputable businesses and their unprofessional estimates are very easy to spot once you know what to look for.

Professional Painters Offer Commercial Color Consultations

Commercial Painting Color ConsultationsThe colors you choose for your business or commercial space play a huge role in how your customers will respond to your brand. Many painting contractors offer color consultations as a courtesy for their customer. Color consultations with a professional painter that has painted hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space can be very insightful and help you make the toughest color decisions the right decisions.

A productive color consultation appointment for your commercial space could take an hour or more, sometimes several. This is time your painting contractor generally puts in before you’ve ever agreed to hire them. The time your painter spends with you consulting on your commercial painting project is time they are likely going to bill you for in the final estimate.

Professional Painters Use Contracts For Commercial Projects

Painting ContractAs a business owner, you’d probably expect your commercial painting estimate to look professional, and be presented in a professional manner. If you’re getting a bid estimate on a napkin with some hand-scratched notes it might be a sign you need to seek a new painting contractor.

An estimate to paint the interior or exterior of your commercial space from a professional painter will be very detailed, and likely itemized. Your painting estimate could even be several pages long depending on the amount of surface area to be painted and the amount of materials that will need to be purchased.

With a good painting estimate you’ll receive a thorough description of the work involved, along with all of the materials being used and any special requests or considerations you’ve asked for in writing. Having everything in writing protects both parties.

From the moment a commercial painting contractor takes on your bid they must assume they’ve already got the job and start to plan accordingly. It’s the only way to really give the customer an accurate estimate. This process can sometimes take several hours depending on the size of your project. This is all time a professional painter definitely deserves to be compensated for.

Commercial Painters Are Licensed, Insured and Bonded

Painting Insurance and LicensingLicensing and proper insurance both for employees and the projects a painter works on are very expensive business expenses we must pay as professionals. You’d think that licensing and insurance would be obvious requirements but you’d be surprised to know that many painting contractors have neither. I’m sure you’d agree that in a commercial setting, no insurance and licensing is a disaster waiting to happen.

What if something were to happen on the job? Do you think that an unprofessional fly-by-night painter you found in the classifieds will be equipped to handle that situation, professionally and financially if required? It’s unlikely.

Your estimate to paint your commercial space will probably mention the fact they are licensed and insured to do business in your area. Licensing and insurance are something any good painting contractor will have, it’s your responsibility to make sure though.

Professional Painters Use High Quality Paints and Coatings

High Quality PaintsThere are many different grades of paint from many different paint manufacturers. They are not all created equal and especially when used in a commercial setting. This is why professional painters work with proven brands from paint manufacturers that have a solid reputation and stay on the cutting edge of painting technology. We’ll tell you exactly what brands and specific paints we’re using for your project. Some contractors will tell you that you’re getting high grade paint but is it really what they are using? You’d be surprised!

A professional painting contractor will be able to prove it and provide you with the necessary documentation for any warranty that might be available too with the paint products you’ve chosen.

Professional Painters Offer A Written Warranty

Interior Painting WarrantyThis is an important one and it’s a little bit deceiving because while some contractors will offer a warranty, they simply just won’t service it. This is especially so with the lowest bids. These painters under value their time because they need the next dollar quick. It’s not a guarantee that they’ll be around in a year to fix that flaking, peeling paint they’ve left you with.

A professional painter will offer you a rock solid warranty, in writing and while that’s still not a guarantee you’ll just have to look at the contractors reputation, the length of time they’ve been in business and how they conduct themselves to make that determination for yourself.

If your warranty information is clearly detailed and explained on the estimate you’ve received then it’s a good sign.

Preparation Work, Property Protection and Working Around Your Business

Trying to paint a business or commercial space can pose several unique challenges to a painting contractor. For example, if you’re just refreshing an existing business you might not want to have painters inside your establishment during regular business hours, maybe you want it done at night, or maybe your lease agreement requires the work be completed at night.

If it’s an exterior we are painting we’ll need to clean the building with a pressure washer, sometimes with several passes to get all the dirt and soot (from car exhaust) off the building before hand. If you’ve got 20,000 square feet of exterior space this can take a couple of days.  Working on commercial projects often means changing our schedule to accommodate the project, this could mean night shifts, odd hours and very long days trying to meet deadlines.

Another big part of the preparation work is making sure your property is protected. This could mean protecting merchandise from paint overspray, setting up ventilation or exhaust systems to handle potential fumes (depending on paint choices), placing drop clothes around your facility, safety precautions and more. Every project has different requirements and a good painting contractor will try their best to foresee these issues and write their estimate accordingly.

Who Offers Commercial Painting Estimates in Minnesota?

R and H PaintingR and H Painting is a full service commercial painting contractor serving the entire state of Minnesota. We specialize in working with business owners, property owners and building managers to revitalize and refresh both the interiors and exteriors of their commercial facilities.


  1. Thanks so much for this explanation of the benefits of commercial painters! I work for a bit of a Scrooge at the moment, and he insists on doing any office refurbishment and renovation with the help of his staff. Personally, I think that hiring someone like an industrial painter with expertise and experience, while more expensive, will look better and be quicker in the long run. Because who really wants a bunch of cubicle workers to try their hand at painting an office for the first time? Seems dangerous to me.

Speak Your Mind