Commercial Painting  Cost Per Square Foot: 5 Things to Consider

When you need to upgrade the look of a space, whether it’s commercial or residential, repainting should be the first step. But understanding and gathering professional estimates for painting can sometimes be confusing. You might ask, “What am I getting for this higher estimate?” and “Should I select a professional painter based solely on the cost?”

This initial process should not only evaluate the quality of work and reputation of the painters you’re looking to hire, but also outline all costs involved to complete the project such as equipment, materials, labor, and other items that may be necessary. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to determine the best balance between budget and quality for your project.

Is it an interior or exterior painting project?

Different paints have different properties so it is important to understand the differences between interior vs. exterior paint. Interior paint is designed to contain the lowest levels of VOCs and is also made to be scrubbed, resist staining, and allow cleaning. Exterior paints need to be able to stand up to all kinds of weather conditions, from changing temperatures to UV rays to wind-driven rain and more. While there can be many subtle differences when it comes to interior vs. exterior paint, the biggest factor in choosing the correct paint comes down to how it reacts to its environment. Keep in mind that for a painting project whether it is interior or exterior, you’ll want to consider the following specifics, as they will affect the average total cost estimate:

  1. Total square footage
  2. Ceiling or Working height
  3. Preparation required
  4. The complexity of the trim work
  5. The difficulty in accessing the surfaces that require painting
  6. Type of paint required or desired
  7. Special finishes requested

What is the size of the painted area?

That leads us to another important aspect of any painting project: The size of the space you want to paint.

Have you ever been “almost done” painting, and realized you didn’t have quite enough to finish the job? Few painting problems are more annoying than running out of paint. So instead of going to the store and buying an estimated amount of paint, measure the surface area you expect to cover, then check the square footage coverage estimates printed on the side of your paint can or on the product data sheets (PDS).

Account for two coats plus touch-ups even when a product promises to fully cover in one coat. Here’s another way to figure out how much paint you will need. A gallon of paint claims it will cover up to 400 square feet per coat, which is enough to cover a small room, like a bathroom.

Two-gallons of paint will cover up to 800 square feet, which is enough to cover an average size room or office. This would be the most common amount needed, especially when considering a second coat coverage. Remember that this will affect the final cost of the project.

What type of paint is required?

As one would imagine, selecting the appropriate paint for a project is a factor that affects the final cost. Keep in mind that water-based and oil-based paints have different features, which can cause them to be suitable for different kinds of painting projects. Look over your project and needs in order to choose appropriate paint.

For instance, for an exterior project, latex paint dries quickly, produces fewer odors than oil-based paint and can be cleaned with water. Other options for outdoor painting would be Acrylic paint because it is splatter and chip-resistant or maybe choose Alkyd paint as this oil-based paint is durable and stain-resistant (despite its harsh smell).

For an interior project choose a paint type that resists scuffs. Alkyd paint resists scuffs, and harsh treatment better than water-based paints. For humid areas, consider an acrylic paint with a high sheen, which is a huge benefit in areas that have increased exposure to moisture.

Also select colors that will cover and complement other colors already in your home, offices or warehouses. Acrylic paint does a great job at covering existing colors or you can choose a water-based paint when applying more than one coat of paint.

As always, if you’re working with a painting professional, part of the value in their cost is that they can answer your questions, provide guidance on paint types and ensure that proper application is used to ensure long term durability of your paint.

What is the deadline for the project?

When you think of painting projects, there is another aspect to keep in mind – the timeline. Getting a project done in a timely manner is one of the most important aspects of a painting project as it will dictate when you can begin or continue normal business operations or when you can resume using the spaces that require painting.

Meeting deadlines and project completion is very important for a painting project. A protracted timeline will only increase costs, whether it is a DIY project or you hire a company to get the job done, setting a deadline will certainly save you money in the long run.

Are there any specifics about the job?

When estimating the costs of a painting project, some specifics about your space could play an important role in the final cost of the project. For instance, an experienced painter will expect to find a few small minor cracks and nail holes, so it’s safe to assume they will include those repairs in standard preparation and price. Large cracks and holes, or poorly repaired drywall 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. Since certain things, such as the complexity of trim details, the difficulty of prep tasks, safety tasks, and outdoor obstructions can complicate a painting job considerably, most painters also factor in these details.

Consider the factors mentioned in this blog when estimating the costs of your project and get several estimates to compare quality, value, and proposed work included versus cost alone.
Remember too that painting is not a commodity, it is a service. And with most services, there is no standard pricing.

If you want an estimate for commercial, industrial or residential painting from our highly reputable, professional team, contact us at PPD Painting. We are an award-winning service provider that offers professional quality work to get your job done right the first time.


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Really like this service. Great pricing

Alex Wong

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David Wilson

Work was great. Professionally completed job. Workers were great and a pleasure thru the mess.


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You came here and gave us the estimate when you said you would. Your project leader was polite and on time.Your crew was here on time, they were polite and got to work right away and did a good job. The job was completed when you said it would be finished.

Joe Lambert

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Kurt Nitschke

First time using, but very pleased with everything. Great crew did a great job, reasonable pricing, flexible hours with minimal effect on our staff

Robert Wallace

You have experienced, professional painters who genuinely care about the quality of their work.

Ann R.

The crew was very professional and courteous.

Kim Baker

Bruno is doing a good job in his new roll as project manager and Sal is the best painter that leads the crews for Phonak work projects. I get them started and they take it from there with very little monitoring on my part. I also like the partial billing, the organizing of my paints and if possible a year end report on what we spent on patching and painting would be great.

Mike Moore

Excellent workmanship, I didn't have to check your work. Paul and Alfonso were polite, and conscientious and treated my house as if it was their own.

Rick Orna

Answered their phone promptly. Paint job was a perfect match. My customer was very pleased.


Paul is an excellent painter. He was very tidy and easy to work with. Paul did a great job matching the color of our front stain and his work is professional. Paul was on time and good at communicating. I would definitely recommend Precision Painting to a friend.

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Bernard Bartelli

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John Michie

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Christine Paulson

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Pat Rossi

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Eva Roby

Very nice job can’t wait til do the outside

Dennis Hansen

PPD Painting Corp. Headquarters
884 County Line Rd.
Bensenville, IL 60106
(630) 688-9423

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4824 Interstate Dr.
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(513) 866-2210

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233 E. Main St. #410
Bozeman, MT 59715
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