The Costs of Commercial Painting 

Costs of Commercial Painting

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Proper budgeting for the job is crucial for commercial painting projects. Without accounting for all the potential costs involved, you may face significant budget overruns down the road. Based on years of experience in the industry, Link Solutions Painting Experts have seen far too many businesses underestimate their painting budgets and get caught off guard by the final costs.

To help fellow business owners in the Boston MetroWest area avoid this budgeting headache, we’ve compiled a detailed overview of the main factors that can drive up the costs of commercial painting projects. We aim to provide insight into the many variables at play so you can build a comprehensive and realistic budget. With an accurate estimate of probable expenses, you can confidently approach any commercial painting job.

The costs go far beyond just the apparent square footage painting rate. Everything from surface preparation to cleanup fees and special containment provisions can add to the bottom line.

So, let’s examine all the potential costs when commissioning professional commercial painting services.

Costs of Commercial Painting

Surface Preparation

Before painting begins, the surfaces must be prepped and ready to accept new paint. This is one of the most variable cost factors, as the amount of preparation work needed will depend on the current condition of the surfaces.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Cleaning and Repairs

If the existing paint is flaking or peeling, those areas must be scraped and sanded to create a smooth surface. If there are cracks, holes, or other damage to the walls, those will also need to be repaired before painting. The time and materials involved in this prep work get billed on top of the base painting costs.


Most commercial painting projects require a primer coat before the finish color goes on. Primer helps the topcoat adhere better while blocking stains, tannins, and other issues that could bleed through the new paint. Be sure to account for the additional labor and primer paint costs.

Paint Removal

Sometimes, the old paint may need to be chemically stripped, or media blasted off before repainting. This can add a sizable chunk to the project budget but is sometimes necessary to deal with layers of old lead paint or achieve the desired results. If the scope requires paint removal, get quotes for the abatement work.

Lift Rental

A commercial company must rent a lift to move around the site to paint their tall building(s). Make sure to get an accurate estimate of the rental fees based on the duration of the project and the height/reach required. These are charged weekly.

Protection and Containment

When painting interior areas of an occupied building, provisions need to be made to protect people, furniture, equipment, and other assets from exposure to paint and fumes. This may involve the use of protective sheeting as well as establishing negative air pressure. Factor these containment costs in your estimate.

Floor Protection

Drop cloths, tarps, masonite boards, and other items will be needed to safeguard flooring surfaces against paint spills and dripping. This protection has costs for both materials and labor for installation/removal.

Ventilation Equipment

Ventilation equipment like negative air machines and exhaust fans may be required for interior painting. This provides fresh air circulation and helps control odors and fumes. Rental and setup costs apply.

Number of Coats

The number of coats needed will determine the amount of paint and labor time involved. Often, commercial projects require two finish coats over a primer for the best durability and coverage. Account for each coat individually in your cost estimate.

Paint Brands and Finish Types

You’ll want to use top-quality commercial-grade paints for longevity, performance, and warranty terms. These cost more than standard residential paint. Also, specialty finishes like epoxies, urethanes, and anti-corrosive coatings will be pricier than primary acrylic latex paint—factor in these costs.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Paint Accessories and Sundries

Many additional materials are used on painting projects, from brushes and rollers to paint trays, masking tape, and drop cloths. Provide ample allowances in your estimate for these miscellaneous supplies.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Labor Cost Factors

When budgeting labor, here are some factors that can increase costs:

High/Hard-to-Reach Areas

If painting tall walls, ceilings, or second floors, this typically takes longer and may require the use of swing stages or lifts. Account for elevated labor expenses.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Off-Hours Work

Some businesses request painters work nights or weekends to avoid disrupting normal operations. There is usually an upcharge for off-hours work.

Specialized Skills and Techniques

Specific decorative finishes like faux woodgraining or metallic effects may require specialized application skills that command higher hourly rates.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Insurance Requirements

Reputable commercial painters will carry general liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and other coverages. Make sure to factor in any insurance surcharges passed down to you.

The Costs of Commercial Painting: Travel Time/Mileage

If the painting company is far from the job site, adjust costs for travel time, mileage, lodging, etc. This is especially true for multi-day projects.

Cleanup Fees

At the end of the project, the painters will need to thoroughly clean up and remove all equipment, materials, debris, and waste. There is usually an additional charge for this cleanup work, so include it in your budget.

Permit Fees

Some municipalities require obtaining permits for commercial painting jobs.

With all these variable expenses factored in, it becomes easier to budget accurately for your upcoming commercial painting project. A detailed quote from the contractor will spell out each anticipated cost factor. Building in adequate contingencies is advised. Follow these tips to feel confident about the budget for a smooth, successful painting job.

Your Trusted Painting Experts

For a hassle-free process of getting a detailed commercial painting quote for your business’s facility, contact the trusted professionals at Paint Link Solutions. Our experts will assess your unique project requirements and provide precise cost estimates you can count on. Call 339-230-7993 to get started!

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