How to Estimate an Exterior Commercial Painting Project

Accurate cost estimates are required for the successful completion of any commercial painting project, and when it comes to exterior painting, professional painters need to be able to calculate costs pertaining to labor, equipment, materials, and other elements.

For the best possible results, estimates need to be flexible as well as adaptable to change.

Here are some aspects of a painting project that will factor into the estimate for the overall project.

Size of the Painting Area

If you want to calculate the painting area, you need to multiply the length by the height of each wall. Then add the figures together to get the total amount of square feet. You also need to calculate areas excluded from the painting project, including doors and windows, and subtract their square footage from the rest.

painting commercial buildings

Figure Out How Much Paint You Need

Typically, a gallon of paint covers nearly 400 square feet of smooth surface and 300 of textured surfaces. If we consider this example, you’ll need about 5.5 gallons of paint to cover 2,108 sq. ft. of smooth surface and 7.5 gallons for textured surface. Two coats will require double this amount.

Calculate the Total Material Costs

High-quality exterior paint will normally cost anywhere from $25 to $40 per gallon, and you’ll also want to account for other materials such as rollers, brushes, drop cloths, and paint trays.

Figuring Out Labor Costs

In addition to everything else, you need to pay for the professionals to do the work. This will account for everything from wall preparation tasks to the actual painting project. Preparation tasks will include washing, caulking, scraping, treating problem areas, and coating the area with a primer.


For instance, if a worker can prepare 50 square feet and paint nearly 150 sq. ft. an hour, the project will take around 57 hours. Multiply those hours by what you would pa the workers per hour.

For a total rough estimate of the painting project, you’ll need to add the material costs and labor costs together. You also need to consider other overhead costs such as fuel, insurance, power-washer rental, scaffoldings, etc.

painter painting building

Another important aspect to consider is that cost estimates will rise with the size of the area that requires painting.

For this reason, paintes price work based on the square footage. Since certain things such as the intricacy of trim details, safety tasks, difficulty of prep tasks, and outdoor obstructions can make a painting project more complicated. So, make sure you include these details in an estimate.

Commercial Painting Estimate

However, despite all of this, you can receive an estimate from a professional painting company prior to hiring their services for a commercial painting project. Experienced and trusted professionals will be able to provide details regarding every cost while maintaining flexibility to ensure customer satisfaction.

Of course, you can use these guidelines to help confirm the accuracy of their quote to determine if they’re giving you an honest estimate.

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