Guide to Hiring a Commercial Painter

Guide to Hiring a Commercial Painter

Buildings, both residential and commercial, need a new coat of paint every few years. Paint protects them from elements of weather while improving their aesthetic appearance.

Various studies also show that a fresh coat of paint adds a touch of professionalism in the workplace and can have a positive effect on employee productivity.


In residential areas, freshly painted spaces encourages a positive mood and increase quality of life.


That’s why most customers prefer hiring professional painters rather than painting their houses themselves. .

If you’re planning to hire one, here a few key factors that you need to keep in mind:

Types of Painters

Painters can be grouped into various categories:

  • Residential vs. commercial

Residential painters work exclusively on residential properties while commercial painters work only on commercial properties. However, certain companies offer both residential and commercial painting services.


When choosing a painting company, it’s important to find one that has extensive experience in the type of project you have.

Would you want to bring a commercial painter to work on your residential house? Absolutely not!

  • Part-time vs. full-time professionals

Since this job tends to be seasonal in most parts of the country, a number of painters take on a job only during the summer.

With this in mind, if you have a paint job in the colder months, you should look look for full-time painters.


  • Specialty/decoration painters

Finally, some painters choose to specialise in unique decorative finishes. For instance, if you want the walls of your house to be faux finished, you will need a special faux painter.


The same applies when you need someone to paint a mural on your walls. You won’t just hire any run-of-the-mill painter.


Size of the Company

  • Mom-and-pop companies

While painters rarely work alone, majority of painting companies are comprised of 2-5 individuals. They are known as mom-and-pop companies.

Most of these are usually family-owned. They get their business from family friends, referrals, and the local community.

interior painter

Depending on how long they’ve been operating, they may or may not have specialised tools and equipment.

  • Full-fledged companies

These companies are much larger than mom-and-pops. They are also more professional in the way they do business and boast of a better experience.

Most of them offer both residential and commercial painting services and are usually armed with insurance, testimonials, and photos of past jobs to demonstrate their ability.

Function – What Exactly do Painters Do?

Sometimes when you think of a painter, all that comes to mind is a professional who applies paint on walls and other surfaces.

However, painters can do so much more.

  • Prepping surfaces

Prepping is critical in painting. If surfaces aren’t prepped well, the paint job might not produce the best result.

Professional painters can help with prepping services such as stripping wallpaper, sanding wood, etc.


  • Selecting paints

In most cases, homeowners and commercial property managers are undecided on which colours to use.


The painter, using samples and their extensive experience, can help you select the perfect colour combination for your surfaces.

  • Sourcing and purchasing material

After helping with selection, painters sometimes also help with material sourcing and purchase. With robust networks, they know exactly where to find ideal materials at the best prices.

  • Cleaning up

Let’s face it – painting is messy. Keeping the rest of the house tidy during a paint job is even more demanding.

cleaning up

The good news is that professional painters have the uncanny ability to maintain a tidy environment during work! And in case it gets messy, they will quickly clean it up at no extra cost.

  • Touch ups

Finally, painters are also responsible for fixing minor touch-ups once the main job is done.

If you’re not happy how the paint job turned out, or if you see some spots that don’t match the rest of the wall, you can always ask the painter to touch it up.

Evidently, painters can take on many other roles. It depends on their specialty and the agreement you have reached beforehand.

Pricing – How much Does it Cost

When working with a painter, you’ll be required to pay both a direct cost and an indirect cost.

  • Direct costs

Direct costs typically include the cost of paint, labour, and gas. With regards to paint and labour, the larger the project (surface to be painted), the more you will need to pay.

If you’re painting the whole building, then you will pay more. You’ll also pay more for specialised painting such as faux painting.

As for gas, if the painter or painting company is located close to the job site, you won’t pay so much. In fact, you may not even be charged at all.

However, if you live far from their company offices, then you may be charged for gas.

It’s important to note, however, that some painting companies don’t charge for gas completely, no matter how near or far the project is  from their offices.

  • Indirect costs

Indirect costs are those that aren’t directly tied to the paint job. They include monthly payment on the equipment, overhead expenses, work truck and benefits of the crew.

Utilities, salary for support staff such as secretaries, and rent for the contractor’s headquarters also fall under this category.


Indirect costs must be factored into the final quote in order for the painting company to run effectively. Interestingly, most customers often forget about these costs until they first receive the estimate!

You need to understand that the estimate is always likely to be higher than what you expect, especially after you account for the indirect costs.

Wrap Up

In a nutshell, you need to have something up your sleeves before hiring a painter.

This will help you better appreciate the profession and the people who do the job. And when this happens, you’ll find working with professional painters easier and more rewarding.