Painting Cost Per Square Foot Commercial Building

A fresh coat of paint keeps your commercial property looking in tip-top condition and gives customers a fantastic first impression of your business. Additionally, your staff will be happier and more productive if they work in a well-maintained environment. But what is the painting cost per square foot of a commercial building?

If it’s time to paint your commercial exterior or interior then you’ll want a professional painting company that can stick to your budget and provides a high-quality finish that lasts. Not sure where to start? We’ve covered the basics involved in calculating the average painting cost per square foot for a commercial building. 

painting cost per square foot commercial building

Painting Cost Per Square Foot  Commercial Building

To get a basic estimate of what a commercial paint job will cost, you should consider 3 main factors:

  • How much paint you’ll need.
  • The amount of labor it will take.
  • What condition the building is in. 

How Much Paint is Needed? 

Calculating the amount of paint required isn’t difficult. First, determine if you want just the walls painted or the ceiling and any trim as well. Multiply the length of each wall by its height and then add them together. Do the same for any doors and windows and subtract this figure from the wall space to get the total square footage of wall space. 

If you want to paint the ceiling, then you’ll need to multiply the length of the room by the width to get the gross ceiling area. Add this onto the total square footage for the wall space.

Once you’ve determined the total square footage that needs painting you can calculate the amount of paint needed. Bear in mind that one gallon of paint typically covers 300 square feet of a smooth wall in a commercial application. Most professional painters prefer premium-quality paint, which costs between around $50 - $75 per gallon. 

Labor Costs

commercial painting costs per square foot

Labor costs also need to be taken into consideration. On average a painter covers approximately 150 - 200 square feet an hour. Labor costs are generally charged on an hourly basis, and you can expect to pay $60 - $100 per hour on average. 

You’ll also want to add on another few hours for preparatory work before painting can commence. This may involve washing, caulking, scraping, and priming. The tools a painter uses can determine the speed of the job, e.g. brush and roller vs paint sprayer. Clean up after a job is also an important part of the process which needs to be factored into the time taken.

What You Can Expect as an 'Average' Painting Cost Per Square Foot for Commercial Jobs 

average cost per square foot commercial painting

Now you know how to calculate how much paint and labor will cost, you can add them together and work out the average painting cost per square foot.

  • Paint: $2,000 - $3,000
  • Labor: $5,000 - $8,000 

So, for a property of 15,000 square feet and in good condition, with a typical brush-and-roll two-coat paint system you’re looking at an average of $5,000 - $10,000, or .33 to .66 cents per square foot for the walls and ceiling.

The Condition of the Building & Other Factors 

While it would be nice if every commercial paint job were straightforward, there are certain physical elements in buildings that can cause significant fluctuation in price. 

Different types of buildings can pose challenges due to their height and structure and may require specific skills or tools. If a business is operational, it also means painters need to work when there is minimal disruption, noise, odor and safety compliance for staff. 

Most painters will include minor cracks and nail holes in their standard preparation and price, but any major prep work, such as large cracks or holes or warped drywall will cost more for labor. 

Textured walls can also cost more, not only for the extra paint needed to cover it but in labor if it needs repairing to look even and consistent. You may also be charged extra if there is heavy lifting or major furniture manipulation involved to clear access to walls. 

With any Commercial Painting Job, it’s Best Not to Cut Corners 

Are you looking for commercial painting services in Colorado? Colorado Commercial Painting has been providing painting services for over 30 years. Please get in touch with us today if you’d like to know more.


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