Commercial Painting Cost Per Square Foot

Calculate your costs with 2022 prices

By
Nelmie Jane Pardo | Updated September 12, 2022

Price is one of the foremost concerns for property managers when hiring a painting contractor.

Whether you’re refreshing the look of your office interior or commercial building, the ideal professional painting company will charge a reasonable price and deliver outstanding results without cutting corners. 

So, what’s the average commercial painting cost per square foot? 

The typical cost for painting commercial spaces ranges from $0.50 to $0.80 for two coats of paint.   

Commercial painting businesses offer different pricing structures depending on many factors. Read on to discover the going labor rates for painting commercial spaces, the factors affecting painting costs, and how contractors estimate painting jobs

Use Our Commercial Painting Cost Calculator

Use our form below to calculate the costs per square foot of your project. The costs are calculated based on the average rates charged by commercial painting contractors in the U.S.

Interior Painting Costs:

Exterior Painting Costs:

Bookmark this page if you need to refer back to it for future projects.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Commercial Property? 

Commercial painting estimators typically charge differently for interior and exterior projects. If you’re hiring a crew of experienced painters, you can expect to pay around $55 to $65 per hour.

Additionally, scaffolding, boom-lifts, spraying equipment, ladders, and other tools add to the overall cost of a painting project. 

Average Commercial Interior Painting Cost 

A gallon of paint generally covers around 250 to 400 square feet. Highly skilled painters paint quickly and accurately, covering up to 200 square feet per hour. 

Let’s do the math with the following example: 

Interior Painting Project: An office with four walls measuring 20 feet long x 10 feet high each.

Total Measurement: 800 square feet

Estimated Hours of Labor: 4 hours for the first coat and 4 hours for the second coat

Labor Rate: $60/hour 

Cost of Labor: $480 or $0.60 per square foot

Cost of Paint: $35 per gallon, with one gallon covering 300 square feet or $0.12 per square foot

Cost of Other Materials:  $16 for an 800-square-foot surface or $0.02 per square foot

Labor ($0.60) + Paint ($0.12) + Other Materials/Tools ($0.02) = $0.74 per square foot

Breaking this down by square footage, the average commercial interior painting cost is around 74 cents per square foot for double coats of quality paint. 

Average Commercial Exterior Painting Cost

Exterior painting projects are more extensive. Commercial painters usually paint large warehouses, buildings, and other facilities. 

Let’s estimate the painting cost per square foot of a large warehouse with the following example: 

Exterior Painting Project: A warehouse with four walls, each measuring 80 feet long x 50 feet high.

Total Measurement: 16,000 square feet

Estimated Hours of Labor: 53 hours for the first coat and 53 hours for the second coat 

Labor Rate: $60/hour 

Cost of Labor: $6,360 or just under $0.40 per square foot

Cost of Paint: $35 per gallon, with one gallon covering 300 square feet or $0.12 per square foot 

Cost of Other Materials:  $0.03 per square foot

Labor ($0.40) + Paint ($0.12) + Other Materials/Tools ($0.03) = $0.55 per square foot

Breaking this down by square footage, the average commercial exterior painting cost is around 53 cents per square foot for two coats of paint. 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Commercial Painting Projects

A commercial painting estimate involves three main factors: 

  1. The size and difficulty of the painting project
  2. The quality and amount of paint and other materials
  3. The number of necessary labor hours. 

Size, Scope, and Complexity of the Painting Project 

Painting estimators will survey your property thoroughly when calculating the total square footage and discover any unique conditions that make the job complex.

For example, the total cost of your painting project will likely increase if the property needs substantial repairs, has textured walls, or requires painting hard-to-reach areas. 

Beyond painting services, skilled painting crews:

  • Repair damaged surfaces
  • Clean floors after painting
  • Install or remove wallpaper
  • Use special safety equipment when working on roofs. 

Ask the commercial painting company about extra fees to ensure you won’t get any surprise fees after the project begins.

Quality of Paint and Other Materials 

A commercial painting company will factor in any requests for particular types of materials into the final estimate. Large commercial spaces will require a lot of paint and specialty tools and equipment, such as lifts and hoists.

Some paints feature special qualities, like a waterproof or moisture-repelling finish, that add to the cost.  

Working Hours and Season

Do you want commercial painting professionals to work outside business hours? This will bump the cost to as high as $90 per hour. If you want to save on costs and the painting job isn’t urgent, it’s best to avoid peak season and schedule the project outside the summer months. 

FAQs About Commercial Painting Costs

  • How much do commercial painters typically charge per square foot? 

    On average, the commercial painting cost per square foot varies from $0.50 to $0.80, depending on the abovementioned factors. The going hourly rate for skilled painters ranges between $55 to $65. Commercial painting companies with safety-certified and highly experienced professional painters may charge up to $100 per hour. 

  • How much do commercial painters usually charge to paint a 10 x 10 room?

    The standard cost for painting a 10 x 10 space ranges from $200 to $600.

  • What’s the process for quoting a commercial painting job?

    Follow these steps to get an idea of your painting project’s estimate: 
    Step 1:Determine the total area size of your commercial space by multiplying the height of each wall by its length and adding the sum together. Do the same for windows and doors, and subtract the figure from the total wall space to obtain the final total wall square footage. 
    Step 2: Calculate how many hours it will take to finish the job, including prep work and cleanup. 
    Step 3: Identify the volume of paint required for the project. 
    Step 4: Find out the cost of other materials. 
    Step 5: Calculate labor costs. 
    Step 6: Determine the final estimate. 

Choose the Right Commercial Painting Company to Get the Best Results 

A reliable commercial painting company will offer a fair, competitive, and accurate bid. More than the cost of a painting project, you have to consider skills, experience, and reputation to ensure stellar results.

You want a licensed and insured painting crew that applies paint correctly and demonstrates an eye for perfection. 

Now that you know the typical cost per square foot for commercial painting, you can better assess the bids you receive and choose a trustworthy contractor that offers top-notch services. 

Written by

Nelmie Jane Pardo is a senior contributing writer who lends insight into digital marketing methods and business solutions. She regularly writes at BusinessHue to help business owners take their online marketing to the next level.