Simple Guide to Know How to Estimate a Painting Job

How to Estimate a Painting Job

Are you planning for your own painting business? Go ahead! But do you have the proper estimates? In this competitive market, you cannot bid too high such that you end up losing clients. Even you should not claim too low just to stick to this business and run into losses. You must plan out your business strategies well and make appropriate estimates to have a smoothly running business enterprise.

No matter if you are a beginner to this venture, we have listed out some simple steps to help you out. Check it out now!

Steps for estimating painting jobs:

In this article, we will cover all the steps that would come on your way to establish a painting business.

Site Visit:

Visiting the job site is essential to make accurate estimates. Giving your clients a blind estimate over the phone would be quite risky. Check out the job site yourself to plan out the labor cost, estimated time, requirements, and then provide the estimate. If a wall is dirty or in poor shape you may probably need more time and effort. Besides, multiple accent walls would involve more time due to multiple color implementation.

The area to be painted, the brand used for paints should also be included within your estimate. Hence, visiting the site is a must to get all your questions answered beforehand to avoid any troubles later on.

Estimate your business costs

Even after checking out the job site do you still feel confused about quoting your estimate? We are here to help you out with this. Keep reading to learn what to be considered while preparing your estimates.

Paint Cost

The paint cost per gallon is roughly around $15 to $80. On average it comes around $45 which includes the brands of paint used, quantity and quality, and your discount. Take a rough estimate of the paint cost and calculate according to the area to be painted. Supposedly, a 1500 square foot area would need around 10 gallons of paint. So your cost would be the quantity multiplied by the paint costs per gallon. This makes your calculation easy and ensures accuracy.

You can even make a good profit if you purchase a lot of paints every month. This way the contractor would offer you a good discount. But being a beginner you would probably have to wait until you become a professional.

Material Cost

Do you think painting a house or a certain part of it includes paint and brushes? Well, you are wrong then! Your painting business includes a lot more accessories than you have ever thought. And most importantly, the quantities of the material depend upon the area that to be painted. You need to prep up all your requirements before you take up a project and must quote your estimates accordingly.

Precisely, few things go handy with this task like the primer, caulking, tape, masking paper, masking plastic, etc. In the case of exterior paints, you may need to count the number of windows, doors, and rooflines as well.

Labor Cost

As per the on-going rates the labor cost amounts to $20 per hour per labor. While preparing your estimate, tally the area to be covered with the number of painters needed. Then comes the time needed to complete the project which depends upon the area. Besides, there may be other factors that may extend your completion time like,

  • Multiple coats needed for a particular area
  • Obstacles, like trees on your way
  • Embedded windows are often difficult to paint.
  • The steep roof and other inaccessible parts make it difficult to complete the work on time.

Just because you are new to this business you may miss out on this point. Quotes your prices tactfully to protect yourself from unworthy losses.


Don’t forget your business needs publicity. Everyone needs to know about your services and this process won’t come in free. You need to print and distribute flyers and posters. Law agreements and contract making also involve certain expenditures besides paying for lead providers.

Not just in the beginning, you need constant support to keep your business smoothly running. Marketing your business agendas and services is essential which would continuously extract money from your project. Monitor efficiently to balance your marketing expenditure to keep your profit margin intact.

Add Your Markup

Even though you have a new business your estimate should include your markup. 30% markup is good-to-go for new startups, whereas, some professional companies claim even up to 50%. Before you add your markup calculate your overhead cost which includes your office rent, marketing cost, accounting, service charge, insurance, transportation, etc. Your markup should not be too low nor too high so that you have sustainability in the market.

Calculate total cost

Calculating your final cost is easy. Add up all your expenses to get your total project estimate. Some of the professional painting companies add their marketing cost into markup. It’s simply upon you, how you manage your expenses. Research on the on-going rates of painting on the client’s location to give an accurate estimate. Moreover, try rounding up your amount to keep space for unexpected expenses.

Painting estimate template

With Billbook invoicing software ease up your every calculation. Get invoices done instantly and track all your payment records without an issue. Moreover, this smartly-built app gives timely reminders for delayed payments and monitors your business finances firmly.

Painting enterprises are earning quite well nowadays. It only matters how you plan your business strategies and how good you are at preparing estimates. This article will guide you to make your estimates and give an appropriate quote to your clients.


How much the painters charge?

As per the on-going rates, painters charge around $380 to $790 for interiors. The rates may differ as it depends on the area of the room, ceiling height, wall condition, paint price, need for multiple coats, etc. On the other hand, 1500 square feet of exterior portion involves around $1000 to $3000. Prices may fluctuate depending upon the ease of access and number of stories of the house.

What do they charge per hour?

The per-hour painting cost depends upon the labor efficiency mostly. Work may get completed in a day while that same job might take 3-4 days for others. Currently, the per-hour rates vary between $25 to $100. The painter’s experience, job location, accessibility of the house also account for the time estimated for the completion of the task. This may cause a difference in the amount.

How much do they charge per square foot?

The interior portion cost per square foot is around $1.50 to $3.50. This amount rises to $3 to $4 per square foot if the ceiling and trims get included. Cost is typically less in the case of exterior painting which amounts to $1 to $1.80 per square foot.

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