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How to Bid on Commercial Painting Jobs

A hand holding a white paint roller

Bidding on commercial painting jobs isn’t easy. The process demands detailed planning. It also differs from usual residential painting gigs. Painting a 30k sq ft warehouse doesn’t have much to do with painting a single two-story home. However, you shouldn’t be scared of doing large-scale jobs since you’ll undoubtedly get to that point. We’ve prepared a couple of neat tips & tricks that’ll help you win commercial painting gigs with the most appealing estimate. In other words: here’s how to bid on commercial painting jobs! 

#1 What’s the size of the area? 

You’ll want to check out exactly how many sq ft your crew will need to handle. You’ll have to employ some basic calculation skills to count this one. The square footage your crew is required to handle will be measured by multiplying the length of a wall that needs to be painted with its height. You’ll repeat the process for each wall. But what about doors and windows? If they’re not to be painted, subtract their square footage from the total square footage. 

Lastly, here’s a big plus of doing large-scale projects: since there are reasonable amounts of unrestricted space, you’ll be able to take advantage of the so-called economies of scale. 

A blue painting roller on a white wall.

First of all, you’ll need to measure how many square ft you need to paint.

#2 The materials

You don’t want to mess up anything when calculating all the necessary materials to get the job done. A minor mistake could cost you thousands of dollars later. For instance, running out of paint toward the end of the project isn’t so unusual. However, companies have to cough up good bucks out of their pockets since the estimate doesn’t cover the extra material. If you’re doing the job on smoother surfaces, one gallon of paint equals about 400 sq ft of surface area (or: 300 sq ft of a textured surface). A single gallon can cost from $40 to $100, depending on the type.

Here’s how you’ll calculate the cost of materials: divide the sq footage of the area by 400 or 300 (depending on the type of surface: smooth or textured). Multiply the number you’ll get with the price of one gallon of paint. Lastly, consider that commercial paint, primers, or special coatings usually cost a bit more. This is probably the most critical element when you bid on commercial painting jobs! 

Three cans of white paint.

Calculate how much material you’ll need to get the job done. One gallon of paint usually works for 400 sq feet of smooth and 300 sq feet of textured surface area.

#3 The cost of labor

The next item on your list should be calculating the cost of labor. Most commercial painting jobs usually require larger crews. So, calculating the cost of labor for each person on the site is not fun. You’ll need to measure the experience and skill of each worker to find their hourly rate. Additionally, if your crew lacks workforce or expertise, you might have to hire subcontractors. The good news is that it won’t be challenging to find them. Any professional painter in Brooklyn looking for a job will tell you the area is ripe with options, so it constantly attracts workers. You’ll also need to add the costs of advertising that you’ve invested just so your name could reach potential clients. 

Two people painting a wall.

To estimate the labor costs, think about the skill and experience of each worker on the site, and determine their hourly rates.

#4 Sum it all up

The last thing on your list should be to sum everything up and create an accurate bid on commercial painting jobs. Add the cost of materials, labor, and profit to get the total estimate! It’s relatively easy to do once you’ve gone through all the previous stages! 

Bonus round: Impress the client

You can’t bid on commercial painting jobs if you don’t include something to impress a client With a freebie that won’t do significant damage to your profits. For instance, you might offer to do the handrails or paint something for free.

John Meltano is a freelance blogger and a professional painter. However, his most significant success is the loving wife & two kids combo life granted him! 

One thought on “How to Bid on Commercial Painting Jobs

  1. question: CAN I hire a company to bid commercial painting jobs for our company? We supply the plans and the specs ; “they” work up the bid and we submit the bid . We agree on a fee and/or commission. Don

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