7 Steps TO Estimate a Painting Job

Steps TO Estimate a Painting Job

To estimate a painting job require few techniques to follow. It is not an easy job as it can make or break your business. This article will help you, especially if you are new in the painting business, to set clear expectations for profit and loss. It will help you gain a reasonable estimate for your painting business.

The topics this article covers are:

Steps to estimate a painting job:

There are four necessary steps to estimate a painting job, as follows:

1.Visit your client’s space:

Visiting your client’s space will help you see the real condition of wall. You can estimate the time and effort in a better way. You can ask several things from your client, such as; 

  • Do you just want the walls painted or ceiling, trim, and doors as well?
  • Will any panels require repair or replacement?
  • Do the screws, nails, and glue joints for doors and windows need repair?
  • Do you supply the paint?
  • Which colors do you want?
  • How many coats of paint do you want?
  • Which brand do you prefer?

These questions will help you estimate more accurately and save you from trouble. It also saves time. If you are new to the business, you can bring an experienced person to evaluate things.

2.Estimate painting cost:

To estimate the painting cost, you first need to evaluate a space for painting. 

 A gallon of paint covers up to 250 square feet, whereas a room of size; 700 square feet would roughly need two gallons of paint. For double coating, you must keep an estimate of 6 or 7 gallons for a single room of the same size as mentioned.

Now let’s talk about the cost:

The cost of paint is nearly $20 to $40 per gallon. If you are doing double coats for 700 square feet room size, you need to pay around $200 for paint (if the price is $30).

If you have good relations with the contractor, you can ask for discounts. But if you are new to the business, then you first need to adjust to the market.

3.Estimate material cost:

For determining the cost of materials, you need to visit the local suppliers. If you estimate the amount for 30 square feet house, then you need the following materials for the price:

  • Primer:                            2 gallons
  • Caulking:                         8 tubes
  • Tape:                              15 rolls
  • Masking paper:                5 rolls
  • Masking plastic:               5 rolls

Subtotal:                          $250 approx

The quantity of materials depends on the size and area. The cost of materials depends on the need for the material. You may also need canvas drop cloths, brushes, ladder, and rollers. You can add the price of these materials while estimating the total cost. Keep the record of overhead costs too.

4.Estimate labor cost:

The average cost of labor is $20 per day. If two people paint the exterior of 3000 square feet in one or two full days, then you need to keep an estimate of $2500 max.


For 1000 square feet, it would be $600 per day.

For 5000 square feet, it would be $2600 for three days.

Other factors that may affect time and pricing are:

  • No. of coat of paint.
  • No. of windows and their location.
  • Position of a house and building structure
  • Level of damage and peeling of wood

Those who are new to the business must keep their prices high to be on the safer side as other factors may fluctuate the cost and time.

5.Estimate marketing cost:

Marketing costs must be manageable, and it should not exceed your expected amount. Otherwise, you have to manage it from your profit amount.

Keep an eye on your marketing costs and use tactics that generate leads.

For keeping your profit intact, you need to manage your marketing price between normal ranges.


$1500 job must not cost you more than $100 or $200.

You must be spending 10 percent of the amount on marketing. Exceeding this amount can cause problems. 

6.Set your Markup:

Markup is a difference between an actual cost and a selling price. It can be 25%, 30%, or 50%. Those who are new to the business must set low markup at the start.

On the other hand, an established business person can set a high markup.

While setting up the markup, you should keep all expenses in your mind. Earn 20 to 30% on any job you are doing.

7.Final calculation:

You can calculate your final estimate by using this formula:

Paint cost + Materials cost + Labor cost + Marketing cost + Markup = Total Project cost

You can also add your marketing cost in markup cost as well.

 You must keep some extra costs in your mind while calculating the total cost by using this formula.

Charges of a painter:

An average amount charged by a professional painter is between $300 to $800 for an interior.

Pricing depends on:

  • Room size
  • Ceiling height
  • Condition of wall
  • Paint price
  • No. of layers of paint
  • No. of items need to be done (ceiling, wall, windows, trims)

The cost for 2000 square feet of the exterior is nearly $1500 to $3500.

The cost also depends on the city and the area you are living in.

Charges per square foot:

An average cost for a house’s interior is nearly $150 to $350 per square foot.

The cost for 2000 square feet of the exterior is nearly $1500 to $3500.

The cost for 4000 square feet of a house is approx $4500 to $5500.

Charges per hour:

The charges of a painter per hour lie between $25 to $100.

Charges also depend on 

  • Location of a house
  • Area or city
  • Job difficulty
  • Experience of a painter

I hope this article will help you estimate your painting job more professionally. Browse our blog for more useful resources for your small business.

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