How To Write An Estimate For A Paint Job

How To Write An Estimate For A Paint Job

Estimating the cost of services is a complicated process that can take a lot of time and effort. Why is it necessary to do it? How to make a proper estimate? In this article, you'll find a few tips that can make the difficult task of how to write an estimate for a paint job easier for you.

Do You Really Need Painting Estimate?

Professional painting contractors need the painting services estimate not only for setting a price for their customers. It is important for business growth. To determine the price of your services, you need to analyze a lot of information. Your service costs should correspond to the average cost of the same services in your area. The prices should meet the expectations of potential customers but at the same time, your business has to be profitable. To achieve this you can perform thorough estimating. As a result, you can:

  • Find an individual approach to each client
  • Build a good relationship with the client
  • Increase sales
  • Increase the cost of services.

A properly drafted Estimate will result in many benefits to your business. Read below what it takes to put together a good Painting Estimate.

What Should I Pay Attention To When Estimating The Paint Job?

To write an estimate for a paint job, you should use an individual approach and take many factors into account. In this section you can read about the main points you should pay attention to when making an offer to your clients.

Calculate materials costs

Along with the cost of labor, material costs are one of the main parts of the painting services costs. Here you can consider paint and extra materials.


The cost of painting the building will directly depend on how much paint you use. In order to accurately calculate the amount of paint, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Calculate the square footage to be painted. To do this, measure the width and height of the room or house with a tape measure or ruler. Then measure the part of the house that you don't need to paint (such as the windows) and subtract the figure from the whole area.
  • Calculate the amount of paint you need. One gallon of paint covers 250 square feet. You know the area you need to paint and can calculate how many gallons you need. Keep in mind that you should always apply two coats of paint. Therefore, multiply the number of gallons by two.
  • Calculate the cost of the paint. One gallon of paint costs about $20 - $40. This price depends on such factors as the type of paint, color, and quality.

When calculating paint costs, you also have to consider the difference between exterior and interior paint. Interior paint can be more complicated, but you will need more paint for exterior paint. Also, the paint you will use for the exterior is more expensive than interior paint.

Additional materials

When you outline your work plan, you can figure out the material amounts you need. The most common materials that painters use are:

  • Masking Plastic
  • Masking Paper
  • Tape
  • Caulking
  • Primer

To calculate the cost of supplies, you need to check prices with your local providers and add them up.

There are paint and materials on the market at different prices and quality ranges. Sometimes, in order to save money, professional painters choose cheaper materials. But it is not recommended to do so, because low-quality materials can negatively affect the result of the work. And, as a result, you can lose a client and ruin your reputation.

Determine the cost of labor

Once you have calculated the cost of the needed materials, you can move on to the next very important aspect, namely the labor cost. To calculate the cost of the work you need to take into account many external factors. Therefore, you will have to make an effort and spend some time completing this step.

Most often, the professional painter's labor is paid by the hour. An average hourly painter rate is about $20-$25. But to understand how much a customer should pay for painting the entire building, you can analyze the following factors:

  • The area that needs to be painted.
  • How many experienced painters are needed to paint the entire building.
  • How much time is needed for the paint job, including time between coats, prep time, and cleanup time.
  • The condition of the walls. More time is needed to paint old, worn walls with defects.
  • Furniture in the building. If the painters have to move furniture to gain access to the surface to be painted, they will need more labor hours and the hourly labor cost will be higher, because painting will require more effort.
  • Possible risks. The painter can fall, or be injured while working if the house, for example, has uneven floors. Therefore, when creating painting estimates, you can add $50-$100 to cover the possible risks.

In addition to the above factors, when calculating daily painter charge, you can also take into account other individual factors, such as the use of different colors for painting, the complex preparatory work, and so on.

Don’t forget about marketing

In order for your potential customers to find out about your company and order services, you need to promote your painting business to the market. You will need to spend some money on advertising. To ensure that your business is not loss-making, advertising costs need to be calculated very carefully. When forming the cost of your services, you should also consider the marketing expenses. For example, you may want to include 10% or more for marketing.

Calculate your ideal profit margin

To ensure your business growth, you need to invest money all the time. You can get the resources to develop your business from your profits. Accordingly, the cost of your services should also include a profit margin.

How do you calculate the optimal markup? Here you can rely on the size of your business and the number of ongoing costs to promote the business. For example, for newer and smaller companies, the markup is about 30% of the cost of services. For large companies that have been in the market for a long time, this amount is close to 50%. This is due to the fact that large companies also have more ongoing expenses.

Include overhead costs

These are fixed business expenses that are incurred repeatedly each month. As a rule, these are not large charges, which are only about 10% of the company's total expenses. But painting contractors shouldn’t overlook overhead costs and include them in the cost of the paint. To calculate the number of such costs you need to add up all the administrative costs per month. For example, such expenses may include office rent, workers' uniforms, upgrades of the painting contractor software, insurance, and more. Divide the resulting amount by the number of jobs per month and you will get an amount that should be added to the cost of your services.

When calculating each of the above items, it is worth taking into account the individual characteristics of each individual case. You can calculate the approximate cost of your services. but for different clients, these amounts may differ due to various factors, such as the complexity and volume of work, as well as seasons, and so on.


This article presents the main points to consider when estimating a painting business. But every business is different. Also, every client's case is different. And a painting estimate is a very good tool for establishing a positive relationship with a customer. So in each individual case, you can make up the cost of your services at your own discretion.

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

Search Site
© 2012-2024    Contact   -   Privacy
magnifier linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram