How to Estimate and Quote A Painting Job ? 5 Proven Tips For Businesses

Do you know the make or break point of a painting business? 

It is a quotation given by a business owner like you for your painting service. How? Let’s find out! 

There is no specific rule book for the pricing of the paint job. Every painting company has its price range depending on resources and painting jobs they own.

For instance, a customer has approached A, B, and H for estimation; A will offer $300 and B $250, and H gives $500. As numbers signify, all 3 of them provide different prices.

Now, you will be thinking on what basis the price is been estimated and what a customer would select? If you are thinking of such questions, then you are at the right place because, in this blog, we have a solution for all of your questions. We will discuss 5 tips that will help you learn how to estimate and quote a painting job.

Tips on How to Estimate and Quote a Painting Job

Even if you are new to the painting industry or already part of it and want to know more about it, estimating a painting job will never be an easy task. And let me bust the myth that the quotation is all about price or cash flow.

You need to consider several factors like labor costs, material costs, paint costs, overhead expenses, and marketing. We will explain each one of them for a better idea. The following list is the things you need to consider while calculating the painting job.

  1. Do Visit the Site/Location

    You should not start your estimation of the painting service before visiting the site. For example, you have given a quotation to the client, then you visit the place and realize the estimation was wrong, and now you have to face a significant loss. 

    Moreover, it is a great opportunity to meet your client and create a valuable relationship with them. It will also indicate how dedicated you are to your customers.
    Also, you will come to know what the client is expecting. Take a professional painter along with you, it will help you to know how much paint is required so that you can easily calculate.

    Pro Tip: Every client would have different expectations from what they have heard/ word of mouth from others or what they have seen online.

    It is essential to keep transparent communication between business owners and clients for better customer service. You will also come across customers who will provide their estimation on a square foot of the job, but do not rely on that.

    Show your talent and professionalism, and use your laser measure or tape to measure the per square foot and calculate estimation on that basis. It will be a good starting point for your painting business.

  2. Estimation of Business Costs

    Estimate Painting Business Cost - how to estimate and quote a painting job

    After visiting the site, you will learn how much time and resources you require for the painting job. But that’s not enough to make an estimation and give it to the client, you will need to make an estimation on the most important factors: materials, paints, and labor. 

    Material Cost:

    Let’s start with the essential factor of the painting job: material. Without equipment and materials, you cannot perform or do your role. Painting materials are not just limited to brush and spray; it is more than that.

    Following are the list of materials you will need for the painting job: 

    For painting equipment-

    • Paint 
    • Primer
    • Rollers
    • Brushed 
    • Scrapes
    • Paint spray
    • Caulk and spackle
    • Sandpaper

    For painters-

    • Mask
    • Goggles
    • Gloves
    • Coveralls
    • Tape
    • Drop Clothes

    Now, let’s consider you want a primer, masking papers, caulking, and tape for a specific paint job. 

    • Primer (1 gallon) = $19 to $35
    • Masking papers( 12 papers) = $50
    • Caulking (6 tubes) = $15 
    • Tape (5 tape) = $25
    • Your approx cost of material = $125 

    If you are doing exterior painting, you will need more material because of extra space, and the cost will be more. 

    Paint Cost:

    The estimation of exterior painting and interior painting jobs is different as the paint is different. You will require less painting in exterior paint jobs than interior paint jobs. 

    Every paint job owner and painting company in the market tell different price because of their resource, but do not keep your price low because of competitors, or else you will not get your profit margin. 

    The more data you collect and use, the more better you will determine actual and accurate estimates soon.

    Pro Tip: Ask your customers if they need some specific brand paint.

    It will give customers a personal experience, and you will have a clear picture of the paint cost estimation. There are two types of paint: latex-based paints and oil-based paints.

    Latex-based paints: will cost an average of $15 to $50 per gallon. It is ideal for all the walls of living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, and kitchens.

    Oil-based paints: will cost an average of $20 to $60 per gallon. It is ideal for exterior and interior, like bathrooms, because it prevents water damage and keeps the wall moisture.  

    Talk with your paint supplier, and ask them to provide some contractor discount as you will require gallons of paint every month. It will help you to reduce your overhead expense, and the saved amount can be used for other aspects. 

    Choose branded or good quality paint as it will present the quality work of your business painting. 

    Now, how to calculate the cost of paint?

    If you have 10 gallons of paint and you are asked to paint 2,000 square foot area, what will be the price?

    If the per-gallon cost of paint is $15, your total cost will be $150.

    $15 × 10 = $150

    Labor Cost:

    Estimating labor cost is difficult because of uncertainty. You may come across a situation where only one experienced painter will finish all tasks- but many times 3 painters would not complete the task.

    The contractors typically pay around $100 per room, and the average salary of a painter is $18.33 per hour. However, it is hard to tell the exact amount because every painter takes a different time.

    As some may take 2 hours to coat and paint a full wall, whereas some take 5-6 hours to paint, it always depends on the base and size.

    So, how will you estimate labor costs?

    Suppose you need to paint a 1,000 square foot house in one day and the labor is taking $10/ per hour (let’s take it 2 hours), material and paint cost is $500, then your cost would be $10,000.

    $50 × $20 (for 2 hours) = $10,000

    The labor cost can be variable, but it is essential to include quoting a painting job.

  3. Calculate Marketing Costs

    Whether you are new to the painting business or are experienced in this industry, you have to follow this tip for business growth. Now, you will be wondering why to include marketing while preparing the estimation of the painting job?

    As per Hubspot, companies contribute around 10% of the overall budget in marketing, which is a huge number. Moreover, it is part of your painting business’s expense ( more like investment) because you need publicity to spread to the market.  

    You need to prep work like printing and distributing posters and flyers. Market your painting business digitally is free but if you go for paid marketing. 

    However, it is not just for the beginning, you require constant support to grow your business, thus it is essential to consider marketing costs in your estimation of a painting job. 

    However, you should not exceed more than 10% in marketing to manage your profit margin.

  4. Estimate Overhead Cost

    Overhead costs are the cost that you do not have to pay daily but are part of your daily operation. For instance, several times you require certain equipment, which usually you don’t, for such a moment, you need an overhead cost.  

    Things that are included in the overhead cost:

    • Insurance & license
    • Taxes
    • Logistics
    • Phone & data bill
    • Office rent 
    • Worker benefit
    • New equipment
    • Planned expansions

    It can be tough to calculate and get the right amount, but you can have a rough estimate with the simple paint calculator or software.

  5. Final Calculation

    Once, you are done with the visit, business, marketing, and overhead cost, you are ready to do the final calculation.

    Total project cost= business cost+ marketing cost+ overhead cost

    Analyze the entire process after preparing estimation. Now, you are ready with the quote, and remember to provide them with a detailed quote. 

    Providing a thorough and formatted quote to the client will show the scope and purpose of the project, and it is one of the best ways to win and keep the clients on the same page.

And that’s the wrap on how to quote a painting job, hope it was helpful to you, and after reading it, you can create and calculate estimates for your painting companies. 

Still, have a few questions? Let’s discuss it in our FAQ section:


According to Forbes, the lowest cost of hiring a painter is $1,200, the average cost is $3,500, and the highest cost is $6,500. (The price changes as per the states and competitors).
A painter calculates the square footage by multiplying the length and area of each room to know the total amount in that precise space.


Estimate painting jobs is a crucial task, but you can create an almost accurate estimation by following the right steps and tips. If you are a new or a small business owner, you should hire the most experienced painter who will be your lead provider for your painting business.

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