There’s a very big difference between painting the spare bedroom in your home, to painting an entire commercial building or shop front. From the type of paint used, to the implementation of equipment allowing painters to work at heights, we’re going to explore commercial painting in great depth. For example, is commercial painting an especially difficult job? And how do painters price a commercial job? If you’re interested in learning more, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…
What is commercial paint?
There are many different types of paint, each better suited to a specific environment. For example, the type of paint used in an industrial factory, for example, will vary from the type of paint used in a residential environment.
As for commercial paint, the most commonly used commercial paint type is a high-quality latex-based paint. While latex is certainly not as durable as an oil-based paint (common in industrial settings), it is better suited for a commercial environment.
Commercial buildings tend to suffer far less ‘wear and tear’ and exposure to damage than an industrial factory will. Hence why a less durable paint is more appropriate.
Naturally, in a commercial environment, aesthetics is of the utmost importance. In a factory or warehouse that isn’t client-facing however, longevity and durability is the influencing factor.
Is commercial painting a hard job?
As far as work goes, commercial painting isn’t the most labour-intensive, however, it’s not a walk in the park either. In most cases, commercial and industrial painting is harder than residential, but that’s only due to the amount of prep work – and working from heights involved.
Here’s a list of a commercial painter’s job descriptions to give you a clearer idea of what’s involved:
- Preparing surfaces ready for painting, including washing walls, filling holes, and/or removing old paint.
- Mixing and matching paint, then applying it – including other finishes to various surfaces.
- Providing the client with decorative and faux finishes.
- Handling all of the necessary planning and prep work in a timely and efficient manner.
- Preparing the surrounding area for painting, including covering surfaces with cloth or plastic tarps in order to prevent excess paint from damaging other items.
- Moving furniture around and erecting equipment as necessary to reach all of the target surfaces required for the project (e.g., scaffolding and/or cherry pickers).
- Calculating all of the necessary materials and the time required to complete a given project.
- Removing and replacing all necessary fixtures such as door knobs and light-switch covers.
- Taping off areas to prevent paint overflow.
- Choosing the correct paint and supplies from the right vendors.
- Quoting and negotiating with clients over projects.
- Clearing up the project area after completion.
- Communicating well with the client throughout the project to ensure that everything is on task and as they expect.
As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved. The key to ensuring that your job as a commercial painter is as easy as possible is to ensure that you are organised and well-prepared for every eventuality.
There is an element of physical demand, particularly when painting both high and low surfaces. The repetition can also be strenuous on your joints and muscles which is why it’s important to brush up on your technique, take regular breaks, and ensure that you do the necessary stretches to keep your body in good working order.
As for becoming a painter and decorator in the commercial sector, it’s quite easy to get started. You can either do:
- A college course (you’ll typically need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course).
- An apprenticeship (working your way toward the job role with an existing company and learning as you go).
How do painters price a commercial job?
So, how do painters price a commercial job in the UK? This can vary from company to company, however, it’s typically priced up depending on the number of square metres required.
In some cases, it may be priced on an hourly basis as well.
Regardless of the total surface area in square metres, any labour and prep time is billed hourly (e.g., 3 hours of work removing old paint, filling holes, and washing the walls for the new application of paint).
As for average, the typical cost per square metre in the UK is around £3.00 per coat.
The average cost of labour is around £110 and £150 per day.
So, for a retail store with 100 square metres of paintable space and two coats of paint (including 6 hours of prep work), you could be looking at somewhere between £700 and £900.
This is just an average so please do not take these numbers as gospel. For accurate figures, you are always far better off finding a commercial painting contractor and having them price up your premises before making any commitments.
- The most common paint type used in commercial painting is a high-quality latex-based paint (aesthetics over durability).
- Commercial painting isn’t an especially difficult job, though it can be relatively physically demanding. There’s also a fair amount of prep work involved, including expert communication and negotiation when picking up new projects.
- Commercial painters in the UK typically charge £3.00 per square metre, per coat – with labour and prep work charged by the hour (averaging £130 per day).
It’s always worth paying professionals to help with your commercial painting. It may be tempting to save money by painting your commercial property yourself, however, without the proper training, experience, and equipment, it can end up taking you far longer – with less satisfying results. With a professional finish on the other hand, you can open for business sooner, with a professional finish that will wow your customers and last for much longer!
We hope you’ve found this article insightful and wish you the best of luck with your commercial painting requirements.