How to Quote Painting Jobs

Updated July 20, 2017

To succeed in business as a painting contractor, knowing how to put together a good pricing estimate can give you the edge over your competition. Giving a painting quote is generally based on a few key factors, such as material cost, labour and time. And knowing how to put these factors together to get your estimate only gets easier with time and experience.

Find out the market rate in your area. This is a basic, yet important factor when estimating painting jobs. You can do this by calling local painting contractors and asking their basic rates.

Figure material cost of the painting project by first finding the amount of wall space to be painted. This can be done by measuring each of the walls to be painted and multiplying the wall height measurement by the wall width measurement. This gives you the wall's square footage. Next add each wall's square footage to get your total amount of square feet to be painted. Once the amount of square feet has been determined, simply check the back of the can of paint being used to cover the wall to find the average coverage for that product.

Estimate your time by square footage. In other words find out how long it takes you to paint a certain amount of square footage and use that formula as a guideline. So if 100 square feet take you on average of a half hour you know 500 square feet painting job will take you around 2 1/2 hours. Set a estimated hourly wage and multiply your estimated time.

Add daily cost and transportation cost to your estimate. Figure in the amount it will cost for fuel, tolls or other transportation expenses.

Identify any extra work that may be involved. Consider things like crown moulding, furniture removal, painting around any fixtures. Anything that takes extra time should be added on to your estimate.


Take your time when measuring walls. Get the correct square footage of the job is very important when estimating for material and labour.

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