“How to Estimate Paint Jobs” By Painting Business Pro

“How to Estimate Paint Jobs” By Painting Business Pro

Hey what’s up guys? This is Eric with Painting
Business Pro and this video I’m going to teach you how to do estimating. So we are
going to talk about how to estimate a paint job and we’re actually not going to cover
all in one video, so on this video we are really just going to cover the fundamentals
and the basics behind how to estimate correctly and then in another video, we are going to
cover specifically interior estimating and then in another video specifically exterior
estimating. So how to come up with your prices for interior and exterior, so that’s to
come a little bit later. In this video we are going to cover the fundamentals. I’m
also going to have one other video about why you don’t need to be so worried about pricing.
And the reason I want to share that with you guys, there is nothing I get more question
about than estimating, and I don’t just get question about estimating, I get people
freaking out and concern about how they are going to come up with prices. And you really
do not need to worry about your pricing; it’s going to work itself out. That’s really
one of the last things you should be worried about if you really seriously thinking of
starting a painting business. But I see a lot of people not starting a painting company
just because they are worried about their pricing and it’s crazy, but that’s for
another video. Okay, so there is a couple things you want
understand about estimating. The first thing you need to know, it’s not going to be exactly
correct every single time and your going to kind of roughly get in the ball park and that’s
going to be okay. However, it is kind of a scientific approach where we do want to get
specific measurements and be as accurate as we can, just to make sure that we are not
over estimating anything and not under estimating things. So we are going to get to some of
those specific standards in some of the other videos, but for now we are just going to look
at some of the basic. So there is a couple of things you need to
start with, before you come up with pricing. The first thing you need to know is what is
your margin? By knowing what your margin is, that’s going to tell you how much you need
to mark-up your cost because how we are going to come up with our price, is first we need
to figure out how much it’s going to cost us to spruce that job and then we are going
to add in our margin. If you are running a very small business and
you’re the only person doing the marketing and the sales and then you have a subcontractor
doing the job. Well your margin may only needs to be thirty percent then; you know that’s
you know paying yourself thirty percent for the sales and the marketing, you know all
that. You know that’s probably what I was at when I first started, and then I raise
my prices very shortly after, but that’s probably what I was pricing when I first started.
That’s also kind of going to be the pricing that you’re going to do, if you’re looking
at doing commercial type of jobs or bigger projects like $10,000 to $30,000 in a size
projects, because the margin is just going to be slimmer on those jobs. So first you need to know what your margin
is, for Foothill Painting we do fifty percent as I have share in other videos. So what that
means is if it cost us $1,500 to produce this job, we are going to charge the customer about
$3,000. So you need to know kind of what your mark-up is first, because at fifty percent
you should fall right in the ball park with other companies. Here is how we actually come up with our pricing;
there are few things that we need to know. First we need to know how many hours the job
is going to take, we need to know how much we are going to pay our employees per hours,
we need to know how much our materials is going to cost and we need to know how much
materials we are going to need. So these are the four things we need to figure out the
cost. Alright for dollars per hour, we are going to go with twenty is good; $20 per an
hour is pretty standard you can go with. Materials, you’re just going to have to
check with the paint store and how much your material cost, you can get gallons of pain
from 16 bucks, all the way from up like $50 or $60 a gallon. Check with your paint store
and see what paint you’re going to using, you probably want to aim for paint that’s
in the $20 to $30 range. So our paint is anywhere from $21 a gallon to $29 a gallon and we let
the customer pick which type of paint they want. Let say in this example we are going
to with $21 per gallon paint as they are trying to, you know save money. So now all we have to figure out, we have
to figure out the number of materials, so how many gallons of paint we need and then
we need to figure out the hours, now that’s what I’m going to go into in another video.
I’m going to kind of give you some short cuts, you know to figuring that out. So here
is the short cut, for exterior painting, there is linear feet. So that’s like trim boards
right, trim board is like a long linear feet, like maybe a two story home has a trim board
running up the whole corner, that’s like twenty linear feet of trim board. So there is linear feet and then there is
square feet. Linear feet about one hour per forty, okay, so forty linear feet for an hour
of painting, so we are going to assume that you know for trim forty feet per hour for
the body of the house or the eves of the house, we are going to say two hundred and that’s
before spraying the house. If you’re rolling the house, we are going to do one hundred
and fifty. So what that means, if you have a two thousand square foot house, that right
there is going to be ten hours and then if you have four hundred you know feet of trim
on that house, that’s going to be another ten hours. So we got this as a twenty hour
job. Those are kind of typical standards and we
are going break those down in the exterior estimating videos to exactly what those standard
are going to be, more specifically but that’s what they really all boil down to, that’s
the square foot, that’s the linear feet. And then we also have prep work, so you do
need to estimate hours for the prep work depending on where you work. Different areas in different
country have different amount of prep works. So in Colorado for example we have very little
prep work, out of the east coast you have tons and tons of prep work. So you’re going
to need to figure out the hours of prep work kind of on your own out there, you know and
I would talk with the paint store, I would you know, I would ask around and maybe talk
to with your subcontractors and things like that. You will be able to figure out how much
at times to bunch on prep work and we will get more of that in the exterior estimating
video. Interior, I’m actually not going to get into the interior; we will just kind
of cover that in the next video. So now where we at? We got our total hours
figure out, we have twenty hours we are going to say, twenty hours at $20 per hour, okay
so that’s going to be $400, that’s how much our labor is going to cost us on this
job. And then you know let’s say the gallons of paints, which again we are going to get
into that in the other videos. But let’s say for this job, we actually needed twelve
gallons of paints which is actually going to be pretty accurate for this. So twelve
gallons of paint times twenty-one per gallon, what is that? That’s going to be two hundred
and fifty-two, alright so it’s two hundred and fifty-two. So now we are going to come
up with our total cost of $652, okay so now here is the last part, now you’re going
to mark this up, that’s how much it’s going to cost you, so that’s how your margin
comes into play. So what we do? For oil paintings we take a
cost which is 652 and we divide it by point 4, so what we are going to come up with in
this example is about sixteen hundred. Alright, so that’s our price and then we actually
give our customers ten percent-up to ten percent off and we almost give them that discount,
so this job we are actually ending up pricing for about $1,440 is our final price on that
job. It’s going to cost us, we are going to paint
$720 to produce the job instead of $652 because there is always a little bit of wiggle room
there, so that’s how we come up with our pricing for about fifty percent mark-up. So
we actually mark it up by two hundred and fifty percent, we just don’t double it,
we double plus sum and then we take a discount off because there are some other miscellaneous
accounts we account for next. For all estimating purposes you need figure out the number of
hours, the number of gallon of paint, come up with your total cost and then basically
double it and that’s going to be a good effect of pricing strategy. So in the next videos in exterior bidding,
and how to bid interior, we are going to talk specifically about what those standards are,
so you can accurately come up with the hours and the number of gallons that you are going
to need to coat a job properly. So look out for those in the next videos, if you haven’t
already subscribe to my YouTube channel, go ahead and hit that subscribe button down below
this video, it’s that little red button or you can hit subscribe here in the corner.
If you like this video, give me a thumbs up and I would love to hear from you in the comments.
So I’m out, thanks!


  • Courtney Larson says:

    bro I would like to learn some money tips. JUST watched the video and it hit home

  • Nefi9101 says:

    do i need a license if was to do the marketing for a small contractor/s? 

  • Christopher Mckibben says:

    I'm starting my own painting business and your estimate videos have been so helpful!!!!! The best advice I've received before this is "ballpark it" which told me nothing. So, thanks again. i hope to have half the success you've had.

  • Michael Arellano says:

    This is great I am taking notes on your videos I have just started painting so I don't really know much, so people might think I'm nuts jumping straight to try and land a estimating position but I'm pretty good with math so I think I will be okay with being a estimator. Do you have any advice for me with not knowing much about painting

  • Pamela Landry says:

    Hi, my name is pamela. I have done side jobs by the hour but want to start estimating them. I liked the way you described how to estimate an interior job, but was wondering how you decide how much to charge? For example, when you said the room is 8x8x12, then gave a 350 dollar price for the walls, how did you come up with that number? I am legitimately asking so i can get an idea on how to bid this way, im not being a smart ass. Did you price by the sqare foot? How do you know how much more to raise the price on a slightly larger area?
    One more question please. When you do go to estimate a job, do you take notes and price it at home, or the office, or would the customer typically expect the numbers right after you have finished the walk through? Thanks!

  • pat santos says:

    good day…I want to paint my own house internal,external and I want to buy proper amount of paint…so what is the proper way to compute the volume of the paint I use? How many gal. per square meter? tnx a lot!

  • Sergio Pesina says:

    Great…tanks for that information

  • Normen Radvany says:

    Hi! Great video! I like it! I watched the interior too already. The 10 hour wall painting for the 2000 square foot house or apartment is really fest to me. My opinion is for the high quality painting that is impossible in Manhattan. Many costumers are not understanding how the painters are getting their prices. We have tools using, insurance, car using…. many cost on one job. I got this many time in Brooklyn, I'm not paying your tools and otter cost. So why your price is so expensive? (I'm not work much in Brooklyn) And we also charge more for the darker color cut because that is much harder to make perfect. (We are not using blue tape for cutting) Or if the apartment is empty or full with furniture. Or sometimes the crack and any wall fixing is making difficult the estimate because you can't see what happen when you are start to scrape down the wall. It happened with me, I had to skim coat the all wall and I saw only one crack at estimate. But New York is a little different because of many old plaster wall. You should make a good video for costumers to understand better the painters because you did this video well too. Do you have prices for skim coating with mash and wallpapering? Thanks!  

  • Anthony Rios says:

    How much would it cost to fix rust and paint a gmc yukon gt 1996 or chevy tahoe 96?

  • USMC0311 says:

    Hey man I'm just starting my business and just received my license by California board. Thanks for the videos man and any other advice would be much appreciated.

  • Lino says:

    very helpful thanks

  • Shawn Roberts says:

    Hey Eric I tried to check out the program your offering from your website but it gives an error 404.  

  • Ramirez Painting Service says:

    Why divide by .4?

  • John Carter says:

    Great videos, man. They are very insightful! I'm putting together a bid for some kitchen cabinets that are lacquered oak and the customer is wanting them painted. I'm thinking a shellac-based bonding primer and a good alkyd enamel finish. Do you have any tips for estimating kitchen cabinets?

  • Joe Curcuru says:

    Thank you, was helpful.



  • Luis Fernandez says:

    your. estimating a new. job…. but what about. if its. re-painting??.. for. example doors. you charge $50 but what if the door. is. damage.. or has. dog scraches or paint it piling off?

  • Dave Rushing says:

    As a paint estimator for 30 years I did not see you adding any labor burder to payroll expensives. Matching employees social security @7.5% Federal unemployment insurance and workmenscomp insurance. This adds up fast. Every state is different on workmenscomp as far as the rate goes . Also by giving a homeowner or client paint at cost is costing you money. Your time is valuable . Even if you charge $ 30.00 dollars per gallon and it cost you $21.00 dollars that's 9.00 dollars per gallon, and if the job takes 10 gallons that's $ 90.00 dollars it gives you two hours of labor cost plus a small fuel charge…. So you are getting paid to travel. If you are a one man show and you don't add all the cost you loose out on a little. If your growing your company and have employees working, what's it cost you in wages to have them sit in traffic and wait while they are mixing your paint… You can't afford to give it away.. I do think that bidding is better when you figure the actuals ( How many man hours it will take, is better than footage prices. At least in residential painting. Especially when it comes to prep work .. Poor estimating is what cost most painters to go broke, very quick they don't charge enough . Good estimating take time to learn… By the way I'm not here bashing your channel!!!

  • nick dunse says:

    To anyone watching this learn your numbers!!! The cost of doing business and if you have employees or subs. The prices he reflects here in my area you would go broke!!! He subs his work out and operates on volume which is what most franchises do. Go to a PDCA convention after you get into business and go to some seminars learn your costs all your costs all your direct or indirect overhead. Estimation is a art and you must know your crews production rates!!! He also doesn't get into setup time , clean up, travel, weather conditions and not every painter will produce the same amount of labor for 8 hours. If you fiqure a guy working 8 hrs your lucky to get 6.5 hrs of production out of him. We all get tired as day goes on.

    Subbing out 1099 work is not even close to having employees.

  • ALEX NJ ROBLES says:

    hi eric great videos, question, you said 20 an hour for employee, what about if I have for example 3 do i have to calculate $60 or still $20

  • demonix says:

    how do you get customers to pay double what a job costs just because it is a contractors rate and you will sub it out? How do you convince a person to spend that money if they get a bid from someone that isn't subbing it it will be half the price?

  • PanteraJoey says:

    How to estimate a gated community wall? Huge wall that surrounds a gated community? Please tell me I don't have to measure it …

  • Gerson Collazo says:

    how soon can I paint a deck after pressure washing?

  • Messi 10 says:

    why did you divided 652 by 0.4…??

  • thomas harding says:

    So you do not estimate. Your tape and paper plastic brushes things like that into your price if you mask for Spraying that cost does add up

  • HardRockMiner says:

    We do $3.00 a Sq ft for new builds and $2.85 a Sq ft for repaints.

  • Freire Painting says:

    Good figure, These supplies cost is too low though, Where do you guys find gallons of paint for $20.00 and I hope you have your overhead on 0.4 markup number. Great Lessons… Thx.

  • Isaac Leanos says:

    What about the number of people doing the job? Wouldn't you multiply that number by 400? 400 is how much each worker would be making no?

  • Juan Carlos Mar says:

    hey Eric how is work the program you are selling

  • Keno Stubbs says:

    Brilliant approach,I totally got that!

  • humblebeast 1111 says:

    If I want my whole house painted do I have to clean out my entire house of furniture and Tv's ?

  • trey saunders says:

    Hey Eric, so how whould you quote a room with finished cupboards. It's less wall then a standard room. Just estimate?

  • Lukw Wright says:

    To simply say you don't have to worry about estimating is incredibly dumb. Our whole trade revolves around giving a good estimate and knowing all the factors that effect it.

  • Ravi Kumar says:

    Hi… I am a sign board painter… But I have no job…. Plz give me one chance

  • ASPE Kansas City Estimators & Project Managers says:

    Interesting Construction Estimating Video, ASPE

  • nathan humphries says:

    Hey I am giving my first estimate on a home. I will be painting the interior and exterior of the home. It is a 4000 square feet home- 2 stories with a basement. The exterior has average trim and I will be painting Brick. I am estimating @ $9500 for the whole house and giving him a 15% discount- a normal 10% discount with an extra 5% because he will be my first client and he is my friend. SOO rounding up $8500. He wants it done in a week and I already averaged out labor and materials. Is this a fair price??

  • Anthony Federico says:

    Eric, there is more direct costs involved in a paint job than just paints and labor. Regarding materials there is; roller covers, tape, spackle, sand paper, putty, caulk, plastic for furniture, dust masks, mineral spirits and more. Then you have your business expenses such as; payroll tax, workers comp, general liability ins, advertising cost, vehicle costs and more. So to price a paint job at $20 per/hr + paint costs, then adding only 50% will eventually put you out of business.

  • The G Family says:

    So how would i fugure out i live in arkansas how can we figure out how to charge in extirior and i tirior

  • Cristian Culetu says:

    As a painter myself ( just my own for2 years), I m learning from your payments strategy. But in case when the walls are not smooth or dirty from Creions or smoking or tenant tried to patch and send it himself and didn’t work how are the estimates?

  • simiyon daniy says:


  • Eddy Blanco says:

    I liked the video but I was trying to catch up with him,I love what I do,but I need Education to this

  • Philip Liappas says:

    How would you charge the wall repairs,cocking,silicon ete. Like for a huge wall repair patch how much would you charge for it?

  • Julito 305 says:

    That is definately what I will try…sounds very simple…very informative…thank you!!!

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