What Should a Painting Estimate Include?

Posted on May 7, 2020

When you set out to begin a painting job in your home, the estimate should set the tone for the entire project. This is usually your first meaningful interaction with the company. You should use this time to make judgements about the potential provider you are meeting with. After the meeting you should receive a formal estimate for your project. You might be asking what should a painting estimate include?

Your painting estimate should be more than a scribbled number on the back of a business card. Look for a professionally prepared document with a thought out plan for your work. Here are some items to look for specifically.


Prepared estimates should include a professional appearance. This could be a multi-copy hand written estimate on carbon paper. This allows you both to retain a copy. More often than not, the estimate is delivered to you via the internet once the prices for supplies are confirmed. Look for logos and contact information to be included on the document, likely along with your estimator’s information for further questions or scheduling.


Estimates are created with two sections: labor and materials. While both of these items are estimated for your work, this will give you a good idea of about what your bottom line will be. The labor should be specific about how many crew members are expected and for how many days of work. The materials should be an itemized list of paint and tools that are needed to complete your work.


Your estimate should include an exhaustive list of the items that the crew will be addressing. This includes repairs, priming and painting that is included with the job. Look for full information on the walls, ceilings, trim, molding and windows and doors to be painted. This list is comprehensive since it is used to keep everyone on the same page of what the job includes. In this section, look for specific paint and color information.


Preparation is the key to a professional looking paint job. Crews spend up to ⅔ of their time on site preparing the walls for paint. It’s important for you to pay attention to the preparation the crew is planning to complete before work begins. Sometimes the homeowner is expected to clear the room of furniture and wall hangings before the painters arrive. Other times the crew intends to complete this on their own.

There is the possibility of cutting costs by contributing to the project. Many novice homeowners can feel comfortable removing plates, taking down wall hangings and moving furniture. Beyond this, you can wash walls, sand and repair imperfections and prime the walls. Check with your painting provider to find out what happens if you offer these services. While it can reduce your costs, it can also void warranties.


Look for a section included in your estimate of what to expect in scheduling. While this might night include specific dates, it should give you an idea of how long your project should take to complete. In addition, it could include information about how far out the painting company is currently scheduling their work.


On your estimate, you should find an estimated number of hours and price for the job. There should be a total cost for the supplies for the job as well. On the final bottom line, you will find the estimated cost to complete the project. Remember that this is just an estimate. If the crew uncovers underlying damage or you decide to add, remove or change the color on the fly, this can all change the final costs.

Terms and Conditions

Naturally, all painting companies carry their own terms and conditions for their work. This section should detail out the deposit and payment schedule for the job. It is industry standard to request up to half of the cost of the job up front. This allows the painters to secure products, a crew and dates.

Schedule an Estimate

Our team is happy to provide you with an estimate appointment. You’ll receive a written estimate via email after we meet. Schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with our team today.