How to Charge for Painting Jobs


If you enjoy painting and working independently, and have a creative flair, you might consider working as a painter. Painting can be a great way to earn an income, especially if you work at a fast pace. To make a decent living, you will have to know how much to charge for your painting jobs. You will have to walk a fine line of not over- or under-charging your customers to maintain steady business and still make your time and effort worthwhile. There are several factors to consider when deciding how much to charge for a paint job.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Painting supplies
  • Find out what other painters are charging for their jobs. This way, you can make sure that your prices are competitive--especially if you are new--but still in line with what others are charging. Find out your competitors' prices by calling other local painters and asking for a quote on a paint job. You may also want to speak to people you know who have had paint jobs done and find out how much they paid. Make sure to determine whether the paint jobs included the cost of the paint and other supplies.

  • Decide whether you want to charge by the hour or the job. If you work fast, you may want to charge customers based on the job you perform, rather than an hourly rate. For example, you could charge a flat fee to paint a bedroom, rather than charging by the hour.

  • Decide if you will be including the price of paint and supplies in the amount you charge. If you are performing a small job, it may benefit you to purchase the paint and keep it for future jobs. However, if you are painting with an obscure color or need several cans of paint, you will be better off letting the customer pay for the paint and charging for your work alone.

  • Vsit the customer and see the space that needs to be painted before you give an estimate. This will enable you to properly assess how much work you are agreeing to do, as well as the difficulty of the job. When you quote the customer the price, see how he reacts. If he seems overjoyed at how reasonable your rates are, it may be an indication that you are charging too little. On the other hand, if the customer seems overwhelmed by your fee, consider reducing your prices.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your are a new painter, consider throwing in incentives--such as doing your first hour for free or performing complimentary trim painting--to lure business.

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