How to Paint Commercial Buildings

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A new paint job can bring life to a commercial building.
A new paint job can bring life to a commercial building. (Image: victorian style store image by Pierrette Guertin from Fotolia.com)

Painting commercial buildings requires the proper equipment and skill. You may be asked to paint a commercial building on a professional basis, or you may own your own business and need to spruce up the exterior. Whether you are painting a large commercial building or a small convenience store, planning and attention to detail are necessary for a high-quality paint job. A well-planned, well-executed job can create a neat and professional finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Aerial lift equipment
  • Pressure-feed paint sprayer
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic masking film
  • Power-washer
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Concrete paint (optional)

Purchase an adequate business liability policy. This policy should include coverage for personal injury and property damage. If you have employees, get workers' compensation, too, in case an employee gets injured as a result of work.

Rent equipment. Aerial lift equipment may be needed if the commercial building is very high. Also, a pressurized paint sprayer is generally used for large industrial projects. These spray guns hold a large amount of paint and provide a smooth professional finish.

Clean the building. Many concrete buildings are coated with a concrete form release. A concrete form release is a film that is applied to freshly poured concrete stop it from adhering to the formwork like wood or metal. This coating needs to be removed before painting begins or the paint will not adhere properly. Power washing can do this and removes dirt, mold and old paint from commercial buildings.

Prep the building. Protect the windows and doors of the building using painter's tape and plastic masking film. Cover anything you don't want to get paint on.

Use a pressure-feed paint sprayer to apply one coat of acrylic latex primer. This will seal the surface of the building and make for a smoother finish. Let this dry overnight.

Apply a finish coat of acrylic latex paint using a pressure-feed paint sprayer. Use even, back-and-forth motions. If you are painting a concrete building, use a concrete paint, as this breathes and does not trap moisture, which can cause the paint to bubble. Allow paint to dry overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use a safety harness when using aerial lift equipment.

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