The Differences Between Commercial And Residential Painting

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Before you go out on a limb and search for a painting company for your structure, it is vital to understand the difference between commercial and residential painting. Different types of properties have different needs, and if the painting contractor you hire does not have experience working on that kind of project, the results will not be what you might want or expect. So, without further ado, let’s find out how those two services are different.

Services Provided

Commercial painting companies usually offer additional services than residential painting contractors like special surface preparation, industrial painting and coating, epoxy coatings, metalizing, sandblasting, etc.

Commercial painting services do not only include interior and exterior painting, but they may also include brick waterproofing, waterproof coatings, high durability coatings, roof coatings, masonry coating, concrete ceiling repair, line striping, stenciling, metal door paintings, and joint expansion sealing.

Residential painters also need to carry out a bunch of tasks in in-home painting projects like wall and ceiling painting, deck staining, trim, siding, etc. Residential painters require proper training to deal with various exterior surfaces, including wood, concrete, metal, stucco, vinyl, and fiber-cement siding. They may also need to be trained in popcorn ceiling removal or light construction work found in older homes.

Typically, residential painting services include interior and exterior painting, garage painting, cabinet painting, deck and fence staining/painting, wallpaper removal and hanging, and plaster and drywall repair.

Size of the Project

The scope of the project is an indication of which type of service your business needs. Residential projects include townhouses, houses, condominiums, and other living spaces. In contrast, commercial painting focuses on larger projects like retail shops, shopping malls, airports, office buildings, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and schools.

Number of Painters

Commercial buildings are larger in size than residential ones, so they typically require more painters to finish projects on time.

Materials and Equipment

Since residential painting contractors are mostly focused on smaller residential projects, the materials and equipment they use are not very different from the paint supplies that DIYers would use. Materials such as rollers, paintbrushes, painting trays, cleaning materials, step ladders, and drop cloths are typically used by residential painters.

Different types of paints (oil-based paints, water-based paints, and latex-based paints) available in a variety of colors can be used for residential projects to match the interiors. There are also different types of paint sheens like flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

On the other hand, commercial painters need to have broader experience to tackle different types of surfaces, including marble, concrete, metal, reinforced plastic, wood, and a lot more. Thus, they have to use more complex equipment like paint sprayers, sandblasters, pressure washers, aerial lifts, and scaffolding. Also, they require expertise in using commercial and industrial-grade primers, paints, tints, and other specialty coatings.

Quantity of Paint

Commercial painting projects, as compared to residential ones, require more paint. Also, the paint quality can affect the quantity of paint needed for commercial and residential projects. Good quality paint brands provide much better coverage than low-quality paint brands. When using subpar paints, extra coats need to be applied to achieve the desired results, which raises the costs and labor required.


Commercial painting is mostly done as per the schedule of business operations. Scheduling can be pretty challenging for businesses, as most want to stay open to avoid inconveniencing customers while their establishments are renovated. Some commercial property owners request that painting contractors work outside their business hours, so as not to interfere with their operations.

One way businesses can remain operational while painting is underway is by cordoning off areas being worked on till the paint dries. Otherwise, commercial painting project can be scheduled outside of regular operating hours — weekends, holidays and nights — to avoid disruptions in the normal flow of business.

In residential painting projects, painters typically work eight hours a day, during the weekdays. However, if the client wants the project completed sooner, painters can also work during weekends and nights.

Greater Risk

The work environment for residential painters is more predictable and safer due to the smaller size of the project and other factors.

More things can go wrong in commercial projects due to the large working environment, which makes for more moving parts. Also, there can be changes in the workforce, strategy, and schedule at any time in a commercial project. Commercial painters need to have proper training and access to safety equipment. On top of that, they need to be well-aware of and comply with safety regulations set forth by local and national governments and submit reports regarding protocols that need to be followed.


The experience of residential painters slightly varies from that of commercial painters. Apart from having knowledge about what type of paint would be best suited for a property, residential painters need to have experience guiding homeowners about appropriate colors and sheens for exterior and interior surfaces. They also need to know how to protect furniture and flooring while painting is underway.

Commercial painters need to display greater concern and training for safety to complete painting projects without any accidents or disasters regardless of the height or specifications of the building. Also, they need to be highly skilled to provide superior results as appearance is an integral part of business branding and marketing.

If you require professional painting services in Parker, CO, we can help. Attention To Detail Painters offers free estimates to residential and commercial customers alike. Allow us the opportunity to show you our professionalism and expertise by delivering exceptional painting results while causing minimal disruptions to your business operations or daily routine. Our painters have years of experience working on different types of properties from single-family homes, multi-unit buildings, retail stores, hospitals, hotels, and more – no job is too big or small.