# Square foot for a Painting Bid

Asked Mar 18, 2008, 02:05 PM — 4 Answers
When a bid is placed for a painting job with walls, doors and trim work, and ceilings. How do you measure for a bid? How do you calculate for walls, ceilings, doors and trim?

 ballengerb1 Posts: 25,786, Reputation: 11331 Home Repair & Remodeling Expert #2 Mar 19, 2008, 09:01 AM

Many painters just measure height and width to get an overall square footage. They then multiply by their sq/ft price which has built in consideration for trim and windows. In my area the handymen charge about 50 to 60 cents per square foot and pros double that. This does not include materials or any wall repair.
 Clough Posts: 27,301, Reputation: 8529 Uber Member #3 Mar 20, 2008, 03:39 AM
Like the above fine answer, I also measure for height and width for walls and ceilings. I include the areas of the glass of the windows and door openings in my initial measurements of wall areas. Then I multiply the individual horizontal or vertical area height by the width and add the sum of the multiplied figures together to come up with the total square footage of the paint job in a room.

I then measure the areas where no paint is to be applied, such as window pane areas (including the trim and doors/door opening areas, if they are to be a different sheen and/or color from the wall and/or ceiling area and door openings), and subtract that from the total square feet that at which I previously arrived.

When I paint indoors, I charge a separate, higher price for trim and doors, because almost always I am going to be brushing the paint on them. If I am brushing the paint on trim, then I charge by the linear (usually about 3" to 4" wide) and not square foot. If brushing on a fancy door, then I will charge by the square foot but more than if I was rolling or spraying the paint on.

Now, what I have just given you above, are ways that I figure things if I am working in a home that has some age to it where the doors are not perfectly flat, but have some character to them such as "bread boarding" in some way.

If you have perfectly flat and smooth door surfaces and are not going to be using a brush on them, you would figure the areas of the doors into that of the wall areas that you are measuring.

I know that you haven't asked about price, but:

How much you would charge per square foot does depend on the location where you will be doing the work as the prices can vary greatly depending on the region.

Whether you are spraying, brushing or rolling will also make a difference in the price that you will charge. Also, whether the surface area if perfectly flat or textured in some way, will make a difference as to what you will charge.
 the1unv Posts: 285, Reputation: 154 Full Member #4 Mar 20, 2008, 03:43 PM
Yes Clough, that is just about how I figure it as well. Another thing I take into consideration when bidding is what's in the room. Do I have to move/cover furniture? Do I have to cover floors? There are so many varribles in bidding it is almost impossible to give a square foot price with out seeing it first hand. I never do, the one time I did I think I made around 12 cents per hour. Ha,Ha, its true.
Mike
 Clough Posts: 27,301, Reputation: 8529 Uber Member #5 Mar 20, 2008, 05:06 PM
You know, you're right, Mike! There are a lot of variables to be considered when bidding on any paint job. I forgot about furniture. I do have a stipulation in my written contract about that, be it for inside or outside things that I might need to move such as lawn ornaments, etc. Lawn ornaments and certain types of furniture can be heavy! If the customer is going to move them, that's great. However, if the painter has to move them, with maybe even hiring someone to help with the moving of them, that does need to be figured into the bid.

One thing that amazes me is the guys you will find advertising on the Internet that they will paint a room, for example, for \$80.00 without any specification in that price as to what size the room is and any other factors that might need to be figured in. What if the "room" is a banquet hall?

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