At first glance, the only difference between residential and commercial painting seems to be the location. In the first, you’re painting a house. In the second, you’re painting a business. However, there are more differences than just this obvious one. If you’re not a professional painter or have painted both a home and a business, you may not realize exactly what these differences are or why hiring commercial painting services is your best option for painting a business. If you’re thinking about painting either a residential home or a commercial building, here are some of the ways these projects differ and what you should understand about them.


Who is Your Audience?

It may sound strange to think about an audience when talking about painting. However, others will see and be impacted by the colors you use. When you paint your home, you’re typically painting it for yourself. You get to make all of the choices, and you only really need to consider what you and your family want. If you want to paint the walls a neon green, you can. It’s all up to you and what you want. You don’t even have to consider visitors unless you know you’ll have frequent overnight guests. If that’s the case, you may want to paint your guest room something fairly neutral. Otherwise, as the ones who will be surrounded by the colors the most, it’s all up to you and your family.

With a commercial business, though, that’s not the case. You need to take into account your customers, local business regulations, and more. If you paint your store or dining room clashing bright colors, it may give customers a headache and send them running. You want to think about what a color conveys and how the colors you want to use on the falls fit with your branding. Many businesses use a neutral color with a few pops of other shades for accents. There is an actual science behind how color affects mood, and it’s something you’ll want to take into consideration when deciding on the colors you’ll use in your interior commercial painting projects.


Are There Regulations?

There can be regulations regarding colors used for both residential and commercial buildings. Many people are familiar with a Homeowners Association and how they can require members to paint their homes one of the HOA approved exterior paint colors. In fact, HOA painting is often considered a type of commercial painting.

However, there can be regulations regarding the colors you can paint your business, too. This is especially true if you rent your commercial space. You may not be allowed to paint the exterior anything other than the color it currently is. The owners of strip malls may also require that all buildings look the same from the outside. As with houses, owning a business in an area that has been declared an historic district often means you are subject to specific regulations too.


JLM Painting Residential Painting


The Scope of the Project

Painting a home is often not a very large project. Few people actually paint every room in their house at the same time. Most hire a residential painter to do a few rooms at a time. The only time you may have someone paint your entire house is when you’ve just purchased the property and want to put your own stamp on it or when you’re about to list the property and need to make it appeal to a wide range of buyers. Other than that, most interior home painting projects can be completed in a few days—one for priming and then one for the top coat. Even the exterior of a home can usually be done in a few days unless the house is very large.


Exceptions to the Rule

With commercial projects, however, that’s not the case. While a residential painter may only be doing a kitchen and a bedroom or two, a commercial painter is faced with painting large retail spaces, multiple offices, dining rooms, and other areas. There are often many rooms that the public doesn’t see that also need painting. In a restaurant, for example, painters often do more than the dining area. They also paint the kitchen, the offices, the break space, and even the pantries. At the end of the day, it can take quite some time just to get primer on all the walls.

Interior commercial painting projects differ greatly in scope from one another, too, while most residential projects are similar. Painting a 1,500 square foot home and a 2,000 square foot home isn’t that much of a jump. However, doing from a 10,000 square foot boutique to a 25,000 square foot grocery store is significant, and the cost of materials plus time greatly increases. Then there’s the type of space. An open grocery store still really only has four walls in the main space, so it’s a fairly easy task. Office buildings, on the other hand, may be smaller but can take more time because there may be more square footage that needs painted. These spaces also have more areas that need to be taped or covered before painting can begin.


How Many People Does It Take?

Scope also plays a part in determining how many professionals are needed to paint a space. For a standard home, typically two or three painters can complete the project fairly quickly. With a large commercial space, however, you may need a much larger team. Commercial painting contractors may bring a dozen or more people to help complete all of the painting on schedule. Of course, the more people involved, the higher the cost typically is.


JLM Painting Commercial Painting


Commercial Painting Services Use Different Equipment

Painting homes and painting commercial buildings may seem similar in concept, but in practice, residential painting services don’t usually use the same equipment as commercial services do. You may have everything needed to paint your home already. All you typically need are brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and painter’s tape for interior rooms. For the exterior of a house, you may need a ladder, but unless your home is two-story or more, that may be all you need.

When painting commercial properties, though, different equipment is often used so the painting process is faster and safer. Commercial buildings are normally much larger. Many have taller ceilings inside, so you’ll need a ladder or a long roller brush. Scaffolding may be the best option at times, especially for buildings with incredibly tall ceilings and exteriors. To get old paint off the outside, commercial painting services typically use pressure washers or sandblasters. While you might use a pressure washer on the exterior of your home to clean it before painting, you typically don’t need to sandblast it.

Paint sprayers are also used by commercial painters to reduce the time it takes to paint everything. These sprayers can be used indoors or outdoors to lay down an even layer of paint quickly. These devices can be filled with commercial-grade primers and paints that are designed to go over other colors in just one or two coats.

Much of what you’d need to paint a commercial property is more than what a residential property needs. This equipment is also more costly and requires more experience to use. The average homeowner isn’t going to need or have experience using a paint sprayer, for example, while a commercial painter is likely to use this tool regularly.


Difference in Skills

Experience using different tools isn’t the only skill that commercial painting contractors have over those who primarily paint homes. This is because commercial painters typically need to follow more safety guidelines. Interior residential painters may occasionally need to use a ladder, but most can get by with a roller and a brush. Even those painting the outside of a home may not need to use very tall ladders.

With commercial spaces, however, ladders, scaffolding, and even bucket trucks are often used to paint tall buildings. This is true for the interior, too. Most commercial retail spaces have ceilings that are sixteen feet high or higher. Even doctor’s offices and other office buildings have ceilings that are higher than standard home ceilings. Those who paint these areas will typically need ladders. They may also need to know how to paint various surfaces. While residential painting services typically only encounter common surface materials such as drywall or brick, commercial painters may need to paint plastic, metal, concrete, and more. It’s important that they know the best way to paint these surfaces.

Painting Commercial Spaces Requires a Professional like JLM Painting

If you’re ready to paint your commercial space or want to give your home a refresh, you need a professional. We will take care of everything quickly and efficiently. We’ll even make certain your home uses HOA approved exterior paint colors or that your business complies with any specific regulations. Our team is ready to assist you with all of your painting needs. Call us for help for anything from a single room in your house or a 35,000 square foot commercial store. Contact JLM Painting today to discuss the differences between residential and commercial painting or for a custom quote.