The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Painting

beautiful big house

Commercial painting, also known as trade or industrial painting, refers to the painting of structures such as buildings and bridges for their protection from mechanical abuse and the elements. It’s usually carried out by professional commercial painters who work with the client to ensure the client’s needs are met. This type of painting job is also a process for interior or exterior finishing, as it is often applied on high-traffic surfaces such as schools, offices, and shopping centers.

Residential painting refers to interior and exterior work for residential properties such as homes, condominiums, and townhouses. Like its counterpart, this type of painting job is carried out by professional contractors who are trained residential painters.

Very often with professional painting contractors, their professional painters are trained and experienced in both commercial and residential painting.

General Differences between commercial and residential painting

Number of workers

Commercial spaces require more workers so the job is completed on schedule. Commercial painting companies employ a larger number of painters so they can work within any schedule.

Painting contractors focused solely on residential painting employ only a small number of employees. Based on experience, however, homeowners would do well to hire residential painters from companies that do both commercial and residential painting.


A commercial painter has way more experience than a residential painter. This is why it is recommended that business owners or homeowners search for a company that employs both painters experienced in both commercial and residential spaces. After all, painters experienced with an entire warehouse or factory can easily paint a couple of bedrooms.

Amount of paint

Large commercial spaces need more paint than even a whole house. This is why painting contractors have more and different equipment for commercial paint jobs, and thus, will use more paint. Commercial painting also means more time needed to finish, higher quality of paint, and a higher cost of labor. 

Range of services

The range of painting services offered by commercial painting contractors can be immense, ranging from epoxy floor installation, sandblasting, faux finishing, to electronic painting, and more. And all this on top of residential painting.

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