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How To Find The Right Commercial Painting Contractor

February 7, 2018


When it comes to finding the right painter for the project, property managers and building owners need to understand the basics of their commercial building type, building surface and materials, and qualities of a worthwhile contractor.

What type of commercial building do you have?

Commercial buildings often fall into one of six categories:

  • Office, including small professional buildings, downtown skyscrapers, and single-tenant properties
  • Industrial, including office warehouses or flex/R&D properties
  • Retail/Restaurant, including pad sites on highways, single-tenant retail properties, small neighborhood shopping centers, and large neighborhood shopping centers with a chain anchor store
  • Multifamily, including apartment complexes and high-rise condominium buildings
  • Land, including investment properties on undeveloped, raw land and infill land with space for an urban area or pad site
  • Miscellaneous, including any other nonresidential property like a hotel, medical building, and self-storage development

What type of paint does your commercial building need?

Depending on your type of commercial building, a painting team considers the following before picking up a brush:

  • Oil-based versus water-based paints. Oil-based paints were a common choice for commercial finishings because of their impermeability and toughness. Due to the drying process of oil-based paints, the layer is resilient and long-lasting compared to water-based paints.

    However, water-based paints offer no volatile organic compounds, no solvents or strong odor, a shorter drying time, and less maintenance. Also known as latex and acrylic paint, water-based paints are an increasingly more popular option due to their environmental friendliness and lack of maintenance.

    Most commercial painters find a way to use water-based paint.
  • Finishings. Arguably the most important part of the painting process is the finishing. Options include matte, flat enamel, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

    Buildings suggest avoiding matte finishes for rooms with frequent visitors, including reception areas or conference rooms, because the paint doesn’t wash well if dirtied.

    The best areas for a matte finish include a boardroom or executive office in commercial office buildings, because less people visit these spaces. 

    As for satin finishes, the best places include halls and stairways because the finish is easy to clean and dirt-resistant. Semi-gloss is best for doors, trim, and walls in kitchens and bathrooms due to its high durability and classic sheen. Gloss is also a good option for floors and trim.

    These finishes are common for areas that need frequent cleaning and sanitizing, such as hospitals, hotels, apartment complexes, and restaurants.
  • Surface. 80 percent of a commercial paint job is surface preparation. A surface often needs more than one coat to get the full color, create durability, and extend the life of the paint job.

    Depending on the surface, a commercial painting contractor uses a different technique. For example, drywall uses water-based paints and any finish except glossy.

    Block surfaces like mason or stone require a block filler to even out the porous surface. Commercial painters use an eggshell or semi-gloss finish.

    Metal surfaces use latex paint and a glossy or satin finish to protect from water and mold. Epoxy coating is also a viable option for metal surfaces.

    Talk with a professional commercial painting company about which surfaces in your commercial building need special consideration.

What should you look for in a commercial painting contractor?

It’s important to find a commercial painting contractor with the following qualities:

  • History. Experience is a huge factor to consider when hiring a contractor, and we take that into high consideration. Since 1990, Cochran & Mann has been helping Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas through strong craftsmanship and the reputation for always finishing what we start.
  • Integrity. When it comes to value, we offer consistent delivery of high quality work at a reasonable cost. We limit surprises and change orders that come with a contractor stereotype and are tremendously responsive in order to bring your exact vision to life.
  • Knowledge. From commercial building type to surface preparation to finishes, Cochran & Mann has the painting expertise to walk you through every step of the project.
  • Accountability. Many contractors have the stereotype of overcharging, doing a poor job, and being uncommunicative. Every Cochran & Mann team member takes responsibility for each phase of the project -- even when we’re done. Our unrivaled blend of transparency and efficiency provides property managers and building owners necessary peace of mind.

For more information about how to find a quality commercial painting company for your specific building, click below to download Cochran & Mann’s Guide To Hiring A Commercial Painting Contractor:

Download the Guide

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