Key Differences Between Residential Vs. Commercial Painting

 While most people consider residential and commercial painting similar, the two have specific differences. Generally, residential painters offer home painting solutions for the home’s exterior and interior. On the other hand, commercial painting involves laying paint on office buildings, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, apartments, and schools. Unlike residential painting, commercial painting requires more painters and takes more time.

But what are the major differences between residential and commercial painting? Read on to find out.

Painting a commercial or residential property requires different skills and tools, especially with commercial buildings with increased square footage, making painting intricate. That said, here are the key distinctions between residential and commercial painting.

Project Size

The painting project scope determines the painting service required, including other necessities. Residential projects range from condominiums to houses and other living spaces, with the paint job only being exterior or the renovated interior section. On the other hand, commercial projects often include qualified painting contractors that help in painting larger projects. Buildings often include retail shops, shopping malls, and airports.

Material and Equipment

Residential painters focus on smaller projects and use ordinary paint supplies to complete home projects. These materials include rollers, step ladders, paintbrushes, drop cloths, painting trays, and cleaning materials. Paints used in residential properties are available in different colors to match the home’s architecture, décor, and surrounding houses.

With commercial painting, it involves experienced painting contractors with expertise on different surfaces such as wood, marble, reinforced plastic, metal, and concrete. Painters use complex painting equipment like pressure washers, aerial lifts, scaffolding, and paint sprayers to complete jobs. Commercial painters also use industrial-grade paints, tints, and primers, including other specialty coatings.

Services Offered

Residential painters often complete in-home painting projects that include rooms in houses, siding, deck staining, and trim. In addition, these contractors can handle various exterior surfaces and light construction work. On the other hand, commercial painters provide extra services and are mainly focused on industrial painting and coating, epoxy coating, special surface preparation, and other related commercial solutions.


Residential painters are experts in interacting with homeowners regarding the type of paint suitable for their homes. These contractors can guide homeowners in selecting the ideal color and plate it on interior or exterior surfaces. This also includes expertise in protecting furniture and flooring during the painting period. Commercial painting contractors are highly skilled and concerned with safety, especially when dealing with business branding and marketing on commercial structures.

Project Management

Commercial painting emphasizes efficiency and productivity because of timeliness and eliminating business disruption. Based on project size, delays are often costly but can involve more contractors to work together. With residential painting projects, painters take a more relaxed tactic to project management. The project manager often focuses on the homeowner’s attention to detail and satisfaction.

Bottom Line

Several painting contractors focus on one painting type, either residential or commercial. Whether a simple painting task for your house or a commercial painting project, working with professional painters to transform your space is essential.

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