How much will it cost to paint my restaurant?

Jan 27, 2023 | Education, Pricing

Of all the commercial spaces we paint, restaurants present the most challenges, but this is why you need to hire a specialist. First, most restaurants are open for more hours than retail – often from 6am to around 9pm. This leaves a narrow window of 10pm to 5am for painting. Second, restaurants are not configured in ways that make easy access to walls and soffits. Finally, but not the least of the restaurant entrepreneurs concerns, is what type of paint should be used and how much will it cost me. Let’s talk about some of the difficulties that make painting your restaurant more expensive than most retail spaces.

The reduced and odd work hours will add to the cost of your project. Restaurants often serve breakfast, lunch, and supper. This leaves about 7 hours of productive work time for our crews to get paint on the walls, ceilings, trim, and other surfaces your are wanting painted. The off work hours are premium time and the limited work durations will mean your project will either take longer to finish or require larger crews. These are no problems for us, but you need to be aware that these will affect budget and schedule.

The second thing that you have to consider when pricing out is the configuration of most restaurants that make access to the walls and ceilings more challenging than other spaces. With most restaurants configured with booth or seating around the walls, we will need to move them or scaffold over the top of them. Although we have methods to deal with these obstacles, this will add to setup and breakdown time resulting in more labor costs. We will also need to mask off or cover all your furniture, casework, and equipment. This is easily done, but the additional time and materials do add up and are a significant part of the overall cost.

Third, and this one is a trade off as a restaurateur, is that there are actually few surfaces to paint in most restaurants. In many scenarios, many of your walls are glass, wood, or wallcovering. Unless your are remodeling these surfaces, you will most likely not be painting a decent portion of your business. This is often offset, though, by increased color transitions and less productive open spaces to paint.

Fourth, you will need to consider the products you use. In most localities, you will not need special materials in the dining areas, but you will need to consider using a glossier or more enamel paint in the restrooms and the kitchen areas. A pre-catalyzed epoxy is often our go to product for those areas. We recommend a washable paint in the dining areas so that you can get more life out of your paint job. We would recommend Duration or Emerald from Sherwin Williams, Ultralast from PPG, ScuffX from Benjamin Moore, or a pre-catalyzed epoxy from any of those manufactures for the best durability. These products are about two to three time the cost of standard commercial paint that we would use in most retail environments, but the investment is well worth the cost!

Now for the pricing. If you were repainting a small coffee shop with 12’ ceilings and a long wall full of windows, you would be looking at two nights for two painters – restrooms included. For paint and labor, you’d be look at around $3,200 for the entire job – walls only. Add the ceiling, doors, and trim and you can easily double the price of the job. The upside is how nice the place will look! And, honestly, most restaurants don’t need a fully repaint unless you just want something new and exciting. A small one nighter will get most of what needs fixed done for less than $1,500 in most cases. If you are thinking about painting your restaurant in the Indianapolis area, give us a call – our estimates are always free and we are happy to help walk you through the process and help you choose what needs done.