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How to measure and estimate for painting (Ultimate Guide)

estimate for painting Estimating the cost of painting a room can be difficult, but there are some techniques you can use to get a ballpark figure. The first thing you need to do is measure and take note of the size of the room.

You’ll also want to know what type of paint or primer will be used and how many coats it will take for each surface.

Once you have all these measurements, head over to our Cost Estimator tool where we provide an estimate based on your information!

How Does a Quantity Surveyor Help to Calculate Painting? 


Quantity surveying is an area of construction that focuses on the cost activities associated with a construction project. It has been described as ‘management in building’ by RICS. The quantity surveyor calculates, for example, the number of materials required, quantities and costs of labor involved, and how to construct components at least cost.


When painting an interior or exterior painting project, painting contractors will provide clients with a painting estimate. Not all painting companies offer painting estimates. Many painting contractors only quote for the job after they have seen it and done a walk around of the property or building concerned.

Most painting estimators charge by the hour but many also give quotes on painting materials as well as labor – this is especially true where paint is being supplied and applied by sub-contractors rather than the main contractor.

For small projects, such as repainting a room, you can expect that painter to be able to give you an accurate estimate over the phone: for larger painting projects, such as residential house repainting, there may be several site visits involved in working out how much painting work is involved.

Some painting companies will charge an hourly rate for site visits while others will add a small fixed fee for this service.

In order to provide you with the painting estimate, painting contractors take measurements and photos of each room that needs painting to determine how many man-hours it will take them to complete the painting project.

The contractor adds in labor costs and material costs to get a final painting price. The painting estimate should be considered a “rough” estimate since there are so many factors that can affect painting cost during a painting job.

How to measure a house for painting

  1. Measure the height and width of each wall
  2. Measure the length of any countertops or appliances that will be covered in paint
  3. Make sure to measure the distance between any electrical outlets, windows, doors, cabinets, etc., so you don’t miss anything!
  4. Calculate how many gallons of paint you’ll need based on your measurements 
  5. If there are any trim details or moldings that you want to be painted as well – remember to account for those too! 
  6. Once all your measurements are taken and calculated – it’s time to buy some paint! Have fun with colors and designs 🙂

7) Paint away! Remember to always use a primer first if needed 

8) Clean up after yourself – don’t leave dishes in the sink or dirty clothes lying around 😉

How to measure a wall for painting

  1. Measure the height and width of the room in feet
  2. Divide the measurement by 12 to get a rough estimate of how many gallons will be needed for each wall
  3. Multiply your gallon estimate by 2 to get an approximate cost per wall, including paint and supplies
  4. Add up all costs for painting one wall at a time until you reach your desired color scheme
  5. Determine which colors you want on which walls (i.e., kitchen cabinets with white trim) 
  6. Calculate how much paint is necessary for that particular area (i.e., 4 gallons x 3 walls = 12 gallons)

How to measure a ceiling for painting

  1. Measure the height and width of the room
  2. Add 10% to each measurement for trimming and other materials
  3. For a basic kitchen, start with a gallon of paint (or two gallons if you’re painting both walls)
  4. Find your color by looking at various paint chip samples or by going online to find out what colors are trending now 
  5. Make sure you have enough brushes and rollers for the job; it’s best if they’re all new so that there’s no chance of cross-contamination 
  6. If you want an even more professional look, hire someone to do the work for you! They’ll be able to give better advice on how much paint is needed as well as which tools should be used in order to get a perfect finish every time

How to measure a room for painting

  1. Measure the dimensions of the room
  2. Take a picture of your measurements with your phone
  3. Share pictures on social media and ask friends for feedback 
  4. Find out what colors are trending in home design, or find inspiration from magazines or websites 
  5. Match paint colors to different rooms in the house (e.g., kitchen, living room) 
  6. Get an estimate for how much it will cost to paint each room based on square footage

How to measure a bedroom for painting

  1. Measure the height of the ceiling at various points to ensure that it is uniform
  2. Measure the width of each wall, including corners and any doors or windows
  3. Calculate how many square feet are in the room by multiplying length x width
  4. If you have more than one door or window, measure them separately
  5. Add up all your numbers to get an estimate on how much paint you will need for your project 
  6. Make sure to buy enough supplies for a few extra days just in case you run out during painting day

How to measure a kitchen for painting

  1. Measure the height of your ceiling
  2. Measure the depth of your kitchen – this will be the longest dimension
  3. Measure all four walls (including windows and doors) to find out how long each wall is
  4. Add up all four measurements to find out how large your kitchen is in square feet 
  5. Divide that number by 9 to get an estimate for square meters 
  6. Decide on a paint color, then buy enough paint for one coat plus some extra cans just in case you need them later on.

How to measure a pool for painting

  1. Measure the length and width of the pool in feet
  2. Multiply that number by six to get the total square footage
  3. Divide that number by 144 to determine how many gallons of paint will be needed for one coat
  4. Add 10% more paint than calculated for any touch-ups or repairs after the painting is complete 
  5. Determine if you need a primer, what type it should be (latex, acrylic), and which color would work best with your desired finish 
  6. Apply a thin layer of primer on all surfaces before applying paint


All in all, when it comes to painting your home or business, you want the job done right. Hiring an experienced professional is a good way to ensure that you get just what you’re looking for and avoid costly mistakes along the way. 

To help you find one of these contractors near me, we’ve compiled this list of local painters who have been reviewed by previous customers as trustworthy and dependable. Remember – quality workmanship starts with a great estimate!

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