The Differences Between Residential and Commercial Painting

Residential and commercial painting are entirely different beasts that each require mastery of specific areas of expertise. Whether your next project is for your home or for your warehouse, it’s important to know how to choose between residential painting contractors and commercial painting contractors. Some of the best companies even have the expertise and personnel to do both!

What are the differences to look out for? What services, flexibility, and products do each provide? Here, the painting experts at Yanover cover the differences between residential and commercial painting and how to choose a contractor that’s right for you.


Residential and commercial painting contractors provide different services because often the projects have very different requirements. For residential painting, the services are often a little more limited but come with a large amount of customization and close planning with the homeowner. If you’re getting your living room or entryway professionally painted, it’s often because you have a clear vision of what you’re looking for. Residential painting contractors are experts at bringing that vision to life.

Commercial painting contractors often provide other services on top of the painting itself. Commercial projects require that the painters have the ability to not only provide a crisp and precise finished paint job, but often that they also have the ability to waterproof masonry, seal roofs, work on a large variety of painting surfaces, pressure wash and sandblast, and more. Commercial painters are masters of multiple crafts so they can provide businesses a total, holistic service package.


Materials are another defining differences between commercial and residential painting contractors. For residential projects, the focus is often more aesthetic than utilitarian. Homeowners are looking for the paint colors and styles that match the vision they bring to the painter, and residential contractors know how to find them. Residential painters also work in smaller amounts of paint and in smaller spaces, leading to tools focused on precision rather than volume.

For commercial painting, there are many variables outside of aesthetics. The contractor must be sure the paint being used is industrial grade to ensure the safety and longevity of the paint job. The equipment is much more specialized, including sandblasters, pressure washers, and scaffolding when working on large structures and hard to reach places. They may even need aerial lifts. There is also a significantly larger volume of paint used on average.

Project Planning

Project planning for a residential painting project is very different than the planning for a commercial project. Often, residential projects are planned closely with the homeowner to ensure that each part of the custom project turns out exactly the way they hoped. The scheduling also generally hovers around business hours, though that is flexible.

For commercial projects, the contractors are often given a request and have a set process by which they carry it out. Of course, they still work closely with the business owner to ensure it comes out perfectly, but there are often processes the contractor follows to get the job done. They must also take safety regulations into account and often work outside of business hours so as not to interfere with the client’s work.

Finding a company that does both residential and commercial projects well is rare, but possible. Here at Yanover, we have expert painters that are able to handle both styles of projects and are guaranteed to leave you with a finished project that will be both aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. Contact us today to find out more!

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