Many residential painting services recommend using a second coat of paint in homes for the best results. Commercial painting services, however, often can achieve similar results with just one coat of paint. If you're having an office complex painted, you can save money by skipping a second coat of paint. You should use the money you save to invest in a high-quality paint, though.
Residential Painters Use Two Coats
When painting a home, two coats of paint is usually needed to produce a consistent look. Because residential painters primarily use rollers and brushes, subtle lines and smears are visible when just one coat of paint is applied. As About Home explains, a second coat of paint:
- conceals overlaps and lines
- enhances the paint's color
- gives the paint added strength
The added strength, especially, increases a paint's lifespan. According to Angie's List, in residential painting, a second coat increases longevity by up to five times.
Commercial Painters Just Need One Coat
Commercial painters use different equipment that eliminates the need for a second coat. While they may still use brushes for small areas and edging, commercial painting services rely mostly on sprayers. Sprayers produce a thicker, more even coat than either brushes or rollers. Since there's hardly any lines or smears, a second coat isn't needed to cover up blemishes. Additionally, they don't need another coat to add strength, because the first coat is thicker.
Skip the Second Coat
Many people who manage office complexes aren't familiar with the differences between residential and commercial painting, however, and they insist on a second coat. This is little more than an unnecessary expense when painting most offices, though. Before you pay for a second coat, talk with your commercial painter about whether one is necessary for your office complex. You'll likely find it isn't needed, and you can save some money.
Depending on the size of your office, the amount you save may be substantial. As an example, assume you have a square office with 10,000 square feet. It'd have four 100-foot walls. If each wall is 8 feet high, the total painting area would be 3,200 square feet (4 walls x 100 feet long x 8 feet high). The mid-range price for a commercial painting service at $2.25 per square foot. Using these figures, a single coat in this example would cost $7,200 ($2.25 x 3,200 square feet).
A second coat costs significantly less than the first, because the prep work has already been done. An additional coat is not cheap, though. The article on Angie's List places the price of a second coat at 30 percent of the first coat's cost. In the above example, an additional coat would add $2,160 ($7,200 x .30) to the price.
Invest in a High Quality Paint
The money you save by skipping a second coat shouldn't just be pocketed, though. Instead, you should put it towards a high-quality, high-gloss paint.
Because only one coat's being used, it's important to pay for the best quality paint possible. Paint that's made to higher standards will be stronger and last longer than cheaply manufactured alternatives.
High-gloss paint is better suited for commercial spaces than eggshell and flat finishes, because it's easier to maintain. Homeowners may get away with using flat paint, which often costs less than high-gloss, because their houses don't see a lot of traffic. Dozens, or even hundreds, of people may pass through an office in a day, though. This increases the likelihood that the walls will be marked up with scratches or scuffs. High-gloss finish won't show marks as much as eggshell or flat paints will. Also, the marks that do show will be easier for your cleaning crew to wash off.
If you manage an office building, think twice before paying for a second coat of paint the next time it needs to be repainted. Click here or talk with your painter for their advice about skipping the second coat and paying for a higher-quality, high-gloss paint.