Updated November 11, 2020:

What Is a Painting Contract

A well-drafted painting contract can help provide an upfront list of expectations and specifics of a painting job that you are performing for a client. It is essential to create a painting contract if you are performing a job as an independent contractor.

What's in a Painting Contract?

A painting contract includes all of the particular aspects of the painting job as well as the expectations and responsibilities of both the painter and the customer. While you can include any information you deem necessary in your painting contract some of the most important things you will want to include are:

  • The client and contractor's name and information.
  • An area describing the scope of work, which will detail all of the services that will be provided.
  • The cost of both the supplies as well as the labor to paint the house.
  • The location of the project and the estimated work schedule, which should include a completion date for the project. This time frame will also help determine the overall labor cost on the estimate. For a more specific contract, you can also break the time down into how long each painting process will take.
  • The types of paint that will go into the completion of the job. This will help ensure that the right quality of paints will be used to ensure that the paint job will last as long as it's supposed to. This section should include brand names and shade to make sure there is a clear plan and eliminate as many potential obstacles as possible.
  • All of the painting supplies should also be listed in a section and will often account for approximately 15 to 25 percent of the total estimate for the job. Supplies that should be listed include things like brushes and rollers, scaffolding, power washer, if used, and any other supplies that will be charged for to complete the painting job. To make this section as clear as possible, make sure that it is itemized.
  • You will want your contract to list and detail all of the paint services that will be used for the job such as how the surfaces will be prepared and how long each of these processes should take.
  • If there are any specific painting techniques to be used you will want to have those listed as well to make sure that you will end up with the paint job that you are paying for. Different techniques can significantly change the look of a paint job so detailing this will help you get what you expected.
  • The contract should detail all of the fees associated with the payment, any discounts, and how payment will be handled.
  • At the end of the contract, you will want a section where both the contractor and customer can accept the scope of work, terms, and price and sign indicating they do.
  • On the back of the contract, or on a second sheet you should list the terms and conditions where legal information discusses the particulars of how your company does business will be included. This section should list information such as the fact that the painter is an independent contractor, they have the right to outsource work as outlined, their cancellation policies and fees, how any disputes will be handled, a release from liability, and damages for both the contractor and the customer, verbiage indicating that the monetary value will be limited to the information described in the payments section, and a disclaimer that this contract will represent the project and no other contract will supersede it unless signed by both parties.

When contracting a painter to paint the interior or exterior of your home, you can expect to pay an estimated average of between $48 and $71 per hour for labor, which will typically amount to 85% of the total estimate. 

It is important to note that if you are quoted significantly less than this you may see a reflection in the quality of work. Rates that exceed these may need to be looked at as possibly being too high. Remember to consult multiple painting companies to ensure you will get a competitive rate without compromising quality.

If you need help with painting contracts, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.