Most costs related to paint applications are heavily weighted toward labor. Managers can verify a project’s relative costs by comparing these factors in their experiences with painting projects, or by checking the current manuals of painting-cost estimates, which break down labor and material unit costs separately.

For instance, the manuals show that costs for interior floor, wall and ceiling paint and coating applications typically are comprised of 70-80 percent labor and 20-30 percent material. Managers also can note the exceptions, such as floor coatings, by checking specific kinds of paint applications to determine their relative labor-material weights.

Proper preparation also is essential for ensuring attractive, long-lasting, low-cost jobs. This step includes ensuring that paint crews have the right tools, file and sand rough spots, clean surfaces thoroughly to remove grease and loose material, and dry the surface well.

Workers should apply a sealer coating to the substrate before painting in some cases, such as when painting over new plaster, wall board or heavily soiled surfaces.

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