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Discussion Starter #1
I am going nuts trying to figure out an estimate for painting ceilings. When I do a normal job, which includes walls doors, trim, etc. Cutting the edge and rolling the rest seems to take no time, especially for flat ceilings. Any work I did to tarp or tape paper to the floor serves as protection for each painting stage, walls, baseboard, doors.
But what if you are contracted to paint just ceilings? All the work you do to protect floors, sofas, tv's - gets cleaned up after the ceiling is done. And not to mention - how do you cut in the ceiling without getting paint on the walls now? I was thinking of those automatic paper + tape machines, and doing that all around, and then spraying the edge. And what about protecting the walls?
All in all there seems to be a ton of extra prep work that goes into painting a ceiling, when you aren't contracted to paint everything else in a room. Before I was happy with $70-$100 to slap a coat of ceiling paint per room. Now it seems I will lose my shirt. Any ideas? I know this is has been long winded, but this is a estimation problem I haven't been confronted with before, any tips, advice, pricing? Abosolute pricing numbers are ok, even if you are in a different area, just as long as you compare to your price to do a ceiling when contracted to paint everything as well in the room.

-PlainPainter
 

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Bid it as if it was anything else you need to paint. Figure amount of time to move furniture, drop/tarp/plastic off room, brush cut in (how do you cut it in without getting on the walls you ask? same as cutting in next to a door frame, baseboard, etc.) roll out, and clean up/reset furniture. Only difference is with heavily textured ceiling, very high vaults, popcorn :evil: , etc., these will be obviously higher. Go by an hourly rate, tack on the materials and profit, and there you go. If you break the numbers down to compare a solo ceiling and ceiling + walls, the solo ceiling will probably cost about double what it costs to do it with walls included. Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That helps alot prowallguy. Now I have to find in general how much money I want per sq. foot for popcorn ceilings vs. smooth ceilings. And yet be competitive in pricing. I did a popcorn ceiling for my sister using Ace Ceiling paint, best one coat coverage yet. And it spread at a rate of 135 sq.ft./gallon. My jaw dropped. But then I painted another ceiling of hers, it was an addition with no heat and very dry. And the coverage went down to 100 sq.ft./gallon. And normally I get at least 350 - 400 with smooth ceilings.
Some people think I should charge the same, and add only for extra paint used. Where as I am thinking painting popcorn ceilings or texture ceilings of any kind is a Royal pain in my you know where, and I just want more money for the pain of doing it. I got so frustrated at one point and exclaimed that I wanted $150 per can including time and materials, no matter how low the coverage.
 

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Ace Ceiling paint, best one coat coverage
Best one-coat coverage > Benny Moore Muresco Ceiling white, classic formula, not the new luminescent formula. If it has a red star on the label, its the new stuff.
Some people think I should charge the same, and add only for extra paint used.
No way. These people obviously don't want you to stay in business.
Where as I am thinking painting popcorn ceilings or texture ceilings of any kind is a Royal pain in my you know where, and I just want more money for the pain of doing it.
Damn skippy.
$150 per can
Thats not too far off. An unsealed popcorn ceiling that requires 2 gallons to cover, $300 isn't too much considering all the dropping, masking etc. If it would take up the majority of the day, then go for $400. Let the hacks and chumps do the crap work for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have used lots of muresco in my life, and will use it over Ace. Since Ace ceiling paint is priced for Diy'selfers @ $20. But The problems I have with Muresco, is that the cuts come out weak on flat ceilings - but then the cuts are way to strong on texture ceilings forcing me to roll it again. With Ace, I have never ever had a problem - I just don't feel like paying the money. California may be my favorite ceiling paint, since it's a bright white and is as good as Ace for coverage, but even for contractors it's priced high at like $17 per gallon. There is a another company right next door to Benjamin Moore, and their name is Muralo. And I swear to god, either Benny Moore contracts them out to make their muresco, or Muralo buys muresco and labels it as their contractor grade ceiling paint. Whatever the deal is, I am buying it for like $12/gallon. It's the exact same paint, it even has the same smell. And for $12/gallon I will put up with weak cuts.

-PlainPainter
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not only have I tried Muralo Ceramic flats, that's what I am selling to my customers. But lately I am feeling like my customers really aren't paying me what they should for Muralo Ultra paints. So I am going back to regular Superfinish line, as it's the same quality as Benjamin Moore Regal paints, i.e. they are both vinyl acrylic based paints. Why should I do a job for the same money my competition is getting for using ben moore paints. Not that Ben Moore doesn't make a good paint. But they are selling their Regal line of paints as #1 quality, when all the other companies market their Vinyl acrylics as 2nd tier paint. And market 100% acrylics or waterborne ceramic finishes as their grade A paints such as California Freshcoats, and 2010 or Muralo Ultra's or Pratt and Lambert Accolade. If people want to pay me the same as my competition - then they are getting Muralo Superfinish, Pratt&Lambert RedSeal, or California Pacific or Ace Royal paints.

-PlainPainter
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah I checked out the B&M website, not only do they have Moorcraft Super Spec, they also have Moorcraft Super Hide, and Moorcraft Super Craft. And there seems to be no real difference among the descriptions - Does anyone have experience with these paints?

-PlainPainter
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, so when my folks had a 2 story addition put up in '86 - that really chalky
flat bone-white paint the contractor put on the walls - was like what B&M SuperHide is? Fast forward 15 yrs. into the future when they want those walls repainted - I had to prime it first with 100% Acrylic primer - regular paint wouldn't stick!

-PlainPainter
 

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Super Spec Is A Good Paint! I Always Like To Use Regal If I Have The Choice. It's A Thicker Paint And Goes On Like Silk!!!
 

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Where as I am thinking painting popcorn ceilings or texture ceilings of any kind is a Royal pain in my you know where, and I just want more money for the pain of doing it.
With popcorn cielings do any of you guys test an inconspicuous area in order to find out if the popcorn cieling is bonded good to the sheetrock? I have taken popcorn ceilings and when I started to roll them the texture started coming off in sheets..not a good thing. So now when before I even bid a PC coeling I take a wet sponge and test an area to make sure the cieling isnt going to fall apart.
 

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Do I test popcorn ceilings, no. Is it a good idea, sure. I guess I just got to the point a couple years ago if i saw a headache coming my way, I ducked or bid high. If its all thats coming your way at that time though, testing would be a good way to see what might happen. Or write up contracts with a clause for XXX more cash if the ceiling starts coming down on your head.
 

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Do I test popcorn ceilings, no. Is it a good idea, sure. I guess I just got to the point a couple years ago if i saw a headache coming my way, I ducked or bid high. If its all thats coming your way at that time though, testing would be a good way to see what might happen. Or write up contracts with a clause for XXX more cash if the ceiling starts coming down on your head.
On any wallpaper removal job, if I can't test a piece for removal, then I can't bid it right. You'd be surprised how many people don't want you to touch/do anything to their walls/ceiling at an estimate. Less than 50% of my clients will allow me to do a small test. So in comes the CYA contract.
 
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