Common Paint Selections for Commercial Settings

Paint plays a big role in how places like offices, shops, and buildings look and feel. It’s not just about color; it’s about durability, how good it looks, and even how it helps the environment. There are different types of paint, like water- and oil-based ones, each with special qualities. Knowing about these paints helps businesses choose the right one that matches their style, needs, and plans for keeping things looking great for a long time.

Let’s explore these paint options for commercial spaces, see what makes them special, and figure out where they’re best used.

1. Water-Based Paints

Water-based paints, or latex or acrylic paints, use water as a base instead of solvents like oil-based paints. These paints are made by suspending pigments in water, making them easier to clean up and less smelly than oil-based alternatives. Water-based paints dry faster, emit fewer fumes and are more environmentally friendly.


  • Low VOC Emissions: They have fewer harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them safer for indoor air quality.
  • Quick Drying: Water-based paints dry faster, enabling faster turnaround times for commercial projects.
  • Ease of Application: They’re easier to apply, requiring less prep work and providing a smoother finish.
  • Durability: They resist yellowing and retain color vibrancy for a longer time.
  • Eco-Friendly: Water-based paints are more environmentally friendly due to their lower VOC content and easy cleanup with water.

Types of Paint for Commercial Painting

Examples of Usage in Commercial Settings

Office Spaces: For walls, ceilings, and sometimes even furniture.
Retail Stores: Used for interiors, storefronts, and shelving units.
Hospitals and Clinics: Often chosen for their low odor and quick drying times.
Hotels and Hospitality Venues: Ideal for guest rooms and common areas.
Educational Institutions: Used for classrooms, hallways, and gymnasiums.

2. Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints, also called alkyd paints, are made by suspending pigments in a solvent, typically mineral spirits or turpentine. These paints have been a staple in the painting industry for their durability and high-sheen finish. They take longer to dry than water-based paints due to the slow evaporation of solvents.



They form a tough, protective coat, making them suitable for high-traffic areas prone to wear and tear.

  • Smooth Finish: Oil-based paints offer a glossy finish that enhances aesthetics and provides excellent coverage.
  • Versatility: They adhere well to various surfaces, including wood, metal, and surfaces previously painted with oil-based paints.
  • Resistant to Stains: Their robust nature makes them less susceptible to stains and marks, making them ideal for areas prone to dirt and grease.
  • Weather Resistance: Oil-based paints are more resistant to moisture and harsh weather conditions, making them suitable for exterior applications.

Examples of Usage in Commercial Settings:

Metal Structures: A great choice for painting railings, gates, and exposed metal surfaces due to their rust-resistant properties.
Trim and Moldings: Used for baseboards, door frames, and window casings due to their smooth finish.
Outdoor Signage: Especially in areas where the signs are exposed to the elements.
Commercial Machinery: Applied to metal surfaces for protection against corrosion.
Wooden Surfaces: Ideal for wooden furniture or wooden features where a glossy, durable finish is desired.

3. Latex Paints

Latex paints are water-based paints that use acrylic resins as a binder. They are popular for their ease of use, quick drying time, and minimal odor. These paints are made by suspending pigments in water, making them environmentally friendly due to their low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content.


  • Quick Drying: Latex paints dry relatively faster than oil-based paints, enabling quicker completion of painting projects.
  • Low Odor: They have minimal odor, making them suitable for indoor applications without causing discomfort to occupants.
  • Flexibility: Latex paints can expand and contract with temperature changes, making them suitable for exterior surfaces prone to weather variations.
  • Ease of Application: These paints are easy to clean up with water, reducing the use of solvents and simplifying the cleaning process.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various surfaces like drywall, concrete, wood, and previously painted surfaces, offering good adhesion and coverage.

Examples of Usage in Commercial Settings:

  • Interior Walls: Applied in offices, hotels, hospitals, and schools due to their low odor and quick drying properties.
  • Ceilings: Used for painting ceilings in commercial spaces because of their ease of application and low odor.
    Exterior Siding: Suitable for painting exterior walls of commercial buildings due to their weather-resistant properties.
  • Retail Spaces: Used on walls and fixtures in retail stores for its quick drying and versatility in color options.
    Hospitality Industry: Commonly used in hotels and restaurants for interior walls and surfaces due to low odor and ease of maintenance.

4. Specialty Paints

Specialty paints encompass a range of unique formulations designed for specific purposes or situations in commercial settings. These paints cater to diverse needs, offering solutions beyond standard painting requirements.


  • Anti-Graffiti Paint They provide a protective coating that simplifies graffiti removal, helping maintain commercial buildings’ aesthetics.
  • Epoxy Paints Known for their durability and chemical resistance, these are commonly used on floors in commercial spaces prone to high traffic or potential spills.
  • Heat-Reflective Paints These paints are specially designed to reduce heat absorption. They are used on roofs or exteriors to enhance energy efficiency and lower cooling costs.
  • Magnetic Paints These paints contain iron dust and are used to create magnetized surfaces, ideal for interactive displays or creative office spaces.
  • Fire-Retardant Paints These paints are used in areas where fire safety is crucial. They delay the spread of flames and are applied to surfaces like walls or structural elements.

Examples of Usage in Commercial Settings:

Public Transport: Anti-graffiti paints are applied to buses, trains, and public spaces prone to vandalism.
Industrial Floors: Epoxy paints are used on factory or warehouse floors to provide a durable and chemical-resistant surface.
Commercial Roofs: Heat-reflective paints are applied on rooftops to minimize heat absorption and reduce energy consumption.
Educational Institutions: Magnetic paints are used in classrooms or collaborative spaces to create interactive walls.
Hotels and Hospitals: Fire-retardant paints, such as corridors or utility spaces, are used in critical areas to enhance fire safety.

5. Epoxy Coatings

Advantages of Exterior Painting

Epoxy coatings are made from epoxy resins and hardeners. When mixed, they create a rigid, plastic-like material that adheres exceptionally well to surfaces, creating a tough and long-lasting finish.

These coatings are available in various formulations, offering different properties such as chemical resistance, durability, and aesthetics.


  • Durability Epoxy coatings form a resilient surface that withstands heavy foot traffic, impact, and abrasion, making them suitable for industrial floors, warehouses, garages, and laboratories.
  • Chemical Resistance They resist chemicals and stains, making them ideal for areas like manufacturing facilities, laboratories, and commercial kitchens where spills and chemical exposure are common.
  • Hygiene and Cleanliness Epoxy coatings provide a smooth and easy-to-clean surface, making them suitable for healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical labs, and food processing areas.
  • Aesthetic Options They offer various finishes, including clear, colored, or textured surfaces, enabling customization to match various design requirements.

Common Uses in Commercial Settings:

  • Flooring: Epoxy coatings are widely used for concrete floors in warehouses, factories, hospitals, and commercial kitchens due to their durability and easy maintenance.
  • Industrial Settings: They’re applied in manufacturing plants, automotive workshops, and other heavy-duty environments to resist chemicals, oils, and heavy equipment.
  • Decorative Finishes: Epoxy coatings with decorative elements like metallic pigments are utilized in retail spaces, restaurants, and hotels to create visually appealing floors and countertops.

6. Eggshell and Satin Finishes

  • Eggshell: This color offers a subtle, low-sheen finish that is slightly more lustrous than flat or matte paints. It’s ideal for areas that require some durability and are prone to moderate traffic.
  • Satin: Reflects slightly more light than eggshell, providing a smooth finish with a subtle gloss. This finish is durable and easy to clean, making it suitable for high-traffic spaces where cleanliness is essential.

Semi-Gloss and Gloss Finishes

  • Semi-Gloss: Offers a noticeable sheen that’s more durable and moisture-resistant, making it suitable for areas prone to moisture or heavy wear, like kitchens, bathrooms, or trim work.
  • Gloss: Provides a highly reflective and durable finish. It’s used in commercial spaces requiring maximum durability and frequent cleaning, such as doors, cabinets, or trim work in high-traffic areas.

Application Techniques and Considerations

1. Importance of Professional Application

Commercial painting projects often require precision and expertise to ensure the best results. Hiring professional painters for these projects ensures the application is executed with skill and adheres to industry standards.

Professional painters possess the knowledge and experience necessary for proper preparation, application, and finishing, optimizing the project’s outcome.

2. Hiring Professional Painters for Commercial Projects

Employing professional painters for commercial painting jobs guarantees a great approach. These experts have the right tools, knowledge of various surfaces, and techniques tailored to different environments. Their proficiency minimizes errors, resulting in a superior finish that meets commercial standards and enhances the space’s appearance and durability.

3. Ensuring Proper Preparation and Application Techniques

Professional painters emphasize thorough preparation, including surface cleaning, repairing imperfections, and priming. Correct application techniques involve utilizing appropriate tools for different surfaces, such as brushes, rollers, or sprayers.

Proper application techniques ensure an even coat, consistent finish, and enhanced longevity of the paint job.


Choosing the right paint for commercial spaces is crucial for creating an environment that not only looks great but also withstands the demands of daily use. Factors like surface materials, environmental conditions, and the purpose of the space heavily influence paint choices. These considerations ensure that the selected paints provide durability, aesthetic appeal, and functionality necessary for commercial settings.

The impact of paint in commercial spaces goes beyond mere aesthetics; it sets the tone, influences productivity, and affects the overall atmosphere. Optimal paint choices, combined with professional application techniques, contribute to creating visually appealing and enduring environments.

If you need to have commercial painting done in San Ramon, contact Custom Painting, Inc. by phone at 925-866-9610 or by filling out the Contact form on the website.