If you work in the painting industry, an important part of securing new business is making professional bids to show potential customers how much they can expect to pay for your services. Painting jobs vary greatly in size and scope, and you need a clear way to communicate your prices. Skynova's bid software can help.

With the bid template, you can email new customers a private link that they can accept online. As soon as your bid is accepted, our software lets you conveniently turn your bid into an invoice with minimal effort. The whole process happens on the cloud, so no one needs to download anything. Best of all, Skynova makes everything super fast and easy, so you can take on more painting contracts.

Creating bids with Skynova is so quick that writing bids by hand or using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel formats will feel like watching paint dry. Our templates are editable, customizable, and sharp. After you finish a bid, you can print or download it as a PDF.

When you see how much time you'll save, you'll want to try all of our free templates, from our painting estimate template to our painting proposal template. If you're a painter, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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Bid #
Bid Date
Item Description Unit Price Quantity Amount
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Amount Paid

How to Create a Painting bid

If you wanted a desk job, you wouldn't be a painter. The time you spend handling billing for all of your customers can severely limit the time you spend working and adding to your bottom line.

We can't change the necessity of doing paperwork. If it doesn't get done, you won't get paid. What we can do is help you spend the absolute minimum amount of time doing it, so you can get back to giving that wall a nice eggshell finish.

  1. Identify You and Your Customer's Name

    Your bid should prominently feature your business name and the name of your customer. In the "Your Name" text box, add your business title. It might be your personal name or a separate business name, depending on what title you do business under. Just make sure your customer will know it's you.

    In the "Customer Name" text box, add your customer's name. Once again, this can be a personal name if you're painting a house for an individual, or you might use a corporate name if you're doing touch-ups for a chain restaurant.

    The same rules apply for the "Your Address" and "Customer Address" fields. You can use personal or business addresses for both text boxes as needed. Under your address, you can provide the courtesy of your contact information. It's up to you if you want to add a phone number. Some customers appreciate it, but others might overuse it. If you do most of your business online, a physical address might not be necessary. In that case, an email address will suffice.

    Read over all of the information several times before sending your quote. Getting your customer's details wrong can make your business look unprofessional. Getting your details wrong can lead to confusion for your customer. If they don't recognize your company, they might even discard the bid.

  2. Feature an Attractive Logo

    An appealing logo can do wonders for brand recognition. Your logo grabs your customer's eye and lets them know you're a legitimate company. Skynova's bid template page conveniently lets you add your logo directly to your bid. First, you'll have to click "Show Customization Options" to reveal the "Logo" option. Click the box next to it. When you do, a text box will appear that says, "Your Logo Here." Click "Browse" and find your logo in your files.

    Remember that your logo should make your business appear professional. Images that have a low-quality resolution or are grainy can actually make your company appear amateurish. Only use images that are crisp and neat.

  3. Number Your Bid to Keep Track of It

    Keeping your bids organized will help you handle disagreements, legal issues, and other problems that might arise during a business cycle. A great way to keep track of your bids is to give each a bid number.

    You can give bids any number you'd like, but you should be able to quickly see the order of them. The easiest way to do this is to start with bid No. 1, move on to bid No. 2, and go forward from there. If you're a new business, you might be afraid that starting with No. 1 makes you look inexperienced. If this is a concern, its OK to start with a higher number like "Bid #501" and move up from there.

    Many customers who accept your bids will send back purchase orders (P.O.s), which are documents that state the amount they agree to pay for your service. Our template lets you quickly add a corresponding P.O. number to a bid. After clicking "Show Customizations Options," check the box next to "P.O. #" and add your number to the new text box.

    In response to a P.O., it's your responsibility to send back an invoice. Skynova gives its customers the option to immediately progress a bid into an invoice after it's accepted. If you've been making invoices from scratch, you'll be surprised how much time this feature will save you.

  4. Give Your Bid a Date

    Make sure each bid is dated properly. You can use the date you create the bid or the day you send it. Our template makes the process so fast that you'll most likely create and send a bid on the same day. Keeping your bids dated will help you decide when to reach out to potential customers and when to give up on possible jobs.

    If you've sent a bid and haven't heard back about a particularly lucrative painting project, you can try reaching out to see if there's anything you can do that might help secure a customer's business. If you still don't hear back after a reasonable amount of time, you can adjust your focus to more reliable jobs. There's no use saving space on your calendar for work that might not come to fruition.

  5. Consider What Materials You Should Charge For

    Depending on the scope of a paint job, there's an assortment of materials you might need. You might have to use items like stir sticks, rollers, or paint brushes. Some jobs might even require a different type of paint. For example, with interior painting, you might use matte enamel paint for walkways, which is less damage-prone than general matte paint. Consider what type of paint you'll need in your paint estimate. To prevent items from cutting into your profit, you should include the cost of them in your bid.

    Choose "Product" under the "Item" menu. Your "Description" should explain the material in a way that your customer can understand. For the example above, you might type something like "Matte enamel paint for durability."

    If your bid gets accepted, you might find that you need more or different materials to complete a job. It's always a good idea to run anything that could affect the price of your painting services by your customer before you proceed. You don't want them to be shocked by a higher bill than they expected.

    Skynova's bid template lets you adjust unit prices (the cost of each item) and quantities (the total number of an item). When you plug in the numbers, we'll add the total for you.

  6. Determine How You'll Charge for Labor

    Deciding on how you want to charge for labor can be tricky. On the one hand, if you charge by the hour, you'll definitely get adequately compensated for the amount of time you put in, but you'll have to closely monitor the clock. If you charge a fixed rate per project, you won't have to worry about keeping track of time, but you might make less money if a job takes longer than you thought it would. Skynova's bid template lets you add your projected labor cost to your bid.

    If you charge hourly, in the drop-down list under "Items," choose "Hours." Write a description for your labor like, "Sanding down primer labor." In the "Unit Price" field, list the price per hour for your labor. In "Quantity," list the number of hours you worked. The template will tally the total costs for you.

    If you charge a fixed project rate, choose "Service" in the "Item" list. Explain the project under "Description." The "Unit Price" is the total cost of the service, and the "Quantity" will be the number of projects you do on a particular job. You can charge for several parts of a painting job. Jobs like applying painter's tape, priming ceilings, and measuring how many square feet are in a wall can all be different items on your bid.

  7. Try Giving Customers Discounts

    People love getting discounts for services, and painting is no exception. You can add discounts for things like new business, loyal customers, and referrals. Unfortunately, your discounts won't do you any good unless your customer notices them. Skynova gives you the ability to clearly display discounts on a bid. Giving your customers a deal will let them know you appreciate them.

    To add a discount, select "Discount" from the "Item" drop-down list. Describe the discount as something like "New Customer Referral Discount" that the customer will recognize. Use "Unit Price" to enter the amount of the discount. You should see a negative number like "-100.00" in the amount field. The discount will be subtracted from the total automatically.

  8. Strategically Use Notes

    You might find that parts of your bid that make sense to you can be a bit confusing to a customer not familiar with the painting business. You can use our template's notes feature to sort anything out that you think might need context.

    For example, if you're doing exterior painting, there will be different costs for painting different materials. If part of a building is made of wood, and part is made of brick, you should write a note explaining the cost variance. Write something like, "Painting brick costs $1.50 more than wood per square foot."

    You can also use your notes section to show your appreciation for a customer's business. A personalized thank-you note can make your customer feel special and more likely to do business with you in the future.

Tips and Best Practices for Painting Bids

Now that you've seen how Skynova's painting bid template can aid your business, take a look at some of these tips that can further help you get paid for your services.

  • Have a Professional Website

    Before you can get started writing any kind of job estimate or painting contract, you'll need to get the attention of your customers. A professional website can list the services you offer, like commercial painting, industrial painting, exterior painting, or interior painting.

    Hire someone to put together a clean-looking website for your business and to do your marketing. You can do these jobs yourself, but a professional will have the experience to really increase your sales.

    A professional marketer will also know things like search engine optimization (SEO) and gaining backlinks to help your business page rank higher on search engines.

  • Learn Your Customer's Needs

    When you're making a bid proposal or general contractor proposal, you'll need to explain why your company is a better fit than your competitors. A proposal allows you to explain who your company is, the nature of your work, and give a timeline for a project. The more aware you are of what a customer needs, the better you'll be able to persuade them to use your services in your bid proposal.

    Skynova's proposal template is great for introducing your business to your customer. Just like our bid form, our proposal template is available online or as a free download.

  • Give Out Free Samples

    Customers may be able to get some idea of your paint colors online, but they'll get a better impression of them with physical samples. Not only do different paints have different looks, but they also have different textures. Bring samples of the types of paints you can use for a job. Explain how each would fit a customer's needs. The free samples will make it easier for a customer to decide what paint they like.

    Delivering free samples also gives you a chance to build a relationship with a prospective customer. Use the meeting to show your expertise and get a better idea of their concerns.

  • Get to Know Your State's Tax Laws

    In most states, painters only have to charge sales tax on the materials they use but not on their labor. Be sure to charge sales tax for things like painter's tape, brushes, rollers, and anything else you'll use for a project. Do some research and stay up to date with your state's laws regarding taxes.

Set Up Your Business for Success With Skynova

Working as a painting contractor is a physically demanding job for people who like to work with their hands, not people who want to be shut in an office. You prefer being out on the job to doing administration, whether you're painting drywall, wood, or brick.

Skynova can make time-consuming tasks like drafting a painting estimate form, bid proposal, or invoice document effortless. We have templates for everything you need that are customizable, printable, and free to download.

It doesn't matter if you need painting proposal templates, invoice templates, or quote templates; see what we can do for you. With the billing out of the way, you can focus on adding another coat to your income.

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