hourly or per project painter toronto

Should you Pay a Painter by the Hour or Project?

When you are planning to hire a painter for your home painting project there are two possible ways to pay them.  You can pay by the hour or by the project. There are pros and cons to both of these ways. 

However, full disclosure, the painter usually has a set way that they charge. If that is the case you may not have a choice. But if you have chosen one way you are comfortable with then try to find a painter that fits that method.

1. By the Hour Pros and Cons

By the hour painters are actually more common in some areas. Often this can be for fairly quick projects, like touchups. Think of if you hired a handyman to patch and paint a wall, for example. Paying a painter hourly does have its advantages if the job is not that big. Such as:


  • Great for small jobs
  • May end up costing less
  • Most common way for project-based painters to charge


  • You may need to do most of the prep work to save money
  • You have no control over the cost and this can increase if the project timeline is longer than expected.
  • The painter might not be responsible for touch-ups

2. By the Project Pros and Cons

Hourly may be the most common way that painters charge but by the project is the way that leaves room for fewer surprises. This option gives you the most flexibility because your painter will think through not just time. Additional work such as repairs and touchups, that you might not have thought about are included.


  • Fewer surprises for the homeowner, price-wise
  • Everything is itemized which means you know exactly what you will pay for each part of the service.
  • Greater transparency in pricing without having to worry about how long a painter is taking to complete the job. 
  • Negotiable if the homeowner wants to do some of the prep work themselves or add in additional services. 
  • Less worry, as the painter is responsible for the entire project.


  • Any items not included in the original price that pops up during the job will be an additional cost.
  • Might not be worth it for smaller projects.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to update your home with a paint job is a big decision. Once you decide on your first painting project you will need to find a painter to help you with that. As one of Toronto’s best painting companies, send us an email if you have any questions.

The next thing you need to decide is how you want to pay: by the hour or by the project. While it is true that you may not get a choice if the painter you decide to do with has a preferred option, you may be able to request hourly or per project.

This will also guide your search since you will be looking for a painter that charges the way you prefer. What it really comes down to is your personal preference.