Interior painting cost guide

Repainting a home is frequently called a facelift for the house. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your home interior a new appearance and a pleasant feeling of a new beginning. Even though it seems easy to cover the walls with a new color, frequently homeowners face the problem of choosing the right primer or the most long-standing type of paint. For this reason, cooperation with a crew of professional painters can simplify the process and guarantee the positive qualitative result.

Here you will learn about:

Interior painting is a kind of home renovation or remodeling project that involves repainting the house from the inside. The projects are divided into walls-only and walls-ceiling-trim kinds. The former cost lower due to the fewer materials required. The average interior painting cost is $920-$2,180 for a complete room makeover, while the top end price goes up to $4,300 for a complete interior repainting.

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Pricing system for interior painting projects

Interior painting cost can be broken into labor cost and materials cost if a company is charging separately for these two project aspects. However, many painters calculate the cost of the project in total which includes both labor and materials. Some will provide you a per-foot cost, while others will name an estimated total cost for a room. Here are the numbers for each of these aspects.

Labor cost

The average interior painting cost for labor only is $20-$35/hour. According to statistics, most homeowners require 3-5 people to complete the job. Keep in mind that more people don’t mean faster completion of the painting because the layers still require drying time.

Charge per square foot

It’s uncommon for the industry to charge per-square-foot for residential interior painting. However, commercial projects are frequently calculated by the square footage of a room due to non-standard sizes. The average cost equals $1.50-$3.50/square foot for bare walls painting only. For works involving painting of the ceilings, walls, and trim the cost goes up to $3-$4/square foot.

Charging methods

Interior painting projects can be divided into wall painting only and into walls, ceiling/floors, and trim painting. The latter cost will be higher for the obvious reasons. Here are the tentative prices for every project type

Walls only

  • Small living room $320-$680
  • Large living room $700-$1,600
  • Small bedroom $200-$380
  • Large bedroom $490-$1,000
  • Bathroom $170-$430
  • Kitchen $280-$650

Walls, сeilings, and trim

  • Small living room $640-$1,100
  • Large living room $1,400-$2,000
  • Small bedroom $390-$720
  • Large bedroom $640-$1,800
  • Bathroom $270-$540
  • Kitchen $360-$1,370

Besides that, the height of the ceiling also has an impact on the cost of the interior painting project. On average, every foot over 8-foot height adds about 25% to the room painting cost.

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Cost-related questions

How much does the paint cost?

The average paint cost is $30-$60/gallon. Besides the price, you need to also consider the type of finish you will have. There are flat, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes available. Flat finishes are advised for areas requiring frequent cleaning, such as kitchens. Semi-gloss finishes are a bit shiny, yet still can be easily cleaned; they’re best for corridors. High-gloss finishes are better for low-traffic areas like living-rooms and bedrooms.

Besides the paint, almost every project requires a primer. It helps a new paint stand out against the underlayer (especially if a new shade is lighter than the old one). The primer costs about $7-$15/can, and you will need no less than two cans for a single wall coverage.

What extra charges may apply?

  • Drywall repair. You can repair the drywall prior to hiring painters with these tips or leave it to the experts. The cost of drywall repair is around $25-$50/hour. If you have extensive damage, it takes about 4-16 hours for such repairs.
  • Wallpaper removal. The overall cost of wallpaper removal depends a lot on the scope of the work required. The average cost is $2-$10/hour for labor plus $75-$260 for materials and instruments.
  • Furniture moving. Many painters don’t include furniture moving into the services cost and will charge an additional $60-$130/room for furniture moving.
  • Accent walls. Accent wall has a different design from the rest of the room. As such a wall will require a different color and maybe even texture, it usually requires additional fees. The price begins at $80/wall.
  • Detail work. If you need the painters to deal not only with the room but with some minor details as well, you will have to pay extra. For example, baseboard and trim cost $0.5/linear foot, door painting about $20-$35, door jambs $15 in total. Such costs may vary in different companies, so ensure to discuss it prior to signing a contract.
  • Primer. Primer is required to ensure that the paint is applied in more even layers and that the project will be more durable. You can expect to pay $20-$25/gallon.

Can I paint my home without help?

Yes, you can. If you have some experience in painting then a DIY interior painting project won’t take much of your time. Of course, you will need to purchase the required equipment and the materials. As a rule, a DIY interior painting project costs about $200-$300. Here is a couple of steps to help you complete the painting faster and on time:

  1. Choose a color. Neutral and earth tones can help cover up any scratches and marks.
  2. Buy supplies. In terms of supplies, you will need paint, paint primer, rollers, trim and sash brushes, tape to protect trim and ceilings, drop cloth for floors and furniture protection, paint tray, ladder (or a steady chair).
  3. Prepare the room. Remove any furniture to protect it from drips. Clean the walls with a water and detergent mixture. Remove outlet covers and turn off electricity in the room in order to avoid an accidental shock.
  4. Outline. Use painter's tape to avoid drips over baseboards, trim and edging.
  5. Paint. Apply the first layer and let it dry. Then apply the second one. Once the second layer is dry, touch baseboards and ceiling trim if needed.

Other frequently asked questions

How much paint do I need?

The rule of thumb says that a gallon of paint is enough to paint 300-400 square feet of wall area. Better quality paint can cover about 300 square feet while a lower quality will work for up to 400 square feet. While the lower quality seems to win the equality, keep in mind that you will need more than two layers of low-quality paint to get the color you want.

How long does the painting take?

The length of any painting varies a lot and depends on the room size, number of layers, complexity of painting, decorative additions, etc. If you have a high-quality paint which will do the work with a single layer, then painting will last only through the weekend. Larger projects with more than one room to repaint usually take up to a week of time, while the whole-house repainting may take up to two weeks.

Bottom line

Interior painting projects are one of the most common home improvements the homeowners perform. They are an easy and fast fix to give a home a new appearance. The average interior painting cost lies in $920-$2,180 price range, while a complete home repainting may cost closer to $4,300.

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