How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Home Interior?

Living Room

National Average: $2,000

Most homeowners spent: $1,755 – $2,323

Costs Associated with Interior Painting:

  • Labor
  • Color consultation
  • Paint and primer
  • Brushes, rollers and trays
  • Drop cloths
  • Spackle, caulk and sand paper
  • Painters’ tape

Costs Depend on these Key Factors:

  • Size of space
  • Surfaces requiring paint
  • Walls, ceiling and trim materials
  • Condition of the walls, ceiling and trim
  • Height involved in painting walls, ceiling and trim
  • Color change
  • Number of colors and finishes
  • Quality of paint and supplies

Overview:

Interior painting is typically the quickest and easiest way to provide your home with a dramatic facelift. Best of all, it’s one of the cheapest and most cost-effective home renovations. The national average for interior painting of a whole home is $2,000. Nearly 85% of the cost associated with interior painting is taken up by labor, with the actual paint and supplies only comprising 15%.

Here are a few key items to consider:

Choosing a Color:

If you don’t think there is much cost involved in choosing the right colors for your interior painting project, think again.

Make sure you purchase samples and view the colors in different lighting to confirm that you will be satisfied with what you purchased for years to come. If you don’t like a color after it goes up, you will not only have to buy new paint, but you will also need to pay your painter extra to paint again.

Hiring a color consultant before painting several rooms or an entire house is a good investment to ensure you get it right the first time.

For future touch ups, you can save money by making sure your paint cans are sealed, properly stored and clearly labeled.

What to Paint:

Painting the walls in a room typically has the biggest impact, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the trim, windows, doors or ceiling. Adding a fresh coat of white to your trim, windows and doors is a great way to make a room feel crisp and clean.

While most homeowners choose white for their ceilings, you can create contrast and interest by choosing a color the complements your walls and room décor.

Size of Rooms:

The size of the space to be painted is an important consideration when budgeting for a painting project. Not only will a bigger space require more paint, but labor costs are also directly related with the size of the room.

Another consideration is the height of your ceiling. Standard ceiling height is 8 feet. If your ceiling height is above 8 feet, you painter may need to use a ladder or scaffolding to reach the upper areas. This adds more time to your project and increases material and labor costs. 

New Home Construction:

New homes are typically painted in what is commonly referred to as builder’s white. There are several cost-related reasons why most new construction homes are not sold with the custom colors and finishes we expect and are used to in existing homes.

When building a house, it is cheaper and faster for a builder to spray all walls, trim, ceilings, windows, doors, etc. with one color than to cut in multiple colors for each surface. Furthermore, a new home is prone to material shrinkage and settling that can cause nail pops and hairline cracks in the drywall.

Homeowners are typically advised to wait one year before painting with non-flat finishes and custom colors. 

Apartments: 

If you rent an apartment, be sure to check with your landlord on their painting policy before you go ahead and hire a painter to add some color to your space.

Some city governments and building management have certain licensing and insurance requirements for contractors doing work in apartment complexes. Furthermore, your landlord may require the space to be returned in the traditional antique white that most apartments maintain.

Removing Wallpaper: 

If your walls are covered in wallpaper and you’d like your room to be painted, be prepared to shell out more cash than you’d expect. Removing wallpaper can easily double the cost of a painting project.  And if removal is particularly difficult, your painter may need to perform significant and costly repairs. 

Lead Paint:

If your home was built before 1978, it’s possible that it contains lead paint, which is very harmful to health and requires special licensing and training to abate. According to the EPA, professional lead-based paint removal costs between $8 and $15 per square foot, with an average project cost of $10,000.

Quality of Paint:

Paint cost and quality vary greatly. Prices typically range from $23 per gallon on the low end to $55 on the high end. Quality varies based on ease of application, eco-friendliness, coverage, adherence, and durability.

Choosing a type of paint depends on your environment at home. If you have kids and your walls are prone to scuffing and marks, you should invest more in a paint that is durable and easy to clean. Also, if you expect to live in your home for many years to come, buying a higher-quality paint is a good investment.

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