How to Estimate the Cost of a Painting Job

Painting Estimate


Estimating the cost of painting is a complex task. There are many factors that need to be considered, including the size of the space, surface condition, type of paint required, etc.

Typically, a painting contractor can approximate the cost of your project based on similar projects he has done in the past. However, this method is not very consistent and may not be fair to you as a homeowner or the painting contractor. Fortunately, Homespree offers simple forms that enable you to get 3 instant bids from quality local contractors for your next painting project.

As you review these estimates, or evaluate the costs when you perform the work yourself, here are some considerations to keep in mind.


Assess the scope of the project carefully to determine exactly what’s involved. For example, if the surface involves painting from a ladder or scaffold system, the painting price will rise. If the painting surface could contain hazardous materials, the price will also be greater. Other situations that could also result in a higher painting price include:

  • Large obstructions
  • Wallpaper removal
  • Surface imperfections


Before applying any paint or primer to the surface, the surface will need to be prepared properly. The preparation required depends on the condition of the surfaces that need paint. Prep can also include clearing the space for work. An easy way to save some money when performing the work professionally is to remove the furniture in the room before your painter arrives. The overall price to paint must include all tasks performed to prepare for and clean up after painting.


If you choose not to hire a professional, the cost of materials not only includes the price of paint and primer, but also items necessary for application. These can include the following.

  • Paint scraper or power washer
  • Drop cloths
  • Industrial vacuum cleaner
  • Drywall compound
  • Caulk
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • TSP
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Paint brushes
  • Ladder
  • Scaffolding


Most people paint their rooms to give it a fresh new look. To do so, however, you’ll need to look beyond just painting the walls. Consider also the trim, ceiling, doors, and built-ins. Obviously the more surfaces that require paint, the higher the cost, but applying a consistent and fresh look to all surfaces can really make your space pop.

Whether you proceed with a do-it-yourself painting project or you decide to hire a professional, make sure you understand the associated costs to ensure your project stays within budget.

How Often Should You Paint Your Home’s Exterior?

Exterior Painting

Aside from changing color trends, painting the exterior of your home is truly an issue of protecting your home from water damage. Water can cause wood to rot and metal to rust. Preventing these issues from occurring is well worth the investment in a new paint job. However, your exterior is composed of many different surfaces that have their own unique requirements.


Wood windows should be repainted every 5 years. If cost is a factor, and you’re not changing the color, you can often get away with just repainting the sills. Generally speaking, if bare wood is showing or the paint is cracking, it should be re-caulked and re-coated. You can start with an oil-based primer for superior adhesion and top coat with a semi-gloss latex paint.


Wood siding should be repainted every 8-10 years. Siding tends to show fading and wear well before deterioration becomes a maintenance issue. If your siding is in good shape and reasonably well-sealed, 2 coats of an acrylic paint or stain is more than sufficient. If there are cracks or blistering in the siding, sand down to bare wood, repair with wood filler, prime and then paint.


Decks done in a solid stain should last 5 years.  Transparent or semi-transparent stains typically last 1 – 3 years.  When re-coating, first pressure wash the existing surface, sand down any rough or flaking spots and re-coat with a new top layer of stain.


For stucco siding, stick to using a semi-elastomeric paint.  It’s not crucial but it’s found to be more durable over the long run.  A regular acrylic is sufficient, but typically won’t be as durable.  Once painted, stucco should last as long if not longer than its wood counterparts.

Which Colors Help Sell Homes?

Selling Your Home

All Homeowners hope to sell their homes quickly, but recently, it has been a buyer’s market. Give your self a leg up from the competition by staging your home properly. To ensure you rope in buyers, make sure that the paint in your home is fresh and the colors are appealing to a wide audience.

Exterior Paint Colors 

Curb appeal can help capture buyers as they pass by your home. Ensure that your house catches their attention in a positive way by choosing the right exterior paint color.

In choosing a color, it’s best to take a look around the neighborhood to see if there are any color trends present. While you want to stand out, think of going for a similar color as your neighbors, but just one shade lighter or darker. Owning a green house amongst a sea of beige homes doesn’t draw the attention you or prospective homeowners seek.

A few other things to keep in mind when choosing an exterior paint color are as follows:

  • Take into consideration other existing colors and features on your home exterior (e.g., stonework, bricks, roof, fixtures, etc.)
  • Complement your landscape
  • Choose a color that’s right for your home style (e.g., some Victorian homes can take on color to bring out their numerous woodwork details, while most Colonial homes stick with a simple white pallete.)

Interior Paint Colors

While you may enjoy bold colors, such as deep reds and blues, not every prospective homebuyer will have the same taste. It’s often best to attempt to please the masses by choosing a neutral, warm paint scheme or a crisp and cool color pallete for the majority of the home’s main living area.

If you’d like to add a bit more interest to make your space memorable to buyers, consider adding it in the following rooms. 


Most wall space in kitchens is taken up by cabinetry, leaving very little area for wall paint. However, since most of a family’s time is spent in the kitchen, it’s necessary to give a bright and joyful look. Consider light greens, yellows, or beiges.


A bedroom is a retreat from the stresses of everyday life. You’ll want to convey this mood in the room’s paint color. Think about using relaxing colors such as earth tones, or cool grey colors.


Bathrooms are typically smaller spaces, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick with white to make the space seem larger. Often you can use subtle tones of greens, blues, and yellows to add interest without making the space feel closed-in.

Overall, the colors in your home should give buyers a sense of calmness and comfort. It’s generally a good idea to go with lighter shades of color so that homeowners won’t need to apply a primer or several coats of new paint to hide what’s existing.