We are professional painting contractors who coach and train other professional painting contractors. Thousands of contractors around the country use the same standardized formulas for estimating the costs of interior painting. Estimating costs is a science, not an art.
Here you’ll find a base price for how much it costs to paint each room in a typical house. In the next section, we’ll review some of the factors that will change these prices up or down.
Important Notes: These costs vary based on the next section “What Changes the Cost of Your Interior Painting Project”
Important Notes: These prices vary a lot on costs due to detail work. Also note that bathroom ceilings should be painted with eggshell due to the moisture.
Important Notes: These prices vary significantly based on the amount of cabinetry, granite, and tile is in the kitchen. Some kitchens have very little painted surface.
Important Notes: Painting a living room is similar to painting a bedroom. Nothing special to note here.
Important Notes: These prices vary dramatically based on all of the factors listed in the next section. The larger the job, the more the costs will vary.
The colors you choose can change the price of your project in 2 ways.
First, certain colors will require more coats. If you are covering a dark color with a much lighter color, it may require extra coats which takes more time and more paint. Talk with your painting contractor about what colors will require an additional coat and get a firm price up front. Test samples can help determine if the chosen color will require more coats.
Your color selection can also change the price based on the color scheme. For example, adding an accent wall to a room will increase the price of that room. Cutting lines and preparation (taping and masking) is the most time consuming part of interior painting. Adding an accent wall means adding more line cutting, taping, or masking. The more colors added to a room, the more it will change the price.
The base prices above include walls, trim and ceiling. But those base prices neglect doors, closets and shelving. Doors are around $50 per door. Closets vary based on size. Shelving is around $10-$25 per shelf depending on the size of shelves.
If the shelves are a different color from the wall, this will further increase the price because of all the cutting and detail work it requires.
We’ve mentioned detail work a few times and mostly refers to cutting lines. Once the lines and edges are cut in, rolling paint in the main part of the wall goes very quickly. Most of the time is getting those lines and edges cut in so that they look good and straight.
More trim is more cutting lines. More colors is more cutting lines. Bathrooms are a great example of a lot of detail work. Working around the toilet, the mirror, the tile, the shower or tub, etc… This all requires time consuming detail work. Even though there isn’t a lot of wall space in the bathroom, you won’t see a lower price because of the detail work.
Knicks, dents, nail holes, or even complete holes that need to be drywalled will add to the scope of work and the price. Be sure to hire a painting contractor who has experience fixing any of these issues. A poorly patched or retextured wall sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s worth the extra money to pay someone to fix this properly.
Vaulted ceilings or even 10-12’ ceilings will cost more than 8’ ceilings. The higher the ceiling, the more you can expect to pay. Vaulted ceilings often require scaffolding to safely paint. This can add $500-$600 for the cost of scaffolding rentals, set up, and take down.
If you have stained or finished wood in your home (usually railings or trim) this will be more costly. Finished wood needs to be prepared properly. This usually includes sanding to rough up the wood, a primer coat, and then the top coat. This significantly increases the price of your job.
Many contractors avoid popcorn ceilings altogether. Removal of popcorn ceilings is in the $1,000-$2,000 range, and sometimes more. Often times there is additional drywall work to be done once the popcorn ceiling is removed.
If you opt to NOT remove it, it’s more time consuming to paint because of the intense texture.
The EPA has put strict regulations on dealing with lead-based paint in the last few years. If these guidelines are not followed, contractors are liable for tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
It’s not easy work following these guidelines. A home with lead-based paint will cost about 3x as much as a home with no lead-based paint.
Check with your painting contractor about the rules and regulations. Depending on the prep work required and condition of the home, some of these guidelines can be avoided (it’s not dangerous) and will not increase the price of the job.
If you do hire someone, be sure they are lead-certified.
Check out some examples of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and floor plans and the ballpark prices you can expect to pay. Remember, these are base prices and will vary based on other factors.
Bathroom Paint Cost Examples
Living Room Paint Cost Examples
Kitchen Paint Cost Examples
Bedroom paint Cost Examples
Firrst, you need to select your brand of paint and what specific product you’ll be using.
The top selected paints to use for interior painting were:
Next, you’ll need to know what Sheen or Gloss to use when painting each room. Higher gloss or sheen will be more reflective and show more imperfections. But higher gloss is also easier to clean.
Walls: Use Eggshell for walls. It has more gloss than flat, so it’ll be easier to clean. But it doesn’t have so much gloss that it is shiny or shows imperfections in the walls.
Trim & Doors: Use Semi-Gloss for trim and doors. Trim and doors get touched the most and get dirty easier than any other part of your home. They need to be cleaned more frequently. Semi-gloss will make it easier to clean.
Ceiling: Use Flat for ceilings. Ceilings are never touched and rarely get dirty so you don’t need the glossy finish for easy cleaning. It’s also important that you don’t have gloss on your ceilings because of how much more reflective it will be and change lighting in a room.
**Bathroom Ceilings: Use Eggshell in bathrooms for the ceiling because of the moisture.
Every interior is different. Because of all the factors that change the price, this article can only get you a ballpark price on what to expect your project to cost.
There are 2 ways to get a more accurate estimate of your total interior painting project cost.
#1 - Get estimates from multiple painting contractors. Compare their estimates. It’s not always best to go with the cheapest estimate. Compare prices, professionalism, online reviews, and how much you trust them to deliver a great job.
#2 - Download our estimating guides. We’ve trained thousands of painting contractors how to estimate properly. Click here to download our free estimating guides for interior and exterior painting.
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