The average cost to paint the interior of a house or room is $1 to $3 per square foot. Painters charge $1,200 to $3,900 to paint the walls in a house interior, and the cost to paint a room is $350 to $850. Prices increase when including the ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Get free estimates from interior painters near you or view our cost guide below.
According to Craftsman National Estimator, "High time difficulty factors for surface preparation and painting. Painting takes longer when heights exceed 8' above the floor. Productivity is lower when an application requires a roller pole or wand on a spray gun or when work is done from a ladder or scaffold. When painting above 8', apply the following factors:
Prepping a house costs anywhere from $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot. This is almost always included in the total project price. However, the DIYer might negotiate some discounts for completing this work on their own. Be warned, proper prep is key to the quality and durability of the finish. If you do this work yourself, the contractor might no guarantee to finished product.
When determining the total cost of a home’s exterior project, you’ll want to include things like the trim, a garage, foundation, windows and doors. All work is calculated by square footage and sometimes by the linear foot, such as in the case of trim. Your contractor will give you a price for the entire project unless you specifically ask for each item separately.
The average cost to paint the interior of a house or room is $1 to $3 per square foot. Painters charge $1,200 to $3,900 to paint the walls in a house interior, and the cost to paint a room is $350 to $850. Prices increase when including the ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Get free estimates from interior painters near you or view our cost guide below.
Begin prepping your walls by removing any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Next, inspect your walls for any defects. If you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls, simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound. There are also a number of DIY tips to fill nail holes. Once your repairs dry, smooth them down with sandpaper and wipe the walls down with a damp sponge.
A gallon of paint costs $15 to $40 and covers about 350 square feet with one coat. Designer varieties can run over $100 per gallon. Your contractor pays 50 percent less than what it runs in a home improvement store. You’ll also need to spend another $20 to $100 on supplies like brushes, rollers, masking paper and plastic. A professional will have these items on-hand.

Supplies and Equipment – Scraping, sanding, and stripping tools and supplies; patching compound; power washer rental; primer; caulk; masking supplies; painters’ tape; ladders and scaffolding; paint pans; brushes, sprayers, and roller brushes all cost money, even if you do it yourself. Consider all of those tools and equipment sitting in your garage for the rest of your life vs. paying an experienced painter to do it all for you at a price that saves you weeks of time. Expect to pay $5–$6 per 100 sq. ft. for supplies and materials.
Another type of paint is on the market that claims to be a primer and paint in one. Basically, it’s just thicker paint and costs twice as much as regular paint. Most professional painters aren’t fans, but if you have exterior walls in excellent condition already, and the self-priming paint is the same color as the original paint color, it could certainly save painting time with one coat going on instead of two.

Remove any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Then scrutinize the walls for any defects. Simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound if you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls and trims. There are also tips and tricks for filling nail holes. Once done with the repair, smoothen the wall down with sandpaper and then wipe it with a damp sponge.
If you have kids, pets, or occupants who will damage the walls, it is recommended to go with washable matte, eggshell, or satin, because these paints can be easily cleaned and are more durable. However, flat paint can be touched up more easily and hides imperfections better, so if you are selling the home, it is highly recommended to go with flat. Bathrooms with showers/tubs should go in semigloss- unless you are selling or want a specific design look, then use satin. 
Choose the best quality paint you can afford; it lasts longer. Experts estimate that the outside of a house should be painted every 5-7 years, but less-expensive paint may start peeling or fading in 4 years or less while really high-quality paint will hold up a bit longer. Better Homes & Gardens[1] describes and compares the different types of exterior paint while FastFacts.com[2] reviews specific brands.
Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.
When painting a carpeted room, keep in mind that paint will soak through drop cloths. This is especially true of the cheaper, lightweight cloths. It helps to tape masking paper to all of the base boards before laying the drop cloths. Tuck the edges of the cloth under the paper--this will help keep it clean. You might want to invest in a hand-held masking machine--they make the job go much faster. Even after taking these precautions make sure to clean big drops or spills before they soak through and before you step on them!
Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.
The Cutters. Someone with meticulous attention to detail and a steady hand should be assigned the job of "cutting in," or painting a straight edge where needed, such as along a wall where the ceiling does not get painted. Many products are available to assist, but none work as well as a person who's good at doing it freehand. Ensure this person is skilled (ask them to show you). A poor, jagged, wavy or splotched cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it. Why more than one cutter? This job is nerve-wracking and painful to hands and arms after a few days. You'll want to give this person a break after a few walls.
Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000 to $14,000 for new siding and installation. Expect to pay more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work.
Basic labor to paint home with favorable site conditions. Prep up to 3 hr per 100 SF - clean, scrape, sand and patch up to 4 defects per 100 SF. Caulk gaps and spot prime. Roll / brush 2 coats of paint over lightly textured ceiling/walls. Paint up to 2 doors and door trim per room. Includes planning, equipment and material acquisition, area preparation and protection, setup and cleanup. 129 square feet $97.99 $132.56

While vinyl siding salespeople claim it never needs to be painted, it does lose its color strength over time, and the degree of fading can vary depending on which sides get the most exposure to sunlight. Perhaps it still hasn’t faded, but you don’t like the color much. You can’t go any darker than its current color, though, because the siding is designed to absorb only so much heat, and a darker color could cause it to buckle. Vinyl paint is available in many colors. Brush painting and roll painting vinyl siding costs $43 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $34 per 100 sq. ft.


If you are painting for a client, skip the paint in the bucket, and use large trays. For faster completion and still quality results the 5 gallon bucket and strainer work great as well as a wood filler, 5-in-1 tool, screw gun (drill), metal joint compound tray, metal putty knife, wide drywall knife, mini hand-held paint containers (for brushes), and a mini-roller and corresponding nap (for edging, after cutting in with brush on the bottom, top and sides of wall, and the sides of ceilings, so that you don't see brush lines).

Painting a brand new house with smooth surfaces dramatically reduces prep work. On the other hand, if you’re painting an old home with peeling walls or siding, it’s going to take a lot longer. When deciding whether to hire house painting professionals or do it yourself, take the current state of the paint into consideration. If you’re not up for the challenge of scraping and sanding for hours, you should hire help to get the best results.
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