Interior Painting Cost

How much does it cost to paint the whole house?

If you're tired of looking at the same old walls of your home, re-energize it by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Let's assume a typical single story home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, approximately 2300 sq.ft. The wall area varies according to the layout of the house.

This can cost you between $0.50 and $1.60 per sq.ft. of wall area. This cost assumes no trimming is required, and the walls are sufficiently prepared to be painted. While this is something that can be DIY-ed, it would save you a whole lot of time and trouble if you call in a professional for this scale of work.

Cost breakdown

Some of these steps are standard steps necessary for painting. The average costs and materials associated with this project include:

  • Clearing and protecting your house before you start any painting is necessary to ensure that you clean the walls to ensure that you don't paint over dirt, and your furnishings to not get any paint on them. Use drop cloths ($10 to $17 per piece) and painter's tapes ($5 to $7 per 60 yards) for protection. Push all furniture out of the way, or to the middle of the room.
  • Primer 1 - this is necessary to ensure that your wall receives better coverage, and the paint job more durable. Depending on the brand, primers 1 generally cost between $20 and $25 per gallon.
  • Paint - Depending on how many different colors you want for the house, you may end up with plenty of excess. Depending on the type and quality of paint, the cost will range between $25 and $50 per gallon depending on the brand of paint used. There are also many types of finishes (flat, semi-gloss or glossy) to choose from.
  • Supplies - you need the basic tools to start your paint job. These include brushes, rollers, trays. Depending on the quality of the materials (of course the better quality ones will cost more), it ranges between $20 and $35 for a complete set of supplies including spares, may be more depending on the complexity of the work.
  • Based on prior analysis done, the following are ranges for the different components in the house. These costs include material and labor:
  • With exception to the hallway, which includes doors, the cost of the different parts of the house range between $0.50 and $1.60 per sq.ft. This varies according to the needs of the room, for example, the type of paint required and the number of coats necessary. Also, using the bathroom as an example, the cost is higher despite the small area due to the size of the job.
  • Labor - An average rate for a painter is between $20 and $35 per hour. You may require between 3 to 5 people to paint the whole house depending on the complexity of the job, and it may take approximately 5 days or more depending on the extent. But most of the time, the company will charge a lump sum amount for the labor cost.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Depending on the condition of your existing walls, you may require additional work for the painters:
    • Wallpaper removal: $150 to $265 per room
    • Lead-safe preparation: $65 to $240 per room
    • Window sash/door: $50 to $100 per item
    • Trim/bases/frames: $75 to $200 per room
  • A typical interior door is 7' x 3' - this is 21 sq.ft. per side, approximately 50 sq.ft. for both sides and the thickness of the door. The cost of material (primer 1 and 2 coats of paint) for each door is between $12.28 and $24 per door. According to the Craftsman Book Company, adding doors to any wall paint job costs between $20 and $35 per door (inclusive of labor).
  • If the walls require trimming, adding trim to any wall paint job costs between $75 and $200 per room.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Warranty varies between 1 to 3 years, depending on the company.
  • It is recommended to buy a better quality paint to ensure durability and lesser amount of coats necessary.
  • A general rule of thumb is to estimate 300 to 400 sq.ft. of wall area for a gallon of paint. This is dependent on the quality and brand of paint used. The best quality products uses approximately 300 sq.ft. per gallon while the lower quality paint can go up to 400 sq.ft. per gallon. However, the lower quality paint may require 2 coats for for a better finish.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Primer: Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted

Cost to paint the whole house varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
Athens, GA
Atlanta, GA
Augusta, GA
Aurora, CO
Austin, TX
Bronx, NY
Brooklyn, NY
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Columbia, SC
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Dayton, OH
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Worth, TX
Fountain, CO
Fresno, CA
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Jamestown, ND
Jersey City, NJ
Knoxville, TN
Las Vegas, NV
Lexington, KY
Liberal, KS
Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Mesa, AZ
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Nashville, TN
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Oakland, CA
Omaha, NE
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Reno, NV
Richmond, TX
Sacramento, CA

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources