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Trim Painting Cost

Trim Painting Cost

National average
$800 - $1,500
(painting with oil-based paint 500 linear feet of trim in a 1,500 sq.ft. home, incluiding prep work, sanding and caulking)
Low: $500

(labor, pimer and latex paint)

High: $3,000

(extensive prep work, elaborate and hard to reach trim)

Cost to paint trim varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from painters in your city.

The average cost of painting trim is $500 - $1,000​.

In this guide

Trim Painting Cost Per Linear Foot
Cost to Paint Exterior Trim
Cost to Paint Interior Trim
Cost to Paint Trim by Material
Labor Costs to Paint Trim
Trim Painting Prep Work
Primer for Trim
How to Choose Paint for Trim
How to Choose a Paint Finish for Trim
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Trim?

Painting the trim (crown molding 1 and casements) on your home provides an instant facelift. You can revive an older home’s appearance. Also, trim can update the space giving it a more modern or visually appealing appearance. You can instantly brighten a dark room with a fresh coat of paint on the trim.

The average cost to paint trim ranges from $800-$1,500, with the average homeowner spending around $900 to paint 500 linear feet of trim in a 1,500 sq.ft. house.

Trim Painting Cost

Trim painting costs
National average cost$900
Average range$800 - $1,500
Minimum cost$500
Maximum cost$3,000


Trim Painting Cost Per Linear Foot

The cost to paint the interior or exterior home is calculated in linear feet. Typically, the entire price includes paint, prep work, and labor. The cost ranges from $1-$6 per linear foot for labor and materials:


Trim painting cost per linear foot

Trim painting cost per linear foot


Trim linear feetCost
100 linear feet$100-$600
500 linear feet$500-$3,000
1,000 linear feet$1,000-$6,000
1,500 linear feet$1,500-$9,000


Cost to Paint Exterior Trim

Exterior painting is slightly different from interior trim painting. Inside a home, the trim includes crown molding and casements. However, exterior trim painting can include the trim from windows, doors, shutters, dormers, gables, downspouts, fascia, eaves 2, and soffit 3.

Exterior trimCost (on the first or second floor)
Window$1-$6 per linear foot
Door$1-$6 per linear foot
Shutters$1-$6 per linear foot
Dormers$3-6 per linear foot
Gables$6-$7 per linear foot
Downspouts$6-$7 per linear foot
Fascia$6-$7 per linear foot
Eaves$6-$7 per linear foot
Soffit$6-$7 per linear foot


Average Cost to Paint Window Trim

The average cost to paint interior or exterior trims is $1-$6 per linear foot. The cost varies depending on the window’s location, shape, and size. A second or third-floor window tends to cost more to paint then a first-floor window. In addition, an interior window with elaborate casing will cost more than a basic trim.

Cost to Paint Door Trim

Painting door trim ranges from $1-$6 for interior or exterior. The price ranges considerably due to the size of the door such as a double door. Also, the size and intricacies of the trim have an impact on the price. You may also want to have the door painted to match the trim. The average cost to paint a door is $125-$150./p> Cost to Paint Fascia

Painting fascia typically involves the use of a ladder. Usually, it is carried out by a professional with a paint roller, brush, or paint sprayer. The average cost ranges from $6-$7 per linear foot.

Eaves Painting Cost

A painter undertakes the job of painting eaves in much the same fashion as the fascia. The area will be taped off and a roller, brush, or paint sprayer used. A ladder is also implemented which averages $6-$7 per linear foot.

Cost to Paint Soffit

Soffit painting involves taping off the areas that are not to be painted and other areas such as vegetation covered by drop clothes. A ladder or paint scaffold 4 is used to reach the hard-to-reach area. A paintbrush, sprayer, or brush is used to paint the soffit. The average cost ranges from $6-$7 per linear foot.

Cost to Paint Interior Trim

Painting interior trim usually averages about the same price but certain areas might require greater intricacy or time which increases the cost per linear foot. The price of the material used in the trim can also dictate whether the cost is higher or lower. The more intricate the trim, the more it will cost to paint.

Trim materialCost (including labor and materials)
Crown molding$1-$6 per linear foot for labor and materials
Baseboard$1-$4 per linear foot for labor and materials
Casing trim$1-$4 per linear foot for labor and materials
Picture rail molding$1-$6 per linear foot for labor and materials
Chair rail molding$1-$6 per linear foot for labor and materials
Wall frame molding$1-$6 per linear foot for labor and materials


Cost to Paint Custom Trim Molding

When painting crown molding, if the ceiling is high such as 10-12 feet, then the cost to paint the crown molding is at the higher end. The average cost is $1-$6 per linear foot.

Cost to Paint a Baseboard

Baseboard involves a painter getting down low on their hands and knees to paint the often hard to reach area. The price averages $1-$4 per linear foot.

Cost to Paint Door Casing

Door casing prices range from $1-$4 per linear foot depending on the intricacies of the casing, if it is a single or double door and also how the height of the door.

Cost to Paint Trim by Material

There are three common types of trim materials: aluminum, vinyl 5, and wood. Wood is the most standard type of trim but other types are also used, especially as exterior trim. Each type of trim requires its own unique paint.

MaterialType of paintCost per linear foot
WoodAcrylic or latex$1-$6
AluminumAcrylic or latex formulated for use on metal$3-$6
VinylAcrylic (preferably a paint that contains a fungicide since vinyl often develops mold or fungus)$3-$6


Labor Costs to Paint Trim

A professional painter has the skill, knowledge, and equipment to provide a truly finished look to any paint job. A single painter will charge around $50 per hour depending on the area. Metropolitan areas tend to be more expensive than in rural regions. Most painters charge to paint trim using a straight linear foot fee which averages $1-$6 per linear foot which includes labor and materials so it's important to get a by-the-job price.


Professional painter painting the trim of a house


Trim Painting Prep Work

Exterior and interior trim prep work is the same and does not usually cost extra for a single story. The painter will check for any cracks or splits in the trim. If there are any blemishes, they use a wood filler to smooth out the cracks prior to painting. They will caulk any gaps between the trim and the wall to create a smooth transition after painting. Scrape or sand 6 away any existing paint on the trim that might show flaking to create a smooth surface. Tape off the trim using painters tape so you don’t accidentally get any paint on the wall. Use a primer to ensure that past paint or the wood grain does not bleed through the newly painted surface. Paint the surface. In most cases, the painter will need to apply two coats of paint to create a blemish-free surface. Whether you are painting the home’s interior or exterior trim yourself or having a professional perform the task, the process is the same.

Primer for Trim

Primer 7 creates a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. It helps prevent the old blemishes or imperfections from showing through the paint. An oil-based primer is used with oil-based paint and is ideal for unfinished or bare wood because it seals in the wood’s pores prior to painting and stops wood tannins from bleeding through. Latex primers work best when used with latex paint. They are fast drying and also prevent blemishes from appearing beneath the paint. Shellac primers is great when used with either oil or latex-based paint. They are great for blocking out stains or other imperfections prior to painting.

How to Choose Paint for Trim

You have options when it comes to choosing paint for interior or exterior trim. Some types are better suited for interior and others are for the exterior. In high traffic areas, oil-based paint often holds up better. However, most people appreciate the appearance and finish of a latex-based paint. Acrylic latex lasts well when used for exterior applications.

Paint typeUseCost
Oil-basedInterior or exterior$20-$70gallon
LatexInterior or exterior$10-$70 per gallon
Stir oil-basedInterior or exterior$40-$80 per gallon
Water-basedInterior$10-$70 per gallon
Acrylic latexExterior$20-$90 per gallon


How to Choose a Paint Finish for Trim

You can choose from several finishes when picking paint. Each one has its positives and, in many cases, it centers around personal taste. Some people simply like the look of high gloss or flat paint.

TypeUseCost
Flat paintInterior$10-$45 per gallon
MatteInterior$10-$45 per gallon
EggshellInterior or exterior$40-$60 per gallon
SatinInterior or exterior$40-$60 per gallon
Semi-glossInterior or exterior$40-$80 per gallon
GlossInterior or exterior$40-$90 per gallon


Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Window Caulking Cost

You’ll need to have the windows caulked before painting because the old caulk is scraped and removed prior to adding a fresh coat of paint. Caulk 8 is a form of weatherstripping. Handymen charge $153 for the labor to caulk one window. The price of a tube of caulk averages about $10 per tube.

Lead Paint Test and Removal in Pre-1978 Homes

Older homes often have lead 9 paint which must go through lead abatement prior to painting the trim in the home. Lead paint removal in a 1500 sq.ft. house averages $8,000-$15,000. If you want to have the lead paint removed on windows then the fee averages $4-$10 per sq.ft. for encapsulation or enclosure. If you want removal or chemical stripping then the price averages $10-$17 per sq.ft.

Siding Painting Cost

If you decide to have the exterior of your home’s siding painted then the cost averages $1,800-$2,500.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Depending on where you live, you might need a permit to paint the exterior of your home. There is no permit required for painting the interior house trim. Permits average $200-$500 depending on location and scope.
  • If you are buying a home then you might want to have the place inspected by a home inspector to make sure the trim and other parts of the home are in good condition. A home inspector charges $500-$700.
  • Depending on where you live and how far your home is from their location, your painter may charge you a travel fee. This can be up to $50 in some instances, depending on time and distance.
  • Painting a home’s trim can be a DIY project. You will need to prep the area prior to painting and then take great care while painting the surfaces to give a professional appearance when the paint dries.

FAQ

  • How do you prepare trim for painting?

Any old paint should be sanded smooth or peeled away. Remove old caulking. Fill in any gaps using new caulking. Imperfections or cracks in the wood should be filled using wood putty. Use a primer to prevent tannins from bleeding through on unfinished wood or other imperfections and blemishes from marring the paint.

  • What is the best paint finish for trim?

Oil-based paint is tough and easy to keep clean. However, latex or acrylic latex is easy to use and looks good.

  • Should I paint my wood trim?

Yes, you can paint your wood trim but be sure to use a primer to prevent the wood’s tannins from bleeding through the paint.

  • How do you calculate trim for painting?

You measure the linear footage to determine the cost.

  • How much does it cost to paint stained trim?

It will cost $1-$6 per linear foot.

  • How long does it take to paint trim?

It will take 30 to 60 minutes to paint 15 linear feet of trim. The average project has 500 linear feet, it would take 2-4 days to paint it.

  • How much do painters charge per linear foot?

Painters charge from $1-$6 per linear foot.

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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.
glossary term picture Crown Molding 1 Crown molding: A decorative finish that adds interest to the area where the top of a window meets the wall, or lines the area where the wall meets the ceiling
2 Eaves: The edge of a roof that connects with the wall of the building. Usually this part of the roof comes out further than the wall
glossary term picture Soffit 3 Soffit: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Scaffolding 4 Scaffold: A temporary structure used during construction/maintenance/painting projects to raise and support workers (or one worker), required materials, and equipment
glossary term picture Vinyl 5 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Sanding 6 Sand: Process of removing the top surface of a material, such as wood, using sandpaper and/or a specialized sanding machine (for large surface areas)
glossary term picture Primer 7 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
glossary term picture Caulking 8 Caulk: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
glossary term picture Lead 9 Lead: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications

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

Painter painting the trim of an exterior window using white paint

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alameda, CA
+35%
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, ME
-24%
Aurora, IL
+21%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Burlington, NJ
+30%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Corona, CA
+19%
Dallas, GA
-19%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Davenport, IA
-4%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Fairmont, MN
-21%
Fletcher, NC
-21%
Florence, SC
-14%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Glendale, AZ
-2%
Grayslake, IL
+36%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Herriman, UT
-23%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Cruces, NM
-43%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Leesburg, VA
+10%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mauldin, SC
-12%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Labor cost in your zip code
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