When it comes to painting interior rooms, professional painters can help prep walls, protect furniture and flooring, consult on color, and then paint walls, trim, doors, window frames, molding and ceilings as requested. Most pros can paint just one room or tackle multiple rooms in a home. The square footage of the room, ceiling height, complexity of the trim work, type of paint and special finishes requested all affect the total cost.
Type of paint
The grade of paint used affects the overall cost of an interior paint job. Celso Silva of CS Painting and Wallpaper in New York City explains that a gallon of interior paint can range from $30 for simple latex flat finish to $100 or more for name brands such as Farrow & Ball. One gallon might cover 250 to 400 square feet, depending on the texture of the wall (smooth walls need less paint) and the brand of paint.
As a rule, the larger the room to be painted, the higher the cost. Silva of CS Painting and Wallpaper says that in New York City, if clients want to use commercial grade paint, the cost per square foot can be as low as $1–$2 per square foot.
- The cost to paint two walls in an 8x12 room (with 8-foot ceilings) using entry-level paint costs approximately $200, which does not include painting the trim, doors or ceiling.
Size does not always dictate cost, though. Silva of CS Painting and Wallpaper says that a high-end client recently completed three rooms—living room, nursery and bedroom. Silva used Farrow & Ball paint at $100 per gallon, performed detailed work on the trim and applied wallpaper. The total cost was $11,000.
Doors and trim
The cost to paint doors and trim varies greatly and is usually based on paint quality and cost as well as on the level of detail in the work. Silva of CS Painting and Wallpaper says that in New York City an antique or specialty door requiring intricate detail and high-end paint can cost as much as $300 to paint. Here are a couple more examples of costs from CS Painting and Wallpaper:
Standard baseboards: $1–$1.50 per linear foot, to start
- Doors and window frames: $60 each to start; prices go up depending on the design and the paint
The cost to paint a ceiling is based on the square footage, height and texture. Textured ceilings require more paint. It also costs more to change the texture of a ceiling, such as removing "popcorn" texture. CS Painting and Wallpaper charges $1–$2 per square foot for basic ceiling painting using commercial grade paint.
Moving furniture out the way before the professional painters arrive is one way to save on painting costs. Bring the furniture to the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths or sheets, leaving the perimeter of the room is accessible to the painters. If the ceiling will also be painted, remove all of the furniture from the room. Some pro painters will move furniture, but the overall cost of the job will increase to cover that extra labor. Some painters, such as CS Painting and Wallpaper, increase the price per square foot to cover the additional labor, while other companies charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for moving furniture.
Wall repairs or other prep work must be addressed prior to painting. For example, drywall cracks need to be resurfaced, damaged trim needs to be replaced, sagging ceilings must be supported and so on. Many painters provide these repair services and charge by the hour for the work (plus the cost of materials such as new drywall). Others typically refer clients to a handy person or contractor depending on the work needed.
Geographic region affects the overall cost of interior painting. Prices are higher in areas such as New York City or San Francisco because the cost of living, employee wages, transportation costs and rents are all higher. The cost of doing business in these areas is more expensive than in rural or more affordable regions.