Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Grant Barnard


Average Cost Of Interior Painting

Interior painting costs varies between different painters. While some painters are more expensive due to a higher overhead, others are just simply higher priced just because. Some interior painters have lower costs due to efficiency and/or quality planning and good ‘ol “penny pinching”. While the lowest cost interior room painting isn’t always the best value, the highest price isn’t always the best either. For those in need of Indianapolis area interior painters, contact Grants Painting. Grants Painting is the best Indianapolis painter. 

Grants Painting, 5508 Elmwood Avenue Suite #320, Indianapoolis, IN, 46203, United States (US) - Phone: (317) 800-4540 Email: URL:

Per Room and Square Foot Interior Paint Pricing

Square Foot Cost Of Interior Room Painting

Some interior painters will either charge by the sq. ft. of the area to be painted. Even if the painting contractor delivers a flat rate, they may have still used square footage as a factor to arriving at that number. Also you must assume that larger jobs will usually have a less per square foot price for interior painting. Likewise smaller jobs may run into a minimum charge.

Ceiling And Wall Painting With Same Color “Blow and Go”

This would be for a home to be sprayed with no floor coverings or other things to cover. This only happens in total remodel with nobody living in the home.

  • 1.50 per sq. ft. (Floor Space) – Lowest interior painting costs that you should accept.
  • 2.25 per sq. ft. – Acceptable mid range.
  • 3.50 per sq. ft. – High price for most areas.

Ceiling Painting Without Wall Painting

This is a difficult task to not get any paint on the walls or trim while painting just a ceiling. The price can range as there is much less brush work.

  • .75 per sq. ft. – Low acceptable even with cheaper product.
  • 1.50 per sq. ft. – Fair pricing for quality workmanship and materials.
  • 2.50 per sq. ft. – Higher acceptable painting for difficult ceilings and in higher priced areas of the country.

Walls Only Average Interior Painting Cost

Painting walls only with no previous damage and no serious color changes and assuming a “normal” room with no more than 6 corners. This assumes a mid grade paint that is included at contractors choice. Higher grade paints will add costs as the painting contractor will usually get a paint that they get often and get a good price on themselves.

      • 3.00 per sq. ft.(Floor Space) – Lowest interior painting costs that you should accept.
      • 4.00 per sq. ft. – Acceptable mid range
      • 5.00 per sq. ft. – High price for most areas

Per Room Interior Painting Costs (Walls Only)

Large Living Room  – $700- $1600

Small Living Room – $320 – $680 Kitchen – $280 – $650 Small Bedroom – $200 – $380 Large Bedroom – $490 – $1000 Bathroom – $175 – $425

Per Room Painting Interior Costs (Walls, Ceilings and Trim)

Large Living Room – $1400- $2000

Small Living Room – $640 – $1100

Kitchen – $375 – $1350

Small Bedroom – $390 – $720

Large Bedroom – $640 – $1800

Bathroom – $265 – $535

Possible Extra Charges

      • Drywall Repair – Drywall Repair is generally billed out around $25 – $50 an hour. Homes with a fair amount of reasonable damage could take an additional 4-16 hours for best results.
      • Wall Paper Removal – Wall paper removal can vary extremely depending on type and condition. Many times wall paper removal can double the cost of your interior painting
      • Furniture Moving – Furniture moving will greatly increase the price of painting. Expect to pay at least $60 per room for furniture moving.
      • Accent Walls – Accent walls can cost more or less depending on area, color and whether or not the color is used in another part of the house. Expect to pay at least $80 for the smallest accent wall.

Hey Readers! In response to our many questions from growing painters, I wrote an article that will help much better than a magic number. Its about how to do a quote for painting and construction trades.

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About the Author

Grant Barnard started painting in 2000 and started Grants Painting in 2008. Originally doing business in northern Indiana, the business was moved to Indianapolis and Greenwood shortly after. Today the Grants Painting has blossomed into a reputable painting contracting company with an ever growing extensive website including our How To DIY Articles. Grants Painting covers all aspects of coatings and specialized in epoxy flooring, interior painting, exterior painting and cabinet painting.

  • JCo

    Does the painter supply the paint at these interior paint costs?

  • Yes JCo. The costs are “Out The Door”

    • GEL

      What is the breakdown on that price?
      $XX per sq ft for materials?
      $xx per sq ft for labor?

      • GEL. There really is no breakdown. These prices were formed from a compilation of other painting contractors and data from other reputable sources.

        That being said… These prices are figured on the highest quality materials and then applied by experienced painters that are at the top of their trade and not untrained paint helpers. Prices also vary greatly by location too, probably more than you would think. We aimed for median more than the actual average.

    • Anonymous

      Does the price include washing walls or priming first.

  • Orlando

    Hi I was wondering when you bid by sqft do you include two coats with the sqft cost or you charge per coat.

  • Kevin

    It says square feet is that just the room size or is that all four walls measured out???

    • Kevin. Its always figured on floor sq ft. At least in my experiences.

      • Chad

        Wall square footage is the correct charge.floor sqft is the doward spiral for painters.

        • Well like all methods of bidding, its all about your final price in comparison to the competition. Really its best to know your costs, then cover them with profit and padding to boot. If you sell a quality interior painting job, you better be the interior painters that everybody wants! Not knowing your true costs and not being able to innovate to make more profit IS the true downward spiral.(Or a good hard lesson in pricing) Folks you can bid how you want. The best way is to figure it by hourly if you actually know how long it will take. That is after all how we pay our interior painters – by the hour. Trick is… Knowing actually how long it will take. Everything else is merely a good guide.

  • “Some interior painters will either charge by the sq. ft. of are to be painted.” <- This might be confusing to some people.

    If 1 gallon of XYZ paint covers 350-400 sqft of wall space, I don't understand why sqft of floor space would be used for an estimate instead of wall space? Floor space sqft doesn't tell you how many walls are in a house, nor does it take into consideration ceiling height. How do you know how much paint??

    • Anony, Thanks for the spell checking service!
      Part of the reason is that by the time you figure wall sq footage throughout an entire house you could have painted two of the rooms. There are also room by room pricing listed on this article if that is what you prefer. More or less its a guide. If your price is higher and its a complicated house… common sense says “Right On”. If its an open concept house and you are higher… you may be the high one! 🙂

  • Pat

    Recently I bid on a 2400 soft house heating and cooling space I bid 4 dollars a sqft I furnished the paint well I feel like with that bid I didn’t get anything for the exterior or the garage the materials cost around 3500 there was so much cabinets and trim doors needles to say I lost my ass I spent 2 weeks more working for free to get the job finished I don’t think other painting contractors are honest about the going rates even the builders won’t tell you what the true going rate is I think you just have to figure it out yourself

    • Pat. You got it. Its pretty much a crap shoot till you learn the lessons the hard way.

  • Gino

    What if the walls are 40 feet high ?

    • What are you smoking Gino? How high are You?
      Interior painting…

  • fredd32

    I am not the author but have been a painter for 16 years. The costs reflected above are for a finished product. How many coats it takes to achieve an acceptable finish is irrelevant. (Some reds may take several coats to look right). If you pay someone to paint for you it is the painters responsibility to determine how many coats it will take to complete the job before quoting you a price. As a rule two coats is minimum unless painting over the same color or a very, very similar color.

    • Well put Fred! I may insert your comment into the post in order to clarify for the masses. With credit due of course.

    • W.Beeman

      Would this range be for paint and labor?

      • Steve

        W.Beeman that should be for labor only !! Because what if you wanted Latex Epoxy on your walls ? @ 60.00 per gallion .

    • damon

      Absolutely right fredd. I never put less than two coats no matter what. If it takes four coats, then the other two are on me. I quote customers finished walls.

      • Thanks Damon. Using paint that covers well helps a bunch too. Some painters try to use crap paint on a custom job, then the customer chooses a custom color and the painter is lost.

    • Martin

      I agree however I haven’t heard from anyone here regarding the 2 coats along with a primer. I charge $1.50 (most times) for 2 coats over primer coat. So tech this is 3 coats. Because you right some reds do require a lot more than the more opaque colors.
      I paint 99% commercial most of the time,.. however I am an old school residential painter, time served from London.and learned many times in the old days you can never price a job solely on Sq Ft. Every job is different.

  • Alan Wakefield

    In doing rehabs the last 25 years, I have sub-contracted all the trades. The one most difficult is painting. Typically the first question I ask a prospective contractor is “How long have you been doing…..?” (whatever his trade). 15 years is the absolute minimum experience I look for. And that is not always a guarantee. I have dealt with painters (and others) with 30 plus years experience and I would not hire them a second time. With painting I now do ALL my own painting. One of the phrases I hate to hear, “Flat covers imperfections.” Drives me crazy! Fix the imperfections!! I have never found a painter who properly prepped, they paint over everything! Flat does not hide nails! You say the number of coats is irrelevant. I call the second coat “The Magic Coat!” I can be talking to a painter, I stop for an instant, turn around, and POOF, the second coat is DONE, like magic. Apparently the cost of that second coat IS NOT irrelevant. I was charged labor AND material for that second coat I did not get. So to say it is irrelevant to me or the contractor does not make sense. Even painting over a similar color you really need that second coat to get that rich finish and you have to charge for it. If a third coat is required I would “eat” that. I have turned down jobs because a prospect just wanted a quick one-coat cover-up. I told them they would have to hire someone else. Anyway, to get a good prep and a really good paint job, my son and I do it ourselves. Apparently people notice because even people who are not painters have commented on the quality of our paint jobs not knowing we had done the work. Other painters have also commented on the quality of the finished work. Liked many contractors we do the whole job, not just painting. We sub out what we can after checking out the contractors by looking at their other work. Over the years we have found ONLY two contractors we use over and over, one is our window and door installer, the other is our carpet cleaner. When I first went to check other installs of our window/door installer, I never left his own street, he had done almost all his neighbors. The other guys I checked had me running everywhere to see their jobs. Our carpet man took over his father’s business that is nearly 60 years old, He has saved our investors thousands by saving carpets that appeared unsalvageable. He saved carpets he did not think he could save. I said I would pay him for the test even if the carpet would not clean up. Of course there were times he was right when the pet smell or stains would not come out, and the carpet had to be replaced. To me and our customers, either way, it was always worth the gamble because most times it saved hundreds and often much more.
    In reading your comment again, I think you are right. It is the painter’s responsibility and his quote SHOULD cover the finished job, regardless of the coats, to achieve the result the painter is proud of.

    • fredd32

      My meaning was to say that how many coats are applied should be irrelevant to the person paying for the job. A true professional will have taken all aspects into consideration before quoting a price. It is not hard to tell someone you are a painter, take their money and try get away with the bare minimum. I have no doubt there are people out there who do that. People will lie cheat and steal in any aspect of life. But you asked how many coats were included in the pricing above. My answer is still the same, the pricing above is for a professional finished product, number of coats is irrelevant as it applies to the pricing above. If you hire a professional you do not need to count coats or pay extra for more coats. I agree with you that painting is the hardest field to find good people. Having been a union painter and foreman for many years I have run in to many people who claim to be painters and are not. The problem is you do not need a lot of money for tools to pretend to be a painter. Easy and cheap to try and fake it. There is nothing wrong with putting a fresh single coat over the same color. Fix imperfections, spot prime all patches and discolored areas and then paint. As a rule two coats minimum. But to say there are never any circumstances that one coat can’t be used is incorrect. Also, if the painter pricing the job takes into account that it will be a single coat over same color, the price will reflect that i.e. lower end of the scale above.

      • Steve

        Well said fredd

      • ShawnaK

        Yes, well said Fredd! I own a painting company and I do say in my bids “up to two coats” to protect myself from a disaster job that won’t cover and takes 5 coats, but honestly, we just always want the finished product to be beautiful no matter what, we would never leave it any other way. You are so right about there being so many people out there who call themselves painters and give unrealistic quotes to people. It’s so frustrating to me because I work so hard at running a good business and always being a professional and with that comes a lot of extra time and expenses.

    • Paul Longacre Jr.

      where are you. I would so love to work for you.

    • Jackie Conti

      I absolutely agree 2 coats minimum and if it needs more so be it! If my name is on the paint job it will look perfect no matter how many hours I go over my quote! Always take pride in what you do and always paint as if it were your own home!

    • Naomi Hynan

      this is our pet peeve when coming in to do repaints after these sloppy people come in. Just take the time to do it right.

  • Steve

    WOW Alan you really know it all Magic coat hahahaaha….. So much you didnt even really read fredd32 post!!!!! nice job fredd!

    and i have been painting for 30 years NON UNION !!!! would never hire a union painter ..

    • don

      sorry Steve, but you wouldn’t make it as an union painter. You non union guys want to look back and admire every brush stoke to do. One union painter can do more work than 4 non union painters. That’s why we get paid more. Don’t be such a hater

      • Grants Painting

        We’ve actually seen opposite results than that. I personally don’t think that people or companies hire union painters to save money. They either hire union painters out of loyalty or most of the time because they are left with no options due to a threat or another company/person having some other threat(usually financial cutting of throats) placed on them by a union or a unions back room dealings with another company/person.

  • jonathan

    so would you be charging per coat ?say if you were re-painting 3,000 sq ft of wall at $1.50 a sq ft would you be charging $9,000 ? and there was minor patching to be done

    • Grants Painting

      Jonathan. You have not read the entire article with comments which is what you need to do to become fully informed. Of course 9k sounds absurd right?

    • Bert Matos


  • Gibs712

    Hi Grant, do those numbers cited above as quote examples include materials or just labor/time?

  • Tom

    what would be the cost of doing a garage 24×24 inside walls and ceiling?

  • Katie Poon

    Thank you for the prices. They were helpful! A+!

  • dan

    How much a sub contractor makes per square foot in painting new home in sub division in the gta

  • Eve Goldberg

    Hi Grant, my question is: If you’re estimating how much time you will need to tell your client this job is going to take, of course you need to factor in the drying time between coats of paint-so how much drying time gets factored in to the final “time quote?”

  • Marcus west

    As a painter in mobile, al. It is so good to hear that people still have integrity about there work. And l hope learn from your post. I try my best to do the best job I can be cause I enjoy doing what I do. And for people notice and compliment my work is very satisfying. I’m not a contractor but I’m a painter at a local hospital for 16yrs.

    • Grant Barnard

      Nothing better than hearing that you’ve done a better than expected job!

  • Angela Jacobs

    I am glad for this article. My husband has begun a remodeling business, and some how I end up doing the painting. He said I did good on our own home, so he assumes I can do this. I do quite enjoy it. I need to not listen too much to him when he says the manufacturer says only one coat. He is a perfectionist, and so am I when it Co. Especially to doing a good job. Is there any advice I can get?
    Lol this lady we are doing work for used to go and inspect for quality control on jobs like this. She likes his work. She seems to be happy with the work I am doing now. She found a couple of spots for me to touch up. Which is okay, she is pleased with my work so far though.
    For good walls, and empty house how long should it take to paint a 2000 square foot house, 1 color for kitchen, hall and laundry, 1color for dining and living room, 1 for bedroom 1, 1 for bed room 2, 1 for master bed and one more for the master bath? She also wants me to tape everything. Is there a masking tape dispenser? Thank you all for your input.

    • Grant Barnard

      OK. For starters you should bid almost every job for two coats or be ready to pay for the second coat yourself. When the customer asks for an estimate they want one to finish the job, not done half way. Most jobs always need two coats to be truly smooth and even. Try Glidden Duo or Pittsburgh Ultra. The Pittsburgh is sometimes on sale at Menards and then there’s the 11% rebate thing too.
      Take your time on the ceiling line and tape off the bottom trim after you dust it off. Use white 3m tape if you can get it back off in 24hrs.
      Never sigh, the paint slightly curdles every time a painter sigh’s. True stuff
      Thanks for being a reader! Keep at it. That’s my best advise. 🙂

      • Angela Jacobs

        Thank you. From now on I will be going with my husband on bids. That way I do not get the short end of the stick plus make sure I get everything I need in one shopping triptrip. Lol.

      • Miigwin Siigwin

        Awesome advice man, thank you for the feedback…

  • Thelma Correa Burgett

    I have a painting business n just got offer to paint for a builder. Can u tell how to bid or what price should I charge? I know is different . Please help

    • Grant Barnard

      That can depend on if its the Walmart of builders or the trendy fresh foods type of builder. Know what I mean?

      • Thelma Correa Burgett

        Is for new houses

      • Ray Nix

        Grant the actual floor sq. footage of a place I am working on in Tennesse is 2,100. But it has a lot of offices. The actual linear ft. of wall and baseboard is 635ft, and walls are 8’10” high. What do you charge to paint the walls per the actual sq.ft. of the walls. And what do you charge per linear ft. to paint the 5.5’high baseboard. Thanks in advance.

        • Joe Buckalew

          Grant hasn’t replied to anything in a while Ray. In general, my company in Ohio charges 30 cents per sq. ft. of wall space without subtracting for windows and doors due to the time it takes to trim around them. 50 cents/ft of baseboard. Then add materials and setup/cleanup costs.

          • Grants Painting

            Thanks for filling in Joe. Super busy! 🙂

          • Ray Nix

            Grant when you get time can you respond to my above questions, I would appreciate it, just want to know what you say versus Joe. With Joes pricing I wouldn’t be making much money on this job that I did already if I subded it out at those prices. I did it working for someone by the hour, but I wanted to know how much money I saved them, but according to Joes numbers I didn’t save them anything versus getting paid $17 an hour. I have done a lot of painting through the years, been in construction for 38 years, done painting, carpentry, framing, cabinets and a little drywall.

          • Grant Barnard

            Go by your speed and costs. Then you’ll never get into a job that you cant do because they guy that can do it will win based on prices. Let the money fall where it falls, you just gotta make money and not loose money. Then you CAN do a better job with better tools because your making money to do that with. Dont worry about how your prices stack up against the competition because it really doesn’t matter too much. Make money at what you can, then use money to improve business, then do better job, then sell the fact that you do a better job to customer. Its really that easy.

          • Joe Buckalew

            Great comment Grant. Once you know how long it takes to do a job, charge what you need to charge to make your daily price point. There should be no concern for what anyone else might quote them. You know you do a good job and you know how much you need to make. If you bid a job for less, you are cheating yourself and from my experience, you don’t want to work for the ones who are only looking for the cheapest bid….they are the most trouble. If you are a good painter and do a good job for a fair price, the market will come to you. If you are making a career of it, most all of your business will come from referrals and repeat customers who won’t even ask for others to bid the job….because they know you are giving them a fair price for a good job.

          • Ray Nix

            Thanks Grant.

          • Joe Buckalew

            Good on ya….that time of year. Hope your as busy during the cold months as well.

          • Ray Nix

            Thanks a lot Joe, that seems cheap on the baseboard, it took me 3 days to put one heavy coat on on 635′ of 5.5′ base.

          • Joe Buckalew

            charge for base also depends on if it is being cut in or not. Were you only painting the base…then that would be more. The cost for base I gave was assuming the walls were being done as well….that makes the cut in easier. slop the baseboard and then cut in the walls.

          • Joe Buckalew

            No problem Ray. I just figured the speed you stated at about 25ft/hour which would mean 2 hours to paint the baseboard on a 12 x 12 bedroom. It’s important to know your speed because you know what you need to make per hour (day) and base your estimate on that. My estimate (.50 per foot for labor) would be based on the 12 x 12 room taking less time. I work backwards from my hourly rate to get the estimate right. The guys I have working for me are slower (but neat), but I use the same pricing for the overall. This still works out because I pay them a lower rate than I take.

          • Grant Barnard

            I do it the same way! LOL. So easy that way. Except I do have one guy that I might have to admit is ever slightly faster at cutting in…

          • Ray Nix

            Joe I figured your .30c per sq.ft of wall space and with 632lf of wall space at. 8.8ft high comes to 5,561sq.ft x .30c is only $1,668. The actual floor sq. ft. of the building is 2080 sq. ft. but it has a lot of walls. So your numbers broken down to floor sq. footage would only be .80c a sq. Also, are you figuring any sanding or patching dents. If you painted a room 12′ x 12′ with 8′ high walls you would only get $115 figuring .30c

          • Joe Buckalew

            .30 per is for perfect conditions and does not include materials, setup, travel, cleanup. That is what we charge for labor.

          • Ray Nix

            Thanks for your help Joe. All I know is I must spend a little more time on things. I would consider my job top notch. Comparing it to what I went over it is a 10 from 1-10. 10 being the best. Never saw so many buggars and roller lines in walls.

          • Joe Buckalew

            Outstanding. Quality will always win in the long run!

          • Grant Barnard

            Ray, You inspired me. Read my newest article. LOL. It was truly inspired by you! How To Do A Quote For Painting & Construction – Estimating Made Easy

          • Ray Nix

            Well I am glad I inspired you Grant. I read your article, a lot of good points, not to find fault but to help you, re read the Conclusions section and in the 3rd sentence I think you need to delete the word “at” for it to read right.

          • Mike Schroder

            I just charge 50¢ for two coats walls, casings and baseboards, and then extra for The windows sashes and doors. I add 25¢ for crown and chair rail. Then I cross check by the gallon. If I apply three gallons of a 30$ gallon of paint and the prep was minimal I multiply 30×3×4. Four is the multiplier for minimal prep and difficulty. Seven is for the most extensive prep or highest difficulty. I’ve never had a high bid or made under 20 an hour aside from expenses.

        • Ray. I never go by sq ft on anything. Used to and it screwed me a few times. I do this… Quote it by how many hours it should take a quality painter to do the job that the customer expects(based on my read of the customer and my qualification questions). Then I quote a flat line bid, but based on hours. I only keep the record of hours and use that for setting expectations with the customer for a timeline and expectations for the employees on how long I expect the job to be completed in. Then I adjust based on three things. How the employees complain about one type of job over another, How the market responds to my bid prices over a long period of time, and of course profitability based on my active role in the job and company resources that are disposed to complete the job. If you go by your expenses then you wont loose money and that just makes you able to do a better job because you’re never scraping by or rushing to make up for a bad deal.

  • John

    What constitutes a small bedroom versus a large bedroom? A large living versus a small etc? Also the per SF rule….. Does that consider windows, fireplaces, cabinets? Also what do you think of one coat paints on like colored walls?

    • Grant Barnard

      John, its really hard to answer some of those questions as they just come with experience.

  • Donsld

    I been painting for 18 years now and have used about every paint supplier out there. The one product I liked most was Duron ,but Sherwin Williams bought them out. My second would be MAB ( Making America Beautiful ) third would be Sherwin Williams. When I bid my jobs I would charge hourly then add materials . Every job is different and might be more involved then others. Bottom line is as long as you explane how many man hours it takes from prep to finish you can never go wrong or lose money and make money.

  • Rick Williams

    Hi Grant
    I just finished painting the top floor of a motel. 18 rooms and bathrooms, hallway. Motel owner supplied all the paint and supplies. Working by myself I put in approx. 165 hours. A one coat Approx. 10,525 sq.ft. of wall not including 9 ceilings completed. I was pushed hard to complete for carpet installation. So I charged him $9,000.00. Most rooms were 1 coat with a few rooms due to damage were sometimes 2 or 3 to look good. The owner was not happy with the cost. When you say 1.50 per sq.ft.or more are you including paint and supplies. I retired from my job after 37 years in the Natural gas business and now I paint to stay active. Could you please give some advice.
    Thank you

    • Sorry Rick. I’m not really in the business of doing other peoples quotes. The article really is quite informative on its own.

    • Bert Matos

      Yes Including everything, supplies and paint, 10525×1.50= 15787.50, but I would not done it for less than $2 sqft. 10525×2.00=$21050.00

  • Joe Buckalew

    When painting walls and estimating the cost per square foot (this may be a dumb question) are you referring to the square footage of the room or how many square feet of wall space? ie would a 12 X 12 bedroom that is 8 ft tall be based on 144 sq ft (12 x 12) or 384 sq ft (12×8 for each wall). If based on 384, do you then subtract the area of the doors and windows? Thanks

  • Jack Jordan

    If you truly get $2.25 per square foot of floor space, I’m moving to Indiana. National average is $1.00 – $1.25 for traditional homes.

    • Jack.
      The costs are relative to the scope of the work. Are you painting a box that is 2000 sq ft or are you painting 2000 sq ft of hallway? There is even a big difference between a square room and a room with very dynamic architecture.

      BTW You are welcome to move to Indianapolis but I warn… You have to get through a lot of corn to get to the city!

    • Ronaldus_Maximus

      You should move. One color new construction painting goes for $1.50 psf in Columbia MO. Repaints or custom painting runs $2.00 and up.
      And, I don’t know where you got your number, but Angie’s List isn’t a good indicator.

      • Jack Jordan

        I’m not talking about new construction. I’m talking about repaints. 2 coats to all walls with 9′ ceilings or less translates into .85 cents to $1.25 per square foot. Closets excluded

      • Allen

        I’m trying to figure out what to charge for 60 motel rooms one color

  • Joe Buckalew

    I’m making $35/hour at $0.42/sq foot of 2-coat interior wall if there is no trim. I can’t imagine getting many jobs (or feeling good about ones I did get) bidding at $1.00/sq. ft. At $1.50/sq. ft. I’d be making over $100/hour after material/travel were taken into consideration. Wouldn’t feel right to walk away with $1,000 for a single day’s work.

    • Dominique Roberge

      Why not! If people are willing to pay for it then its all good! Do you see any doctor, lawyer, engineering and high end consultant feeling bad for charging 400$ an hour? No they bang that juicy 3-4k a day and they never look back! It don’t matter they went to university, your time is just as precious as theirs so take as much money for it as you can!

      • Joe Buckalew

        We don’t do business that way. We don’t take as much of their money as we can. In fact, if the job is completed in less time than estimated, we bill a lower amount than the original estimate.

        • Grant Barnard

          I do that for the elderly on a fixed income for sure. However every other time I just give the painters a bonus for doing a quality job quickly. Assuming of course the job was done properly and not only rushed.

  • Andrea

    Also, will you be moving furniture, covering stuff? That will take more time for labor part.

  • Katie Reikies

    Is there any case in which you would charge someone $12,000 for a paint job? My elderly friend was recently charged that amount for an apartment of 1600 square feet.

    • Joe Buckalew

      sure, prices can run that high for the exterior of a large multiple story victorian home that needed a lot of prep work, but for the job you are talking about under normal conditions, she was charged at least $10,000 more than my company would have charged.

  • Grants Painting

    Its ALL relative. The smallest bedroom in a mansion has bookshelf built-ins to cut around and very nice furniture to protect not to mention the higher standards in workmanship, materials and overall execution. For a square simple apartment style room with not the utmost exceptions and little furniture to move… sure 450 is too high.

    • Joe Buckalew

      yep….All relative. Our estimates have 17 variables for interior and 13 for exterior. Prices can easily change by a factor of 3. A small room may be $100 or could be $300 or more for the same size. It’s not as simple as “how much is a 12 x 12 room?”

      • Brendon S.

        If you don’t mind me asking what would the 17 and 13 variables be?

        • Joe Buckalew

          off hand…..type of paint (latex/oil), number of colors, powerwash, sq ft body, trim-total length, condition of windows, condition of body, condition of trim, cost of paint, travel time, clean up time, cost of paint, number of coats, type of home/storys (difficulty). misc (usually disposable equipment or rental fee)

  • Grant Barnard

    All contractors and homeowners need to keep in mind that a job is quoted to finish not to do part of it. I encourage everybody to read the featured comment above by fred32

  • Lin

    Cost of labor to paint ceiling only of a 24×60

    • Joe Buckalew

      $360 if one coat
      $576 if two coats

  • William Stephens

    I’m trying to figure up a cost to paint the interior walls and ceiling of a gym that is 5600 sq.ft. and the walls are 16 ft. tall. how much do you think i should charge per square foot?

    • Joe Buckalew

      Dang! Interested in seeing the replies. Are you bidding the job or taking bids and wondering what would be appropriate?

  • Sarah

    Do you charge extra for For a Victorian house with a full waynes cot surround with oil base and 3 colors. Or is that still about $3 a square? There is also 12′ -16′ ceilings. It’s a 5200 square foot home.

    • Joe Buckalew


  • Sharmaine

    I need some help on not under bidding myself!!!! ok its an old historic single story house in Mobile Alabama. 2500sqft, 12ft ceilings, has small minor wall flaws through out the whole house. With it being old EVERYTHING (closets, trim, crown, doors, 6 pane windows scraped and puttied, etc) has to be touched basically 3-5 times per item in whole house (patching/sanding/caulk removal, caulking, priming, painting…you know the steps) This is definitely not the house i want to cut my own throat on and be kicking myself in a$$ for not charging more, but then again i dont wanna charge more than i should cause im a very reasonable! ANYWAYS.. my question is what would you charge a sq ft with this amount of work needing to be done.

  • Jessica Pannell

    My boyfriend and I got a job painting motel rooms ,we just dont know how much we should charge our boss…the rooms are 490 square feet.. thanks for your help ….:)

    • James Clark

      500$ a room

    • Joe Buckalew

      Agree with James…right around $500 incl. materials for walls and ceiling. Maybe add in a volume discount….depending on how many rooms.

      • Grant Barnard

        12 ft ceilings, old Victorian damaged walls. I might have to say eeehhh on the volume discount.

        • Joe Buckalew

          Sounds like the Bates Motel

          • Grant Barnard

            Mommy. Are you there? Will you paint this house?

  • Danielle Gray

    We had two painters come to our home to paint some of our downstairs. A total of 24 hours was spent between two painters. They normally charge $18-20/hour. Do i pay the individual painters each that amount or all together for the job?

    Let me just add that one is a family member and my father helped with some of the painting as well.

    • Joe Buckalew

      Ask them how they would like to do it. If you are paying cash rather than by check, get an invoice from them so you can keep for your records and deduct that, along with any other costs for improvements or upkeep, from any profit make if you sell so you don’t pay as much in taxes.

  • Randy Blackburn

    Grant do you have any idea what a good painter should quote for new units with wall prime and 2 coats per Sq ft in BC, Canada?

  • Lora Johnson

    The above price of $3-5per sq foot number seems high. I do a lot of flips and $2 per sq foot is the most I’ve ever paid, that included standard paint, all one color.

    • Grant Barnard

      Good call Lora. Flip homes should be about $2 and nobody should really pay too much more. However put those same painters on a $50,000 floor in a million dollar home and arm them with a ladder and a paint pot… Make sure they cover the very expensive piano… Oh and make sure they don’t say the “R” in FOYER for gods sake! pfft. Might be a hard one…

      • Lora Johnson

        Did I offend you? I honestly can’t tell. I live in Carmel and when I had my house painted they did drip on my Floors, haha. Luckily it came off with a steam mop but I was pretty ticked (my floors aren’t 50k floors though) my piano was fine 😉

        • Grant Barnard

          No you didn’t offend me at all! I’m actually really glad that somebody is putting real world experiences on here WITHOUT basically asking me to do their quote for them.
          However I still had to take a poke at the “maintenance” painters. LOL.

          Also, its really cool to see some local homeowners getting to my blog pages instead of just the commercial pages.

  • Great to know these estimation average cost of interior painting. love this article!

  • Conner Tinkler

    Great article! Do these prices include all of the materials?

  • Rhonda Issleb

    Thank you! Great site

  • slhartzog

    Hi – Great article and very informative! Question, though… are interior doors generally included in a quote for “walls & trim” or must doors be a specified add-on?

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