Interior House Painting Costs Guide

by | Dec 5, 2020

When it comes to painting your home’s interior, there are a number of factors that can affect the cost. Whether you’re moving into a new house or updating your interior with new paint colors, knowing the costs will help you make the right choice.

interior painting costs guide

From square footage to room ceiling height, we’ll cover the most important aspects of average interior painting costs. Improovy’s painting industry experts created this handy paint cost guide to help take the guesswork out of painting your place.

Should you DIY or hire a professional painter? By the end of this guide, you’ll be better equipped to make the smartest decision when it comes to your interior painting project. Not to mention, using our tips below might actually help you save some money!

Want to get a fast & easy painting quote? Get your free estimate online or over the phone with Improovy in 10 minutes!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint a House Interior?

The average cost to paint the interior of a home is $2.20 per square foot. If you include walls, trim, and ceilings the cost per square foot is $3.80. If repairs are needed before painting, you’ll likely pay more. This assumes you hire a professional painter to do the job versus doing it yourself.

In addition to home size, other major cost factors involve the height of your rooms, and ease of access. For example, painting interior stairways with higher ceilings or rooms with lofted ceilings can increase the price by 20% – 40%.

Cost to Paint Interiors By Square Footage

The costs per square foot to paint an interior home is determined by the size of the home. Moreover, the general layout of a house can make an impact on average pricing and room sizes.

Average interior painting costs chart square footage

Interior painting costs can fluctuate depending on factors like wall height, surface conditions, and ease of access. Walls taller than 10 feet can increase the cost per square foot by $1.50 – $2.60. While walls that extend 14 ft or more in height can add an extra $2.30 – $4.80 per square foot.

Last but not least, interior painting costs can vary across different regions in the United States as pricing is often determined by local labor and material rates. Accordingly, your total cost to paint can increase or decrease the cost by 40% in some cases.

The Cost of Painting The Interior Myself

If you choose to tackle the interior painting project yourself there are a few things to consider. The following breakdown should help you decide the costs of doing it yourself versus hiring a professional painter.

Calculating Interior Paint Material Cost

First, calculate the actual paint product cost. Assume that at least two coats of paint will be needed for adequate coverage with any color change.

Next, find the square footage of the surface to be painted by first measuring each wall in a room across. Now you can multiply the length of the surface by the height of the wall.

home interior painting cost measurements

After getting the total square footage, our experts recommend dividing by 350 to find how many gallons will be needed.

Now, in the likely case that two coats are needed, you’d take the number of gallons and multiply by 1.7 for the second coat. This is the industry standard for second coat coverage, which normally takes 30% less material than the first coat.

Cost of Paint Gallons

Next, multiply the number of paint gallons calculated above by the price per gallon of paint you want to use for the project.

If you choose a higher quality interior paint from Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore, expect to pay $50-$70 per gallon. If choosing lower grade paint for a big box store like Lowes or Home Depot, you can expect to pay $30-$45 per gallon.

A Quick Note:

Now, if you enjoy painting and have all of the supplies already, you can skip these next two steps entirely and get to painting!

To be frank, if that was the case you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. With this in mind, let’s dive into the cost of painting supplies, equipment, and your time.

Painting Supply and Equipment

Paint supplies like tape, masking paper, drop sheets, rollers, paint brushes, buckets, grids, plastic, test patch color samples add approximately 20% to the calculated paint gallon cost. Also, if you don’t have sanding pads, scrapers, drywall compound, or other prep materials, add another 10% to the above cost.

Lastly, if you do not have heavier equipment like ladders or extension poles, you should add $125 – $450 to the paint material costs above.

The Cost Of Your Time

Last, let’s round things out regarding DIY house painting costs by talking about the value of your time. It typically takes homeowners twice as much time as a professional painter to complete a project. Of course, this hinges entirely on the level of painting experience or skill you have.

In the same way, it’s wise to include the drive time spent picking up test patches, supplies, and paint. Certainly, all of these tasks add up over a weekend dedicated to painting the house. Before long, it’ll be Sunday night and you’re only halfway through the first room.

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Easier Jobs Cost Less

Okay, so you’ve come this far and are now understanding the costs involved when painting yourself vs finding a pro.

The good news? Some painting jobs can be done for less. To elaborate, empty space with easy access and little to no furniture can actually save you on costs.

Less furniture means less time spent moving and covering items in your rooms. Accordingly, this means a cost savings of a few hundred dollars per floor you choose to paint.

In the end, this allows for a lower-priced estimate from a professional crew to paint your house, apartment, or condo.

Extra Painting Cost Factors

There are a few other extra details that factor into your final interior painting cost including:

  • Higher quality paint products or designer paints increase your cost
  • Painting walls with a lot of doors and windows can decrease costs
  • Drastic color changes may require expensive extra coats for proper coverage
  • Adding an accent wall increases cost/complexity as well

Not to mention, paint job costs can differ based on various labor and material rates across different cities and states.

As an example, the hourly rate for a painter in Chicago is nearly 30% higher when compared to a smaller city like St. Louis.

Professional Painter Tip:

We recommend obtaining a written, detailed outline of the surface preparation process before you hire your next painter. Any good residential painting service worth considering should include detailed prep details in their estimate.

Paint Costs By Housing Type

Since we don’t all live in single-family homes, let’s talk about the costs to paint by type of residence.

Apartment Painting

Apartment painting projects normally have lower square footage totals compared to entire homes.

on average, painting an apartment can cost $950 – $3,400. Additional costs may arise based on your specific apartment building’s contractor requirements. This can affect the time of set up or moving supplies in and out of the unit.

apartment painting interior cost

Lastly, some larger apartment complexes require proof of insurance and workers comp to work in the building along with adding the association as “additionally insured”. It’s always a good idea to check if your building has any requirements or detailed work procedures before hiring a painting company.

Condo Painting

Painting condo units offer less complexity but are often larger than apartments. Added size and the prominence of higher ceilings and lofted areas can add to the cost of painting a condo. Correspondingly, the average cost to paint a condo unit is $1,400 – $4,800.

Moreover, a condo paint job can take longer depending on building procedures for interior work. Be sure to check with your condominium building guidelines to ensure a smooth start and finish to your next painting project.

Painting Common Areas In Buildings

When hiring a painting company to paint your condo or apartment building’s common areas, there’s a few things to consider. First, you typically need approval from your building’s board for the work and budget.

Next you have to coordinate access to certain areas including unlocking doors or entry access for a bit. Lastly, coordinating the work with your neighbors that share the stairwells and hallways of your building is always a great idea before the job begins.

Interior Paint Job Cost Savings

Did you know that the time of year you choose to paint the interior can have a drastic effect on the price of your job? If you want to save on paint costs, you may want to consider booking a time slot during the off-season.

This typically falls in the winter months of November-February each year when painting companies are less busy. Colder weather means fewer exterior painting jobs available for painters which results in more competitive price quotes for interior work.

Can You Paint Inside in the Winter?

Interior painting can be done year-round as long as the proper precautions are taken. Be sure to use low-VOC or No-VOC water-based paint products to reduce paint fumes. Furthermore, you can set up a box fan temporarily to air out a room quickly.

These tips can greatly reduce any issues with interior air quality during or after a painting project and can help you take advantage of the savings associated with off-season bookings.

Cost To Paint By Room

Considering the factors outlined above, the average cost of painting can also vary from room to room.

Whether you’re doing a few bedrooms or the entire first floor, the type of room being painted can determine what you can expect to pay.

Bedrooms

Painting bedrooms is one of the easier painting projects that you can do in your home. However, this can turn into a more extensive project depending on the layout and total size of the bedroom. Notwithstanding, the average price to paint a bedroom can range from $360 – $600.

It is worth mentioning that a master bedroom is typically larger-sized and costs more than a smaller guest bedroom. As a result, painting a master bedroom costs $480 – $940 on average.

Living Room

Living rooms are typically larger spaces that may or may not have higher wall heights. On average, painting living rooms cost more because they take longer to complete. In that case, you can expect to pay anywhere from $740 – $1,200 to paint a living room space.

Bathrooms

Painting a bathroom is one of the easiest painting tasks you can have done. Accordingly, surfaces in bathroom walls, ceilings, and trim are typically easier to access. Not to mention much of the paintable wall space is taken up by backsplashes, showers, and tiles in this room.

As you may imagine, this makes for a lower-cost job resulting in an average cost of $225 – $650 for bathrooms.

Kitchen Painting

Kitchens are typically on the easier spectrum of painting costs since much of the wall space is taken up by cabinets, appliances, and backsplashes.

  • You can add a section or paint an entire wall in your kitchen with chalkboard paint. Want to learn more about how it works? Read all about chalkboard paint in our latest article.

Accordingly, the average cost to paint a kitchen falls between $360 – $740. Indeed, the average cost to paint a kitchen is quite reasonable when compared to other rooms in a house, condo, or apartment.

Dining Room

Normally, dining rooms are small or medium-sized rooms with less furniture to move, making for an easier and cheaper painting job. You can expect to pay $380 – $675 to paint a dining room.

interior dining room paint cost prices

At times, a delicate armoire or bookcase can add complexity and cost to move or work around during a paint job. Likewise, make sure to communicate any delicate items in the dining room or around your home that can easily break before the job begins with the painting service you hire.

Stairwells and Stairways

Stairways can be tricky when it comes to painting costs. Most stairway paint jobs offer some level of complexity regarding ladder placement and restricted ease of access.

Furthermore, many stairwells have higher ceilings and extend into foyers, and have multiple landing areas.

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Stairway Painting Cost

Higher ceilings result in larger wall spaces to paint that are harder to reach because of staggered step surfaces. This results in a wider cost range of anywhere from $490 to $940 to paint the walls in a home’s stairway area.

Closets, Nooks, Or Pantries

Closets, pantries, and nooks are relatively easy to paint and do not add a ton of additional costs to a job. Don’t forget, larger walk-in closets can cost more to paint based on their size and amount of wall space not covered by shelving.

  • Painting closets can cost as little as $60 – $280 for smaller or medium-sized spaces.
  • The pricing for walk-in closets can be compared to bathrooms with similar sq ft dimensions
  • Costs can also vary if you add trim, ceilings, or additional preparation or repairs

As a rule of thumb, closets and nook areas are usually not included in painting quotes unless you request them specifically.

Hallways and Entryways

Normally, hallways are fairly basic when it comes to painting costs. Once in a while, they can offer challenges if they extend into loft rooms or entryways. Also, painters pay special attention to front entryways since they are often the highest traffic areas in a home.

This means more time which results in higher costs to paint depending on the room layout.

As a result, entry foyer painting costs differ by wide margins. They can range from $280 to $740 for more difficult entry foyer painting projects.

Cost To Paint By Interior Surfaces

Each particular painting surface is measured and priced differently.

As an example, walls are measured in square feet while interior trim is measured in linear feet.

In addition, the cost to paint doors is measured per unit or by a flat price per door multiplied by the number of doors.

To give you some more insight, let’s look into each painting surface type and the considerations when coming up with a cost for each.

Walls

The cost of painting interior walls is fairly straightforward as it’s largely determined by the total square footage of the surface area. The cost to paint interior walls is $1.50 – $3.00 per square foot.

Having said that, preparation work or repair work can increase the price if you want the job done right. Prep work like patching holes, repairing cracks in drywall, replacing warped corner tape, and caulking gaps take time. However, theses tasks are essential in achieving great quality finishes.

Ceilings

Not many people know this but adding ceilings to a job actually makes painting the walls slightly easier. Primarily, this has to do with those tricky paint lines in the corners of rooms.

Painting your ceilings in addition to your walls allows for straighter lines and is a lot more forgiving when performing touch-ups. This helps reduce extra costs that may arise from hard to reach ceiling spaces.

home painter ceiling cost to paint

Ceilings may require just as much prep as the walls depending on the situation. Water damage and fixing cracks in ceilings is often a costly necessity. The added cost is due to the difficulty of performing prep work like sanding, patching, and priming an overhead surface and safe ladder work.

Trim

Another surprising fact when it comes to painting costs is that adding trim painting to any wall or ceiling job can actually save you money.

Similar to adding ceilings, painting the trim makes for easier touch-ups and straighter lines where walls and trim meet. Painting the trim also allows for a full seal of any gaps or cracks that exist.

An Interior Painting Cost Hack

Painting trim allows for a more professional and cheaper way to paint vs doing the walls and trim separately. Trim painting costs are determined by measuring linear footage and is dependent on the amount of trim and the size of the room. The cost per linear foot is $1.05 – $2.60 to paint the trim in a house.

Doors

Painting interior doors properly is much tougher than most people think, especially if you want a professional finish. Interior doors are mostly painted in a higher gloss or semi-gloss finish which is less forgiving than the eggshell paint used for walls.

The cost to paint a door can range from $38 per side of simple doors to $134 per side for complicated multi-paned french doors.

Painting Costs Money So It Should Be Easy

No question, the average cost to paint your interior involves many factors and can vary between the type of home you have, surfaces being painted, and current surface conditions.

With this nifty guide from Improovy’s expert team, you’ll know you’re getting a fair price when deciding to hire a painting contractor.