Couple with paint swatches

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House?

Holly Shuffett9-Minute Read
July 05, 2022

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A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference when maintaining your home or making a new home feel more like your own, but exactly how much does an interior paint job cost? Let’s explore what your options are when it comes to interior painting and how you can budget for these projects.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House Interior?

Most interior paint jobs average around $3.50 per square foot. With that in mind, your overall expenses can vary significantly depending on whether you’re painting a single room or your entire home’s interior – you could pay $500 for a 12x12 bedroom, for example, or you could pay more than $8,000 for a 2,400-square-foot house. In some cases, however, when redoing your entire home, you could get a better rate since it’s a bulk paint job.

The cost of painting your home per square foot can also fluctuate based on where you live, the materials you use, the difficulty of the project and who you hire to complete the job or do it yourself (DIY). For example, you should expect the price of painting a room to go up if you’re also looking to refresh the trim, ceilings and walls since it’s more laborious and requires more materials.

To get a better picture of how much new interior paint will cost you, grab a yardstick or measuring tape and multiply the length and height of your walls together. Be sure not to count space with any windows or doorways and adjust your figure accordingly.

For an even better picture of how much your interior may cost to paint, check out our Rocket HomesSM square footage calculator.

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Exterior Painting Vs. Interior Painting

Whether you have experience painting the exterior of a home or you’re a total novice with a paintbrush, you should know that there are differences between the paint used for the exterior versus the interior of the home.

Having your home’s exterior professionally painted can cost an average of $3 – $4 per square foot. Exterior paint jobs will typically cost you more because of expensive materials and labor-intensive work.

Exterior paint costs more since it’s made to withstand the effects of weather, mold or water damage due to constant exposure to the elements. Depending on your home’s makeup, you may need more paint overall – painting stucco and brick will use up about 50% more paint than aluminum siding. When it comes to painting the interior of your home, it may cost you less than exterior projects, but be sure to get the right supplies and be prepared.

Professional Painters Vs. DIY Paint Jobs: Which Is More Cost-Effective For Interior House Painting?

Not all painting projects are created equal and whether you should hire a professional or DIY your home’s interior is a decision that’s unique to you, your resources and the layout of your home. Let’s look at some of the factors that can affect the cost of hiring a professional painter or tackling the project yourself:

Average Cost To Paint A House Interior: Hiring A Professional

A high-quality paint job from an experienced professional can cost you a good deal more than if you were to paint your home’s interior by yourself. While it can be a worthwhile investment, let’s break down exactly where your money is going in this transaction:

Labor Costs

The biggest cost you’ll incur when hiring a professional painter is for the time and labor they put into the job – in fact, labor typically makes up 70% – 85% of your final charge. Many professionals will charge an hourly rate for their services – usually in the range of $20 to as much as $100 per hour – while others may offer a flat rate. You may also face additional fees to cover things like travel, short-notice jobs or excessive prep if your interior has lots of trim, molding or fixtures to work around.

Design Intricacies

Another factor to consider when hiring a professional painter is the complexity of the job: Do you have trim or molding that needs to be painted separately? Are you planning on having a textured or accent wall? Are you interested in a home mural? These all affect the amount of time and care that a professional painter will have to put into your home and consider in their final charge.

If you’re interested in further personalizing your home with a textured wall – like a sand swirl or orange peel design – it can cost you an additional $0.50 – $1.00 per square foot. Your painter will need more paint than is required of a standard flat wall plus more time for the actual work. The cost of materials and labor also goes up for interior paint jobs that include the ceiling, trim, doorways or baseboards.

Another way to spruce up your home with just a coat of paint is by adding an accent wall or mural to create a unique focal point – but it’ll cost you. On average, a single accent wall can range from $80 – $200, and a mural can cost anywhere from $35 – $150 per square foot, depending on the intricacy of your vision.

Quantity And Quality Of Paint

The cost of the paint you want to use for your home’s interior can vary – the finish, the color and whether you choose to use a primer are all factors that can affect the final cost. On average interior paint costs $15 – $50 per gallon, and although it sounds pricey, professional painters know how to make every bit count.

Preferences like sheen – flat, eggshell, satin or semi-gloss paint – and whether you want to use latex or oil-based paint can also affect the price, with glossier paints on the higher end of the price range. Oil-based paint is typically more expensive than latex-based paints, but it’s also more durable and provides better coverage, though it takes longer to dry and can be messier to work with.

For the most part, if you can afford to invest in high-quality paint it’s probably a good idea. In general, a higher-quality paint will last longer against wear and tear, can resist stains better and is overall easier to maintain and clean.

Average Cost To Paint A House Interior: Do-It-Yourself

If you decide to forego a professional painter’s assistance, the process of painting your house can still be expensive and time-consuming, especially if this project is a part of a major remodel. It’s helpful to have a sense of what you’re getting yourself into before you pull on some coveralls.

Prep Work

To get your interior walls ready for painting, you’ll likely have to put a fair amount of time and money into sufficiently prepping them. This can include purchasing cleaning supplies and scrubbing the walls or repairing uneven surfaces with spackling and sanding them down. If you’re upgrading from wallpaper to a fresh coat of paint, then you may also want to consider renting or investing in a steamer to help speed up the wallpaper removal process.

Supplies

While you may be saving a significant amount in labor costs, you’ll still have to shell out a substantial amount of money for materials to do the work properly. Here are some of the supplies you’ll need should you decide to take on the paint job yourself:

  • Brushes and paint rollers
  • Paint roller extension poles
  • Painter’s tape
  • A sturdy ladder
  • Drop cloths or tarp
  • Paint trays
  • Rags

As you search for your supplies, you’ll find that painting materials can range in price depending on the type and quality you choose. If you know anyone with painting experience, consider asking them which materials are best to splurge on and when it’s OK to go with the budget pick.

Time

Time isn’t technically a monetary expense, but it’s still a commodity and something that you should plan for. From moving or covering furniture, adequate prep and the actual painting, painting your home’s interior can eat up a weekend or two of your time. It may even require you to take a few days off work should it prove to be more complicated or labor-intensive.

Not to mention, you may need to set aside extra time for your daily routines if you’re painting an inconvenient area – your kitchen or bathroom, for example, may be rendered unusable until the paint has dried.

Unforeseen Issues

Unfortunately, there are sometimes unexpected circumstances that will increase the cost of painting your home. For example, you may find that you need certain repairs done before your home can be painted. Mold removal, rot or water damage repair are some issues you could find when prepping your home for painting, along with major holes or cracks that need to be filled or may point to a larger foundational problem. This is where a cash-out refinance would come in handy in order to help you pay for any home upgrades you need completed.

If you run into any of these issues, it’s best to hire or consult with a professional before moving forward to ensure your safety and a job well done.

How To Save Money On Interior Painting

Whether you decide to hire a professional painter to complete the job or  want to do it yourself, there are several ways you can make the process of painting your home more affordable. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to save on a paint job:

Choose Your Professional Painter Carefully

When it comes to painting, doing your research upfront can help you avoid headaches down the road. You should start by selecting a credible professional painter who’s highly rated by previous clients and provides their services at a reasonable price. Look at online testimonials or use the word-of-mouth of a trusted loved one to find a painter who can best meet your needs.

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Get Estimates Ahead Of Time

Getting price estimates from a professional ahead of time can help you to gain a more accurate sense of how much the job is going to cost you. This can make it easier to build a budget around your project and will help you stick to it.

It can also be helpful to work with your hired professional under a set contract, outlining each task to be completed and an estimated cost for each of those tasks. That way, you’ll have a concrete sense of how much the process will cost you before you get started, and you won’t have to worry about racking up additional project costs that don’t fall within your original terms.

Test Your Paint Swatches First

When you’re trying to select a paint color, it’s wise to apply a few large test swatches on the wall you’re painting first. This will help give you a better sense of which paint color is your favorite at home rather than in the paint aisle of a home improvement store. Additionally, you can see how each color looks throughout the day to make a choice you’re confident in.

Testing swatches can save you a great deal of time and money in the long run because you won’t have to repeat the entire painting process if you realize a color doesn’t suit your home.

Testing swatches is also a way to assess the most sensible color for your space. If you can get away with fewer coats to get your desired coverage without sacrificing the longevity of the paint job, you might be able to save a little bit of money on paint costs.

Repaint In A Timely Manner

You shouldn’t wait too long to repaint your home. If you wait for visible signs of wear and tear to appear on the exterior or interior walls of your home, it can mean a whole lot more time and money spent on damage repair and prep work in addition to painting.

Planning to repaint your home before its condition noticeably worsens will also mean that you’re keeping better track of any damages that need to be fixed, which will ultimately save you money when it comes to home maintenance and avoiding surprise repairs.

FAQs On The Costs To Paint A House

How much should I pay to have my house painted?

You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 – $4,000 to have the interior of your home painted, with low-end paint jobs typically ranging from $200 – $1,000 and high-end paint jobs around $3,000 – $4,000. How much it will cost to paint your home all depends on how many rooms you have, what kinds of materials you want to use and the overall difficulty of the job.

What can I expect for new construction painting prices?

Painting the interior of new construction typically costs $2 – $5 per square foot, varying based on the intricacy of design, the type and colors of paint used and the layout of the home. It’s common for new construction paint jobs to be carried out using paint sprayers for efficiency and coverage.

The Bottom Line

It’s a good idea to weigh your options when it comes to repainting your home. Depending on your skill level and the condition of your home, it may be more cost-effective to hire someone to do the job for you rather than taking on the task yourself.

There are many ways to gain an understanding of the cost, including speaking with professionals and taking a trip to your local hardware store. At the end of the day, you should choose an option that is not only cost-effective but leaves you happy with the finished product.

If your plans to paint your home are part of a more major remodeling project, you might want to consider a cash-out refinance. Cash-out refinances can be a great way to pay for home upgrades, as they can help you secure a lower interest rate on a large sum of money, which you can then reinvest into beautifying your home and increasing its value. If this form of financing fits your needs, why not start the process to get a cash-out refinance today?

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Holly Shuffett

Holly Shuffett is a staff writer who writes with a focus on homeownership and personal finance. She has a B.A. in public relations from Oakland University and enjoys creative writing and reading in her free time.