Cost to Paint the Interior of a House

Beth Asaff
Understand your needs before getting paint quotes.

Sometimes the cost to paint the interior of a house is money well spent. Not only will you discover craftsmen with new design ideas, but you'll also alleviate the hassle of the detail work.

Estimating the Cost to Paint the Interior of a House

Prices vary by location and the skill of the professional. However, if you're trying to pull numbers together to apply for a home improvement loan, the following figures will get you started.

Painting the House Yourself

If you are prepared to do the work yourself, you can save over the cost of a professional. Keep in mind, however, that the job may take longer and require more touchups than a professional job, which may cost you more in time if not in money.

  • Plan on buying two gallons of main color paint for a 12-foot by 12-foot room. Quality paint averages $30 to $50 a gallon.
  • Paint and supplies will average approximately $300 to $500 if you're painting the interior of a 1,500 square-foot home.

Hiring a Professional

If you hire a professional, you'll probably still buy the paint; additional prices will come from the labor.

  • Labor to paint a 12-foot by 12-foot room will run approximately $200 to $400.
  • Painting a 15-foot by 12-foot room averages $300 to $700.
  • The cost for painting all rooms in a 1,500 square-foot home falls in the $1,200 to $2,000 range.

These estimates do not include special work.

You might receive a discount if you:

  • Use brand name paints, which often require only one application.
  • Ask about off-season rates, such as in slow winter months.
  • Ask about fill-in jobs. If you don't mind the painter leaving a few items in your home, many contractors will slip in when they have time between larger jobs.

Prepare the Details

To get the most accurate estimates from painting contractors, compile the following information before you call:

  • Number of rooms to be painted
  • Square footage of each room
  • Height of the walls
  • Whether you've chosen a brand name or lesser-grade paint
  • Whether the job is a color change (lighter or darker) or a touchup

What will increase your costs:

  • If the ceilings need to be completed
  • If heavy furniture needs to be removed from the room
  • Painting wainscoting, molding and other detailed trimwork
  • Larger homes
  • Customized or decorative paint surfaces

Other Considerations That Can Affect the Cost

There are numerous factors that may affect the bottom line in your cost analysis. Take these things into account to help control your pricing.

  • Get a variety of quotes from bonded, licensed professionals.
  • Request references and check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask for a line-itemized quote on special needs.
  • Review the materials list in advance.
  • Factor in repairs ahead of time.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

To get the best pricing for your paint job, make sure to get all your details in order well ahead of time. This will give you the most flexibility in finding a contractor, purchasing paints when on sale and negotiating a better price in off-seasons. Avoid making hasty decisions to ensure the job gets done on time and under budget.

Cost to Paint the Interior of a House