Frequently asked questions about house painters
Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint in a new home. A color change transforms a room, and a fresh coat of paint breathes new life into an older home. The cost of painting houses varies. It depends on the work speed and the type of paint you are using. Most of the cost comes from the size of the house. The more square meters you have to paint, the more expensive the job will be.
The average cost of painting a home is estimated at $3,500. Expect to pay $1,200 on the low side and $6,500 on the high side. These estimates assume you have a one-story house with about 1,000 square feet of wall to paint. More stories mean higher costs.
The price is usually divided into material and labour. Labor typically accounts for 85% of a job, but this can vary by contractor. Most contractors charge between $2 and $6 per square foot. This calculates interior painting work with two coats of paint. For more specific paint jobs, like doors or cabinets, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per door or drawer front.
Some contractors have different payment models, which you may discover if you search "painters near me" or "house painters near me." They can be charged per room, which averages anywhere from $800 to $1,200 for a bedroom and up to $3,000 for a living room or similar-sized space. Some painters may opt for hourly billing, which can range from $20-$50/hour for basic painting to $100/hour or more for specialty painting. An experienced painter should be able to cover between 150 and 350 sqft/hour, but don't forget to factor in the prep time, cleanup, and both coats of paint needed.
The cost of painting the exterior of a home is much more variable depending on your siding. Some siding (like stucco) can cost up to $3,000/1,000 sq ft, and this cost can increase if there are multiple floors. The weather can also play a big role, which is why local painters are in high demand during the summer months. Vinyl siding expands and contracts with the weather, so you need a latex-based paint that can withstand those changes. For wood paneling, latex is always a good option to allow wood to breathe. Be careful with acrylic or oil based paints as they can cause moisture stains. If you have stucco paneling, you can use latex, but it's not your best option if the walls are damaged. Elastomeric paint covers these imperfections while still being breathable. This paint is thick and time consuming to apply. If you have brick siding, you'll want a porous stain or paint so water doesn't get trapped in it.
Siding is the biggest expense, as preparation and materials needed to get the job done correctly can add to the price. Brick and stucco are the most expensive, while metal, wood, vinyl, and concrete are on the lower end. Additional floors mean more work for the painter, as safety measures and ladders have to be implemented. Because of logistics, painting a second or third floor of a house takes longer than painting a single floor. It's not just the walls either. You may want to paint the garage, the shutters, the eaves and downspouts, and the siding and moldings.
Your paint brand can change the cost as well as the cost of your finish. Matte finish tends to be the cheapest, but also the least durable. Mid-range finishes, including eggshell and satin, can be good choices depending on what you're looking for. The semi-gloss finish shows imperfections and dents, but also resists cleaning. High gloss is the most expensive type of finish and is recommended for small areas such as trim, windows and doors. While it is possible to do your own home exterior design, a professional will bring all the materials needed and know what works best and how to keep the job safe. They are worth serious consideration.
Yes, you can paint vinyl siding. Years ago that answer was no because the paint kept slipping off the trim. We've come a long way since then. The best paint for vinyl is latex urethane paint because it can handle the constant contraction and expansion of the fairing. Many painting companies produce paints that have been specially developed for facades.
Painting vinyl is similar to painting other facades. You should coat it with primer (something designed for vinyl) and use a brush for the tricky spots. Otherwise, you can use a roller and cover a lot of ground. Once you have the primer, add the top coat. Vinyl has another limitation that you should be aware of. Dark colors tend to trap a lot of warmth. As a result, most vinyl colors are light colored, so they reflect heat rather than absorb it. Weather can be a factor when painting vinyl and the best weather is overcast, pleasant conditions. Sun, humidity, direct heat and wind are not your friends when it comes to vinyl painting. You should ensure that painting your sidewall will not void your warranty before you begin.
As with any painting, you should make sure you clean the area thoroughly first. For vinyl, a pressure washer is your best bet. You should find a recipe that fights mold and mildew or buy a TSP solution. Mold and mildew tend to get between the paint and the trim, so it's imperative that you deal with them before you paint.
The quick answer is 350-400 square feet. This applies to wall, ceiling and trim paint in general. Primer tends to walk less, giving you 250 square feet on average. If you're painting a dark room with a light color, you may need more primers, so keep that in mind. Note that fresh drywall is extremely porous and can hold more paint than expected. Most drywall usually arrives pre-primed, but be prepared if it doesn't. If you have a textured wall (think popcorn ceiling, for example), use 20% more paint. If you have 100 square feet of ceiling to paint, it is recommended to purchase enough paint to cover 120 square feet to even out the texture. You can stretch your paint with the right tools. A 9 inch roller usually gives the best results for one coat. For textured walls, consider a 1/2 inch nap over a 3/8 inch nap.
Let's dive into the math. You know how much paint you need per square foot, but how do you calculate that square footage? First measure the height of each wall and add them together. Then do the same for the length of each wall. Multiply these two numbers together and you have the square footage. If you divide that number by 400 (how much a gallon of paint should cover), you'll know how many gallons to buy. This also works for moldings and doors. Multiply the total lengths and widths and divide by 400. It's never a bad idea to round up or make sure you have extra paint left over. You may need it for touch ups or if a certain section needs more paint than you anticipated. It is better to have too much than too little and have more paint mixed at the hardware store. What if the color is even slightly different? It's a frustration you can easily avoid.
No, you cannot use exterior paint indoors. Exterior paint is designed to withstand extreme weather and therefore contains more VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These connections were not designed for closed spaces; They can smell funny and release toxins that could make you or your pets sick. Exterior paint does not settle in a short time. In cold weather, exterior paint could continuously release these toxins for a month or more. In warmer weather, this period can be reduced to weeks. The process of releasing these toxins is called healing. For this reason, most professionals wear masks when painting outside.
Exterior paint is naturally softer. It must be able to breathe and contract or expand with the home. It doesn't hold up all that well to the daily wear and tear that the interior paint is subjected to. While all paint contains mold and fungicides, the ingredients in exterior and interior paint are very different. The VOCs are needed in both colors to hold the pigment. When using exterior paint on interior surfaces, your first concern is ventilation. This becomes a bigger problem when you spray paint instead of rolling it, as spraying it makes it airborne much quicker.
VOCs can cause drowsiness, headaches, nausea, irritated eyes and throat, and breathing problems. This can pose an even greater danger to those with compromised immune systems. Exterior and interior colors are very different, so you should not mix them. It affects the quality of both colors. Also, exterior paint isn't designed to look good on the inside. Both types of paint are highly specialized and you will likely regret using them where they are not intended.
The average cost to paint a 12x12 room is $650, with $400 on the low end and $900 on the high end. Several factors can change or increase these costs. If you need a drywall or plaster repair before you go to work, it takes time and effort. The higher your walls rise, the more time or paint it may take to complete the job. If you want to use designer colors, you might spend more on the materials. Your cost will also change based on the finish you choose.
Square footage is the most important consideration when pricing a room. A large space, like a living room, costs more than a small bedroom or bathroom. Kitchens tend to cost the most as the painting is specific. They require far more attention to detail when you consider backsplashes, cabinetry, and crown molding. Textured walls can increase this cost as they consume more materials. Different types of colors can also change the cost. On average, eggshell, satin, and matte colors are the cheapest colors. Matte, semi-gloss, latex, and oil are mid-range and all reasonably priced. High gloss paint is expensive and is best used on small surfaces such as trim.
Of course, you have the option of doing the work yourself. Be aware that splashing paint on the walls is never that easy. You will need to purchase all the necessary supplies such as brushes, painter's tape, rollers, bowls, and plastic to prevent spills. You need to clean the walls and remove outlet covers and switch plates. Once that's done you can use painter's tape on all the edges and then you're good to go. The big question to ask yourself is whether you have the time. Painters are efficient, have all the tools and get the job done consistently. You know immediately how best to deal with it.
Now that you know the scope of your project in terms of cost and effort, you can start dreaming in color.