Ask Sawal

Discussion Forum
Notification Icon1
Write Answer Icon
Add Question Icon

How to charge for painting?

5 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

Paint will take up a large portion of your costs. Here’s how to estimate the amount of paint you need and how to accurately measure your paint site for interior and exterior paint jobs.

The average one-coat interior paint costs $20 to $50 per gallon, and higher-end paints can cost over $60. One gallon of paint will usually cover 300 to 400 square feet of wall or ceiling.

For projects that need primer, you should budget for $30 to $70 per gallon, depending on the type of primer. You need a bit more primer than you do paint — one gallon of primer will only cover 200 to 300 square feet.

Here are some examples of interior painting cost estimates based on home size (with primerless paint):

This is just a starting point. For your specific project, you can estimate how many gallons of paint you need by measuring the home’s exact surface area:

Many professional painters add a small percentage to this number to budget for patching, paint overage, and detail work.

Once you know your client’s square footage and how many gallons of paint and primer you need, add these paint costs to your total cost estimate.

A gallon of exterior paint can cost between $25 and $80 per gallon. It’s always good to use higher quality paint ($50 to $70) to get better coverage, paint fewer coats, and give your clients a quality finish.

On average, one gallon of exterior paint can will cover 250 to 400 square feet with one coat. That can vary depending on the exterior siding material —for example, painting stucco can take almost twice as much paint as vinyl, since textured surfaces have more area to cover.

Here are some exterior painting cost estimates based on the square footage you need to paint (total paintable area):

To find the total paintable area for a house’s exterior:

iMark qpxzgyhu
Answer # 2 #

Whether you’re transitioning your entire home from beige to grey or trying to add a bit of color to your space, it’s always helpful to have an estimate for how much your project is likely to cost. The cost to repaint the interior walls of an average-sized home is about $1,200 to $6,500, although that cost can vary significantly based on the size and scope of work. Read on to better understand the factors at play.

Painters charge for two elements: labor and materials. In their estimate calls with you, they should break these two categories down. As a rule of thumb, labor is usually 80% to 85% of the total paint job cost, but you should ask how your contractor is calculating their rate.

While most painters charge $2 to $7 per square foot for inside paint projects (which include at least two coats of paint), choosing to add window and door trims, moldings or painted doors will increase your costs slightly.

You can also expect to pay a bit more for painted millwork such as cabinetry or built-in furniture. For kitchen cabinets expect to pay about $50 to $100 per door or drawer face.

For exterior jobs, a good range is $3 to $6 per square foot for a new paint job that includes your gutters, windows, trim and any shutters or other decorative elements. Most often a painter will calculate the full expected square footage in advance and quote you a flat rate for the job.

If you want to get a sense of the cost ahead of time, you can always calculate your own square footage. For exterior calculations, measure the perimeter of your home and multiply it by the height from the top of the foundation to the bottom of the roofline.

Similarly, for interior calculations measure the perimeter of the room and multiply it by the height of the room. For more precise measurements in both cases, subtract the area for doors and windows from your calculations.

On occasion, professional painters will also charge per room, although it is not as common. Generally, the cost to hire a painter to fully repaint a bedroom is between $800 and $1,200, while living rooms or other large spaces can cost upwards of $3,000 or more. These rates often include any repainting necessary.

It’s not typical that a painter will give you a per-hour rate, but you can ask. Hourly rates for professional painters can cost you between $20 and $50 for a basic paint job, or $100 or more per hour for more specialized work like painting murals or using a particular level of paint.

A painting professional, on average, can handle 150 to 350 square feet per hour, in case you’re hoping to calculate costs before you speak with your painter. Always be sure to account for both coats of paint and leave some time for prep work and clean up.

Charging day rates is the least common method for professional painters, but if you are quoted this way expect to pay about $200 to $500 per day. It’s important to note that several things can drag out a small project, even something as small as a rainy day, so always be aware it may take more time than originally expected.

Although labor makes up the majority of professional painting costs, the other 15% to 20% accounts for materials, which includes the paint. You may also encounter other costs if your home requires you to test for lead paint or do additional prep and repair work.

A gallon of interior paint usually costs between $25 and $60 depending on the brand. Exterior paint, on the other hand, typically costs around 25% more per gallon.   Most professional painters, however, will be able to purchase paint at a wholesale price, saving you money. One can of paint will cover anywhere from 350 to 400 square feet so you can use that to estimate how many cans you’ll likely need for your project.

It always pays off in the long run to use the highest quality paint you can afford to get the most longevity and the best finish. Certain other factors can affect the cost of paint as well such as the type of paint and the finish. The two most common paint types are water-based and oil-based.

Water-based paints are great for easy cleanup and application but are duller in appearance than oil-based paints, which are more durable but take longer to dry. Enamel paints are trickier to apply but incredibly durable and easy to clean, making them great for kitchens.

When considering the finish of paint to use a good rule of thumb is the higher the gloss the higher the cost, but also the more durable. Typically wall surfaces are painted in a matte, eggshell or satin finish while millwork elements like trim, cabinets and doors are painted in a semi-gloss or high gloss. The more likely it is to get bumped the higher the gloss you want to ensure a long-lasting finish.

Another factor is whether or not you will need to prime. Oftentimes if you are painting a similar color on a pre-painted surface and using a 2-in-1 paint with primer, a good cleaning and light sanding will do. If you’re trying to paint over a darker wall or an unpainted surface like new drywall, however, regular primer is a good idea.

Other materials that are usually involved in repainting are things like drop cloths and tape, brushes, rollers and things like spackle and caulking to prep your walls. A professional painter will have all of these items already, but if you are wanting to DIY expect to spend $50 to $200 on additional materials.

Testing for lead paint is usually required for homes built before 1978. If you will need to have lead paint testing done expect to pay around $300 or so for the test. Should lead paint be found, a painter or other licensed professional will need to follow the regulations to either remove the paint or encase it.

Paint removal will cost you about $14 per square foot and may be a lengthy project to ensure everything is removed. Encasing, which is a common option for exterior siding paint, you can expect to pay close to $5 per square foot.

Most professional painting quotes will account for basic prep work, but additional repairs above and beyond the usual light sanding and cleaning will add to the costs. Taking the time to prepare not just your surfaces but also your space can help keep prep hours to a minimum, saving you money in the long run.

While most professional painting teams will move furniture for you, having spaces cleared in advance will also save time and money. Oftentimes it is significantly cheaper to paint your space either before you’ve moved in or after you’ve moved out as there are also fewer surfaces to cover and protect.

Some preparation work is best left to the professionals, such as removing those dated popcorn ceilings or cleaning moldy or mildew-stained drywall. Be sure to alert your painter of any more extensive repairs or remediations ahead of time so they can account for it in their estimates.

Another wild card cost is if you hope to have any specialty painting done or commission a mural or trompe l’oeil, which literally translates to “trick of the eye,” a technique where paint is used to create a false perspective on a wall or ceiling.

Most decorative painting such as applying metallic or textured paint, adding two-toned designs such as stripes, etc. will fall under a professional painter’s wheelhouse. For more complex applications, like a mural, you may need to hire a specialized painter or artist, which can cost upwards of $150 per square foot depending on their skill level.

When the time comes to make your home look its best, choosing a professional painter will ensure you will be thrilled with your final results. Not only can asking a professional painter to do the job save you time and money, but a professional painter also has the tools, materials and expertise to complete your job. They will also advise on how to further improve the aesthetics of your space with multiple options that may help make it look its very best.

When hiring a professional painter a great place to start is by asking friends or neighbors for recommendations. A quick search online is also great to look at reviews and ratings of local painters to be sure you find a good fit.

Once you’ve solicited a few bids (we recommend at least three) it’s time to compare their costs. When reviewing a bid it is most important to understand the cost of the labor versus the cost of materials. If the costs haven’t been broken out accordingly it is always acceptable to ask for a more detailed breakdown. Always be sure to get a written contract, even if it is a very simple one.

When hiring a painter, asking a few questions can also help to understand what you’re paying for and whether they are going to be a good fit. A few good questions are:

Making sure that the professional you are hiring is insured and offers a guarantee is the most important item. If you would like, you can also ask for contact information for references or to see a portfolio of their previous work so you can get a visual on the quality.

You should also decide on a payment plan before the work begins. Never pay a painter in full before any work has started. Instead, a downpayment of one-third of the quoted cost is more commonplace. Some painters may not require any down payment at all and simply request payment in full once the work is complete.

Painting your home can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve ever wanted to bring that fresh new look to your home but need help figuring out how to get started, a professional painter can help.

One of the benefits of hiring a professional painter is getting a quality job. The most talented painters know how to prepare surfaces by sanding or scraping them perfectly so that the new coat adheres perfectly. The best painters can also match existing finishes perfectly or make your walls look even better than when they were first painted.

Hiring a professional painter means that your project will be completed promptly, without paint messes or mistakes. A professional painter has experience with the products and tools needed to complete your project quickly and efficiently.

If you desire a flawless painting result, hiring an experienced professional painter is best. Hiring a professional painter is the fastest and most accurate way of achieving the desired painting result. The excellent preparation, experience and well-equipped professional painters will ensure that your paintwork is perfectly done within the expected time frame.

Although going with a licensed professional is always a good idea for a high-quality end result, there are some alternatives.

If you are looking to only paint a small area or are not concerned about having a particularly high-quality finish, hiring a handyman to do the work can often save you money. A small job can cost as little as $200 flat or $25 an hour.

Alternatively, it is possible to hire student painters who will always be cheaper than the pros. While this is an option, it is not recommended unless you know they are working under a reputable foreman who can oversee the work and guarantee the finish.

Dimple Grosup
Answer # 3 #

If you’re new to the painting business, you may struggle with painting job estimates. Bid too high, and you might lose the job. Bid too low, and you may not turn a profit—or you may diminish the perceived value of your services.

The right price estimate showcases your services to your clients in a competitive and professional format, letting you stand out from other painting companies. But finding that perfect estimate requires some strategy.

Thankfully, if you follow the 7 steps below, you’ll be making profitable, attractive estimates in no time.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

1. Do a Site Visit2. Calculate Paint Costs3. Calculate Other Material Costs4. Calculate Labor Costs5. Add Marketing Costs6. Apply Your Markup7. Do the Final CalculationHow Much Does a Painter Charge?

FreshBooks Makes Estimating and Invoicing Easy

Do yourself a favor and visit the site first before you start your estimate. There could be factors that will increase the price. You’ll need more paint if you’re covering dark walls, for instance. Multiple accent walls and different colors will also take more time than painting an entire room or home with one color.

Then, take a laser measure and measure the wall space for yourself. Ask the customer if they just want the walls painted, or the ceiling, trim, and doors as well. Ask if they’ll supply the paint and if not, ask if they need a specific brand and if the colors need to be custom mixed.

Asking all of these questions beforehand will make your estimate more accurate and save you trouble down the line. If you’re inexperienced at painting or estimating, try to bring someone more experienced to the job site with you.

A professional painting contractor will be able to tell in time the different factors that go into a painting estimate. Take your time, and if possible, consult with more experienced painting contractors to give you a thorough understanding of the business.

Paint can cost anywhere from $15 to more than $100 a gallon depending on the brand, paint type, your discount, and the paint quality. For instance, your client may want to use only oil-based paint instead of latex-based paints for their project, or they may insist on using flat paint or semi-gloss paint for their finish.

According to Painting Leads, contractors typically pay up to $45 per gallon, allowing you to save money on this aspect of your project.

Ask your paint supplier if they give a contractor discount. They’ll be much more willing to cut you a break if you’re buying lots of paint every month and you maintain a good relationship with them. It may take time before you can get a sizable break on your paint costs, so don’t rely on this in the beginning. The total painting cost will take into consideration the prices of the paints, so choose your products wisely.

After selecting your paint, calculate the paint you’ll need for the job using the measurements you took in step one.

Home Advisor estimates that 5 gallons of paint covers up to 1,800 square feet—although you can use their paint calculator to hone in on the total gallons of paint needed to complete your painting project. From there, it’s a simple matter to estimate your painting costs.

You’ll need the following materials for a painting job:

If you’re buying these materials and equipment for the first time, LawnStarter estimates the final cost for the above list comes out to $476 on average.

That said, material amounts depend heavily on how much prep is required—more prep means more primer and caulking.

It also depends on how many windows there are and how much roof line and brick there is if you’re doing an exterior—more of any of those things means more masking paper and plastic. The painting cost will go up for all of these factors as well since you will then need to paint over them.

Labor can be tricky to estimate because there are so many elements. The typical cost of labor for professional painters is typically $20/hour per person, according to Painting Business Pro.

Here’s a rough estimate for exterior painting: 2 to 3 painters can paint the exterior of a 2,500-square-foot house in 1 to 2 full days. The crew will cost about $800 per workday, so you’re looking at around $1,600 max. This means that a 1,500-square-foot house will take a day ($800), and a 4,000-square-foot house will take 3 days ($2,400).

For interior painting projects, on the other hand, you can expect labor costs to range from $180 to $650 on average, according to HomeGuide.

The following variables can add to the time a project takes:

If you’re new to estimating, you’re sure to miss something that’ll cost more. Raise your prices to protect yourself from uncertain labor and paint costs, recommends Painting Leads.

Here’s a hidden cost you should definitely take into account: marketing. Paying for lead providers, printing and distributing flyers, and making lawn signs don’t pay for themselves.

Always monitor your marketing costs and stick with tactics that generate leads. Just make sure you’re spending no more than 10% of a project price to get the job. For example, a $1,000 paint job shouldn’t cost you more than $100 in marketing. Following this rule of thumb will leave your profit margin intact.

What percentage markup you apply depends on if you’re new to the painting business or not. A 30% markup works well for a new business. A 50% markup is good for a larger, more experienced painting company, according to Painting Business Pro.

Why the difference? Overhead costs, for one. More experienced companies usually have a staff, an office, accounting fees, and higher sales and marketing costs.

Before you decide on your markup, you should always know your total overhead costs to make sure you’re not selling yourself short. Insurance, a warranty fund, clothing, vehicle costs, and gas are other costs you need to be aware of.

You should always be making at least 20% to 30% on all jobs, according to Painting Business Pro.

Calculate your final cost to paint a room using this formula:

Some companies include marketing costs in their markup—it’s up to you.

Consider rounding up your total fee, like rounding up $1,150 to $1,200, to create room for unexpected costs.

A painting estimate calculator can be useful for beginners, as well. Homewyze has a calculator based on ZIP code.

This article will help you write a formal estimate you can send to your customer.

Painters charge $150 to $790 on average to paint an interior room, according to Home Advisor. Interior painting cost estimates will vary from state to state and will also depend on other factors, including:

To paint the exterior of a house up to 1,500 square feet, the cost is usually between $1,774 to $4,360, while the national average cost to paint the same size house is $5,400, according to Home Advisor.

The number of stories of the house and ease of access will affect the price. Prices also go up or down based on your city and/or state.

Painters usually charge between $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot to paint the interior of a house. Add in ceilings, interior walls, and trim, and the number rises to $3 to $7 per square foot, according to Smart Asset.

Exterior paint jobs depend on the house’s square footage, though the number of stories and other variables will affect the price. The cost is typically between $1 to $4 per square foot. A 2,000-square-foot house would cost the customer $5,200 on average, while the cost to paint the exterior of a 3-story house ranges from $5,000 to $12,000, according to This Old House.

The price of interior paint jobs will depend on what paint you decide to use and the size of the room. The total cost to paint a room will range from $300 to $1,750, which also takes into consideration the product price and labor costs, according to Fixr.

If you’re hiring professional painters, you can typically expect them to charge between $20 and $50 per hour. The cost will vary based on the painter’s experience, the difficulty of the job, and the location, according to Angi.

It’s also important to remember that interior house painters charge differently than exterior house painters. An interior professional painter usually charges between $225 – $100 per hour for a standard painting job, according to Fixr.

But many house painters provide specialized services, so ultimately the cost will vary from job to job.

Once you’ve finished your painting job, it’s time to get paid. Use the free painting invoice template from FreshBooks to get started. (No FreshBooks account required.) It’s custom-made for house painters, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll get paid quickly and accurately.

When you’re ready to upgrade your cost estimate process, FreshBooks’ online estimating software makes generating and sending estimates easy. Plus, you can easily convert estimates into invoices. With our powerful financial software at your fingertips, estimating the cost to paint a room (or any other painting project) is a breeze.


Ali ryhfleys
Answer # 4 #

Do you do commissioned portraits? You might offer a variety of prices for head and shoulders, 3/4, and full figure portrait. Usually extra people is an extra half of the price for one.

Don’t forget to add up the cost of all your supplies and framing, and add that to the price of the work. I didn’t do that when I first started selling my work, and later. realized I wasn’t making much of a profit when all was said and done.

My license plate was oilp8r so I get it.

Anyway, I’d stay as low as you can to to start and make a profit. Artists are never paid by the hour. That’s for those who work for a company. I bought a 16×20 oil portrait of my dog for $300, but it was unframed. I started selling watercolor on paper people portraits locally (unframed) for $150. They didn’t take me long, and I got quite a few commissions. Three years later, I sold oil head and shoulder portraits for $900. I had gotten much better at them too, and I had a local following.

I built my audience by doing outdoor art shows and giving gift certificates towards a painting to local fundraisers. The certificate covered roughly half of what it would cost me to do a portrait, so I still made some money.

Prentice Reshovsky
Chief Visionary Officer
Answer # 5 #

Some painters keep it simple and just charge by square foot; If you charge $1.25 per square foot, 2500 sq ft. would cost $3,125 for the homeowner etc. (for exterior). For interior you'll want to charge $2 per square foot minimum.

Hanna Giovinazzo
Chief Genealogical Officer