Paint Cost Guides

Painting your home, both inside and out, can greatly affect its curb appeal, character, and resale value. It is one of the quickest and easiest facelift methods that yields dramatic results. If you have ever visited the painting section of your local hardware store, then you know how overwhelming the choices can be. There are also types of finishes, surface preparations, maintenance and more to consider. Interested in a mural on one wall or more? That involves a whole new set of choices and costs.

Cost of Paint

First, you have to make sure to properly estimate the amount of paint needed. You do not want to pay for too much or keep returning to the paint store for more. Interior paint can cost anywhere from $12-50 per gallon, depending on quality. Exterior paint normally runs around $20-60 per gallon. You want to get the best quality within your budget so it will last long. Also, do not forget you need supplies like primer, brushes, rollers and painter's tape. If you are hiring someone to do this for you, they will have the necessary materials to paint your home, but then you will be paying for their labor. Normally the paint and supplies make up around 15 percent of their total cost and labor 85 percent. Get free quotes to compare the cost of hire vs. DIY.   Continue Reading

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Surface Preparation

Rotted wood or siding should be replaced, and all loose boards or trim fixed. If extensive repairs are needed, that also adds to the total cost of the project. Prices will vary depending on the type and extent of the damage. Sometimes your painter can do the smaller repairs, but you may need to consult a professional if your damage is extensive.
Changing from a light to a dark color or vice versa means more coats of paint and can add up to 25 percent or more to contractors' estimates.
If your exterior surface is dirty, you may need to hire someone to do power washing. Power washing makes use of a steady and highly pressurized stream of hot water. It also comes in handy for killing moss and weeds, as well as ridding the surface of any buildup mold or mildew. If there is a lot of gunk and other matter to cut through on the wall, a power washer is the way to go.


Having to paint crown molding, baseboards, paneling or other detailed surfaces can add to a contractor's estimated price, as can walls taller than the average of eight feet. The exact expenses will vary depending on the amount of extra labor required. Contractors can charge by the hour or by the job. Also make sure that when interviewing prospective painters, the contractors are quoting on the same specifications - areas to be painted, number of coats and so forth - to get a consistent price.

Trompe L'oeil and murals

Trompe L'oeil is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted object exists in three dimensions. A mural is a painting done directly on a wall regardless of size or paint used by the artist. The cost of the work will vary greatly based on the size and complexity as well as the skill and experience of the artist.


Painters' quotes can be lower in winter, early spring or late fall - the off-season - than in peak summer months. Ask about a discount if the project is done on a fill-in basis, in between other projects. Also, look for other areas of your home that need painting. If a painter is setting up to do a single room in a home, additional rooms may cost less than the first.