The average national cost to paint a house interior is $2,052, with most homeowners spending between $1,764 and $2,340.
Painting the inside of your home may be the quickest and cheapest way to give your home a facelift with dramatic results. But before you can get there, you need to make choices. Tough choices. If you've ever visited the painting section of your local hardware store, studying the subtleties between Smokey Topaz and Roycroft Suede swatches, you know how overwhelming the options can be.
You may choose colors based on what you like and how you feel at the moment, or you can be more methodical. Consider the mood you want to set in the room: Fun and colorful? Cool and calming? Warm and energizing? Color creates feeling. It creates atmosphere. You can use guidance from the art of feng shui, hire a decorator or go with your gut.
Most paint stores offer smaller, sample sizes so you can take them home to do a test. Whatever you choose, make sure that you evaluate your color swatches in the room where it will be used. Or, better yet, paint a few colors in large swaths on your wall, so you can see the colors in the room's natural light as well as its artificial light. Put it next to any design elements, such as pillows or furniture, that you're trying to match in the room.
Once you have your colors chosen, there are several factors that could impact the cost of the project.
Hiring an Interior Decorator
The advantage to hiring a decorator is that these trained professionals look holistically at your home, matching colors that integrate your styles. They also can help you choose colors that not only will work for you but also for potential home buyers. Decorators charge fixed or hourly rates, but be sure to get an estimate before the project starts.
Size of Room To Be Painted
The size of the area to be painted is an important consideration when it comes to cost. The larger the room, the more paint you'll need and the longer it will take. If you're hiring someone to paint for you, of course, you'll pay higher labor costs for bigger rooms.
Cost of Paint and Supplies
Interior paint costs vary depending on the quality, brand and type of finish. For most jobs, figure you'll need one gallon of paint to cover 350 square feet. Primer can run about the same price as the paint, again, depending on quality and brand. Some paint manufacturers are now selling paint with primer in it. You'll pay about what you would for both paint and primer, but you'll save on time and labor costs. In your cost calculations, don't forget brushes, rollers, drop cloths, tape and other supplies. If you're hiring someone to do this for you, they will have the necessary materials to paint your home, and some supply costs will be rolled into the cost of labor, which varies from state to state and company to company. Normally, the paint and supplies make up around 15% of the total cost and labor is the additional 85%.
Also remember, it takes more coats of paint and costs more to cover a dark color with a light one. Having to paint crown molding, baseboards, wainscoting or other detailed trim can add to a contractor's estimated price, as can walls taller than the average of 8 feet.
Types of Paint Finishes
Flat or Matte finishes are the least shiny finishes and are not well suited for areas where you need to clean, such as kids' bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens. Satin finishes are the most popular and they're washable but not scrubbable. A semi-gloss finish will give your room a slight shine and you can scrub this paint if you need to. Lastly, a high-gloss finish will give your space a shiny look with stain-resistance and an easy-to-clean paint.
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