The First Question Of Interior Paint Jobs

“How much does it cost?” Many people show surprise when a contractor tells them the cost of painting the interior of their house. It’s as though someone told them they might as well get a new home. While this is nowhere close to true, an interior painting job won’t be cheap. If it seems too cheap it’s possible a shady contractor is lowballing you. What makes it expensive is a lot of work goes into a good interior painting job, including not just walls but ceilings and trim as well. There are more variables going into interior painting than in advanced math courses. Read on to learn what they are!

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man painting house white interior

The Biggest Factor Of Price

As it does with anything, size causes the most fluctuation. These are the price ranges typical for the Marblehead area:

– Small homes: $5-10k

– Mid-size homes: $12-25k

– Large homes: $20-40k+

Sizes are subjective, but paint contractors will have their own definition of which house constitutes what size. Size is not limited to the actual house dimensions, but also to individual room sizes. More goes into painting a room or house than size though.

The Cost Variables Of Interior Painting

Onto the more subtle factors that affect interior paint costs:

Surface Condition and Prep

INCOMING! If your wall has holes in it from Wii remotes, it’s going to cost extra to repair and paint it. Minor surface repairs, such as picture hanger holes, are part of the quotes. Patching holes from outlets, speaker wires, or anything else can add upwards of $600 to a quote. Correcting loose horsehair plaster or holes can add $1000+ depending on the severity. An existing paint job of poor quality can drive up the price too. This includes bad paint jobs done by bad contractors. Poor or non-existent prep, improper painting, or cut lines that are wavier than the ocean. These should never happen.

Fixing bad cut lines, poor patching efforts, or sanding out drips on trim or walls can run an additional $400-600. If your previously stained, now peeling, woodwork wasn’t prepped correctly, the cost to properly repair it could run into the $1000s as it needs to be stripped off

hole in wall paint

Detail Work

The devil is in the details, and more details mean more money. If your home has extensive trim work such as crown molding, chair rail, baseboard, built-in cabinets, or wood windows, expect to have a price increase. Paint contractors need to pay their employees for their time and effort. The more time and effort it takes, the more money it can cost to paint your house. More space, or more clutter, can result in a higher price as well.

The Space

If it looks like an episode of “Hoarders” it will cost more. The more items there are to get in the way, the harder it will be to paint. A workspace should be as clear as can be, the more like a middle school dance floor the better. Paint contractors will remove anything they need to but may add the extra labor on to the price unless you do it yourself, which can save you between $120-375. You can also save money on materials, but you may sacrifice quality.

save money on house painting


Cheaper or better? In this case, it’s better to buy materials that will last longer and look good doing it. Quick drying paints, like latex, will be cheaper than the slow and finicky oil-based paints, yet easier to deal with. Paint price can range from the $20/gallon cheap big-box store paints to the $120/gallon fancy European models. You don’t want a shady contractor scamming you out of your money right? They might even buy the wrong color paint if they’re really awful at their job.

You may want to research materials yourself to know exactly what you want before contacting a paint contractor

Color Changes

The time has come. A new color awaits your home’s interior. It’ll be costly but worth it in the end. Firstly, you may want to hire a color consultant for color coordination. It takes a lot of work so you’ll want to ensure the colors work well together. Changing to a new color can involve multiple coats, more labor, and more materials. This also means more paint to ensure proper coverage. Wouldn’t want to be playing “I-Spy a patch of different color” with your walls. This is especially true for tall places.

Additional coats of paint can run between $250 for your average bedroom to $850 for a large master bedroom. Changing the trim color, depending on amount of trim, can range from $350-700

panels of different colors for a house interior

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Heights and Staircases

Thankfully we don’t fear heights. That doesn’t mean we aren’t careful or won’t charge more. Imagine how much Michelangelo charged for painting the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling! If your project requires an extension ladder or scaffolding, prepare for the price to reflect the additional time and risk to access these surfaces. This is also a great time to look for and repair any ceiling water damage.

If we’re talking tall walls you can expect to pay an additional $350. For dangerous work over a curved stairway, additional costs can be up to $1500+. A life and limb project can cost an arm and a leg


But Flash could do it in a day! Well, paint contractors don’t have superpowers, but we can work nights, weekends, and marathon it until completion! The extra effort will require extra pay though. Even painting one room can take more time than you’d think. We still need food and sleep so we’ll have the energy to paint your home. This is especially true if we’re working on the exterior.

Learn about the cost of painting your home’s exterior >>

A House Painting

As you can see, it all depends on your house and how good of a job you want to be done. It takes time and manpower, even if a house isn’t the Sistine Chapel. Hire a paint contractor who will treat your house like it is. But is it time to repaint your house exterior? It may be time to at least paint your shutters. Keep both the in and outside of your home looking amazing by updating your paint jobs!

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