How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Interior of a House?

Alexandra Frost
Written by Alexandra Frost
Updated February 15, 2022
Historic room with painted trim
Photo: Robert Daly / OJO Images / Getty Images

Painting your house's interior typically costs $2 to $6 per square foot

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Few home projects have the immediate and satisfyingly refreshing look of a recent coat of new paint. Changing the shade and updating the paint in any room updates the space in a similar and efficient way, whether you’re planning to keep living there or selling in the near future. The average interior home paint project costs $1,896, with a typical range of $954-$2,893, depending on your area, type of paint, and square footage.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Near You?

The cost of paint and contractor’s labor fees varies by location, and can depend on the market in your area. Regional wages also impact the overall cost of the project if you’re hiring a professional painting company. 

These are some typical interior painting costs for major regions throughout the United States:

RegionCost
Midwest (i.e. Cincinnati)$1,539
Northeast (i.e. New York City)$2,147
Northwest (i.e. Portland)$2,010
Southwest (i.e. Phoenix)$1,933
Southeast (i.e. Miami)$1,881

Additional factors to consider when hiring a professional painter are extra costs for services, such as painting higher walls, trim and baseboard painting, and more. Wall heights increase the paintable area to more than just a room’s square feet, which can increase costs based on your contractor’s rates.

You can also consider that you may have fewer costs if you have large windows, decreasing the total amount of paint and work needed. Finally, choosing a higher quality or brand name paint can increase the price overall by around $1,000

You can calculate the contractor’s potential price per hour at an average rate of $20-$50 per hour, though some charge over $75 per hour. You may find that some painters will give you a project fee based on square footage rather than the hour, and that three-fourths of the bill will be labor costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Interior per Square Foot?

Across the country, the average cost per square foot is $3.30. To get an accurate quote, have your square footage ready if possible to give all of the necessary information to your contractor. An average room might be 10x12 feet.

Here are interior house paint costs on what to expect by square footage:

  • $2-$6 per square foot

  • $200-$1,000 per single room

  • $900-$4,500 for a 1,200 square foot home

  • $4,000-$11,000 for a 2,300 square foot home

  • $2,700-$10,000 for a 3,000 square foot home

To ensure costs remain as quoted, ask your contractor to sign a house painting contract before the first drops of paint hit the wall. All contractors should be able to answer specific questions, such as providing information on their insurance coverage, giving references, and communicating a clear project timeline.

How Much Does Painting a House Interior Cost by Paint Type?

Bathroom with painted feature wall
Photo: projects3d / iStock / Getty Images

An additional factor that impacts the amount you’ll pay to paint the interior of your house is the type of paint you are choosing and how many coats you’re applying, which affects the total project cost. Gallons of paint cost $15 to $40 per gallon, depending on the brand and style of paint you choose. The average home needs 6 gallons of paint per coat, excluding primer. Choosing pricier brand name paints can increase your project price drastically.

Paint Type

Paints can come in flat, semi-gloss, or high-gloss options, which increase in price in that order. Sometimes, high gloss is triple the price of flat paint (such as the brand Olympic), while other times, it’s just a small amount more (such as Sherwin Williams). Semi-gloss is often the safest and most reliable option if you aren’t trying to achieve any certain effect in your room. 

Here’s a look at interior house painting costs by paint type:

  • Flat paint: $13

  • Semi-Gloss Interior Paint: $17

  • High-Gloss Enamel Paint:$35

Paint TypeCost
Flat paint$13
Semi-Gloss Interior Paint$17
High-Gloss Enamel Paint$35

VOC-Free Paint

Paints can also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be linked to health problems, so it’s important to look for paints that contain little to no VOCs. This might impact price as well, as VOC-free paint can sometimes be more expensive than low VOC. VOC-free paint can cost around $35.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Interior of a House Yourself?

DIY interior house painting costs for materials including, brushes, drop cloths, tape, and paint

While painting may seem like a relatively simple project (you just grab a brush and go, right?) it can require a bit of know-how to do it right. Without some basic tips and tricks, you may find your paint to be streaky, see-through, or uneven, in addition to other challenges. 

However, taking some time to figure out how to DIY this project can be worth it, and can dramatically offset total project costs. Most DIY painters can expect to pay $200-$300 in supplies, including paints and primers, tape, brushes, drop cloths, and more. Don’t forget to factor in the time it will take you to complete the job. 

According to the Painting Contractors’ Association, you can approach your interior paint project with some important tips that professionals know and most DIYers don’t. For example, you want to opt for a 2.5 inch angled brush, use a tinted primer, and press your tape down with a putty knife. 

Here’s a complete list of items to purchase if you’re looking to DIY your project:

ItemCost
Primer and paint$15-$35
Drop cloths and protective coverings for furniture$2-$20
Angled brushes, rollers, and paint containers$10-$17 (for a kit)
Putty knife$2-$6
Painter’s tape$3-$18

FAQs About Painting a House Interior

How can I save money while painting my home’s interior?

One of the most important money-saving tricks is to have a contractor help you get the actual paint, as they can find it at a more affordable rate than just visiting the store yourself. However, you can save on setup and cleanup if you are doing a combination of DIY and using a contractor so you aren’t being billed for them to put down a tarp and tape off the area.

How can I share costs with others to save money?

In addition, you can share supplies with neighbors and friends to offset the non-paint costs, such as brushes and other items. Not every home on your street needs to own multiple drop cloths to protect the floors, so look for those used rather than new. 

You can also repurpose other items, such as an old sheet, instead of an official drop cloth. However, you don’t want to skimp on costs by reusing old paint that is outdated, or by using dry and crumbly brushes. These should be purchased new.

Should I hire a professional or DIY my interior paint project?

If you have enough time, energy, and a bit of know-how, you can attempt a paint project yourself. This can also be economical if you’re dealing with a space that doesn’t have to look like a showroom in a model home, and can have a few minor errors. If it’s a main room, or you simply don’t have the time for it, it’s best to hire a professional local painter.

What other projects should I do at the same time?

While you’ve already covered the furniture and removed things in the way, it can be a great time to deep clean and paint the baseboards as well. This can be done DIY as well, or you can have your professional painter complete these at the same time.

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