Average Costs for Painting

The total cost of painting depends on a few different factors including what type of painting service you need, the amount of paint you need, and the quality of paint you choose. Here are the average costs for different painting services.

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Commercial Painting Costs

Whether you're planning on opening a new business, want to give your current business a facelift, or recently purchased a business and want to update it, commercial painting can help you realize the potential of your building. After all, consumers are drawn to beautiful buildings, so if your building is looking a little worse for wear, it's time to hire a professional to give it an update.

When estimating the cost of an exterior commercial painting job, there are a number of factors that come into play (1):

  • The square footage. Calculating the square footage of the entire building is the first step. Then you need to subtract the square footage of areas that won't be painted like doors and windows.
  • Figure out how much paint will be needed. For smooth surfaces, you'll need approximately one gallon for every 400 square feet. For textured surfaces, one gallon will only cover about 300 square feet. If your building requires two coats of paint, then the amount of paint will need to be doubled.
  • Calculate how much the materials will cost. There are varying qualities of paint available and they range in price. Good quality paint can cost anywhere from $25-$40 per gallon. You'll also have to factor in the cost of drop cloths, paint trays, rollers, and brushes.
  • Factor in labor costs. Keep in mind that labor costs are not limited to how long it takes the professionals to paint the building. Prep work like scraping, washing, and priming the surface are also factors.
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Interior Painting Costs

It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a home's interior. The colors you choose can be bold or subtle, but the change will be dramatic no matter what. Interior painting gives your home character and increases its resale value. As far as the cost for interior painting, it's dependent on the quality and quantity of paint you choose as well as local labor costs and costs for miscellaneous materials like brushes and rollers. A gallon of paint can cost anywhere from $12-$50 or more, depending on quality, and brushes, primer, rollers and other supplies can cost anywhere from $10-$50. For a standard 12x12 foot room, you can expect to pay an average of $200-$400 (2) for professional interior painting. Keep in mind that price only includes walls. If you want to paint the ceilings as well, the price will increase.

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • It costs more to cover dark colored walls with light paint than it does to cover light colored walls with dark paint. This is due to the fact that dark colors take more coats to cover which increases the amount of paint needed and bumps the price up.
  • Most estimates by painting professionals only include the cost of prep work, painting, and clean up. If you need to move furniture, you may need to hire someone else to do it for you.
  • Since paint rollers and brushes are inexpensive in general, try to always choose the best quality you can afford. Cheap rollers can leave bits of fuzz on the walls and cheap brushes can leave streaks.
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Exterior Painting Costs

One of the easiest ways to increase the curb appeal and resale value of your home is to have the exterior painted. However, that's not to say it's an easy job that anyone can do. When it comes to painting the exterior of a house, a lot of planning, prep work, and skill is needed. Unless you have experience in painting houses, this is a job best left to the professionals.

Exterior paint is more expensive than interior paint. It can range anywhere from $25-$40 per gallon for good quality paint and $50-$100 per gallon for high quality premium paint. For professional services, you can expect to pay an average of $1,500-$3,000 for an average-sized, single-story home (3). However, if you have a larger home, the price increases to $5,500 or more for a professional exterior paint job.

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Faux Painting Costs

When flat walls don't do it for you anymore, consider getting a faux painting service. Faux painting, also called faux finishing, is a decorative paint finish that is used to replicate the appearance of different materials like stone, wood, or marble. There are many different types of faux painting available:

  • Fresco


    Adds subtle texture to walls by using a mixture of joint compound and tint.

  • Marbelizing


    Also called faux marbling, this technique is used to make walls look like marble.

  • Graining


    Also called faux bois or wood graining, this technique creates the illusion of wood on walls, usually to imitate exotic woods.

  • Trompe l'oeil

    Trompe l'oeil

    French for "fool the eye", this technique creates realistic murals.

  • Sponging


    this technique is achieved by using a sea sponge to dab glaze onto a wall.

    There are many other types of faux finishes available (4) and each one of them will turn your home into a unique, stylish space. When compared to wallpapers, faux painting is longer lasting, doesn't have any seams, and will never peel off the walls. If you're looking for a permanent, beautiful finish for your home, consider faux painting.

As for the cost of faux painting, it can be an expensive investment. The average hourly rate for specialty painting is $40-$50 per hour. For a 10x12 foot room, adding texture to walls can cost approximately $500. As for a trompe l'oeil mural, the cost depends on the artist, though some artists charge as much as $30 per square foot or more.

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Average Costs for Wallpaper

Wallpaper can make or break a home. A beautiful new wallpaper can breathe life and style into your home while an old, outdated wallpaper can severely detract from its beauty. Professionals can help you install new wallpaper or quickly and safely remove old wallpaper.

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Wallpaper Installation Costs

Wallpaper has seen a recent surge in popularity over the past few years because new materials, designs, and patterns are coming out all the time. Wallpaper is a quick way to give your home an instant face-lift and increase its aesthetic appeal (5). Since there are so many types of wallpaper available these days, the price for installing wallpaper depends mostly on the type of wallpaper being installed. A roll of decent wallpaper can cost anywhere from $25-$50 depending on style and material. If you're trying to hang wallpaper yourself, an average 16x20 foot room will require around 20 rolls and can cost you up to $1,000. However, that does not include any mistakes that might happen that will need to be repaired. When it comes to hanging wallpaper, hiring a professional is usually the best option. While it will cost more for a professional, up to $2,200 for a 16x20 foot room, the end result will be impeccable.

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Wallpaper Removal Costs

When it comes to the cost of wallpaper removal, one of the biggest factors is whether or not the paper was hung properly in the first place. If it was a messy DIY job or if the professional was inexperienced, removing wallpaper can become a long, expensive job. Don't be surprised if the contractor you hire to remove the wallpaper asks to remove a small test section before giving you an estimate. If there are no issues with the wallpaper, it can cost roughly $250-$450 to remove wallpaper from a 12x15 foot room. However, if there are complications with removing the wallpaper, that price can jump to $1,000 or more (6).

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Average Costs for Other Painting Services

From popcorn ceiling removal to removing lead paint, painting contractors do much more than painting walls.

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Popcorn Ceiling Removal Costs

If your house was built between the late 1950s to the 1980s, chances are you have a popcorn ceiling. Also called a cottage cheese ceiling or an acoustic ceiling, the popcorn ceiling was originally used as an inexpensive way to finish a ceiling while reducing noise and covering stains and defects. Up until 1978, when the process was banned (7), asbestos was used in popcorn ceilings. Since we now know that asbestos is hazardous to our health, many homeowners have gotten their popcorn ceilings removed in case it contained asbestos. On the other hand, many homeowners also think the popcorn ceiling look is outdated and ugly.

It is highly recommended that you have a professional remove your popcorn ceiling. If your ceiling does contain asbestos, a professional will be expertly trained in how to safely remove it. Even if there is no trace of asbestos, removing a popcorn ceiling is a messy job that needs to be done properly in order to preserve the integrity of the ceiling. Getting your popcorn ceiling professionally removed will cost about $1-$2 per square foot. If you have a 12x12 foot ceiling, then it will cost you around $144-$288 to have the popcorn ceiling removed.

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Lead Paint Removal Costs

If your home was built before 1978, there's a good chance lead paint was used (8). Children who are six and younger are the most susceptible to the devastating effects lead can cause:

  • Behavior problems and learning problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lower IQ
  • Hearing problems
  • Anemia
  • Slowed growth

In pregnant women, lead can cause growth and developmental problems for the fetus since it can cross the placental barrier (9). However, children and pregnant women are not the only ones at risk from lead. It can cause cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and hypertension in adults. It can also lead to decreased kidney function and reproductive complications in men and women (10). If you suspect you have lead paint in your home, it's imperative that you have it professionally removed as soon as possible. The average cost for lead paint removal is approximately $10,000 for a typical home built before 1978. Because it's such an expensive issue to resolve, it's best to have your home tested for lead paint first.


  1. Parker, Jason. "How to Estimate Exterior Commercial Painting". Performance Painting. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  2. "Painting an Interior Cost". Costhelper. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  3. "Cost to Paint a House Exterior". Homewyse. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  4. "Forget Ordinary Paint: Use These 8 Stylish Faux Finishes". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. "Why Wallpaper". Wallcovering Installers Association. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. "Wallpaper Removal Cost". Costhelper. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  7. Katz, Ashley. "How to Handle a 'Popcorn' Ceiling that May Contain Asbestos". Green Home Guide. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  8. "Protect Your Family from Exposures to Lead". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  9. "Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Lead Exposure in Pregnant and Lactacting Women". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  10. "ToxFAQsTM for Lead". Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
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