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The Home Depot

How to Price a Painting Job

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > How to Price a Painting Job
How to Price a Painting Job

When you want to add paint to your home – whether indoors or outdoors on the exterior of your house – you’ll have a variety of expenses to consider carefully. Even if you opt to apply the paint yourself, you must still purchase all the materials and supplies necessary to paint your home.


The UC Davis website has a helpful webpage that provides guidance for estimating the cost of a painting project. For example, the painting surface, the quality of the paints and the preparation necessary before painting will all have significant impact on the painting price.


Once you know how to price a painting job, you can plan for the project. Whether you proceed with hiring a professional or do the job yourself, you can plan your cash outlay accordingly.

    Before applying fresh primer and paint to an exterior surface, you must first remove any chipping and flaking paint from the surface.
  1. 1.Surface Assessment

    Assess the surfaces for the painting project carefully to determine what tasks will need to be included in the painting project. For example, if the surface involves painting from a ladder or scaffold system, the painting price will rise. If the painting surface could contain hazardous materials, the price will rise, too. Other situations that could also result in a higher painting price include:


      • Ceilings

      • Obstructions

      • Surface imperfections

      • Surface preparation

      • Priming

  2. 2.Necessary Tasks

    Before applying any paint or primer to the surface, you will need to prepare the surface properly. The preparation necessary depends on the surface you are painting. The overall price to paint must include all tasks performed to prepare for and clean up after painting.

  3. 3.Interior Preparation

    Interior walls require preparation to ensure that the new paint adheres properly. Wash the wall surfaces with special soap and allow them to dry.


    Repair any cracks or holes in the walls with drywall compound or caulk to prepare the wall for paint. You must also tape off surrounding areas to ensure that paint does not spread to adjacent baseboards, walls, windows and doorways.

  4. 4.Exterior Preparation

    Before applying fresh primer and paint to an exterior surface, you must first remove any chipping and flaking paint from the surface. Failure to remove this paint layer may cause the new primer and paint to fail.


    Manually removing the existing layer – either by hand scraping or power washing – will incur an additional expense for the painting project. Cleaning up after removing the existing paint will also be an expense – whether you sweep up or vacuum up the paint chips.

  5. 5.Materials

    The materials necessary to apply paint will be a significant cost. If you paint your house yourself, you will need to rent or purchase the materials. If you hire a professional, the cost of the materials will be built into the price for painting.


    Materials and tools for painting include:


      • Paint scraper or power washer

      • Drop cloths

      • Industrial vacuum cleaner

      • Drywall compound

      • Caulk

      • Putty knife

      • Sandpaper

      • TSP soap

      • Bucket

      • Sponge

      • Painter’s tape

      • Primer

      • Paint

      • Paint tray

      • Paint roller (with extension)

      • Paint brushes

      • Ladder

      • Scaffolding (optional)


    If you hire a painting expert, you may be able to perform some of the preparation work yourself to reduce expenses. You might also try negotiating with a professional painter to reach a price for services that you can afford.


    Whether you proceed with a do-it-yourself painting project or you decide to hire a professional, pay attention to the various expenses connected with the project to ensure that it stays affordable.

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