How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior House Painter?

When you're looking to hire a house painter for your home's interior, expect to pay from $350 to $700 for a 120-square-foot room. This includes labor and supplies.

Cost will vary according to the height of the walls, amount of prep work and quality of the materials. Some other things that may add to the expense are:

  1. Having the painter move heavy furniture out of the way
  2. Covering a very dark color
  3. Painting the ceiling or details like crown molding or wainscoting

Cost Breakdown

The cost to hire an interior house painter includes:

  • Labor -- After protecting your flooring and other items, the painter will prepare the surfaces you need painted by repairing, sanding, and cleaning, followed by priming and applying 2 coats of paint.
  • Cleanup -- Cleanup is typically included in the job.
  • Supplies and Equipment -- Choose good quality paint so that your walls will look good longer. Usually supplies like caulk, plus equipment (drop cloths, ladder, etc.), are furnished by the painting contractor and included in the per room cost.
  • The initial estimate, which may include an onsite inspection, is often free.

Choose the Best Painter for the Job

For the best work, hire a painter who is licensed. And make sure he/she is bonded and insured as well, with adequate, up-to-date workmen's compensation and liability insurance. There are (at least) two good arguments against hiring unlicensed house painters: 1) even if you sign a contract with them, it may be legally unenforceable, and 2) your homeowner's insurance might not cover against accidents or theft.

Look for an established painter or painting business, with experience in the type of interior painting you want and verifiable local references. A journeyman painter, as someone who has completed a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship program, is desirable.

Get the Most for Your Money

Schedule interior house painting for painters' slow season -- from late fall through early spring. Ask if you can receive a discount by having several rooms painted, rather than just one.

Save money on your professional paint job by limiting the number of colors used to a maximum of two. This reduces labor costs and the amount of leftover paint. Select pleasantly neutral colors that you can live comfortably with -- or that will appeal to a potential buyer for your home.

Opt for low- to no-VOC paint if you or someone in your family has allergies or other breathing problems. Although this nontoxic paint tends to cost a little more, it's worth it in terms of protecting your indoor air quality and your health.