Pricing Out the Cost to Paint a Home's Interior
Updated: Jan 20
How much do painters in Edmonton charge to paint a house interior? There are so many answers to this question. The prices I'm going to discuss today are for reference. A professional estimator needs a lot of detail to prepare an accurate painting estimate, What is the size of the area that needs to be painted? Is it empty or does someone live there? Are there any repairs to be done? How much travel time is required to get to the project? How soon does it need to get done? Is the new colour the same or different? Are there any custom colour preferences? All of these factors and more will influence an estimator’s pricing.
The intent of this blog is to discuss prices for interior residential painting only. We will share some current, average and sample pricing by Mill Creek Painters, but these details are not to be used as a final pricing guide - prices change with the market. As always, we welcome your questions in the comment section.
How Do Painters Estimate?
Why do estimates vary between painters?
Do some contractors charge a way higher price than others?
How do I know I've been given a good price?
While you often get what you pay for, an expensive paint job doesn't always guarantee the consumer better quality. Somewhat surprisingly, the difference in pricing reflects less on quality differences and more on the estimator’s business knowledge and estimating skills. The estimator of a successful painting company should know their numbers. Each contractor will have different techniques and skills, require different amounts of time to complete the same job, and what is the right price for one contractor could put another out of business.
Four Basic Steps an Estimator Follows to Calculate the Accurate Price
Measure, count, and visually inspect what needs painting, including all related prep work and clean-up.
Calculate how many hours or days it will take based on the estimator's knowledge of the painting crew's speed.
Multiply the hours by the company’s hourly rate. The hourly rate is the sum of the painters wages including payroll contributions, the company’s fixed costs such as marketing and administrative, and the profit margin.
Add the the cost of all paint, materials and rented equipment for this job.
So… What is the Cost of Painting my Edmonton Home?
Our hypothetical, 2 story 1,800 square foot home is fifteen years old and located in an older neighbourhood. The home is lightly furnished and the basement requires no painting. The scope of work includes two coats on the walls of 3 bedrooms, the bathroom & powder room, the stairway and hallways. The main floor has an open space kitchen & a living-dining room with an adjoining family room. The laundry room needs to be painted.
Our price for painting two coats on the walls of the noted areas is about $3,000 to $3,500. This would assume walls are to be painted the same colour or darker, only minor repairs, and a mid grade paint from a major manufacturer like Sherwin-Williams.
Painting non textured ceilings (in good condition) will possibly bring the cost to over $4,000.00.
Add the painting of basic style doors, baseboards and window frames and you are over $5,000.00.
Upgrading the paint, using many colours and highlight walls will also increase the cost.
An empty home is less expensive as the painters don’t have to move the furniture and cover it, and we typically offer a discount for this. Painting companies prefer if the customer does not live in the house for the flexibility and extra space it offers. The easier scheduling and flexible timelines is a win win for both parties and and our estimator brings this to the client’s attention.
How Much to Paint an Average Sized Room?
How does an estimator measure the size of the rooms that need to be painted? A house is made up of several different-sized rooms and a few common areas such as hallways and stairways. In order to provide an accurate estimate, the estimator must measure the size and the quantity of all the areas that need painting.
The best way to calculate the square footage of a room is to measure and add the total length of the all the walls, then multiplying that total by the height of the room. If there are big areas within that space that are not getting painted, we will deduct their square footage from the total. Examples are: a large window wall, double doors, or a wallpapered wall. If two coats are required, the measured square footage is doubled. In a 14 by 14 room the walls have a linear length of 56 feet. Multiplying 56 times 8 (the height of the walls) will give us 448 square feet of paintable wall.
Mill Creek Painters would paint two coats on the walls for about $343 including the cost of paint.
Wall repairs, priming over porous builders paint and a lot of furniture will add to the total.
Painting the ceilings with white ceiling flat paint will cost $147
Simple small size closet – $80
Medium size closet – $120
Walk in closets and closets with organizers will cost more, depending on their size and difficulty of working around shelving. Some of the walk in closets we painted are as big as some bedrooms.
The Cost of Painting Bathrooms, Powder Rooms and Laundry Rooms
Though there is very little wall area to paint in a laundry room, in a bathroom and even less in a typical powder room, more often than not, it is not inexpensive. The reason is mostly because of the more detailed work in tight spaces. Painting around bathtubs, light fixtures and cabinets takes a lot of time and careful brushwork. Getting up close and personal with a stranger’s toilet and painting behind it takes a certain “je ne sais quoi”. In a laundry room the difficulty depends on how the washer and dryer are installed and if the painter needs to move them to access the walls behind them.
Our price for the walls of a small powder room is $200
Most bathrooms walls can be painted for $300
Laundry rooms with easy access behind the appliances are about $300
What could add to the price? Bathrooms often have moisture damage on the ceilings. Requesting glossy paint which requires extensive prep-work to look good. Signs of mildew that needs to be treated. Bathrooms can be cheaper if the walls are covered with ceramic tile with minimal wall space to paint. After masking the ceramic tiles painting them does not take long and is considerably cheaper.
How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Door?
Painting the doors and the door frames are not included in the main project and must be added on to the total. There are two main reasons for that. Doors are painted in completely different, more durable semi-gloss or satin paint, which lasts longer and is washable. The other reason is customers can save money by choosing to not paint the doors. Painting trim such as doors and door frames is time consuming and relatively more expensive than walls. There are three basic types of painted doors.
Note: The cost of painting doors and frames can increase if more prep-work is needed.
Flush (flat) Doors
These are the easier of the doors to paint. A painter will use a brush to cut-in around the hinges, the frame and the door handles. Sometimes the door handles are removed and other times they are masked. The main part of the door is rolled with a fine roller. Our average price per door and simple frame is $50.
Painting panel doors requires more skill and more time with a paint brush. The individual panels are carefully brushed in before the entire door gets rolled. Today’s paints dry faster and allow less working time, which makes these doors challenging for a slower painter to work on. Our average price for these doors with frames is $75.
It takes a lot of skill to paint French doors well and to do it within reasonable time. A painter not only has to be careful with the hinges, door knobs etc, but also be mindful of the adjoining glass surfaces. French doors and casings can cost the customer an average of $200.
What is the Cost of Painting the Kitchen?
Kitchens often have a lot of tile backsplash and appliance-covered walls. Customers often assume that since the area to be painted in the kitchen is a small surface, the cost would be inexpensive. Most of the time, the reality is different. Painting around the backsplash and cabinets is alone more time consuming than painting an entire wall. We dread having to move the appliances and paint behind them. Moving an older fridge can be risky. Sometimes the wheels are broken and the refrigerator may damage the floor. Other times, the surfaces behind the appliances are greasy or dusty. In small kitchens, there isn’t much room and working behind the appliances is uncomfortable and difficult to paint. For all the reasons that were mentioned, pricing a kitchen is unpredictable. A range of $200 to $400 should cover most possibilities.
Pricing the Painting of Kitchen Cabinets
Painting kitchen cabinets provides the customer great value. Refinishing them can be about 30% of replacement. The majority of cabinets that we paint are made of varnished wood and need a good quality bonding primer. Before we apply the primer the cabinets get washed and degreased as necessary. Depending on the customer’s situation, the doors and drawers can be removed or they can be painted in place. Professionals prefer to remove them, along with the knobs, hinges and all hardware. If possible the doors are transported to a shop where they get spray painted under a controlled environment. They are brought back to be reinstalled after the paint is cured. We recommend two finish coats of cabinet grade enamel paint.
The Value Option – $1,000 to $1,500. This is an affordable option for rental properties and small kitchens. Cleaning, prepping, and painting by brush and roller happens in without removing hardware, doors or drawers. Usually the cabinets are previously painted and all they need is couple of fresh coats of paint.
Mid Price – $2,000 to $3,000. This involves removal of hardware, prep and paint of doors, drawers and frames. The customer can choose to re-install the existing or supply us with new hardware. Most of our customers decide to use this package.
Spray Option – $3,800 to $5,000. This package involves removal and spraying of all the doors, drawers, frames and boxes. It’s a good option for high quality existing kitchen cabinets and it’s the closest you can get to a factory finish. Spraying happens off the site, but on-site painting can be arranged if there is an area available. We suggest installing new and upgraded hardware.
What about the Cost of Paint?
The cost of paint is about 15-25% of the cost of the contract. Mid-grade paint costs about $35 per gallon with contractor pricing. If you are painting your home to sell and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can get cheaper paint. Stay away from anything that costs less than $25, as you will be buying a watered down product that is difficult to use. If you are thinking of using the most expensive paint available, you can spent over $120 per gallon from manufacturers like Farrow & Ball. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that since labour is the most costly part of the job, you should use the best paint your budget will allow.
There are great choices out there. Manufacturers offer many different colours and great looking sheens for every room of your home. Low pollution zero VOC products, washable and easily-cleanable paints, and many other varieties.
Why do Painters Price by the Square Footage of the Floor?
In a world where COVID has limited the amount of contact most people are willing to have with others, remote estimates are all the rage. Since most homeowners don't know or don't have the time to measure the exact square footage of every wall that needs to be painted, we can get a very good idea based on just the floor area of the house and the wall height. If a house is 1000 square feet with 8' ceilings, we know that we can paint the walls with two coats for somewhere between $1,750 - $2000. Check out our total cost calculator to estimate your project.
Factors that Would Bring the Price Higher
A lot of prep work and surface repairs
Painting over builder’s paints
Using top quality paints like Aura eggshell or similar
Wallpaper removal and subsequent repair
Water damage and stains on the ceilings
Textured and popcorn ceilings, especially when never painted before
Special trim such as custom molding, fireplace mantles and crown molding
Wood trim that's never been painted needs priming, sanding and filling
A lot of furniture to move around and protect
High ceilings and tough to reach stairway walls
There are different painting companies that employ painters with different skills and speeds. They price a paint job based on numbers that their company needs to be profitable, or at least we hope they do.
This blog on pricing was first published in 2021. Companies change their prices often. For more accurate pricing it is better to contact Mill Creek Painters and schedule a home consultation.
You can call us at 587-804-5080.