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What Is the Average Cost for Interior Painting?

August 29, 2020

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When it comes to interior painting you need to have done, it’s best to rely on a professional, to ensure the job gets done right! Painting even a few walls is often more difficult than homeowners realize, while investing in the cost of a painting company near you ensures a rich, true color and a surface that lasts.

Average interior painting costs range from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot, depending on materials that need painting, how many coats are needed to achieve the color you prefer, and required prep work. Damage needing repairs before painting begins adds to this cost, typically taking it to $4 to $6 per square foot or more.

Before you assume you can save on the cost of interior house painting and just grab some brushes and drop cloths from your local home improvement store, you might note some reasons why it’s good to call a professional for this work. It’s also helpful to consider common mistakes homeowners make when trying to manage their own painting jobs, so you know what to avoid and also better understand why it’s good to leave this in the hands of a pro.

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A homeowner might also do well to consider some tips on how to keep paint colors looking their best after your painter leaves, and signs that it’s time for fresh paint and other coatings in various rooms. You might also note some tips on how to change up your home’s paint colors so everything looks coordinated and cohesive, and you achieve that professionally designed look you’ve always wanted in your home.

Why Interior Painting is Not a DIY Job!

Interior painting often looks far easier than it is, and online tutorial videos can also entice homeowners to try this work on their own. However, before you start tackling interior house painting, consider some reasons why you want to leave this work to the pros.

  • Prep work is vital before painting. Not even the best paint can hide uneven surfaces, tears in drywall, and other such issues. A professional painter will ensure surfaces are level and even, patched as needed, and ready for fresh paint.
  • Smooth surfaces might not hold paint no matter its adhesive properties. Trying to paint over a smooth wall, glass, metal, and other such surfaces can result in paint that simply peels away! Professional painting contractors know how to “rough up” surfaces with sanding and other such techniques, so they’re ready to hold paint.
  • On the other hand, bumpy surfaces show through paint no matter how thick! Air bubbles in current paint, freshly sanded wood, and other such surfaces might require buffing rather than “roughing up,” so they don’t show their surface imperfections once paint is applied.
  • Proper cleaning is also vital before painting! Even the slightest bit of dust and dirt might show through fresh paint and cause it to peel away from its foundation. While it’s vital that surfaces be cleaned properly, you also don’t want to damage drywall, wood, and other such materials. A professional painting contractor ensures a thorough cleaning without damage.
  • Protecting surfaces you don’t want painted is just as vital as cleaning surfaces that need painting. A professional painting contractor will apply painter’s tape as needed and ensure proper drop cloth use, so paint doesn’t wind up anywhere it’s not supposed to be!
  • Not all paint brushes are alike! Using the wrong brush can mean a messy or thin paint layer, or streaks and brush marks.
  • Certain brushes and rollers also make quick work of painting various surfaces. For instance, thick fabric rollers are designed to push paint into hard-to-reach crevices, such as grout between bricks or porous concrete surfaces.
  • Paint finishes, including high gloss, semi-gloss, flat, and so on affect its appearance; some finishes are also easier to clean than others. If you’re not sure the best paint finish for a particular project, rely on the services of a professional painting contractor to help you find the right choice!

Interior Painting Mistakes to Avoid

If you do decide to tackle interior painting that needs to be done, you might note some common mistakes to avoid along the way! This information can also help you decide if hiring a painting pro is also the best choice, to ensure a high-quality paint job that lasts.

Neglecting proper cleaning and prep is a common amateur mistake when it comes to interior and exterior painting. As said, paint doesn’t adhere well to a dirty surface and all that untouched dust, dirt, and other debris might show right through the paint. It’s also vital that you allow cleaned surfaces sufficient drying time so residual rinse water doesn’t dilute that new paint.

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Along with cleaning, it’s important that you prep surfaces properly; this includes sanding wood and potentially drywall and ceiling tiles, removing old and worn paint, and marking off areas you don’t want painted. Too many homeowners rush through this process, eager to get to the actual painting, only to be left with paint that doesn’t adhere as expected and “globs” of paint dripped or streaked along areas you wanted to leave untouched.

Neglecting to use primer or add a second coat as needed, or wait between coats for proper drying, is also a common mistake that typically leaves your new paint looking less than stellar. Primer gives paint a smooth foundation to which it can adhere properly, while also providing a neutral color behind your new paint, allowing your new paint color to shine through!

An amateur, inexperienced painter might also neglect choosing the right paint and brush type for their project. As said, thick rollers are meant for reaching into cracks and crevices including brick facing, concrete surfaces, paneling grooves, and the like. Using these rollers for standard walls and ceilings will mean overly thick paint coats that don’t adhere to those surfaces!

Various paint finishes also provide different appearances. High-gloss finishes, for instance, have a shiny, almost wet look and especially in well-lighted rooms. This finish can help brighten dark and dim spaces but might seem too shiny for your tastes. Flat paints might be more dull in appearance but are also typically easier to clean, making them an excellent choice for children’s rooms!

Quick and Easy Tips for Making the Most of Interior Paint!

Interior paint does more than just cover walls; certain colors create various moods, can make a space seem clean and hygienic, open up small spaces and make them look larger, or complement a décor’s theme. Using various colors and paint styles can then add to your home’s overall appearance and help create a designer look you’re sure to love.

Consider some quick and easy tips for making the most of interior paint colors and techniques. For homes in warm areas, cool colors such as yellow, robin’s egg blue, and sandy beige can keep your home’s interior feeling cool and comfortable. Yellow is also especially energizing, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen where you might need a bit of added energy each morning while you get your coffee before rushing out the door!

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Avoid dark, warm colors in small rooms and those without much light so you don’t create a cave-like appearance, but opt for warmer colors where you want to relax, such as a family room or bedroom. As dark colors absorb light, they’re also excellent for rooms exposed to harsh lights you want to block, such as bedrooms near outdoor streetlights.

If a room in your home lacks visual interest or if you love bold, vivid paint colors but aren’t sure about painting an entire room a particularly strong color, consider painting an accent wall or one wall of the room a striking color. It’s often best to choose the wall directly opposite the door or the wall that provides the main focal point, such as a wall with a fireplace. Painting that one wall a strong shade while leaving other walls a more neutral color keeps the space from looking dull yet not overwhelming either!

Related Questions

How often should you paint a home’s interior?

A homeowner might need to paint a home’s interior every few years, as paint colors tend to fade after that time, or get worn away from consistent wall washing. One good method of knowing when it’s time to paint is to keep a paint chip of that original color when it’s applied; if you notice paint on the walls or ceilings doesn’t match that chip, and especially if it seems dull, dingy, and gray, it’s time for new paint!

Does interior painting protect surfaces?

Water-resistant paints are an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces that experience high humidity levels, as these paints are less likely to run and might offer protection against water damage to drywall and other building materials.

Does exterior or interior painting increase property values?

Only a real estate agent or property appraiser can note what changes or updates to your home might increase its value, but note that neglecting needed interior painting affects a home’s appearance which can decrease its desirability and value! Fresh paint can also make a home seem updated and modern, making it appealing to homebuyers and thereby increasing or at least retaining its value over the years.


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