Marketing & Sales

What Is A House Painting Cost Estimator?

Using a house painting cost estimator allows you to input the size of the house to estimate its cost. Learn more about house painting cost calculators here.

The thought of bidding on your first painting job might seem daunting. But with tools like the house painting cost estimator, you have little to worry about. 

A house painting cost estimator helps you create a realistic budget for your painting project while providing high-quality painting at a fair price.

This tool is specially designed to help you figure out the least amount of paint you need to use for an entire painting project, making it perfect for a budget-conscious project. 

It also helps determine your cost-benefit analysis, whether a professional painter or a homeowner looking to invest in a DIY home renovation project. 

Here is a deep dive into defining what a house painting cost estimator is, how it works, and the steps to take to calculate your painting costs.

How A House Painting Cost Estimator works

A house painting cost estimator gives you a painting job estimate by assuming one liter of paint covers a fixed coverage of space. Usually, a gallon of paint covers 300 and 400 square feet for one coat of paint on a smooth surface. One gallon of paint on a textured surface will cover about 250 square feet.

The tool then uses this estimate to determine the amount of paint you need for your project. Depending on the type of paint you choose, the type of paint job, and the cost per paint in your location, the estimator provides a cost estimate.

Type of Paint

Different types of paint are sold at different costs depending on your location, the quality, and the type of paint. The quality of paint is categorized as basic, premium, or high quality. Basic is the cheapest option while high quality is the most expensive.

The different types of paint include oil-based, latex, hybrid, or primer paint for your paint job. Oil-based paint is perfect for a smooth surface because it doesn't show brushstrokes. It is also excellent for areas with a high moisture content like the bathroom or spaces with high traffic because it is durable due to the hard shell it produces when it dries. 

This is why painters often use it on high traffic areas like doors, cabinets, kitchens, or in exterior spaces for siding. Nonetheless, oil-based paint contains a high VOC that is not healthy when inhaled. It also takes longer to dry and is harder to clean.

Latex paint gives you excellent coverage and can substitute oil-based paint since it prevents moisture or mildew, dries faster than oil-based paint, and is durable. Even though you can use this paint for your home's exterior spaces, it is not quite as durable as oil-based paint.

Hybrid paint has the durability of oil-based paint, and it dries as fast as latex paint. As such, you can use it for your home's exterior spaces. Primers are often either oil-based or latex-based. Hence, they carry the properties of the two types of paint.

Latex primer is perfect for drywall since it hides imperfections and is easy to clean, while the oil-based primer is excellent for covering stains. Apart from the paint type, you also need to consider the type of finish you want.

You can either have a flat finish, eggshell, satin, or a gloss finish. A matte or flat finish hides dirt, imperfections, and stains, while the gloss finish gives your walls a shine and is easy to clean. The flat finish is perfect for bedrooms because it does not reflect light.

The dining room looks good with an eggshell finish. Satin often suits hallways and other rooms with significant traffic because it cleans easily, and high-gloss finish is used on cabinets and doors because of the shiny property. Choose the semi-gloss finish for your bathroom and kitchen.

Type of Paint Job

A house painting job might require you to paint the whole house, the exterior, the interior, or specific rooms or locations in the home. Depending on the size of the job, you need to know the measure of the length and height of the walls, the coverage area in square meters or feet, the size of the ceiling and floor, and the entire door, window, or skirting area.

The skirting area is any space in your house you will not paint, like the floor space in your bedroom if you are painting the walls alone. Here's an example:

If you are painting a bedroom with four walls, measure the length and height of each wall in meters or feet. Suppose the size of the walls is identical, and each measures 10ft long and 8ft tall. The square foot for each wall is 10ft x 8ft = 80 sq ft.

Therefore, the total size of the bedroom is 80 sq ft + 80 sq ft + 80 sq ft + 80 sq ft = 320 sq ft, which is the total wall area. This means that the bedroom would only need one gallon of paint for one coat of paint. Consider the size of the door and whether you'll paint it in a different color.

With the estimator, all you need is the width, length, and height of each room, and the tool does the calculations for you. The estimator also factors in the size of your doors and windows and the texture of the walls, which in most cases is needed for exterior painting.


Different states offer different paint prices. As such, a house painting cost estimator uses your location to determine the overall cost of buying paint and painting materials.

Usually, a painting cost estimator also includes the materials you need for the painting job, especially for exterior painting since it is more challenging and the surfaces are textured. These are rollers, paint trays, fillers, white spirits, brushes, dust sheets, scrapers, and sugar soaps.

How the Estimator works

Different estimators have different procedures for calculating the cost of painting. Nonetheless, they require you to input:

  • Whether you are painting the entire home, the exterior, the interior, or one room like the bedroom or kitchen
  • Your wall condition – are you adding new paint, or are you repainting your home
  • The damage on the walls if your project is a repaint - is the peeling extensive, or is it minimal
  • The number of floors to paint
  • Whether you are painting the ceiling
  • The size of all the areas that need painting
  • The level of paint finish you want – can be high end, mid-range, or budget-friendly
  • The details of your property like your home address to get the ROI on your renovated property and its location to determine the cost estimate

Once you've included all the information needed by the estimator, you get an estimate for your house painting project. 

Steps To Calculate Paint Costs

You can determine the cost of painting a home as a professional painting business owner or as a homeowner preparing for a DIY project. Typically, you select the price of a gallon of paint in your region based on the type of paint.

This ranges between $30 and $100 for every gallon of paint, but it also depends on the quality of paint you choose. Once you determine the number of gallons you need to paint your home, multiply this by the cost per gallon to get your total painting cost.

However, other factors affect the overall cost of painting your home, like materials and labor. For instance, while the materials focus significantly on your painting costs, a professional painter can get them wholesale while a homeowner might pay the retail price.

Also, the labor cost might make up more than half of the entire cost of painting, a factor that varies from one professional to another. For instance, if you have ten years of painting experience, you might want to charge more for your expertise.

Most professionals also consider charging per hour, especially if the job is an entire house project. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to calculate your painting costs.

Step 1: Visit The Painting Site

Make a site visit to look at the house's condition and take size measurements. If the project is an entire home renovation, ensure you inspect the whole home's interior and exterior. Look for obstacles like electric wires or cables and the condition of the walls.

Some walls may require repair, a factor that adds to the overall cost of your painting job. Remember to also check the paint color since dark colors need a lot of paint to cover. Once your home inspection is done, measure every area to be painted, including the ceiling, floors, trims, doors, and windows.

Remember to ask your client whether they want to use different colors on the wall or provide the paint themselves. The type and quality of the paint matter as well.

Step 2: Determine The Cost Of Paint

Some customers prefer specific paint brands and quality. You should consult with them beforehand to determine if this is the case. Also, find out if the paint job requires a mix of different colors.

Depending on your location and the quality, brand, and type of paint, a gallon of paint will range between $30-$60. Usually, professional painters' average wholesale paint price per gallon is $45. Also, determine the amount of paint you need by using the home measurements and the type of paint job.

For instance, if you are painting a home that is 2,500 feet, the number of gallons you need for one coat of paint is 2,500 divided by 400 = 6.25, which is about 7 gallons of paint. Considering the average cost per gallon of paint to be $45 makes the total cost $45 x 7 = $315.

If the paint job requires two coats of paint and trim painting, which is often the preferred painting practice, then the gallons needed will be 7 x 2 = 14, thus making the total cost of painting $45 x 14 = $630.

Step 3: Determine Your Material Costs

Unless you have been working as a painter for a while, you need materials as part of your tool kit. Your materials include tools you need to move things like cables in the way of your painting job. 

For a 2,500 square foot house, these materials include:

  • Trays
  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Sandpaper
  • Three rolls of masking tape
  • A gallon of primer
  • Caulk and spackle
  • Ten rolls of tape
  • Two rolls of masking plastic
  • Protective gear like a mask, coverall, and gloves

Include the cost of acquiring any of these materials in your overall painting cost. The amount of prep work you need to do on the house also affects the number of materials you need. For instance, if the house needs significant prep work, you will require more caulking and primer.

If you use a cost estimator, indicate the different lines to paint to determine your material costs. For instance, if you are painting a roofline for a home exterior job, remember to indicate the number of bricks and the size of the roofline when filling the estimator.

Step 4: Find Good Hires

On average, the cost of professional painting labor is $20 per hour. The number of professionals you need for a job depends on the size of the job and the time it takes to complete. Also, consider the possibility of occurring issues that increase your project timeframe.

Such issues include painting around windows, obstacles like trees that make it hard to access the house, and the prep work needed for repairing damaged wood or peeling paint. Also, consider whether you will need extra paint coats, like for cases where the house paint is in a dark color.

You need two or three painters for a 2,500 sq ft home to be completed in one to three days. This is about $500 to $800 per day, making it a maximum of $2400 labor cost. An excellent tool like Hoist will help you get the right subcontractors for your painting job.

Step 5: Determine Your Marketing Costs

Marketing is part of the hidden cost you should consider when benchmarking your overall painting costs. For instance, you incur a separate fee for making lawn signs, printing and distributing flyers, and lead generation.

As such, include your marketing costs as part of your overhead costs and monitor the performance of your marketing efforts. One strategy to manage your marketing costs is to ensure they make up ten percent or less of your overhead costs. And sign up with a team like Hoist to handle your marketing needs at a budget-friendly fee.

Step 6: Consider Your Markup

You are in business to make a profit. As such, include a markup to the overall painting cost using a fair profit margin. New companies often use a 30 percent markup while established and well-known brands markup at a 50 percent rate.

Consider your target market as you create your markup and overhead costs to ensure you don't lose potential clients or make losses based on high costs and low pricing. Overhead costs include expenses like clothing, insurance, and transportation costs. 

Also, include sales tax in your cost if it is required in your area.

Step 7: Add Up The Costs

The total cost of your project is an addition to the paint, material, labor, and marketing expenses incurred for it.  Also, consider unexpected costs. The house painting cost estimator is also excellent for professional beginners since it adds up all these costs. 

Tools And Equipment Needed For A House Painting Job

  • Clean walls: cleaning your walls provides an even paint, meaning you might need water, soap, and a sponge to remove any present grime or residue on your walls.
  • Painter's tape: It helps to keep your edges, baseboards, windows, trims, and ceilings clean and safe as you paint your walls.
  • Canvas drop clothes to keep paint from dripping on your furniture and floors.
  • Rollers and brushes or a paint sprayer, including a three or two-inch brush to paint the corners in a home, such as window corners or a roller pole for reaching high areas like the ceiling.
  • Roller trays for mixing and preparing the paint and a paintbrush combo to make cleaning your brushes easier.
  • Taping and putty knife for patching cracks and applying joint compound in walls.
  • Paint scraper with a reversible blade for helping with the scraping done during a paint job.
  • Ladder to help you paint spaces that are hard to reach that a roller doesn't reach, especially if the house has a very high ceiling.
  • Touch up tool for painting minor blemishes or spots. 

House Painting Cost FAQs

Factors That Increase Painting Cost

The house's condition, the amount of paint needed, the size of the home, the cost of labor, and the materials required to affect the price of painting a house. In most cases, marketing and overhead costs also affect the overall painting cost. 

Painting Cost Per Square Foot

Determining the exact cost of painting your home per square foot is challenging because several factors affect the overall cost of a painting job. For instance, you might need to prepare a wall for painting by first repairing the drywall. Additionally, some walls need more than two coats of paint.

The cost for the house's interior walls per sq ft ranges between $1.50 and $3.50. But if you add the ceiling, trim, and walls, the amount increases to $3 or $4. For the exterior, the price ranges between $1 and $1.80.

Interior Painting Cost Based On House Size

On average, a painter will charge anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000 to paint the interior of a home. This value varies depending on your state. Per square foot, this price ranges between $1.5 and $3.5. If you want to paint the trim and ceilings, the price increases between $2 and $4 per square foot. If the interior of your house is:

  • 1,000 square feet, the cost ranges between $2,755 and $2,850
  • 1,500 square feet, the cost ranges between $4,000 and $4,275
  • 2,000 square feet, the cost ranges between $5,100 and $5,500
  • 2,500 square feet, the cost ranges between $6,200 and $6,350
  • 3,000 square feet, the cost ranges between $6,500 and $6,700
  • 3,500 square feet, the cost ranges between $7,000 and $7,250

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Hour?

A professional painter typically charges between $25 to $100 per hour. But this value changes depending on your location, the overhead costs, and the painter's experience. The more challenging the painting job, the higher the price per hour.

Additionally, the cost is different for an exterior job compared to that of an interior job. Per hour, an interior painter charges between $40 and $60, while an exterior painter charges between $25 and $100. The cost of exterior painting varies widely based on factors like the difficulty of the job, the location, and the materials needed. Specialized jobs, like a bedroom paint job only, also carry special charges. 

How Long Does It Take To Paint The Interior Of A Home?

A team of experienced painters paints a home's interior for a few days on average. A complex job or a house with a more considerable square footage might take longer. Additionally, the consistency of painting the home affects the duration. For instance, if you only paint the house on weekends or nights, you might take two to three weeks to finish painting the home's interior since the different rooms you paint become inhabitable.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint One Room?

It typically costs between $450 and $650 to paint one room, depending on the size of the room, its condition, and the labor needed. For every square foot of space, the cost of painting one room averages between $2.75 and $4. This includes the cost of painting your ceiling, door trim, and window.

Also, note that painting one room is more expensive than painting an entire home or several rooms since the setup and clean-up costs are still included as part of the overhead costs. 

How Do I Get An Accurate Paint Job Estimate?

The most accurate way to determine your painting cost is to use per square footage costs instead of an overall estimation. Also, a house painting cost estimator is an excellent tool to get an almost accurate estimate of the painting costs. As such, get an estimator that includes your overhead, marketing, material, and labor costs. 

DIY vs. Having Your House Painted

DIY painting is time-consuming, but it can save you up to 30 percent of the cost of hiring a professional. However, you need to consider whether you have the right materials and expertise for a painting job because they can increase the overall costs of the DIY project.

As such, getting an experienced painter is the best way to get your house painted because it ensures the job is done correctly and with the utmost professionalism. But when it comes down to it, your preference determines whether you should hire a professional or get the job done yourself.

What To Do After Figuring All Costs

Get in touch with Hoist. We make it immensely easier to start, run, and grow your own painting business with world-class training, marketing, and support. That’s all on top of a state-of-the-art estimate engine.


How to Bid a Paint Job | A Free Guide to Estimating (in 2021) -

Professional Painters Cost: Average Charge Per Hour | Forbes Advisor

Markup Calculator & Formula | Corporate Finance Institute

How to Estimate a Painting Job in 7 Steps: A Simple Guide for Beginners |

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