questionsis this painting estimate too high?


That sounds high to me. My house is 1,000 SF and I do my own painting. Well, I buy beer, chicken and pizza and have a painting party anyway. I have a more casual southwestern style approach, where everything doesn't have to be perfect and crisp. Colors are allowed to go over the edges a bit, etc. My living room is mango with blood orange ragging on one wall and the face of the fireplace. My dining room is mint with a steel grey accent wall where paintings in complimentary colors are hung. My bedroom, which is filled with sunlight, is pale yellow ragged with white, so it looked like dappled sunlight. My bathroom is spring green and I used a stamp roller to lay in a pattern of darker green leaves on one wall. I painted my kitchen cabinets bright yellow, and painted murals with sunflowers, daisies and butterflies on the inset panels of the top cabinets. Each room took a day, I painted the murals on the cabinets one per evening for a week. It all cost a few hundred dollars.


The guy that painted the inside of our house seemed really cool and easy to work with, first. He quoted $1000 and said he would be done in a day. I came home to find cigarette butts on my front porch and the painting about 1/3 done and half of that was the wrong color. After the 3rd day, with the work still not finished, I told him to go away and finished the work myself.

Moral of the story: Be very slow to hire and do lots and lots of research.


@moondrake: Sounds fun. I'm using fun colors too. The cost is higher because the walls are dark olive and all the kitchen cabinets, trim everywhere, 6 doors, 10 windows is baby poo brown. But I'm using a painting calculator and it's a lot higher. I called another painter but I'm fed up with these guys. I can't do it myself because, well I just hate painting and it's too much work for me.


I'm not sure whether it's high or not. Ask where he's buying the paint, and what brand it is. Ask for quotes for just one room. If you're trying to take a home from dark random paint to sell-it-quick white (my official name for the off-white used when updating homes to sell them), it's going to be more money. Professional painters are valuable.

On the other hand, I've had painters who got halfway through the work, and then said they needed more money. Yes, that's evil. Yes, they were surprised when I said I would just have to find someone else to finish it. There's a lot more to that story which will wait for another day.

Is this painter licensed (and did you check on the license with whatever web site your state maintains to do so)?

[Continued. Stupid character limit.]


My last paint job that I could quickly find (I had a cottage cheese ceiling removed in 2009) said this:

interior painting of ceiling in liv room/hallway
stairwell/dining room/kitchen
................labor 175
5 gal bucket of Sherwin-Williams 200 low sheen [pure white]
Labor+Material 278

(The stairwell was especially tricky, since it's a two story house, with the entryway in the middle of both floors. They cal it a "California Split" here in WA, which is funny, because I never saw that style of house in CA.)

On the other hand, he was painting over drywall, not covering up dark paint.

Yes, the cost seems a bit excessive.


@shrdlu: My home is 2 br 2 ba with laundry room 750 sq ft. For me to live in. Lots of prep work washing and sanding. Inside of kitchen cabinets have to be painted because of horrid color. Repair where chair rail was removed.. Paint is from Home Depot which is fine. Not sure how much. I'm getting a full rundown tomorrow. But I think it's high too. He is going to need multiple coats which is what the problem is.


I would think that if you used a stain blocking primer like KILZ, there shouldn't be any problem covering the existing dark paint. I would insist upon two finish coats even though one might suffice. If the Kilz isn't covering the dark base then you might be able to get away with tinting the Kilz and two-coating and then topping with one finish coat. This will result in a duller finish. Regardless, the most I could see you needing would be three coats of paint - 1 primer + 2 finish coats.
The cost to apply the three coats is where you money is going to be tied up. Might be worth testing out a paint/primer combo to see if two coats will cover.


@jimmyd103: I haven't seen the estimate yet so I don't have a breakdown of supplies and costs. There is a lot of prep work and 3 coats for kitchen and all the trim that is poop, including 6" baseboards. I used Glidden Duo test colors and 2 coats may do it, in the LR. I'm not sure if new color is dark enough. Bedroom is Taupe on top and Navy below and where the chair rail was needs to be fixed. There is a lot of prep on the trim. It's an ugly mess i here.


I'd agree with OC and others: this seems kind of high. Actually, way high. I just had 5 rooms repainted before I moved into my house. All but one were awful bright colors (bright orange, bright blue) and needed to be primed and a couple of coats. I think it was maybe 1750 for all of it? 2000 tops. The rooms weren't very complicated, but they weren't small and they required some work to get done (2 were bathrooms). Came out looking great, though.

TL;DR: Keep looking for another painter.


Beware smooth's too high. If you can't do it yourself or buy a keg and invite friends over to help, then find a couple of reputable companies and check them out through the BBB.

If you have access to something like Angie's list,(they rate businesses in your area) or one that doesn't charge through the nose, search through them.


I think @ohcheri, @wilfbrim, and others are missing a key point here. It's not the wall painting that's killing the cost, it's the cabinets.

j5 j5

The area you are located in can have a big influence on price. Labor costs out here in rural Florida are a lot lower that when I lived in the Chicago suburbs.


@j5: I agree, the cabinets will drive up the cost quite a bit. Probably close to doubling the cost of the rest of the home.

I'm having 2300 sqft painted for about $5k including some pretty good paint. no cabinets though. I'm sure that would be another $1.5k easy. It'll take 4 guys about a week to finish. I've never had any cabinets painted but I've done it myself and it is terrible. IMHO your qoute is high but I'm not sure it's more than $500 high.


@minkeygirl7: You painter was telling you he doesn't want your job.


Yes, it does seem high. And this whole conversation is making me appreciate my painting-business-owning neighbors more than ever.


@minkeygirl7: This is the only estimate you've received? I know you'd said several people hadn't even shown up. Is your area booming in construction and remodeling right now?

If I were you, I'd do it one room at a time, and NOT start with the kitchen, either. Ask for estimates for each room. I've had someone give me a single estimate for all the work I wanted down (without breaking it down), and I told him to come back with separate estimates for each thing, and that I wasn't going to do it all at once. I don't have the kind of personality that wants to have weeks and weeks of people in my house, tearing it up, making a mess, etc etc.

Doing one room at a time keeps him around longer, yes, but also lets you cut your losses if things don't go well.


I'm re-considering my plan to hire someone to paint. : )

I have had the same experience trying to get estimates for the work I need done in my condo. Most people don't call back. Some come but never follow up with an estimate. Only one guy actually responded with an estimated total. I am not looking forward to trying again but I will because I don't think one estimate really gives me a good idea of what is reasonable.

cf cf

@cf: I finally found someone! I got two more estimates. One guy did it all by text and photos. He came in at $2200. That's $1200 less than the other one although if I need a 3rd coat on walls it will be more but not $1200 more.

I'm going with a general contractor who along with the painting is cutting back an arch wall, removing 2 sconces, replacing two light fixtures in the kitchen and completely removing a pendant light that is unnecessary for $2600. This guy asked me what my budget was so that impressed me.

Have patience and just keep plugging along. Seems to be industry standard to flake out.