What to look for when hiring a painter

As you are considering a painting project, you might be debating who will do it and how? You could be wondering, “how much, if anything, will I save if I do it myself?” Or, “how much do professional painters cost?” Or, “Is it DIY or DI whyyyy did I do this myself?” If you’ve been around construction or real estate, you likely understand—painting is a profession. And painting costs can include a number of items that may not be obvious at first glance and will vary in different parts of the country. 

If you’re asking how much do professional painters cost, you probably also have follow up or related questions like, “how much do painters charge per room?”, or “how much do painters charge per day?” or “how much do painters charge for exterior painting?” While answers to these questions depend on the project you have in mind, there are some broad guidelines that can apply to many, if not most, painting projects. 

Forbes Advisor puts the average cost of interior painting at $3,500. Some painters may choose to estimate per square foot of paintable area. Others may charge by the hour, particularly if they are doing small jobs. A fair hourly rate for a painter is somewhere between $40 and $80 per hour. The million dollar question is whether it is worth it to hire a professional painter. The number alone isn’t the entire story when it comes to how painters price a job.


Is it worth paying for a painter and how do painters price a job?  

Is it worth paying a painter? Yes, we believe so. That’s the short answer and one that’s easy to believe if you’ve gone it alone before. But, it’s helpful to know what you’re paying for with a professional, so let’s dig in a bit. What goes into a professional painter’s estimate? Here is a quick overview of the components factoring into paint job cost:

  • Material being painted
  • Interior or exterior
  • Level of gloss
  • Ease of access
  • Square footage of paintable area
  • Quality of paint and finish
  • Color choice
  • Adjacent services needed

One of the first considerations is the material being painted. If it’s something more porous than wood or vinyl, like stucco or brick, you might pay a little more. Now, let’s discuss the square footage of the paintable area. This is not just the room’s floor size or square footage. Trim and accents should also be figured into the equation. Exterior paint tends to cost more than interior paint, and the quality of paint can make a big difference in both price and end results. Finish options are flat, satin, semi-gloss and glossy. Generally speaking, the more gloss, the higher the cost. With respect to color, pigment costs can vary and affect the paint cost somewhat. And if the surface is not easily accessible, it will take more labor hours and may require special equipment thereby raising the cost of the paint job. Lastly, consider if there are “painting-adjacent” services needed in conjunction with the project, like power washing or carpentry. These additional services will affect how much labor and materials will be required.

Once you’ve considered what goes into an estimate and the process of painting, you may have your decision made for you. There are a few other considerations that might seal the deal for you, convincing you to hire a professional, including:

  • Opportunity cost. How much is your time worth and what would you miss out on if you decide to do it yourself? (Sleep? Social engagements?)
  • Warranty and proven success. A quality professional can provide both.  
  • A consultative partner. Picking colors and finishes is not easy!
  • Quality products, attention to detail and pride in craftsmanship. 

It’s worth noting that those ROI numbers are based on professional-quality painting. 


Are you ready to call a professional? 

If you’d like to see for yourself the difference a professional painter can make, it’s always a good idea to look at pictures! Few things speak louder than a before and after transformation. If you are ready to hire professional painters in the Indianapolis area, you will get accurate estimates, clear communication and responsive customer service from ONiT Painting. Get a free estimate.