$50,000 interior paint quote

12 November, 2010

Here we go again. Just got the 1st quote for the interior paint. Prepare, prime and finish w/ 2 coats, Benjamin Moore Regal Flat. No more than 8 colors to be used.

The house is 4 br, 5.5 bath, kit, DR, greatroom, office area, laundry, etc. 5,000 sq ft.

I choked on this quote, but I have no idea what the price should be. Can anyone give me some guidance?

Comments (28)

  • emilynewhome

    We are in SW Louisiana, $27,000 for 3000sqft, Behr paint, 5 colors, prime and 2 coats, trim included. Yes I agree the quote is 'shocking' to receive!

  • juniork

    Are you in a high-priced area?

    We're in California, and 10 years ago, my friend built a 7500 sf house, including a finished basement. Her contractor gave her 2 bids to choose from. The not-as-detailed company was around $70,000. The 'better' company was $90,000. She chose the expensive one. Some people believe that the painters are the most important, since the good ones are the ones that can hide the imperfections from the drywall, trim, etc. I don't know, though, since I'm only at the framing stage.

    Good luck!

  • jdubb

    In our area, it is approximtely $1.50 per square for a prime and 1 coat and two colors. Most painters add $0.50 for a second coat and each added color is $750. So, in our area, you job would run arouns $14,500. Most painters here use Sherwin Williams, but I can't imagine BM is 2 to 3 times more expensive.

    I would get another quote.


  • chisue

    FWIW: In 2001, 30 miles north of Chicago, 2900 sq ft interior with LOTS of windows, mouldings, etc. + two man-days exterior trim and screened porch, BM paint, prime and one coat, new construction: $18K

    BM is quality paint; with so many colors, it will require more paint. Not sure why you'd need two coats on new construction. I'd ask for breakdown on materials and labor.

  • insijs

    Why not do it yourself for $1,500?

    No worries about getting it on trim, carpet or furnishing on new construction. Our drywaller charged an extra $1,000 to prime the whole house and paint the ceilings white. He even left his scaffolding up for me to paint the two story great room.

    All we had to paint was walls. Sherwin Williams Duration only needs one coat for most areas. No-brainer cost savings for us. Crank some tunes and get to it.

  • pamelah

    you guys are great!
    Thanks for all the detailed info.
    It's just what I needed.

  • chicagoans

    jdubb: $750 for each added paint color?!? How do they justify that? Even if they threw out the brushes and rollers instead of cleaning them, it doesn't seem like that would come to $750 each time they change color.

  • booboo60

    I find that $50,000 is excessive to say the least!!! I know the price goes way up if there is more than one color; which is why dh and me went with all one color. I guess it all depends on your budget and what you are willing to pay. We just never would have been able to do that!!

  • david_cary

    $20k for 4k ft here. That was 4-5 colors. It was $200-$300 for an extra color here. I believe that included exterior but we are 3 sides brick (but the back side included a walk out basement not included in sq ft). Sherwin Williams Harmony which is their no-voc line - I think that added $1k.

    $50k is pretty shocking - particularly today.

  • dixiedoodle

    4500 sq/ft+, heavy trim, several 2 story areas, 8 different colors, outside work negligible, S-W Durations paint.
    I have no idea what the total cost of painting was since we had a fixed price build, but I saw an invoice left in my mailbox from the painters to our GC for just the touch-up work (we had a couple of different paint crews b/c the first was a disaster) and it was for $7K. This second crew was the most "reputable" in town, and I would guess based on that invoice alone that if they had painted the house originally that the price would have been in the mid-high $30's.

  • worthy

    As a builder, I'd pay about $18K. Using the top grade paint or some exotic brand will drive the price up from $2K to the moon. $50K is more than I'd pay for framing.

    Prices vary greatly depending on location.

  • fish7577

    We had two quotes of $23K for 3500 sq feet, prime + 2 coats of SW paint, different colors for every room. We found another less experienced painter for $11K. If time weren't an issue, we may have done it ourselves.
    If you trust them, see if they'll do it hourly. Ask how long they expect to take, and then how big a crew they'll have. Our higher bids told us 3 weeks with 3 people. That figures to $64 per hour for each worker! I'm not sure if they thought I wouldn't do the math or what. We had several people working hourly on our house. Our excavator was $65 per hour, and that included his equipment.

  • pamelah

    Thanks again! I went over your responses with DH this morning. You guys are giving us great info.

    I'll bet there are lots of people like us out there doing a cost$ plus who are stunned reading about painting cost.

    Worthy- you are making me cry. I hate thinking we are being screwed.

  • worthy

    Prices are very location sensitive. Plus the lack of easily comparable prices--the internet is no help on this--means you're on your own. I get shot some laughable quotes on every house when I can't get the same trades as on the one before.

    When a former partner used to catch these highballs, he'd make a point to follow up with our decision to go with someone else as we had thought his quote was too low. Wicked!

  • galore2112

    I'm totally blown away at this quote. Think about it, if you pay for this cash and make $100000/year = approx. $70000 take home pay (not adding 401k and other savings), it'll take almost a year take home pay to pay for 5000sf house paint?! (therefore about 3 years savings assuming you have to use your salary for living expenses).

    I have no clue how much Benjamin Moore paint costs but in the end it's just paint color (!!!). How long does it take to paint 5000sf? I'm sorry but in relation to the minimum six figure salary, this quote is just bizarre.

    To me quotes like this scream "I found a rich sucker who builds an expensive house and I try to extract as much money running laughing all the way to the bank".

    You can probably get the exact same looking result with a generic no name paint and reasonable $15/hour labor (which is what the painting contractor pays maximum to his workers anyways) for

  • momto4inor

    Our home is roughly 4600 sq ft & our quote is for 26k which includes only one coat and also all trim, door & cabinetry painting. So, it seems high, but maybe not as high as others might make it seem. Our builder uses only very reputable long-standing businesses as his subs. It's been a WONDERFUL experience with all our subs so far, but we do know we're paying a premium to have that.

  • kangell_gw

    I am shocked at these quotes. In 2007 I had my interior painted, 2000 sq ft, Wash DC metro inside the beltway, moderate trim, 9 colors, BM paint, 2 coats including ceilings...$7K. Superb quality job.

    Earlier this year I had about 1300 sq ft of my second home painted, two coats, no trim, no ceilings, western VA, SW paint, for $2K. Again superb quality.

    The key in both counts for me was referrals from other people.

  • jdubb

    They justify the $750 based on wasted paint, extra time to cut in two different colors and because they can.


  • jhs2010

    That is crazy high! I just checked what my builder's quote was from the painting company to give you another comparison. We're new construction aprox 4,400 finished (this is including 1,100 finished basement) all to be painted in custom colors selected by us, Benjamin Moore, no limitations on number of colors, etc. The quote was $15,000. We're in a high cost area, but I do think his quote is on the lower end for this area maybe?

    Best of luck! Keep searching and ask everyone you know for recommendations, you should certainly be able to find a good company for less than that.

  • insijs

    I'll take a few weeks off, fly out and do it for $40,000. Quickest $10,000 you ever made.

  • Marcia Boyce

    holy cow!
    We finished our build almost 2 years ago.. metro Chicago area. 5200sf.. Miles of stained alder trim work, lots of 8 foot stained alder doors, some painted trim, all benjamin moore paint, at least 10 different colors..interior paint and trim 22k and he did a great job

    We were owner/builders, and we did have one pretty high quote, I think about 38K
    Keep looking!

  • kitchendetective

    Is there a lot of intricate trim work? A lot of stain? Spray or brush? Any remarkably high or inaccessible ceilings? Sounds high, sans extenuating circumstances. We were charged $300 for every paint color change five years ago. $23,000 for the interior of a 7,000 square foot home, SW Duration. Some ceilings 24'. I didn't love the caliber of the work, but I didn't hate it either. I would call it adequate, not superb. Mostly spray, primer, and two top coats. Stain on wood trim. Central Texas. I will say, though, that the Duration has held up extremely well, considering the pets and grandkids (and more than a couple inebriated guests) that tear through here, so I do think that the paint was applied correctly.

  • motherof3sons

    Is there a kickback somewhere?

  • pamelah

    You guys are great to keep adding input on this issue. It is not resolved yet, and it needs to be soon!

    FYI- ceiling height throughout is 11 ft, 1 small 10 x 12 area arched to 14', lots of coffered areas to 12'. No staining, all painted trim.

    At a risk of being accused of seeking a pity party, I have to tell you that this whole thing (finishing the build) has become a true burden as I was diagnosed with an agressive cancer 4 weeks ago. Chemo and radiation are taking all my energy. So, one problem can't be solved by all the money in the world, and the other seems to be an endless source of aggravation and an exhorbitant drain of money.

    Previously I thought we were just being zip coded. Now it seems that the vultures have started to circle.

  • kitchendetective

    I am so sorry to hear this. I consider building a home to be an optimistic time, despite the aggravation and pitfalls. My thoughts and best wishes go out to you. I know you are a resourceful person. Nevertheless, I'll put in my $.02 and urge you to seek the very best specialists for second and third opinions. MD Anderson, Sloan-Kettering, wherever the best is in your particular situation. My prayers and cyber hugs to you.

  • bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

    Pamela - my heart goes out to you! My younger brother was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer this past July - two days after coming to visit me for the very first time in my still not completely finished new home that he had been hearing me go on-and-on about for over two years. He spent hours working with me in the central Texas summer heat helping me get a start on some landscaping! Needless to say, when he called two days after leaving my home with news of his cancer diagnosis, I felt totally silly, self-centered, and shallow to have been so concerned with my house issues! My brother is being treated at MD Anderson in Houston and is doing extremely well... to the point where we are all now EXTREMELY hopeful that he will actually beat this thing completely... and I've gone back to letting myself stress over my silly house issues. I only tell you this because you need to know that no matter how agressive your cancer is, there is still hope!

    But, with an agressive cancer diagnosis, you definitely DON'T need to be dealing with construction vultures right now! You need to be focusing all your energies on getting well. You should be enjoying the good days you have between treatments - not spending them on the phone having fights with contractors. I'm sure you must have loads of friends who are responding to news of your cancer with "Is there anything I can do to help?" While many of them are no doubt just be expressing their pity and would RUN if you actually asked them for help, others are true friends who really would like to be able to offer you REAL help - if only they knew of some way they could. Usually there is nothing the friends of a cancer patient CAN do. But in your case that isn't true. Isn't there one person among all the people who love you that is smart and capable enough that you can trust them to assist you with dealing with the house issues. If so, consider appointing that person as your "agent" to deal with the house and finish getting it built for you. Put it into their hands and let them run with the ball. They might not make EXACTLY the same decisions you would along the way - but if they truly love you, they WILL make decisions with your best interests at heart... and they are likely to be pitbulls when dealing with the vultures because, in my experience, most people will fight harder for someone they love than they will for themselves!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep posting as often as you feel up to it - so we know how you are doing. And if you should choose a friend to help you finish dealing with the build, be sure to introduce him/her to this forum and ask them to post progress notes.

  • pamelah

    kitchendetective and bevangel- thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts! Is the old saying, "Life is what happens when you are busy doing something else." ? Ha. Now I get it.

    I drift back and forth with my interest in the new house now. First thing I did was tell the builder that the move in date was a line in the sand. Next, I made a little list of things that I planned to have accomplished that can wait until a time after move in. A couple of built-ins, some fancy finishes, etc. Next I gave the builder a drop dead date of today to spec all things that needed decisions for a 6 week period. Then, I made the decisions that I could make and gave my husband the job of "everything else."

    We'll get through the build, fight the CA fight, and live to complain another day, God willing.

  • PRO

    If you are along the coast in California you are getting a deal at under $10 a sq ft. This is the reality of higher end painting, I can’t speak for other States. If your just talking walls and ceilings it’s considered high, but if your talking 8 colors full wall prep and adding in things like cabs, base, doors, trim and windows your getting a steal, price would not even cover labor realistically.. Most painters today claim high end but they are not even close I see it everyday. Good luck

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