How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot – The Best Guide

How much do painters charge per square foot? It is easy to paint the walls and the ceiling in one room. However, with a whole apartment, this can take a bit longer.

It is unpleasant if you would like to move in as soon as possible or if you have to paint before moving out. Fortunately, there are professional painters who can quickly paint an entire apartment, and in some cases even reduce costs.

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot

Cost Checklist for Painting the Apartment

  • Measure the room height
  • Calculate wall area -Height times total length of all walls
  • Should the painters paint the ceiling? If so, how many m² of ceiling surface?
  • Should you paint the doors, windows, or other frames?
  • Are there any special design elements, for example, stucco moldings?

Measure the Room Height

The room height is an important cost factor. In modern houses, the room height is between 2.40 and 2.50 meters. In old buildings, however, the ceiling can be much higher, and in very old houses even up to 4.50 meters high.

Painters, in this case, will calculate the additional costs for the larger wall area. They can also demand a surcharge for the additional effort, and the higher risk of accidents.

Calculate Wall Area

Simple formula: Multiply room height by the total length of all walls. In order to calculate the cost of painting correctly, the size of all areas you want to paint is important.

Even if the size of the apartment is the same, the costs can vary. For example, the cost can vary depending on the number of rooms and walls.

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot – Material Costs for Painting

  • Wall and ceiling paint: between $0.40 and $5.60 per m²
  • Wood filler: between $5 and $10 per 500 grams
  • Lacquer paint for doors and window frames: approx. $2 per m²

Professional painters can also make some decisions about the cost of materials even before the painting is done. For example, you can buy the paint yourself or choose it in consultation with the painting company.

Since painters can buy materials and tools in large quantities, this can even be cheaper for you. These savings exist, but as a customer, you hardly notice any of them. In addition, painters also simply bring their equipment with them, and do not include it on the invoice.

Wall and ceiling paint can vary greatly in price. Inexpensive paints are available from as little as $1 per liter, but unusual color tones of high quality can cost up to $14 per liter.

At 400ml of paint per m², the cost of painting is therefore $0.40 to $5.60 per m². In order to find a good balance between price and quality, you can have a look at the paint evaluations or consult the painters before you buy.

Doors and Window Frames

For the doors and window frames, you sometimes need a bit more than just paint. Before you paint the wood, you can even out damage and unevenness with wood filler.

How much you need here depends on the damage, but usually it should not be more than 500 grams and you can get it from $5.

Afterwards, one needs some varnish paint for painting, which is already available from $2 per m². If one assumes an average door with four square meters, and a door frame of one square meter surface, a thorough double painting costs approximately $20.

Window frames often have a surface area of only 0.5 m2, and only need paint worth $1 or $2.

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot – Costs for Painting

Painting costs can vary greatly depending on the region and type of order. One can assume from $30 to $50 per hour. Moreover, painting usually costs $6-$8 per square meter, and up to $10 for special requirements.

If doors and windows do not have any paint on them, painters will include them in the wall area when calculating the labor costs. This is not due to laziness, however, exactly the opposite is the case.

Doors and windows always mean additional work for painters, even if they will not paint them. After all, the painter will have to mask them and you have to paint carefully around them.

If they will paint the doors and windows as well, they will not include the surface area in the calculation. They will calculate the price per piece, and it depends on how difficult it is to paint the particular type of door.

A door leaf can cost up to $150, door frames or windows are more likely to cost between $40 and $50. The painting company will only give the precise cost estimate for painting the doors and windows after an inspection.

Tips for Saving Money When Painting the Apartment

Are you currently renovating the apartment on your own accord or are you painting the apartment before moving out? When you move out, you only have to paint as much as there is damage to be seen.

So ceilings only need new paint if there are color changes or stains, such as in kitchens or bathrooms. Windows and doors rarely need a new coat of paint either, namely when damage is visible, and you are the one responsible.

You only need to paint windows from the inside, and other types of windows such as plastic or metal windows do not need paint at all.


By the way, the cost of painting the apartment can be deducted from tax as a service close to the household. For this, the costs for material and painter’s wages must be listed separately, because only the labor costs can be deducted.













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