Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 12/9/2016

Just wondering how much I should charge to paint 837 sq ft of interior apartment

6 rooms total with 5 windows, 11 doors, all trim and baseboards painted as well. Paint & supplies furnished by client, property is vacant no furnishings inside. I did some light prep work also

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


Your pricing should be based on how much it costs YOU to do the job (including reasonable pay rate for you, overheads and profit and such), not necessarily what it typically costs.

You can find some ballpark typical costs for ceilings, walls, doors and trim, etc in the Home > Painting link in Browse Projects, at lower left. Since client provided the paint and supplies you would have to deduct that cost from the typical numbers - generally about $0.15-0.20/SF of covered area for normal latex paint and materials, or $0.30-0.50/SF for higher-end oils plus normal consumable materials. Course, depending on what type of masking and protection is done, materials can vary by $0.05-0.10/SF of painted area just for protective materials if disposable plastic sheeting is used rather than many-time reusable painter's tarps and on whether you use the cheapest masking tape at about $2-3/60 yd roll or high-end 3M at $5-10/60 yd roll, and whether you use $1-2 brushes and roller covers or $5-10 ones. Those type of factors and the care taken in masking can commonly make a good 15-20% difference on total job cost.

And of course since you said vacant apartment, whether it was one-color or different colors for field and trim in any given room, how many rooms had the same color, and whether you sprayed or brushed/rolled can easily make a 25-50% difference in total job cost too. Some empty house/apartment moveout repaint jobs with no-prime, one-coat and same color throughout a given room and several rooms same color go as cheap as $0.20-0.40/SF with minimal or no prep (and commonly no cleaning either), to more commonly nearer $1/SF range for very simple one-color (per room - or just mask off and no door / trim painting). More commonly around $2/SF ballpark for multi-color or including trim/door (assuming paint or clear finish overcoat, not restain) - and up to around $4-5/SF for high-end from bare rough-finished drywall or significant surface prep-needed painting and/or muylti-color rooms with oil paints and different oils or stains on trim and doors.

Note those rough $/SF #'s are per SF of floor area as you apparently measured (I presume your 837 SF number is the square footage of the apartment). Actual painted area with 8 foot ceilings is commonly close to 2.5 to 3x floor square footage for small room apartments, more like 3-4 time floor square footage for large roomed houses/apartments - including ceilings - with a multiple of 3 being a common rule-of-thumb ballpark for 7-8 foot ceilings. Can be significantly less in homes with a lot of panelling or built-in furniture (closets, cabients, etc), low ceilings, or if there are glass curtain walls or stone/brick unpainted walls of course. Ditto if some ceilings are not being done because they are T&G board or such. And of course if floor is being painted that needs to be called out too both as square footage and commonly greater surface prep needed and different paints of course. You need to pay CLOSE attention to whether you are talking floor or painted surface area - because many people talk real estate floor square footage, but of course the materials needed and the time involved are proportional to the actual surface area being refinished/painted, and the two are FAR from being interchangeable.

And of course removal of cigarette or heavy cooking grease, repairing drywall damage, touch sanding to clean up rough surfaces or poor existing paint job, priming to cover over repaired areas or to prep a surface for significantly lighter paint or for a different paint base (oil, acrylic, latex, etc) all add costs - especially to the labor if significant surface prep is needed.

And you should price the job and get it in writing signed by the client BEFORE starting the job (which appears to NOT be the case here) - not only to avoid arguments and conflicts after it is done; but also in some legal jurisdictions failure to get a written contract or client-signed estimate/bid form up front with definitive prices on home constreuction/repair jobs can result in you being able to recover zilch if they refuse payment, so cover your tail. Ditto to licensing and bonding and insurance - if that is required in your area for painting contractin, lacking that makes it illegal to collect payment in some areas - with the penalty to you (in addition to the fines for operating without license/bonding/insurance) can be as much as the total amount paid by the customer for the job to as much as three times that amount in at least one state.

Good luck with your business.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy