How to charge for painting a house

If you have a steady hand, a good work ethic and the need to earn extra money, you can paint houses. In addition to being a good painter and paying attention to details, you will need to know how much to charge for the jobs you do. Rates and formulas vary, depending on whether you are going to paint the interior or exterior of a home. Your charges will include labor, materials, ceiling height and the size of the surface to be painted.


  1. Determine the square feet of the area to be painted. Measure and multiply the width of each wall by height and include the ceiling. Add up those numbers. (Example: If wall No. 1 is 10 feet (3 m) high by 10 feet wide, wall No. 2 is 12 feet (3.6.m) by 10 feet, wall No. 3 is 10 for 10 and wall No. 4 is 12 for 10, you will have 420 square meters to paint. Be sure to count all the flat surfaces to be painted and esteem more if the ceiling is vaulted.
  2. Keep in mind the height of the room. In rooms with high ceilings, measure the top of the room separately, as you should charge more for areas where you will need a ladder to paint. If a room is 10 by 12 but has 12-foot ceilings, it calculates the 288 (87.7 m) square feet below the 8-foot (2.4 m) line separately from the remaining 176 ft (53.6 m) square, which are above the 8-foot line.
  3. Decide what your standard fee will be per square foot. Depending on your experience and the rate in the area where you live, you charge between $ 1.50 and $ 3.50 per square foot. Base your rate per square foot on the amount of money you want to earn per hour and how fast you can complete the job. For example, if you want to earn $ 100 an hour and you can paint a 10-by-12 room with 10-foot ceilings in 5 hours, you’ll want to earn at least $ 500 in 5 hours. If the room is 420 feet (128 m) square, you will be charged $ 1.19 per foot (30.4 cm) square. If you think it is low, it is. You have not finished the calculation.
  4. Determine the cost of your materials and miscellaneous expenses. These include transport, a ladder or rental of other equipment, paint (if you are paying for it), tape, tarpaulins and brushes. Add the cost of all items and divide it by the number of square feet you are painting. For example, if you are painting 420 square feet and the materials cost $ 210, you can safely add 50 cents to your price per square foot.
  5. Based on the examples, if the room is 420 square feet and your hourly rate of work is $ 1.19 and the cost of the materials is around 50 cents per square foot, you can charge $ 2.19 per square foot, or $ 709, $ 80 to paint the room.