How to Calculate Price Per Square Foot for House Painting

Two Methods:exterior PaintingSpray Painting

Nothing gives a house a fresh look like a new coat of paint. Whether you're doing the painting yourself or hiring someone to do it for you, knowing how to calculate price per square foot for house painting is a helpful way to estimate costs and compare quotes. Calculating per square foot can also help do-it-yourself painters buy the right amount of paint for the job.

Steps

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    Factor in the price of paint and materials when you calculate for house painting.
    • Include materials for preparing, mixing, applying and cleaning up paint in house painting costs.
    • Professional house painting costs also include labor.
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    Estimate the amount of paint, with a gallon of primer, or base paint, covering 330 square feet and a gallon of other paint providing coverage up to 350 square feet.
    • The composition of base paint is different, which is why it covers fewer square feet per gallon.
    • Paint costs can range from $15 to $60 per gallon. Designer and specialty paint can increase house painting costs even more.
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    Figure the cost per square foot of a professional's flat fee by dividing the cost by the square footage.
    • For example, an $800 estimate for 1,500 square feet would be 800 divided by 1,500 which is equal to a 53.3 cent cost per square foot.
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    Determine exterior square feet by multiplying the height times the width of each exterior wall.
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    Add the square footage of each of the exterior walls together to find the sum total.

Method 1
exterior Painting

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    Calculate for house painting by multiplying the length by width of the room or rooms that you want to paint.
    • Add the individual sums together.
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    Measure the height and width of each door and each window in a room to be painted.
    • Multiply height by width to find the square footage of each door and window.
    • Combine the totals for each door and window to calculate for house painting.
    • Subtract the door/window total from the room square footage for house painting costs.
    • The average window is 16 square feet and the average door is 21 square feet. When a window or door is slightly smaller, multiply the total by .80. If larger, multiply by 1.5.
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    Decide if you will also be painting the ceiling.
    • Find square footage by multiplying two adjacent sides.
    • Ceilings tend to take up to 85% more paint, particularly acoustical and popcorn ceilings.

Method 2
Spray Painting

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    Reduce the cost per square foot by spray painting large paint jobs.
    • Small jobs aren't economical when you factor in the cost of a sprayer, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
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    Consider the transfer efficiency of spray painting equipment when you calculate for house painting with spraying.
    • Spray painting tends to only get a portion of the total paint on the intended surface. The remainder ends up in the sprayer's exhaust filters or on the floor.
    • Transfer efficiency is the total paint sprayed divided by the paint that reaches the surface.
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    Multiply the cost per foot by the transfer efficiency percentage to reach a more accurate calculation per square foot.

Warnings

  • Indoor textured walls require more paint than smooth walls.
  • Most experts suggest to use "brand name paints" in order to allow for single-coat coverage.

Article Info

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