How much will it cost to paint the interior of my house?

Hi there,
I am hoping that some painting contractors in the group, or folks who've had this service rendered on their homes, might be willing to provide some basic info on cost.
We need to have the entry, dining room, living room (including skylight) and upstairs hallway painted to prep the house for market. We have no clue what it costs (in general) to have professional painters do their thing and don't think we can tackle this on our own. There will be furniture to work around, unfortunately. The only trim would be the windows and floor moulding. Colors have yet to be determined, but there would likely be 2-3 colors used throughout. The space is actually not terribly large, overall...think 1960's split level upstairs (+ skylight) and you get the picture...
We're just trying to get a ballpark to start the budgeting process. Is there a general per/sf price that seems to apply to the urban Pacific NW (where we are)?
Have you had your house painted recently? If so, what range were you quoted?
Thanks for the help!
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snipped-for-privacy@badsheep.org wrote:

Whatever answers you'll get on this newsgroup, you'll know one thing, they're wrong for you. You've left out so much information it's not even worth starting to list what you've omitted. Even with that information, a number from a newsgroup is not a real number - it's a guess. Even someone with years of experience will be giving you a guess.
Pick up the phone, get a recommended local painter to come and give you an estimate. It's the only way to get a real number. The painter will not get upset that you've called...
R
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Expext to pay inbetween 500 - 50000. Since you might have a shack or a castle, we dont know and nobody can give a price without 3 photo per room. Geeze get some bids already, what a dumb ass question.
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Geeze yerself! Based on his post, you can rule out castle and shack, and he's not looking for an actual bid, just a rough idea. Ever heard the term "ballpark"? Newsflash - it doesn't always mean where ball games are played...
If it were left up to some participants of this newsgroup, it should just fold, 'cause everyone should get actual bids to answer some questions, and Google to answer the rest of 'em. Good grief.
Banty
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Banty wrote:

Good grief indeed. What's the purpose of getting a ballpark number when there's absolutely _no_ clue where the house is, whether the windows are traditional divided lites or vinyl, etc., etc.? The number won't be accurate. Even if the number is "accurate", what's he supposed to say to the guy who visits the job and gives an estimate? "Hey, wait, buddy, your price is to high. I know that because jimmy snipped-for-privacy@aol.com told me so on the internet." Yeah, that'll work.
An estimate is based on so many variables that it's stupid to try and get even a rough price off of a newsgroup.
Unless the number you get is from a guy who has seen the job, written up an estimate and is prepared to accept the job based on a mutually agreeable schedule, the number means nothing.
Let's see what happens if the OP gets a number from the newsgroup and runs with it. Painter A visits the site, gives an estimate, comes highly recommended, and his number is higher than the newsgroup number - so the OP passes him by thereby possibly burning a bridge with a good painter. Then he gets an estimate from Painter B who is a schmuck, knows he can lowball the estimate and hit up the owner for extras (or cut corners to make the lowball bid work) - the OP likes the number (Hey, honey it's right in line with jimmy_firecracker's number!) and proceeds to get screwed.
Let's take the reverse, the number from jimmy_firecracker is too high - OP doesn't know that - so he proceeds to turn away several decent painters who are charging a fair rate, only the owner thinks they're trying to gouge him.
What could possibly be of benefit to the OP with such a random number? The simple fact that the OP didn't include his location, number and type of windows, ceiling heights, number and types of doors, crown moldings and other complicated trim...I'm getting bored listing the things the OP didn't list, but you get the idea. He's partially clueless, at least in this matter (we were all there at one time, no shame to admit it), and probably wouldn't know how to determine a good number if he found it. The fact that it fits his budget doesn't make it a good number.
I realize that you're trying to help, Banty, although I notice you didn't give your estimate for this totally random house painting price, but it ain't helping the guy.
To the OP: Ask three nearby neighbors who they use for painting and if they would recommend them. Take a look at the work they did to make sure that what the neighbor considers good work is acceptable to you. Then pick up the phone and make some calls. Nobody gets work by not giving estimates, and not every estimate results in a job for the painter. They won't get mad at you, I promise.
R
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m Ransley

It never ceases to amaze me how much time people on this newsgroup will waste NOT answering the question. Way too much time on your hands pal, and when you have some, you do something completely worthless with it. (The house is in the Pacific NW, by the way. YOU might have no clue, but that's because you can't read. And he specifically stated he wasn't looking for an accurate number.)
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jeffc wrote:

Three questions: 1). I didn't notice your _guess_ as to what it will cost. So, how much? 2). How much does a house cost in "urban Pacific Northwest"? 3). Not enough fiber?
R
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A Clue, I used to paint professionaly, I could do a high class room with many large multiple divided light windows , high quality detailed trim in oil { apx 35$ a gal.] that looked sprayed on, with multiple colors and have the room cost 2-3000$, or we knocked out rooms for people who did not care for 200. You get what you pay for in the paint business. Now im sure you will want to know what you should pay for a Car or Camera , ok, 100-1,000,000 for your car. Again you get what you pay for. Geese, get bids get real. You never thought photos would of helped us, did you, so go buy a 200$ camera and post something real.
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Wow, just how much time do you have too? OK, I give up, what is your ball park figure? I'm guessing $3500, and you?
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Yikes tough to get a nice responce?? lol I've been painting for 25 years and our base rate starts @ $2.25/square Foot. That will give you normal wall patching (Meaning we're not replacing drywall) 2 finsihcoats walls and Trim (Casings & baseboards) & Interior Doors 2 coats. Railings Ledges natural woodwork are extras. Ceilings repainted and or re-textured are another bid.
I'm in Canada so we have a difference in Currency, and I am an expensive painter in these parts.. most are 25 cents cheaper
Cheers
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Why do you think you can't handle it yourself?
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clipped

The price can vary greatly between contractors, even using the same price paint. Try to get names from a neighbor who has used a reliable contractor. If you cannot, call or visit a local paint store that sells a decent brand of paint - Pratt Lambert, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore. They may not recommend anyone, but certainly can give you a couple of names. Then call and get estimates based on a moderately priced paint and stating the products to be used. You will get better advice and estimates if you familiarize yourself with what is needed.
The only trim is the windows and baseboards? How many windows? How complex is the molding or trim? Lots of details that matter. You have choices between adequate (spot prime, one coat) and best (prime all, two coats), but have other unknowns. There are good pamphlets at the paint stores that help guage the amount of work to expect. If present paint is sound, and you are putting on the same kind, it will probably help keep cost down. Three colors may add to cost if small areas must be masked, etc. Deep colors may require more, or more expensive, paint.
If I had to guess at a price, I would guess at $500/room. SE US.
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I've had some work like that done here in northern Virginia, again, I don't know the particulars of your home, but I'd expect it to go $2000-2500.
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Does your real estate agent not know?
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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