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Interior painters typically charge by the square foot. They add the lengths of all sides of the room together and multiply this room perimeter by wall height. They must then subtract the square footage of windows, doors, and other fixtures that won’t be painted. The per-square-foot rate varies depending on materials, the number of coats, and other variables.
The average hourly wage for a painter ranges between $16 and $18. For a full-time painter, that’s a little under or over $35,000 a year. But freelance painters usually earn more. The location also impacts pay. For example, the average yearly income for a self-employed painter in California is about $70,000. In Alabama, it’s just over $61,000.
While they usually price the job by square footage, expect to pay an effectual rate of $20 to $50 dollars per hour for the services of a professional painter. It typically takes a couple of days to professionally prep and paint a standard 120-square-foot room. The average cost is approximately $300 to $800. Exterior house painting can run from $2,500 to $6,000.
Clients can expect professional painters to provide an accurate estimate after doing a thorough walk-through, taking measurements, and discussing the specifics of the job requirements. They can help with paint quality and color suggestions. Clean-up should also be part of the job. Some touch up may also be necessary. Finally, ask for proof of insurance and licensure.
The paint should be dry before removing the painter’s tape. That takes at least an hour after the final coat is applied. But wait longer if the paint still feels gummy. It’s okay to leave the tape overnight, but it’s best not to wait longer than 24 hours.
The average premium for general liability insurance is about $50 per month with a $250 deductible and a $1 million per occurrence policy limit. This coverage protects against third-party property damage, third-party bodily injury, and advertising injuries. Companies employing painters must also carry workers’ compensation insurance. That runs about $300 per month. Insurance against damaged, stolen, or lost tools and equipment is about $15 per month.
A painter is far more likely to throw a drop cloth over furniture than move it. Most painters give the property owner some basic instructions about prep before they arrive to do the work. That usually includes moving the furniture out of the room. If there’s no space for all the pieces outside the room, move the remaining furniture to the middle of the room instead.
Licensing requirements for professional painters vary from state to state. For example, Alaska has three licensing levels for painting contractors, but Florida just requires a general contractor license. In California and Georgia, project cost determines whether a painter must be licensed. Colorado and Illinois have no licensing requirement, and Idaho only licenses painters at the local level.
Insurance is generally optional for self-employed painters. However, it’s highly advisable, and consumers shouldn’t hire painters without it. This protection gives the customer peace of mind that any potential damage will be covered. Moreover, in most states, painting businesses with at least one employee are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance, at a minimum.
Popcorn ceiling removal is not part of a painter’s standard prep work. If a painting contractor is willing to do that work, there will be an extra charge. Some painting companies advertise this service as an optional extra. A few states require special certification or licensing to perform this work due to the risk of asbestos in pre-1980 builds.
Wallpaper removal is another optional extra by most painters and painting companies. Depending upon the type of wallpaper needing removal and its age, paying a pro to remove it may be the best option. Before hiring a painter, ask them whether they perform this service and how much it will cost.
Several factors impact the price of professional exterior house painting. But a rough national average is about $3,000 for a two-story house with a 2,500-square-foot interior. In some states, the cost is as high as $6,500 and in others, it’s less than $1,000. The rough effective hourly rate may be between $30 and $200 for a team of two to three painters.
Some water tower painters earn as much as $81,500 per year or as little as $21,000 annually. The national average is approximately $47,000 a year, or $23 per hour. Most annual incomes for water tower painters fall between $34,500 and $55,500.
Drywall repair is not a service typically offered by painters. Though some larger businesses offer multiple contractor services, like drywall repair and painting, it will cost you. So, before hiring a painter, do the drywall fixes, if they’re small. Or, hire a contractor skilled in drywall repair to do the work.
Wallpaper installation is an entirely different skill than painting. So, it’s highly unlikely that your painter also works as a wallpaper hanger. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re having one room or more painted and want to hang wallpaper in another area. But the more likely scenario is that your painter will refer someone for the wallpaper job.