If you decide to hire help, have several contractors inspect the job and provide proposals. You'll probably find huge price differences for the same job. A Checkbook undercover shopper got quotes from nine Washington-area contractors to repaint the walls, ceiling and trim for a living room, dining room, family room, bathroom and kitchen. Including paint and supplies, prices ranged from $2,650 or less to more than $6,500.
Painters usually find it hard to estimate the cost of prep work accurately. This is because the amount of work required varies greatly from job to job. The more the damage, the greater the amount of prep work required and hence, greater the cost. Dirty walls covered with grease have to be thoroughly cleaned for the new paint to adhere properly. Wood surfaces should be sanded 2 along the grain and dusted clean ($1.80 per square foot). Holes have to be patched up and caulked ($10 per square feet).

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Most interior painting projects will present corners and edges. Corners, trims, splashes and accents will require cutting in — which generally requires the most patience, preparation and skill. There is a lot of debate among painters whether it is better to cut in before or after applying the roller. Solo painters may want to prepare the surfaces first, apply painter’s tape where required and cut in before applying paint to the rollers. Painters working in teams can split cutting in duties in sections while other team members are applying paint with rollers.

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