7 Little-Known Ways To Cut Your Interior Painting Cost in Half

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Need to paint the interior of your house and looking for a ways to reduce the cost?

You’ve come to the right place.

After hearing thousands of homeowners, house flippers, builders, realtors and more say “I want to get the painting work done as cheap as possible”, I know exactly how you can can cut costs, save time, and prevent more headache.

Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a painting company to do the work for you, here are 9 little-known tips that can cut you interior painting costs in half:

Pro Tip #1: Do all the painting work at once – don’t split it up.

Couple Working On Interior Paint Project

Painting your home can be a bit expensive – so often times people would want to break up the job room by room.

You know, do 2 rooms this month, 3 rooms the next and so on till the project is complete.

The problem with this approach is the job will end up costing you more money.

Why? Because it costs the painting companies more money between drive-time, setting up and restarting every time.

Pro Tip #2: Paint when the house is empty (if possible)

Empty, white house that was just painted.

If you’re moving out of your house or moving in, having the paint job done when the home is vacant is a good idea.

When the house is empty, painters can spray more easily, are not in your way, and do not have to worry about your things, resulting in a more efficient process.

In some circumstances, an empty home may save you up to 20% on your estimate. That’s a lot!

If you are repainting your house and there is no way to avoid having an empty home during the painting, move all of your belongings to the middle of the room and maybe consider going out of town (obviously with a painting company you can trust).

You won’t want to be at your home when the work is getting done anyway. Sounds like fun, till you’re in the middle of it.

Pro Tip #3: Use a flat sheen on walls and ceiling, eggshell on trim

Painter using flat sheen on walls.

Mostly all houses have 3 sheens (98% or so):

  • Walls: Satin or Eggshell (technically the same thing)
  • Trim: Semi-gloss – go for high traffic areas and can take a beating.
  • Ceiling: Flat – looks the best, most difficult to clean

And when you are moving into your new house, this is what I’d recommend.

If you are selling and looking to save a bit of money, however; I would recommend to use a flat on the ceiling and walls.


3 main reasons:

  1. Flat sheens look the best for when you show the house
  2. A flat sheen is the most forgiving – so even if you hire a bad painter, flat will hide a lot of the imperfections.
  3. Flat sheens can be easily touched up without flashing – so even if you scuff the walls when staging the house, simply get a can of touchup paint and you’ll never notice.

The downside?

Flat sheens on don’t clean easily which is more of a concern for the next homeowner.

What most people do is immediately paint the walls (or within the 1st year) of buying a new house anyway so I wouldn’t be concerned about this.

Optional tip: If you really want to save money, use a flat sheen on the walls, ceiling AND trim. This will allow the painters to spray everything at once, saving time and money. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t look as good as it could.

Tip #4: Paint ceiling and walls same color (must use same sheen)

Modern living room with the walls and ceiling the same color.

Many people believe that merely painting the walls and ceiling the same color will save them money, but unless they have the same sheen, the expense isn’t significantly different.

As I mentioned in the previous tip, I would recommend using a flat sheen for the ceiling and walls when you are selling the house. To reduce paint and labor costs even more, paint the walls and the ceiling the same color:

This approach can reduce labor and material costs by about 20% which is a huge savings!

Tip #5: Paint Interior In the Winter

Modern house in the winter.

Painting is a seasonal industry in the United States, with the exception of a few different areas.

Most painting companies are really business in the spring, summer and fall months when people are moving the most.

Of course, during the busiest months the cost to paint shoots up – so scheduling in December or January when these businesses are really slow, you can end up saving a quite of bit of money.

Tip #6: Use Lower Cost Paint Products

Low cost paint products.

The majority of the expense to paint is in the labor, so reducing paint costs doesn’t make a significant difference. However, it does make a difference.

When you hire a professional, it’s likely that they will recommend either a Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore product – which are great paints.

There are, however, several high-quality paints available for a fraction of the cost.

The problem?

Many low-cost paints don’t spread well, resulting in more labor hours and additional frustration.

Here are 2 low-cost products that we liked using when people were looking to reduce the painting cost:

  1. Glidden Premium – $20 – $25 / gal
  2. Behr Premium Plus – $18 – $22 / gal

They aren’t the best paints, however; they aren’t the worst and they cover pretty well.

Both products are easily found at Home Depot – making it also convenient.

Pro Tip #7: Reduce the amount of prepwork before the estimate

If you have some holes that need patching and drywall repaired before painting, consider doing these things yourself before you hire a painter.

Did these cost-savings tips help?

Now you know a few tricks to save money on your next interior painting project. Here are the 7 tips we discussed:

  1. Do all the painting work at once – don’t split it up.
  2. Paint when the house is empty (if possible)
  3. Use a flat sheen on walls and ceiling, eggshell on trim
  4. Paint ceiling and walls same color (must use same sheen)
  5. Paint Interior In the Winter
  6. Use lower cost paint products
  7. Reduce the amount of prepwork before the estimate

Did you find these tips useful?

And do you have any other suggestions for saving money on painting costs?

Let us know in the comments!


  1. […] This is understandable which is why I wrote an entire article on this topic of reducing painting cost without sacrificing quality. […]

  2. […] How long will you be living at this property? If you plan on moving in the next 2-3 years, you could use a lower grade of paint to save money. […]

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