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A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in transforming your space — and what better time to start than heading into a new year? Here’s what you need to know to set your budget and complete a job well done.

Getting started

Painting the interior of a 2,000-square-foot house costs between $1,900 and $7,800, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide. Wall height, designer paint and regional differences all play into the final price point, so be sure to communicate with your painting pro about your budget.

If extensive prep work needs to be done, like sanding or drywall repairs, find out up front how much extra this will cost — and whether or not your pro is equipped to handle the issue. If you need extra help from a handyman, you can typically expect to pay between $60 and $65 an hour.

Paint

A single gallon of paint will cover around 350 square feet in one coat, and how many coats you need will depend on factors including the existing color and of the wall and the new color you’re painting.

A gallon of paint costs between $15 and $50, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide. That price can jump to over $100 a gallon if you plan on using designer paints like Farrow & Ball; and it drops between $30 and $60 if you choose a mid-range brand like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. Wondering which paint to purchase? Higher quality paint can prevent premature aging, which means less repainting down the road.

If you aren’t sure which type of paint you need — flat, semi-gloss, matte, satin — ask a professional to help you answer that question.

Labor

Labor costs vary depending on the job, and how you’ll pay — per hour, day or square foot — depends on the contractor. Where you live can also impact the cost of painting labor.

Generally speaking, small jobs, like cabinet or trim painting, usually start at $200 and go up from there. Larger projects, like an entire residential repainting, can cost up to $4,500, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide. Homeowners report paying professional painters between $1,000 and $2,800 to paint home interior rooms and walls, though stairwells, kitchen cabinets or other unique features in your home may increase prep time and cost.

DIY vs. hiring a pro

Skilled and experienced DIY painters won’t have a problem with prepping or painting, but most homeowners find it’s worth the cost to hire a pro – if for no other reason than the time it takes to thoroughly complete a painting project. A quality paint pro can also save you from expensive mishaps that require repainting down the road; hiring out the job also means you don’t have to worry about your living room being unrecognizable for six weeks.

Diana Crandall is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.

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