House Painting Cost Per Square Foot for Interior and Exterior

Planning for interior or exterior house painting and wondering about the house painting cost per square foot? Well, the house painting cost per sq ft depends on several factors like the size of the house, condition of the wall, quality and brand of the paint being applied and so on. While the exterior house painting cost ranges between Rs. 14 -28 per sq ft for fresh (first-time) painting with Asian paints, the cost of repainting the exterior of the house may range between Rs. 11-26 per sq ft.

Painting the exterior and interior of the house every few years is an integral part of the home maintenance process. A fresh coat of paint on your home can help protect the structure, prevent cracks and other such damage and increase the commercial value of the house. Besides, it also helps change the overall look and aesthetic appeal of the house and the building.

However, getting a good quality house painting service can be overwhelming, especially if you are painting your house for the first time. You have to deal with many questions like the colour of paint and brand to choose, where to look for wall colour design ideas, how long it takes and so on.

Besides, a house painting project can be expensive, especially when you start the project without considering the various painting options and associated painting expenses.

If there’s an upcoming house painting project, and you are wondering about the interior and exterior home painting cost and expenses, then I have got you covered.

Today in this post, I am sharing everything about house painting, including.

  1. Why paint a house?
  2. When to paint a house?
  3. Exterior Vs interior painting
  4. Types of paints available in India
  5. Leading paint companies in India
  6. What is the painting cost per sq ft?
  7. Things to know when calculating painting cost
  8. Things to consider while painting the house

Why paint a house?

Knowing why and when to paint a house is crucial.

So, what’s the need for painting and why do we paint the house?

Well, the main objective of painting a house is to protect the house. The application of good quality interior and exterior paints helps protect the walls and structure of the house. While interior paint helps protect the walls and ceiling from getting cracked and damaged over a period of time, exterior paints help protect buildings from the harsh weather conditions outside like sun heat and water. It’s not that only concrete-based structures require protection and painting. Even wooden and steel structures require painting. A fresh coat of paint on a wooden structure can help prevent seepage and rotting. Similarly painting a metallic structure helps prevent rusting and that’s why painting is recommended.

Why paint a house?

Besides, a fresh coat of paint also helps personalize your space through different colours, patterns and textures. Thoughtfully chosen wall paint designs and paint color combinations can help beautify the space. Research suggests, rightly chosen paints can even help beat stress and live peacefully.

When do you paint a house?

Generally, for newly constructed homes and buildings, it’s recommended to wait for a while like 6-8 months before applying interior paints. The reason for waiting is that the wooden frames, wall plaster and other building materials take some time to settle in properly.

For instance, if you paint the interior and exterior walls of the house just after concrete plaster, there is a high chance that cracks will appear within a few months. However, if you allow the plaster to dry and settle in for a few months, you will get a greater and more long-lasting finish on the walls.

In the case of an old building which is already painted, you may have to repaint it every few years.  The frequency of repainting depends on several factors like the condition of the colour and walls, the quality of the paints that were applied last time and so on. So, there is no fixed time to consider repainting. However, the best time to consider repainting is when you find the sign of colour fading, fungus, cracks etc on the walls.

If you see these signs on interior and exterior walls, then this is time to consider the cost of repainting the house, and look for the best available house painting contractor near you and get the house painted on priority.

Exterior Vs Interior Painting

While exterior paints are applied on the exterior surface and walls of a house, interior paints are applied on the interior walls, ceiling and surfaces. Although the core objective of both exterior painting and interior painting is to protect the walls and boost the overall aesthetic appeal of the building, modern interior paints can be scrubbed, washed and cleaned. However, exterior paints are usually made to combat fast fading and mildew.

Exterior Vs Interior Painting

Cost-wise, the cost of exterior paint is usually lesser than the price of interior paint. However, the application is just the opposite. In order to paint the exterior of the building, requires more effort and resources (e.g. scaffolding, sanding and levelling etc) than interior house painting and therefore labour charges for exterior painting are generally higher than interior painting.

Also, if you are living in an apartment complex, then you can only paint the interior walls and ceilings of the house. The exterior portion of the building can only be painted when all residents agree to paint the building.

Types of paints available in India

The type of paint being applied can significantly affect the overall painting cost per square foot. There are different varieties of exterior and interior paints available from the leading paint brands in India. Here are the most commonly used paint types available in India.

Distemper paints

Distempers are the most economical and cost-effective water-based paint available in India. As this is the most cost-effective paint variant, it’s widely used for exterior painting of large buildings, especially in remote areas. Although this option is cost-effective and easy to apply, distemper paints can go bad very soon and therefore it’s not a long-lasting solution.  The cost of distemper paint can range between Rs. 09-12 per sq foot depending on the size of the building or the total paint area.

Emulsion paints

This is a water or oil-based paint variant that offers a beautiful surface and finish. The paint is easy to apply and it dries off quickly. Emulsion paints are the better alternative to distemper paints as it lasts longer and does not fade away easily. Some of the emulsion paint variants also have anti-fungal properties and therefore give longer protection to the surface.

Besides emulsion paints are washable and the surface can be wiped out with soft cotton clothes and light detergents like shampoo.

Emulsion paints are also available in two variants i.e. plastic emulsion paints and acrylic paints and offer both glossy and matte finish. The per sq ft painting costs for Asian paints emulsion can range between Rs. 11 – 13 per sq ft for repainting and Rs. 14-15 per sq ft for first-time new exterior painting across major cities in India.

Enamel paints

Enamel paints are oil-based or lacquer-based water-resistant paints. This variant of paint is ideal for wooden surfaces, metallic surfaces, plastics and even for walls. Since this is water-resistant paint, it can be applied on wet areas like washrooms, kitchen interior wooden surfaces etc. Enamel paints are commonly applied on exterior wooden surfaces like stairways and wooden porches, wooden interior and exterior furniture etc.

Texture paints

Texture paints are most commonly used to create beautiful wall profiles and textures on the walls. These types of paints are commonly used as interior painting solutions to highlight a specific show wall in the house. Texture wall painting requires special skills and tools and therefore per square feet painting costs for texture wall paints are higher than other common wall painting options. The texture wall painting cost can vary between Rs. 80-200 per sq ft depending on the design, pattern and kind of finish you want.

Leading paint brands in India

While approx 30-35% of the domestic paint consumption is fulfilled by unorganized and local paint manufacturers, the remaining share is fulfilled by a few of the leading paint companies in India. Most of the leading paint companies in India offer decorative paints like exterior and interior paints and ancillary products like liquid putty, primer and enamel-based paints.

Let’s quickly take a look at some of the leading paint brands in India.

Asian Paints

Asian Paints is one of the most popular decorative paint brands in India. With a legacy of over 25 years, Asian paints are the market leader in India. With over 2200 colour shades to choose from, Asian paints offer all types of decorative paints and allied products like liquid putty, emulsion paints, red oxide paints, primer etc. Asian Royale Shyne and Asian Royale Aspira are two of the most favoured brands of decorative paints available in India. Check the Asian Paints wall paint color catalogue and choose the best shades and colour combinations for exterior and interior wall painting.

Berger Paints

Probably the second largest paint brand in India, they also offer a wide range of colour shades and varieties of decorative paints, putty, primer etc. When it comes to getting the best quality finish, Berger paints offers many options to choose from. Berger Easy Clean, Berger Silk Glamour and Berger Rangoli Total Care are three of the popular paint options to choose from the Berger paint catalogue. Check the Berger Paints colour catalogue yourself to choose the best colour shade for your exterior or interior house painting needs.

Kansai Nerolac Paints

With over 1500 Nerolac colours to choose from, the Kansai Nerolac also offers a wide variety of decorative interior and exterior paint options in India. Nerolac paints offer a wide array of interior and exterior paints, wood paints, metal paints, adhesive and ancillary products. Nerolac Impression ULTRA HD and Impressions 24 Carat are two of the most popular paint options to choose from.

Besides, there are many other popular paint brands to consider: Indigo Paints, ICICI Dulux etc.

What is the per sq ft cost of painting the exterior and interior?

Although the cost of painting the exterior and interior is calculated on a per sq ft basis of the area being painted, the cost of the first coat of paint is generally higher than the cost of repainting. Also, the cost of exterior painting is slightly higher than the cost of simple interior painting wall painting. The cost of decorative wall painting like texture and stencil painting is the highest among all the painting options.

The cost of painting usually includes:

  • Scrubbing and levelling the surface
  • Application of dust and liquid putty
  • Two coats of primer
  • Two coats of paints
  • Labour charges for application
  • Cleaning of the site

You can also get the cost of only labour for painting which ranges between Rs. 7-8 per sq ft in case of repainting. The downside is that you have to provide the paints and allied materials like putty, primer etc to the contractors.

The interior and exterior painting service costs can be calculated considering these actors:

  • House size or the total paint area
  • Wall-to-ceiling height
  • Types of painting e.g. exterior, interior, texture or stencil painting.
  • Trims and mouldings in the elevation
  • Fresh painting or repaint
  • Condition of the wall being painted

Besides, the cost of painting is not always calculated based on the per sq ft measurement. For instance, if you have a very small space like a wall in a room or you want to paint just the balcony, then the painter may not charge on a per sq ft basis and rather offer you a lump sum cost for painting. The per sq ft repainting labour cost can range between Rs. 7-9 per sq ft excluding materials. The bigger the project, the cheaper the painting labour costs per sq ft.

Similarly, sometimes when you have a very large project then you may like to evaluate the labour-only charge or include materials from multiple painting contractors to get the most competent deals and offers for interior and exterior house painting.

Interior painting costs per sq ft

Interior painting costs can vary based on the brand of paint and style of wall colour design you choose. For example, texture wall paint can cost between Rs 60 to 200 per sq ft based on the pattern. Similarly, stencil art can be even more expensive. Here are the tentative costs for decorative interior house painting.

Paint optionFresh paintingRepainting
Asian Tractor EmulsionRs. 19-20/sq ftRs. 8-10 /sq ft
Premium EmulsionRs. 23-25/sq ftRs. 12-14/sq ft
Asian Royale LuxuryRs. 29-31/sq ftRs. 19 –21/sq ft
Asian Royal MattRs. 30-32/sq ftRs. 22 – 24/sq ft
Asian Royale ShyneRs 30-32/sq ftRs. 22 – 24/sq ft
Asian Royale AtmosRs. 34-36/sq ftRs. 24-26/sq ft
Asian Royale AspiraRs. 36-38/sq ftRs. 26-28/sq ft
Tentative interior painting cost

Exterior painting cost per sq ft

The exterior painting cost is a little higher than the interior painting cost. While the exterior painting cost in case of fresh painting ranges between Rs. 14-16 per sq ft, the exterior repainting cost ranges between Rs 11-13 per sq ft.

Exterior painting cost per sq ft using Asian paints for major cities in India:

Exterior PaintsRepainting costFresh painting
Ace EmulsionRs. 11-13 per sq ftRs. 14-15 per sq ft
Apex EmulsionRs. 14-16 per sq ftRs. 17-19 per sq ft
Apex UltimaRs. 19-21 per sq ftRs. 22-24 per sq ft
Ultima ProtekRs. 24-26 per sq ftRs. 26-28 per sq ft
Tentative exterior painting cost

Paint price in India

The paints, liquid putty and primers are available in different quantities like 1/2/4/10/20-litre boxes and buckets so that you can buy the required quantity to paint your house. Although it’s always better to check rates from a nearby paint dealer, you may refer to the price list below:

  • The cost of primer ranges between Rs. 140-300 per Litre
  • The cost of one litre of Asian paints can range between Rs. 134 – 2000 per litre depending on the variant of the paint.
  • Asian Paints, Royale Matt price – Qty 20 Litre Rs. 8996/bucket, 10 Litre Rs. 4565/bucket, 4 Litre Rs. 1845/bucket, 1 Litre Rs. 471/bucket
  • Asian Paints, Royale Shyne  price – Qty 20 Litre Rs. 8996/bucket, 10 Litre Rs. 4565/bucket, 4 Litre Rs. 1845/bucket, 1 Litre Rs. 471/bucket
  • Asian Paints Apex Weatherproof Emulsion price – Qty 20 Litre Rs. 4699/bucket, 10 Litre Rs. 2467/bucket, 4 Litre Rs. 1037/bucket, 1 Litre Rs. 271/bucket
  • Berger Acrylic Distemper – 20L  at Rs 740/bucket
  • Plastic Emulsion Paint -10 litre can cost Rs 550/bucket

That’s just to give you an idea of the tentative paint price as of 16th June 2022. It’s suggested you check the price from a paint supplier near you or online.

Things to Know When Calculating Painting Cost

Now that you have a basic idea about interior and exterior house painting costs, there are a few things that you must keep in mind when calculating painting costs and expenses. While painting costs and expenses should always be in your mind, it is also important to think of the overall finishing, protection and longevity of the paint.

The surface to be painted

Although the main objective of interior and exterior painting is to protect the building and enhance its beauty and aesthetic appeal, exterior and interior paints are different. Depending on whether you want to paint the interior or the exterior or both interior and exterior, you may have to choose different paints. The objective of painting, paint application process and per sq feet, painting cost will be different for different areas. Interior paints can’t be applied on exterior walls and vice-versa. And therefore, it is important to know the surface you want to get painted and budget accordingly for the painting job.

Total paint area

The total paint area is one of the key factors that must be considered while calculating the painting costs and expenses. Unless you are painting a very small area, the cost of painting can be calculated only based on the area you are painting. To calculate the paint area, you can either measure each of the surfaces, use a painting area calculator or simply multiply the surface area by 5 times. For instance, if you live in a 3 bedroom flat, with a 1000 sq ft carpet area, then the total paint area for the flat will be anywhere between 4 to 5 times including the false ceiling.

Condition of the walls or surface

The condition of the exterior and interior wall which is to be painted can significantly affect the overall house painting cost and expenses. The thing is the process of fresh painting after plaster (first coat paint) is different from repainting the surface after a few years of the first painting. While the first fresh painting requires surface preparation with 2 coats of putty and 2 coats of primer, the repainting does not require extensive surface preparation and therefore 1 coat of liquid putty, 1 coat of primer followed by 2 coats of paints will work well.

Type of paint being applied

Gone are the days when we used to whitewash or paint the walls with distemper. Today, there are many types of paints and options available for different surfaces. We have different types of paints for interior walls, exterior walls, ceilings and flooring. While the distemper-based paints are the most cost effective and economical solutions, it is not stain resistant and does not last longer than 2-3 years. The next best option is emulsion paints that offer better protection and last longer and they are easy to maintain. But these variants are a little costlier than the distemper paints.

Choosing the right type of paint can be vital both to get a beautiful finish as well as for the protection of the surface being painted.

The applicator

There will be many painting contractors and applicators available near you. Nearly all of them offer similar per sq ft rates for exterior and interior painting. However, every painting contractor or applicator may not have the same level of skills and may not produce the best quality finish. Although the per sq feet painting labour charges will not be significantly different, an experienced applicator may charge Rs.1-2 per sq foot higher than the not-so-experienced applicator. And therefore, consider whom you are working with while estimating the house painting costs and expenses.

Things to consider when painting the house

While house painting is an integral property maintenance task that can’t be postponed for long, the entire painting process can take at least a couple of weeks. While the fresh coat of paint will be less stressful because the house will be empty, painting the house while staying in the house can be a little stressful.

Here are a few things that must be considered while painting a house.

  • Choose the colour combination wisely; when unsure go with light colours as it always works well.
  • Don’t compromise on the quality and quantity of the painting materials.
  • Premium paints may appear expensive, but it lasts longer and offer a better finish and protection to the surface.
  • Always consider finish, longevity and ease of maintenance like if the surface can be wiped and washed.
  • Consider covering all furniture, switchboards, home appliances and the floor.
  • Painting is always done from the top to bottom, see to it that the applicator is doing it right.
  • Get the stains cleaned and removed from the surface the same day
  • Be patient during the painting process.

Conclusion: house painting costs and expenses

Painting the interior and exterior of the house is something that can’t be postponed for long. It’s one of the most important property maintenance tasks that help protect your property and refresh the looks and aesthetic appeal of the building from inside and outside.

While the painting itself is mostly done by trained and expert painting contractors and applicators, the process can take a while. Besides, depending on the size and kind of painting quality and finish you need, the house painting can be a costly affair, especially the first coat of fresh paint.

We discussed the house painting costs, labour charges and cost of different variants of paints available in India. And I hope the information will be helpful for you in estimating the cost of the entire house painting job.

We also discussed why and when to paint a house and types of paints available in India and popular paint brands you can choose from.

Hope it will help!

If there is any specific question about house painting and how to calculate the house painting cost and estimate then feel free to write back.

If you have any other ideas and hacks one can use while painting the house, then share that as well by commenting below.

Happy house painting!

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