How Much Does it Cost to Paint Interior or Exterior Trim?
$500 - $1,500
$500 - $1,500
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated June 10, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
When it's time to freshen up your baseboards, crown molding, windows, and doors, the cost to paint interior and exterior trim ranges from $1 to $3 per linear foot on average. Painting trim can cost up to $6 per linear foot for larger and hard-to-access places like dormers, soffits, and fascia.
For a standard 1,500-square-foot home, painting interior trim will cost an average of $500 to $1,500 and exterior trim will cost $1,000 to $2,500. And while painting trim is a doable DIY project in most areas of the home, local professional painters can help you save significant time and avoid errors.
While the average cost to paint trim lands in the $1 to $6 per linear foot range, the final price highly depends on the size of your home. The width and length of the trim determine the amount of paint and time it will take to get the job done. Working in hard-to-reach places and interiors with significant prep will also add time—and therefore cost—of the final project.
The average cost to paint the exterior of a home always runs a bit higher because of the type of paint needed, access to high areas, and preparation. Exterior paint costs between $20 and $80 a gallon—generally a bit higher than interior paint—since it must be able to withstand constant UV rays, moisture, wind, and extreme temperatures.
Plus, professional painters account for working and moving up and down a ladder, increased working hours, and the dangers of working up high. They’ll charge higher hourly fees or flat rates for complicated or second-floor areas.
Painting the trim on eaves, fascia, and soffits costs an average of $3 to $6 per linear foot or between $500 and $1,000 if you're charged a flat fee. The joints between your roof and exterior walls come up against a lot of pressure throughout the year. It's not uncommon to require a touchup on these areas.
Exterior doors and windows fall in the $1 to $4 per linear foot range or a flat fee of $100 to $1,000 a window depending on:
The style of the molding
Whether the painters need to work around fixtures
If they also paint the frame and shutters
Damages in the frame
Expect to pay between $3 and $5 per linear foot for professional dormer trim painting. Dormer windows are typically harder to access and require more prep work to protect the surrounding roof. And since dormers face a direct hit from snow and rain, pros will often choose a tougher paint variety.
The cost to paint a gable falls on the high end of the price range, from $5 to $6 per linear foot. Like dormers, gables are difficult and precarious to reach and may require intricate painting if you live in a historic home.
Repainting all the interior trim of a standard home costs $500 to $1,500 on average, or as high as $9,000 for a large home and high-end paint. In some cases, painters will choose a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint for interior trim for durability and extra shine.
Crown molding connects your ceiling to the walls and requires a bit more prep time to protect the areas around it.
Painting crown molding costs between $1 and $5 per linear foot, with higher costs for rooms with ceilings above eight feet high. For example, if you're painting the crown molding on a small room with 100 linear feet of trim, it will cost between $100 and $500 including labor and materials. If you plan to pay to install new trim before painting it, budget another $600 to $2,100 on average.
Painting baseboards will also cost between $1 and $5 per linear foot, especially since painters spend a lot of time protecting the floors and working at a low level. Baseboards require more paint and time due to their thicker width. If you're adding new boards, the cost of baseboard installation ranges from $6 to $9 per linear foot.
The casements around doors and windows cost between $1 and $4 per linear foot to paint. Some painters prefer to remove the doors before painting to reach the inside of the frame without dripping on the door.
Professional painters will quote a per-hour rate or a flat fee that incorporates the time of the labor. On average, expect to pay between $20 to $75 an hour for interior and exterior trim. Prepare for this project to take between five and 25 hours depending on prep time, access, the size of the trim, and the number of coats.
It's possible to paint the trim on your own if you're an experienced DIYer, but remember that the process takes a bit of time, prep work, and confidence with a paintbrush. Painting trim requires the intricate use of painter's tape and drop cloths to keep it from bleeding onto the walls or parts of your home.
The cost of tools and materials will range from $200 to $600 on average, including the paint. And while you'll cut out the cost of labor and overhead, professional painters typically have access to paint deals and can help you avoid costly errors.
Keep in mind that accessing high trim—such as crown molding or exterior soffit trim—can be dangerous if you're not comfortable on a ladder. So leave this to the pros.
Painting trim often requires just as much prep work as the project itself. Begin by gathering:
The right sheen paint for trim
Primer for new wood
Thin detailing brush
Sandpaper and sander
Painter's tape and drop cloths
Sand off old paint and smooth the bare wood before adding a primer or new coat of paint. You can also take this opportunity to remove and replace old caulk from the edges of the trim or baseboards.
Here are some tips once you get painting the trim:
Eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss paints are the most common trim option
Apply a layer of primer to bare wood
Begin with the corner of trim and work your way outwards
Paint from the top, down for frames, eaves, dormers, and gables
Protect all nearby areas from dripping paint before starting
Overall, remember that each gallon of paint covers 350 to 400 square feet of space. Use our paint calculator to determine how much paint you need for your home's trim.
Since we often measure trim in linear feet, you'll need to convert linear feet to square feet to determine the right amount of paint. Here's how to do the math:
Begin by measuring the width of the trim you plan to paint. For example, crown molding can range between three and 20 inches wide on average.
Next, convert inches to feet for the equation—for example, 0.5 feet equals 6 inches.
Once you have the width and linear feet, plug them into this equation:
Length (linear feet) x Width in Feet (of the molding) = Area of the room (square footage)
For example: 1,000 linear feet x 0.5 feet = 500 square feet
You'll need: 2 gallons of paint
The cost to paint a 10-by-12 room falls between $200 and $800 on average. Painting the room yourself will cost between $100 and $300. The exact total for painting interior walls, ceiling, and trim together depends on:
Finding the area of the walls and ceiling minus the space for windows and doors
Multiplying it by $2 to $6 per square foot
Adding the area of trim
Accounting for higher amounts for hard-to-reach trim and high-gloss paint
Caulk your baseboards before painting your baseboards. If there is an older existing caulk, gently remove it and add a new line, allow it to dry, and then repaint the baseboard. A 10 oz. tube of acrylic caulk—which is ideal for painting—and a caulk gun will cost about $10.
Some homeowners and designers choose semi-gloss or high-gloss paint to make their trim pop against the rest of the wall. However, in most cases, it's normal to match the sheen of your room by using eggshell or satin. And if you have imperfections in your trim, opt for a flatter paint to hide them.
Professionals will remove paint from trim molding for between $1.50 and $5 per square foot, but you can remove it yourself with a sander and paint stripper for between $12 and $20.
Depending on the trim you plan to paint, be sure to:
Remove all old paint
Smooth the trim by sanding
Repair any imperfections
Caulk or re-caulk the trim edges
Line trim with painter's tape
White and off-white trim works well both with matching walls and other colors. The classic look can give the room a clear outline while blending with a white ceiling. This classic choice is also ideal when selling your home.
Painting the trim in your home will take between 5 and 25 hours depending on:
Whether you hire a professional
The length of the trim
The location of the trim
Amount of prep work
Number of paint coats