How to Determine the Best Paint by Price

There are many reasons to understand how much a gallon of paint costs before starting a house painting project. The average cost of interior paint ranges between $18 and $90. Exterior paint prices are higher, at $27 each gallon, and can top over $100 for elastomeric coatings.

Cabinet paint such as lacquers, polyurethane paints, and interior special finishes can cost over $150 for the most premium offerings. 

Interior Paint Cost Range

Interior Paint Cost Range

$18 – $90

Average Interior Wall Paint Cost


Average Exterior Paint Cost

$27 – $100

Frequently Asked Questions

The average house paint covers roughly 350 sqft. The average price of paint is $45.00. Therefore, the average paint price per square foot is 15 cents.

Separation Between Paint Prices & Quality

Since house paint prices continually increase and new product skews are introduced yearly, it has become harder to quantify if higher-priced paints are worth the additional cost. 

Since paint prices range so widely, it’s no surprise that homeowners have little to no objective preference other than being familiar with the name of a particular paint brand. 

This article aims to help you understand when higher paint prices are most beneficial.

Paint Costs When Hiring a Painter

There are many blind promises when it comes to painting. Just because the paint costs more doesn’t always mean it is worth the money.

When hiring a painter, value shoppers will want to know if the painters charge a fair price for paint materials. Other clients think purchasing the materials allows them more control of the process. 

Itemizing prices is a great way to understand service details, but it is rarely the best means of understanding paint costs. Trying to determine paint costs per gallon from companies could insult the process. It’s widely known that reputable painters receive discounted prices, and portions of that savings are passed down to customers. Accepting and trusting in that will allow the bandwidth to aim your focus where it matters most. 

The best way to determine if you are getting reasonable prices is to look at the project’s overall cost and ensure each contractor provides quality paint materials and service. Placing your energy and focus on the service’s total price and overall quality is the best way to determine value.

Lower Priced Interior Ceiling Paint

We do not suggest spending much on interior ceiling paint, as most ceilings go untouched. However, the exception for spending additional money would be in high-moisture bathrooms. 

A typical flat interior ceiling paint starts at $18. Higher-end ceiling paints allow for darker colors and are easier to apply. High-performing interior ceiling paint costs begin at $32 for each gallon.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best flat interior paint that offers moisture protection is Benjamin Moore Bath & Spa.

Mid-Grade Interior Wall Paint Costs

Making a good choice for interior wall paint is likely one of the more critical choices. The finish will also influence the cost and durability. 


When painting small interior spaces with heavy traffic, we recommend buying mid-grade or better interior wall paint. Mid-level wall paints start at $40, while high-performers top out at $90 each gallon.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend Sherwin-Williams Duration interior satin for the best price and performance.

High-End Interior Trim & Cabinet Paint Costs

When painting the entire room, trim paint should be highly valued. Trim paint is important because trim takes the most abuse and is the hardest for DYI’ers. 

A paint that is easy to wipe is Sherwin-Williams Proclassic. Proclassic has long been Sherwin-Williams’ best trim paint and arguably the only interior trim paint by SW worth purchasing. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes range from $50-$70 per gallon.

Benjamin Moore Advance is one of the best DIY paints for cabinets, and it has easy application, advanced adhesion, and optimal coverage. The only drawback is that it takes a long time to cure.

Outdoor Paint Cost Value

Buying outdoor paint that lasts longer and holds up to various weather elements is a prerequisite. But most paint buyers are misguided and value price over performance.


20-year exterior paints start at $40 each gallon. Premium outdoor water-based acrylic paints start at $55 each gallon. Exterior oil paints are sold in gallon and quart cans, starting at $7 for an aerosol can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore offer the best exterior paints.

Paint Can Cost Based on Size

  • Gallon Price Average $15 – $150
  • Quart Price Average $7 – $40
  • Half Quart Price Average $3 – $22
  • Large Spray Can $12 – $30
  • Small Spray Can $2 – $25

Prices Continue to Rise

The prices of raw materials used to make paint are increasing, a story perpetuated by paint manufacturers abroad. All house paints contain a wide range of raw materials, and some water and oil hybrid paints cost more. But most paint price increases are sheer opportunities for added profit.

Contact us for quality paint and service in the Raleigh area.

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