A fresh coat of paint is one of the fastest and most effective ways to completely change or update the look of a room, building, boat, car, or decorative piece. Painting allows you to create detailed color coordination, customize the look of your home or possessions, or make something more appealing for the marketplace. When you are planning an improvement or decorative project that will involve painting, one of your first considerations will likely be “How much does paint cost?”. There is not one simple answer to this question. Each project requires a different type of paint, and there are so many types, as well as options within those types, that you must first examine the effect that you wish to achieve before you can begin pricing out your materials budget.
Types of Paint
There are almost as many types of paint as there are things that you can apply them to. Most of these paints are not interchangeable, though some can be used for more than one purpose within a set of guidelines, such as interior/exterior paint. Some of the types of paint include:
– Interior paint which is used for the inside walls of a home or business.
– Exterior paint which can be exposed to weather and sunlight.
– Automotive paint which is for cars and other vehicles.
– Marine paint which is used for boats and watercraft.
– Decorative or “faux finish” paints which are used primarily for decorative effect.
– Waterproofing paint which is used to seal an object or surface.
How Much Does Paint Cost?
The type of paint that you need for your project will be the biggest deciding factor in the cost of the paint. Paint is generally sold by the pint, gallon, or five-gallon. Generally, only basic interior and exterior paints are available in the largest quantities.
– Paints that create a faux finish and are used for decoration—such as those that create a crackle effect, or those that can be used as chalkboard when they are dry and have been properly cured—have an average cost of $12 to $50 per gallon.
– Interior paint is usually the most affordable with an average cost of $10 to $75 per gallon.
– Exterior paint is slightly pricier than interior paint, partly due the fact that it must withstand weather and is changed less frequently than interior paint. The average cost of a gallon of exterior pain is between $30 and $100.
– Marine paint must be able to stand constant exposure to water and sunlight. It has an average cost of between $30 and $75 per gallon.
– Waterproofing paint is used primarily for things like decks and gazebos. It costs an average of $20 to $115 per gallon.
– Car paint is very different than the other types of paint. It is not used as frequently, and is very precise in its purposes. A gallon of car paint has an average cost of $30 to $120.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Paint
Like nearly everything in the consumer marketplace there are various factors that can influence the cost of paint. These influences should be kept in mind when preparing for your painting project so that you budget effectively and get the best results for your time and money. Some of these factors include:
– What is referred to as the “gloss”, or the degree to which the paint shines when dry, will cause the price of a gallon of paint to fluctuate relatively dramatically. Flat paint, which has no shine, is the least expensive option, while high gloss paints cost considerably more. The gloss that you choose will also make a major difference in the final look of your project so you shouldn’t let just the cost influence your choice.
– Obviously the more paint you purchase the more you will pay, but often paint purchased in larger quantities at once will have a lower per unit cost than that which is sold in smaller amounts. For instance, purchasing several pint-sized containers of a color of paint will not cost the same as purchasing an equivalent amount in gallons because the paint will be priced lower in the form of gallons.
– The quality of the paint that you choose will make a difference in your final product as well as in the amount that you will pay for the paint. Higher quality paints cost more because they apply better, look better, are more durable, and will last longer.
– A higher price, however, does not always indicate superior quality. The brand name of the paint can also bump up the price. There are smaller brands, and even store brands, that have high quality products priced more cheaply because they are not attached to a big brand name.
Because often “How much does paint cost?” becomes more of an exclamation of shock than a true question it is important that you know exactly what you want before investing in a large amount of paint or diving straight in to a full makeover of your home, business, boat, or car. Most of the time custom colored paint is not returnable. Many stores offer free or inexpensive paint samples which allow you to “live with” a color for a period to determine which is your favorite.