Painting Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Please excuse the musical metaphors through out this article that compare creating inspiring kitchen cabinet ideas with Rock’in Roll great songs and legends.

Painting kitchen cabinets has certainly become the trend and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. If you excuse me for twisting a verse from the King, even wise man say, that painting kitchen cabinets from the 50’s is not a foolish thing to do. The smooth flat surfaces of those cabinet 50’s and 60 designs creates a perfect canvas for apply different colors for good vibrations.

If you currently have stained oak cabinets from the from the 80’s or beyond, they probably are not looking to trendy right now. But don’t worry, in this article I want to inspire you to at least look in through the out door or a glass onion, and come away with some just maybe come up with cool kitchen cabinet painting ideas of your own. As long as they are structurally, sound they are candidates to be painted.

In the White Room: How about plain white? Straight white cabinets will give your kitchen a clean look but will most likely be a supporting character for something else in the room (probably not black curtains). For example, an attractive backsplash, or a wolf stove and stunning exhaust vent. If everything is white a neutral than the overall effect can look a bit boring and steril as Pat Boone standing next to James Brown.

Consider this when choosing the right color and creating a classic

  • Does the floor go well with the cabinets?
  • How about thecounter top?
  • The walls and the cabinets should not be the same color.
  • Using all knobs is boring as well. A mixture of knobs and handles will add interest
  • Do you really need that clutter on top of the cabinets

In contrast, this picture answers all the questions above.

  • Blue backsplash offers interest
  • Floor compliments cabinet color
  • A mixture of knobs and handles
  • Countertop works great with all colors

Having your kitchen cabinets painted white with nothing to grab your attention is like having a rhythm section with no lead vocals or soloist. Having a blue kitchen island like this here is like bringing in Rod Stewart on center stage.

Painting kitchen cabinets in two different colors is one of my favorite ways to create a new and interesting kitchen. It’s like getting Walter Becker and Donald Fagen together to form Steely Dan. Painting kitchen islands a dark espresso color is an easy choice but how about painting a floor to ceiling section of your cabinets its own unique color. Is there a pantry door right next to the floor to ceiling cabinets? Why not paint that the door the same color as the floor to ceiling cabinets? In other words, get creative. Remember it’s only paint and not a tattoo. There is no permanent damage caused from experimenting with different colors.


The kitchen cabinets and doors were painted the same color.

Sammy Davis Junior – The Candyman

If you are going to apply two different colors typically the bottom cabinets is the darker color of the two. This seems to make sense to me. In nature you often see the Green Grass and High Tides which goes from dark to light.

There are exceptions Who might say like The Sea and the Sand is light to dark!

Breaking the rules: If you want to create great music you have to break the rules. Jim Hendrix comes to mind at the top of my list. Not only was the music he produced as unique as anyone’s, he decided to take it two steps further. His guitar strings were reversed, and he played the guitar upside down. So, when trying to come up with some interesting kitchen cabinets ideas, you don’t have to follow the rules. You can follow the rules or trends, or you can create something that is as unique as you are. If you put enough samples on your cabinets, it might turn out to have a Partridge Family theme.









When I first bought my house in 1992, I had more imagination than money. We had an old vinyl floor in the kitchen from 1957. The most economical things to do was paint it. My first wife, loved cows, so she painted a cow on the floor. It certainly was a conversation piece.

Why should cabinets be any different?

Ideas for painting kitchen cabinets can also be inspired by the sheen. Typically, cabinets are painted a satin sheen which is slightly less than a semi-gloss. If you really want your kitchen to pop, try an intense color and then paint it in a high gloss paint like this one shown here.

Satin finish cabinets

Hi Gloss Cabinets

One warning with using high gloss, it will have the best look by far if it is sprayed.

In full disclosure I searched the internet for most of these pictures. The truth is, most people for whatever reason like to play it safe when it comes to creative ideas for kitchen cabinets. But there is no reason too unless you are planning on selling the house soon or genuinely like the look.

When I designed my own kitchen in 2009, I wanted something that would be timeless, and unique. After looking at dozens of magazines and even a few books on the history of kitchen cabinets I came up with a combination of stained maple and painted butter cup yellow with tobacco glazing to bring out the details. I am no more tired of the look of these cabinets than I am of listening to Dave Mathews Under the Table and Dreaming.

Don’t forget about the hardware. There are 1000’s of handles, and knobs that can add so much character and interest to look of your kitchen. The ideas and combinations are endless and there is no reason to limit yourself to just one or two styles. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that kitchen cabinets began to appear. Food and utensils, etc. were stored in random pieces of furniture, and shelves in kitchen. In essence it was a mix match of different types of furniture, tables and shelving. There were no monolithic kitchen cabinets until the 1925 when the Franfurt cabinets were first made in Germany.

Incorporating different sizes and styles was the only option. One piece of furniture would be used for cutting and storage and another for some other practical function. This is why painting different colors and adding different hardware can allow you to create your own personal space. Having different colored cabinets, with different hardware, is like creating a band and with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Jon Paul Jones, and John Bonham. It all comes together beautifully with each piece complementing the other. The only thing missing from the picture is a happy Black Dog.






What to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Painter

what to ask before hiring a professional painter

Choosing a company to paint your home is a big decision. The paint job will have an enormous impact on your home’s appearance and will, if the work is high-quality, be around for a while. How do you choose a painter? By asking the right questions. Find out what those questions are below.

How Do I Choose a House Painter?

painting professional holding roller and giving a thumbs up

To get the best results, you need a trusted, quality professional with a long history of successful projects and good reviews. Such information will help you narrow down your options, but once you have a handful of contractors selected, you need to know what to ask when hiring an exterior house painter or interior painter.

What Questions Should I Ask a Painting Contractor?

Below is a list of 16 things to ask a professional painter to check their background and get more information about your project. We have answered each question with information specific to our services at Klappenberger & Son.

1. Are You Licensed and Insured?

professional painter painting house

One of the most important things to ask a professional painter is whether they carry insurance or not. Our company has a contractor’s license and insurance. You will not be liable in case of an accident on your property during one of our projects.

In Maryland, where many of our franchisees operate, the state requires contractors to show proof of at least $50,000 general liability insurance before getting a new or renewed license. This type of insurance protects you from having to pay in case of an accident that causes harm to your property. If you work with one of our Maryland locations, their state license is also proof they carry insurance. Similar rules apply in other states.

2. Do You Offer Consultations?

historic home after professional paint job

Communication with our customers is critical in helping us to meet their expectations. We want you to have the chance to voice your desires for the project to our contractors. Before we start, we offer a consultation to allow us to see your home and determine the best products and processes to use. If you have a historic home, the meeting enables us to see the specific types of materials to use to maintain the period look of your home’s origin.

The consultation gives you the chance to ask us any additional questions you may have about our company, our services or the products we use. The best part of the consultation is its the fact that it’s free. While we use quality products for all our painting work and never cut quality to reduce costs, we still believe that you should not have to pay to get questions answered. The consultation with us costs you nothing, but you will earn the reward of all the information you need about the project and cost.

3. How Much Will the Job Cost?

accurate cost assessments for a professional paint job

The exact cost of the job will vary. Some places will give you a quote online without seeing your home, but that is just a guess and not a guarantee. We need to see your home and get measurements to give you the most accurate estimate.

We provide accurate cost assessments based on the square footage and types of materials. Every job is different, and even if you had us paint for you in the past, newer, more advanced products might change the price. We will work to give you a fair price that does not compromise on the quality of the products we use or the work we do.

Interior Painting costs generally start at $2 to $4 per square foot for painting, with an average of $3 per square foot. This amount is for a typical job with two coats of paint on the walls, one coat on the trim and one on the ceiling. Additional coats will be needed if you are changing colors. Some colors may also require us to add more layers to achieve the proper look. The exact amount you spend depends on the paint grade we choose and any additional prep work we need to do, such as repairing walls and trim or wallpaper removal.

3. How Long Will the Project Take?

professional painter painting interior walls in a house

The time needed for the project depends on how much space you need us to paint. The answers to these will help us give you a time estimate for interior work.

  • Do you need several rooms or only one?
  • Do you have new or existing construction?
  • How much preparation will our painters need to do to get your rooms ready for painting?

questions to ask for an accurate time estimate on an interior paint job

If you need the exterior of your home painted, the answers to the following questions will determine, in part, the length of the project.

  • Do you need the home’s whole exterior painted?
  • Do you only need outside trim painted?
  • How much prep work or rotten wood is there to do?
  • Of course, the weather can always affect the duration of any exterior painting project.

For most projects, we cannot complete the painting in a single day because we paint at least two coats on the walls. Each layer must completely dry before we can add the next coat, leading to the task continuing the following day. On average, most projects we do take a week to account for preparation, painting, drying time between coats and cleaning up.

professional painter painting walls bright yellow

4. Does the Work Come With a Warranty?

Another question to ask exterior painters, as well as those who work inside, is whether the work and products come with any warranties. The quality of the preparation and painting work will ensure the coloring lasts longer. Painting contractors who believe in their efforts will guarantee their jobs. While we offer a warranty on our kitchen cabinets and a five-year guarantee on Mad Dog Primer, check with your local Klappenberger & Son about other guarantees.

5. How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

professional painter painting window trim

How long a company has been in business says a lot about their reputation and quality of work. Many companies can offer painting services, but if they do not provide long-lasting work with high-quality products, they won’t be around too long. This is especially true in areas with many historic homes that require extra care in any restoration projects.

Klappenberger & Son has been in the business of painting both interiors and exteriors for 30 years. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about how produce the best results.

6. Have You Received Any Awards for Superior Service?

You don’t have to take our word for it when we tell you about our service. Listen to what our previous customers have said and look at the awards we’ve received.

Customer testimonials are essential to our operations because they establish us as a leader in the field and show how committed we are to providing superior service. For seven years in a row, we have earned listing among the Best Picks.

To get this award, we need to give Best Picks contact information from 300 customers from the previous years. Best Picks Reports interviews those customers on the quality of the work we did. As a third party, they are neutral in their choices, making our ranking even more critical.

Best Picks also has strict requirements for those painting companies it chooses. Companies must requalify each year by maintaining an A grade, have licensing and insurance and have recommendations from verified customers. Our listing shows how committed we are to quality service and high standards.

7. Do You Use Your Own Employees? What Kind of Training Do the Employees Receive?

professional painter giving rigorous training to trainee

Some painting companies cut their prices by using third-party subcontractors. These workers may be freelance painters or work for another company, but the painting business you hire does not have to insure them, nor can it guarantee their work. This inability to ensure the quality of subcontractors is one of the hazards of going with the lowest price. To ensure that you get qualified painters who’ve undergone thorough vetting, we only allow our trained employees to work on your home.

Our employees undergo rigorous training to become painters with us. This process includes four and a half hours of videos outlining best practices and how to avoid mistakes. Training consists of a process that teaches workers how to reduce the number of errors and identify the right products to use for the projects they work on.

Information in the videos comes from our owner’s experience painting houses. In the videos, David Klappenberger describes over 800 errors he previously made in this business and tells our painters how to avoid making the same mistakes.

After the training, the workers test their knowledge through quizzes to verify their comprehension. Once completed, our painters will have the experience they need to choose the right products and use the ideal techniques for any job they do.

8. Should I Feel Concerned About Your Crew in My Home?

professional painter with painting equipment

Homeowners have a right to feel concerned about the contractors entering their houses. Never feel bad about including this question among what to ask a professional painter. You want to protect yourself and your property.

Because we only use our employees, we can assure you of the safety of having them in your home. All our workers undergo thorough screening, and we only hire good people who adhere to our company’s values and high standards. Most of our workers have been with us for some time, averaging five years in our company.

The thorough training classes that they take emphasize the focus they should have during the work. Our employees will keep their focus on moving things out of the way to protect them from the paint. They want to complete the painting job, not steal things.

9. How Many People Will You Have to Complete This Project?

The number of people we assign to each project depends on the size of the job. If you have only a single room or similar small space, we may only send one or two painters. Medium-sized jobs require two or three people. For the largest projects, we often send out three or four people.

Our goal for any painting project is to finish the task on time, generally in about a week. To accomplish this, we change the number of people we assign to complete the work in this timeframe. Whether we send one painter or a team, you can rest assured that they will all have undergone the same training and background checking.

10. What Grade of Paint Will You Use?

professional painter using specific paint grade

Not all painters will give you options for the grade of paint they use. Some operations will cut costs by choosing the cheapest paint they can get, which may wear out or fade sooner than quality paints. Your desired goals for the painting project will help our team to choose the best paint for your task, but we will never use low-quality products.

If you just want to refresh your home for the short term, we will use a mid-grade paint to balance price and quality. However, if you intend to remain in the home for several years in the future, we will upgrade your project to a premium paint. These tend to last longer than lower grades.

The cost of your job will include the cost of our materials. Paint grade will change the materials cost, but on average, plan on 15% of the total job cost going toward paint and other materials for the project.

11. Do I Need to Do Anything Before You Arrive?

Some painters will require their clients to do all the prep work, including moving furniture and spackling walls. The contractor should do these tasks, not you. By forcing you to do much of the hard work before the painting project starts, these companies can cut costs and increase the number of houses they paint in a day. However, requiring a customer to do any part of a project the client hires the company to do is a bad business practice. We will never do this to you.

We only request that you remove small breakable objects from the room and take down expensive artwork from the walls. The only reason we ask you to take out these expensive or delicate things is because you know how to handle them properly and store them correctly until we finish our job. Don’t worry about the furniture, though. Part of our job is to move heavy furnishings from the room and to prepare the walls, so you don’t have to.

Our painters will do any necessary spackling and sanding to prepare the walls for the primer. How well we prep the area will factor into how long the paint lasts and how it looks. Poorly prepared surfaces do not allow the paint to adhere, leading to cracking and peeling.

Leave these tasks to us so we can do them as part of the project while we maintain our high standards. The more we do throughout the project, the better we can control the quality of the job we do.

12. Where Will You Store Supplies and Paint Overnight During the Job?

While we work, we will cover the flooring in the room we’re painting with drop cloths, but at the end of each workday, we won’t leave our supplies lying around for your family or pets to encounter. We carefully store everything we use until we return the next day.

You don’t need to worry about our gear getting in your way after we leave for the day. Because most of our jobs will take more than a day, we will need a location around your home to store our paint and supplies overnight. Typically, we use rarely used areas such as the garage, basement, laundry room or guest room. If we work outside, we will keep our ladders there, too.

13. How Will You Keep My House Clean?

professional painter laying out drop cloths on floor

Your home deserves the same quality service and treatment we offer you as a customer. Not all painters will clean up after themselves or use practices to reduce the messes that they make. Through trial and error over our thirty years in the painting business, we’ve learned the best practices to use to keep your home as clean as possible.

During preparation, we lay out drop cloths on the floor and over furnishings to prevent paint and dust from getting on them. When we sand, we use a vacuum attachment to keep the dust out of the air. Our painters will also use the right amount of paint to prevent splatter and dripping.

Other painters may not take these precautions, but we believe that caring for your home is part of our business, whether we work inside or out.

14. What Will You Clean After You Finish the Job?

Our painters will not leave a mess in your home while they work or after they finish. While our work does not produce a lot of waste or dirt in the space where we work, we still strive to leave your home clean. During sanding, we use a vacuum attachment on the sander to collect any dust created during the process. This prevents dirt from accumulating on surfaces in the room.

Even with this precaution in place, we will still vacuum all the rooms we paint at the end of the project. Vacuuming the painted rooms is a courtesy service to our customers to ensure that you have a better-looking home after we leave.

15. Can You Provide References?

beautiful kitchen after a professional paint job

Our high-quality painting work has earned us contracts for doing interior work in many government buildings. We have painted the White House, the Pentagon, the Smithsonian and the Capitol building. What makes these projects stand out is that they fall into both the government and historic building categories.

With thousands of visitors each year, the quality of the paint job is critical in such locations. We take pride in our ability to meet the exacting standards of these properties’ interior painting needs.

To see images of other painting projects we’ve done, browse through our portfolio of prior interior painting projects. You can also read testimonials from our customers on our website.

16. Who Do I Contact With Questions or a Problem?

To contact your local Klappenberger & Son franchise, visit our website. Look for the zip code finder at the top of the screen and type in your postal code. You will see the name and contact information of the location nearest to your home. You can then contact the team through an online form, by phone or by email with questions about your project.

Contact Us for a Painting Contractor for Your Home

professional painter painting interior walls blue

Hopefully, now you have the answer to the question of what you should look for in a painting contractor and are ready to book your painting project. At Klappenberger & Son, our highly trained painters know how to give your home an improved appearance through a fresh coat of paint on the interior or exterior. Whether you need a restoration or want to personalize your space with new colors, trust us to give it the long-lasting color that will make it more valuable.

To schedule your painting project, contact us online. You will get our decades of experience in painting that owners of both government buildings and historic homes have used for their projects.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Exterior Trim?

Painting A Picture of Your Home’s Exterior Trim

When you pull into the driveway and look at your house, do you see mildew? Is the paint starting to fade or peel?  Have the shutters faded to a dull oxidized version of their old self?  Is the wood starting to rot?  Is the house screaming at you for a fresh coat of paint and your wondering what will all this cost?

The good news is, when you shut the front door, you can’t hear the screams and cries of your trim and siding begging for a fresh coat of paint.  Out of sight out of mind quickly wins the battle until next time, and next time and then finally you ask “What is it going to cost to paint the exterior of my home?”

You see a painting contractor working down the street and you ask for an estimate on your home.  He measures and calculates and sends you a proposal and unless you get a few more estimates you really don’t know if the exterior painting price is fair.  It’s not like getting a transmission replaced on your car where everyone must use the same parts and the process is all done the same way. If everything is done properly, your transmission is going to last about 100,000 miles.  In painting the exterior of your house, the price is going to be determined by many different factors.

Home Exterior Estimate Method #1

By measuring and attributing the cost to the difficulty and amount of exterior painting a professional painter can determine a rough estimate for the exterior of your home.

Key Factors Considered When Estimating the Cost to Paint Your Home’s Exterior

The height of your home – 2nd-floor work will take between 20% – and 30% longer to paint than the same work on the first floor.  Tall gables that require a 40’ ladder can also add even more to the cost of exterior painting.

Dormers on your 2nd-floor roof (add between $100.00 – 200 per dormer). Because the exterior conditions are much harsher, and the sloop is difficult to work on the cost will be higher than standard surfaces.  It is a good idea to pay the extra cost to have all surfaces primed and double coated.

The sloop of your land – difficult terrain to negotiate a ladder can add cost between 5% and 25% in extreme cases.  fences, cliffs, working over porches, and other obstacles need to be considered.

Window sashes – window sashes are the moving parts of the window.  Depending on if the window is a single pane glass and needs minimal prep work the cost could be around $30.00 per window.  If the window is a 6 over 6 window and needs to be re-glazed the cost could be upwards of $150.00 per window.

Soffits, fascia boards, and rake boards – this is challenging to give a detailed exterior cost for these trim boards because it will depend on the height, terrain, condition and the condition of the surface to be painted.  If it under 12 feet tall and in good condition, $2.00 –  $3.00 per coat should be a reasonable price.  If it’s peeling and needs to be scraped, primed, and receive 2 coats of exterior paint the cost could be closer to $6.00 a linear ft on the first floor and $7.00 or more on a second floor.

Shutters – Vinyl or Fiberglass 2-panel shutter cost about $10.00 – $15.00 per coat.  Louver shutters take more time so  figure $15.00 – $20.00

Columns – A exterior fiberglass column with a little chipping and peeling at the base might cost about $45 – $70.00 per column depending on if it needs one or two coats.

Siding – It’s impossible to estimate the prep time on the siding.  The cost for each house will have to be determined on its own.  However, a good rule of thumb is wood siding can usually be painted between a $1.00 and $1.50 per coat, per linear ft.  Again, a final determination of the exterior painting cost will be affected by the terrain, height, and condition of the surface to be painted.


Home Exterior Estimate Method #2

Big picture breakdown method

Breaking the cost down in tasks is another method, for example, a typical house might look something like this:

Power wash house – 8 hours

Scrape loose paint, caulk, and bondo – 16 hours

Prime 12 hours

Apply two coats of paint – 48 hours

Clean -up and touch -up 4 hours

Get materials 2 hours

Materials $500.00

This labor cost on this job would be 78 hours.  Average labor rate might be $55.00 per hour

These hours are all hypothetical but you might be surprised how accurate you instinctively are!

The materials and the processes will also affect the cost for exterior painting.  Ask yourself these questions when evaluating the price to paint your exterior.

  • What is your best guess on how many hours it will take to do the prep?
  • How long will it take to prime? Do you want everything primed or just spot primed?
  • How many coats of paint do you want to be applied? Each coat of paint is another trip around the house.

If estimating the exterior cost for your home seems overwhelming that probably means you are really thinking about it.

Home Exterior Estimate Method #3

Small Picture Breakdown

Try breaking your house down into small sections:

How long to prep and paint the lower front of your house?

How long to prep and paint the front door?

How about the second floor? The front of the garage? The side and so forth.

Just keep walking around the house and breaking things in bite-size pieces.  Once you start envisioning the process and the obstacles you should be able to get some idea of the total amount of hours.

Labor cost for a typical exterior paint job will be between $45.00 – $75.00 per hour based on where you live and the level of difficulty of the job.  Work that requires a 40’ ladder or a lift will only add to the cost.

I have trained many estimators to properly estimate exterior work and it is far harder than estimating interior work.  One final and very important thought on the cost of painting the exterior of your home.  The process and materials used to paint your home is far more important than the price.  The price is a one-time purchase and far different from the cost!  If you spend $5,000 to paint the exterior of your home and it only last 3 years than the cost was $1,666 per year.  However, if you prepped your house properly, primed your house with Mad Dog Primer and applied 2 coats of a premium exterior paint the price might be $8,500.00 but, the job will last about 12 years!  The cost would be only $708.66 per year.  That’s a savings of $11,492.00 over 12 years!

If you would like to know more about our process and materials we use, please contact us and I or one of our experts will be glad to assist.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint The Interior of A Home?

Calculating the cost of painting the interior of your home can be very challenging due to the numerous options and variables.   I have given 1000’s of residential interior painting estimates for the last 29 years and it has given me the opportunity to help hone my skills for giving accurate estimates.  Even though I may be giving some of my trade secrets away to my competitors, I thought I would still share my estimating formulas to you so you can get a good idea of what a professional painting estimate should cost.

There are a lot of factors that will ultimately affect the cost of painting an interior home.  A painting contractor who says he can paint any room for say, $500.00 without seeing it is absurd.  It would equivalent to a car salesman who says he can sell you a car for $20,000.  Obviously, they could, but what are you getting?  It’s impossible to get a professional painting estimate without viewing the room and speaking to the customer.  Why? There are just too many questions that need to be discussed and a visual inspection beforehand is imperative to giving an accurate interior painting estimate.

Key variables that effect the cost of painting the interior of your home:

  • Does the ceiling need to be painted? How about the closets?
  • Are you changing colors or sheen? If so, you better count on applying 2 coats.  Keep in mind that when applying the second coat of paint you will need almost twice the amount of paint.
  • How about the prep work? Is there drywall tape peeling, cracks, holes patches etc.
  • Will you be painting the walls a different color or sheen than the ceilings?
  • How much trim needs to be painted? Do you have any crown molding, chair rail, wanes cote, built-ins that also need to be painted?
  • What grade of paint do you want? A typical interior gallon of paint can vary between $20.00 per gallon for a mid-grade or up to $65.00 for a premium grade.
  • Is there a lot of stuff in the room to be painted? Can it be pushed to the center or is it better to just remove it from the room?  Having a cluttered room slows productivity and increases costs.  This is especially true when you want the ceilings painted.

As you can see, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before you can determine what an interior painting project will cost.  One final factor that I also need to include on determining the cost to paint your interior is the labor rate.  The average cost of a painting contractor varies across the country from $35.00 – $85.00.  That’s a big difference.   For the sake of this blog,  I’m going to split the difference and use an interior painting rate of $55.00 per man hour.

Many customers have said to me, “I’ve gotten a few painting estimates and the prices are all over the place! Why such a large difference ?”  It’s a very good question.

If you have gotten painting estimates in the past, you have probably found a wide range of prices.  Here are three bullet point reason why you will likely get a wide range of prices for interior painting projects.

  1. Inexperienced in estimating – some people are just not good at estimating, or maybe they low bid because they are out of work and desperate.
  2. Overlooked the amount of prep work – it’s not uncommon for estimators to not pay attention to all the prep work that is involved in getting your home up to professional standards.
  3. Comparing apple to oranges – make sure the estimates are including the same number of coats, and the same quality of paint, and painting the same areas. If you are getting rooms with closets painted make sure all proposals include those types of details.
  4. Chuck and a Truck – Chuck is an unlicensed, and uninsured contractor who works out of his truck. He has no Workers Comp and General liability and perhaps works under the table.  These contractors’ prices can easily be 35% less than a legitimate licensed professional contractor.  For these types of contractors who are called “Chuck and a Truck” reliability, communication, quality of work can be hit or miss.  I’ll just say buyer beware.


Yes, those are a lot of factors and variables to consider.  It is why a one size fits all price just can’t be given over the phone.  It is necessary to see the condition of the rooms, and to find out what the customers’ needs are so an accurate painting estimate can be calculated.

The prices listed below are for labor only and are calculated at a labor rate of $55.00 per man hour.  Your hourly rate may vary depending on your location.

Interior Estimating Chart

Area to be painted Per floor sq. ft
One coat on walls includes minor prep work $1.25
Two coats on walls includes minor prep work $1.75
One coat on ceiling includes minor prep work     .50
Two coats on ceiling includes minor prep work     .75
Cathedral ceilings one coat $1.00
One coat Base board, doors, window trim     .90
Two coats base board, doors, window trim $1.40


Other Factors
A typical bedroom closet (per coat) $50.00
Crown molding per linear ft $1.25
Chair rail per linear ft $1.10
Risers on staircase (Per riser) $5.00
Spindle (square stock ) per spindle $3.00
House is empty than deduct  –  .60
House is very full add   +.60
Holes in walls (per patch) $25.00


The prices do not include the paint.  When calculating the cost for interior paint in your estimate factor in about 15% of you labor cost for mid-grade paint and 25% for premium grade paint.  In other words if you think your labor cost will be around $3000.00 add another $450.00 for mid grade paint and $750.00 for premium grade paint.

Klappenberger& Son will always gladly give you an estimate for free.  Our estimates are detailed, fair and prompt.  We definitely want to suggest the right products and procedure to give you exactly what you are looking for.

Comparing Painting Estimates

What should you do if you get 4 painting estimates and they look as follows:

Painting Contractor #1 $2,700.00

Painting Contractor #2 $4,300.00

Painting Contractor #3 $4,600.00

Painting Contractor #4 $6,100.00

Before you snag painting contractor #1 like a $100.00 bill lying a deserted parking lot, I’d like to share with you few words of caution besides my little “buyer beware” that I mentioned previously.  I have gone back and completed so many jobs from low ball bidders, maybe well-intentioned painting contractors who just made an honest mistake, but they ended up not finishing the job.  They either walk-off the job or asked for more money to complete the project.  Some contractors promise to come back and finish, but it takes forever, and the customer/contractor relationship goes is horrible.  The customers rarely if ever sues because they know he has no money.  He’s Chuck in a truck and it’s time to move on.

The cost listed above are fair and reasonable estimates and will make no one rich.  My goal is to take my Honey Bunny out for dinner on a Saturday night and if she wants to get the mozzarella sticks for an appetizer – it won’t bust the bank.  The prices listed above are just what it takes to get a professional painting job done by a professional painter.

I recommend checking the references of both Contractor #2 and #3.  Contractor #4 is probably fishing.

Then choose who you feel most comfortable with between #2 and #3!

What to Expect When Remodeling A Bathroom

I have been remodeling bathrooms for over 20 years and if I can borrow a tagline from Farmers “we have seen a thing or two”.  I like to educate our customers on what the expectations are in a project that often disrupts the daily flow and the strategies I have developed to manage a project of this scale. In the end, our goal is to deliver an outstanding remodeled bathroom.

How Long Does A Bathroom Remodel Take?

Not as fast as tv shows depict. Home design shows that you see on TV make the projects seem faster and more fluid then what is possible.  The remodeling shows have real timetables with TV crews and major filming costs.  Trades work long days and weekends that overlap each other.  Materials on the shows are always available in a short period of time.  These shows can’t wait 3 weeks for a vanity to arrive, and another 2 weeks for countertop top to get fabricated and installed. How long does it actually take? Typically, we don’t start jobs until special orders have arrived, but there are always exceptions. For example, if you have a glass shower door and or walls, you can’t order it in advance.  It must be measured after all the tile has been installed.  When all the significant material has arrived we get started and we can usually do a simple bathroom remodel in 7-10 days.  Larger bathrooms that involves a new custom shower, with additional plumbing locations can stretch a project out for as long as 4-5 weeks. Throughout the process, we plan for these speed bumps and also let you know in order to have expectations.

Bathroom Sink in remodeled bathroom.

How much should you spend on your bathroom remodel project?

For resale value purposes you should have your bathroom cost fit the value of your house.  For example, if your house is worth $500,000 you want to have a bathroom that fits a 500,000 dollar house.  In Maryland, where I live that would mean a master bath that cost between $12,000 – $20,000.  Installing a cheap Hampton Bay vanity and $20.00 light, a noisy toilet will not help your home sell.    On the flip side, don’t design a 8 shower head $70,000 bathroom with premium grade ammenities.  Our philosophy is to ask a lot of questions to find out what your needs are and then incorporate your needs with the latest trends that fit budgets and raises the cost of the home.

What is the ROI in your bathroom?

Bathrooms and kitchens give a higher return on investment than anything else inside your home according to our good friends at HGTV.

If you start moving walls, plumping locations, and electrical outlets / switches the ROI will start to decrease.  But it sure is comforting to know that if you invest in your bathroom you will be getting your money back at resale and have all the benefits of enjoying in the mean time.

Shower after bathroom remodel.

Advice On A Bathroom Remodel

Older homes often have lots of hidden obstacles buried under the flooring or behind the walls.  Floors are much more likely to be uneven, and the walls are out of square.  In short, there are unforeseen problems and just like in the HGTV shows the often result in additional cost.

There needs to be an area (typically outside of the bathroom) where the tile is cut.   The closer to the bathroom obviously the better.  Space may be needed inside the bedroom for working, and storing daily materials etc.  At Klappenberger & Son, we work these details out prior to giving the estimate.  I learned this the hard way when I had to walk 3 flights of steps after every time I cut a piece of tile outside.  Yes, the bathroom was on the third floor!

We are able to do a variety of interior remodeling projects. From your basement project to your kitchen remodel. If you are looking to have your bathroom remodeled, we would be happy to give you a free consolation.  Contact us today!