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New Construction Painting (2024)

New construction painting projects refer to both new builds and renovations where new walls and trim are installed. These projects are usually difficult and can be a headache because of the number of parties involved (homeowner, contractor, designer, other sub-contractors, etc...). There is always plenty of prep-work, change orders and delays which can cause frustration. As such, the new construction process and pricing are contingent on many factors.

New Construction Painting Process

Step 1 - Spray Prime & Apply 2 Finish Coats to Ceiling

Ideally, the painter's scope of work usually begin once the tapers are done and prior to the trim & floors being installed. This way, we can quickly spray prime the entire house without having to worry about the floors and masking too many things. During this step, we also spray 2 finish coats on the ceilings because the space is open and we can do it quickly which prevents flashing. Though there is a likelihood of the ceiling getting scuffed later, they can be touched up at the end. Once the walls are primed and the ceilings are sprayed, we leave and come back once the floors and trim are installed.

Step 2 - Prepping The Trim

Once the trim has been installed, we begin with the prep work which is as follows:

  1. We use Famowood fill or Drydex to fill in the nail holes and other imperfections in the trim.

  2. Once the holes have been filled, we sand everything down with a dustless sander and 220 grit sandpaper.

  3. The surrounding areas are then masked and wiped down the trim with a damp rag.

  4. The first coat of primer is then applied to the trim (we recommend priming even if the trim is pre-primed).

  5. A light sand with 240 grit is needed afterwards to smoothen any wood fibers which were raised from the primer.

  6. We then caulk all the cracks of the baseboards, doors and door jambs. We like to caulk after the trim is primed because it adheres better. Also, caulking cannot be sanded so it is easier to do it after sanding the trim.

Step 3 - Vacuum & Spray The Trim

At this point, the trim has been prepped and should be wiped down before spraying. We typically apply 2 finish coats to the trim while filling/sanding imperfections in between coats.

Step 4 - Tape The Trim & Paint The Walls

Once the trim is completed, we would have completed the most difficult part. All that is left is the walls.

  1. We like to begin by taping the trim after they have been sprayed to protect them from overspray (micro splatters from rolling) and to ensure sharp straight lines.

  2. Prior to applying the first coat, we give the primed walls a light sand

  3. The first coat of paint is applied to the walls (roll first and then cut because it is faster)

  4. We then find any imperfections, fill them and then give the entire wall a light sand again

  5. The final coat is then applied (cut first and then rolled because it loosk better)

How Much Does A New Construction Project Cost? (2024)

The price for new construction projects vary greatly. As of 2024, a new construction painting project can cost from $2.50 - $10+ /sf. This is a huge range, but we will explain why.


The lower end of the price spectrum is reserved for production houses. Developers can pay pennies because they have plenty of work and can keep painting crews busy year round. Additionally, these projects are cookie cutter and well managed (most of the time), allowing crews to paint entire houses in  a day. Our company steers clear from these types of projects because the pay is usually not enough for us to do a good job.

Prices on the upper end of the spectrum are for high-end custom houses and projects where there will be headaches. If the client/contractor expects perfection, or if we know the construction process will be a mess (lots of change orders, poor management, etc...), we will charge at rates starting around $9.00 /sf. If you are expecting glass-like finishes on your trim and black doors, you likely fall under this category.

With that being said, how much do we charge for an average new construction painting project? If your expectations are not sky high, and we perceive your project to be well managed (competent contractor), or if we have worked with you in the past, you can expect to pay around $6-$8 /sf on a new construction project.

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