Painting a House

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  • Interior paint job costs around $3/sf without ceiling or trim, and $5/sf with ceiling and trim. Seems like around $4/sf avg for whole house [1]. But this seems to be re-painting, thus higher for new paint?
  • Paint lasts up to 400 sf/gal [2]
  • You need 2+ coats starting from scratch.
  • You need primer for raw wood, 2-in-1 paint/primer is for stuff that has been painted already.
  • Bob Vila says similar.


  • Latex, oil, shellac [3]
  • Oil-based works best on wood.
  • Oil based -
    • Majic Barricade - $100 for 5 gal - [4]
    • Zinsser oil based $135 5 gal[5]
    • Zinsser odorless $200 5 gal [6]
    • Zinsser cover stain - $170 5 gal [7]
    • Conco $120 - [8]
  • Shellac
    • Zinsser shellac is the highest quality but expensive at $300/5 gal covering 2500 sf [9]
    • Is Zinsser synthetic shellac any good? $100 less. [10]. Here is a review. [11]



Catarina sez:

According to the links below, using the PVA/drywall primer on wood might not be the best idea.

Go with the oil-based primer. That won't raise the grain and will hopefully provide a smooth surface for the paint.

It's also possible that these stain-blocking primers all do the same job as the more expensive BIN primer that we're using on the ceiling. I just don't know...