As a painting contractor I find that most contractors charge between $20 an hour and $45 an hour plus paint and materials pending overhead here in Pennsylvania i figure $30 an hour is a safe bet. figure a good painter should be able to prep a 12 x 12 to a 12 x 15 room, caulk, apply 1 or 2 coats to the ceiling 2 coats on the walls and 1 coat on all baseboards, trim, doors and crown moulding in an 8 to 9 hour day. This is with minimal or minor spackling repairs like nail holes and nail pops, not cracks and peeling tape. Thats extra paint is usually  $30 to $70 a gallon pending quality. A room this size will need 1 gallon for the ceiling 2 for the walls and maybe 1 gallon for the trim, doors ext... the square foot price is $1.50 - $3.00 as far as asking for money up front I never ask. If the home owner buys the paint there is no need for money and if your buying the paint and your an established contractor you have an account with your supplier's.  any ways that's my input and guidelines 
Dave, you said it best! Every pro painting contractor truly worth their salt would and should cut and paste exactly what you say here about where customary and legitimate practices and expectations should be in regards to what customers should expect from contractors and how contractors should professionally deal with their customers. By the way, Dave, if you work in the Atlanta area, I would like to hire you! Thank you for your valuable advice!
Painting your home's interior is more than just a maintenance project. It's often the simplest and most economical way to transform the look of your entire home. A basic paint update can provide a much-needed refresh to the walls, ceiling, and trim in your home, while a change of colors can help redefine a space, a room, or the entire place. With a limitless array of colors available for virtually any surface and a number of sheens to provide just the right look and level of durability, you're sure to find the right match for every application.
Don't hesitate to ask all the questions you need to feel comfortable hiring a professional. You can also ask 3-4 professionals to make sure you have the right quote in mind. You must make sure they have a warranty or some kind of paperwork stipulating the quality of their jobs. Insurance is also a #1 priority to consider, as damage can happen in the process of painting.
The cost of paint is about 15-25% of the cost of the contract. Mid grade paint costs about $40 per gallon with contractor pricing. If you are painting your home for real estate purposes and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there is cheaper paint available. Stay away from anything that costs less than $25, you are buying watered down colour that is difficult to use. If you are thinking of using the most expensive paint available, you can spent over $120 per gallon from manufacturers like Farrow & Ball. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that since labour is your biggest expense, why not use the best paint your budget will allow.

House Interior Painting Design

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