Cost to Paint Stained Wood – 2021

| Last Updated: November 27, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 708

$ 135

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 60% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Paint Stained Wood noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to paint stained wood? The contractor cost to paint stained wood is $708 vs. doing it yourself for $135 and saving 81 percent. 

Dark woodwork that outlines windows and door frames can be attractive to some, but not everyone. If you want to change the look of a room with dark stained molding and trim, consider painting it a lighter color. We find many older homes still have the original dark finish on woodwork, which dates the rooms and their furnishings. The job of painting the woodwork is no one-step process, but the reward is a fresh new appeal that’s worth the time and effort it takes.

That process involves first washing the woodwork with a household detergent solution so it’s clean and free of any dirt or grease, and then rinsing it with clear water. The next step is to sand down any rough surfaces or imperfections and scuff sand the varnish to create some texture before priming and painting. Then apply a stain killing primer like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 or Kilz Complete followed by a high quality alkyd or latex enamel paint to finish the wood and protect the surface for years to come.

A painting contractor will charge $708 to clean, prime and paint 300-square-feet of woodwork in a house with good quality material. You can do it yourself for $135, the cost of the primer and paint, and pocket a 81 percent saving. Use plenty of masking tape and drop cloths to protect the surrounding surfaces and furnishings. All these steps require drying time in between, so it’s a good project for a homeowner who has to schedule the different applications around an otherwise busy lifestyle.

TIP: If you're dealing with a large-scale project, consider using a paint sprayer to save time! Not only does this tool get the job done faster, but it also provides a smooth and even finish on woodwork. Interested? You may want to learn more about the best brands in the paint sprayer space like Wagner, Graco and Titan.

SF Gate has this advice about How to Paint Over Previously Stained & Varnished Trim.

The average price to paint stained wood noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. 

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Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.