To solidify this response, we have been in business for over 30 years as a painting contractor. We didn't just paint a couple of houses 25 or 30 years ago, we paint approximately 900-1000 painting jobs per year and operate with 40 professional painters doing commercial, residential and industrial painting. This article on behalf of Angie's List is totally asinine! I was under the impression Angie's List was only carrying "legitimate" contractors with established reputations. This article written is primarily referring to bottom feeding, one man band operations, trying to hustle for a paycheck.
The cost to paint an average size room (10X12) ranges from $380-$790, not including ceilings, trim or cost of the paint. DIY, this can cost between $200-$300. When estimating the cost, painters will start with how much paint will be required to complete the job. To know this, they first need to know the size of the area to be covered. The easiest way to calculate the size of the paintable area is to add together the length of the wall and multiply it by the width of the room from floor to ceiling. The resulting amount is the room's square footage. This total is a starting point, as it is not all paintable surface. The painters won't paint the windows and doors, for example, and they must account for ceiling trim and baseboards as well. The next step is to subtract the area of the doors and windows -- along with the square footage of the trim and baseboards -- to get an average. Then, use the same calculation (length x width) on the windows, doors, trim and baseboards, and subtract all of those numbers. The result of this equation is the square footage of the room's walls. This is your surface area number. (Painters will typically add a little square footage back in to this amount to account for extra paint, which may be required.)
This is an area that interior painters can easily cut short to save time. Most contracts don't state the extent of the wall repairs included, so it's up to the painter's discretion how much they will do. If it seems like too much work, they'll usually point out the repairs but don't include it in the bid. They'll then ask you if you'd like it fixed after they start your project and let you know how much more it will cost.
IF the average cost is $1700 to paint an interior, then that means the cost of paint is approx. $200 (12% of the job). Or better said 5 gallons of paint (if the average cost is $40 retail). The average room takes 1.5 gallons which will cover 3 average rooms. Doesn't sound to average to anyone with knowledge of this industry or a average house. You are misleading consumers and should do a better job in your research. No wonder so pay people think prices to get work done by professionals is high. Its not high, its actually average which is more like $3700.