Painting a room is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform a space. The cost to paint a room will vary depending on whether you are planning to DIY paint or hire a professional to get the job done. It costs an average of $1.50 to $3.50 to paint an interior wall.
The average costs increase to $3 to $4 per square foot if the project includes trim or ceilings. The costs can be affected by the layout of the room, the height of walls, the existing wall colors, your geographic location and more. To prime and paint a standard 400-square foot room, the average cost at $2.5 per square foot is $1,000 total.
|Average Cost to Paint a Room|
When you’re considering painting a room, you should also factor in the preparation work—which includes getting the materials, taping the walls and getting the supplies ready. Although doing the work yourself will undeniably keep the average cost to paint a room down, the expense of hiring a professional painter may be worth it when you factor in the time and effort you can save.
Average Cost to Paint a Room
When you are considering painting a room, the best way to assess the average painting costs is to first measure the square footage of the space. One gallon of interior paint can cover up to 400 square feet of space. Based on that, a budget-friendly, DIY painting job in a small room can be completed for less than $20.
However, the average cost to have a room professionally painted is higher than that because you are paying for labor on top of material costs. The least expensive professional painting jobs will be in square rooms with limited trim and low walls. For example, it costs an average of $60 to $400 to paint a bathroom. On the other end of the spectrum, it costs an average of $900 to $1,600 to paint a 330-square foot living room.
Factors that Affect Cost to Paint a Room
When considering the average cost to paint a room, it can be like comparing apples to oranges: The costs will vary depending on several important factors before making any assumptions about painting costs.
The most critical factor in determining the cost of painting a room is the area you want to paint. The room size determines how many supplies you will need and, thus, how much they will cost. Therefore, larger rooms tend to cost more to paint due to the additional labor and materials required – especially if it has high ceilings.
Professional interior paint jobs are typically priced at $2 to $6 per square foot. However, to receive a more accurate quote from your painter, have the room measurements ready when you contact them. One gallon of paint covers approximately 400 square feet. Our recommended two coats will cover the entire room—plus some extra!
The height of your walls is another important factor when determining how much it costs to paint a room. The cost per square foot can increase significantly as the height of the wall increases since higher walls allow more paintable area. As such, make sure to take height into account when planning your painting project.
The cost of painting a room depends on the function and features of the room. For example, painting a bathroom typically costs between $150 to $350, since a bathroom has little area to paint due to tubs, cabinets and showers. A primary bedroom can be pricier depending on its size, wall height and ceiling height, ranging from $300 to $750. Not to mention, if you decide to add an accent wall with a different paint color, that will be an additional cost. Kitchens usually cost less than other rooms due to the cabinets. However, painting kitchen cabinets averages around $30 to $60 per linear foot. Painting a living room can be rather costly since they are typically the largest room in your home, averaging $900 to $2,000.
Baseboard, Trim and Wood Paneling
Painting baseboards and trims are the most common task for painters. Depending on the amount of work required, the cost to paint the finishes can range from $2 to $6 per square foot, with an average of $3.30 per square foot. Painting wood paneling and ceilings adds to the overall cost of painting a room.
Type of Paint
If you walk into a home improvement store and look at the paint selection, you’ll quickly realize that deciding on color isn’t the only choice you have to make. There are also a number of paint types and qualities.
The two main categories are latex-based and oil-based paints.
- Latex-based paints cost an average of $15 to $50 per gallon. Latex-based paints can hold up for a long period of time and perform well in bedrooms, living rooms and hallways.
- Oil-based paints cost slightly more, with an average of $20 to $60 per gallon. Oil-based paints are more prone to chipping over time, but are generally the better choice for bathrooms or kitchens because they perform better against water damage and moisture.
There are also different types of paint finishes, which can affect the look and durability.
- Flat paint costs an average of $10 to $70 per gallon. This is best suited for spaces where there isn’t much moisture.
- Eggshell and satin paints cost an average of $11 to $60 per gallon. These are both good all-around options because of their cost and durability.
- Semi- and high-gloss paint cost an average of $12 to $80 per gallon. These types of paint are best for trim, baseboards or other features.
The cost to paint a room depends on what color you want to paint the space as well as what color it was to begin. As a good rule of thumb, expect to pay more if you want to paint a light color over the top of a dark color. Red and black can be especially hard to cover up, which calls for a heavy-duty primer and/or multiple coats of paint.
You may be able to save money by sticking with one color for painting multiple rooms of the house. This is because the painter can buy a larger, more cost-effective quantity of paint and because the leftover paint from one room can be stretched into the next.
Painters’ prices vary from one painter to another in different parts of the country. The best way to find out how much a professional will charge is to search for “painters near me” and compare rates. However, expect to pay more in areas where the cost of living is higher.
Creating a budget for painting a room takes time due to the additional costs. For instance, labor costs can vary greatly depending on how it’s estimated. Some professionals charge by the hour at $20 to $50 per hour to upwards of $75 per hour, while prices can be as low as $1.50 to $4 per square foot if they’re fixed-price jobs. Additional costs can also include:
- Paint supplies
- Moving furniture
- Wall preparation and repairs
- Customization (such as adding texture or accent)
- Testing for lead or asbestos
Costs to DIY Paint a Room
It costs an average of $200 to $300 to DIY paint a standard room. It may also take up to nine hours, so that is important to consider. If you want a more precise calculation of how much it would cost to paint a room, start by measuring the square footage. Keeping in mind that one gallon of paint can cover up to 400 square feet of space with one coat, you should plan to do two or three coats of paint (This depends on the color and quality of paint.)
You should expect to spend between $10 and $100 on additional painting supplies. These include brushes, tape, rollers, trays and drop cloths. Factor in any repairs that should be done to the walls, such as covering nail holes or spackling and texturing damage.
Tips to Save Money When Painting A Room
Are you looking to paint a room in your house? Painting can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you hire someone else to do it. However, with the right tools, knowledge and tips for painting a room on your own and saving money, you can paint your entire home’s worth of rooms quickly and affordably.
Reusing Paint Supplies
You can save money, time and clutter by reusing paint supplies from one project to another. Whether you’re re-painting the same room or working in another room of your home, rummaging around for paintbrushes and rollers from a past project is an easy way to get going on your next project.
Calculate Wall Space
Buying paint in bulk is a great way to save money. It’s also easy to prevent yourself from running out of paint before you finish a project. Using a paint calculator can help you figure out exactly how many gallons of paint you need for the size of your area and how much you should expect to pay per gallon at your local hardware store.
Invest in Paint Quality
Low-quality paints can be thin and require multiple coats to cover a wall adequately. Look for a paint in the right price range that also promises a certain level of quality or necessary features, such as a self-primer, depending on what color you’re painting over.
A home with a similar color throughout is a great way to make it look cohesive. Instead of painting each room differently, you can use the same shade of paint on ceilings and trim throughout your home. This will also help you save money because you only have to buy that one color rather than paint for every room in the house.
To arrive at the average costs in this article, editorial team members surveyed a range of providers and cost databases on national and local levels. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to prepare a room for painting?
Prepare the room for painting by removing all the furniture and any objects that can be affected by paint splatters. It is also recommended to cover large items like pianos or desks with a drop cloth to protect their surfaces from getting dirty or damaged from paint splatters. Then tape off areas where you do not want the paint to go. Next, cover up electrical outlets and switch plates with painter’s tape, so they don’t get painted over. This allows you to focus on the walls without worrying about getting paint on your furniture (which can happen easily if you don’t tape off everything first).
How long does it take to paint a room?
Depending on the size of your room, and the number of coats of paint you want to apply, it can take anywhere from two to four hours for a professional painter to finish painting a room. If you’re looking to do it yourself, plan on an entire weekend.
Do professional painters charge by hour?
It is uncommon for professional painters to charge by the hour. Rather, expect to get a quote based on the full project. For an accurate quote, be prepared ahead of time with answers to what type of paint you want to use, what color you want to use and any repairs that you would like to be included.
Do professional painters do wall repairs?
When you are painting walls, it’s a good opportunity to also repair wall damage, change baseboards or make other cosmetic changes to the walls. Many professional painters will offer assistance with these services for a fee, so be sure to inquire while getting the quote.
How can you save money while DIY painting a room?
There are a few ways to potentially save money while painting a room by yourself. To start, measure and then remeasure the space before ordering paint. Because colors are mixed on-site, paint cannot be returned—so you will want to avoid having an excess leftover. You can save a good amount of money by waiting until there is a sale on paint and painting supplies.
How can you save money when hiring a painter?
There isn’t necessarily a peak season for interior painting, so costs will not vary much depending on when you do the job. However, you may be able to save more if the professional painter can use the same color and type of paint on multiple spaces in the project. You can also ask if you’ll get a discount for moving furniture, removing curtains or cleaning the walls before the painter arrives.