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How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room? (2021 Average Costs)
Before the weather gets too cold, you may want to finish any painting job you have on the to-do list. Now is also an excellent chance to change up your house’s vibe by altering the paint color.
So how much does it cost to paint a room?
The average cost to paint a room is $1,890. You can expect to spend $3.50 per square foot, and it costs $650 to paint a 12 x 12 room. Contractors also charge you $15 for primer, $25 per gallon of paint, and at least $35 per hour for labor.
Knowing the painting cost for your interior and exterior doesn’t have to be hard. You will find the next quote you receive makes a lot more sense once you know what factors go into the number.
In the following sections, we will cover everything you need to know about hiring someone to paint the room. You will also see the cost difference between professional and DIY paint jobs. Since painting is one of the quickest and easiest home improvement projects, many homeowners tend to choose the DIY route and save the budget for larger projects.
Table of Contents
- Cost to Paint a Room — by Size
- Cost to Paint a Room — by Function
- Cost to Paint a Single Wall
- Material Cost: How Much Does Paint Cost
- Labor Cost: How Much Do Painters Charge
- What Affects the Average Price to Paint a Room
- How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House?
- How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room by Yourself?
- Related Questions
Cost to Paint a Room — by Size
The most common way to estimate the cost of painting a room is by room size. According to the national average as of 2020, the cost to paint a room is as follows:
In general, it costs $2 to $6 per square foot to paint a room. Most contractors charge an average rate of $3.50 per square foot. If you have less than 120 square feet of flat surfaces, most contractors will charge a flat rate.
Room Painting Costs by Size
|Room Size||Average Painting Cost|
|12×12||$400 to $900|
|10×12||$200 to $600|
|10×10||$300 to $750|
Of course, size alone doesn’t determine the quote your receive unless you are only working on flat walls with no trims, beams, or other conditions.
Cost to Paint a Room — by Function
Most experienced painters will quote by rooms or room functions, instead of only based on sizes. The table below summarizes the general cost to paint a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, a hallway, and a kitchen.
Room Painting Costs by Functions
|Room Function||Average Painting Cost|
|Bedroom||$300 to $750|
|Bathroom||$150 to $350|
|Living Room or Hallway||$900 to $2,000|
|Kitchen||$150 to $350 for the room, and an average of $1,000 to paint the cabinets|
Cost to Paint a Bedroom
In general, it costs $370 to $750 to paint the walls of a standard 10 by 12 bedroom. On average, most homeowners pay $448 per bedroom. There will be additional charges if you’d like the ceilings painted as well. As far as paint goes, have at least two gallons of paint at hand. If you are using a lighter color, you will also need a can of primer for finishings.
If you need to remove a previous layer of paint, you will need to add paint removal costs. We will discuss all paint-removing and restoration costs in a separate section later.
Cost to Paint a Kitchen
It costs $2.82 to $5.88 per square foot to paint a kitchen. Because there are cabinets and other fixtures, most kitchens only have half the wall surface compared to a room of the same size. Therefore, the overall cost of kitchen painting is much lower.
However, if you also need the cabinets painted, the total cost could quickly go up to $1,000 or more. It is more efficient to purchase pre-painted cabinets and install them instead of painting them afterward.
Cost to Paint a Living Room
For an average 330 square foot living room, be ready to pay $900 to $2000 for a full paint job. Depending on the design style you go with, your price may go beyond this range. However, the living room is the focus of your interior design. Therefore, it deserves more attention.
Also, if you have high ceilings in the living room, the painting cost will increase due to increased work difficulty. If you want to use multiple colors, that would also affect the total.
Cost to Paint a Bathroom
Painting a bathroom is a little different from painting the rest of your house. Due to the high-moisture condition, you will want to use a different type of paint. Typically, contractors will recommend semi-gloss or high gloss paint with a matte finish. They are more durable to water and steam and are easier to clean.
Expect to pay a total of $150 to $350 for an average 70 square foot bathroom. If you are buying the paint yourself, you will be spending approximately $3.50 per gallon.
Cost to Paint a Single Wall
Most contractors have a minimum project requirement. That said, if you only need to paint one wall, you might as well do it yourself. If you are curious, a single wall could cost as low as $100 to paint.
Most contractors only work on projects that cost $250 or higher. Talk with your contractor and see if you can bundle a small paint job with another project to meet their minimum requirements.
Cost to Paint an Accent Wall
Accent walls, however, are a different story. They can cost an additional 20% to 30% to paint because of the aesthetic and color differences. On the other hand, murals and other complicated wall art can cost $800 to $1,700.
Below are a few examples of how an accent wall adds more complexity to the room:
- An accent wall behind a fireplace or a mounted TV in the living room adds more diversity to your interior decor.
- Homeowners sometimes use an accent wall on the wall where the bed is.
- An accent wall can complement or emphasize a piece of wall decor or furniture.
- Adding an accent wall at the end of a narrow hallway can make it look longer and spacier.
Cost to Paint a Textured Wall
Textured walls cost an additional 50% to paint. That’s because textured walls add surface area, even though the square footage number will remain the same. You also use more paint for textured walls.
For low maintenance finish, most contractors recommend latex or oil-based paint for textured walls. Both types will create a satin or semi-gloss finish that builds more depth to your texture.
Material Cost: How Much Does Paint Cost
How much does paint cost? This is an important question to ask, especially if you plan to DIY your painting project.
In general, paint should cost you $20 to $100 per gallon. However, the following factors can affect the cost of paint:
- Paint quality:Regular brand paint may only cost $20 to $30 per gallon, whereas name brand paint could go anywhere from $100 to $400 plus. Assuming you are doing double coating, the pricing difference created by brands alone could go near $1,000.
- Color:Standard, popular colors cost much less than specialty colors, such as metallic paint.
- Gloss vs. Matte:Gloss paint typically costs more. Expect to pay at least $2 more per gallon for gloss paint compared to standard matte colors. The glossier the paint, the higher the price is.
For other projects, we’d often suggest you get your supplies to save on project costs. However, paint is a different story. Most professional painters can purchase paint and varnishes at a price 50% cheaper than what a homeowner pays.
How Much Do Primers Cost
If you want to add a lighter color on a dark wall, a primer will be necessary for the colors to stay and pop. Primers usually cost $10 to $20 a can. They increase paint adhesion
Labor Cost: How Much Do Painters Charge
Interior painters charge $1 to $3 per square foot or $20 to $50 per hour on average. More complicated projects, such as murals and textured walls, may cost $70 to $100 per hour.
Most professional painters will provide a flat quote by project, which covers labor and material. As mentioned earlier, painters have access to materials at a much lower rate than individual homeowners.
Most contractors have a minimum project requirement. Typically, they do not accept any projects that cost less than $250.
Average Hours Needed
The labor or hours needed to complete an interior painting project may cover more than painting alone. Below is a breakdown of the activities involved in a painting project and the corresponding hours needed.
Painting Labor and Estimated Hours
|Prepping and Masking||0.5 to 2 hours per room|
|Moving furniture (out)||1 to 2 hours|
|Ceilings and Trim painting||1 to 2 hours each coat|
|Painting walls||0.5 to 1 hour each coat|
|Painting windows||0.5 hour each|
|Cleanup||0.5 to 1 hour|
|Moving furniture (in)||1 to 2 hours|
Therefore, an average painting project of one room would need 5 to 14 hours to complete. Once again, most contractors prefer to charge by project instead of by the hours. If you are not sure about the quote you receive, shop around and do some homework.
What Affects the Average Price to Paint a Room
Besides the size and number of the rooms, a few other factors also affect the final quote you will receive. These aspects include:
- Ceilings: If you want the ceilings painted, you will be paying an additional surface and also labor costs. The higher the ceilings, the more expensive to paint.
- Sloped ceiling: Similar to roofing projects, sloped ceilings are more expensive to paint.
- Accessibility:If there are hard-to-reach areas in your room, the additional time, tool, and labor needed will increase the price to paint that room.
- Textured walls: Textured walls are more expensive to paint.
- Type of paint and paint brand: Since contractors quote you with supplies included, the type of paint you want to use will significantly affect the total cost.
- Coatings needed:The more layers you want, the pricier it gets.
- Labor:If you can, move the furniture out and clean the room yourself before painting. That will save you on labor costs.
How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House?
If you just bought a new home, are building a new house, or wanted to do a full remodeling, painting the interior and exterior of your house altogether will be the most economical.
In general, it costs about $1,780 to paint the interiors and $2,825 to paint the exteriors of an average home. This does not include any specialty painting projects.
Interior Painting Cost
For an average 2200-square-foot home, the cost to paint the interiors varies from $4,000 to $11,000. To estimate the cost of interior painting, follow the below steps:
- Add the wall length of each room to measure the perimeter of your project.
- Calculate the total wall area by multiply the length by the height of the room.
- Minus the windows and the doors for the actual painted area size.
Using the average interior painting cost of $1 to $3 per square foot, calculate the estimated cost.
- Calculate how much paint you may need.
- Request a final estimate.
Exterior Painting Cost
For traditional one-story homes with wood or vinyl exteriors, exterior paint jobs vary from $1,735 to $4,102. For brick and stucco homes, be ready to pay an additional $1 to $2 per square foot.
Be sure to include garage, foundation, windows, and doors when calculating the square footage needed for painting.
How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room by Yourself?
Many homeowners choose to paint the interiors themselves. In this case, the estimated cost for the paint and equipment needed to paint one room is $200 to $300. Small space could be completed in a few hours, but projects requiring multiple coatings could take a few days to complete.
Cost to Paint a Room by Yourself (tools)
|Brushes||$3 to $20 each|
|Painter’s Tape||$3 to $10 per roll|
|Cloth/Drop Cloth||$5 to $30 each. You can also use alternative containment materials.|
|Tray||$2 to $5 each|
|Rollers||$10 to $100|
|Ladder||Rental begins at $24 for 4-hour or $34 per day|
|Painting Kits (Brushes, Roller Heads, Trays)||$10 to $20 each|
To paint a room by yourself, follow the steps below.
- Find the color you want: Always test your color out before buying in bulk.
- Purchase supplies: Besides the paint and primer, you will also need rollers, brushes, and trays. You can also opt for pre-packaged painting kits. You will also need a ladder to reach higher places.
- Remove furniture and clean the walls.
- Turn off all electricity in the room and remove outlet covers.
- Outline with painter’s tape to avoid drips.
- Touch up, if needed.
Is there any permit I need to paint my house?
No. Painting doesn’t require a permit because it doesn’t change the footprint of your home. Everything stays the same. You are only changing the look.
How do I know I’m not being overcharged?
It’s always a good idea to request bids from multiple contractors. The more you shop around, the more you know what price range you are dealing with. For more tips, follow our contractor hiring guide to ensure you are paying a fair price for your project.
How much does it cost to paint the trim in a room?
For an average 1500-square-foot home, interior trim painting costs $500 to $1,500. You pay about the same amount for exterior trim painting as well.
What needs to be done before painting a room?
Your contractor should prep your room before painting. But if you are doing it yourself, there a few things you can do:
- Clean the walls.
- Prime the walls if you are using a light color on a dark wall.
- Test the paint color on a swatch first.
- Brush the wall before rolling
- Remove any unwanted layers of paint either with a sandblaster yourself or by hiring a professional blaster. Professional paint removal can cost $8 to $17 per square foot.
What extent can a gallon of paint go?
A gallon of paint can cover 400 square feet of a flat wall. Keep in mind that textured walls will cost more color for the same surface area.
What types of finish can I use?
As we mentioned earlier, the glossier the finish, the more expensive it becomes. However, you should, by all means, go for your aesthetics. After all, this is your home.
With that said, there are five significant types of finish you can use on your walls.
- Matte. Matte finish is the standard finish for paint jobs. They are best for places with low humidity, such as your bedroom. Since it doesn’t reflect any light, it also keeps your room darker.
- Satin. Often used in dining rooms, hallways, and other low-to-high traffic areas, satin finish is relatively easy to clean and creates a soothing light effect.
- Semi-gloss. Semi-gloss is stain-resistant. Therefore, it works better in trickier places like your bathroom or kitchen.
- High-gloss. Because of how reflective high-gloss finish is, typically, it is only applicable to doors and cabinets. If you use a high-gloss finish for interior walls, the reflection would be far too shiny for anyone to live there.
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