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How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room?

So you’ve decided it’s time for a fresh coat of paint — now it’s time to budget. 

It’s true, painting your interior walls is a DIY task that can change up the entire feel of a space. Whether it’s an accent wall to add some drama or a new color in the living room to brighten things up, painting a room can improve both a home’s comfort level while also boosting a homeowner’s ROI. 

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to calculating the cost to paint a room. 

Couple painting a room

Table of Contents

What’s the Average Cost to Paint a Room?

On average, the cost of painting a room yourself starts at around $175 and averages at around $300. Of course, this all hinges on the size of the area you are painting and the base layer you’re starting with. 

For instance, a small accent wall or enclosed bedroom may cost less than a large den. Additionally, if a room being painted is going from a dark color to a light color, it may require a loftier primer or several coats of paint. 

Other costs to consider include paint brushes, rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths, trays and other basics. While typically inexpensive, these tools can add up over time. 

When calculating the cost of interior painting, your best chance to budget ahead of time and not over-purchase materials is to estimate based on the square footage of the room you plan on painting. 

Paint colors are often mixed on-premises at a hardware store, meaning paint can’t be returned. For that reason, it’s prudent to measure twice before committing!

Estimating the Amount of Paint Needed by Room Size

To understand the cost to paint your space, it’s wise to measure the square footage of the individual room you are painting. Don’t forget to account for trim, baseboards, and ceilings if you will be including them as well as to discount areas like windows and doors from the equation. 

If you’re hiring painters, it costs between $1.50 and $4 per square foot to paint an interior wall based on the region you live in, the type of paint you opt for, and additional areas like baseboards or tall walls. 

Conversely, if you’re painting things yourself, it’s helpful to understand how far a gallon of paint can get you. Here is a general overview to help you better visualize things.

One gallon of interior paint costs about $20 on average and can cover a 400 square foot room. For context, a 400 square foot space is about the size of a two-car garage. Meanwhile, a small bathroom looks like about 50 square feet while a large bathroom looks more like 150 square feet. The size of a kitchen in an average home is about 200 square feet. 

With that context, a homeowner can paint a small bathroom or kitchen with under a gallon of paint and for less than $20. However, that same space would cost over $100 to have painted professionally — but without having to do the job yourself, worry about making a mess, or dealing with paint fumes. 

Other Considerations You Should Make Before Painting

Once you decide it’s time to paint– and even after you land on a color – it’s important to figure out what sort of finish you want your walls to have and what you want your paint to be made of. 

Paint Finishes

Finishes impact a wall’s luster and the longevity of a coat. Semi- and high-gloss paints are usually the most expensive and start at around $20 per gallon. These are good for rooms where you’ll be wiping down the walls frequently, like kitchens and bathrooms. Satin and eggshell finishes are the most popular and start at about $15 a gallon. These are suitable for just about every other room in your home. Finally, flat-finish paint costs about $12 per gallon and is ideal for covering up imperfections on walls. 

Paint Base Materials

The main paint categories are latex versus oil-based paints. Latex paints are ideal for their longevity and, in turn, do well in highly-trafficked areas like hallways. They usually start at around $15 per gallon. 

Oil-based paints are slightly more expensive because of their high durability. They start at prices closer to $20 per gallon and perform well in areas with high moisture, like bathrooms. But, in turn, they are more prone to chipping over time than their latex-based counterparts. 

Time

When weighing if you will paint yourself or hire painters, time is an important factor. On average, it can take about nine hours to paint one room — it depends on factors including priming, the time it takes to dry between painting coats and how fast you paint. The time it may take to clear furniture, prep a space for painting, and remove wall hangings needs to be factored, too. 

Ultimately, whatever you decide, painting an interior room can be a fairly low-cost way to spruce up a space. 

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