How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Ceiling? (2021 Estimates)

Last Updated On April 2, 2021

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a ceiling?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • The typical cost of DIY painting ceilings in your home
  • How to save money when painting ceilings
  • How much it usually costs to hire a professional vs doing it yourself 
  • The estimated cost of labor and supplies to paint ceilings

And much more!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Ceiling? (2020 Estimates)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending to get your ceilings painted, then keep reading our cost guide for all our estimates and insights below!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Ceilings?

When talking about painting costs for a particular painting project, it all comes down to the size of the area (square footage) and how much prep work it requires to do the job right.

So for the sake of this article, we're going to break down the typical costs you'll incur if you're doing the paint job yourself, as compared to the typical cost of hiring a professional painter.

Average Ceiling Painting Cost If You Do It Yourself?

If you're a DIY fan and you want to paint a wall by yourself, it's likely going to cost less than hiring a professional painter.

That said, there are some painting costs you'll encounter that you wouldn't have to if you hired someone else. 

These things go above and beyond the actual cost of painting such as drop cloths, painter's tape, paint brushes or paint rollers, paint trays, and painting safety equipment.

If you have these things on hand already, then your total cost will likely just include the gallons of paint you'll need to buy to do the job. 

But, I'm going to go through and make an itemized list of the average price of all these items below so you can get a sense of how much to budget for your painting project:

  • Drop Cloths - $10
  • Painter's Tape - $7
  • Paint Roller Frame - $7
  • Paint Roller Covers - $10
  • Paint Roller Extension Pole - $15
  • Paint Tray - $6
  • Paint Brushes (For Detailing) - $10
  • Disposable Painter's Masks - $20 
  • Disposable Painting Gloves - $8
  • Safety Goggles - $12
  • Sandpaper for Sanding Imperfections - $10
  • 1 Gallon of Behr Paint - $36
  • 1 Gallon of Sherwin Williams Paint - $45
  • 1 Gallon of Primer - $36

Although you probably won't need to purchase everything on this list if you've painted before, and you likely will only need a single gallon of paint to cover one room's ceiling (unless it's a giant room...). 

That said, the estimated total cost of painting supplies for a single room's ceiling is:

$200 - $300

This range is based on the assumption that you'd need to buy all of the painting supplies, plus primer and 1-2 gallons of paint. Keep in mind, 1 gallon of paint will generally cover 300 to 400 square feet, which is essentially enough to put two coats on a ceiling that is in a room that is 25 feet long and 8 feet wide.

Your final cost will ultimately depend on how big your room is and any other project costs you might have.

For instance, your paint cost may vary if you choose a high-end type of paint or need different supplies than I've mentioned here (such as a ladder if you don't have one, or a paint sprayer) so just keep that in mind when coming up with a price estimate for your project.

However, the good news is even with the prep work and supplies, painting your ceilings yourself is still probably less expensive than it would be to hire a professional painter even if you buy the highest quality paint.

And the better news is that once you buy the painting supplies the first time, the project costs for every future painting project will be less!

Painting is one of the few home improvement skills that is fairly easy to learn (though it is time-consuming) and can save you a lot of money in the long run as long as you can get the hang of it and don't end up needing to repaint everything.

That said, painting ceilings isn't necessarily the easiest undertaking if you're new to DIY painting so make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew. 

Watch a few DIY tutorial videos on Youtube to get a sense of what's involved and whether it's worth taking on by yourself.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Roller Extension Poles For Painting Ceilings?

Did you know: Hiring a professional painter can actually save you money! Many pros use tools and paint that would cost a pretty penny to get yourself. And that's not even considering the time savings!

Average Cost To Paint A Ceiling If You Hire a Professional Painter?

Now let's talk about how much it'll cost you to hire a professional painter to paint the ceilings in your home.

One thing to note here is that every professional painting company prices their work differently and charges different rates. 

So for the sake of this article, I'm going to price this out based on the national average cost per square foot, and I'm going to base the total on the national average size of a typical bedroom which is 11'x12' or 132 square feet.

Keep in mind, if you're hiring someone to paint the ceiling of a significantly larger room like a living room, it'll cost more. And, if you're looking to hire professional painters to do your entire house, they might price that out differently since it's a larger job.

The national average cost for painting per square foot ranges from $1-$3.

Which means for a typical room, you're looking at a cost of around $150 to $400 to get your ceilings painted.

However, if you're looking to get all the ceilings in your home painted by a professional, you'll probably pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more.

This is usually how a professional painters charge, rather than giving you an hourly rate.

This is because pricing by the linear foot gives them more insight into the total interior painting cost and the cost of materials and labor costs for a given project. 

Also, it's important to keep in mind that enlisting the help of a professional painter to do other things like painting crown molding or spackling over imperfections can add on to your total project costs as well.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Rollers To Use On Popcorn Ceilings?

How To Estimate The Cost To Paint Ceilings?

There are a few key factors to consider when you're calculating the costs of painting ceilings - whether you go the DIY route or hire a professional.

Prep Work

One thing to consider is how much prep work your ceilings need in order to do the job right.

This is where you want to think about things like patching, drywall repair, and other touch-ups that might require spackle or caulking to correct.

You need to ensure that your wall is fully smooth (unless working with popcorn ceilings) and repaired before you begin painting, or your paint job will not look as nice as it could.

These are things that a painting contractor will take care of for you if you hire them, but if you're going to do it yourself, you'll need to consider how much more it might cost to do these touch-ups yourself.

This is especially important if you are dealing with things like water damage on your ceilings as well, in which case you should definitely at least consult a general contractor to ensure there aren't other serious things to address.

Surface Area Of The Ceilings

The next thing to consider is the exact dimensions of your ceilings.

One of the best ways to do this is to whip out a tape measure and measure the width and length of your room.

Then, you can plug the dimensions and estimated price of the paint you want into a calculator like this one to figure out how much it should cost for the paint alone.

However, if you have vaulted ceilings or lots of crown molding and detailing to consider, make sure you add a bit more to your estimate so you don't end up needing more paint than you bargained for.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Rollers To Use For Ceilings?

What Is The DIY Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

Now let's break down the estimated DIY costs a bit more.

This is where the quality of paint you choose factors in because certain paints cover more surface area than others.

It's also important to note that you'll almost always need at least 2 coats of paint.

The best way to estimate the amount of paint needed to paint your room is to look at the gallon of paint you're using to see how much coverage it offers.

Then, estimate the size of your room to determine how many gallons of paint total are needed to provide the right amount of coverage.

For example, this gallon of Behr Interior Paint and Primer In One in an Eggshell finish covers approximately 250-400 square feet per gallon.

In which case, you'll likely end up needing only a single gallon of paint to get good coverage on your ceiling.

However, if you're painting your entire home's ceilings, you'll likely need more than that (probably 2-4 gallons of paint for the average 2,400 sq. ft. home).

Read More >> What Are The Best Ceiling Paints To Use?

How Can You Save Money When Painting Ceilings?

Lucky for you, if you decide to go the DIY route there are several things you can do to lower your painting estimate and save money on your painting project.

Types of Paint

One of the best ways to save money is to choose the type of paint you're using carefully.

Obviously, if you choose to go with multiple paint colors, your project will cost more because you'll need an individual paint can for each color.

Another way to save money here is by choosing your paint finish carefully. Typically, high-gloss and semi-gloss paints cost more than matte paints or flat paints.

Also, latex paints are typically cheaper than oil-based paints, and if you're a beginner looking to DIY a single wall in your own home, I'd recommend staying away from oil-based paints as they're harder to clean up and harder to dispose of.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint/Primer Combos?

Renting vs. Buying Supplies

Did you know you can actually rent certain painting supplies rather than having to buy them?

Most Home Depot stores and Lowe's stores have a rental program where you can rent out certain painting and home improvement supplies. 

So if you know you'll only need those supplies for this particular project, that can be a much more cost-effective way to get the things you need.

Here's another thing that blew my mind when I learned it: some libraries rent out basic home improvement supplies!

Check with your local library to see if they have any tools like paint rollers and paint trays on hand that you can borrow. That'll save you lots of money on your painting project and you'll still be able to get the job done right.

Obviously, the cheapest route here is to see if any of your friends and family have some painting supplies they could lend you for the day.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Sprayers To Use For Ceilings?

Sales And Dented Cans

Another way you could try to save money on paint is by waiting for your local hardware store to run a sale. Even if they knock off a few dollars on a can of paint, this can save you a bunch of money if you know you have a bunch of square footage to cover.

You can also see if they have any dented or otherwise blemished cans that they could sell to you for less. 

Most people don't want to buy dented cans (just like ugly produce) but the paint inside is the same stuff, and if you can get it for a bit cheaper that's more money left over for you!

Final Thoughts On Ceiling Painting Costs

Now that we've broken down the individual costs for doing a remodel on your ceilings in your home, these cost estimates should give you a good starting point.

While every painting project is different, knowing the range of costs before you start is always helpful so you can find all the areas of the budget that you can cut back on.

Whether you're going to DIY your ceilings in your house or plan to hire a professional, I wish you the best of luck on your painting project.

As always, happy painting!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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