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

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

You’ve come to the right place!

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

  • The typical cost of DIY painting a room
  • How to save money when painting a single room
  • How much it usually costs to hire a professional vs do it yourself for painting a room
  • The estimated cost of labor and supplies to paint a room

And much more!

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

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

Psst! Are you looking to paint you're home's whole interior instead?

Check Out Our Guide On That Here: How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Home's Interior?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room?

How much does it cost to hire a painter to paint a room? We're going to tell you straight up that it costs around $500 to hire a painter to paint a room. Why?

Painting a room can be very cheap or very expensive, and it all depends on how you go about doing it, and what quality you expect from the outcome.

  • Hiring a professional painter

Hiring a licensed pro with a good reputation will ensure your paint job gets done correctly and promptly--but it's going to cost you. 

Read further to learn some tips and tricks for getting the least expensive price on your professional paint job.

  • Paint cost

Paint isn't cheap, but compared to the labor it is relatively inexpensive. 

A smart painting contractor will tell you that the labor cost more than the materials by a long shot.

  • DIY

Doing it yourself is refreshing, but it can sometimes be a hassle because painting is a time-consuming task.

Read further to learn some pro tips that will help you DIY paint your project faster, less expensive, and with higher quality.

Painting your entire house is something you might want to leave up to the professionals because of the speed and experience---just to maintain your house at a good value.

Average Cost To Paint A Room If You Do It Yourself?

If the average American room is 300 square feet, you'll need at least 1 gallon of paint and 1 gallon of primer to get the job done.

So, if you paint with two $20 gallons of paint, you'll be spending $40 for paint. Keep in mind that these prices could be less or more depending on your choices.

Then, you have to consider the tape, masking material, spackle, caulk, and sanding materials you need to accomplish the job satisfactorily. Some painters get away with just a roll of tape, a roller, and a brush for one paint job. 

We'll say prepping materials should cost anywhere from $10-$20 depending on what you purchase. 

But remember, you'll be spending more on tools like paint maskers, rollers, brushes, and paint sprayers if you don't already have them.

Hot tip: Ask your neighbors if they have any cans of paint or primer laying around that they would be willing to spare for your single room job. 

You'll be surprised at what your neighbors have to pass you over. They may have paint, rollers, brushes, and other materials that will be useful for your project.

Read More >> What Are The Best Primers To Use On Walls?

Average Cost To Paint A Room If You Hire a Professional Company?

Hiring pros to come and paint a room is going to cost you upwards of double the price it would cost to DIY(do it yourself)

Why? Here are some reasons why it costs more to hire a pro.

  • Expert advice

Professionals have experience with certain painting situations that an amateur might mess up or perform incorrectly. 

For example, did you know that you can't paint latex paint over oil-based paint without using an ample amount of primer first? Otherwise, the paint might not adhere, and you could be stuck with a mess that costs you a lot of time and even more money.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

How To Estimate The Cost To Paint A Room?

There are a few different cost factors when estimating a fresh coat of paint.

  • Measure square footage

Using a tape measure accurately will always save you time and money whether it's saving an unnecessary trip to the paint store, or 

  • Evaluate labor cost

How much are your workers going to cost you? Hiring a handyman at an hourly rate is probably your best bet if you don't want to paint yourself and can't find a valiant helper for the job. 

  • How much primer and paint?/ Check the paint label

The paint label sometimes tells you how many square feet that specific paint will cover per gallon. The type of paint you use will make or break the paint job.

Generally, a can of paint will cover 300-400 sq ft per gallon.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Rollers For Walls?

Total Cost

Pro painters charge an upfront price for interior painting cost because it makes it more simple for the consumer--it's also how to paint salesmen make a commission off jobs when they bid a high price.

Your total cost will be: Cost of paint + prepping materials + labor 

Cost: After measuring square footage on your project, it all depends upon how much you want to spend on paint.  

Prep materials: Prep materials are a must for painting projects. You can't just show up to an interior paint job with a brush and paint. You need other tools that are going to make the job look like the boss did it. 

Here are some prep materials you are going to want when painting a single room:

  • Paint masker

All the pros use a paint masker tool like this one to combine the tape with either a paper or plastic film. This technique is key for covering surfaces with masking material quickly and efficiently.

  • Quality brush

Cutting around the edges first with a quality brush is a must. 

Tape off the baseboards and ceilings first, and then paint the edges of the project to make the rolled paint blend into the edges better. 

Note: Always cut edges with a brush before rolling. This process should be the same for all coats, whether you are painting primer and two finish coats, or simply one thick coat of repaint.

  • Tape

Just a simple white scotch tape will work when taping off baseboards and ceilings, although there are other blue and green painting tapes that are a little bit easier to work with. 

High-quality tapes work great for masking a surface that was recently painted to help prevent paint from peeling off. 

  • Paper and film

A painting company will have an inventory of paper and film that use for covering surfaces, and this is especially useful when spray painting the room because you can quickly cover all surfaces and paint the room in just a few sweeps of the paint gun. 

  • Paint sprayer

Using a paint gun is always faster on the back end, but the prep work typically takes longer because you have to cover surfaces from overspray.

Most interior house painting is done with HEA sprayers, however, you could get away with using a cheap handheld HVLP sprayer for just a single room just fine. 

  • Safety Equipment

Safety equipment is 100% necessary when painting. 

You should use the minimum of nitrile gloves, a cotton mask, and safety glasses.

Here are some good options for purchasing paint supplies and tools.

  • Spackle/putty knife

Putty knife and spackle are a must for smoothing out interior walls. 

When repainting, there is a dye that you can mix into the spackle to make the spackle appear more obviously on the wall. That way you won't forget to go back and sand the spackle flat before painting.

Putty knifes also come in handy when removing crown molding from the interior of a house. Just score the caulking with a razor blade beforehand(if it has caulking), stick the putty knife in between the knife and the wall, and pull out slightly along the length of the molding.

  • Sanding sponge/pole sander

Sanding sponges are great for smoothing out spackle spots, baseboards and trim, and more.

A pole sander is used in-between primer and finish coats when spraying to make the paint job smooth to the touch when the job is done. 

  • Drop cloths

Getting paint on the carpet is never fun, and buying large rolls of paper isn't necessary; just drop cloth down, and leave your worries about spilling behind you.

  • Drywall patch kit

Patching holes is easier done before painting, but it can also be done afterward with a little bit of touch up. 

You can purchase a small and expensive drywall patch kit off sites like Amazon or at your local home improvement store like Home Depot.

  • Ladders

Chances are, you aren't going to be able to reach all of the painting spots without at least a step ladder.

Labor: Labor costs either time or money, and there's no way out of that one! 

But that's okay because every painting job has its unique scenario and there is always a convenient way to have a room painted. 

Did you know: Using a primer when you paint can actually save you money! This is because it creates a much better surface for your paint to adhere to, so you'll likely use less of it.

Professional painting labor: Labor is by far the most expensive cost when painting. 

Professionals typically charge upwards of $500 to paint just a single room with a fresh coat of quality interior paint like Sherwin-William or Benjamin Moore because they do a high-end job that you probably won't get when DIYing.

So why do the pros charge so much? Because they have added costs, including:

  • Transportation to the job site

It costs money to drive between job sites with big vans that carry all necessary materials, and the cost adds up over time.

  • Expensive insurance for business & employees

Professionals have to protect their employees from medical bills if they get hurt on the job, and they also have to protect their business in the event of a lawsuit from the client. 

Sadly, not all deals are a clean deal with customers. That's why insurance has to be involved in professionally painting.

Painting isn't exactly as safe as it sounds. Painters can fall, get paint in their eyes, cut themselves, and more when painting, and that puts a business owner at risk, so they must be insured.

  • Prep work is far more detail-oriented 

Pro painters don't show up with a roll of tape and paint roller to paint one room. 

Instead, they'll clean(and possibly even sand) the walls, caulk in the baseboards, spackle any imperfections in the drywall surface, and even do it all again twice to make sure the paint job comes out to perfection. 

Professional painters rely on 5-star Google and Yelp reviews to bring more business, so be prepared for an impeccable job---also be prepared to give them a 5-star review in exchange for their great service.

Plus, if the house is old and has textured walls, the prep work isn't going to be very fun for the painters and will take more time than simply just applying paint over the top.

  • Two-tone painting

Pro painters usually like to paint with different colors to make their paint job pop. 

New construction typically involves an interior designer that chooses a 2 or 3-tone color scheme for the job.

DIY Cost Estimate

If you spend $40 on paint, $10 on materials, your paint job will cost you $50 + the amount of time spent painting and prepping which could be anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on the size of the room, your experience, etc. 

Why complicate things? Let's be honest about the cost of painting, that way you can make good judgment when it comes to either hiring a pro or doing it yourself on your next home interior or exterior painting project.

Read More >> How Do You Paint A Wall Like A Pro?

Estimating The Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

The equation for cost per square foot is the total cost of the project divided by the number of square feet.

Total cost/number fo the square feet

How much does painting cost per square foot?

A quick internet search will give you some ballpark numbers, anywhere from $1.50-$4.00/square foot is a good ballpark idea if you are planning on hiring a professional house painter.

But what if you are painting yourself? 

Well, that means you are going to save lots of money, but the downside is that you will lose precious time that could have been spent doing other tasks, enjoying your downtime from work, etc or even worse you could be losing precious time at your job earning more money than you would have paid the painters.

Estimated Cost of Paint For A Room?

The average square footage of a room is around 300 square feet. That means you'll need ~1 gallon of primer, and at least 1 gallon of your finish color(2 gallons for two coats).

Interior painting costs anywhere from $15 to $35 per gallon in terms of paint.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Estimated Cost of Labor For A Room?

Project costs for one room depending on who you hire.

For example, if you hire a young, inexperienced worker looking for an extra few bucks, then you are going to make out charging a lot less than a professional painter.

Let's be honest, hiring a pro is going to cost you for starters at least $500 for them to come to your location and paint one room to a quality standard.

OR

You could always paint the room yourself and save cash. Interior painting has relatively low risk involved, so this is a project you can knock out yourself on a weekend morning, or even in the evening with your beverage of choice! Enjoy it.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Sprayers For Spraying Walls?

How To Save Money When Painting A Room?

Saving money is the key, and if you can save time-- that's even better..

So how do you save money, but still end up with a quality paint job? 

Here are some tips that will help you paint a room more efficiently and with better quality:

Buy the appropriate paint for the job

Each specific room of your house has it's own value, and there's no reason to spend too much money on the paint for a room like a basement storage room that nobody goes inside.

For rooms like the kitchen, dining room and living room, or an accent wall go ahead and buy a medium to high-quality paint with a flat, glossy, or eggshell(your preference)because higher quality paint cleans up nice with little effort.

Higher quality paints are much easier to apply. Ask a professional how frustrating it is to apply a cheap paint compared to an expensive one!

There is a huge difference in paint quality. 

What paint sheen do you want? You can choose from flat/matte paints that give your room a bold look, a gloss that will give the room some shine, or a semi-gloss/eggshell that lies in between flat and gloss and gives the room a more textured look while still using a solid color.

Use a quality brush 

When you use a high-quality brush like a Purdy or a Wooster, your project will go much smoother. 

You'll find that when you paint with a nice brush, you can load the brush up with more paint, and it goes onto the wall much easier. 

Cheap brushes also lose bristles into the paint job.

Get multiple estimates

When consulting a professional for painting services, the painting estimate they provide for you can be from the hip which means it could be much higher than a reasonable price. 

Contractors typically bid prices too high for factors like if the job is far away, dangerous, or if they are too busy and don't need the work---it's a strategy of taking advantage of the demand for pro painters.

Looking for pro painters in your area? Here are some good options.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

Got A Paint Question? Ask Your Pro Painter!

Learn More Expert Paint Tips

Painting shouldn’t be this hard. Check out some of these other helpful guides to help you nail the perfect paint job!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Door And Frame? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a door? You’ve come to the right

Read More »
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Living Room? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a living room? You’ve come to the

Read More »
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Bathroom? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a bathroom? You’ve come to the right

Read More »
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Garage? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a garage? You’ve come to the right

Read More »

Got Paint Questions? Search For In-Depth Answers Below!

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

About Pro Paint Corner

You’ve got painting questions. We’ve got the best painting answers from a network of seasoned painting pros.

Recently Published Guides