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

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

You’ve come to the right place!

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

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

And much more!

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

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

Psst! Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a whole room instead? Check out our guide on that below:

Read More >> How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Wall?

When talking about painting costs for a particular painting project, it all comes down to the size of the wall (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 Cost To Paint A Wall 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 Tray - $6
  • Paint Brushes (For Detailing) - $10
  • Disposable Painter's Masks - $20 
  • Disposable Painting Gloves - $8
  • Safety Goggles - $12
  • 1 Gallon of Behr Paint - $36
  • 1 Gallon of Sherwin Williams Paint - $40
  • 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 wall (unless it's a giant wall...). 

That said, the estimated total cost of painting supplies for one wall is:

$160 - $200

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 wall that is 25 feet long and 8 feet tall.

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 colors for things like accent walls, 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 wall 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.

Important Note: If your home was built in 1978 or sooner, it's important to take precautions as some of the paint could be lead paint. Make sure you follow all safety protocols before sanding any old paint as you could expose yourself to harmful lead dust.

Read More >> How Do You Avoid Lead Paint Poisoning?

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

Now let's talk about how much it'll cost you to hire a professional painter to paint a wall 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 bedroom.

Keep in mind, if you're hiring someone to paint a significantly larger wall, like your living room wall, 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.

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 for a given project. 

It's also important to note that labor costs for interior walls is usually much cheaper than painting exterior walls because they don't need to worry about weatherproofing and exterior durability.

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

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 Wall?

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

Prep Work

One thing to consider is how much prep work your wall needs 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 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.

Surface Area Of The Wall

The next thing to consider is the exact dimensions and square footage of your wall.

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

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.

Other Things To Consider

One more thing to consider is whether you're working with an interior wall or an exterior wall as exterior walls generally cost more to cover because they need to be weatherproofed.

Another factor to consider is whether you're dealing with textured walls or stucco because these textures can soak up more paint or require different types of paint to cover them properly.

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

What Is The DIY Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

Now let's break down the estimate 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 Paint and Primer In One in an Eggshell finish covers approximately 250-400 square feet per gallon.

So, if your painting job is to repaint your bedroom wall that is 12x8 (96 sq ft) you'll need about 1/2 gallon of paint to cover the whole room twice.

Important Note: One thing to pay attention to when estimating your square footage is ceiling height! If you have very high ceilings, that's going to add much more surface area to your walls. Also, drywall tends to soak up more paint than a previously painted wall, so that may factor into how much paint you'll need overall.

Read More >> How Do You Paint Baseboards Near Carpet Without Making A Mess?

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.

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 Can You Save Money When Painting A Single Wall?

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.

So, if you're still set on creating that epic accent wall, I'd recommend buying your paint in quart sizes to save money. 

If you know you only need a little bit of that high-gloss blue to create that cool pattern, save your money and only buy one quart and then buy the gallons of paint for your main colors.

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.

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 Wall Painting Costs

Now that we've broken down the individual costs for painting a single wall 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 a wall 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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