How Much Does A Paint Job Cost? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs for a professional paint job?

You’ve come to the right place!

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

  • The typical cost of DIY painting projects from home to automotive painting
  • How to save money when painting your house or car
  • How much it usually costs to hire a professional vs to do it yourself for your house or car
  • The estimated cost of labor and supplies to paint your car or house

And much more!

How Much Does A Paint Job Cost? (2020 Estimates)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending to get your car, house or business 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 new paint job is always a refreshing look for your home or business, and the cost depends on what you are painting. 

Home/business

If you need just a single room in your home or office painted by a professional, it will cost anywhere from a low price of $400 all the way up into the thousands. 

You can expect to pay anywhere in the high hundreds to the thousands when painting your home or business. 

Auto painting

A body shop is typically going to charge you more than you want to paint your car, so it may only be worth it if insurance is paying or if it's an expensive car that holds its value. 

Old car looks ugly? Paint it yourself! 

Car painting isn't as complicated as some people make it out to be. Our advice? If it's an older car that you don't plan on selling, park the car in a controlled environment like a garage, mask off the windows, and go for it with a paint sprayer(or even a spray can!). Don't forget the door jambs!

Car owners: There's no need for a paint shop when the car is depreciating in value. Just purchase some enamel paint or synthetic enamel and let it happen. 

Your old Honda will be looking fresh in no time with a quick respray.

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

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

Average Cost To Paint If You Do It Yourself?

DIY painting is without a doubt much cheaper than hiring a professional to do the job, and most basic paint jobs are easy to handle without a professional opinion. 

Painting a car

Painting an entire car yourself you will need at least 2 quarts for the base coat of paint, 2 quarts of the color coat, and 2 coats of clear coat for an even spread. 

plus

You'll need masking materials and paint thinner, not to mention a paint sprayer if you don't already have one, ideally of the automotive type.

The price all depends on the quality of the paint, so whatever 6 quarts of auto body paint costs plus masking and sanding materials.

Simple bodywork like painting a bumper will generally cost  ~$100 or less for DIY.

Pump up the jams, get the body sanded, and let 'er rip!

Painting interior/exterior housing

Painting a house costs about $20 per gallon of paint used, and the average house is around 1600 square feet on the inside.

If each $20 one-gallon jug covers 400 square feet, then you'll need 4 gallons of primer and at least 4 more gallons of the finish coat. 

plus masking materials like paper, tape, film, paint thinner/alcohol, sealer, sanding materials, etc. which usually runs around $100. 

So, if we're buying ~8 gallons of paint that's $160 in paint plus $100 for masking materials, that's going to put you around $260 in materials alone at low-cost prices, not to mention the time spent doing the repaint yourself.

Touchup

Touchup painting, whether it be auto or home is cheap and easy to do yourself. 

Just look up the paint code for your vehicle color match and purchase a tiny little bottle of touchup paint for no more than a few bucks.

You should have extra paint and brushes laying around from your previous home paint job, so DIY touchup painting shouldn't cost you anything. 

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

Average Cost To Paint If You Hire a Professional Company?

Want a high-quality paint job? Hire a professional painting company. 

The average cost to hire a professional painting company will be anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot on higher-quality home and business projects.

For a car paint job, a professional will cost anywhere from a cheap $500 dollars all the way up to prices above $5,000 for the high-end showroom-quality jobs, so there is a wide range of professional costs and quality. 

Maaco is a chain company that typically does inexpensive auto paint jobs.

Collision repair is best left up to the professionals.

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 To Estimate The Cost To Paint?

Square footage

First, you must measure the square footage of the project to see how much paint you are going to need. 

Consider masking materials needed

Don't forget about masking materials like tape, film, paper, drop cloths, etc when painting. 

If you are painting a project with lots of windows, you will want to count how many there are and take note when you go to purchase masking tape and film.

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

Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

Cost of paint

For this equation, you'll need the cost of the paint you are using, the number of square feet per container the paint covers, and the total of square feet in your project.

The cost per square foot depends on the paint you use because some products have a square footage recommendation.  

We'll say that our 1 gallon of paint covers 400 square feet of surface, and we purchase each gallon for $20.

Our paint project is 1200 square feet, so we'll need 6 gallons to complete the job with two coats of repainting. Looks like we'll need to drop $120 on paint for this one. That's about the size of a small house.

Cost for prep work/brushes/rollers/paint sprayers

You'll need to assess what you need as far as the prep materials.

Are there windows? How many are there? That will give you a good idea of how much paper and film you'll need. 

You could even measure the square footage of the windows and calculate how much paper and film should purchase.

You'll also likely need spackle and caulk.

Tip: Ask Pro Paint Corner for tips on how many masking, tape, sandpaper, and paper you'll need for your next project! We'll give you our best estimate.

We're going to say we bought $80 dollars in tape, paper, and masking for this particular project.

Cost for labor

Labor is basically the most expensive part when it comes to painting, especially if you are hiring out the work. Even if you DIY the painting project, it will still cost you valuable time to complete the job in an orderly fashion. 

With all of these factors considered, you should be able to make a good estimate on your next project.

We're going to guess it takes your handyman 40 hours to finish the job at $20/hour. That's right, we're thinking like the boss on this one, so we're going to end up paying the lad 800$ when he or she finishes the job.

In our case, $120/paint + $80/ masking material + $800/labor puts the total job cost at $1000.

Use your final price divided by the square footage of the project to determine the price per square foot.

$1000.00 / 1200 square feet means your cost is ~$0.83 dollars/square foot. That's a realistic painting price for a handyman, however, when hiring a true professional, the cost will be more like $1.50-$4 per square foot.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Primers For 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

Estimated Cost of Paint For Home, Business, and Auto?

  • Home & business

Home paint costs about ~$15-30/gallon + labor costs + materials

  • Car

Auto paint costs  ~$20/quart + labor costs + materials

Estimated Cost of Labor For Painting?

Painting costs more than you might think, but there are times when it's completely appropriate to hire a professional painter for the job.

The best situation is where your insurance pays, so you don't have to.

Manual laborers that work for painting companies make something like $15-50 per hour in the USA, while the painting contractors are making $100+ an hour as a whole. 

It really depends on the geographical area.

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 Save Money When Painting?

It's important to save time and money on your paint project as you can either spend a lot or a little on your paint project.

  • Buy the right quality/type of paint

The goal is that you get the paint on, and it performs its function. When painting walls, a mid-level paint does the job; no need to go crazy on quality when painting large spaces.

If you're painting a picket fence, maybe skimp on the paint quality. But if you're painting a '69 Chevy, take some pride and buy something pricy.

  • Time is money

Remember, painting takes time, and time is money. Consider that when DIY painting vs. hiring someone.

  • Get multiple estimates

Now that you have a better idea of painting costs and price ranges, get multiple bids from professionals to see how their prices differ. Good luck!

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.

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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.

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