How Much Does It Cost To Paint An Apartment? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint an apartment?

You’ve come to the right place!

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

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

And much more!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint An Apartment? (2020 Estimates)

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

Psst! Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a single 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 An Apartment?

Different painting projects can vary in costs quite a bit, but ultimately your costs will come down to the size (square footage), complexity, and prep work required for your apartment's paint job.

So, for the sake of this article, I'm going to go over some of the costs you might incur when putting a fresh coat of paint on your apartment based on these key factors. 

I'll also break down the cost differences between DIY apartment painting and hiring a professional painting contractor.

Average Cost To Paint The Apartment If You Do It Yourself?

If you have some experience painting and you're looking to DIY this painting project, you're probably going to find it's much cheaper than hiring a professional painter.

That said, there are still some painting costs you'll need to plan ahead for because you'll probably need to purchase painting supplies that you wouldn't have to if you hire a painting contractor.

For instance, beyond the actual cost of painting, you'll need things like drop cloths, paint brushes or paint rollers, painter's tape, paint trays, and painting safety equipment like a respirator, goggles and gloves.

These will be extra important if you're a renter and you want to make sure you're not damaging your apartment during the painting process.

Don't skimp out on things like the tape and drop cloths because they can ultimately save you a lot of headaches by keeping paint off of the other surfaces in your apartment.

However, if you happen to have several of these painting supplies handy (or can borrow them from a friendly neighbor or family member) your total cost will go down drastically.

If that's the case, your costs will mostly come down to the gallons of paint and primer you'll need to complete the paint job to your liking.

Below, I'll walk through an itemized list of the typical costs of the painting supplies you'll need so you can get a sense of how much your painting project might cost:

  • 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

Though this isn't an exhaustive list, it should give you a pretty good idea of what you'll need to get the DIY paint job done.

However, keep in mind that depending on the square footage of your apartment, you'll need more than a single gallon of your chosen paint to complete your painting project.

For instance, most cans of paint cover anywhere from 300 to 400 sq ft (this will be listed on the paint can you choose) so, based on the national average apartment size of around 900 sq ft, you'll probably need 2-4 gallons in total.

That said, the estimated total cost of painting supplies for apartment painting:

$200 - $400

This range is based on the assumption that you'd need to buy all of the painting supplies listed above, and 2-4 gallons of self-priming paint. However, if you plan on priming too that'll add about $100 or more to the total cost.

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

For instance, your cost of paint may change drastically if you decide to use a high-end type of paint or want multiple paint colors for things like accent walls, so just keep that in mind when coming up with a price estimate for your project.

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

And the overall costs of painting an apartment pales in comparison to the typical house painting costs.

Plus, 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.

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

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 an apartment for you.

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

For the sake of this article, I'll 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 an apartment (900 sq ft).

But, just remember, if you're hiring someone to paint a significantly larger apartment or an apartment with high ceilings, it'll cost more.

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

This means your total project cost will likely range from $700 to $3,600 for an average-sized apartment.

This is usually how a professional painters charge, rather than giving you an hourly rate because it allows them to better estimate their overall labor costs.

Read More >> How Can YOU Paint A Wall Like A Pro?

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

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 and provide different levels of coverage on different surfaces.

It's also important to note that there are a few other key factors that go into estimating your DIY cost per square foot. These things include patching and sanding holes, caulking and doing touch-ups, as well as the size of the rooms involved.

Plus, 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 your interior walls.

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 entire apartment, you'll need between 2 and 4 gallons of quality paint to cover the walls effectively. 

Plus, if you're really into interior design like me and you plan on using some different colors for different rooms, the prices per gallon may vary depending on the colors and paint finishes you choose.

Paint cost is clearly one of the largest factors here, but I will include some suggestions on how to save money on quality paint below.

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 >> What Are The Best Interior Paints Out There?

How Can You Save Money When Painting A Single Room?

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, even if you go with good quality paint.

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 costs will be more.

So, if you're still determined to create an epic accent wall, I'd recommend buying your paint in quart sizes to save money. 

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 room 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 >> How Do You Paint Baseboards Near Carpet?

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.

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 Rollers To Use?

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!

Hot Tip: One more place you can look for cheap paint is Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This works best if you're not picky on color or you're going with a standard color like white. I've seen some people getting rid of a large number of paint cans near their expiry date for FREE on those sites, so it might pay off to be a little thrifty.

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

Final Thoughts On Interior Painting Costs For Apartments

Now that we've broken down the individual costs for painting your apartment, these cost estimates should give you a good idea of the project costs you're looking at.

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.

Plus, it can help you decide whether you want to hire a painting service to help you avoid the time-consuming undertaking of painting it yourself.

Luckily, though, painting the typical apartment is usually much less expensive than painting an entire house - whether you DIY it or hire a painting contractor.

No matter how you decide to get your apartment painted, 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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