How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Room?

Room Painting

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Painting a room is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to quickly freshen up that room. On average, if you already own paint equipment, you'll pay about $415 to paint a room. If you need to buy equipment, that brings the total cost up to about $760. Hiring a professional painter will cost between three and five times more than painting the room yourself, for a total project cost approaching $2,000.

How Much It Costs to Paint a Room

Whether you decide to paint the room by yourself or hire a professional painter is a major determining factor of the cost to paint the room. Interior painting is largely a labor-driven project.

The Cost to Paint Room by Yourself

If you are painting a room by yourself, on average it will cost $415 for the supplies alone. Paint supplies will cost $235 for a small room, $390 for a medium room, and $610 for a large room.

If you need to purchase painting equipment, this will add about $350 to the cost of the project, no matter the size of room. So, a small room will cost $585, a medium room $740, and a large room $960. Averaging all room sizes is about $760.

The Cost to Hire a Professional to Paint a Room

According to Home Advisor, if you choose to hire a professional painter, expect to pay between $2 and $6 per square foot of surface coverage (not floor space), basic supplies and equipment included.

Depending on the type of paint you choose, you may need to pay extra for the paint. On average, a professional painter will charge $1,900 to paint a room.

  • Small room, 240 square feet: from $480 to $1,440, for an average of $960
  • Medium room, 480 square feet: $960 to $2,880, for an average of $1,920
  • Large room, 880 square feet: $1,760 to $5,280, for an average of $3,520

Cost of Supplies and Equipment

As a do-it-yourselfer, you will need to supply all of the equipment and supplies. So it's vital to factor in the cost of these items when determining the cost of painting a room.

Paint Supplies

   Small Room Medium Room Large Room
Walls (2 coats of eggshell paint) $76 $114 $228
Ceiling (1 coat ceiling paint) $20 $40 $60
Oil-based trim paint (quart) $25 $50 $75
Primer (1 coat) $22 $44 $66
Paint thinner $10 $20 $20
Plastic drop cloths (large box) $30 $30 $30
Painter's tape, 2-inch $10 $20 $30
Spackle (16 oz.) $12 $12 $12
Roller covers $20 $40 $60
Paint tray liners $9 $18 $27
TOTAL $235 $390 $610

Paint Equipment

Paint equipment will cost about $350 to paint a room, if you are starting the project with no equipment:

  • Canvas drop cloth, 9-foot by 12-foot: $140
  • Extension pole: $20
  • Ladder: $100
  • Paint brushes set: $25
  • Paint roller handle: $12
  • Paint tray: $10
  • Paint stir sticks: $0
  • Putty knife: $10
  • Rags or towels: $10
  • Sanding blocks, pack: $12

Type of Paint

Different types of paint have different costs. Premium paints with additives will cost more than basic economy paints. Oil-based paint costs considerably more than latex paint—though since it's used for trim, less is used.

Paint gloss or sheen affects paint cost, too, with prices rising as the paint gets glossier. On average, interior eggshell paint for a room will cost $25 to $50, for an average cost of $38 per gallon. 

Paint Quality

Latex-based paints cost an average of $15 to $20 per gallon at the lower end for economy paints and up to $65 to $80 per gallon for premium paints. Premium paints usually have extra features like mildew-resistant additives, stain blockers, and scrubbable/washable additives.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints nearly always cost more than latex-based paints. Usually available in quart sizes, oil-based paints cost about $20 to $25 per quart or about $80 to $100 on a per-gallon basis. 

Paint Gloss

Paint gloss always makes a difference when it comes to the cost of painting a room.

Flatter paints nearly always cost less than glossier paints. Most flat paints cost between $25 and $50 per gallon. But there is an almost equal number of flat paints in the $15 to $25 per gallon range. 

Progressing up the gloss scale, eggshell paints mostly cost from $15 to $50 per gallon, though more weighted toward the $25 to $50 per gallon range. And satin gloss paints generally cost between $25 and $50 per gallon, but with far more in the $50 to $100 range than any other type of paint gloss.

Number of Paint Coats Needed

The number of paint coats has a direct influence on the cost of painting the room. More gallons used means a higher overall cost. Most rooms require more than one coat of paint. 

Surfaces readily soak up the first coat of paint, with subsequent coats requiring diminishing quantities of paint. So, two coats of paint do not necessarily use twice as much paint as one coat.


Mixed paint cannot be returned to the paint store. Calculate the amount of paint that you'll need, plus 10- to 15-percent overage. While it's always a good idea to have extra paint on hand for touch-ups, water-based latex paint will last on the shelf from two to 10 years—less if improperly stored.

Size of the Room

Along with the number of paint coats required, the size of the room also has a direct corollary to the overall cost of painting the room. Larger rooms require more paint. If you're hiring professional painters, this also means more paint but more labor, as well. Most interior paints will cover up to 350 to 400 square feet. 

Surfaces Painted Small Room Medium Room Large Room
Walls (1 coat) 1 gallon 2 gallons 3 gallons
Walls (2 coats) 2 gallons 3 gallons 6 gallons
Ceiling (1 coat) 1 gallon 2 gallons 3 gallons
  • Small room: Approximately 240 square feet
  • Medium room: Approximately 480 square feet
  • Large room: Approximately 880 square feet

Ceiling Paint

Because ceilings are out of the way, they are often in good condition and do not require painting. If the ceiling needs to be painted, the ceiling's size will factor into the number of gallons of ceiling paint purchased. 

Ceiling paint is flat or matte white latex paint, and it is usually inexpensive relative to wall paint. Most ceiling paint costs about $20 to $22 per gallon. Color-changing or recolor ceiling paint costs $35 to $40 per gallon.

Paint Color

Adding color to the paint is one factor that usually will not affect the cost of the paint. Color itself should not be an extra cost since a certain palette of colors is built into the price of the base paint. 

However, certain colors or pigments might be more expensive, especially when they are part of a special collection or associated with a name designer.


Colors sometimes cross over between a brand's collections. For example, one prominent retailer's large in-house paint brand is split up into four collections. These collections range in price from $21 to $63 per gallon. So, color does not usually determine the final price of the paint.

Surface Conditions

Whether you're painting the walls by yourself or hiring a professional painter, the assumption is that the surfaces are in paint-ready condition when that first can of paint is opened up. Anything other than paint-ready condition will require repairing or cleaning the walls.


Interior walls are often in good enough condition that primer is not required, especially when painting over with the same color. But if you are going from a dark to a lighter color or if the walls are bare drywall or in poor condition, they will need to be primed before painting.

Universal or multi-surface primer costs around $15 to $25 per gallon, for an average of $20 per gallon. One gallon of this flat product dries quickly and covers 200 to 300 square feet. Primer that stops peeling paint, hides heavy stains, kills mold and mildew, or which has other special qualities may cost up to $50 to $60 per gallon.

Trim and Detail Work

Trim, or millwork, is narrow wood, MDF, or PVC board that surrounds windows and doors or covers up baseboards. To calculate how much trim paint you will need:

  1. Add the linear length of all of the trim in the room and express the result in inches. 
  2. Measure the width of the trim. 
  3. Multiply the length of the trim by its width. 
  4. Convert to square feet.
  5. Divide the total by 350 to find how many gallons of trim paint you will need.

Four quarts comprise one gallon. Since oil-based trim paint is usually sold in quart sizes, each quart will cover about 80 to 100 square feet of trim.


Twenty feet of trim is 240 linear inches. The trim is 2 inches wide. Multiply length by width to arrive at 480 square inches of trim. Divide by 12 to convert to square feet. Answer: 40 square feet of trim.