How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room?

Painting a room is one of the most popular home renovation tasks because it offers a lot of bang for your buck. The cost to paint a room is relatively low on the scale of home improvement expenses (typically ranging from about $350 to $700 for a 10' x 12' room), yet it creates a huge difference in appearance, quickly giving a fresh, clean, modern look.

Cost to paint a room will vary according to several important factors:

  1. Room size, calculated in square feet.
  2. Whether the room has exceptionally high, hard-to-reach ceilings of more than 8'.
  3. Number of rooms to be painted in one session.
  4. Type and quality of paint.
  5. Room design, including architectural details like angles and moldings.
  6. Wall texture. (Rough-textured walls tend to take about 25 percent more paint than smooth.)
  7. Number of paint colors to be used.
  8. Special effects, such as faux finish or linen look.
  9. Out-of-the-ordinary requirements like extensive repairs to your walls, covering a very dark color, or having your painting contractor move heavy furniture out of the way.

Cost Breakdown

The cost to paint a room will usually include the following:

  • Labor -- A professional painter doesn't just protect your floors against drips and apply two coats of your chosen paint. He or she also prepares the wall surface for a beautiful, long-lasting finish -- taking care of minor cracks or dents, sanding, cleaning, and priming. More major repair work will add to the expense.
  • Clean-up -- Your painting contractor's quote will generally cover clean-up costs as well.
  • Supplies and Equipment -- Order high quality paint and primer to preserve the beauty of your newly painted room for a longer period. Your painter will normally furnish the necessary supplies and equipment: drop cloths, caulk or filler, a sander, a ladder, brushes and rollers, painter's tape, and trays.
  • Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include an onsite inspection, is often free.

Get the Most for Your Money

Avoid paying your painting contractor for work you could do yourself. Prepare the room in advance by removing rugs and clutter, as well as moving furniture out, if possible, or at least pushing it into one space in the center of the room.

Invest in quality paint. It will give you more pleasure to look at and last longer. Ask your painter if he or she can order paint from the manufacturer at a discount or whether it would be cheaper to buy it yourself. Also, find out about using tinted primer, which tends to reduce the amount of paint you will need.

Have more than one room painted in a session. The per-room cost will tend to be less, especially if you use the same paint color.