How Much To Paint A Room? (DIY & Professional Cost)

When planning a painting project for your home, it is important to plan out exactly what you will need to complete the project before diving right in.

This preparation phase will give clarity, not only to the complexity of the job, but also, to the house interior painting cost and labor costs. 

Hiring a contractor or tackling the task yourself both require proper planning and budgeting.

In this article, we will discuss the factors that go into a project like this.

  1. 1
    Room size is the first major factor when it comes to estimating the interior painting cost, you will want to measure the room painting ranges in the per square foot or square feet to determine the overall area you plan on interior painting process two coats and also how much paint per square feet and interior paint jobs hours that area requires for two coats. Paint coverage per gallon is roughly 400 square feet, and one gallon will national average price or cost to paint covers around $70, depending on quality and brand. Knowing the room's size in square feet or per square foot will give you the first rough numbers and quantity of how much paint you need and its labor costs per square foot. This will assign you the interior painting costs per square feet or per square foot.
  2. 2
    Color and finish are the next two factors when it comes to the interior painting cost of a project per square feet, an eggshell finish paint supplies will be slightly less expensive than a satin finish. Semi-gloss or gloss paints are not generally used for interior painting, but choosing one could affect interior painting cost. The color choice is important because that will determine how much paint you will need to use for interior surfaces.
  3. 3
    More coats require more paint Cost overall, which will be more costly. If you plan to paint a room white again, you will use less paint cost per square feet than if you were trying to paint a room white from red. This is because the red paint would need multiple coats so that the white paint cover does not show through
Painted Living Room

How Much Does It Average Cost to Paint A Room? (Estimated by Size)

To get a better handle on estimating the interior painting cost, you could always hop over to our “How Much Does it Average Cost to Paint a House” article, where you will find a price calculator.

For this article, we will use the measurements 12’X12’ square foot and place those measurements in four different room painting designations to address the national average cost to paint differences that are associated. 

If we can assume the smooth wall height of the rooms is 8’ square footage tall, that will give us the ability to measure out the square footage, which is the first step in the average cost to paint per square foot and also how much paint a room estimation process needs.

So, to start doing the math to paint a room, we have a ceiling, 4 walls, and a floor space. The smooth walls are 12'X8', so each is 96 square foot; 4 walls together are 384 square footage. We know that one gallon of paint will cover roughly 400 square footage. So in this example, we will need to purchase 1 gallon of paint for a room.

We will also need to purchase associated supplies to complete the interior painting projects. This will include trays, drop cloths, rollers, roller covers, outlet covers, tape, and brushes.

If you are planning to paint a room alone, you will only need to purchase 1 roller, drop cloth and roller cover. For example's sake, we will need 1 of everything; this will make the math very easy. Now, let’s discuss the average cost to paint differences based on the type of room you may be painting.

The Estimated Interior Painting Cost of a Master Bedroom

For a 12’X12’ square foot master bedroom, you will want to use latex based paints per square foot with a flat or matte finish to paint with. These are the least expensive style of paint tray that you would generally find used inside the home. We will give this right paint a price tag of $70 per gallon.

If you purchased a materials kit that would include all of the associated materials we discussed necessary that had a price of $15, then painting that room would average cost to paint about $85. 

The Estimated Average Cost to Paint a Bathroom

When painting a bathroom, you will need to address the moisture-rich environment the paint will have to hold up to. This environment will call for a paint that will not let mold survive, which will be more expensive than standard paint. The finish that is most beneficial for a bathroom will be a smooth finish.

This will make the paint on the walls easy to clean when the water spots or soap stains need to be removed down the road. Remember to get those hard to reach places like painting behind a toilet for the best finish.

If you are using the same $15 kit of supplies, and you buy the latex, anti-mold paint for $85 per gallon, you will spend roughly $100 to paint the 12’X12’ square foot bathroom.

The Estimated Cost to Paint a Living Room

The living rooms need a rich, smooth finish to invoke a comfortable feeling. To paint a  room, you will want to use a satin finish latex based paints and also know how much paint living rooms need. This is a bit more expensive per gallon than the flat finish paint, roughly $75 per gallon.

Satin finish paint is less forgiving than the matte finish as well, so be sure to paint a room evenly to prevent overlapping from showing once the paint has dried. In the end, the living room will average cost to paint around $90, including the associated materials kit.

The Estimated Cost to Paint a Kitchen

The kitchen is where any family or individual spends the most amount of their time. The paint you want to use for a kitchen will be similar to a bathroom.

It will need to be easy to clean and handle a good deal of traffic. A high-gloss finish in the form of latex based paints will be best for this application.

High-gloss is the most durable and will hold up the best over time in a kitchen area. The paint will be more expensive, and the materials kit will be the same $15 kit. This gallon will cost to paint about $90, bringing the paint job in this to paint a room to $105.

12'X12' square foot room


Paint Price (1Gal_

Total Cost to Paint

Master Bedroom








Living Room








Types of Interior Paints and their Cost To Paint

Latex Paint

Latex paint is the industry standard for painting walls and spraying interior walls and ceiling of your home. This is what you should use if you are painting bare sheetrock or drywall that has been primed. Latex based paints is easy to use and easy to clean, both on painting equipment and once it is dried on the walls. It is safe to use indoors and around children or pets. 

The paint smell associated with latex dissipates very quickly, and the paint dries within hours of application. The cost to paint  a room ranges anywhere from $25-$100 per gallon. You can have paint mixed in any color by bringing a sample to the paint vendor and having them match it. A well-sealed partial gallon of latex based paint will last up to 10 years if stored in a climate-controlled setting.

Oil Based Paints

Oil based paints are a more durable paint. It is excellent for trim or high-traffic areas that require the paint to survive wear and tear. Oil based paint works are more expansive than latex based paint and can be more of a pain to prep work with. Oil based paints were the industry standard before latex was created, so you may find it used in older houses.

Oil based paint takes longer to dry and maintains a paint smell long after being applied to walls. Cleanup is also more difficult as the oil based paints penetrate brushes, roller, drop cloths and outlet covers. Oil based paints are only able to be removed with paint thinner or a similar style chemical.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room

Types of Paint Finish (& What They Typically Cost)

The paint finish will not be a dramatic change to the cost to paint to room for your overall project. The cost of paint per gallon goes up about $1 per finish as you step up in sheen. 

What the finish does affect is the durability and cleanliness of the paint. Each sheen can be utilized in the home and act to enhance or camouflage features based on where and how you apply it.

Note: when applying a deep colored paint, choose a finish that is one grade below the sheen level you desire. This is because heavier colors will show glossier than their lighter or white counterparts.

  • Flat/Matte
    The paint with the lowest level of shine or sheen; flat paint is excellent for hiding imperfections on walls that may have damaged or texture. This is also the most inexpensive paint per gallon, so you will typically find it in children's bedrooms, master bedrooms or living rooms, where the paint color may be changed on a more regular basis.
  • Matte paint to room is also the least durable of the sheen grades, so keep that extra paint stored properly. That way, you can always touch up scratches or scrapes as they appear.
  • Satin
    Satin is what you think of when you close your eyes and picture what a dining room or office wall space would be painted with. The finish is smooth and uniform, with just enough sheen to provide a warm, soft-looking  wood surfaces and other surfaces.
  • Satin is two steps up in both sheen and price from flat/matte paint. The tricky part of satin finish paint is the application of paint after wall repairs. This paint shows brush marks easily, making touch-ups challenging. 
  • Eggshell
    If you want to give the walls a little bit of texture and a little bit of shine, an eggshell finish is what you are looking for. It is great for adult rooms where you do not plan on dragging chairs or crayons across the walls.
  • It is one step above matte and one step below a satin finish in both sheen and durability. The textured wall paint is nice for covering slight imperfections on paint accent walls.
  • Semi-gloss
    The perfect paint for bathrooms and kitchens, semi-gloss paint is easy to clean up where grease or soap stains can accumulate. This paint is a step up in sheen from satin paint and a step up in durability, too.
  • This type of paint is perfect for doorway and window trims that may see a lot of traffic due to its strength and resilience over time.
  • High gloss
    Not common in most homes, a high gloss paint would generally be found in a commercial setting where the paint would need to be extra tough and extra easy to clean up spills or splatters.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Professional Painter?

Hiring professional room painters from reputed painting companies may come to mind when deciding to paint for house interior ranges.

Professional room painters will be able to paint while you are at work or out of town, and you will, theoretically, be able to leave the house and return to a completed paint job that looks great and will last a long time.

That thought may soon leave your mind once you have done the due diligence on exterior &  house interior painting costs, paint color, labor costs, moving furniture, and estimating the paint job for yourself before ordering quotes from professional painters. 

You will find that most contractors have a minimum charge of $500 and a 10'X12' space, followed by a $1 per square foot fee. For our 12'12', that would be over five times the cost to paint for doing the prep work yourself. Painting walls and roof the room yourself will be less expensive to perform on your own.

If you do plan to get quotes from professional painting companies, make sure to ask for an itemized bill that breaks out what they are spending on materials as well as what the labor rate for total painting costs or total cost to paint and moving furniture will be.

5 Considerations When Painting a Room

  • 1. Are the walls flat or textured?
    Textured walls will change the cost of hiring out the painting project by about 20%. The texture requires a bit more paint, but overall involves more labor to get proper coverage. If you are painting over the textured wall on your own, budget a bit more paint and a lot more time!
  • 2. What paint color are you painting over?
    Covering old paint with new paint is sometimes tricky. If the color you are painting over is deep or dark, you will need more coats of the new color, which translates into more money and time spent. The original color may need to be primed a few times prior to painting project over. To save money here, try painting project with subtle, similar colors.
  • 3. Do the walls need repairing first?
    Drywall repair is expensive if you plan to hire out the work. Hiring professional painters will run roughly $45 per hour for labor cost to paint. If you can cut and patch yourself, drywall and patching materials are relatively inexpensive. You can repair holes or damage walls at your own home for as little as $5-$10 and save money.
  • 4. Do they have vaulted or high ceilings?
    Vaulted or lofted ceilings are going to add cost to paint and complexity to your leftover paint job due to the amount of paint and the complexity of working so far in the air. These circumstances will require larger ladders or scaffolding, which will increase the price for a DIY homeowner, and especially if the homeowner plans on hiring professional painters for the job.
  • 5. How complex is the room’s trim work?
    Trim work could be the most complex part of painting any interior room. The trim needs to be taped off to avoid accidental brush or roller marks on light switch plates. It also needs to be brush painted rather than roller or sprayer painted, making the rest of the room quite easy and basic.
  • The intricate trim needs a significant amount of attention and focus. If there is a great amount of trim in the room you plan on painting, make sure to give yourself ample extra time to focus on the trim alone

Room Painting Cost FAQs

How long does it take to paint a 2 bedroom apartment?

A 2-bedroom apartment will take anywhere from one day to one week to paint. It is the perfect size space to go out on a limb and decide to paint yourself as the cost to paint will be reduced by a DIY job.

What is the quickest way to paint a room?

The quickest way to paint a room would be to spray the paint on your smooth walls. An airless paint sprayer is very efficient to paint a room. To spray a room or paint a room, make sure to cover or remove any furniture from the room to avoid overspray. 

How long does it take to paint a room and dry?

A typical paint job will dry within a few hours and cure in about a day. Depending on the surface material per square foot you are painting, and how heavily you apply the paint.


Painting your home is a fun and inexpensive way to transform your space completely and save money. It is the perfect way to freshen up a house you just moved into or to give an old, dull area a new life.

The painting job is both satisfying and confidence-building because you can see the fruits of your labor right away and know that you can accomplish any other painting job once you have completed your first.