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, the cost associated. 

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 cost of painting. You will want to measure the room in square feet to determine the overall area you plan on painting. Paint coverage per gallon is roughly 400 square feet, and a gallon will cost around $70, depending on quality and brand. Knowing the room's size will give you the first rough numbers you can assign to your painting budget.
  2. 2
    Color and finish are the next two factors when it comes to the cost of a painting project. An eggshell finish paint 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 costs. The color choice is important because that will determine the amount of paint you will need to use.
  3. 3
    If you plan to paint a white room white again, you will use less paint than if you were trying to paint that white room red. This is because the red paint would need multiple coats so that the white paint does not show through. More coats require more paint overall, which will be more costly.
Painted Living Room

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

To get a better handle on cost estimating, you could always hop over to our “How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House” article, where you will find a price calculator, but for this article, we will use the measurements 12’X12’ and place those measurements in four different room designations to address the cost differences that are associated. 

If we can assume the wall height of the rooms is 8’ tall, that will give us the ability to measure out the square footage, which is the first step in the cost estimation process.

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

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

If you are painting alone, you will only need to purchase 1 roller 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 cost differences based on the type of room you may be painting.

The Estimated Cost to Paint a Bedroom

For a 12’X12’ bedroom, you will want to use latex paint with a flat or matte finish to paint with. These are the least expensive style of paint that you would generally find used inside the home. We will give this 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 cost you about $85. 

The Estimated 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 semi-gloss 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, semi-gloss, anti-mold paint for $85 per gallon, you will spend roughly $100 to paint the 12’X12’ bathroom.

The Estimated Cost to Paint a Living Room

The living room needs a rich, smooth finish to invoke a comfortable feeling. For this room, you will want to use a satin finish latex paint. 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 this room evenly to prevent overlapping from showing once the paint has dried. In the end, the living room paint job will cost 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 paint 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 about $90, bringing the paint job in this room to $105.

12'X12' room


Paint Price 1Gal










Living Room








Types of Interior Paints and their Cost

Latex Paint

Latex paint is the industry standard for painting 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 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. Costs range anywhere from $25-$100 per gallon. You can have latex 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 paint will last up to 10 years if stored in a climate-controlled setting.

Oil-Based Paint

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

This type of paint takes longer to dry and maintains a paint smell long after being applied to walls. Cleanup is also more difficult as the oil penetrates brushes and roller covers. Oil-based paint is 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 of your overall project. The cost per gallon of paint goes up about $1 per finish as you step up in sheen. What 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 damage or texture. This is also the most inexpensive paint per gallon, so you will typically find it in children's bedrooms or accent rooms, where the paint color may be changed on a more regular basis.
  • Matte paint 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 would be painted with. The finish is smooth and uniform, with just enough sheen to provide a warm, soft-looking surface.
  • Satin is two steps up in both sheen and price from flat/matte paint. The tricky part of satin finish paint is the application. 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 texture is nice for covering slight imperfections on 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.
  • Semi-gloss 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 a professional may come to mind when deciding to paint the interior of your home. A professional 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 cost estimating the paint job for yourself before ordering quotes from professionals. 

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 of doing the work yourself. Painting the room yourself will be less expensive to perform on your own.

If you do plan to get quotes from professionals, make sure to ask for an itemized bill that breaks out what they are spending on materials as well as what the labor rate 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 texture on your own, budget a bit more paint and a lot more time!
  • 2. What 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 t painting over. To save money here, try painting with subtle, similar colors.
  • 3. Do the walls need repairing first?
    Drywall repair is expensive if you plan to hire out the work. Paying a professional will run roughly $45 per hour for labor. If you can cut and patch yourself, drywall and patching materials are relatively inexpensive. You could repair holes or damage walls at your own home for as little as $5-$10.
  • 4. Do they have vaulted or high ceilings?
    Vaulted or lofted ceilings are going to add cost and complexity to your 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 a professional 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. 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 is the perfect size space to go out on a limb and decide to paint yourself. The project should only cost a few hundred dollars and take less than a week from start to finish.

What is the quickest way to paint a room?

The quickest way to paint a room would be to spray the paint on your walls. An airless paint sprayer is very efficient. To spray a room, make sure to cover or remove any furniture from the room to avoid overspray. Tape off and cover all windows with plastic, and always wear protective clothing, glasses, and respirator.

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

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

Drying is when the paint has hardened enough that it will not wipe away with a touch. Curing is when the paint has become hard enough to wipe it with a wet cloth or sponge and remove no residue. This is when it is safe to decorate or hang objects from the painted wall.


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

Painting 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.