The national average cost to paint a single room is $917. That price goes up to $1,223 for two rooms, $1,834 for three rooms and $2,446 for four rooms.
Average cost to paint a room:
Prices depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your room, the type of paint, primer or finish you choose, how many coats you need, your ceiling height and the cost of hiring painters in your area.
To get a better idea of how much you’ll pay, you can ask for free estimates from painters near you and read this guide to understand all of the expenses involved.
What’s in this cost guide?
- How much do professional painters charge an hour?
- Painting costs per square footage
- How to estimate the cost of painting a room
- Additional factors that can impact costs
- Choosing the right paint for your room
- How to prepare your home
- How to save money
- Questions to ask before hiring an interior painter
- Frequently asked questions
- Find an interior painter near you
How much do professional painters charge an hour?
The national average cost for professional interior painters is $50 per hour. However, average prices can range from $30 to $160 per hour, depending on the painting company or contractor.
Before you finalize your budget, ask painters in your area for free estimates. Prices may fluctuate depending on whether they charge per hour, per room, per linear foot or per square foot.
If you feel like you haven’t been quoted a fair price, ask your painter to break down the numbers. Some painting companies include charges for things you wouldn’t ordinarily think about, such as materials, gas for traveling, and overhead expenses like utilities and crew benefits.
Painting costs per square footage
|Square Footage||National Average Cost|
|0-1,000 sq. ft||$625|
|1,000-1,500 sq. ft||$1,720|
|1,500+ sq. ft.||$3,000|
How to estimate the cost of painting a room
It’s helpful to ask yourself the following questions when you’re estimating how much you’ll pay for interior painting services.
- How many interior rooms need to be painted? Your prices will go up if you need more rooms painted. However, the cost of painting two rooms is generally not double the cost of one room. You can spread out overhead expenses — an extra room just adds more square feet, some extra time and more gallons of paint.
- How high is my ceiling? The higher the ceiling, the higher the walls — and that means more time and more paint.
- How do painters set their prices? Ask the pro whether they charge per room, per square foot, per hour, per project or if they use a different cost unit.
- How large is my room? Your room’s size or total square footage may have a large impact on your overall price. For an accurate quote, have measurements of your room ready when you contact a professional.
How to measure your rooms
Measuring your room is an important step when you’re collecting quotes and estimating how many gallons of paint you might need. Have a tape measure in hand and a way to record the measurements. You can use a pencil and paper or save everything on your phone or computer.
Measuring your interior walls: Pull your tape measure horizontally to measure the width of the wall in feet. Next, measure the vertical height of the wall from the top of your baseboard to the ceiling. Multiply those two numbers together for the total square feet of your wall.
Measuring your bedroom: Start by measuring your walls. If one of your bedroom walls has a window or door, repeat the same process (measure width and length, then multiply) to measure the square feet of the window or door. Subtract the area from your total square feet for that wall. Add all your wall measurements together for the total area of the room.
Additional factors that can impact costs
Besides the size and type of room that needs to be painted, there are a few more factors that can affect your cost:
- Location. Painters in different zip codes around the country have different rates. While most will be somewhere in the average range, you should look up painters in your area and ask for a free estimate.
- Furniture. Some companies may charge extra for moving furniture, while others will simply cover it with plastic and work around it. In any case, you might want to do some prep work by moving your furniture to a different room or to the center of the room. Don’t forget to remove pictures and decorations from the walls, too.
- Surface and wall condition: The texture and condition of your walls (or other interior surfaces) can affect the final cost. If your walls are in excellent condition, the average price of interior painting is $1,519. That price goes up to $1,936 if your walls are in fair condition. If your walls need major repairs, it could cost as much as $4,067.
Condition of the Walls
Total Average Cost of Paint Job
Excellent - clean and smooth
Fair - minor holes and scratches
Poor - major repairs needed
- Type of paint and how much you need: It’s important to decide what kind of paint you want before making a final budget. Your costs will vary depending on the type of paint, primer and finish you choose. Your expenses may also increase if you need multiple coats. A gallon can cost as little $10 to $15.
Guide to choosing the right paint for your room
Type or Finish
Pros and Benefits
|Dries quickly, retains color, easy to clean||Interior walls, trim, cabinets, windows, doors|
|Highly durable compared to latex paint, tends to go on smoothly||
Walls, trim, windows, doors
|High-gloss||More durable than other sheens, bright/vibrant, easy to clean, stain-resistant||Accent walls, molding, doors, furniture, trim, kitchen|
|Durable, great for large areas, easy to clean/maintain||Walls, family rooms, windows, kitchen walls, bedroom walls, hallways|
|Reflective and ideal for bright colors, shiny/lustrous, durable, easy to clean||Trim, accent walls, molding, doors, kitchen cabinets|
|Satin||Smooth finish that is easy on the eyes, higher gloss than eggshell, stain-resistant, durable,||High-traffic areas, doors, walls, trim, windows, hallways, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms|
|Flat||Covers imperfections, dark colors, no sheen||Low-traffic areas, ceilings, damaged or textured walls, siding, living rooms, bedrooms|
|Matte||No shine, hides flaws, easy to apply||Ceilings, living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms|
How to prepare your home
Before your painter arrives, do some prep work. If possible, move all the furniture out of the room, and don’t forget to remove anything that is hanging on the walls.
If you don’t have the space to move everything out, simply move it to the center of your room or cover it with plastic. The painter may also provide plastic coverings for your furniture. Remember to remove outlet covers, clocks, mirrors and anything else on the walls.
You should expect the painter to walk through your home before the project begins, as they need to see the condition of your home's interior. They may take pictures, measurements and notes to give you a more exact estimate.
Besides being simply courteous, preparing your home for a professional painter can also be a good way to save time and money on labor costs. Move your furniture away from the walls, preferably out of the room entirely.
Next, clean your walls (and other surfaces that will be painted) with a sponge and a simple mixture of water and detergent or mild soap. This doesn’t have to be a time-intensive deep clean — just do your best to remove all the dust and dirt that’s gathered on your walls over the years.
Questions to ask before hiring a painter
Here are some questions all homeowners should ask before you hire a pro:
- Are you licensed? Some states have certain requirements for contractors. For example, if you live in California, you might want to check if the contractor is licensed by going online. A good rule of thumb is to always check with your state or local municipality, and hire a contractor who complies with the regulations.
- Do you offer warranties? Painting companies might offer warranties or guarantees for the paint that was supplied and used. However, the guarantees may exclude things like natural disasters, normal wear-and-tear and other events outside of the painters’ control.
- Can you tell me about the type of materials you typically use? The quality of materials has a significant impact on how much you'll pay per gallon of paint and how long the paint will last. Avoid contractors who are vague about the type of paint, primers and stains they use, as they may be cutting corners with low-quality materials.
- Can I see a cost breakdown and schedule? Before you decide to go with a painter, take a look at the cost breakdown in writing. This will help you see exactly how much they charge for each aspect of the project and give you a good idea of how long the project will take.
If you still have questions about how to hire a painter, visit Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide.
Frequently asked questions
Do you still have more questions before starting your paint job? Here are answers to some of the most common questions about painting an interior room.
How many square feet can a painter paint in a day?
A painter can paint about 150 square feet in an hour. If they work a six-hour day, they should be able to cover around 900 square feet.
How long does it take a professional painter to paint a room?
It can take a painter anywhere from a few hours to several days to paint a room. Of course, the time it takes depends on several factors, including how big the room is, the areas that need painting, the number of coats and how many painters are doing the job. Some special circumstances might cause this time to be increased — for example, if the painter is working with textured walls, has to repaint any mistakes or needs to do repairs.
When painting a room, where do you start?
Because paint can drip and spot, it's important to start in the right order. Generally, you should start with a coat on the trim work and ceiling, and then use a roller and brush to paint the wall space and floor space. Starting from the top and working to the bottom can prevent spills from ruining the paint job.
What does “cut in” mean when painting?
“Cutting in” refers to a technique used by painters when they are working with a surface area that is too small to use a roller. Instead of using tape to mark off the area, they use a small brush to get a straight, even line of primer.
Find an interior painter near you
Hiring a professional to paint the interior or exterior of your home can be a worthwhile investment for homeowners. It can save you valuable time, labor and improves the quality of your home.
Get started today by finding a professional near you.