How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Room?

by Team HomeServe
small room with tan paint getting a new coat of white paint applied

Are you considering new paint to freshen up a room? A new color can bring new life to your space. Exploring room painting costs might help you prepare for the project.

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Whether you hire a professional painter or grab a roller and put yourself to work, this guide should help you anticipate the costs.

What's the Average Price to Paint a Room?

How much does it cost to paint a room? According to HomeGuide, the typical cost to have an average 320-square-foot room painted by a professional is $550 to $2,100 (CAD 752 to CAD 2,872). Painting the room yourself reduces the cost to between $150 and $300 (CAD 205 and CAD 410).

Keep in mind that that cost is for 320 square feet. The cost varies significantly based on the size of the room and the number of rooms you paint. For example, a living room can range from $600 to $2,000 (CAD 821 to CAD 2,736), depending on the square footage. A bathroom usually only costs $250 to $650 (CAD 342 to CAD 889) to paint because of the smaller size. Larger spaces require more paint, which increases your supply costs, as well as more time, which increases labor costs if you hire a professional painter.

How Much Does a Painter Charge Per Square Foot?

Forbes says the typical rate for a professional painter is between $2 and $7 (CAD 2.74 and CAD 9.57) per square foot, compared to $1 to $3 (CAD 1.37 to CAD 4.10) for DIY painting (data from HomeGuide). This can fluctuate depending on where you live and what type of paint you choose. It's common for 70% to 85% of the room painting costs to go towards labor costs.

How Much Does Paint Cost?

You can expect to pay between $15 and $60 (CAD 21 to CAD 82) for a 1-gallon (about 4-liter) can of interior paint, according to This Old House. Each gallon can cover about 400 square feet. You can get different types of paint, such as paint and primer in one, low-VOC paint, stain-resistant paint and washable paint. These special paint types are often more expensive than standard interior wall paint.

How Do You Figure Out How Much Paint a Project Will Take?

Calculate the area of your walls in square feet to determine how much paint to buy. Add the length of each wall. If the room is 12 feet by 12 feet, you would add 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 to get 48. Multiply that number by the height of the room. If you have the common wall height of 8 feet, you would multiply 48 by 8 to get 384 square feet.

For a more accurate calculation, measure doors and windows, calculate the area of those spaces and subtract that from your total. Since each gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet, one gallon will be enough to apply one coat to the room. The general recommendation is to apply two coats of paint, so you would need two cans of paint to get good coverage in the room.

If you plan to apply a coat of primer first, keep in mind that one can typically only covers 200 to 300 square feet. For this room example, you'd need two cans of primer and two cans of paint to do a single coat of primer and two coats of paint.

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Are There Other Costs Associated With Painting a Room?

If you're painting the room yourself, you'll need additional supplies that will increase the room painting costs by up to $135 (CAD 185), or $595 (CAD 805) if you need to buy a ladder. Most of these items are relatively inexpensive, and you might already have them on hand.

Additional supplies needed include:

  • Paint tray
  • Paint rollers
  • Roller handles
  • Paintbrushes for edges
  • Painter's tape
  • Drop cloths to protect the floor
  • Ladder to reach the top of the wall

Additional Room Painting Tips

Here are some additional tips for room painting success.

  • Allow for overage: It's better to have extra paint than to run out and have to make another trip to the store. Having leftover paint also makes it easy to match the color if you need to do paint touchups.
  • Consider ceilings and trim: If you're planning to have the ceilings and trim painted, your costs will increase. This requires more paint and more time.
  • Get estimates: Getting estimates from professional painters is the best way to figure the actual cost in your area. Compare estimates to determine if they fit into your budget.
  • Consider your time: It's tempting to save money by doing room painting yourself, but it can be time-consuming and difficult. Consider the complexity of the room, your painting experience and how much time you have for the project. Professional painters complete the work quickly for minimal disruption.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.