Whether you own or rent, interior painting is the easiest and most prevalent DIY project across the country. If you own, you can do whatever you want. If you rent, many landlords allow the tenant to paint walls as long as the renter paints the wall back to its original color.
No matter the room, painting is the cheapest and fastest way to transform your dull design and give it that immediate “wow” factor. Additionally, it’s also one of the most forgiving projects for all DIY beginners.
With the benefits and logistics out of the way, it’s time to get into the costs. See how much it costs to paint an interior room.
Interior Painting Cost
ImproveNet analyzed over 12,000 interior painting projects to find the average cost throughout the country. While there are numerous factors that can increase or decrease the total cost, data shows that the average homeowner or renter spends $1,655 on an interior painting project.
The factors that can change the price are:
- Hiring A Pro
- Type of Paint
- Quality of Paint
- Size of the Space & Amount of Paint
- Desired Space
- Complexity of Design
Hiring A Pro
While the price above includes hiring a pro, as mentioned earlier, many homeowners save the cash and complete the project themselves.
Beware, painting even a small bedroom is not easy. You have to remove all furniture, cover the remaining furniture, buy the right supplies, prime the wall and then paint multiple coats. Needless to say, it’s not a short process.
On the other hand, if you are thinking of hiring a pro, you can connect with painting pros for free here.
Type of Paint
Oil-based paints used to be the gold standard of painting. However, it was later determined that many contained volatile organic compounds or VOCs. When exposed, VOCs can cause dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, respiratory discomfort or asthma attacks. Therefore, when purchasing new paint, make sure you buy a water-based latex paint.
Quality of Paint
Like anything in life, quality plays a role in the total cost. Nevertheless, what you’re painting largely determines the quality of paint you choose. Flat paints are primarily used for interior walls and cabinets. Sadly, flatter paints tend to be more expensive than glossier paints. Flat paints contain minerals that roughen the surface, creating an even coat that hides flaws. Glossier paints, on the other hand, have fewer minerals and form a smoother, more durable finish. They do show imperfections but are less expensive.
Size of Space & Amount of Paint
The bigger the room, the more paint you have to buy. The more paint you buy, the more expensive the project will be. But how much do you buy? The painting rule of thumb is that one gallon of paint will cover between 300 and 350 square feet. Compared to the rest of the project, material costs (like paint and supplies) will rarely exceed 10% of the total project cost. The majority will come from labor, size of space and time.
All rooms were not created equal, as you saw under the quality of paint section above. The desired space will have an effect on the total price. Thinking logically, bedrooms cost more to paint than kitchens because there is usually more space to paint. As opposed to bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms contain cabinets or wall space you don’t have to paint. Less paint equals more savings.
Complexity of Design
Whether you hire a pro or not, the complexity of the design will alter the overall painting cost. It’s easier to paint a wall one solid color as opposed to adding stripes, diagonals or really any other design. These complex designs not only require more paint but more time as well. Extra prep is required to get these jobs done correctly.
Speaking of time, it takes about an hour to put a single coat of paint on the walls of an average-sized bedroom. It takes another two to three hours for a coat of paint to dry in order to re-coat. Most rooms require two coats of paint, so it may take up to six hours to finish the average job.
Note: You can purchase thicker paint and only apply one coat.
However, with complex designs, expect your prep time to double. Time is money. More painting time is time away from your family. The time it takes to finish the job correctly must be considered when evaluating your overall interior painting cost.
Those of you brave enough to try this project without a pro will need a few painting tools to get the job done quickly and efficiently. While they all add to the total painting price, they can certainly decrease the overall painting time and accuracy.
- Roller Frame
- Roller Cover
- Two-Gallon Bucket
- Rolling Pole
- Roller Tray
- Extra Foam Brushes & Rollers
Jacob Hurwith is the content marketing manager at ImproveNet, your source for all home improvement resources. Before joining ImproveNet, Jacob worked for various publications throughout Chicagoland including the Chicago Sun-Times. When he is not writing, Jacob enjoys keeping up with Chicago sports, catching up on his favorite TV shows and of course, running along Lake Michigan.