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Interior Design & Decorating

Interior Painting Cost

By on Dec 2, 2014
Interior Painting Cost

No matter what room you want to update, painting is the cheapest and fastest way to transform your dull design and give it that immediate “wow” factor. As such, interior house painting is the most popular DIY project. In addition to the benefits above, it is also one of the most forgiving for our painting rookies.

Nonetheless, like any home remodeling project, it comes with a cost. Whether you hire an interior painting pro or not, expect to open up your wallet for this home renovation project. How much exactly? Continue reading to see the average interior painting cost, as well as the factors that can increase or decrease your overall painting budget.

Painted Hallways

Interior Painting Cost

According to our interior painting cost estimator, the average price to paint an interior room is $1,655. There are many factors that go into this overall price, but some include: 

  • Type of paint
  • Quality of paint
  • Amount of paint
  • Hiring a pro
  • Desired space
  • Size of space
  • Complexity of design
  • Tools
  • Time

Types of Paint

Giving a room a new coat of paint is the best opportunity to replace your current paint with a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative. As a result, many homeowners choose a water-based latex style of paint as opposed to the historically popular oil-based paints. Oil-based paints contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. When some people are exposed to VOCs, they may experience dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, respiratory discomfort or asthma attacks.

Painted Kid's Room

Quality of Paint

As we are dealing with interior walls (or cabinets), you are most likely going to go with a flat paint. However, low-sheen, eggshell, semi-gloss and gloss (all enamels in the painting world), are often used to paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets. All will have an effect on the total price.

Flatter paints tend to be more expensive. These low-luster 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 as you can guess, are less expensive.

Amount of Paint

The more paint you buy, the more expensive your project will be (Duh!). A general rule, as we pointed out in our DIY House Painting Guide: Step-By-Step, is that one gallon will cover between 300 and 350 square feet. While the cost of paint will be a majority of your material costs, don’t expect it to largely affect the overall project cost. It’s rare that the cost of materials exceeds even 10% of the project. The bulk of the expense will be labor, size of the space and professional services (if needed).

Painting Cost

Hiring A Pro

The interior painting cost mentioned earlier ($1,655) assumes you are hiring a professional to complete the job for you. As you might imagine, you can drastically reduce this cost by painting the room yourself.

As I said above, a majority of the painting expense comes from labor. While your time and effort certainly come with a price, it’s not nearly as much as hiring a pro. Be that as it may, many homeowners soon regret this DIY project after realizing how much work actually goes into it. Hiring a pro will assure no headache and a quick completion

If you’re thinking about hiring a professional painter, click here and receive up to four estimates from local painting pros!

Desired Space

Sadly, all interior rooms and walls do not cost the same if you hire a professional painter. Bedrooms and living rooms, for example, tend to cost more than kitchens because all of the walls are exposed rather than covered up by cabinetry. The same goes for bathrooms.

On the other hand, painting a ceiling is another obstacle all together. Because of the height, tackling this job as a DIY project can be a serious challenge, and it also requires additional equipment in order to evenly roll paint along the ceiling's surface. On average, expect to pay between $242 and $412 for professional painting services on the ceiling of a 50-square-foot room, a project that should take between five and six hours to complete.


Size of Space 

The larger the walls or ceiling, the more expensive your project will be.

Complexity of Design

There are certain designs that demand more time and thus, increase the average interior painting cost. Whether you go with stripes, diagonals or anything but a solid color wall, the average cost will rise.

Complex designs demand more prep. It demands more work. It demands different color paints (usually). As such, it demands more money. If you want to keep costs down, limit the complexity of your designs.


The tools needed for any painting project will largely depend on the size of the work. If you hired a pro, you won’t need to worry about painting tools, but if you’re taking it on as a DIY project, you should have a:

  • Roller frame 
  • Roller cover with a one-half inch to one-inch nap
  • Two-gallon bucket
  • Rolling pole (especially if you’re painting the ceiling)
  • Roller tray
  • Extra foam brushes and rollers
  • Safety goggles (regular swimming goggles will work just fine)

Painted Bedroom


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.

For deep, rich or vibrant colors such as reds, blues, oranges or purples, three or more coats may be necessary. Getting thicker, more expensive paint can reduce the amount of time you have to spend on multiple coats.


The average price to paint an interior room is $1,655. As you have seen above, there are plenty of ways to decrease this cost, the most effective of which is to paint the room yourself.

Nevertheless, if you need the job completed as soon as possible, you may want to contact a pro near you.

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