How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Painter?
$20 – $50 Per Hour
$1 – $6 Per Square Foot
$1 – $6 Per Square Foot
The average cost to hire a painter is $20 to $50 per hour, $200 to $500 per day, or $1 to $6 per square foot. Professional painter's charge $300 to $800 to paint a 10×12 room. Prices depend on the job size, the season, and the painter's experience level. Get free estimates from painting contractors near you or view our cost guide below.
Professional Painters Cost
Hiring professional painters' costs $300 to $800 to paint a 10×12 room and $700 to $1,300 for a 14×16 master bedroom. A bathroom costs $200 to $600 to paint, while a kitchen runs $180 to $550. Full interior painting costs $2,900 to $8,800, and repainting a house exterior is $2,600 to $5,700.
|10×12 Room||$300 – $800|
|14×16 Master Bedroom||$700 – $1,300|
|Bathroom||$200 – $600|
|Kitchen||$200 – $600|
|Living Room||$400 – $1,200|
|Whole House Interior||$2,900 – $8,800|
|Whole House Exterior||$2,600 – $5,700|
|New Construction||$4,000 – $15,000|
Small jobs such as painting a single accent wall cost as little as $32 for a fresh coat of paint. More extensive projects, like painting the exterior of a large house, including doors, drains, downspouts, and windows cost as much as $6,000. Painting your home adds curb appeal and will instantly increase your resale value.
The cost to hire a painter depends on their experience level, the complexity and size of the job, the season, the type of paint, quality of paint, complexity (such as multiple paint colors), layers of paint and primer needed, required repairs, location, and the quality of the surfaces that will be painted.
Table of Contents
How Much Do Painters Charge?
Professional painters charge $1 to $6 per square foot of paintable area or between $20 and $70 per hour. Costs depend on the amount of time spent on surface preparation, removing old paint, making small repairs, protecting furniture, setting up scaffolding, and cleaning up.
|Billing Type||Average Cost|
|Per Hour||$20 – $70|
|Per Day||$200 – $600|
|Per Square Foot||$1 – $6|
|Per Room||$300 – $800|
|New Construction||$2 – $4 /SF|
How Much Do Painters Charge Per Hour?
Painters typically charge $20 to $50 per hour depending on the project's difficulty, season, region, their experience level, and whether it's interior or exterior. Painting labor hourly rates range from $70 to $100 or more in specific locations or for specialty projects like murals.
|Productivity||Cost Per Hour|
How Much Do Painters Charge Per Day?
Painters typically charge $200 to $500 per day, depending on their skill and productivity levels. When repainting a room or house, a painter's day rate may cover 150 to 350 square feet of paintable area per hour, with the average professional working 8-hours per day.
How Much Do Painters Charge Per Square Foot?
Residential painters charge $0.50 to $6.00 per square foot, while new construction or commercial painting rates average $2 to $5 per square foot. Estimates include two coats of paint applied to interior walls. Damp weather slows drying time, while difficult surfaces and detailed projects increase overall costs.
|Project||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Bedroom||$0.50 – $2.00|
|Living Room||$2.50 – $6.00|
|Kitchen||$2.50 – $6.00|
|Base Molding||$1.50 – $3.50|
|Crown Molding||$1.25 – $3.00|
|Floor||$1.50 – $3.00|
|Wallpaper||$2.00 – $4.50|
|Hallways||$3.00 – $5.00|
|Ceiling||$0.75 – $1.50|
|Kitchen Cabinets||$3.00 – $7.00|
|Exterior Siding||$1.50 – $3.00|
|Full Home Exterior||$3.00 – $6.00|
|Soffit & Fascia||$2.50 – $5.00|
|Gutters||$1.50 – $3.50|
|Fence||$1.50 – $3.00|
|Driveway||$2.00 – $4.00|
|Deck||$1.50 – $3.00|
How Much Do Painters Charge Per Room?
Painters charge $300 to $500 to paint a bathroom, $800 to $1,200 for a bedroom, and $1,000 to $3,000 to paint a living room or large open-plan basement. Room painting commonly includes baseboards, doors, trim, and ceilings. Final costs depend on the size of the room.
|Room||Walls Only||Walls, Baseboards, Ceiling, Doors & Trim|
|10 x 12 Bedroom||$391||$815|
|14 x 16 Master Bedroom||$744||$1,285|
Keep in mind that your painter can add more than one color or shade to a room. Professionals suggest painting an accent wall with a distinct color or painting molding with a contrasting shade or finish to highlight it.
Price Per Square Foot For Painting New Construction
Painting prices for new construction range from $2 to $5 per square foot based on your geographic location, the number of colors, type of paint, and trim. A new 2500 SF home would cost $5,000 to $12,500 to paint and is typically handled for you by your general contractor.
Select Your Painting Project
Painting Services Price List
Residential painting projects range anywhere from $100 for a small bathroom, up to $8,800 for an entire house interior, which includes walls, trim, ceilings, baseboards, and doors. Below is a comprehensive list of interior painting rates.
Professional Interior Painter Rates
The cost to paint the interior of a house ranges from $300 to $800 for a 10x12 bedroom, and between $2,100 and $3,900 for a whole house interior. Vanities, cabinets, doors, textured or designer painting, and artistic additions such as murals will add to the final price.
|Bedroom Walls||$320 – $850|
|Bedroom (Full)||$1,340 – $2,580|
|Bathroom Walls||$100 – $150|
|Bathroom (Full)||$525 – $875|
|Kitchen Walls||$150 – $300|
|Kitchen Cabinets||$1,500 – $5,000|
|Living Room Walls||$200 – $400|
|Living Room (Full)||$800 – $1,200|
|Dining Room Walls||$280 – $400|
|Dining Room (Full)||$550 – $980|
|Accent or Textured Walls||$32 – $80|
|Fireplace||$1 – $4 /SF|
|Wall Mural or Trompe L'oeil||$35 – $150 /SF|
|Stairwell||$16 – $27 /LF|
|Full Apartment Interior||$1,500 – $3,100|
|Interior House Walls||$900 – $2,100|
|Full House Interior||$2,900 – $8,800|
Cost to Hire Professional House Painters
The cost to paint a house is between $1,500 and $2,700 for only the exterior walls, while projects that include walls, windows, doors, trim, gutters, and downspouts costs between $2,600 and $5,700 depending on the size of your home. Exterior house painting costs up to 25% more than interior painting.
|Shutters||$45 – $90|
|Exterior Door||$85 – $175|
|Exterior Trim||$1 – $2 /LF|
|Soffit, Fascia, Eaves||$0.75 /LF|
|Windows, Sashes||$31 /EACH or $2 /SF|
|Garage Door||$150 – $400|
|Siding||$1 – $4 /SF|
|Gutters & Downspouts||$1.25 – $2.70 /LF|
|Decks, Patios, Porches||$0.50 /SF|
|Deck or Porch Railing||$1 – $5 /LF|
|Fence||$1 – $3 /SF|
|Exterior House Walls||$1,500 – $2,700|
|Full House Exterior||$2,600 – $5,700|
Plan your painting project when the weather is warm and dry. If it’s too cold outside, work goes slowly and paint won’t dry. If it’s too hot outside, the paint may dry too quickly, which leaves marks. Also, rain, humidity, and the wind delay drying time, and harm the end result.
Average Apartment Painting Prices
A studio or one-bedroom apartment costs $1,575 to $2,300 to paint all the walls, doors, trim, and ceilings, or from $700 to $900 for just the walls. A 2-bedroom apartment costs roughly $3,100 to repaint everything, or $1,100 for the walls only.
|Project||Studio (514 SF)||1 Bed (757 SF)||2 Bed (1,138 SF)|
|Doors and Trim||$424||$707||$990|
Check with your landlord or building admin to check if they have pre-selected painters, or if doing it yourself (DIY) to save money is allowed. Some apartment complexes include fresh painting of your color choice upon signing a new lease.
Painting and Decorating Costs
Hiring a painter and interior decorator costs $50 to $200 per hour, with prices starting at $2 per square foot. A color consultation costs $25 per hour and identifies colors that may work well in your home. There is usually a follow-up appointment to make any adjustments or changes.
You can contact a decorator or your local paint shop when seeking a color consultation. Shops will often offer the service along with a discount on paints.
How To Estimate Painting Jobs
Professional painters have many cost factors when creating an estimate for a job. Before selecting paints and finishes, painters need to consider the cost, durability, and job appropriateness. They also need to be well versed in color harmony and paint composition to meets the homeowner’s expectations.
- Square Feet of Area
- Labor Costs
- Painting Materials
- Paint Costs
- Lead Paint Testing
- Prep Work
When pricing a painting job, begin by measuring the wall space that you need to have painted. Multiply the total square feet by an average cost of $2.00 for interior projects and $3.00 for exterior projects.
Next, examine the condition of the surfaces to determine if they will require a simple one-coat paint job or something more extensive. Measure the square footage of damaged areas and multiply it by $3.50 for patching and sanding. Add that to your total cost.
Decide if you will need extra colors, which means the purchase of additional paint. Factor in both interior and exterior paint at $40 per gallon. A gallon of paint gives approximately one coat of coverage for every 360 square feet of wall. Add that to your total.
After that, you can start adding on additional aspects (ceilings, cabinets, wall designs, and more) to your rough estimate to finalize your bid.
Measuring Paintable Area
Here's how to estimate the total paintable area of a painting job.
- For estimating interior painting, measure the width of all the walls in a room and add those numbers together. Then multiply the result by the height of the room. This will give you the rough square footage of the painting surface. Subtract the square footage of windows and doors to get a more exact figure.
- For estimating exterior painting, measure the perimeter of the house, then measure the height of the house from the foundation to the roofline. Multiply the two numbers to get the rough square footage of the painting surface. Subtract the square footage of windows and doors for a precise number.
Painting Labor Cost
Painting labor costs $20 to $50 per hour, depending on their skill level and productivity. Painters’ estimates should include materials, labor, and the cost of paint. Typically, a professional's labor will make up over 80% of the final cost, while paint and materials account for the remaining 20%.
A small semi-skilled crew can do most house painting and repainting jobs. Each painter should be able to cover 150 to 350 square feet of paintable area per hour.
Expect to spend $50 to $100 on materials and supplies. If you are considering whether there are cost savings in going DIY with your house painting, calculate the materials you will need with this price list. Be sure to take inventory of what your project requires, as each project is unique.
|Patching Compound (3.5-Pound Bag)||$8.78|
|Power Washer Rental (Per Day)||$38|
|Primer (Per Gallon)||$49.65|
|Caulk (Per Case)||$18.98|
|Ladder Rental (Per Day)||$31|
|Scaffolding Rental (Per Day)||$81|
|Paint Roller Kit||$8.97+|
|Sprayer Rental (Per Day)||$36+|
|Paint (Per Gallon)||$15 – $50|
How Much Does Paint Cost?
A gallon of paint costs between $15 and $40 per gallon with professional painters getting an average 30% discount compared to home improvement store prices. One gallon of paint covers 400 square feet, and you'll need 2 to 3 gallons to paint an average bedroom.
|Sherwin Williams||$36 – $47||$45 – $95|
|Benjamin Moore||$30 – $80||$40 – $60|
|Valspar||$15 – $52||$30 – $50|
|Behr||$15 – $46||$40 – $70|
|Kilz||$15 – $45||$25 – $50|
|Glidden||$18 – $30||$25 – $50|
|Average Gallon Cost||$22 – $50||$34 – $63|
- Water-soluble paints, known as latex, acrylic, and polyvinyl paints, are low-odor, fast-drying, and easy to clean; however, they often have a dull appearance and usually require more than one coat.
- Oil-based paints are thicker, durable, and have a more luxurious appearance. The drawbacks are that they take longer to dry, age more quickly, and have a stronger odor.
- Enamel paints are more challenging to apply, but they are incredibly durable and can be washed easily, making them ideal in some parts of the kitchen.
Interior Paint Cost
Interior paints come in a variety of sheens, also called finishes. They include flat or matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. Glossier paints are usually easier to keep clean, but cost more.
|Valspar||$15 – $55||$23 – $49||$27 – $50||$25 – $52|
|Glidden||$18 – $40||$20 – $40||$23 – $29||$22 – $30|
|Behr||$15 – $42||$18 – $44||$31 – $45||$20 – $46|
|Benjamin Moore||$43 – $80||$43 – $80||$40 – $80||$43 – $80|
|Sherwin Williams||$36 – $43||$38 – $45||$39 – $46||$40 – $47|
- Compare your contractor's prices to home improvement stores.
- Painters’ estimates should include materials, labor, and the cost of paint separately.
- The higher the gloss, the higher the price.
- High-quality paint looks better, lasts longer, and is worth the higher cost.
How Much Does A Can Of Paint Cost?
A small quart-size can of paint costs about $10, a 1-gallon bucket of paint costs $15 to $60, and a 5-gallon-can costs $50 to $200. Be sure to buy a bit more than your project requires for touch-ups and waste.
|Paint Can Size||Average Cost|
|1 Pint||$5 – $25|
|1 Quart||$8 – $40|
|½ Gallon||$10 – $45|
|¾ Gallon||$10 – $50|
|1 Gallon||$15 – $60|
|2 Gallon||$30 – $80|
|5 Gallon||$50 – $200|
Lead Paint Testing and Removal
Lead paint testing costs $200 to $400, while lead removal and repainting runs $13 per square foot or $3.75 per square foot for encasement. For the exterior of a home, there is also the option of vinyl siding with lead containment for $8.50 per square foot.
|Lead Paint Testing||$200 – $400|
|Lead Paint Removal and Repainting||$13 /SF|
|Lead Paint Encasement||$3.75 /SF|
|Vinyl Siding with Lead Containment||$8.50 /LF|
Most homes built before 1978 will probably contain lead-based paint if it hasn’t already been removed. Professional painting companies must follow proper rules and regulations for its safe removal or encapsulation.
There is a lot of prep work that goes into painting. Patching and sanding costs $3.68 per square foot. Repairing cracks costs $0.30 per square foot. Drywall repair costs from $0.50 to $1 per sqft. Wallpaper removal costs between $0.30 and $0.80 per sqft.
|Patching and Sanding||$3.68 /SF|
|Stripping||$1.91 – $2.38 /SF|
|Re-plastering||$200 – $400|
|Popcorn Ceiling Removal||$1 – $2 /SF|
|Power Washing||$0.35 – $0.77 /SF|
|Priming||$2.63 – $7.05 /SF|
|Repair Cracks||$0.29 – $0.30/SF|
|Installing Baseboards and Trim||$2.60 – $4.74 /LF|
|Drywall Removal and Replacement||$1.65 – $3.62 /SF|
|Drywall Repair||$0.53 – $0.97/SF|
|Cleaning Mold & Mildew||$500 – $3,000+|
|Window Removal||$32 – $103 EACH|
|Window Replacement||$163+ EACH|
|Door Jambs/Hardware||$21.50 /HR|
|Moving Furniture||$21.50 /HR|
|Wallpaper Removal||$0.31 – $0.77 /SF|
Necessary prep work is usually included in a painting job estimate. However, more extensive repairs may add to the overall cost. Always ask a professional painter what is included and what isn’t.
Over 80% of coating failures are attributed to improper surface preparation. The method of preparation depends on the surface material, the environment, and how long the coating is expected to last.
|Surface||How To Prepare|
|Aluminum||Remove all dirt, grease, oil, oxide, and stains with solvent cleaner.|
|Cinder and Concrete Block||Remove all loose mortar and cement, hardeners, and dirt. Fill all holes with a cement patching compound.|
|Brick||Remove loose mortar and clean off all dirt. Treat the brick with Loxon Conditioner.|
|Concrete||Remove all grease, oil, dirt, mortar, and loose paint and cement, then pressure wash. The temperature must be at least 50°F (10°C) during application and until cured.|
|Copper||Remove all grease, oil, dirt, and oxide. Clean with a hand cloth and solvent cleaner.|
|Drywall||Tape and cover all joints with a joint compound. Set and spackle all nail heads. Sand all nail heads and joins smooth and remove all dust.|
|Hardie Board||Remove all waxy material with a cleaning solvent. Prime with an alkyd primer.|
|Galvanized Metal||Clean using a solvent, then prime as required.|
|Plaster||Patch all damaged areas. Clean textured or powdery plaster with a solution of vinegar and water until the surface is hard.|
|Steel||Remove all grease, oil, and dirt. Clean with a solvent and hand cloth. Pressure wash to remove loose rust and paint.|
|Stucco||Remove any loose stucco and allow 30 days to dry before painting.|
|Wood||Sand down all knots and pitch streaks. Patch all nail holes with putty and sand smooth. Make sure the wood is dry.|
|Vinyl||Clean thoroughly with warm soapy water and rinse.|
Touchups and Cleanup
- Cleanup time is usually factored into a painting estimate. It begins at the end of each workday and includes the cleaning of tools, dismantling, and loading the company vehicle.
- Touchup time may vary depending on the number of touchups required. A more skilled team should have a shorter touchup time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Paint Do I Need?
One gallon of paint covers up to 400 square feet, or the size of a bathroom. To paint an average bedroom, you'll need two-gallon cans of paint which cover up to 800 square feet. For a living room or several average size rooms, 4 gallons cover up to 1600 square feet.
|Average Bathroom (400 SF)||1|
|Average Size Room (800 SF)||2|
|Large Room (1200 SF)||3|
|Living Room or Several Average Rooms (1600 SF)||4|
How Much Do Murals & Trompe L'oeil Cost?
Trompe L’oeil and murals cost between $35 and $150 per square foot. Decorative painting often costs much less at $5 to $10 per square foot. Decorative and artistic wall painting costs vary widely depending on the complexity of the image and the artist's expertise.
|Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Decorative||$5 – $10|
|Mural||$35 – $75|
|Trompe L'oeil||$50 – $150|
- Trompe l'oeil (trick of the eye) uses realistic imagery to produce an optical illusion of depth. It can be a great addition if you are looking to add a little magic or a conversation starter to your home.
- Murals come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. In some cases, a house painter may be up to the task, but in other cases, you may need to commission an artist.
- Decorative painting techniques usually involve the combination of two or more different colors to create a mottled, geometric, textured, or random effect.
Do Painters Move Furniture?
When estimating the cost of a job, painters will factor in the time it takes to move or cover up any furniture in their bid, which increases interior painting costs. The best (and cheapest) time for interior house painting is either before you move in or after you've moved out.
Are Cheap Painters Worth the Cost?
For small painting jobs, hiring a handyman at $20 to $25 per hour is a cheap and effective way to go. For large or detailed jobs, be sure to hire a professional painter. Whomever you hire, be sure they don't cheap out on the paint, apply two coats, guarantee their work, and do proper preparation.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How perfect of a job do you need? Will a few drips in the wrong place wreck your day?
- Do they have insurance? Can you afford it if they have an accident on the job?
- Do they have any references of previous work, a portfolio, or positive online reviews? Their costs may be low because they’re just starting out, or because they already have a terrible reputation.
How Much Do Student Painters Charge?
Less-experienced student painters charge about $20 per hour, but you may be getting lower quality paint, less productivity, insurance risks, and an unreliable job. Always check online reviews, references, and licenses before hiring any painter. Also, make sure a trustworthy foreman represents the students.
How Much Do Commercial Painters Charge?
Interior commercial painters charge $2 to $6 per square foot, while exterior jobs that require scaffolding cost $5 to $10+ per square foot. Commercial painting crews can work on five or more units at a time, are usually highly skilled, and they can complete large projects.
How Much Do Painters Make?
Painters make an average of $38,940 per year or about $20 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Independent contractors that own their own business charge $20 to $50 per hour for labor, but they must account for overhead, insurance, and marketing.
Tips for Hiring a Painter
When hiring a contractor, be sure to get at least three price quotes, do your research, and ask enough questions to be confident in your hiring decision.
- Ask friends, family, and neighbors for references
- Get at least three price quotes
- Check out their portfolio or past work
- Review licensing, insurance, and qualifications
- Verify reviews on HomeGuide and Google
- Check the Better Business Bureau for their reputation.
- Don't pay cash – Figure out a reasonable payment plan upfront.
- Get a contract in writing
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter
- How long have you been painting?
- Are you insured and licensed? Are they up to date?
- Will you be using subcontractors?
- How many painting jobs have you completed in the last year?
- Can I have a list of references with contact information?
- What paints do you recommend?
- If you get paint on the furniture, are you liable?
- Do you offer a warranty or guarantee your work?
Getting Painting Price Quotes
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted painting companies:
- Pray, Richard. “2019 National Construction Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
- Gleason, Dennis D. “2019 National Painting Cost Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
- Paxton, Albert S. “2019 National Repair & Remodeling Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
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Wall Finishes. (1977).
Lead-Based Paint Abatement / Encapsulation. (n.d.).
How Often Should You Paint Your House?. (2019).
Selecting a Sheen. (n.d.)
Best Exterior Paint for Doors and Trim. (2018).
Lead Paint Safety. (1999).
How to Paint a Room: 10 Steps to Painting Walls Like a DIY Pro. (2017).
Determine How Much Exterior Paint to Buy. (n.d.).
How to Measure Square Footage for Painting Walls. (2019).
Room Sizes. (2012).
Selection and Application of Exterior Stains for Wood. (1999).
Paint Problems on Exterior Wood. (1994).
Interior Paint - Home Depot. (n.d.).
Paint Tools and Supplies. (n.d.)
Paint Supplies. (n.d.).
Paint - Lowe's. (n.d.).
Wall Paint - Ace Hardware. (n.d.).
Paint - Walmart. (n.d.).
Interior Paints - Benjamin Moore. (n.d.).
Interior Paint - Sherwin-Williams. (n.d.).
Surface Preparation. (n.d.).
How Much Paint Do I Need?. (n.d.).
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