How much does it cost to hire a painter?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to hire a painter?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to hire a painter?

$20 – $70painter cost per hour
$1 – $6painter cost per square foot
$300 – $1,200painter charges per room

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 for your project or view our cost guide below:

$20 – $70 painter cost per hour

$1 – $6 painter cost per square foot

$300 – $1,200 painter charges per room

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 for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tom Grupa
Written by
Tom Grupa

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' primary 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.

Cost to hire a painter - chart
Cost to hire a painter - chart
Cost To Hire A Painter
Room Average Cost
Accent Wall $80 – $200
10' x 12' Room $300 – $800
14' × 16' Primary Bedroom $700 – $1,300
bathroom $200 – $600
Kitchen $200 – $600
Living Room $400 – $1,200
All Interior Walls $1,300 – $6,300
Whole House Interior $2,900 – $8,800
Whole House Exterior $2,600 – $5,700
New Construction $4,000 – $15,000

Painting your home adds curb appeal and will instantly increase your resale value.

Get free estimates from painting contractors near you.

How Much Do Painters Charge?

Professional painters charge $1 to $6 per square foot of paintable area or $20 to $70 per hour. Charges depend on several factors, including:

  • The painter's experience level

  • Location, season, and weather

  • Job size and complexity

  • Surface preparation and repairs

  • Paint type and quality

  • Number of colors

  • Layers of paint and primer needed

  • Cleanup

How Much Do Painters Charge?
Billing Type Average Cost
Per Hour $20 – $70
Per Day $200 – $600
Per Square Foot $1 – $6
Per Room $300 – $800
New Construction $2 – $5 per square foot

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Hour?

Painters charge $20 to $50 per hour depending on their experience level, the project's difficulty, season, region, and whether it's interior or exterior.

Painting labor hourly rates range from $70 to $100+ in specific locations or for specialty projects like murals.

Painters charge per hour - chart
Painters charge per hour - chart
Painter Hourly Rates
Productivity Cost Per Hour
Low $27
Medium $36
High $47
Specialty $70+

How Much Do Painters Charge Per Day?

Painters charge $200 to $500 per day, depending on their skill and productivity levels. When repainting a room or house, a painter's day rate typically covers 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.

  • Most estimates include two coats of paint applied to interior walls.

  • Difficult surfaces and detailed projects increase overall costs.

    Painting Cost Per Square Foot
    Project Cost Per Square Foot
    Bedroom $0.50 – $2.00
    Living Room $2.50 – $6.00
    Kitchen $2.50 – $6.00
    Trim and baseboards $1.00 – $4.00
    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 – $10.00
    Exterior Siding $1.50 – $5.50
    Full Home Exterior $3.00 – $6.00
    Gutters $1.50 – $3.50
    Driveway $2.00 – $4.00
    Deck $2.00 – $5.00
    Fence $2.00 – $14.00 per LF
    Soffit & Fascia $2.00 – $7.00 per LF

  • Deck painting costs $2 to $5 per square foot.

  • The cost to paint a fence is $2 to $14 per linear foot.

  • Painting kitchen cabinets costs $3 to $10 per square foot or $50 to $100 per door.

  • The average cost to paint trim and baseboards is $1 to $4 per linear foot or $25 to $200 per room.

  • The average cost to paint a door is $75 to $150 for both sides of an interior door and $100 to $225 for an exterior or front door.

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 typically includes baseboards, doors, trim, and ceilings. The total cost depends on the size of the room.

Labor Cost To Paint A Room
Room Walls Only Walls, Baseboards, Ceiling, Doors & Trim
Bathroom $101 $321
Primary Bathroom $124 $533
Kitchen $181 $548
10' x 12' Bedroom $391 $815
14' x 16' Primary Bedroom $744 $1,285
Living Room $260 $1,015
Open-Plan Basement $545 $2,919

Price Per Square Foot For Painting New Construction

Painting prices for new construction range from $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on the geographic location, number of colors, paint type, and trim. Painting a new 2,500 SF home costs $5,000 to $12,500.

A general contractor typically coordinates the painting for new construction.

Painting Services Price List

Residential painting projects range anywhere from $100 for a small bathroom to $8,800 for an entire house interior, including the walls, trim, ceilings, baseboards, and doors. Below is a comprehensive list of interior painting rates.

Professional Interior Painter Rates

Interior painting costs $300 to $800 for a 10' x 12' bedroom, or $2,100 to $3,900 for a whole house interior. Vanities, cabinets, doors, textured or designer painting, and artistic additions like murals cost extra.

Professional Interior Painting Rates
Project Average Cost
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
Interior doors (each) $75 – $150
Fireplace $1 – $4 per square foot
Wall Mural or Trompe L'oeil $35 – $150 per square foot
Stairwell $16 – $27 per linear foot
Full Apartment Interior $1,500 – $3,100
Interior House Walls $900 – $2,100
Full House Interior $2,900 – $8,800

Childrens bedroom painted light blue by professional painters
Childrens bedroom painted light blue by professional painters

Cost to Hire Professional House Painters

Exterior house painting costs $1,900 to $6,900 on average for projects that include walls, windows, doors, trim, gutters, and downspouts. Painting the exterior of a home costs up to 25% more than interior painting.

Professional House Painters Charges
Project Average Cost
Shutters $45 – $90
Exterior Door $100 – $225
Exterior Trim $1 – $4 per linear foot
Soffit, Fascia, Eaves $2 – $7 per linear foot
Windows, Sashes $31 each or $2 per square foot
Windowsills $2.37 per linear foot
Garage Door $150 – $400
Siding $1 – $5.50 per square foot
Gutters & Downspouts $1.25 – $2.70 per linear foot
Decks, Patios, Porches $2 – $5 per square foot
Deck or Porch Railing $2 – $8 per linear foot
Fence $2 – $14 per linear foot
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. Cold weather, rain, humidity, and wind delay drying time and may harm the end result. Extreme heat causes paint to dry too quickly, which leaves marks.

Contractor painting and staining exterior wood siding
Contractor painting and staining exterior wood siding

Average Apartment Painting Prices

A studio or one-bedroom apartment costs $1,575 to $2,300 to paint the walls, doors, trim, and ceilings, or $700 to $900 for just the walls. Repainting a two-bedroom apartment costs $3,100 to repaint everything or $1,100 for the walls only.

apartment painting prices chart
apartment painting prices chart
Apartment Painting Price List
Project Studio (514 SF) 1 Bed (757 SF) 2 Bed (1,138 SF)
Walls $727 $892 $1,107
Baseboards $66 $80 $100
Doors and Trim $424 $707 $990
Ceilings $555 $817 $1,229
Total $1,575 $2,307 $3,087

Check with your landlord or building admin to see if they have pre-selected painters, or if they allow renters to paint DIY to save money. 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.

How To Estimate Painting Jobs

Estimating a painting job involves many cost factors. 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 meet the homeowner’s expectations.

  1. Square Feet of Area

  2. Labor Costs

  3. Painting Materials

  4. Paint Costs

  5. Lead Paint Testing

  6. Prep Work

  7. Cleanup

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

Follow these steps to estimate total paintable area:

  • For interior painting:

    1. Measure the width of all the walls in a room and add those numbers together.

    2. Multiply the result by the height of the room to get the rough square footage of the painting surface.

    3. Subtract the square footage of windows and doors to get a more exact figure.

  • For exterior painting:

    1. Measure the perimeter of the house.

    2. Measure the height of the house from the foundation to the roofline.

    3. Multiply the two numbers to get the rough square footage of the painting surface.

    4. 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 the painter's skill level and productivity. Most painting estimates include materials, labor, and the cost of the paint. Labor typically makes up over 80% of the final cost.

  • A small semi-skilled crew can do most house painting and repainting jobs.

  • One painter can cover 150 to 350 square feet of paintable area per hour.

Painting Materials

Painting materials and supplies cost $50 to $100. Material requirements vary as every project is unique.

Paint Materials Price List
Materials Average Cost
Scraper $6.75
Sandpaper $2.50+
Power Sander $28+
Patching Compound (3.5-Pound Bag) $8.78
Power Washer Rental (Per Day) $38
Primer (Per Gallon) $49.65
Caulk (Per Case) $18.98
Masking Tape $5.93+
Ladder Rental (Per Day) $31
Scaffolding Rental (Per Day) $81
Brushes $10.48+
Paint Roller Kit $8.97+
Sprayer Rental (Per Day) $36+
Paint (Per Gallon) $15 – $50
Drop Cloth $1.98+

How Much Does Paint Cost?

Paint costs $15 to $40+ per gallon, depending on the type. Professional painters get an average 30% discount compared to home improvement store prices.

  • One gallon of paint covers 400 square feet with one coat.

  • Painting an average bedroom requires 2 to 3 gallons.

Interior and exterior paint cost per gallon - chart
Interior and exterior paint cost per gallon - chart
Average Cost of a Gallon of Paint
Brand Interior Exterior
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, more durable, and have a more luxurious appearance, but 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 wash easily, making them ideal in some parts of the kitchen.

Interior Paint Cost

Interior paints come in a variety of sheens, also called finishes. Options include flat or matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. Glossier paints cost more but are usually easier to keep clean.

Interior Paint Cost Per Gallon
Brand Flat Eggshell Satin Semi-gloss
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
Average Cost $25 $35 $40 $42

  • Compare your contractor's prices to home improvement stores.

  • 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.

  • A 5-gallon can costs $50 to $200.

Can Of Paint Cost
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

A home built before 1978 likely contains 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.

Lead Paint Testing and Removal Costs
Process Average Cost
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

Prep Work

Necessary prep work is typically included in a painting estimate. However, more extensive repairs may add to the overall cost.

Cost To Prep For Painting
Service Average Cost
Patching and Sanding $3.68 per SF
Stripping $1.91 – $2.38 per SF
Re-plastering $10.00 – $12.00 per SF
Popcorn Ceiling Removal $1.00 – $2.00 per SF
Power Washing $0.35 – $0.77 per SF
Priming $2.63 – $7.05 per SF
Repair Cracks $100 – $400 each
Installing Baseboards and Trim $2.60 – $4.74 per LF
Drywall Removal and Replacement $2 – $6 per SF
Drywall Repair $40 – $100 per hour
Cleaning Mold & Mildew $500 – $3,000+
Window Removal $32 – $103 each
Window Replacement $400 – $800 each
Door Jambs/Hardware $21.50 per hour
Moving Furniture $21.50 per hour
Wallpaper Removal $1.00 – $2.00 per SF

Woman doing preparation work and taping drop cloth before painting
Woman doing preparation work and taping drop cloth before painting

Surface Preparation

The correct preparation method depends on the surface material, the environment, and how long the coating is expected to last.

Surface Preparation For Painting
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

Get free estimates from painting contractors near you.
  • Cleanup time is usually factored into a painting estimate.

  • Touchup time depends on the number of touchups required. A skilled team should have a shorter touchup time.

Painting FAQs

How Much Paint Do I Need?

How much paint you need depends on the room size, condition, and paintable surface area. One gallon of paint covers up to 400 square feet with one coat. Most surfaces require 2+ coats.

How much paint do I need chart
How much paint do I need chart
How Much Paint Do I Need?
Room Size Gallons*
Average Bathroom (400 SF) 2
Average Size Room (800 SF) 4
Large Room (1200 SF) 6
Living Room or Several Average Rooms (1600 SF) 8

*Gallons required for two coats of paint.

How Much Do Murals & Trompe L'oeil Cost?

Trompe L’oeil and murals cost $35 to $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.

Wall Murals & Trompe L'oeil Cost
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?

Most painters 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 supervised apprentice painter may be sufficient. For large or detailed jobs, always hire a professional painter. Any painter you hire should do proper preparation, use quality paint, apply two coats, and guarantee their work.

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 can complete large projects.

How Much Do Painters Make?

Painters make an average of $46,000 per year or about $22 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Independent contractors that own their own business charge $20 to $70 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 in-person estimates to compare.

  • Research painting companies near you, or ask friends, family, and neighbors for references.

  • Check out their portfolio of past work.

  • Review licensing, insurance, and qualifications.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Don't pay the full cost up front. Agree on a reasonable payment schedule instead.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the work begins.

Questions To Ask Painters

  • 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?