How much does it cost to paint a living room?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to paint a living room?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to paint a living room?

$600 – $2,000average total cost
$1 – $3cost per square foot of surface area

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$600 – $2,000 average total cost

$1 – $3 cost per square foot of surface area


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Cost to paint a living room

The average cost to paint a living room is $600 to $2,000, depending on the room size, ceiling height, and whether painting only the walls or the walls, trim, and ceiling. The labor cost to paint a living room is $1 to $3 per square foot.

Cost to paint a living room
Size (floor) Walls only Walls, ceiling, and trim
Small (200 SF) $450 – $1,700 $900 – $3,400
Average (320 SF) $550 – $2,100 $1,100 – $4,200
Large (450 SF) $650 – $2,600 $1,300 – $5,200

Average living room painting cost

The following table shows the average cost to paint a living room.

Average living room painting cost
National Average Cost $1,300
Minimum Cost $200
Maximum Cost $5,200
Average Range $600 to $2,000

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Cost to paint a living room and attached kitchen, hallway, or dining room

Painting a living room and attached kitchen, dining room, or large hallway costs $900 to $3,000, depending on the layout, prep work needed, and total paintable surface area. Painting a kitchen costs less than painting a dining room since appliances and cabinets cover most kitchen wall space.

Labor cost to paint a living room

Painters charge $1 to $3 per square foot of surface area or $20 to $50 per hour on average to paint a living room. Labor accounts for most of the total professional painting cost. Many contractors charge a minimum project fee of $250 to $500.

Labor cost to paint a living room
Charge Average cost
Per square foot $1 – $3
Per living room $600 – $2,000
Per hour $20 – $50

A living room with a painted accent wall.
A living room with a painted accent wall.

The following factors affect the total cost of painting a living room:

  • Geographical location – Painting contractors in major cities with a higher cost of living charge more than those in small towns.

  • Season – Interior painting rates are cheaper in fall and winter when there are fewer exterior painting projects.

  • Room size & wall height – Larger rooms require more paint and labor. Ceilings greater than 10’ high add 10% to 50+%. The higher the ceiling, the more surface area to paint and equipment needed to reach it.

  • Room layout and difficulty – A simple, 4-corner room costs less than an irregularly shaped room with multiple corners, ornate molding, and areas requiring additional masking and cutting in.

  • Primer – Primer costs $15 to $30 per gallon. Priming new drywall and stained, glossy, dark, or odorous surfaces provides the best result. Some paints come with a primer, saving labor and material costs.

  • Color – Changing from a dark to light or light to dark color may require more paint coats, which increases materials and labor. Bright and deep colors typically require more coats.

  • Paint type, finish, & quality

    • Using oil-based paints adds to the total project time as they take longer to dry and are more difficult to clean up.

    • Shinier finishes cost more but are more durable than flat or matte finishes.

    • High-end paints increase costs but look better and last longer than lower-quality products.

  • Prep work – A room full of furniture and wall decor takes more time to prep than an empty room. Reduce labor hours by removing as much as possible from the room and cleaning before the project begins.

  • CustomizationsAdding wall texture costs $220 to $440. Accent walls cost 20% to 30% more than other walls. Using multiple colors also increases the materials and labor costs.

  • Repairs & Renovations – Most painters factor minor drywall repair from wall hangings into a painting estimate.

  • TrimBaseboard and trim painting cost $1 to $4 per linear foot.

  • DoorsPainting an interior door costs $75 to $400, depending on the type.

  • Ceiling Ceiling painting costs $1 to $2 per square foot.

  • MoldRemoving mold costs $15 to $30 per square foot.

  • Lead or Asbestos Testing Testing for asbestos costs $250 to $750 and is recommended for old homes.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to paint a living room?

Painting a living room takes 5 to 7 hours for the walls or 6 to 9 hours for the walls and trim, including prepping the space, painting, and cleanup.

What is the best paint and finish for living room?

The best paint for living rooms is satin finish latex paint. A satin finish provides more durability, easier cleaning than matte or eggshell finishes, and a look balanced between flat and high-gloss sheen. Flat finishes are less durable and best for low-traffic formal living rooms or accent walls.

How much paint do I need for a living room?

A living room needs 3 to 5 paint gallons on average for 2-coat wall coverage, depending on the room size. Living rooms with higher ceilings may need more. One paint gallon covers 300 to 400 square feet with one coat.

Gallons of paint needed
Living room size Gallons required*
Small (200 SF) 2.5 – 3.0
Average (320 SF) 3.0 – 4.0
Large (450 SF) 3.5 – 5.0

*Based on a room with 8’ ceilings.

Getting estimates from painting contractors

Before hiring a painter to paint your living room, remember to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.

  • Check their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Hire a company that is licensed, bonded, and insured.

  • Look for members of the Painting Contractors Association (PCA).

  • Choose businesses that have been established for at least five years.

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

  • Avoid going with the cheapest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Never pay in full before the work starts. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Can you provide references with contact details?

  • Which paint type and finish do you recommend for my living room, and why?

  • Do you pass on the paint discount to your customers?

  • How long will the project take?

  • Do you charge extra to move the furniture? If yes, how much?

  • What do I need to do to prepare the space for the project?

  • Do I need to do any repairs before you start painting?

  • Does the quote include prepping the room?

  • Does the quote include cleanup costs?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • What happens if you get paint on the floor or furniture?

  • Do you do the painting yourself, or do you use subcontractors?

  • Is there a warranty for the paint job?