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Cost to Paint a Room – DIY vs Hire Comparison

Wondering how much it cost to paint a room? Are you trying to decide whether to hire a painter or do it yourself? In this interior painting cost guide, learn the average cost to paint a room yourself compared to the price to paint a room if you hire it out.

Whether you just purchased a fixer upper to renovate or you’re just looking for a good weekend DIY project, you’ve probably either painted a room or thought about painting a room.

Even if you’ve never tried to paint a room before, one of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is what is the cost to paint a room?

But, let’s be honest here. And what you’re probably really wondering deep down is how much would it just cost me to hire someone else to paint this room so I don’t have to do it? Am I right?

So today, we are breaking it all down for you!

We’re going to detail out all of the supplies & materials that you would need to purchase in order to paint a room. We’ll even separate out the one-time use items from the tools that you can use over and over.

But then we will take it one step further and compare that to the national average cost to paint a room. Once you know the price to paint a room, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if you want to DIY it or hire it out.

This post contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend anyway! Read my full disclosure here.

Man in jumpsuit holding roller paint and tray and woman standing on a ladder painting the wall and text overlay that says how much does it cost to paint a room?

Method 1: DIY Painting

Cost to Paint a Room: Supplies and Materials List

To determine the cost to paint yourself, there are quite a few supplies and materials that you’ll need to purchase.

If this is your very first time painting or doing any DIY around your house, chances are that you’ll need to buy a lot of the basic supplies, like paint rollers and drop cloths.

The good part about these painting supplies is that you can use them over and over (and over) again! Painting rarely stops at just one room in your house, so it’s best to consider the cost of these painting supplies as an investment.

Once you buy the basic painting supplies you’ll be able to use them, again and again, to save money by DIYing them rather than hiring out the painting jobs in your home.

These paint supplies that you can use over and over are indicated in the materials list below with a * next to the cost.

The other painting materials are one-time-use things, like the paint and primer. Obviously, these items can only be used once, so that is the real cost to paint a room, once you have the basic supplies already in your toolbox.

Supplies and materials needed to paint an average sized room (12′ x 12′)

Note: the costs listed are estimates only based on the time of publication and are subject to change or be different in your area.

ItemCost
Paint can opener$1*
Putty knife$2*
Spackle$7*
Sanding sponge$3*
Primer – 1 gallon$23
TSP$13*
Paint stir stick$1
Ceiling paint – 1 gallon$40
Trim paint – 1 gallon$33
Wall paint – 2 gallons for 2 coats in a medium-sized room$66
Angeled paint brush (for cutting in)$9*
4-inch paint roller & cover (for trim and baseboards)$6*
Paint roller covers – 3/8″ nap$10
Paint roller$7*
Paint roller extension rod$20*
Paint tray (or use a power roller like this to avoid using paint trays altogether!)$4
Painter’s tape$7
Drop cloths$15*
Rags$13*
Ladder $95*
Safety glasses$8*
Subtotal – One Time Use Items $184
*Subtotal – Items That Can Be Used Over and Over$202
Grand Total$383

Interior Painting Cost: DIY method

So to summarize, the first time you paint a room the cost will be just under $400 to buy all of the painting supplies and materials.

However, over half of that is for tools and supplies that can be used over and over. And a shocking 25% of the costs are to buy a ladder, which is the most expensive supply needed. You may already have a ladder (or could borrow one) which would save a lot of money.

Once, however, you paint your first room, the cost to paint a room will be just under $200 to purchase the things that can’t be used again – like paint and primer.

You may notice that we have listed things like paint trays and roller covers as one-time-use items. You could, technically, wash these out and use them again, but we’ve found that it’s more trouble than it is worth. They aren’t easy to clean. The roller covers work much better the first time too.

Man in blue jumpsuit painting wall with rollers and text overlay that says how much does it cost to hire a painter?

Method 2: Hiring A Painter

So now that we know how much interior painting costs if you’re going to DIY it, let’s compare that to the average cost to paint a room if you were going to hire it out.

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to paint a room ranges from $954 – $2,892 with the average for a standard-sized 12′ x12′ room being $1,895. But it could go as low as $350 or as high as $5,000 depending on your contractor.

This data is based on nearly 50,000 actual costs reported by its members, so it is safe to say that it is pretty accurate.

The prices that a painter will quote for painting a room will vary for a number of factors, including:

  • How busy they are (ie: if they need the work, they may be willing to go lower…if they are super busy and have a waitlist, the quote will probably be higher)
  • The type of paint you are requesting or the brand of paint that they prefer
  • The ceiling heights of your room
  • The number of windows and doors in your room
  • If you need the ceiling painted also
  • If you need the doors and trim painted also
  • If you have furniture that needs to be covered or moved
  • If there is minor damage on the walls that need to be fixed first, like patching nail holes
  • If there is drywall that needs to be patched and textured first

Cost To Paint A Room: DIY vs Hire Comparison

  • To cost to paint a room yourself is approximately $400 for the first room and $200 per room after that (due to the initial investment for the first room to buy painting supplies that can be used over and over).
  • The average cost to hire a painter to paint a room is $1,900.

That means that you will save $1,500 to $1,700 if you paint the room yourself DIY style, instead of hire it out.

Now if you need to paint your entire house, that savings really adds up. In a standard house with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen and living room…you’re looking at something like $10,500 to paint it yourself. That’s pretty substantial, don’t you think?

Should I DIY or hire painting in our house?

We’ve already explained the obvious fact that you are going to save a ton of money if you chose to DIY your painting. I’m a firm believer that regardless of skill or experience ANYONE can learn how to paint a room.

Why you may want to hire a painter instead

But…I get it…Money isn’t everything. There are a lot of other things to consider when you’re trying to decide whether to DIY paint or hire it out.

The only thing you have to do before taking the plunge to DIY it is, to be honest with yourself about your abilities. Although you may not know how to paint a room yet, with some practice and patience, you can totally learn.

In some cases, you may eventually find out that you actually really hate certain aspects of painting.  So that definitely factors into your decision.

Another important aspect when you’re trying to decide whether or not to DIY the painting is if your body can handle it. Painting is something that will require to you spend significant time hunched over or laying on the floor while you paint the baseboards or with your neck cranked up when you paint the ceiling with a roller.

You’ll also need to be able to have the balance to spend time on a ladder while you cut in the paint. It can be tough on your body, which you may not be able to handle due to injuries or old age.

The other aspect is the amount of time it will take to learn how to do the job properly and weighing that against what you could do with that time you’d save by hiring out. You might find that you can spend that time doing something else that provides a bigger benefit than the savings. 

When it comes time for you to paint the next room in your house, there are so many things to consider when you’re trying to figure out whether or not to DIY the painting or hire a painter. Once you know the cost to paint a room yourself and compare that to the price to hire someone else, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that works best for you!

If you do decide to go through with painting yourself, we’re here to help! We have so many detailed painting tutorials created just for you!

1 thought on “Cost to Paint a Room – DIY vs Hire Comparison

  1. I really love the content you posted, it is always super helpful and informative. Keep posting such an amazing article, I love reading all your blogs.

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