More Bang for Your Buck: Figure Out How Much It Costs to Paint a Room

If you’re thinking about making an update to your home in the new year, painting a room yourself may seem like a manageable project to tackle. Maybe you’re working from home and the drab tan you’ve had on the office walls for a decade is feeling a bit stale. Or it’s possible your preteen is begging for a long-overdue upgrade from her cotton-candy pink toddler room to something a bit mature.

Whatever is motivating you to do it yourself, you may be wondering how much does it cost to paint a room?

Read More: Should I Paint the Walls Myself? Questions to Ask Before Tackling Your DIY Interior Painting Project

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Room Yourself?

When determining how much it costs to paint a room there are some formulas you can use to get in the ballpark.

According to Home Advisor, you can paint an average ten-by-twelve-foot room in your home for about $100-300. But square footage doesn’t tell the whole story, so let’s talk about the factors that determine the cost to paint a room in your home.

It’s All in the Details: How Trim and Fixtures Impact Cost

As we mentioned in our post about the easy way to know what it costs to paint the interior of a house, the composition of the room has a significant effect on the cost and scope of the project.
Tubs, showers, and cabinets mean there are fewer surface areas to paint in a bathroom. And while your kitchen may be one of the larger rooms in your home, fixed appliances, cabinets, and tilework may dramatically reduce the amount of paint your kitchen requires.

On the other hand, a living room may have textured walls, high ceilings, and architectural details such as wainscoting or a fireplace that will require detail work, multiple colors and different types of paint.

(Read More: If painting your living room is on your list, check out our post on our favorite living room paint colors.)

Painting a bedroom is a bit more straightforward, however there are still doors, windows, and baseboards to factor into the overall cost so there’s more than simple measurements to consider.

how many gallons of paint?

How Many Gallons of Paint Will I Need?

No one wants to overbuy or underbuy paint. So how do you figure out how much you’ll need?

Once you’ve measured your room, you can enter the square footage into an online paint calculator (nifty, right?) to help you estimate how much you should purchase based on room dimensions and the number of doors and windows.

If you’re looking to keep it simple, the calculator from Benjamin Moore allows for less input, and gives you an estimate based on using two coats of paint.

If your rooms have textured walls and architectural details, the paint calculator by Sherwin Williams allows for greater customization, however assumes a one-coat application.

Remember to account for trim such as baseboards, cabinetry, and molding when you buy paint. (White oil-based paints are the typical go-to for trim work.)

If you plan to prime your walls, especially if you’re switching from a dark color to a lighter one, you’ll need to add primer (which can cost $12-20/gallon) into your costs.

Must-Have Painting Supplies

There’s no shortage of painting supplies at your local hardware store, but the question is what do you actually need?

Here is our list of “must-haves” when painting your own home:

  • Brushes
  • Rollers, roller trays, and extension poles, if needed.
  • A ladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wall repair supplies including spackling, a putty knife, and sandy sponges (if you have nail holes or patch work.)

The cost of these supplies can vary so it’s best to check out your local stores, however Bob Vila shares approximate prices here to give you a starting point. Don’t take anything out of the packaging until you plan to use it and save your receipts. This allows you to return anything unused and unopened.

Even if you buy the minimum amount of supplies, you’re investing in tools you may just use once unless you clean and store them properly. It’s likely more cost-effective to consider other rooms that may be in need of a refresh to get the most out of your supply spend.

(For more on tips on how to save money on your painting projects, read: Painting on a Budget? Check Out These Practical Cost-Saving Tips.)

Painting Multiple Spaces Preserves Aesthetics

Especially if you have an open floor plan, it’s important to have a coordinated look and color flow through your home. You don’t want your various paint schemes to compete with one another or look haphazard. If you change up the color in one room, that may trigger the need to update the palette in other areas of your home. You can go with one neutral shade through several spaces or choose unique colors for each room that still complement one another.

Choosing to piecemeal your painting projects may also draw more attention to aging paint elsewhere. For example, if you repaint your kitchen a fresh new shade it may draw attention to the faded or chipping paint in the adjoining living space. It’s best to time several painting projects together to save time and have a more polished result.

If you don’t have the budget to paint your entire interior all at once, focus on one floor or pick the spaces that you use the most.

Consider Hiring a Professional Painter

Dollars and cents are just one of the costs when you consider a home painting project. If you paint your walls, but put off completing the trim work and ceilings, you may have a project that drags on for months (or more!). However, if you hired a professional it would be done altogether.

If the idea of picking out paint, buying supplies, and potentially not finishing what you started would stress you out, you may be asking yourself whether you should hire a painter or paint your own home.

It is generally more cost-effective to have professional painters paint multiple rooms at your home rather than have them come back for one room at a time over several years.

Your Memphis Painting Pros

Riggins Painting has extensive experience helping Memphis-metro area home and business owners transform their spaces with paint. We love sharing our expertise whether it’s choosing the perfect hue for your home or delivering a result you can’t wait to show off. Our estimates are always free. Let’s schedule a time to visit your home and talk about all of the possibilities.

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