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How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Living Room?

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One of the most effective ways to give a room a new look is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. However, painting a room can get pricey, so if you're wondering how much it costs to paint a living room, you've come to the right place. We've researched the costs associated with painting a living room and have an answer for you.

It costs approximately $2 to $6 per square foot to paint a living room if you choose to use a professional. It'll cost approximately $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot to paint the room yourself. 

Several factors can affect the amount it costs to paint a living room, so keep reading as we elaborate on this more. We'll also answer some other questions you might have when it comes to painting your home.

A painter at work with a paint roller painting living room wall, How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Living Room?

Cost To Paint A Living Room

The cost to paint a living room will vary depending on the type of paint you use. A can of paint can range from $15 to $120 a gallon for designer brands. It'll also depend on whether you hire an interior painter or decide to paint the room yourself. 

If you choose to paint the room yourself, you can expect to pay between $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Of course, it will cost more if you need to purchase specialty tools or if you have high ceilings. Remember that to paint the room yourself you will need to purchase all the equipment

Though it may be cheaper to DIY, painting a room well can be difficult. It may be worthwhile spending the extra money to have it done professionally. 

How Much Does A Painter Charge By Room?

There are a few ways an interior painter might calculate the price to paint your room. The most common way to calculate the price is by square foot. Some painters will charge by the hour, and others might charge by floor space.

Charging by floor space is not a good way to estimate if you have high ceilings, though, and you may incur extra fees after your initial quote. If you have high ceilings, make sure to mention this to your interior painter so they can account for it in your initial estimate.

The total cost to paint your room will depend on your room's size, the brand of paint you choose, whether you wish to include trim work, and the area you live in. Rates painters charge will likely vary depending on your geographical location. 

Cost By Room Size

Now that we've discussed the cost per square foot for both a professional and yourself to do the work, let's calculate some estimates based on room sizes. 

12' x 12' room

To find the total square footage of a room, multiple the height by the width. A 12' x 12' room measures 144 sq. ft. The cost to paint a 144 sq. ft. room will cost you between $288 and $864 for a professional and $216 to $504 if you do it yourself. 

16' x 20' room

This is the average size of living rooms in the United States. For an average living room of 320 sq. ft. (16 x 20), it will cost between $640 and $1,920 for a professional and between $480 and $1,120 for you to paint it yourself.

If you need some inspiration on what color paint to choose for your living room, check out this blog post: "25 Paint Color Combinations For Living Room Walls."

How Do I Calculate How Much Paint I Need?

To determine how much paint you need, you will need to calculate your total wall area. Multiply the height of each wall by its length. Add these numbers together to get your total wall area. For an exact total wall area, you can subtract any unpaintable areas such as windows and doors. 

Once you've figured out your total wall area using the method above, you'll be able to calculate how much paint you need. If you've already decided on a paint brand, take a look at the back of the can. The manufacturer will tell you how much coverage you'll get from one can of paint on the can. Divide your total wall area by the approximate coverage to calculate how many cans of paint you will need. 

As an example, Prestige Paints Ultra premium acrylic latex interior paint covers approximately 250 to 400 sq. ft.  Keep in mind that you'll need extra cans if you need to do more than one coat of paint.

Click here to see Prestige Paints Ultra premium acrylic latex interior paint on Amazon.

How Much Paint Is Needed For A 12x12 Room?

As we mentioned above, as paint coverage can vary, how much paint you need for any size room will depend on the brand of paint you choose. 

We've talked about a 12x12 room briefly in our examples above, but calculating the total wall area is slightly different from calculating a room's area. The standard ceiling height in the US is 9 feet, so we'll use that for this example. Each wall will measure 9 feet by 12 feet. This means each wall will be 108 sq. ft. Add each wall together to find your total. 

Your total wall area before subtracting any unpaintable areas will measure 432 sq. ft. If we use the same paint brand from the example above, you'll need one to two cans for a single coat of paint. It's always better to buy too much paint than too little, and you can keep the extra for any future touchups.

How Much Does An Interior Painter Make Per Hour?

If you've discovered you have a talent for painting, you might consider making a career out of it. Or, maybe you're just wondering how much of the total cost will go towards your painter. So, how much does an interior painter make per hour? Well, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior painters make between $13 and $33 an hour. However, the median hourly rate an interior painter earns is $19.37.

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room?

Painting can be a long process, but how long should you plan to spend painting a room? Well, there are several factors to consider.

The time it takes to paint the room will depend on your skill, how many coats you choose to do, and how long you have to wait for each coat to dry. Complete a smaller room in one day, but expect, on average, to take about two to four days to paint a room. 

The most time-consuming task is prepping the walls before painting. Depending on the size of your room, placing painter's tape along the edges of your walls might take a bit of time.

Click here to see ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape on Amazon.

Then if you choose to prime your walls, you'll have to factor in drying time for that too. Primers can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to dry. Once it is no longer sticky to touch, you can begin applying a second coat or begin painting. 

Click here to see KILZ Interior Primer on Amazon.

The paint itself has a varying amount of drying time depending on whether you use latex or oil-based paint. Oil-based paint takes longer to dry than latex-based paint. The brand of paint you use will also affect this. Some latex paints can be dry within an hour, while other paints recommend waiting 24 hours between coats. Make sure to check the directions on your can of paint for how long you should wait between coats. 

If you're planning to use Sherwin Williams paint and you're wondering how long it takes to dry, check out our other blog post here: "How Long Does Sherwin Williams Paint Take To Dry?"

Final Thoughts

The cost to paint a living room can vary, but hopefully, we've helped give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay. If you choose to go with a professional painter, don't be afraid to call around for quotes before deciding. This will help you get a good idea of the average cost in your area. Happy Painting!