Painting costs can vary depending on a number of factors. Normally, homeowners are willing to spend much on good paint work since it is what makes a home stand out and feel comfortable.

The cost of painting a room ranges from $2 to $6 per square foot, with an average of $3.50. For a 120-square-foot space, the cost would range from $200 to $800, including labor and materials when you hire a professional.

The DIY cost of painting the same room of the same size would range from $70 to $150 in materials.

Cost To Paint a Living Room

If you want to hire a professional painter, the average cost would be around $200 to $500 for an entire day. Should you pay by the square foot, it would cost an average of $3.50 per square foot.

The cost of labor takes up most of the fees. In fact, 80% of the total fee is for labor costs. Therefore, it is recommended that you ask for an accurate breakdown of costs when the painter has given you an estimate – for transparency.

Most professional painters present a timetable for the project along with their fixed rates. For small projects, some offer hourly rates.

Cost to paint a living room per hour

The cost of hiring a professional painter by the hour to paint a room depends on your location. On average, the hourly rate across the US is approximately $21 as most professionals charge customers between $20 to $50.

Factors affecting hourly rates


If you live in an area of the city or state where the cost of living is higher than average, then it is more likely that you would be paying rates of more than $100 an hour.

Finish/ effects

If you are painting with run of the mill off white paint, it is going to be cheaper than a feature wall with effects. Darker colors normally cost a little more as more tint needed to mix up the color is added to the paint.

Room complexity

The more corners and edges there are the more time it is going to take to cut in the edges. Just four walls that can be easily rolled will cost less to paint.

Cost to paint a living room per square foot

Opting for hourly rates is arguably the better option when hiring a professional, but in the painting industry, estimating painting costs per square foot has started to become a widely accepted practice.

This is because it will be a lot easier for you to calculate the total cost if you estimate the painting cost per square foot. But before you can do that, you must find out the square footage rates.

Most professionals charge between $2 to $6 per square foot when painting an entire room. This already includes the cost of labor and materials too.

You will pay an average of $3.50 per square foot. Additionally, if you include ceilings and trims, the average rate could increase up to $4 per square foot.

Cost to paint a standard 12 x 12 room

A square living room of 12 x 12 is a pretty common and advantageous space layout. An industry-wide estimate of $400 to $950 is the cost of painting a room like this. This includes both labor and materials.

There are still factors to consider that might increase the overall painting cost like additional charges for moving pieces of room furniture.

How much does it cost to paint a living room ceiling?

The national average cost of painting a standard-size ceiling of 140 square feet (12 x 12 room) is $205, ranging between $150 to $320. With vaulted ceilings, it would cost 30% more.

You can base prices on the average labor cost per square foot, which is $3.50, which already includes paint and materials.

Ceilings can be designed distinctly. The actual price to paint it will depend on its type, size, location, finishing options, and conditions.

How much does it cost to paint a living room yourself?

Nothing! Painting a living room by yourself will cost you nothing except for the materials you are going to need. If you had painted a room before or even just a wall and did a great job, then doing it yourself is a wonderful idea.

The project will be so much cheaper since you will not be including labor charges. With that, you are going to need to know all the necessary items for your project and how much each of these supplies costs.

These items include paint brushes, paint rollers, drop cloths, paint trays, painter’s tape, and safety gear among other things.

How much does it cost to paint a living room yourself

Hiring a professional versus DIY

It can be a really good idea to paint your living room by yourself if you are on a tight budget. Going for the DIY option will really help lessen the overall cost of painting the room.

With the right painting supplies and the right skills to wield a paintbrush, you could do the entire job efficiently just as how a professional would with a huge portion cut out of the budget from hiring a pro.

Painting is also relatively easy since it gives plenty of room for mistakes. If you ever make a mistake, you can always buy another set of paint and redo the whole thing.

Cost and time constraints are two of the most important factors that homeowners usually consider when deciding to paint a whole room. When deciding between DIY or having a professional hired, these two play a crucial role in the process.

There are some homeowners with little to no idea at all when it comes to painting. Deciding on colors and choosing the right materials can be overwhelming for some people which is why they turn to these professionals for help.

Benefits of hiring a professional

Even though this means labor charges, here are reasons why hiring a professional painter is a good option for painting your living room:

  • With their years of experience, the professional painter knows the proper step-by-step process of painting a room that ends with a high-quality paint finish.
  • Whether they are independent or they represent a company, professional painters always possess the right equipment. The quality of their equipment and tools is better than the average homeowner’s.
  • If you simply can’t insert painting your living room by yourself in your busy schedule, hiring a professional can save time. With an agreed timeline, the project can be finished right away.
  • Most professional painters have insurance that is able to cover the cost of repairing damages that may occur during the project. It includes coverage for treatment costs of accidental injuries that happened while on the job.

Benefits of DIY painting

If you have doubts about hiring a professional due to labor charges or time constraints, here are the advantages of doing it by yourself:

  • Working on the painting project by yourself means you would have to answer to no one. You can work on it at your own pace, whether you want it done fast or you just want to take your time.
  • You can save a lot of money by painting the room by yourself since most of the cost is for labor. You just have to set aside a budget for the supplies you need.
  • You can ask family or friends to help you with your painting project and have a good time doing so. It also makes the job finish faster.
  • Self-fulfillment is priceless. There’s nothing that can compare to that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after working hard for something you want.
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.