While some people prefer to be billed by the hour, trying to estimate painting costs per square foot has slowly been an accepted standard in the industry.

Typically, professional painters charge between the average of $2 to $6 per square foot to paint a room, including both labor and materials.

Doing such can make it easier to know how much the job will cost before hiring a contractor.

cost to paint a 12 x 12 room

Based on the usual estimates that contractors provide, the average cost to paint a 12 x12 room can range between $400 to $950, including labor and materials.

This estimate can vary depending on the type and quality of the materials, including the quality of work done by your hired contractor. Since each room is unique, the cost to paint can also vary from one room to another.

Cost to paint a12 x 12 room

Factors affecting the cost of painting

Several factors can affect the cost of painting a room, and hired contractors normally would take these factors into account when giving you an estimate.

The following are the factors that can affect the cost of painting:

1. Repairs

Typically, before painters start to apply the first coat of paint, they would make sure that the walls and ceiling do not have damage such as holes, cracks, or gaps.

With this, if your walls have damage, they would normally charge you higher.

This usually amounts to $50 to $75 for the painting costs. This estimate could go higher, depending on the extent of your wall or ceiling damage.

2. Preparatory work for the surface

Most of the time contractors treat prep work as a separate task from the paint job itself. This means that if your walls need to be prepared or treated, it can incur costs.

Moving furniture, wallpaper removal, sanding, drywall repair, and patching will be charged somewhere between the average cost of $0.30 to $4 per square foot.

3. Choice of color

The choice of color can affect the total cost since some colors require multiple coats to achieve the right shade and saturation.

For a room with a bold or dark color, it would usually just need two paints of coats. However, choosing lighter shades may need several coats of paint to have a uniform and smooth appearance.

4. Quality of paint

Usually, paints that are of high quality tend to be pricier compared to ordinary paints. For a generic gallon of paint, you can expect to spend between $20 to $30.

If you wish to have a high-quality brand, you can expect to spend somewhere above $100 per gallon. Painting your walls in gloss also significantly increases your overall painting expenses.

5. Ceiling height

Contractors usually charge somewhere around 50% more when it comes to painting a room with a high ceiling.

Also called cathedral or vaulted ceiling, working with such height entails a higher level of difficulty, and it also means a longer prep work and painting time.

6. Decorative finishes and details

If you wish to make your room extra special by adding decorative finishes and extra details, you can ask your contractor to do it for an extra charge.

If you want your wall to have texture, it would incur an additional cost of up to 50% since it increases the surface area.

Normally, additional finishes and details would cost from $5 to $6 per square foot.

Average labor cost to paint a room

When looking for a painter to do the job for you, one of the things you need to prepare first is your expectations of the costs. Knowing this can give you the advantage in negotiating the best price.

Typically, most homeowners spend somewhere between the average bulk price of $300 to $6,000 to hire a painter, depending on the size of the paint job and the quality of work.

If you wish to bill a contractor by the hour, you can expect to pay somewhere between $25 to $100 and above per hour. To put it better in perspective, this usually amounts to $200 to $600 per day.

These estimated costs, however, can still vary depending on other considerable factors involved while doing the job.

How painters charge

A painter can charge differently depending on the type of room. For instance, in bathrooms, the painter may need to use mold-resistant and water-resistant paint, which is more expensive and more tricky to apply.

Other rooms such as the living room or bedrooms may need more than one paint coat or there can be trimmings to work on. This will be considered in calculating the labor costs.

For scale, professional painters typically charge homeowners $200 to $800 to paint a 120-square-foot room.

Hiring a professional versus DIY

If you are on a tight budget, considering DIY for a paint job can be a good idea if you want to save on costs by relying on your skills with a paintbrush.

Luckily, unlike other home improvement tasks, painting is forgiving of mistakes. If you feel like you haven’t done a perfect job, you can just buy another gallon of paint and apply a fresh coat.

When doing a DIY project, cost, time, and equipment can be the constraints. This is also what makes homeowners opt to hire a professional. If you do not have enough knowledge or skills, it might be best to consider hiring a professional.

However, if you are quite adept at handling a home improvement project, then doing it yourself can be the best choice. Not only it saves you a cost, but you can also be more hands-on in your project and turn it exactly the way you want it t

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.