Are you planning to paint your apartment, and you are wondering how much money you are likely to spend on the project? This cost guide provides you with the national average cost to paint an apartment and the factors to consider.

The average cost to paint an apartment ranges from $1,100 to $3,000, including labor and materials. The exact cost depends on the project size. For instance, painting a one-bedroom apartment with a ceiling of 10’ will cost around $1,000 to $2,000. A larger apartment will cost between $2,500 and $3,800 to paint.

Other factors affecting the project’s overall cost include location, job complexity, ceiling height, apartment size, and finish options.

Below is the national average cost to paint an apartment.

National average cost$2,000
Cost per square foot$1 - $3
Average range$1,000 - $3,000
Studio $700 - $1,600
1 bedroom$900 - $2,500
2 bedroom$1,100 - $3,000
Average labor cost (per hour)$20 - $50

Cost to paint an apartment per square foot

The average cost to paint an apartment ranges from $1 to $3 per square foot. This translates to roughly $1,000 to $3,000 for an average-sized apartment. Most pros offer fixed prices as it allows them to estimate the job better than hourly rates.

Cost to Paint a studio apartment

Painting a studio apartment will cost you between $700 and $1,600. The actual cost depends on the size and quality of the paint. Before you paint your apartment, ensure you seek consent from your landlord first. Also, remember that you will need to restore the apartment to its original condition before moving out.

painting an apartment couple

Cost to Paint a one-bedroom apartment

If you wish to paint a one-bedroom apartment, expect to spend between $900 and $2,500. For a DIY project, you should determine how many gallons of paint you will need for the job. Also, include the cost for tools such as paint brush/roller, painter’s tape, paint tray, etc.

Cost to Paint a two-bedroom apartment

The average cost to paint a two-bedroom apartment averages $1,100 to $3,000. The cost is slightly higher than that of a one-bedroom condo because of the additional square footage.

Typically, the average cost per square foot for a larger project tends to be lower than for a smaller project. This means you will get a better price for painting your entire apartment than just one room.

What do painters charge per hour?

The average cost to hire a painter is roughly $20 to $50 per hour. This translates into about $200 to $500 per day or $1 to $3 per square foot. Most painting professionals calculate the amount of time the project may take and provide fixed rates. Some pros, however, offer hourly rates for small projects.

Should I hire a licensed painter?

It is wise to hire a licensed painter to paint your apartment. Most states require professional painters to be licensed, bonded and insured. Working with a licensed painter gives you security and peace of mind because you can follow up and file complaints against the professionals if they fail to meet their end of the deal.

Cost factors to consider when painting an apartment

There are several cost factors that can affect the final cost of painting an apartment. Have a look at the main ones below.

Job complexity – while most apartment designs are simple, some high-end apartments may have complex architectural designs. The overall cost to paint an apartment will be determined by its design, where simple designs are cheaper to paint than complex ones.

Regional factors – typically, low-income areas (mostly rural areas) tend to have lower labor rates than high-income areas (booming metropolitan regions). Therefore, the average labor cost will depend on the area you live in.

Quality of paint/materials – as a rule of thumb, high-quality paint and materials will cost more than medium-quality and low-quality ones. When buying paint and materials, it is best to buy good quality ones as they will serve you for a longer period.

Paint type – the type of paint you use will determine the overall cost of the project. For instance, oil-based paint takes longer to dry, which means labor time will be increased. Apartments, however, use flat paints for easy and quick blending with the previous paint.

Wall height – the height of the wall/ceiling matters a lot when pricing a paint job. High walls will need more paint and special ladders to reach the ceiling. This will add to the overall cost of the project.

Apartment size – a large apartment will cost more to paint than a smaller one. So, the amount of money you will spend on the project will depend on the total square footage of your condo.

Number of paint coats – the number of paint coats you wish to apply will affect the overall project cost. The more coats you use, the higher the cost. Pros recommend two to three coats of paint for an even and neat finish.

Hiring a professional Vs. DIY

The average cost to paint an apartment depends on whether you hire a professional or |DIY the project. Some landlords require tenants to hire professionals, while some may allow DIY painting. Make sure you consult your landlord before you begin your project to know whether there are any rules you need to observe.

Pro cost

One thing to note is that different professional painting companies offer different rates depending on their level of expertise and experience. However, the national average cost to paint an apartment ranges from $1 to $3 or about $1,000 to $3,000 for the entire project. This cost includes materials and labor.

Some professionals will charge by the hour, depending on the size and nature of the project. However, hourly rates may be unreasonable for large projects, and they keep the door open for unexpected costs. Fixed rates are, therefore, the best as you can set aside enough money for the job.

DIY cost

If you are experienced in painting and would like to hone your skills, DIYing the project is an excellent option. Besides, the project will be cheaper as you will not include labor charges. That being said, you need to know all the supplies you will need and how much they cost.

Some of the items you will need include paint brushes, drop cloths, paint rollers, paint trays, painter’s tape, safety gear, etc. Here is a breakdown of the cost of painting supplies.

Estimated cost of DIY painting supplies

  • Painter’s Tape – $7Drop Cloths – $10
  • Paint Roller Frame – $7
  • Paint Tray – $6
  • Paint Roller Covers – $10
  • Paint Brushes – $10
  • Painter’s Masks – $20
  • Safety Goggles – $12
  • Painting Gloves – $8
  • Painter’s Masks – $20
  • 1 Gallon of Behr Paint – $36
  • 1 Gallon of Sherwin Williams Paint – $40
  • 1 Gallon of Primer – $36

Total cost: $200 – $400

If you already have some of these supplies or can borrow some from your neighbor, family member or friend, the total painting cost will be much lower. However, if you possess none of the supplies above, buying them is the best option as you may need to use them again in the future.

Keep in mind that you will need more than one gallon of paint, depending on the total square footage of your apartment.

The major downside with DIY painting is that you may end up spending more money to fix your mistakes if you are inexperienced. Besides, the paint job may not be professional-looking, which may affect the visual appeal of the rooms.

The good news is that the cost will still be lower even when prep work and painting supplies are included.


Yes, most landlords have no problem with tenants painting the apartments as long as you paint it back when you move out. So, if you wish to paint your apartment, you can contact the landlord to know the original paint’s name and brand so that you can paint the apartment back to its initial color before moving out.

This will depend on how long you will live in the apartment. If your lease is only for one year, painting the apartment is not a wise move. This is because you will need to hire a painter at a high cost, and even if the landlord allows you to be a DIYer, you will still need to spend lots of money to buy the paint and supplies. Besides, if you do not have experience and skills, you may spend more money to correct your mistakes.

More so, the landlord will want you to repaint the apartment to its original color before you move out. Repainting the apartment twice is extremely costly, especially if your lease is only for one year.

So, maybe painting an apartment is not worth it unless you secure a lease of more than two years.

Typically, an average person takes roughly 40 to 45 minutes to roll out one coat of paint in an average 10 x 12 room. So painting a one-bedroom apartment can take about two to three hours at most, depending on the room size and skill level of the painter or DIYer.

One gallon of paint usually covers about 400 sq. ft. which is a small room. With two gallons of paint, you can cover 800 square feet, an average size room. You should calculate the square footage of your apartment to know how many gallons of paint you are likely to use.

To calculate your apartment’s square footage, add the length of all walls and multiply your answer by the room’s height. The amount of paint required will depend on the number of coats you need, the paint quality and the porousness of the wall.

The average cost to paint a 1,000 square foot condo ranges from $1,000 to $3,700. The exact figure will depend on the quality of paint and the number of coats you need to apply.

One of the main reasons apartments use flat paint is because it becomes easier to touch-up the walls. Flat paint is usually considered inferior, but it is the best for apartments. This paint lacks shine, which makes it blend better with the previous paint.

So, for tenants that would like to paint their apartment to their taste, flat paint is the best to use because you will be needed to repaint the condo to its original color before the next tenant moves in.

Most landlords paint apartments after every 3 to 5 years due to cost inconvenience and try to coincide this with a turnover. This will, however, depend on the climate of the area and the quality of the previous paint job.

Yes, it is worth hiring a professional painter to do your paint job. While you can opt to DIY the project to save on the costs, you may end up spending more money in the long run to fix your mistakes. Besides, you will spend a lot of time on the task, which may cause inconveniences. Professionals will offer a quality job that will last for several years without developing any issues.

Tipping painters is not required or expected by painters. However, if you are happy with the job, you can tip each painter around $10 to $20. The tip will depend on the scope of the work. Giving the painter a positive review on review websites like YELP is better than a tip as you will market the professional and help them win more jobs.

FAQ’s Cost to Paint an Apartment

Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.