How much does it cost to paint a bedroom?
The total cost of hiring a painting contractor will be more expensive than doing it yourself, but you can expect a job with clean lines, no brush marks and no paint drips. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Ilene K. of Thornville, Ohio)
To improve the look of an aging bedroom, many homeowners choose a fresh coat of paint. But how much does it cost to paint a bedroom?
Costs for doing it yourself
If you choose to tackle a painting project yourself, there are several items you'll need to purchase. The first is paint. Expect to pay between $15 and $30 per gallon of paint, and you'll need 2-3 gallons for an average-sized bedroom (with some left over for contingencies and touch-ups). You also have several options for the shine or "gloss" of your paint. Flat finish or wall paint is paint with a matte surface that doesn't reflect light. This is good for bedroom walls since it covers up imperfections, but isn't easily washable, meaning marks or scratches may require painting over instead of cleaning. Eggshell and satin finishes offer slightly more shine and can also handle the occasional cleaning. The more durable the paint, the more you'll pay.
Brushes are next on the list. These vary widely in quality and cost, with some made entirely of animal bristles and some completely synthetic. Synthetic brushes start around $17 and are best used with acrylic paints. Natural bristle brushes are more expensive at around $22 and are typically used with oil paints, polyurethanes and varnishes. You can also choose to use rollers, which are less expensive to purchase initially but must have their foam or fabric rolling head periodically changed. If using a roller, make sure to get one that is lint free.
Finally, you'll need sandpaper and tape. Anywhere between 120- and 150-grit sandpaper is enough for drywall and helps to smooth out imperfections before you paint. Tape, meanwhile, is used along edges and to cover things like baseboards or door moldings you don't want to accidentally paint. Expect a full set of materials, including paint, brushes, sandpaper and tape, to cost $100 to $200.
Choosing a painting contractor
You may also choose to hire a professional painter. There are several advantages to using a pro, including a higher-quality job than can typically be achieved by an amateur. It also takes less time than a DIY effort - usually half as long - and most painters will guarantee their work against major defects. The costs for labor can range from $100 to $300 per hour, and you'll want to get references from any potential contractors. You'll still need to pay for materials such as paint and tape, although many professionals prefer to use their own brushes.
The total cost of hiring a painting contractor will be more expensive than doing it yourself, but you can expect a job with clean lines, no brush marks and no paint drips. Especially if you're doing more complex work, such as multiple colors on the same wall or a large amount of detail work, the improved skill and time saved in personal labor is often worth the cost.
Editor's note: This article originally posted on May 20, 2013