Plan the budget for your next paint job using this helpful guide.

By Marla Christiansen
October 17, 2018
Patrick Foto/Getty Images

Whether you’re updating the look of your home or making preparations to sell, a fresh coat of paint is a great way to make it look cleaner, brighter, and more spacious. While it’s possible to paint the interior of your home on your own, it can be a time-consuming project with a potentially sub-par outcome. If you’re not sure you’re up to the task, your best bet is to hire a professional.

But before you hire a pro, it's a good idea to learn how much the project will likely cost you, as well as the variables that will affect the total cost. High or vaulted ceilings, detailed trims or moldings, room size, and the cost of labor in your area will all influence the final bill. To get a better idea of how much a paint job typically costs in each state, we contacted the professionals at HomeAdvisor. In general, the average cost of painting one room ranges from $380 to $790, depending upon the size of the room, and not including ceilings, trim, or the cost of paint. To get an estimate of how much it would cost to paint an entire home's interior, HomeAdvisor gave us a state-by-state breakdown using their True Cost Guide, detailed below.

While this price guide can give you a basic idea of what you can expect to pay, keep reading for HomeAdvisor's home expert Dan DiClerico's top tips for making sure a paint job stays on budget. 

Average Cost of Painting a Home's Interior By State: 

National Average: $1,750

  • Alabama: $1,830
  • Alaska: $1,927
  • Arizona: $1,844
  • Arkansas: $1,285
  • California: $2,380
  • Colorado: $1,608
  • Connecticut: $1,872
  • Delaware: $958
  • Florida: $1,669
  • Georgia: $1,682
  • Hawaii: $3,358
  • Idaho: $1,390
  • Illinois: $1,677
  • Indiana: $1,467
  • Iowa: $1,491
  • Kansas: $1,624
  • Kentucky: $1,422
  • Louisiana: $1,706
  • Maine: $1,666
  • Maryland: $2,176
  • Massachusetts: $1,732
  • Michigan: $1,575
  • Minnesota: $1,471
  • Mississippi: $1,487
  • Missouri: $1,543
  • Montana: $3,320
  • Nebraska: $1,476
  • Nevada: $1,601
  • New Hampshire: $2,453
  • New Jersey: $2,063
  • New Mexico: $2,397
  • New York: $1,542
  • North Carolina: $1,757
  • North Dakota: $1,618
  • Ohio: $1,467
  • Oklahoma: $1,909
  • Oregon: $1,565
  • Pennsylvania: $1,699
  • Rhode Island: $1,550
  • South Carolina: $1,473
  • South Dakota: $2,056
  • Tennessee: $1,412
  • Texas: $2,124
  • Utah: $1,780
  • Vermont: $1,943
  • Virginia: $1,945
  • Washington: $1,597
  • West Virginia: $1,604
  • Wisconsin: $1,047
  • Wyoming: $1,847*

*HomeAdvisor is still gathering data on this location for their True Cost Guide. This number serves as an average and is based on costs provided by painting services in the area.

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Professional Painter

Anyone can paint a wall, which is why painting is one of the most popular DIY projects. But if you want a first-rate finish, say for the living room, foyer, or other high-profile part of the home, you’ll get best results by bringing in a pro, for a few reasons:

  • They’ll know the best kind of paint for the project—flat finish for that formal dining room, eggshell for the high-traffic kitchen, durable semi-gloss for the trimwork, etc.
  • They’ll do all of the necessary prep work, from sanding away rough edges to filling gouges with spackling compound.
  • They’ll apply the paint with an expert touch, feathering edges for a smooth finish and eliminating streaks and drip marks.

RELATED: This Interior Designer's Trick for How To Paint a Room Is Genius

HomeAdvisor also recommends that homeowners hire a pro if the project includes a lot of hard-to-reach areas, like stairwells and cathedral ceilings. The scaffolding or extra-tall ladders required of this kind of job invite too much added cost and safety risk.

Tips for Hiring a Pro and Still Staying on Budget

Homeowners on a budget should plan the project for the winter months, when painting contractors tend to lower their rates. The bigger the job, the more bargaining power you have, so if you’re planning multiple projects, consider combining them and negotiating for the best possible price.

Keep in mind that, depending on the project, pros will often be able to offer a good, better, best option. Let’s say you live in an old home with plaster walls that are covered in dozens of coats of paint. For a perfectly smooth finish, the contractor will likely need to remove every last layer with a heavy-duty grinding tool and then essentially start from scratch. That’s time-consuming and costly. But if you can live with minor imperfections, he can probably get away with a light sanding of the top coats, significantly lowering the labor costs. It’s important to have this discussion upfront so that you and your contractor are on the same page.   

Follow these steps to get the best price possible: 

  1. Get multiple estimates: Narrow your list of potential contractors down to a handful and then get bids from each to make sure they're within the same price range. If one seems too high or too low, ask additional questions to understand why.
  2. Be thorough in the interview. Some key questions to ask:
    • How long have you been in business?
    • Are you licensed and insured?
    • Do you do the painting yourself or hire it out to subs?
    • Can you provide references from previous clients?
    • Do you guarantee your work? If so, for how long?
  3. Review credentials: Make sure potential painters are licensed and insured so you aren't left with repairs or financial hassles after they complete the job.
  4. Check for lead: If your home was built before 1978, older layers of paint might contain lead. If this is the case, your painting contractor will need to safely contain the hazard following the EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.
  5. Determine the payment plan: A small deposit is customary, but never pay more than one-third of the total cost upfront. If a contractor insists on cash, that’s often a red flag (check is preferred). And don’t make the final payment until you’re 100-percent satisfied with the result.