The Average Cost to Paint a Room in Every State

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

Women preparing to paint a room
Photo: Patrick Foto/Getty Images

Whether you're updating the look of your home or making preparations to sell, a fresh coat of paint can make your space 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. To get a better idea of the average cost to paint a room in each state, we contacted the professionals at HomeAdvisor. Also, keep reading for HomeAdvisor's home expert Dan DiClerico's top tips for making sure a paint job stays on budget.

Average Costs

Before you hire a pro, it's a good idea to figure out 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 Paint One Room

In general, the average cost of painting one room ranges from $150 to $2,000, depending upon the size of the room, not including ceilings, trim, or the cost of the paint. According to the True Cost Guide, you can expect to pay the following:

  • Bathroom: $150–$300
  • Bedroom and kitchen: $300–$750
  • Living room: $900–$2,000

To Paint a Home's Interior

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, detailed below.

National Average: $1,920

  • 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 its True Cost Guide. This number serves as an average and is based on costs provided by painting services in the area.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Painter

Anyone can paint a wall, which is why painting is a popular DIY project. But if you want a first-rate finish and a designer-worthy color scheme for the living room, foyer, or another high-profile part of the home, you'll get the best results by bringing in a pro. Here are 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 trim, 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, which is especially important with bold paint colors.

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 for this kind of job add too much cost and safety risk.

Tips for Hiring a Pro and Staying on Budget

Plan the Project During the Offseason

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.

Pick an Option Based on Your Budget

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.

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.

Be Thorough in the Interview

Some key questions to ask include:

  • 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?

Review Their Credentials

Make sure potential painters are licensed and insured, so you aren't left with repairs or financial hassles after they complete the job. Sometimes a bid that comes in really low can end up costing you in the long run if that contractor is unqualified and makes critical and costly mistakes.

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.

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% satisfied with the result.

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