By Gene and Katie Hamilton
When money is tight and a room needs a facelift, there's no easier, cheaper or faster fix-up than a coat of paint. Paint brightens dull walls and creates a fresh, new feeling in a room and a uniform backdrop for furnishings. For a beginning DIYer, painting is goof-proof because the paint and equipment are relatively inexpensive and you learn the skills on the job. It's no surprise, then, that painting is the most popular DIY project.
Here's what to figure if you're planning a painting budget. A contractor will charge $1,842 to prepare and paint one coat of latex paint on the ceiling, walls and woodwork of a 15-by-20-foot room (900 square feet) with two windows and two doors. This includes the labor and material. A handy homeowner can buy the paint and equipment for $205 and do the job himself, saving 88 percent. Timewise you'll put in about 30-plus man-hours to paint a room. If there's two of you on the job that's a long weekend project well worth the time.
To get the most professional-looking results, plan to spend more time preparing the surfaces than actually applying the paint. Fill any nail holes or nicks in the walls with a wallboard repair compound and sand them smooth. Do the same to any damaged woodwork or trim using a wood repair compound. Apply a stain block primer like Kilz to any stains to prevent them from re-emerging through the new coat of paint.
If you’re painting a high spot on a wall or ceiling from a ladder, avoid any mishaps that might happen using a gallon of paint. Pour some paint in a small container like a coffee can or a paper or plastic paint pail and carry it up the ladder. It’ll fit more easily on the ladder tray and be easier for you to handle. Even if you do tip over the paint, you’ll have less to clean up.
Paint your room online with Glidden's Room Visualizer.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to paint a room lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.