Painting your bathroom is a great way to improve the value of your home. Whether you’re trying to resell or just better personalize the space, in most cases the cost to paint your bathroom far outweighs any inconvenience and the actual monetary cost is pretty minimal.
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How much does it cost to paint a bathroom?
So, how much does it actually cost? Well, before we can calculate the real cost, we need to understand the factors that influence the cost of your bathroom painting project.
Whether you’re considering painting your bathroom yourself or looking to hire a professional, painting costs can be bucketed into two different types: Labor costs and supply costs.
Labor costs will vary depending on the size of the job, complexity of the project, and experience of the painter.
If you’re hiring a professional painter, their experience may vary and that alone can add hours to the job. If you’re doing the job yourself, if you’re not a skilled painter, then your opportunity cost to spend a weekend or two painting could be much higher than hiring even a less skilled painter to do the job for you.
For a basic interior paint job of any type, you can expect to pay between $25 and $75 per hour.
Most professional painters will bid the entire project, which includes all work hours. Some painting contractors may charge by the hour if they are uncertain how long the project will take.
Be wary of this pricing structure, as it may end up costing you more in the long run.
Built into the labor costs you have some activities that are related to the prep time for the painting service and can include things like cleaning, spackling, and sanding.
Other labor related costs include insurance like Worker’s comp and liability insurance. This and a legitimate warranty on the work is what can drive the labor hours up towards $75.
Factors that Affect Labor Costs
Depending on the current state of your bathroom and how much you would like changed, the labor costs can vary. Here are some of the most common things that will affect the price of your bathroom.
Current State of the Bathroom
Do your bathroom walls have mold, chipped or peeling paint, or is the plaster / drywall busted? To do the job right you need to fix the wall surfaces before painting starts or the paint won’t look good for the long term. If you’re hiring a contractor this is important to note, because it can be the difference between doing the job right or doing a job that will require repainting in the near future and if you’re doing the job yourself, you may as well finish it right so you can make it last as long as you can.
Amount of Prep Work
If the current state of your bathroom is less than ideal, you’ll need to spend more time or money on filling in holes in plaster, sanding or scraping chipped paint, or even removing sections of drywall that have mold and mildew. Once you have the surfaces looking good, if you have baseboards, you’ll also need to tape and caulk before painting.
Are you painting a master bathroom or standard, are there bathroom fixtures and design elements that need to be painted around, is it a wet bathroom or does the bathroom have a lot of tile? Speaking of which, is the tile going to be painted? What about windows? Are there windows that you need tape around and trim that needs to be painted? These are just a few of the things that need to be considered, but each bathroom’s layout is unique and this is sometimes what makes
Size of the bathroom
It’s pretty obvious, but the larger the bathroom, the more square footage there is to paint. This impacts both the paint / material cost and the labor costs associated with painting the bathroom. Tiny closet-like bathrooms tend to be less complex design-wise and they are a lot faster to paint. A large master bathroom, on the other hand, is like painting a bedroom, but likely with more things to tape and paint around.
Other Variables when Hiring Painters
1. Workers comp insurance
If a worker is injured in your home without WC. their insurance company can sue you. This is not covered on your homeowner’s insurance
2. Liability insurance
Protects you against property damage.
Ensure you don’t paint over flaking areas and keeps your paint job looking better for longer.
4. Priming with PRIMER
Paint dries quickly and is not made to cover porous surfaces. If you are painting over a darker color, using primer is a must or you will end up seeing the old paint under your new coat.
5. Paint quality
Drying thickness is the key ingredient, but overall using paint that’s better quality costs more, but will give you a better result for longer.
6. Number of coats
The more coats, the thicker the drying thickness. It takes longer, but “two wet coats” is different than “two dry coats” and for the quality painting job, dry coats are ideal.
7. The Crew
Will your crew work consecutive days or bounce around projects?
8. Customer Service
Who is answering the phone when you have a problem? If you go with a cut-rate painter or a guy with a truck kind of deal, it may be cheaper, but the peace of mind you get from an organized company may be worth paying a little more.
What kind of warrant is included? Does the warranty include labor or is it just a materials warranty too?
Paint & Supply Costs
The average cost of paint and materials will vary depending on the type of paint you use and the complexity of the job.
Standard supplies include drop cloths, painter’s tape, brushes, rollers, and other sundries,
When it comes to basic interior painting, you can expect to pay between $20 and $120 per gallon. Higher-quality paints may cost more, but they will also last longer.
Waterproof or mold / mildew resistant paint can similarly be more expensive,
Skimping on paint quality is a common tactic for low-quality painters to save money while still looking decent after the work is finished. The poor paint and maybe even bad technique only become obvious after several months.
Jobs that are more complicated may require more prep work, so there are added costs for additional tarps, tape, and other coverings.
Ways to Break Down Costs
Cost to Paint a Bathroom per Square Foot
The average cost to paint the interior of a house falls between $1 and $3 per square foot. If you’re doing the ceilings, walls and trim, the cost per square foot will probably fall between $3 and $6.
Cost to Paint a Bathroom by Feature
The various features that a bathroom has mostly influences the cost of labor, because it will take more work to set up the job. If you have a particularly complicated job, this is always a good thing to bring up with painting companies so they can more accurately quote the job. A ballpark quote based on the price per square foot above would be that a complicated features would bring your cost to paint closer to the higher range of $3 per square foot without ceilings, walls, and trim and closer to $6 if you are.
Cost to Paint a Bathroom by Type of Paint
Most painters use latex paint these days, not oil based paints, but there are other considerations like paint gloss that should be considered, because bathrooms and kitchens should use a higher gloss paint due to moisture and because it makes them easier to clean. There are even some bathroom paints that are used specifically for these types of jobs, but whatever paint you choose, going with higher quality will save you money in the long run, but impact the supply cost for the job now.
Cost to Paint a Bathroom by Type of Finish
The type of gloss or finish that you use by itself won’t impact the cost to get your bathroom painted, however, more expensive paints obviously cost more money and will impact the supply cost whether you do the job yourself or hire a professional.
Cost to Paint Bathroom Ceiling
If you need just the bathroom ceiling painted, you can figure $1- $3 per square foot based on the complexity of the job and the paint quality used.
Cost to Paint Bathroom Cabinets
Painting bathroom cabinets end up costing similar to what it would cost to paint a bathroom wall,
Cost to Paint Bathroom Vanity
Painting a bathroom vanity is like painting bathroom cabinets and the estimate per square footage would be the same.
Cost to Paint Shower
Painting your shower is like painting a wall, so the estimate would be $1 to $3 per square foot, though if you have a complicated design, a unique surface, or there is a lot of prep work, the price can go up.
Painting Bathroom Countertops
Painting countertops would cost about the same as painting a wall, but may require additional coats to keep the paint strong and resilient to future usage.
Cost to Paint a Bathroom Yourself
Painting the bathroom yourself is definitely an option for some, but as we’ve written about, there is an opportunity cost involved where unless you really enjoy painting, you make less than $51,000 per year or you really enjoy painting, it’s a good idea to go with a professional, but why not use our estimation tool while you’re here or get a detailed quote in as little as 10 minutes. There’s no obligation and at the very least it will help you understand whether you want to hire a contractor or do the job yourself.