What is the Real Cost to Paint a Bathroom?

red and white bathtub near yellow fabric sofa
Picture of Chris Heerdegen
Chris Heerdegen
What type of property are you in?
Condo / Apt
What is the approximate square footage of your property?
500 - 800
801 - 1300
1301 - 2000
2000 - 3000
Is this interior or exterior?
How many levels?
Walls are assumed, do you want baseboards and door casings?
Yes and they are currently wood stain
Are we painting ceilings?
How many windows casings do you want painted?
5 - 8
9 - 15
16 - 25
How many doors?
1 - 3
4 - 8
9 - 16
Prep work
Basic - nail hole and screw holes
Advanced - Cracks, seams coming apart or small fist sized patches
Complex - significant drywall cutout and replacing
Lastly, are we doing:
Your whole unit
Roughly half your unit
Roughly a quarter of your unit
Are we doing?
Your whole house?
Only Siding?
Only Trim?
How many stories tall?
What does the ground look like around your property?
Flat ground
Some slightly angled ground
Aggressive angle
What does your roof line look like?
No tiered roofing
Some roofing tiers
Multi tiered roofing
Are we doing?
Your full house
Half your house
One side of your house
Include or exclude doors?
Lastly, is your house
Victorian / Historic
English Tudor style
Multiple colors for trim and / or siding
None of these
Prep work
Light flaking, caulking
Medium peeling
Heavy peeling/rotted wood
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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.  

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

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.

white ceramic sink beside white ceramic toilet bowl

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.  

Bathroom Layout

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.

3. Scraping 

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.

9. Warranty 

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.