Bathroom Painting Cost

The average cost of painting a bathroom is $150 - $300‚Äč.

In this guide

Measurements
Prep work
Colors
Types of primer
Types of paint sheen
Labor and painting process
Master bathroom vs. powder room
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQs

How much does it cost to paint a bathroom?

Painting a bathroom is a very important painting project, even more important than painting any other room in a house. The reason it is so important is because bathrooms are small, water-prone, and high-traffic areas. Other than a nice appearance, painting a bathroom is important for protection. Paint can help protect a bathroom from issues such as mildew and mold growth.

Bathrooms are usually one of the smallest rooms in a home and therefore have the smallest surface to be painted. For a typical bathroom size of 5x8 feet, including a shower/bath combination, a toilet and a sink, the average cost to paint a bathroom is $100-$300. This is based on the assumption that the shower/bath is tiled and does not need paint. This price includes the supplies, primer 1, paint, and labor.

Measurements

Taking accurate bathroom measurements is very important to help determine how much paint will be needed for the project. Many bathrooms aren’t just a plain square or rectangular shape which can make it pretty tricky. The easiest process of measuring a bathroom is described below.

We will assume a standard bathroom of 8x5 feet or 40 square feet. Using a piece of paper record all of your measurements.

For the walls:

  • Measure the total distance (perimeter) around the room : (8’+5’)x2=26’
  • Multiply the perimeter (26’) by the ceiling height to get the total wall area: 26’ x ceiling height = ____ sq.ft.
  • Measure the doors. Doors are usually 21 sq.ft. in size.
  • Measure the window (width x height) to get square feet.
  • Take the total wall area and subtract the area for the doors and windows to get the wall surface to be painted. Ex: 400 sq.ft. (wall area)-42 sq.ft. (doors)-30 sq.ft. (windows)=328 sq.ft.
  • 1 gallon of paint usually covers 400 sq.ft. of wall.

For the ceiling:

  • Multiply the width by the length. Ex: 10’x15’=150 sq.ft. The ceiling will take approximately 2 quarts of paint.

Prep work

Before getting started with the painting process, there is some necessary prep work that needs to be completed. Prep work is normally included in the cost of the labor.

Wall cleaning

Wall cleaning is an important part of prep work prior to painting. Wall cleaning removes grease, dirt, odors, nicotine stains, mites 2, and other debris from wall surfaces. Removing debris from the wall surfaces makes the walls look brighter and a lot better, preparing them for painting.

Generally, wall cleaning services charge an average of $50 per hour. For a small room, this can be completed in a day. Some companies charge per room and start at a rate of $70 per room for smaller rooms.

Sanding

Sanding 3 the bathroom walls prior to painting is extremely important. You want to ensure that they are smooth, without any ridges, so that the paint applies to the wall smoothly. Sanding surfaces before painting cost an average of $1.80 per sq.ft. and can be done by a painter. For a good end results, ask for a level 5 drywall 4 finish.

Taping

Taping is a method to secure and protect an area from getting paint on it during the painting process. Tape is applied directly to the surface to protect it from paint. Tape is usually applied to baseboard moldings, door, and window frames. Painters tapes cost an average of $5-$7 per 60 yards.

Removal of bathroom accessories

Removing bathroom accessories, if applicable, is important to ensure that the paint job is done properly. It makes it easier for a painter to not have to paint around accessories such as sinks and mirrors on the wall. If you are removing appliances and then reinstalling, this can make the average cost amount to $150 and labor costs to $450-$650.

Colors

Choosing a bathroom paint color depends a lot on the lighting in the bathroom as well as the bathroom size. For a standard size bathroom of 8x5 feet, you want to choose colors that will make the bathroom appear larger. Some good colors are cool and relaxing colors such as a light lavender, sky blue, soft green, or ethereal white. Even a classic white is an inviting color for this type of bathroom size. For bigger bathrooms, any colors from light to dark will compliment it well.

Types of primer

All paint jobs can benefit from a coat of primer 1. The primer 1 is the fundamental part to getting the best results with the paint as possible. Most primer 1 brands are available for an average of $8-$10 per gallon. A bathroom with a standard size of 8x5 feet will likely require 1-2 cans of primer 1, maybe 3 if the ceiling is included. A multi-purpose primer 1 is the best for use in a bathroom. It is highly durable and helps to protect from stains and damage from humidity.

There are many different primer 1 types available on the market. Some of these types are displayed in the chart below.

Type of PrimerDescription
Latex

Water-based to prepare drywall for painting

More flexible and fast drying and less brittle

Can help seal any minor stains

Easy to clean

Multi-purpose

Good for interior and exterior

Durable

Help seal and protect from moisture and stains

Oil-Based

Versatile, can be applied to many types of surfaces

Good stain killers

Good for interior/exterior unfinished or bare wood

Slow drying and release OCs - harmful in high concentrations

Shellac

Seals wood and other surfaces

Good for interior paint jobs

Best stain-blocking primers

Fast drying and highly adhesive

Not as versatile as others

Can give off fumes


Types of paint sheen

The paint sheen is the determinant of how glossy the paint finish is. Paint sheens come in different categories and have their own characteristics based on the performance and aesthetics of the paint. When looking for paint for your project, it is important to give the paint sheen type some consideration. It is important to consider (from left to right):

Flat → Eggshell → Satin → Semi-Gloss → Glossy

  • Lower scrubbability → higher scrubbability
  • Lower light reflection → higher light reflection
  • More subtle appearance → more shiny appearance
TypeDescription
Eggshell

Soft, velvet appearance

Good for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms

Flat

Low-sheen paint

Non-reflective finishIdeal for low traffic areas, such as walls and ceilings

Glossy

Brilliant shiny appearance

Glass-like finishGreat for high-use surfaces

Satin

Pearl-like appearance

For moderate-high traffic areas or places with some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens

Semi-Gloss

Sleek, radiant sheet

Good for high-traffic, high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms


For bathrooms it is best to choose a paint sheen that is either semi-gloss or glossy. The reason for this is that both of these are good for high-traffic areas and provide protection from moisture, humidity, and mildew that can lead to issues such as staining, peeling, and chipping. Both of these paint sheens can be easily scrubbed clean and will reflect light to create a nice shine. For areas that need constant washing, like a bathroom, they are ideal for their easiness to clean.  One to two gallons of paint would be sufficient for a bathroom 5x8 feet in size. An average gallon of paint costs $25-$50.

Labor and painting process

A painter charges an average rate of $50 per hour for the installation of a tile floor. For a bathroom 8x5 feet in size, the labor process will take approximately 5 hours and cost between $100-$175 for the labor. It is important to note that some companies will not come out just to paint a bathroom. Sometimes they require a minimum amount of $600 labor to complete a project.

The painter will start by removing any hanging decorations or accessories in the bathroom. For items such as sinks or tubs that cannot be easily removed, a painter will apply painter’s tape and large plastic sheets to protect them from getting any paint on them during the process.

Painters tape is applied to all of the baseboards and trim of windows and doors.

The painter will start off the painting job by painting the ceiling first, if necessary. He/she will allow this to dry before applying a second coat of paint. The next step is to prime the walls. The painter will add a primer 1 (a multi-purpose type) to the walls to add to the color and light look of the walls.

Once the primer 1 has dried, the painter will take a brush and make a border around all the windows, doors, corners, outlets, and baseboards with a brush. This makes it easier for them to paint the larger areas. A roller is used to paint the larger sections of the walls. If a second coat is required, the painter will apply a coat after the first one is completely dry.

Master bathroom vs. powder room

Often times, people confuse a master bathroom and a powder room. A master bathroom is a large bathroom that is attached to the master bedroom in a house. It is often large and contains a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. A powder room is different in that it is a small bathroom only containing a toilet and a sink. Sometimes the name powder room is interchanged with guest bathroom or half bath. Powder rooms do not contain a shower, and are usually located on the first floor of a home. The purpose of a powder room is a bathroom for guests to use without feeling as if they are intruding into your home.

Painting a master bathroom and powder room are similar processes when painting. They can both be difficult as a master bathroom has more appliances to work around, and a powder room is a smaller area in which to paint.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Bathtub refinishing

If you are looking to renovate your bathroom, an enhancement that is normally part of the renovation project includes the replacement of your bathtub. Instead of replacing your old bathtub, there is the option of refinishing it. This can save the hassle of demolishing the old one, updating, plumbing, flooring etc. The average cost to refinish a bathtub is $300-$1,000. There is also the option of having it relined for an average cost of $800-$1,400. If you are looking to do something to your bathtub, it is a good idea to do it before the painting process. Steel, fiberglass 5, and cast iron are good candidates for bathtub types that can be refinished or relined.

Trim painting

Painting the trim in the bathroom is an improvement project that can be completed at the same time as painting. Trim painting can enhance the look in a room and make it look fresh. Adding trim painting to painting a bathroom project will cost an extra $100-$300.

Additional considerations and costs

  • To avoid damage to the paint, it is advisable to use good ventilation when painting bathrooms.
  • If the ceiling is involved in the painting project, then the ceiling paint job should always be done first.
  • Bathroom paint is a special type of paint that is different from interior house paint, and is designed for bathrooms only. The properties of bathroom paint that make it good for bathrooms include mildew inhibitor, a tougher finish, and a tighter molecular structure. Bathroom paint can be significantly higher in price, $3-$10 extra a bucket, than ordinary interior paint. In most cases, purchasing bathroom paint is not necessary unless there is a history of mold and mildew problems.
  • Bathroom paint colors should be light colors, because using dark colors in small spaces can create a claustrophobic atmosphere.
  • If your bathroom shower stall is made out of drywall 4 you should use a glossy type of paint. This is because a glossy paint applies nicely to drywall 4 and also gives off a nice appearance. Glossy paint is good for use in the bathroom due to its protection against humidity, moisture, and mildew.


FAQs

  • How do you paint a bathroom?

The process of painting a bathroom is fairly easy if the process is followed correctly. Start off by purchasing an appropriate primer for the walls. You then need to purchase materials (paint brush, paint roller, etc.) that are used in the process as well as select your paint. Remove any appliances that you are able to, or cover them up using plastic sheets. Apply the primer, let it dry. Apply the first coat of paint and let it dry before applying a second if necessary.

  • What is the best color to paint a small bathroom?

The best colors to paint a small bathroom are light and airy colors such as white or lavender. This is because dark colors make the bathroom appear smaller and small spaces feel claustrophobic.

  • What kind of paint to use on a bathroom ceiling?

    A semi-gloss paint is a good choice to use to paint a bathroom ceiling. Semi-gloss paint provides protection against moisture and humidity that can lead to issues such as peeling, staining, and chipping. Semi-gloss paint is washable, durable, and mildew resistant.

  • What sheen of paint to use?

For bathrooms it is best to choose a paint sheen that is either semi-gloss or glossy. Both of these are good for high-traffic areas and can be easily scrubbed clean.

  • How much does it cost to hire a painter to paint a room?

For a room 12’x12’in size, it will cost an average of $200-$400 to hire a painter to paint the room, including materials and costs. A painter charges $50 dollars per hour.

  • How much does a house painter charge per hour?

    A painter charges $50 dollars per hour.

  • How much should I pay per square foot for painting?

You should pay roughly $0.50 and $1.60 per sq.ft. of wall area for painting.

  • How much does it cost to paint your house?

    For a standard size house of 1,500 sq.ft. it would cost $2500-$3000 to paint the entire exterior of a home. For a typical single-story home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, approximately 2,300 sq. ft, it would cost between $0.50 and $1.60 per sq.ft. of wall area or $1700-$3600 to paint the house.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Primer: Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted
2 Mites: Small, often microscopic invertebrates that mostly live in the soil or water. Some mites are parasitic and live on plants and animals.
3 Sanding: Process of removing the top surface of a material, such as wood, using sandpaper and/or a specialized sanding machine (for large surface areas)
4 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
5 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric

Cost to paint a bathroom varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Boston, MA
+40%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Irving, TX
+10%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Katy, TX
+63%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Sacramento, CA
+8%

Labor cost in your zip code

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