Wall Decorative Finish Painting Cost

The average cost of painting walls with decorative finish is $4,200‚Äč.

How much does it cost to paint walls with decorative finish?

A decorative finish can make a big statement in a room. Although it is possible to paint a decorative finish on your own, it is recommended to hire a professional painter for the best results. For this example, we'll consider the cost of painting a decorative finish in a 12'x18' living room, which would average around $4,200.

Cost breakdown

  • There are a variety of decorative finishes. The more labor intensive or specialized finishes tend to be more expensive. On average, the prices are as follows:
    • Basic texture: $2-$4 per square foot ($1200-$2400 total).
    • Marble: $5-$9 per square foot ($3000-$5500 total).
    • Stone or brick: $6-$10 per square foot ($3600-$6000 total).
    • Metallic: $6-$10 per square foot ($3600-$6000 total).
    • Wood grain: $7-$12 per square foot ($4200-$7200 total).
    • Stencil 1: $8-$11 per square foot ($4800-$6600 total).
    • Plaster 2: $12-$14 per square foot ($7200-$9000 total).
    • Mural: $50 per square foot ($30,000 total).
  • Labor: most painters charge around $50 per hour, though this price may increase with more specialized finishes. Some painters include their labor cost in their total estimate per square foot. Painting requires significant prep work and primer 3, although many painters incorporate these costs into their total costs.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Glazes, plaster 2, wall paper, and other premium paint materials can increase the overall cost by up to $3-$4 per square foot.
  • Rooms with lots of architectural details, such as molding, fireplaces, or built-ins 4, may require more time and lead to an increased labor cost.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Walls that need significant prep work (cleaning, wallpaper removal, etc.) can add an additional 4-8 hours ($80-$280) of labor.
  • Rooms with lots of furniture may need to be cleared for an extra $100.
  • If the same finish is being applied to multiple walls or throughout the house, some painters may offer a discount of up to 15%.
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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 Stencil: A design or pattern created by forcing paint or ink onto a flat surface using a thin sheet of perforated material (also called a stencil)
2 Plaster: A paste composed of sand, water, and either lime, gypsum, or cement, which forms a smooth hard surface on walls, ceilings, and other structures upon drying
3 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
4 Built-ins: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable

Cost to paint walls with decorative finish 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
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Boston, MA
+40%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chino, CA
+19%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Corona, CA
+19%
Cypress, TX
+8%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jamestown, ND
-29%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Maspeth, NY
+35%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Scottsdale, AZ
-1%

Labor cost in your zip code

Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources