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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Hallway?

Average Cost
(8-foot entry hallway with 10 foot ceilings and two single-door openings, only walls and ceiling painted)

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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Hallway?

Average Cost
(8-foot entry hallway with 10 foot ceilings and two single-door openings, only walls and ceiling painted)

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Here's what happens next
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The hallways in your home are high-traffic areas. As you and your family members travel from room to room, chances are that you’re passing through a hallway. The paint in hallways is thus more prone to scuffs and faster wear.

On average, an interior hallway, 8 foot 1 long and 3.5 feet wide with a ceiling height of 10 feet with two doorways, would be 148 square feet. Assuming you would like to have an 8 foot 1 entry hallway with 10 foot 1 ceilings and two single door openings painted, the average cost would be $581.

Hallway Painting

Hallway painting costs
National average cost$581
Average range$350 - $750
Minimum cost$329
Maximum cost$1,008

Updated: What's new?

Hallway Painting Cost by Project Range

One double archway and two single-door openings
Average Cost
8-foot entry hallway with 10 foot ceilings and two single-door openings, only walls and ceiling painted
Textured ceilings, 2 double archways, horizontal striped walls, trim and baseboards


Hiring an experienced professional painter is the best way to ensure that you are satisfied with the end result of your project. Here are some prep tasks that you might consider doing yourself before professionals start working on your project:

  • Measuring the hallway. Before hiring a painter, you can easily measure the hallway and estimate the amount of paint needed. A single gallon of paint will supply one coat to 350 square feet of a previously finished wall. New walls, unfinished drywall 2, or significantly repaired walls will require more than one coat. To find the square footage of the walls in your hallway, add the length of all of the walls and multiply that by the height from floor to ceiling. For each average-sized door in the hallway you can subtract 20 square feet and for every average sized window you can subtract 25 square feet from your total.
  • Move furniture. In all likelihood, your hallway has minimal furniture and it won’t take you or hired painters a significant amount of time to move furniture.
  • Use drop cloths to protect flooring. Professional painters will lay drop cloths to protect your floors. Doing this yourself will only save a negligible amount of money.
  • Unscrewing vent grills and taking down frames. Depending on the number of vent grills and frames lining your hallway, removing them yourself can save your painter some time and you a few dollars.
  • Add tape to protect. While taping off the project is something that could save a bit of time/money, it is likely that you will be happier with the project if you leave this to a pro. Also, a pro can have your hallway expertly taped off in half the time of DIY.
  • Remove the doors from the hinges 3. Removing doors before painting is recommended. While this isn’t necessarily a difficult task, an experienced painter can likely do it in much less time, saving you the hassle. If the doors have been painted before, paint build-up around the hinges 3 will make removal more difficult and the door could be damaged if removal is not done correctly.

Cost Factors

There are a number of factors that will impact the final cost of painting a hallway, such as wall height and square footage. Also, walls may need to be sanded 4 ($1.80 per square foot 1) in addition to being cleaned. Most likely, a primer 5 coat will not be necessary since you are painting previously painted walls and ceiling. If, due to particular damage and wear, the walls need to be sanded 4 and a primer 5 coat applied, either oil-based or latex-based primer 5 ($10 - $35 per gallon) should suffice.

When it is time to choose a paint, there is more to think about than color. The type and quality of the paint that you choose will affect the cost of your project. Certainly, the higher the quality of paint, the higher the cost, and walls with decorative finishes, design, and accents will be more costly. Textured wall surfaces may need as much as twice the amount of paint as a flat wall.

Types of Paint

Your choice of paint will depend entirely on your personal preferences. You may opt for an oil-based paint if you are trying to get your hallway painted as quickly as possible and don’t mind a little extra drying time. However, if you are looking for a quicker-drying product you might go for a water or urethane-based paint. Your decision will ultimately come down to how you want to allocate your time.

  • Oil-based paint ($42 per gallon average). It offers smoother application, thorough one-coat coverage, and durability in high-traffic areas. Unfortunately, it is more likely to fade and crack over time, is more challenging to clean up, and the fumes can be pervasive and overwhelming.
  • Latex or water-based paints ($33 per gallon average). Steadily becoming the top choice for homeowners. A more environmentally-friendly alternative, this paint dries faster, with a less overwhelming smell, and is more forgiving and simpler to clean. On the downside, latex paints are not as durable as traditional oil-based paints.
  • Urethane-based paint ($35 per gallon average) is growing in popularity. A hybrid product, many homeowners appreciate the durability of oil-based paints coupled with the easy use and clean up of water-based paint. Ideal on metal and wood, urethane paints are best for use on trim, cabinets, doors, and molding.

Types of Paint Costs

Type of paintCosts
Latex or water-based paints$33 (per gallon average)
Urethane-based paints $35 (per gallon average)
Oil-based paint$42 (per gallon average)

Finishes of Paint

When choosing a paint, the type of paint may not be as important as the finish. In a high-traffic area like a hallway, where wear and tear is apt to occur, the right finish will help hide small imperfections or be easier to clean.

Flat/matte ($28 per gallon average)

Low light reflection hides imperfections

Best for low-traffic areas

Not very durable

Stains easily

Does not clean well

Semi-gloss ($32 per gallon average)

Resists moisture and greasy stains

Ideal for high-traffic areas-- bathrooms, kitchens, and kid’s rooms

Cleans with mild soap and water

Quality paints are moderately priced

Imperfections in the wall will be visible

Not a great choice for less experienced painters

Imperfections in application are obvious

High gloss ($32 per gallon average)

Moisture, oil, and grease resistant

Cleans with mild soap and water

Best choice for woodwork, high traffic doorways, interior window frames, and trim

Not ideal as a wall paint

Exposes all imperfections in surface and application

Eggshell ($35 per gallon average)

More durable and easier to clean than flat

Still hides slight wall imperfections

Not stain resistant

Slightly more expensive

Satin ($35 per gallon average)

A wide variety of brands and styles available

Offers greater durability and lifespan

Application requires greater skill and patience

Won’t hide imperfections

Somewhat more expensive


Often, it may not occur to homeowners to make a hallway something other than a way to get from one room to another. Bucking the norm, you might consider bringing a hallway to life with a unique design. Two-toned paint, in horizontal stripes to draw the eye forward, or vertical stripes to pull the eye upward, can create the illusion of space. Interior hallways painted in light colors leading 6 to a dark accent wall will give a small space more depth. Perhaps an interesting pattern, texture, or an artist’s mural ($50-$70 per hour) would make an otherwise boring space pop. You can always consult with an interior designer ($50 to $200 per hour) to help bring the most out of this usually overlooked space.


Because licensing requirements vary widely from state to state, so do the hourly rates of painting companies. Only 28 states require a specialized license for painting contractors. Across those states, licensing fees range from no fee to $1,078, required years of experience range from 0-4 years, and there may be as many as three exams. While $50 per hour is the average painter labor cost across all states, you may find that prices are much higher in states with more stringent contractor requirements, and more affordable in states with less regulation.

Regardless, as with all home improvement projects, it is always in a homeowner’s best interest to hire a well-established and experienced professional. A straightforward hallway painting job, with 10 foot 1 ceilings, without any decorative aspects, but some wall repair and refinishing should take approximately 10 hours ($500). In that time, a professional painter should cover your flooring with drop cloths, put plastic over anything that is unmovable and not to be painted, remove vents and outlet covers, tape and edge, apply two coats of satin finish paint, and clean up.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Wall Repairs

Any necessary plaster or drywall repairs ($60 to $300) need to be completed before a wall can be repainted. Some minor imperfections may be camouflaged by choosing the right paint finish, but cracks in plaster 7 and holes in drywall 2 should be repaired and finished before paint can be applied. Costs for these repairs will vary depending on the severity of the damage.

Color Consultation

Finding just the right color of paint can be tricky. If you are in a store with bright fluorescent lights trying to choose a paint color for your hallway that is flooded with natural light, you may end up disappointed with the end result. Many painting companies offer a free color consultation before they begin a job. Others may charge an average of $210.

Decorative Finishes, Textures, Murals

More experienced painters may offer services beyond straightforward painting, such as textures and decorative finishes. Additionally, local artists offer mural design and application. For these more elaborate custom designs homeowners can expect to pay $70 or more an hour.

Doors and Trim

Painting doors and trim is a bit more complicated than walls. In most cases, a painter will remove any doors, paint them, and then replace them ($60 each). Although awkward, painting basic baseboards is not a difficult task and the average cost of trim painting is $2 per linear foot 1. Although this cost can increase significantly when there is elaborate wainscotting, chair rails 8, or crown molding in the home.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Homeowners who attempt large painting jobs as DIY are often disappointed in the final result, frustrated with the actual time involved, and underestimate the amount of prep work and clean-up that are required.
  • Professional painters will leave the area clean for the homeowner after completion and usually this clean-up is included in the estimate. Additional charges will arise if wall repairs or use of oil-based paints create waste that will incur landfill or disposal fees.
  • New paint is always a good selling point for a home. If you will be looking to put your home on the market, fresh paint will attract sellers that are looking for a fresh look and a move-in ready property.


  • What is the best color to paint a hallway?

It depends on what you are going for– chocolate brown for warmth and depth, bright yellow to bring sunlight to an interior area, and of course, light greens, blues, and creams can brighten a small space as well.

  • What is a good color to paint a narrow hallway?

Pastels and colors on the cool side of the color wheel will help keep a narrow hallway from feeling claustrophobic.

  • Should you paint a hallway a dark color?

Dark grays, blues, and browns can add a dramatic effect to a hallway, especially when paired with a contrasting trim color.

  • Should you paint your hallway the same color as your living room?

While it is important to have your living room and hallway complementary colors, the same color throughout can create monotony.

  • What kind of paint do you use on a hallway?

The most recommended paint for a high-traffic hallway is eggshell. It is flat enough so that it doesn’t show every imperfection and glossy enough to keep spot cleaning from being a hassle.

  • How can I brighten a dark hallway without windows?

Aside from choosing the right paint color, try wall-mounted uplighting and choose a lighter color scheme for flooring with visual cues that lead 6 toward the nearest source of natural light. If the hallway is accessed by an exterior door, make sure it is one with plenty of glass.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Footing 1 Foot: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
glossary term picture Sheetrock 2 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
glossary term picture Hinge 3 Hinges: A type of joint that attaches two items together but allows one of them to swing back and forth, such as a door attached to a door frame
glossary term picture Sanding 4 Sanded: Process of removing the top surface of a material, such as wood, using sandpaper and/or a specialized sanding machine (for large surface areas)
glossary term picture Primer 5 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
glossary term picture Lead 6 Leading: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications
glossary term picture Plaster 7 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
8 Rails: A long bar designed for a person to hold onto, giving them support. They are usually found on the sides of staircases, and can also be found in bathrooms, for example, to help persons with disabilities

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

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Hallway with Beige Carpet and White Painted Walls
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Cost to paint a hallway varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.