How much does it cost to paint a hallway?
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Hallway Painting Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
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.
The average homeowner can expect to pay $300 to $800, with the cost to paint only the walls and ceiling of a 12 by 12 foot hallway being $575. On the low end, it would cost as little as $190 to paint the walls and ceiling of an interior hallway that is 8 by 12 feet. On the high end, assuming the homeowner has a 14 by 12 feet hallway with two double archways, trim, and baseboards and wants horizontal striped walls, the cost would be $1,500.
Cost to Paint Hallway
|Hallway Painting Costs
|National average cost
Average Cost to Paint Hallway per Sq.Ft.
Hallways vary in size, just like any other room in the house. A well thought out house plan uses a smaller hallway to avoid wasted space. For instance, a small hallway, 8 feet long x 12 feet high, might just be a small area where doors or doorways lead to other parts of the house. Larger hallways will be more of an aesthetic aspect of a home. As you may have inferred, a professional painter charges less if you have a short hallway versus a long hallway. Typically, painters charge $2 to $6 per sq.ft. to paint an interior hallway.
|Size of Hallway
|Cost (Labor Included)
|8 ft. x 12 ft.
|$190 - $580
|10 ft. x 12 ft.
|$240 - $720
|12 ft. x 12 ft.
|$290 - $860
|14 ft. x 12 ft.
|$340 - $1,000
Cost per Hour to Paint a Hallway
Because licensing requirements vary widely from state to state, so do the hourly rates of painting companies. While $40 - $60 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. Hourly rates may also vary depending on the experience of the contractor. Apprentice painters will charge much less than journeyman and master painters.
Cost to Paint Hallway by Type of Paint
When it is time to choose paint, there is more to think about than color. The type and quality of the paint that you choose affects the cost of your project. Certainly, the higher the quality of paint, the higher the cost.
Your choice of paint depends entirely on your personal preferences. If you are looking for an affordable and quicker-drying product, you might go for water-based paint. These paints tend to be less glossy than other options. You will most likely need to paint two coats for full coverage. They typically come in different sheens, ranging from matte to semi-gloss, to get the right look for your hallway.
If you do not mind a little extra drying time, you may choose an oil-based paint instead. Oil-based paints are very versatile and effectively cover nearly any surface. They tend to be on the glossier side and have a durable finish, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. One of the best paint options for hallways is acrylic latex paints. They provide complete coverage with one coat and are a more eco-friendly option. Chalk paint is another good option for smaller rooms or hallways to give your space more depth and texture. It provides more of a matte finish, so you may have to clean it more often. Depending on which type of paint you choose, you can expect to pay between $15 and $160 per gallon.
|Type of Paint
|Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)
|$15 - $50
|$20 - $60
|$80 - $160
Average Cost to Paint a Hallway by Type of Finish
In a high-traffic area like a hallway, where wear and tear occur, the right finish helps hide small imperfections or provides an easier to clean surface. Matte finishes are among the cheapest options for paint finishes. However, they are not the most ideal for hallways, which are high-traffic areas. Flat finishes tend to show dirt and other imperfections very easily. This can be even worse in a hallway where the walls are more likely to get dinged or scraped against regularly.
Eggshell finishes are the sweet spot for hallways. They are not too glossy while still offering enough of a sheen to hide any imperfections. Satin finishes are another great choice. These paints are just slightly more glossy than eggshell paints, making them a good choice for hallways.
Finally, we have semi-gloss and high-gloss paints. These paint finishes are highly reflective and shiny, making them ideal in rooms where you are trying to draw attention to the surroundings. In most cases, your hallway is not one of these spaces. Moreover, glossier paints are more difficult to apply. On the plus side, they are highly durable, which means they are not out of the question for hallways. You can expect to pay between $10 and $80 per gallon of paint finish, depending on which type you choose.
|Type of Finish
|Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)
|Flat / Matte
|$10 - $70
|$11 - $60
|$12 - $60
|$12 - $70
|$17 - $80
Hallway Primer Cost by Type
Primer is a coating that prepares and seals the walls for paint, making the surface more uniform. Typically, primer is required if the walls have never been painted or have multiple blemishes or stains. If you are painting a lighter color over a dark color, a primer is very beneficial. Without primer, paint seeps into new drywall or wood and requires more coats of paint for good coverage. There are four types of primer. Each has its own characteristics and pros and cons.
Oil-based primers are highly effective at covering stains such as ink, water, or nicotine. This type of primer is very versatile in that it can be used with almost any surface and works with any type of paint. This makes them especially useful for hallways, which are high-traffic areas where the walls are more prone to being scratched. Latex primers are water-based, which makes them easy to clean. They are also useful for covering up stains and imperfections on the walls. Shellac primers cover stains better than any other primer and eliminate smells from stains, such as smoke. On the downside, they emit high levels of fumes. You need to ventilate the hallway you are working in, which can be more difficult than painting a room. You can expect to pay between $15 and $80 per gallon of primer, depending on which type you choose.
|Type of Primer
|Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)
|$15 - $60
|$25 - $70
|$30 - $80
How Many Gallons to Paint a Hallway?
One gallon of paint typically covers about 400 square feet of space with one coat applied. As hallways are generally a smaller area, the amount of paint will most likely just be one gallon. This may vary if you have textured walls or are going from a darker color to a lighter color.
Hallway Painting Complementary Projects
Sometimes, you may want to paint more than just the walls in your hallway. When that is the case, it is important to consider the average costs of different projects that you may want to include in your hallway painting job. To calculate the costs of these projects, note that the average cost per sq.ft. to paint interior walls is $2 to $6 per sq.ft. Depending on the project you are considering for your home, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $4,000.
|Average Cost (Labor Included)
|Hallway + Crown Molding
|$250 - $700
|Hallway + Ceiling
|$300 - $800
|Hallway + Stairs
|$650 - $1,250
|Hallway + Bedroom
|$900 - $2,000
|Hallway + 2 Rooms
|$1,000 - $4,000
Paint Hallway With Crown Molding
The cost to paint a hallway with crown molding will be more expensive than painting only the walls of a standard hallway, averaging $250 to $700. This is because crown molding features a much more intricate design and requires special attention. Since this takes longer than painting a basic wall, you can expect labor costs to be higher.
Paint Hallway and Ceiling
The average cost to paint the hallway and ceiling ranges from $300 to $800. If you are only having the ceiling painted, many painters have a minimum charge. This could be anywhere from $150 to $200. Professional painters use various ways to accomplish this difficult task, including ladders, long-handled rollers, and sprayers. If the entire hallway is being painted, the painter starts with the ceiling to avoid any drips down the wall. Primer is applied first to ensure that the paint adheres quickly and covers any imperfections.
It is slightly less expensive to paint a ceiling if it is part of an entire hallway project. As with any other type of painting, textured ceilings are slightly more expensive as it takes longer to cover the area.
Paint Hallway and Stairs
Altogether, you can expect to pay between $650 and $1,250 to paint both the hallway and stairs with minimal prep work. While you are painting your hallway, you may want to take care of your staircase at the same time. In many cases, these two projects make sense to do together because you will want to paint them similar colors, if not the exact same.
Paint Bedroom and Hallway
Typically, the total cost to paint a bedroom and hallway costs between $900 and $2,000. Standard bedrooms range from about 200 to 310 sq.ft. The overall cost to paint a bedroom alone depends on the size of the space you are painting and the complexity of the project overall.
Paint 2 Rooms and a Hallway
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 to paint two rooms and the hallway. The cost to paint two rooms varies greatly depending on what two rooms you are painting, which is why this range is so great. For example, a small half bathroom costs much less to paint than a living room or bedroom. Measure your space beforehand to get a better idea of how much paint you need and how expensive the project will be overall.
Hallway Painting Prep-Work
Hiring an experienced professional painter is the best way to ensure that you are satisfied with the project’s result. 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 measure the hallway and estimate the amount of paint needed. A single gallon of paint will supply one coat to 400 square feet of a previously finished wall. New walls, unfinished drywall, or significantly repaired walls require more than one coat. To find the square footage of the walls in your hallway, add the length 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. It won’t take you or hired painters a significant amount of time to move furniture.
Use drop cloths to protect flooring. Professional painters 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 could save a bit of time and money, you will likely 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. 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 makes removal more difficult. The door could be damaged if removal is not done correctly.
Repairs and sanding. Walls may need to be sanded ($1.80 per square foot) in addition to being cleaned. 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.
Hallway Painting Designs and Colors
Often, it may not occur to homeowners to turn a hallway into 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 creates an illusion of space. Interior hallways painted in light colors leading to a dark accent wall give a small space more depth. Perhaps an interesting pattern, texture, or an artist’s mural ($50 to $70 per hour) would make an otherwise boring space pop. You can consult with an interior designer ($50 to $200 per hour) to bring the most out of this usually overlooked space.
While your hallways should match the rest of your home, you can choose a different color that still allows it to stand out. You can create a space that matches your preferred aesthetic. This includes using neutral colors against an otherwise bold home, bright whites in an otherwise neutral home, or darker colors in a bright home. Whatever the case, just choose colors that make sense with the rest of your home.
Two-Tone Hallway Painting Ideas
Two-tone painting is a technique that allows for two different colors of paint to complement and contrast each other. This could be something as simple as painting the walls one color and the trim and doors another. It can also be various faux finishes that create an interesting textured look on your hallway walls. Faux finishes refer to decorative paint techniques that make a wall look like a different material, such as stone or brick. This can be a less expensive way to create a luxurious look for your home.
Blue Paint Hallway
Blue paint comes in a variety of shades, hues, and saturation. One of the more popular blue paints for hallways is navy or blue-black. To avoid a closed-in feel with a dark painted hallway, add white wainscoting to the halfway point of the wall or stark white trim. Choosing a cape cod blue lends a 20th-century conservative look. A brighter blue is best for a whimsical, fun hallway. Duck egg blue is also very popular. Sometimes it is described as greenish-blue, while others say it is a classic coastal color. If you want a more country look, leaning towards a soft blue with a bit of green mixed in will achieve your goal. Beachy decor calls for a lighter sapphire blue that may also be called duck egg blue.
Neutral Hallway Colors
Painting your hallway a neutral color allows for a myriad of possibilities and for changing up your decor down the road without repainting. Beiges, greys, tans, and shades of white make your hallway versatile for years to come. Add a pop of color through furniture, artwork, wall hangings, and trim.
Gray is versatile with decor and mixes well with other neutral colors like white, black, or navy. To add color, gray is stunning with pink or yellow. White is a nice touch in a hallway as it makes everything appear larger with a light, airy look. It is also a great backdrop for black framed photos or artwork. White paint contrasts well with dark flooring but is often used with lighter wood for a more modern touch. Using white on any wall in the house is a little scary due to fingerprints and stains, but an eggshell or semi-gloss finish fixes that problem.
Warm Hallway Colors
Many hallways are located at the entrance to the home, so making them welcoming is essential. For a warm hallway, choose a sunny yellow or peachy pastel. Complete the look with a welcome sign or wreath, a bench, and a place to hang coats or jackets.
Hallway Accent Wall
A hallway accent wall can be a different color, texture, or pattern. If you have a wall at the end of the hallway, this is the perfect place for an accent wall. The viewer’s eye will be drawn to that wall. With a hall that leads to another room, you may choose to make one wall darker or covered in distressed wood. This wall could feature family photos or art.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
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 and holes in drywall should be repaired and finished before paint can be applied. Costs for these repairs vary depending on the severity of the damage.
Finding just the right paint color 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 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 to $200 an hour.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. 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 required.
- Clean-up. Professional painters leave the area clean for the homeowner after completion, and usually, this clean-up is included in the estimate. Additional charges arise if wall repairs or the use of oil-based paints create waste that will incur landfill or disposal fees
- Home value. New paint is always a good selling point for a home. If you are looking to put your home on the market, fresh paint attracts sellers looking for a fresh look and a move-in ready property.
- How long does it take to paint a hallway?
A professional painter can paint a hallway in three to four hours. Tasks such as drywall repairs, textured walls, extensive trim work, or going from a dark color to a light color affect the amount of time required.
- Should you paint a hallway a dark color?
Dark grays, blues, and browns add a dramatic effect to a hallway, especially when paired with a contrasting trim color.
- How much does it cost to paint a hallway and living room?
The cost to paint a 144 sq.ft. hallway and standard 300 to 400 sq.ft. living room costs from $1,200 to $2,400. Typically, the cost to paint a hallway alone ranges from $300 to $800. The average cost to paint a living room costs between $900 and $1,600.
- What kind of paint do you use in a hallway?
The most recommended paint for a high-traffic hallway is eggshell. It is flat enough not to show every imperfection and glossy enough to keep spot cleaning from being a hassle. As for the type of paint, you should stick with 100% acrylic latex paint. Oil-based paints, water-based paints, and chalk paints are also effective options.
- 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 toward the nearest natural light source. If the hallway is accessed by an exterior door, make sure it is one with plenty of glass.
- 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.
- What is a good color to paint a narrow hallway?
Pastels and colors on the cool side of the color wheel help keep a narrow hallway from feeling claustrophobic.