How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Hallway?

Average range: $400 - $600
Average Cost
(12-foot hallway with 12-foot ceilings and two single-door openings, only walls and ceiling painted)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by

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.

An interior hallway, 12 feet long with a ceiling height of 12 feet with two doorways, would be 144 square feet and cost as little as $350 to paint. With an average range of $400 to $600, the cost to paint a 12-foot hallway with 12-foot ceilings and two single door openings with only the walls and ceilings painted would be $600. On the high end, assuming the homeowner has a 12-foot hallway with 12-foot textured ceilings, two double archways, trim, and baseboards and wants horizontal striped walls, the cost would be $1,125.

Cost to Paint Hallway

Hallway Painting Costs
National average cost$600
Average range$400-$600
Minimum cost$350
Maximum cost$1,125

Hallway Painting Cost by Project Range

12-foot hallway with 12-foot ceilings, one double archway, and two-single door openings
Average Cost
12-foot hallway with 12-foot ceilings and two single-door openings, only walls and ceiling painted
12-foot hallway with 12-foot ceilings, textured ceilings, two double archways, horizontal striped walls, trim, and baseboards

Hallway Painting Price 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. Walls with decorative finishes, designs, and accents will be more costly. Textured wall surfaces may need as much as twice the amount of paint as a flat wall.

Your choice of paint depends 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 water-based or urethane-based paint. Your decision ultimately comes down to how you want to allocate your time.

Hallway Painting Price by Type of Paint

Hallway Painting Price by Type of Paint

Type of PaintCosts (Only Paint)
Latex or Water-based Paint$25 - $30
Acrylic Latex Paint$40 - $60
Oil-based Paint$50 - $60
Urethane-based Paint$50 - $65

Latex or Water-based Paint

Latex or water-based paint is 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. The pricing ranges from $25 to $30 per gallon.

Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is great for wood trim and walls. It is a durable product that is easy to clean. Many people choose it for bathrooms and kitchens as it reacts well to extreme temperature changes. It is resistant to peeling, flaking, and cracking. The cost of acrylic latex paint per gallon is $40 to $60.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint offers smoother application, thorough one-coat coverage, and durability in high-traffic areas. Unfortunately, it is more likely to fade and crack over time, challenging to clean up, and has pervasive and overwhelming fumes. Pricing for a gallon of oil-based paint is $50 to $60.

Urethane-based Paint

Urethane-based paint 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 trim, cabinets, doors, and molding. Urethane-based paint costs about $50 to $65 for a gallon.

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Hallway Paint Cost by Type of Finish

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 occur, the right finish helps hide small imperfections or provides an easier to clean surface.

Hallway Paint Cost by Type of Finish

Hallway Paint Cost by Type of Finish

Type of FinishCost (Only Finish)
Flat$20 - $35
Eggshell$20 - $40
High-gloss$30 - $40
Semi-gloss$35 - $40
Satin$40 - $50

Flat Paint

Flat or matte paint is good for hiding imperfections in the wall as it does not reflect light. You will get the most coverage from flat paint, which is why you often see this finish in new homes. Flat or matte paint isn’t user friendly unless you have no kids or dogs. Wiping down a wall painted with flat paint results in the paint coming off in many incidences. The cost of flat or matte paint is $20 to $35.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint is a finish like an eggshell’s surface. It has a slight sheen but is not overly shiny. It shows some imperfections but reflects light well for more depth in a smaller space. This finish is good for medium to low traffic areas but is fairly easy to clean. It holds up better than a flat or matte finish. Pricing for eggshell finish paint is $20 to $40 for a gallon.

High-gloss Paint

Looking for an easy to clean, fingerprint resistant, ultra-shiny, hard paint finish? High-gloss is your choice to meet these needs. Typically, high-gloss is used for cabinets, doors, and trim. You may elect to do your child’s room in a high gloss so that cleaning is easier. However, high-gloss paint shows every blemish, so maybe not good for a hallway. The cost of high-gloss paint is $30 to $40 a gallon.

Semi-gloss Paint

A good choice for dirty, greasy areas because it is durable and wipes clean easily, semi-gloss paint is slightly less shiny than high-gloss. It is also slightly less prone to show blemishes than a high-gloss. Using this type of finish is recommended in your kitchen or bathrooms and for trim or chair rails 1. The pricing runs $35 to $40 for a gallon.

Satin Paint

More durable and reflective than eggshell, satin paint creates a velvet appearance. It is great for high traffic areas as it cleans up well. However, be careful about scrubbing satin paint too vigorously as it can lose its luster. Experts say to use a wipe to clean it. Many people choose satin finish paint for bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms, hallways, and trim. The cost of satin paint is $40 to $50 a gallon.

Hallway Primer Paints Cost

Primer 2 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 3 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.

Hallway Primer Paints Cost

Hallway Primer Paints Cost

Type of PrimerCost per Gallon (Without Labor)
Oil$25 - $35
Latex$30 - $35
Shellac$40 - $50
Adhesive$40 - $50

Oil Primer

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. Oil primers are much higher in volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are dangerous when not well ventilated. Some low VOC oil-based primers are available, so choose wisely. Oil primers require harsh chemicals for clean-up and thinning. The cost of a gallon of oil-based primer is $25 to $35.

Latex Primer

A latex primer is water-based and an easy clean-up. Perfect for sealing new wood or unfinished drywall, latex primers are not effective at covering stubborn stains. They do a good job of covering minor stains such as crayon, lipstick, and some smoke. They are low to no VOC, so healthier and better for the environment. Latex primers can also be used on galvanized metal, concrete, or brick. The pricing for latex primer is $30 to $35 a gallon.

Shellac Primer

Using a shellac primer covers stains better than any other type of primer. They are an excellent medium for water and smoke damage, even the smell from smoke. Shellac primer can be used on wood, plaster, metal, and plastic. These primers are high fume and require denatured alcohol for thinning and clean-up. Expect to pay $40 to $50 per gallon.

Adhesive Primer

Adhesive primer is also known as a bonding primer. This primer is used to prepare shiny surfaces such as metal, glass, or tile. It is also used to prepare an oil-based surface like polyurethane, varnish, or shellac to receive water-based paint. Adhesive primer is good for concealing knots in wood or for stain-blocking. The cost of adhesive primer is $40 to $60 a gallon.

Hallway Painting Cost

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, and the required years of experience range from 0 to 4 years. 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 ceilings, without any decorative aspects, but some wall repair and refinishing should take approximately 10 hours ($500). Walls may need to be sanded 4 ($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.

White and wooden hallway of a modern home

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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. A professional painter charges less if you have a short hallway versus a long hallway.

Cost to Paint Hallway per sq.ft.

Cost to Paint Hallway per sq.ft.

Size of HallwayCost (Labor Included)
8 feet by 12 feet$230
10 feet by 12 feet$275
12 feet by 12 feet$350
14 feet by 12 feet$400

Hallway Paint Price per Gallon

Paint pricing varies a great deal. Several factors influence the cost. These factors include the paint’s brand and quality, the finish selected, and if the paint has a primer already included in it. Professional painters purchase the paint cheaper from a commercial store versus buying it from a hardware store.

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. If only one gallon is required, the paint for your hallway will run you $25 to $30 without labor.

Painted Hallway Ceiling

Painting a ceiling is awkward and hard on your back! 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. The typical cost for painting a hallway ceiling is $0.85 to $2.00 a square foot.

The ceiling is measured in length times width, so a 12’ x 3’ hallway would cost $30 to $72. If you are only having the ceiling painted, many painters have a minimum charge. This could be anywhere from $150 to $200.

Compare prices from hallway painters near you

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 3, 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 5 makes removal more difficult. The door could be damaged if removal is not done correctly.

Hallway Painting Designs

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 creates an illusion of space. Horizontal stripes draw the eye forward while vertical stripes pull the eye upward. 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.

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 include the following:

Modern home with a two-tone hallway


To achieve this look, the wall is painted a base color, and a sea sponge is used to apply one to three other colors in a random movement. Bolder designs include more colors. For a more subtle result, make one color the same as the base color.

Rag Rolling

Like sponging, a rag is used to roll the paint onto the surface or remove some of the wet paint already applied. This method creates a weathered look and is popular for hallways and other small areas.

Color Washing or Broken Finish

After a base color is applied and dried, a sponge or cloth is used to apply a translucent glaze in a circular motion, much like you are washing the wall. The result is a soft, old world feel that will transform your hallway.


This is a more advanced type of painting specialty. The painter applies a series of tinted glazes to achieve a marble look. Using tiny brushes, veins are applied using uneven diagonal and y or k shapes. After the designs are complete, a glaze and shiny finish are applied.


For a distressed look, the crackling method can be used. The base coat is applied and left to dry completely. Then, the crackle medium is painted onto the wall and allowed to dry. Then, another color of paint is applied to the wall. As the second coat dries, it crackles, and some of the first coat shows through. A sealer is painted on to protect the paint after everything dries.

Strie or Dragging

Wallpaper is expensive and difficult to remove when you get ready to make a change. This painting method achieves a high-end wallpaper look. The painter coats the wall with a base color and allows it to dry. Then, a different color acrylic glaze paint is applied over the entire wall. While this paint is still wet, a dry brush is used to drag through the top layer creating a faux wallpaper finish.

White Paint Hallway

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.

White modern hallway

Grey Paint Hallway

Grey paint is also a good choice for your hallway. It is versatile with decor and mixes well with other neutral colors like white, black, or navy. To add color, grey is stunning with pink or yellow. Many homeowners opt for a revere pewter hallway. Revere pewter by Benjamin Moore is a warm grey with a bit of beige mixed in, often referred to as “greige.”

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 Hallway Ideas

There are many variations of duck egg blue. Some are 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.

Duck egg blue hallway with a white door

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.

Large house entrance with a yellow hallway

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.

Small Hallway Paint Color Ideas

A small hallway may feel closed in and require a softer color to open it up. Light grey, pastels, or cream colors help to make a small area look larger. Try not to pack too much into a small space to make it look larger.

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.

New and modern house with neutral colors in hallway

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Wall Repair Cost

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 6 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.

Color Consultation

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.

Cost to Paint Interior Door and Trim

Painting doors and trim is a bit more complicated than walls. In most cases, a painter removes any doors, paints them, and then replaces them ($100 each). Although awkward, painting basic baseboards is not a difficult task. The average cost of trim painting is $3 per linear foot. Although this cost increases significantly when there is elaborate wainscotting, chair rails 1, or crown molding in the home.

Painting Door Openings

Interior door openings take a lot of wear and tear. They are constantly bumped and scraped. Painting a door opening makes a difference in how fresh and clean your home looks. Painters typically charge by the linear foot for this type of painting but may have a minimum if this is all you want to be done. To paint 125 linear feet of door openings, expect to pay between $125 and $400.

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 required.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 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
glossary term picture Primer 2 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 Sheetrock 3 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 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 Hinge 5 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 Plaster 6 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

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

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Hallway with Beige Carpet and White Painted Walls
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