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Kitchen Painting Cost

Kitchen Painting Cost

National average
$465 - $1,240
(painting a 13’x13’ kitchen with 2 coats of paint with primer, prep work included)
Low: $350 - $450

(1 coat of paint, no prep work)

High: $1,500 - $3,900

(large amount of prep work, 2 coats, faux finish, plus cabinets)

Cost to paint a kitchen varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from painters in your city.

The average cost of painting a kitchen is $465 - $1,240.

In this guide

Cost Factors
Measurements
Prep Work
Primer
Colors
Kitchen Paint vs Normal Paint
Types of Paint
Type of Finish
Labor
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Kitchen?

Kitchens get a lot of use each day and that, combined with food, grease, and smoke stains, may mean that the walls need to be painted more often than those in other rooms. Painting your kitchen can help breathe new life into the room, covering stains and dirt, and making the space look more attractive.

Painting a 13'x13' kitchen with 310 sq.ft. of wall space to paint, has an average cost range from $465- $1,240, with most people paying around $852.50.

Kitchen Painting

Kitchen painting costs
National average cost$852.50
Average range$465 - $1,240
Minimum cost$350
Maximum cost$3,900


Cost Factors

Like any painting project, there are several different contributing factors that go into the final cost calculation. The first is the size of the space to be painted. Some kitchens have more wall space than others, even in the same amount of square footage because windows, cabinets, and appliances vary in size and placement.

The number of coats required to paint the room will also impact the cost. For example, a bold red wall will require one coat of dark gray primer 1, followed by two to three coats of paint, and will cost more than a single coat of cream paint on a wall already painted the same or a similar color. Major color changes will cost more than a refresh.

The condition of the walls and the amount of prep work needed will also impact the cost. If the walls require a lot of patching and sanding 2 before painting can begin, this will raise the cost of the project. Likewise, the more moldings and cabinets that need to be taped off, the higher the total cost will likely be.

Measurements

Kitchens are slightly unique when it comes to determining the amount of surface area to be painted. Each wall needs to be measured at its length and width to determine its total square footage. For example, a wall 8’ high and 13’ wide will be approximately 104 square feet, but any windows, doors, cabinets, or appliances will need to be subtracted from this total. While you can get rough measurements yourself, your painter will likely want to measure the space before giving you a final quote based on the particulars of your kitchen.

Prep Work

Kitchens often require a slightly higher degree of prep work than some other rooms. This is partly due to the use of the space and the number of things that may be in it. To start, any appliances, such as refrigerators, not built into the cabinetry should be moved either out of the room or toward the center to allow for easier access. Rolling carts and moveable islands 3 or shelves should also be relocated for the duration.

The walls will often require cleaning, particularly if there is a lot of smoke or grease buildup. Any holes will need to be patched and sanded 2 down, and window sills 4, baseboards, ceilings, and cabinets will need to be taped off.

Primer

Primer 1 helps paint adhere better to a new surface and can also help ease the transition from a dark color to a light color or a light color to a dark. For example, if you have a dark gray wall and are moving to a pale blue, a coat of white primer 1 will help cover the dark paint and make the transition easier.

If you are painting the walls the same color, or similar color as what is already there, a primer 1 may not be necessary. Always use the same type of primer 1 as the type of paint you are using; for example, latex primer 1 with latex paint.

There are three types of primers 1, each with its own considerations.

TypeProsCons
Oil ($10-$15)

Rich finish

Longer lasting

Adheres to all wall types

May cover stains better

High VOCs

Banned in some states

Difficult to spread and work with

Difficult to clean up

Latex ($10-$15)

Low-VOC options available

Easy to use

Easy to clean up

Readily available

Not as long-lasting

May delaminate or peel with exposure to moisture

May not cover stains as well

Pigmented shellac ($45-$100)

Very good at covering stains

Very good at covering smoke or water damage

Very expensive

Not as highly available

Very high VOCs

Difficult to clean up


Colors

Kitchens can be painted in a full range of colors, although you may find that one works better in your space than another.

When painting small spaces, it’s best to keep the colors light and with a cool tone to help them appear larger. Larger kitchens can handle darker and warmer colors, which can help them appear to be cozier.

Man in process of painting a kitchen in white

If your kitchen is dark, keep the colors light as well, as this will help to lighten and brighten the space. Keep in mind, though, that some light colors may show dirt more easily than others. If your kitchen is a busy space, consider a light tan or pale gray to help hide dirt and smudges more easily.

Kitchen Paint vs Normal Paint

There is no paint known as “kitchen paint,” but there are many paints that are suitable for specific parts of your kitchen. While most people will stick to painting their walls, it is also possible to paint your cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring. For each of these areas, you will want to purchase paint made for that specific purpose. This ensures proper adherence, and that the paint will hold up to the use on that area.

For kitchen walls, wall paint that you use in the rest of the home is perfectly suitable.

Types of Paint

There are three general categories for wall paint - latex paint, oil paint, and urethane-based paint. Most homeowners choose to use latex paint, which is easy to mix, comes in many colors, and which is available with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds–what you smell after you paint).

Oil- and urethane-based paints are less common for interior use, and in some states have been banned. Oil-based paint, in particular, can be harder to mix and apply, but often gives you richer, longer-lasting results. Urethane-based paints may be used in place of oil paints in areas where oil is banned and is good for high-use surfaces, such as flooring.

TypeProsCons
Latex ($20-$70)

Readily available

Easy to use

Easy to clean up

Low-VOC options available

May require more coats to cover

Easily affected by moisture

Easily scratched

Oil ($20-$70)

Needs fewer coats to cover

More durable and longer-lasting

High VOCs

Banned in some states

Harder to mix and apply

Harder to clean up

Urethane ($40-$100)

Good coverage

Highly durable

Needs fewer coats to cover

High VOCs

Banned in some states

Harder to clean up

Few choices available


Type of Finish

Paints come with several different finishes, ranging from a very flat, matte finish to a bright, glossy finish.

  • Flat ($18 per gallon)
  • Eggshell ($20 per gallon)
  • Satin ($21 per gallon)
  • Semi-Gloss ($22 per gallon)
  • High-Gloss ($24 per gallon)

In general, kitchens do better with finishes starting at eggshell and moving toward semi-gloss. This is because these finishes are easier to keep clean–the glossier the finish, the easier it is to wipe with a damp cloth. Because kitchens are high-traffic areas that see a lot of food, grease, and smoke, a glossier finish will help ensure that the walls stay cleaner.

Avoid flat and matte finishes in the kitchen, as these will show dirt and food stains faster. High-gloss finishes are also not recommended for walls, as they reflect too much light. Go for a semi-gloss, or satin for a more subdued look, to get the best finish for the kitchen.

Faux finishes are also a possibility for kitchens and include many different decorative looks. They can also be done in any type of paint finish, but can create the looks of stone, tile, or plaster 5 on your walls. Keep in mind that these types of finishes are usually costly and will require more care in the long term. The costs for adding a faux finish are usually in addition to the cost of painting the walls a solid color and start at around $5 extra per square foot 6.

Labor

Most painters charge by the hour, with an average cost of around $50 per hour for the job, which includes the priming, painting, prep work, and cleanup. Some will also include the cost of the paint in their estimates, while others will either ask that you purchase the paint and have it ready or will charge additional for the paint and other supplies.

In some instances where there is little prep required and the job is easy, painters may charge by the square foot 6, with a rate averaging $2-$3 per sq.ft. If you are having areas beyond the walls painted, such as cabinets or appliances, then the hourly charge usually applies.

For a 13’x13’ kitchen needing two coats of paint and prep work to protect cabinets and moldings, you can expect the job to take 12-14 hours, plus the cost of the materials, so the labor portion of the job will be around $600-$650 of the $800 total.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Cabinet Painting

Many people painting their kitchens choose to have their cabinets painted as well. This is a more involved job that includes removing the doors and drawers from the cabinets to paint them and the stiles, then replace them. This takes several days to complete and can cost from $1,200 to $7,000 depending on the style of cabinets, the type of paint, and the finish.

Stippling

Stippling is a type of paint technique that creates small dots or speckles over the surface of the wall when finished. It can be very time consuming and is done after the walls have been given a base coat. Expect to pay roughly double if you have this type of effect done.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is another option for updating your kitchen’s appearance. There are many types of wallpaper that can give your kitchen a range of different looks. Average costs range from $1,000-$1,300.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • In most instances, you will not need to remove old paint from your walls, but if you are having your cabinets painted, you may want to have them stripped first. This can have a range of associated costs, depending on how many levels 7 of paint to be removed and the condition of the cabinets. Expect costs to start at $5 per linear foot 6.
  • When hiring a painter ask to see pictures of finished jobs, as well as for references, and for insurance information. Be sure to compare quotes from at least three painters to find the best fit.
  • Some of the prep work can be done ahead of time by the homeowner to help keep costs down. For example, moving items, cleaning the walls, and patching small holes can all be done ahead of time so the painter only needs to tape.
  • The quality of the paint you choose can impact the project. Look for a durable, low-VOC paint that is made for high-traffic areas. This will be easier to clean and less likely to chip over time.
  • If desired, you can add texture to the paint to give dimension and character to the walls. This can be done by thickening or thinning the paint and using various tools to create a faux finish.
  • Maintain your new paint job by wiping off splatters and smudges as soon as they are noticed. Use a PH-neutral cleaner and a soft cloth as needed to help remove stains without harming the finish.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to paint a kitchen?

The average cost to paint a full-sized kitchen is around $800 including paint.

  • How much does a painter charge per hour?

Most painters charge around $50 per hour.

  • What is the best paint to use on kitchen cabinets?

Look for paint specifically designed for cabinets. It should have a higher gloss and be made for the material your cabinets are made from.

  • What is the most popular color for a kitchen?

There are many popular colors for kitchens including gray, blue, taupe, and pale yellow.

  • Do you need special paint for the kitchen?

No, but you should choose something with a higher gloss to make cleanup easier.

  • Which paint is the best for the kitchen?

A low-VOC, higher gloss latex paint is ideal for the kitchen.

  • How much does it cost to paint a ceiling?

The average cost to paint a ceiling is around $195.

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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.
glossary term picture Primer 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
glossary term picture Sanding 2 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)
glossary term picture Island 3 Islands: A kitchen counter that is not attached to walls or other surfaces, and that can be accessed from all sides
4 Sills: The lowest horizontal support of a building, typically made of wood, placed on the foundation, on the ground, or below ground level to protect the building slab and secure framing
glossary term picture Plaster 5 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
glossary term picture Footing 6 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.
7 Levels: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.

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

Renovated Open Kitchen Area with Beige Painted Walls

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, IL
+21%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denton, TX
+17%
Denver, CO
+1%
Dublin, OH
+13%
Evansville, IN
+7%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naperville, IL
+47%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New York, NY
+77%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
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