How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room in Australia?

painting a room wall

In 2024, painting a room in Australia can typically cost between $150 to $3,000. This range varies based on room size, ceiling height, the paint quality selected, doing it yourself or hiring a professional, repairs and trimwork, and if you’re including additional features like skirtingboards. 

No. of Rooms Professional Painter CostDIY Cost
1$800 to $3,000 $150 to $300
2$1,500 to $4,000 $300 to $500
3$2,500 to $6,000$500 to $800
4$5,000+ $700 to $1,000+
5$6,000+ $900+

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Room Yourself?

I’ve been painting houses across Australia for over 10 years now, so I know a thing or two about the costs of a DIY painting job. If you decide to paint a room yourself instead of hiring a professional painter, you can expect to save a fair bit of money – but the trade off is spending your own time and effort.

Based on the table above, you can see that painting a single room yourself ranges from $150 to $300 in supplies and materials. Now I know that might sound straightforward, but let me tell you, having painted hundreds of rooms in my career, it’s not as easy as just grabbing a roller and slapping some paint on the walls.

There’s a lot more that goes into a quality paint job, even if you’re just working on one room. First, you need to prep the walls, which involves cleaning, sanding, filling holes, masking trim, and potentially priming. This prep work takes time and the right supplies – it’s not as simple as it looks on those DIY TV shows!

Then comes the painting itself. To get good coverage without drips, proper technique is important – cutting in the edges with a brush and rolling the walls smoothly and methodically. Painting the ceiling line cleanly is trickier than it seems too. And if you’re doing accent walls or custom colours, that adds more time and effort to the job.

All said, for an average 10×10 room with 8-foot ceilings, you’re looking at least 2 days of hard work to get a decent finished product. Factor in your time at $25-30 per hour (a bargain for DIY work!), and that DIY cost can easily double. 

While buying paint and supplies may cost a DIYer $150-$300 initially, factoring in the labour time at just $25/hour doubles the total project cost. An average room requires about 2 full days (16 hours) for prep, painting, and cleanup – adding $400 of labour value. So realistic DIY costs run $550-$700 per room.

Those numbers assume everything goes smoothly! As a veteran professional painter, I’ve seen it time and time again – the DIYer who takes on more than they bargained for. 

A coat of paint seems easy, until you spill a gallon right on the new floors. Or paintbrush bristles end up permanently hashed into the pristine walls when you take a phone call mid-brushstroke. And don’t get me started on drips and sags that require resanding and repainting entire wall sections. 

Tiny errors become monumental fixes. Patching nail holes is simple math – until 30 extra mystery dents appear once furniture is moved back in, meaning more spackle, tools, and frustration. When all is said and done, DIY dreams can quickly become budgetary nightmares, to the tune of hundreds or thousands in do-overs and damage control. In the hands of true painting professionals wielding years of experience however, these rookie DIY mistakes never happen in the first place.

So while the potential savings of painting yourself are enticing initially, be prepared to put in some sweat equity – and have patience – if you want truly professional looking results. My advice? Leave it to the experienced painters to make the magic happen. It’s what we do every day, after all! But if you’re up for the challenge, grab those rollers and go for it! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you…this old painter has seen it all!

How to Calculate the Cost of Painting a Room?

When providing an accurate quote for painting a room, there are a few key factors we professional painters take into account – and that you should too when budgeting for a paint job or comparing estimator quotes.

The main elements that impact cost are:

  1. Room Size – Measure the room’s dimensions to determine total wall space and ceiling area. Larger rooms require more paint and longer labour time, increasing cost.
  2. Features – Take note of all trim, windows, doors, and any built-ins. These areas require cutting in with a brush or masking off, which adds prep and paint time. Especially intricate or high-end finishes like crown moulding add more effort.
  3. Wall Condition – The state of walls before painting plays a huge role. Freshly plastered drywall accepts paint differently than damaged walls needing patching and resurfacing. Severely cracked or uneven walls should be factored in for extra smoothing and priming steps prior to painting.
  4. High Ceiling – Standard ceiling height is 8 feet, but rooms with higher ceilings above 8 feet have a lot more wall space and will need more coverage. Volume discounts on large paint quantities may offset material overages slightly.
  5. Paint Choice – Premium or specialty paints and finishes are great options, but they also increase the price over standard latex wall paints. Metallic, textured, or chalk-style decorative paints require extra skill and care during application as well.
  6. Accessibility – Tight spaces, obstacles in rooms, and remote or difficult-to-reach wall areas impact the time and effort needed compared to wide-open empty rooms. Storage fees for cleared furniture also occasionally come into play.

As outlined earlier, when calculating DIY costs, factor in prep supplies, tools, cleanup fees, your personal time investment, and potential repairs from mistakes. Arm yourself with accurate measurements, room details, and paint costs to establish a reliable per-room painting budget.

Cost to Paint a Room per Square Foot

Professional painters rarely do single-room jobs, although overall painting costs typically range from $10 to $60 per square meter. Here’s why…

We can’t take advantage of the efficiencies that come with doing whole-house painting jobs. Things like set up/tear down, prep work, colour mixing, equipment requirements, and staging have fixed costs, no matter the size of the project. Amortizing these across many rooms in a full interior paint job allows us to offer better pricing.

Having said that, there’s a few categories of painters who typically take on these small one-off jobs:

  • Side Hustle Painters – Often aspiring pros trying to skill up or casual weekend warriors looking to earn extra cash. They’ll tackle single rooms for homeowners on a budget but results can lack polish.
  • Handymen – General handymen services often include basic painting for minor touch ups or small areas. Handymen lack specialised equipment and expertise for major interior paint work though.
  • Students – Young student painters may tackle single rooms gaining experience. Their lower labour costs appeal to frugal homeowners if you can work around their irregular schedules.

Cost to Paint a Room – House vs. Apartment

Apartments generally cost less to paint per room for a few reasons:

  • Smaller Room Sizes – Apartment rooms average 10×10 ft or 125 sq ft. Smaller rooms need less paint and shorter project time versus larger house rooms.
  • Easier Access – Apartment buildings have centralized locations, shared hallways, and no yard access issues. Equipment and tools can be easily moved between rooms. Houses often require staging across yards or landscaping.
  • Fewer Complexities – Apartments usually lack specialty finishes that drive cost like crown molding, high ceilings, or custom builds requiring extra care in prep and paint application.

Overall, apartments provide efficiencies that lower per room painting prices including smaller sizes, easier logistics, and simpler finishes. Apartment rooms can be completed for around $800 on average.

Houses conversely have larger rooms at 12×12 ft or 144 sq ft. Special architectural elements and remote access increase effort as well. Two story foyers, finished basements, and garage access add complexity. Average house room painting costs land closer to $1,200 a room.

So while house and apartment rooms fall within the same professional painter rates per square meter, apartments provide savings opportunities through efficiencies. 

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Owner at Painters Parramatta | + posts

I'm Ibby, the lead painter at Painters Parramatta. I'm not just a professional painter; I'm a passionate writer with a deep love for all things related to painting. As the proud owner of PaintersParramatta.com.au, I've dedicated my career to the art of transforming spaces and enhancing the beauty of homes and businesses in the vibrant city of Sydney, Australia. With nearly two decades of experience in the painting industry, I've left my artistic mark on countless homes and spaces. My love for painting is evident in the meticulous craftsmanship I bring to every project, creating stunning transformations that captivate the eye and enrich the soul.

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