How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Bathroom: DIY vs Professionals

Last updated: December 20, 2019

Painted bathtub next to a sink in a bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in our homes. Given that it’s the one room that sees the most amount of action in a day, there’s more emphasis on taking care of it.

Repainting the bathroom is a great solution for protecting the room and making sure it remains appealing to the eyes of its many users, but the process isn’t as simple as throwing on a coat of paint and leaving it to dry.

The cost to paint your bathroom comes down to various factors, including whether you turn it into your next D.I.Y. project or you go ahead and hire a contractor. This article will help you get started by discussing the following topics:

Before we get into choosing between the D.I.Y. route or hiring someone to paint your bathroom, let’s review what it costs to paint a bathroom!

8 factors in the cost of painting a bathroom

There is a lot to consider before getting started on your painting project. Here’s the factors that will have an impact on your wallet.

1. Size & measurements

One of the biggest factors that affect the cost of painting an interior room is the size of the room itself and the measurements of all the surfaces needing to be painted. This can be determined by figuring out your bathroom’s square footage. To answer this you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Calculate the perimeter of the room by multiplying its length and width (i.e. 5’ x 8’ = 40’).
  2. Multiply the perimeter with the height of the ceiling (i.e. 40’ x 8’ = 320 square feet).
  3. Subtract the square footage of any doors and windows the bathroom has

(i.e. 320 – 42 – 30 = 248 square feet). This is your answer.

The average cost to paint the interior of a house is $1.50 per square foot. Multiplying your answer from above by this cost will give you a rough estimate to start planning your painting project (i.e. 248 x 1.50 = $360).

2. Paint type

So now you know how much you’re painting, but now comes the question of what type of paint you’ll be using. There are two things to consider when deciding on a paint.

1. Paint sheen. A paint’s sheen is how glossy your paint will appear. There are five different types of sheen: Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-gloss, and Glossy. Each type has its pros and cons, including cost. Here’s a breakdown of each sheen, detailing how well you can scrub the paint, how reflective it will be, how it will appear, where it is best used, and how much it will cost:






High gloss







Light Reflection







Low gloss

Soft, velvet look

Pearl-like shine

Sleek and radiant

Bright shine, glass-like

Best Uses

Low traffic areas (i.e. walls, ceilings)

Moderate traffic areas (i.e. living room)

Moderately high traffic areas with exposure to moisture (i.e. kitchen)

High traffic areas with high exposure to moisture (i.e. bathrooms)

High traffic areas

Cost (across 5 major paint brands)

$9-$77 per gallon

$14-$100 per gallon

$21-$95 per gallon

$15-$95 per gallon

$20-$95 per gallon

2. Oil-based vs latex-based paint. Another thing to consider is what type of base you’d like in your paint. Here are some things to consider when deciding between an oil base and a latex base.

Paint Type



Oil-based paint ($30-$50 per gallon)

  • Applies well to most surfaces
  • High durability
  • Stain resistant
  • Good coverage in one coat
  • Lots of fumes present
  • Costs more
  • Can fade when exposed to the sun
  • Dries slowly

Latex-based paint ($30-$80 per gallon)

  • Safer than oil-based paint
  • Easy to use
  • Dries fast
  • Less fumes and odours
  • Can be easily cleaned
  • Long-lasting finish
  • Resistant to fading
  • Causes wood grains to swell, would need to spend time sanding between coats
  • Difficult to apply to surfaces that have already been covered with an oil-based paint

3. Paint quality

After deciding what type of paint you’d like to use, it’s important to make sure you use a paint that is the best quality. When it comes to identifying paints that are high quality, it’s a lot easier than you’d think. That’s because the quality of the paint can be found right in the name or grade.

If you want the highest quality possible, then you should seek out a paint with a premium grade. Premium paints will be more costly, but they will have more pigment to them, stronger hiding properties, and more durability.

A roller being used to coat white wall in grey paint

Other options include professional grade and architectural grade. These paints will cost less and get the job done, but due to their makeup of lesser pigments and differing hiding properties, they will most likely become less adhesive over time. This means you will likely have to spend more money to repaint your bathroom over time.

4. To prime or not to prime?

A really important decision to make is whether or not you’d also like to use a primer. While it’s true that this will add another $8-$10 per gallon to your costs (and you might not even believe you actually need it), different types of primers provide great benefits to your painting project. Here are some different types of primers you might want to consider.


Best surface use

Interior vs Exterior

Stains/ Durability

Drying speed




Many surfaces, unfinished/ bare wood


Kills stains


Very versatile





Seals minor stains


Fairly versatile

Some smell

Multi-purpose & Specialty Primers



Protects from stains and moisture, durable


Fairly versatile

Some smell

5. Specialty painting

If you’ve got the cash, you might be thinking about getting creative while painting your bathroom. Modern additions will increase the painting cost. Here are some options to consider when planning how much to spend on your project.

  • Accent walls – Having an accent wall (one wall that is a different colour than the rest) continues to be a popular trend, so having one in the bathroom isn’t unheard of. Just remember that the cost to paint the wall will be 20-30% higher than the other walls in order to accommodate the colour change.
A closeup of a white textured wall
  • Textured walls – Adding texture to one or more of your bathroom walls can give it a cool look. However, this can increase the cost to paint by up to 50%. This is because it will add more surface area to be covered, despite the square footage remaining the same, so you will need more paint to complete the job.

6. Beyond walls

When starting a paint project, we mostly think about the walls. However, a bathroom has other surfaces that you might consider painting. If you’re looking to paint more than just the bathroom walls, here are some other things to consider.

  • Doors – Every bathroom has at least one door leading into it, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Often times, doors will be painted with a different paint than the walls. In order to coat your door and its trim, you’re looking at spending an additional $70-$200 depending on the type of door.
  • Ceiling – Does your ceiling need a touch-up as well? This can cost an additional $150-$300. Expect to pay a little more if you’d like a textured or popcorn ceiling.
  • Baseboards – If your bathroom is lined with baseboards, expect to pay more to have them properly painted. This will typically cost $1-$2 per foot to paint.
  • Cabinets – When painting the bathroom, it makes sense to paint any cabinets you have to finish off the look. This can cost around $5-$11 per square foot extra.
  • Tiles – The floor of your bathroom might need some touching up too. If that’s the case, it could cost an extra $4-$10 per square foot to paint the bathroom tiles.
  • Bathtub – One of the main focus points of the bathroom is the bathtub. If you’re wanting a new tub colour to go with your paint job, this can cost you around $300-$1000 extra.
  • Vanity – Like cabinets, painting the bathroom’s vanity is essential to the look, but will cost you extra. Extra costs for this will also be around $5-$11 per square foot.

7. Prep work

Before you get started painting the bathroom, you have to make sure all possible prep work has been completed. These are the things you will have to consider.

  • Wall cleaning – Bathroom walls can become covered in debris over time. It’s important to make sure they’re clean in order for your selected paint to look much brighter and more beautiful. You can hire a cleaning company to do this for $50-$70 per hour. Expect extra costs if the walls need sanding as well.
  • Taping – This is the best way to ensure that your paint doesn’t end up on surfaces it’s not supposed to. Expect to pay $5-$7 per 60 yard roll.
  • Bathroom accessories – To make sure a paint job is done as well as possible, you’ll need to have your accessories removed. If you have any accessories that will require re-installation, this can cost you $150 or up to $750 for labour.

8. Labour

If you’re choosing to hire professional painters, you’ll need to account for an extra cost here too. The cost of labour for an average sized bathroom is between $100 and $150 total or $35 to $45 per hour. The more work needing done, the higher the price.

Should I D.I.Y. paint my bathroom?

Whether or not you should paint your bathroom yourself depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put in, as well as the purpose of painting your bathroom. Some things you should consider are how long it will take, how stressful it will be, how much preparation is needed, and how perfect you want it to be.

Work involved in D.I.Y. bathroom painting

Painting your bathroom sounds easy enough, but there’s more than just picking up a brush to think about. Here’s what else you will have to do.

  • Removal of bathroom accessories – As many items as possible will have to be removed from the bathroom in order to get a proper paint job, including the mirror and possibly the sink.
  • Wall cleaning – Having a clean wall will help your paint look its best, meaning you’ll have to invest in proper cleaning supplies in order to prep your walls for painting.
  • Taping – Nothing is worse than getting paint on a surface where it doesn’t belong, so you’ll have to take the time to place painter’s tape on at-risk surfaces.
  • Choosing paint – Before you begin, it will be entirely up to you to determine the best paint to use, including looking into different sheens, qualities, and primers.
  • Stress – Any D.I.Y. project can be hard for a first-timer, which is why you need to be kind to yourself when you mess up and try again.
  • Family living – Remember that you’re not the only one using this bathroom, so it’s likely your spouse or other family members might cause some tension along the way.
Funny meme of woman yelling at cat

Key things to think about when deciding to D.I.Y. paint your bathroom

There is a lot to consider to determine whether you’re able to take on this type of D.I.Y. project. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before beginning.

Do you really have the time?

Like most D.I.Y. paint projects, painting your bathroom won’t be quick and easy. The process can get overwhelming and will potentially result in some mistakes that require additional time to fix. It’s important to remember that these things happen but will cause you to work a longer amount of time before the project is complete.

With everything that happens in our lives, it’s also likely that painting your bathroom yourself will be difficult to complete in one day. Ask yourself if you and your family will be okay with having an unfinished bathroom for a couple of days (or however long it takes you).

Have you painted before and what level of quality are you looking for?

A bright, white bathroom with chips in the door

If you have experience with D.I.Y. projects around your home or aren’t necessarily looking for perfection, you’ll likely be fine to paint it yourself. On the other hand, if you want a great outcome to come from this project, you might be better off speaking to the professionals. Your ultimate goal for your bathroom will be a great contributor to this decision.

Can you make the necessary investment in equipment?

In order to complete the job, you’ll need the proper equipment to do so. Unlike hiring contractors who work the supplies into their costs, you’ll be responsible for purchasing all the materials yourself, which includes the following:

  • Paint and primer – You’ll need enough paint and/or primer to complete the job. The types you choose will have a big impact on your final costs.
  • Equipment – A lot of tools will need to be purchased in order to complete the project accurately. You’ll likely need a brush, bucket, tape, sandpaper, and more depending on the complexity of your project.
  • Gas and time driving – If you don’t live near a hardware store, you’ll have to account for the cost of travelling to get the proper items needed.

Do you need professional advice when it comes to colours and other things?

Changing part of your home can be very intimidating. If you find yourself confused and unsure of what to do, or dread making mistakes, you’ll need to account for time spent consulting with the professionals.

What about improvements and enhancements?

Is your bathroom in good condition? If there’s some things needing fixed, you’ll have to account for those as well. Repairing any damages to the walls before you begin painting could cost $40-$45 per hour, while refinishing a bathtub can cost $300-$1000, and mold removal can be over $500. Determine everything that needs to be improved before you dig yourself into a hole you can’t get out of.

Should I hire professional bathroom painters?

If you’re going to hire a professional to paint your bathroom for you, you’ll need to hunt for a reliable contractor. Here are some things to consider when deciding who to hire.

  • They have a great portfolio
  • They offer a warranty on labour and materials
  • They are bonded and insured (see our homepage for an example)
  • They have excellent ratings on HomeGuide & Google
  • They don’t ask for a large down payment
  • They include setup and complete cleanup costs in the quote
  • They provide excellent communication from your first phone call or email

Steps to getting an accurate painting quote

Once you’ve found a contractor that interests you, you’ll need to determine the following in order to get accurate pricing.

1. Make a list of everything you’re painting

Whether it’s all four walls or every surface in your bathroom, make sure you provide a complete list of all the things you wish to have painted.

2. Measure everything

To help make your quote as accurate as possible, you’ll need to know the size of all the surfaces needing to be painted. Most surfaces should be measured by square footage.

3. Decide what primer and paint you’ll be using

You’ll need to have an idea of what types of primer and paint you want to use. The costs for your chosen types and brands will be compared to the square footage to determine how much will be spent on paint.

4. Call a professional painter

Professional contractors will be happy to help you sort out your costs. You can call City Painters for help, or one of many local businesses in the area.

FAQs about bathroom painter quotes

Once you’ve received various quotes, it can be difficult to decide which contractor you should go with. Here are some questions and answers that might help you make your decision.

1. Why is there such a big difference between estimates?

You might notice differing costs between contractors. This is because each one makes their own estimates based on various factors, including their predicted amount of labour and the cost of their materials.

2. Do some contractors make way more money than others?

Yes. How much money a contractor makes comes down to what they charge for their services. Contractors who have been in the business longer and provide reputable service will likely charge more than those just starting out.

A contractor making notes on his project

3. Is there a right price and a wrong price?

No. The price is determined based on the time, effort, and supplies put into the project. The total cost will come down to your desired outcome. If you’re not after perfection, you’ll be able to spend less.

4. Why do painters price by the square footage of the floor?

Painters usually quote projects by job rather than by square foot. However, one of the key inputs to the job cost calculation is the size of surfaces to be painted, which is commonly assessed by square footage.

Pricing primarily by square footage is occasionally seen with new contractors attempting to get their business up and running. If they advertise offers based on the square footage of the floor, chances are that they’re inexperienced. Steer clear of all quotes like this.

5. How much of the estimate is the cost of paint?

Paint will likely account for 15-25% of the cost. Contractors tend to establish their own pricing for the chosen paint as a perk for using their service. For example, they might price a Satin paint at $40 per gallon.

6. What’s the average cost of labour?

On average, a painter might charge $20-$50 per hour.

The bottom line: ranges of bathroom painting costs

There’s lots to consider when deciding the best way to go about painting your bathroom. The answer to whether you should D.I.Y. or hire a professional is dependent on what you’re willing to spend in terms of money and time.

The D.I.Y. route

Making the decision to do it yourself means it’s up to you to figure out the cost of paint yourself. For a 5’ x 8’ room with a square footage of 320 feet, you’re likely to spend $100-$300 dollars on the paint job. However, what you don’t spend in cash will be spent on time, as you’ll be doing all the steps by yourself, around your pre-existing schedule, while potentially making mistakes and figuring things out as you go.

The professional route

For a professional painter, you’ll have to account for multiple costs, including the size of the room and the cost per hour. The cost of labour can average anywhere between $175 and $495. Add an additional $150 to $350 for the paint used, and you could spend between $325 and $845. On the bright side, the job will be completed much quicker and with less stress.

Have you made your decision?

Now that you have the facts, it’s time to decide how much you’re willing to spend on painting your bathroom. If you decide on the professional route, the City Painters is here for you. Contact us here or give us a call to get a quote for your project!