posted by Custom Coatings, Inc. on May 4th, 2021

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How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Kitchen or Living Room? It Depends.

kitchen painting | living room painting | Residential Painting

The wall across from your couch is smudged with little fingerprints. In your kitchen, things are looking pretty dingy; but wouldn’t you after ten years of breakfast, lunch and dinner splattered on your face? And don’t even get started about the colors. The contractor that built your house picked them, and honestly, they just make you sad.

It’s time to paint your kitchen and living room.

You might DIY this one, but something tells you it will be easier and turn out better if you hire a professional residential painter. We’re here to affirm that thought, but also give you a bit of information on the process, and especially the cost, of hiring someone to paint the interior of your home.


Our first bit of insight: A lot of the cost is about surfaces, and not about square feet.


Living rooms can be fairly straightforward rooms to paint, with large expanses of wall and just a few windows. But depending on the architecture and age of your house, those surfaces could be more or less time consuming to cover. In a typical newer home, you’ll find mostly walls and minimal molding. That’s quick, easy and carries a lower labor cost to paint. But the living rooms of more ornate architecture styles like Victorian or Craftsman homes often have thick molding, coved walls, and copious windows, meaning painters end up spending more time dealing with detail (and a brush), and less with a quick roller.

Kitchens pose their own challenges. While there isn’t often a lot of wall space, cabinets must be painted around, and in many cases painted themselves. Again, all of this takes labor, time, and drives up the cost of your paint job. Note that if you’re getting a quoted price that seems too good to be true here, it’s probably just not true.


Next: Paint sheen matters. In some places, a lot.


While choosing the sheen (shininess) of your paint is a somewhat personal preference, there are long-term cost advantages to choosing certain sheens for certain rooms. The rule is the flatter the paint, the better it will hide imperfections in your walls. You may think your walls are perfect…but chances are you’re just not seeing the bumps, pock-marks and waves your paint is hiding. Eggshell and satin paints are lovely and traditionally clean well, but paint with that type of sheen is going to make all the lumps and wiggles in your walls pop. The good news is: a high-quality flat paint cleans just as well as an eggshell or satin, and it’s just the difference between $20 a gallon and $50 or so.

In kitchens however, your painting professional may recommend something entirely, durably different.


In kitchens, paint type is important.


Kitchens are about the hardest rooms ever on paint. (Bathrooms come in a close second.) Grease, water, food particles, and daily use mean wear and tear on the walls of these rooms is much higher than in a living room or bedroom. So, to make the paint job on walls and cabinets last longer, we recommend homeowners use a slightly different type of paint in these extreme locations.

Rather than a typical water-based paint, pre-catalyzed epoxy is a great, super-durable choice for kitchen walls. It looks beautiful, cleans up with water like normal paint, and holds up wonderfully to repeated cleaning, especially around stoves or prep areas that get splashed on often. Cabinets are another matter. Check out our article on prepping and painting cabinets for an in-depth look at our process and pricing regarding painting these multi-faceted kitchen staples.


Finally, here’s how much you can expect to pay.


With every general quote we give in a blog or as a for-instance, it bears repeating that a number of things can influence the cost of your residential paint job. Paint price. Ceiling height. The specific features of your room that might take more (or less) labor, and therefore a longer or shorter amount of time. We can offer up a pretty good ballpark though.

For living rooms: Considering a typical living room that is about 15’ x 15’ in size with average trim and a moderate amount of detail like vaulted ceilings or lots of windows – maybe not builder-grade, but not historic and elaborate – we’d estimate about a day, day and a half of work and about $1500 in price.

For kitchens: There’s a range here, depending on how many cabinets, the price of your paint, and how complex the job is. An average cost to paint kitchen cabinets is around $6,800, with a full range of pricing being $4,000 to $9,000 – this is including the cabinets. If it is walls only, then you will likely be much less, around $800.00 


By the time you’ve finished reading this article, it will be past time to paint your kitchen and living room. Those grease stains aren’t getting any lighter. Your pock-marked walls highlighted by cheap eggshell paint aren’t getting any prettier. Today could be the day you make your home decorating dreams come true with just a simple coat of paint or two. Contact a professional (like us) to get started and make it look as great as you imagine.


Have additional questions? We’re here to help. Contact us at or visit our website to fill out a contact form. Want more helpful tips for painting your home or hiring a quality painting contractor to do it for you? Check out all of our residential education articles on the Custom Coatings blog, including 11 Steps to Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets and How to Choose Between Paint and Wallpaper.


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