How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Ceiling?

Typical Range:

$741 - $2,664

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 16, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Ceiling Painting Costs

the average cost to paint a ceiling is $1 to $2.50 per square foot.

Painting the average 12-foot by 12-foot room ceiling runs $150 to $350 depending on your location and the quality of the paint. For two coats, increase that price by 50%. On average, you’ll pay $1 to $2.50 per square foot. Doing a 2,500 square foot house would cost about $0.50 per square foot less than just a single room.

Most of your budget goes to labor, with setup, prep and cleanup taking longer than the actual painting. Most contractors figure costs per square foot but will provide you with a total project quote. They also tend to have a $200 to $300 minimum charge, regardless of the size of project.

Cost to Paint a Ceiling Per Square Foot

Average Cost$1-$2.50 per square foot
High Cost$3+ per square foot
Low Cost$0.50 per square foot

It’ll cost you anywhere from $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot to paint a ceiling. For smaller projects, like a single room, expect pricing to increase to $1 and up per square foot. Smaller jobs tend to cost more per square foot because of overhead costs, like fuel, insurance, travel and most supplies. A painter’s overhead stays about the same, regardless of the size of the project.

Price of Paint for a Ceiling

One gallon of paint costs $20 to $60. You’ll cover 350 to 400 square feet of ceiling with one coat per gallon. This means you’ll need just under one gallon per 12- by 12-foot room.

Cost to Paint Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceiling painting costs $1 to $3 per square foot, though you’ll end up using slightly more product to cover the surface. Though functional, it’s not currently stylish.

Removing popcorn ceilings costs $800 to $2,500 depending on the area. It’ll add $1 to $2 per square foot for a total removal and painting cost of $2 to $5 per square foot.

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Cost to Paint Ceiling Grid or Drop Tiles

Painting a drop ceiling costs $1 to $3 per square foot. In most cases, you’ll cover the actual grid the tiles sit in and replace any tiles with new ones.

Drop ceiling installation costs $1,000 to $2,300. Though it runs slightly more, it’s usually a better option to maintain its acoustic functionality.

Note: For commercial purposes, painting a drop ceiling can both void the warranty and may break fire or building codes. Always check with your contractor about possible code violation before attempting this yourself.

Painting Crown Molding

Overall, painting trim costs $500 to $1,500 for a 1,500 square foot home. Crown molding is a type of interior trim at the place where the wall meets the ceiling. Painting it runs $1 to $3.50 per linear foot. However, if you’re painting it at the same time and the same color as your ceiling, expect it to only add $0.50 to $1.50 to your project.

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Cost to Paint a Basement Ceiling

Painting a basement ceiling costs anywhere from $500 to $4,500 depending on square footage. Your price could increase for exposed beams, ductwork or electrical. Since each one is unique, it’s best to talk with your contractor about specific costs associated with your project.

Cost to Paint Exposed Basement Ceiling

While the process on exposed ceilings cost the same as any other type, or $1 to $3 per square foot, prep work and varying types of materials can quickly double that price. Covering an exposed basement ceiling is a popular way to blend the exposed electrical work, ducts and beams together.

Cost to Spray Paint Ceiling Black

Painting your ceiling black runs $1,000 to $3,000 for 1,000 square feet. Black helps blend the ceiling components together. All the beams, electrical and ductwork seemingly disappears for half the cost of a dropped ceiling. Unfortunately, it makes the space seem smaller and its tough to redo it in any other color. Consider white instead of black.

Ceiling Paint Calculator

You’ll need one gallon for every 300 to 400 square feet. The average 2,500 square foot home needs six to seven gallons for a single coat. For more on finding the amount of paint you need for your project, use our paint calculator.

DIY vs. Having Trim Painted Professionally

The largest cost associated with painting is time. If you plan to DIY, you’ll need supplies like drop cloths, brushes, rollers, thinner and masking tape. In total, you can expect to spend $200 to $600 on supplies.

Professional labor runs $25 to $75 per hour, but they can get the job done in a fraction of the time as a homeowner without mistakes. Ask yourself what your time is worth and then find a local painter near you for a free consultation and quote.

Some common DIY mistakes include:

  • Uneven coating. This leaves ghosting of roller or brush marks and varying shades on the ceiling.

  • Not covering all surfaces. Think paint on the furniture, carpet and drapes.

  • Not removing old paint or peeling surfaces. Improper prep leads to quick failure of the new coat.

  • Under or over thinning of paint. This results in streaks and runs.

If you’re going to DIY a paint project, find out how to paint a ceiling before starting.

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FAQs

How much does it cost to paint a room wall and ceiling?

Painting a room costs $200 to $600 for a ten-foot-by-ten-foot space. Larger rooms can double the price.

How much does it cost to paint a bathroom ceiling?

Coating a single bathroom ceiling costs $150 to $300 unless it’s part of a larger home project. Typically, professionals have a minimum fee they charge, often $150 or more, regardless of how small the job is. The average bathroom is 40 to 70 square feet.

How much does it cost to patch and paint a ceiling?

Ceiling repairs cost $300 to $1,000 depending on the extent of the damage and type of materials involved.

How much to paint beadboard or tongue and groove ceilings?

Painting beadboard or tongue and groove ceilings cost $225 to $450 for a 150 square foot room.

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