How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Ceiling?

Typical Range:

$150 - $350

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 2, 2022

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

Low Average High
$0.50 per square foot $1–$2.50 per square foot $3+ 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.

Cost to Paint a Ceiling by Type

The type of ceiling you’ll be painting makes a big difference in the overall cost. Some ceilings take more intricate attention and preparation, which involves a bigger investment of time and, sometimes, more paint.

Type of Ceiling


Popcorn ceiling

$1 – $3 per square foot

Ceiling grid or drop tiles

$1 – $3 per square foot

Basement ceiling

$1 – $3 per square foot

Exposed basement ceiling

$1 – $6 per square foot

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.

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.

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 violations before attempting this yourself.

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

Painting exposed ceilings costs the same as any other type, which is  $1 to $3 per square foot. The additional prep work and varying types of materials for exposed ceilings can quickly increase the cost to $2 to $6 per square feet

Covering an exposed basement ceiling is a popular way to blend the exposed electrical work, ducts, and beams together.

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Ceiling Paint Prices

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 1 gallon per 12-foot-by-12-foot room.

Ceiling Painting Cost Factors

Several factors go into the total cost of painting a ceiling. The additional time and materials a specific ceiling takes may increase the price exponentially. 

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.

Prep Work

Getting your ceiling ready to paint can take longer than doing the painting. Tape off the edges with a good quality painter’s tape, move or cover your furniture, and lay down drop cloths to protect your floors. 

Ceiling Height

The average ceiling height is 8 feet, which is easily reachable with a step ladder. Taller ceilings may need extra tools, such as taller ladders, that can add to the cost of painting your ceiling. 

How Much Paint Do You Need? 

Expect to use 1 gallon of paint for every 300 to 400 square feet. The average 2,500-square-foot home needs 6 to 7 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 a ceiling 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 a painting service can get the job done in a fraction of the time. In addition, someone who paints for a living brings greater expertise and is less likely to make unsightly mistakes. If you decide to hire someone, an interior house painter in your area will often provide a free consultation, and quote.


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

Painting a room costs $200 to $600 for a 10-foot-by-10-foot space. Larger rooms can double the price. Don’t forget to add in the cost to paint trim and baseboards. 

How much does it cost to paint a bathroom ceiling?

When you’re figuring the cost to paint your bathroom, keep in mind that the average bathroom is 40 to 70 square feet. Coating a single bathroom ceiling costs $150 to $300 unless it’s part of a larger home project. Typically, professionals charge a minimum fee, often $150 or more, regardless of the size of the job.

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

If you need repairs in addition to a paint job, make a bit more room in your budget. Ceiling repairs cost $300 to $1,000, depending on the extent of the damage and type of materials involved.

How much does it cost 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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