Fresh paint can take a room from looking dreary and out-of-date to a sense of sparkling newness for a relatively low price compared to other remodeling projects.

Typical costs:

• Interior paint itself costs anywhere from $12-$50 or more a gallon, depending on the quality. Painting a 12×12-foot room, both walls and ceiling, can require $25-$100 worth of paint, plus $10-$50 for primer, brushes, rollers, drop clothes and other supplies. For a 1,500-square-foot home, supplies run $200-$300 for average paint, and $400-$600 for higher quality. To estimate your home’s cost, calculate using these numbers.

• Expect to pay $200-$400 to have a 12×12-foot room painted by a licensed contractor with brand-name paints; a 15×20-foot room or larger runs $300-$700 or more; and a 1,200-1,500 square foot home is $1,100-$2,000 or more. Having the ceiling painted or painting multiple colors bumps the cost to the high end of the scale.

What should be included:

• Whether doing it yourself or hiring someone, buy the best quality paint you can afford; it lasts longer and in some situations requires only one coat of paint instead of two. Painting a room usually involves prep work, primer and latex or alkyd paints with a range of finishes. gives a quick overview. provides tips for picking interior colors and instructions.

• A painting contractor’s estimate usually includes all prep work (including taping and moving small items, primer and two or more coats of paint to walls and ceiling.

Additional costs:

• Cheap paint roller covers leave fuzz on the wall while inexpensive brushes leave streaky marks; pay a few extra cents or dollars to get better results.

• It takes more coats of paint and costs more to cover a dark color with a light one, or vice versa.

• Removing heavy furniture is often not included in painters’ estimates; if you can’t do it yourself or hire someone, ask if there will be an extra charge.

• Having to paint crown molding, baseboards, wainscoting or other detailed can add to a contractor’s estimated price, as can walls taller than the average of 8 feet. The exact extra expense will varies depending on the amount of extra labor required.