The cost of painting a ceiling varies according to several factors. The type of paint, number of coats and experience of the painter all go into determining the cost. For example, summer students who offer house painting are typically quite cheap, but the quality may not be as high as that provided by an experienced painter. A seasoned painter can guarantee good work but will charge more.
Cost of Supplies
Whether you hire a pro or the teen next door, you will have to pay for the paint. Interior paint can cost between $10 and $50 a gallon. The type of paint, brand and quality all determine the cost. Expect to pay around $20 for a decent gallon of house paint. Because the ceiling is being done and not the whole room, you will not need to buy a lot of paint. One gallon should be enough. You may also need to pay around $30 for brushes, primer and drop cloths.
If the ceiling is being painted as part of a larger project, such as painting the whole house, the cost for the ceiling may be less. If several ceilings are being painted, you can probably negotiate a lower cost per ceiling with the painter.
The painter may charge by the hour or by the job. The size of the ceiling will determine the cost. A small 10-foot by 10-foot ceiling can cost between $50 and $200, depending on the type of paint used and availability of the contractor. The price includes the painter's estimate, driving time and other overhead expenses.
To save costs, buy the paint, brushes and primer yourself, if you can get a good deal on them. Ask the painter what he charges for materials and see whether you can beat it. If you do some of the work yourself, such as preparing the room, sanding the ceiling and priming it, then the cost can go down as the painter does not need to spend his time doing those parts of the job.
Professional Versus Amateur
There is a difference between a licensed contractor with experience and a college kid painting houses to earn a few extra bucks. First, the job will get done more quickly with a professional. He may charge more, but the quality will be greater and he will likely guarantee his work. In addition, the professional can recommend the best type of paint and may even be able to cut you a deal on materials.