Cost of Painting a House (2024 Guide)

The average cost to paint a house is $3,300, depending on several factors like the size of the house and the cost of labor in your region. We’ll cover the factors you can control, and tips to save money on painting your home’s exterior.

The Varying Costs and Factors to Consider

The cost of painting your house depends on several factors, including your location. Everything from prep work and permits to regional labor costs can factor into the cost of painting your house.

The most significant factors to consider in the cost of painting a house are the size of the house, the number of stories, and the type of siding. This comprehensive guide to painting a house will explore all of these factors and help you estimate the cost of painting your home.

How to Calculate the Cost to Paint a House

The average cost per square foot to paint a house is about $1.50 to $4.00. Breaking down the price between paint, materials, and labor will help you narrow the price of your project down even further.

To get a better estimate, you can calculate the surface area of your house by multiplying the length and width of each flat surface or exterior wall. Then, add all of the areas together to get the total surface area. 

Understanding Paint Coverage

Paint coverage varies depending on the application method, the surface of your siding, and the type of paint you use. On average, most paint will cover 350 square feet of surface area per gallon. However, the actual coverage can vary from 250 to 400 square feet, depending on the type of siding you have.

Labor Costs Considerations

The national average labor cost for painters ranges from $25 to $80 per hour. Labor rates vary depending on what region of the country you’re in. You can expect to pay more if you live in an area with a high cost of living.

Tools and Equipment

The tools and equipment required to paint a home can impact the cost. If your home has multiple stories, you will need scaffolding, ladders, or an aerial lift, adding to the overall cost.

Single-story homes are the easiest to paint and require minimal equipment. With some paintbrushes, rollers, paint trays, and a ladder, you can paint a single-story house in three to four days with a team of two people.

Factors in Calculating Cost to Paint a House

Size and Complexity of the House

Larger homes with more complex structures are harder to paint. It costs about 50% more to paint the second story of a home because of the time it takes to move supplies up and down. Intricate molding and architectural details can also require more prep work and are more time-consuming to paint.

Type of Paint Selected

Exterior house paints are either water or oil-based. If your home is already painted, you may have to stick with what you have. Generally, water-based paints are less expensive, but if you choose a high-quality paint, it can cost just as much as oil-based paint and last longer than inexpensive paint.

Purchase paint in five-gallon buckets for a price break and only get what you need. Water-based exterior paints cost about $20 to $60 per gallon, whereas oil-based exterior paints cost about $20 to $70 per gallon.

Preparation Work Needed

Your home’s current condition will affect the overall cost of painting. Even if you’re hiring painters, you can save a lot of money by DIYing the prep work.

Here are some typical prep jobs that need to be done before painting a home’s exterior:

  • Scraping old paint
  • Power washing
  • Sanding
  • Recaulking
  • Taping and masking
  • Pruning trees and shrubs

Additional Costs and Considerations

Here are other costs to consider when calculating house painting costs.

Primer Requirements

Does your home’s exterior need primer? If so, you’ll need to factor that into the overall cost, including the time it takes to paint the primer.

Using a primer will give you better results, especially if you have problems like peeling paint and mildew. Some siding products, like HardiePlank, come pre-primed, and you can skip the primer if you’re painting new siding that’s already primed.

Special Paint Finishes

High-gloss paint looks good, but it can show off imperfections in your siding and costs more than flat paint. Choosing the right finish is often a matter of personal taste.

Here are some average costs per gallon for various finishes of exterior paint:

  • Flat or matte paint: $20 to $45
  • Eggshell: $25 to $50
  • Satin: $25 to $55
  • Semi-gloss: $30 to $65
  • High-gloss: $35 to $70

Repairing Damaged Surfaces

Repairing damaged siding can add to the cost of painting your home’s exterior. Basic siding repair may need to be done by a handyman or professional contractor. 

The average cost for siding repairs is typically between $2 and $16 per square foot, but it depends on the type of siding and the extent of the damage.

Weather and Seasonal Factors

The best time to paint a house is in the spring or fall because mild temperatures offer the optimal conditions. Since spring and fall are busy times, labor costs can be higher during those times of the year. 

The weather where you live can also make your painting job take longer if painters have to work around heavy rains.

Cost to Paint a House by Type of Siding

Another factor to consider when calculating the cost to paint a house is the type of siding you have. Explore the costs of painting different types of siding.

Wooden Siding

Wood siding costs about $2.00 per square foot or about $700 to $3,000 to paint a house. Wood siding is more vulnerable to moisture, so paint jobs don’t last as long. If you have wood siding, you may need to repaint every 3 to 7 years.

Concrete Siding

Concrete siding is popular in many areas because it is naturally resistant to pests, moisture, and decay. The average cost to paint concrete siding like HardiePlank is about $2.00 per square foot. High-quality paint jobs on concrete siding last about 10 to 20 years.

Vinyl Siding

Painting vinyl siding is a great way to enhance the look of old vinyl siding, saving you a lot of money compared to replacing it. Painting vinyl siding costs about $600 to $3,500, or $2.00 per square foot. 

Brick Siding

Brick is porous, so it costs more to paint than other types of siding, especially if it hasn’t ever been painted before. The average cost of painting brick exteriors is about $3.00 per square foot, for an average of about $3,500 to $10,000.

Metal Siding

The best paint for metal siding is acrylic exterior paint in a satin finish. Since metal is smooth, it takes much less paint than brick or stucco, and it’s best applied with a paint sprayer. The average cost to paint metal siding is $400 to $3,500, or about $1.50 per square foot.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional vs. Doing it Yourself

You may be debating whether you want to hire a professional paint crew versus painting your house yourself. There are a few things to take into consideration when you want to go the DIY route. Here are some aspects to keep in mind.

Expertise and Efficiency of Professionals

Painters are professionals. As experts in their field, they will paint your home quickly and efficiently, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not it’s getting done right. Experts also have all the necessary equipment to get the job done fast.

DIY: Personal Touch and Savings

Many experts don’t recommend exterior house painting as a DIY project. You risk a poorly painted exterior and have no warranty against installation failures. Also, many people don’t have all the tools necessary for exterior siding paint jobs.

How to Save Money on the Cost to Paint a House

Everyone wants to save a penny here and there. Here are some money-saving tips to help lower the cost of painting a house if you’re on a budget.

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing paint can be a daunting task because there are so many choices. Whether you choose oil-based or latex paints, high-quality paint will last longer and save you money in the long run.

Preparing Surfaces Yourself

Preparing the siding is one of the best ways to save money on exterior painting. You can scrape paint, sand, and tape and mask windows. Another time-saving task is getting overgrown shrubs and trees pruned away from the house.

Group or Neighborhood Deals

One way to negotiate with a house painter to get a better rate is by asking for a group rate or neighborhood deal. The cost to move equipment and supplies will be lower for painters if they can stay in the same neighborhood, and they might be willing to come down on the price for more work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting a House

Do I Need to Paint My House?

Houses usually need to be painted every 5 to 10 years, but some paint jobs last up to 20 years. Here are some signs that indicate your home needs to be painted:

  • Wear and tear, including chipped paint and damaged siding
  • Bubbling or cracking paint
  • Cracked caulking
  • Faded colors

Painting your home is a great way to enhance your property’s curb appeal and protect it from the elements. Choosing a new color for your home is another great reason to paint your house.

How often should I paint my house?

Most homes need to be repainted every 5 to 10 years. However, factors like the climate in your region and the type and quality of paint used can affect how often a house needs to be painted.

What type of paint is best for exteriors?

Acrylic latex paints are known for their superior durability and longevity when used on exterior surfaces. They are more flexible than other types of paint and will resist cracking, chipping, and peeling better.

Is it better to spray or roll paint on siding?

Using a paint sprayer is one of the best methods to apply paint to a home’s exterior. It requires more masking and taping and uses more paint, but it’s much faster and results in a smoother finish.

How long does exterior paint typically last?

Exterior paint usually lasts about 5 to 10 years, depending on the climate, environment, and quality of the paint. Properly prepping your siding and using a primer if necessary will ensure your paint lasts longer.

Can I paint my house any color I want?

Unless you are part of a homeowner’s association that dictates what colors you can use, you can paint your home any color you want. Consider the resale value and your neighborhood aesthetics when choosing a color.

What’s the best time of year to paint a house?

Spring or fall is the best time of year to paint a house. Winter is too cold, and summer temperatures get too hot. Ideal temperatures for painting are between 65 and 90°F (18 to 32°C).

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