Painting the exterior of your home costs an average of $2,500 (for a 2,400 sq. ft. two-story home), with most homeowners paying between $1,800–$3,200. In general, the average cost per 100 square feet is $60–$160. Get free instant estimates from professional painters near you.
Whether you have a new home and it needs your unique colors added to it, or your home’s exterior is in a sorry state, a paint job can give it a completely new look. Of all the remodeling jobs you can do on a home, painting the exterior is one of the cheapest, instant returns on your resale value compared to other projects. It can even make the difference between buyers wanting to see your home or electing to not go at all. Painting can also protect your home from inclement weather, mildew and mold, insect damage, and corrosion; and a good paint job can last 10–15 years.
While it can be easy to read a stated cost per sq. ft. to paint your home, there are so many variables in pricing that you need to take them all into account before coming to your own estimate on how much it will end up costing. The average cost to paint a house exterior is $2,500 (for a 2,400 sq. ft. two-story home), with most homeowners paying between $1,800–$3,200.
To get a very general estimate, though, painting contractors will take into account the square footage of your home and the number of stories and also factor in normal prep work.
In general, without adding any extra costs for painting doors, trim, windows, and different types of siding, it can cost the following to paint your home’s exterior.
|Home Size||Square Feet||Average Costs|
The average for painting labor across the country is $30–$40/hour before you pay for paint, painting supplies, location costs, and equipment. On average, expect to pay $60–$160 /per 100 square foot for exterior painting.
Prep work – Added into the basic cost of a paint job is a power wash of the exterior, repair of minor cracks and holes in trim and siding, and priming.
Paint and painting supplies – Paint costs come from two painters in one hour and one gallon of paint/100 sq. ft.. Experienced painting contractors will already have the main supplies needed. Average paint cost is $21/gallon. At 1 gallon/100 sq. ft., an 1,800 sft home using 18 gallons of paint will spend $380 on the paint alone. What quality of paint are you willing to pay for? Some budget-priced paints will only look good for a few months while others will last for many years.
Labor – The US average is $30–$35/hour for painting. If it takes two painter hours per 100 sq. ft., an 1,800 sq. ft. home will take about 36 hours to prep and paint, coming to $1,080–$1,260 for the labor.
Scaffolding/boom lift – Sometimes these have to be rented if extra precautions are needed. Boom lift rental is $825–$1,330/week.
Siding replacement and removal – Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay $1,550–$3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000–$14,000 for new siding and installation. And more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work.
The type of trim and siding on the home will dictate how much prep work is need, which types of paints to use, and how much repair work needs to be done before even primer is put on. What is the siding made of? Not all paints can be sprayed and look good because they need to be thinned to work in the sprayer. Spraying, although cheaper, isn’t as precise as painting with a roller or brush, and masking can take hours. Here are the common siding materials, prep work needed, and price to paint:
Metal will have to be sanded and primed with two coats of oil-based primer before it can be painted. To clean it, they’ll scrub it with a solution of TSP and water. Hose it off and wait for it to dry before painting. Spray paint doesn’t stick to metal well. You can expect to pay $29 /per 100 square feet to brush paint metal siding.
Brush painting brick and masonry costs $30 /per 100 sq. ft., whereas roll painting costs $52/ per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $18 /per 100 sq. ft.. Your contractor will sweep or scrub the concrete first with a dry brush, and then clean it thoroughly with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water, then let it dry.
Wood is probably the most time-consuming when it comes to preparing it for paint. It has to be scraped and sanded until there isn’t a single chip or bit of loose paint in sight. Any wood siding or trim with wood rot will need to be replaced, and all cracks and holes need to be filled with epoxy filler. Brush painting and roll painting wood siding costs $43 /per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $34 /per 100 sq. ft.
Your painter should use an oil-based primer to lock in wood extractives and may consider first painting stripped wood with a water sealer/preservative if working in regularly wet conditions. It will protect the siding until its ready to be painted. Gray wood will not hold paint and will need to be sanded down to the fresh wood before it’s primed.
While vinyl siding salespeople claim it never needs to be painted, it does lose its color strength over time, and the degree of fading can vary depending on which sides get the most exposure to sunlight. Perhaps it still hasn’t faded but you don’t like the color much. You can’t go any darker than its current color, though, because the siding is designed to absorb only so much heat, and a darker color could cause it to buckle. Vinyl paint is available in many colors. Brush painting and roll painting vinyl siding costs $43 /per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $34 /per 100 sq. ft.
If the house is new, you’ll have to wait for at least a month or two for the stucco to dry before you can paint it, because the uncured stucco will be too dusty and chalky to let the paint stick to it. If you’re in a rush, you can keep it wet by washing/spraying it every day in order to cure it in 7–10 days. Power washing is usually safe on stucco.
A moisture meter will let your contractor know if there’s moisture in the stucco before starting. The wetter the material, the less ready it is to be sanded, painted, finished or covered. Your contractor will use a premixed stucco repair patch material to fill any small holes and will paint on dry days so as to avoid sealing in water. Painting rough stucco requires more paint. Brush painting stucco costs $112 /per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $55 /per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting stucco costs $25 /per 100 sq. ft.
Your contractor will sweep or scrub the concrete first with a dry brush, and then clean it thoroughly with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water, then let it dry. TSP is a mostly alkaline solution that does a great job cleaning grease and oil off concrete surfaces. Brush painting concrete siding costs $138 /per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $50 /per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting $32 /per 100 sq. ft.
Each type of siding will need to be treated differently when it comes to primer and paint at different price points. Exterior paint costs between $35–$80/gallon depending on the quality you choose. It’s not always true that the more you pay for your paint, the longer-lasting your paint job will be, but you do need to be careful when researching exterior paints to make sure it can weather the local elements well.
Buying better paint means you may get away with fewer coats and the color won’t fade as much. It’s more durable and probably won’t harden or blister. Your paint may emit fewer VOCs. and it’s less likely to allow mildew.
While latex/acrylic paints are more popular now because of the points above, oil-based paint is still good on steps and high-traffic areas. It has a high resistance to foot traffic and works well painted on steel and cast-iron railings. Many professionals will add sand to paint for porch and patio steps for extra traction.
Based on 1 gallon covering 100 square feet and factoring in 2 coats of paint, your average cost for paint will be:
|Home Size (Square Feet)||$30/gallon paint cost||$80/gallon paint cost|
Another type of paint is on the market that claims to be a primer and paint in one. Basically it’s just thicker paint and costs twice as much as regular paint. Most painters aren’t fans, but if you have exterior walls in excellent condition already, and the self-priming paint is the same color as the original paint color, it could certainly save painting time with one coat going on instead of two.
The quality of your primer can make a big difference too—it must live up to its promise of acting as a preventative and preservative and give paint good traction. According to Handyman’s Garage, the top three primers are $9–$19/quart. They are designed to resist peeling and mildew growth.
Because of the extra painting time for anything other than walls and siding, expect to pay the following average prices for each item. Price are for paint application only and do not include setup, masking, or cleanup.
|Home Feature||Average Cost|
|2’ x 4’ shutters or blinds||Brush $40; Spray $13|
|Flush exterior door, frame and trim||$53|
|Exterior French door, frame and trim||$109|
|Gutters and downspouts||$2.13/foot|
|Roof overhang to 30” wide||Roll and brush $0.67/foot; Spray $0.26/foot|
|Roof overhang over 30” wide||Roll and brush $0.51/foot; Spray $0.18/foot|
|Molding or trim||$1.95/foot|
Add 50% for repainting overhang or painting overhang with exposed rafter tails or second color or for painting second-story overhang from scaffolding (multiply the area by 1.5). Add 100% for second story with no scaffolding or exposed rafter tails (multiply the area by 2.0).
This depends on the size of the window and the number of panes. To calculate the price for windows larger than 15 sq. ft., add 1’ to each side of the window and then multiply width x length. Add 2 sq. ft. for each window pane for painting the mullions, muntins, and sash and then multiply your total sq. ft. by $84/100 sq. ft.. So a 4’ x 4’ window with 4 panes will come to a total of 44 sq. ft. x $84/100 sq. ft. = $37.
The height of your house could call for additional expense. You’ll notice that some contractors are OSHA certified, which can give you peace of mind about workers painting higher portions of your home.
According to Craftsman National Estimator, "High time difficulty factors for surface preparation and painting. Painting takes longer when heights exceed 8' above the floor. Productivity is lower when application requires a roller pole or wand on a spray gun or when work is done from a ladder or scaffold. When painting above 8', apply the following factors:
Any additional time your painter needs to ensure your exterior is prepared properly for its new coat of paint will add to your cost. You’ll pay more for additional work removing old cracked or peeling paint, sanding, replacing rotting wood, etc.
At least 90% of painting time goes into setup, prep work, and priming. The type of prepping required varies for each type of exterior material on the home, but every type must be patched and cleaned. The more thoroughly you prep and prime your hone’s exterior, the longer your paint job will last. You could save quite a bit if you do this part yourself, but it must be done properly or your contractor will have to go over what you missed. The prices mentioned are based on paying a contractor to do each job rather than one overall quote for the work from start to finish.
You might be limited by your homeowner’s association as to how unique you can be with your exterior paint choices. Check with them first to make sure you don’t have to redo your hot-pink-plus-unicorns murals. It can help to drive around your neighborhood to see what your neighbors have chosen and come up with a color scheme that fits in. If you’re not sure, stores can give you small cans of paint so you can paint patches of color in discreet parts of the exterior to see how they really look before purchase.
If you’re painting your house the exact same color it was before, peel off a bit of paint and bring it to your local paint store. They are very good at computer matching the color. Paint stores are better at this than general hardware stores, and they have hundreds of brochures to help you pick the best exterior house paint colors.
Any home built before 1978 could very well have lead paint on it, which is toxic if ingested or if the dust is inhaled while scraping it off. Removal can be costly, and you might have to move out of the home altogether for a while. “You can buy a DIY lead paint testing kit for $20–$40. There are only two widely available and EPA-approved kits: the Klean-Strip D-Lead Paint testing kit and the 3M Lead Check Swabs.” — Lifehacker.com.
Alternatively, you can pay for a home inspection. It will cost more, but the inspection will cover every possible area of toxic material contamination in the home. If your testing kit shows up positive, you’ll need to hire an inspector anyway to determine your next steps.
Painters will agree that you should always aim to paint in the part of the year when it’s least likely to rain, has low humidity, and when the temperatures are above 50 F. Rain can wash wet latex paint off a wall, and temps that are too low can affect the way the paint sticks to the walls. Some painters will add additives to the paint if working in very high temperatures to slow down the drying time.
Summer is the busiest time of the year for painters, with some booked up to six months ahead of time, so book well in advance. Homebuyers getting VA loans have run into difficulties with this, so if you’re getting a VA renovation/rehabilitation loan, get all your painting and inspection estimates and work dates booked before you fill out any paperwork with a closing date, or the house will not be move-in ready in time.
As you’ve seen above, the cost to paint with brushes, rollers or sprayers varies.
The scope of work from start to finish is huge, and painting the house yourself can end up costing more than if you hire a professional if you don’t go about it in the right way.
To find your painting contractor, look for them to fulfill as many of the following requirements as possible. Then ask for a detailed proposal from your top three to include paint and cleanup costs, and pick the one that appears best.
Find your painting contractor today, and we hope your house will soon look amazing.
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted exterior painters:
Get 5 free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted painting professionals:
Let us know about your needs so we can bring you the right pros.
Receive quotes from multiple pros that meet your exact needs.
Compare quotes, message or call pros, and hire only when ready.