How much does it cost to paint a home exterior?

Get educated on the typical costs of painting the exterior of your house.

Painting your house can give it a fresh look, add youth to its appearance, give it much-needed protection, and even make a dynamic change. But before you go wielding your brushes and rollers, get yourself a bit more familiar with how much you can expect to pay.

Typical House Painting Costs

  • Just the paint: If you own a 3,500 square-foot home, it'll take 20 or more gallons of paint to get the job done. That's assuming that a gallon of paint will typically cover about 350 square feet, and that a quality paint job includes two coats of paint. Taking that into consideration, good paint costs between $15 and $30 per gallon, and very high-end paints costs about $35-$75 per gallon. So, depending on the quality of paint you choose, it can cost as little as $300 or as much as $1,500 just for the paint on this size of home.

  • Painting labor: This is the part of a house-painting job that carries the most weight on the price tag. Professional painters will typically charge $1,500-$3,000 to paint an average single-story home. However, if your home is up to 3,500 square feet with multiple levels, you can expect to pay $5,500 or more for exterior painting labor. Keep in mind that labor often includes all of the prep work like power washing, caulking, sanding, and more, plus the materials to do the prep work.

  • Do-it-yourself: Painting your own home can be a challenging and messy, but fun, task, and many homeowners enjoy the money they save doing it on their own.

Low-End Estimate for Exterior House Painting

  • Just paint: About $300 for an average 3,500 square-foot home.
  • Paint and labor: About $1,800 to paint a 3,500 square-foot home.

High-End Estimate for Exterior House Painting

  • Just paint: About $1,500 for an average 3,500 square-foot home.
  • Paint and labor: About $7,000 to paint a 3,500 square-foot home.

What to Expect

  • Materials: Paint, primer, brushes, rollers, rolling handles, paint sprayer, buckets, drop cloths, paint pans, caulk, tape, sandpaper, scrapers

  • Timing: From the start of prep work to the end result, a good paint job typically takes about a week to complete, longer for larger or more complex-leveled homes. As for the frequency of painting, on average, a home should be repainted every 5-7 years-less for lower-quality paint, more for higher-quality paint.

  • Mess: Absolutely. But a drop cloth is usually used to protect areas like patios, decks, and driveways from drips and spilling.

Any Costs to Paint a House

  • Power washer: This is often the tool of choice to clean the home's exterior and remove loose and flaking paint during preparation. You can purchase a good one for a couple hundred dollars or rent one for $50-$100 per day. Painting pros will normally include the cost of their power washer in their labor fees.

  • Siding damage: If any areas of your siding are broken or rotten, they need to be repaired and prepared prior to painting. The same goes for loose or broken fascia, soffits, or trim. Depending on the extent of the damage, these costs will vary greatly and add to the overall cost of painting your home.

  • Restrictions: It's not a cost factor, but it's highly recommended to check and see if your HOA or historical district has any restrictions or covenants against certain colors. Go bold if you want, but don't risk getting in trouble.

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