More painting articles
When was the last time you gave your home a fresh coat of paint?
Can’t remember? Or are you ashamed to admit that you have never done so ever since you moved in?
Don’t worry – this is more common than you think.
Homeowners often decide to repaint their homes only when paint flaws can no longer be hidden by strategically placed furniture.
On this page:
If you see any of these signs, like faded or morphed sections, cracks, peels, bubbles, and even wood rot, it is time to get in touch with a painter and get your home repainted.
Are you worried about how much it will cost you? Keep reading because we will tell you the main factors that affect the cost of house painting, as well as how much does it cost to paint a house interior and exterior, and the different types of paint available.
And as a bonus, we will teach you how you can get up to four free interior and exterior house painting quotes from painters near you using our service.
Factors Affecting the Cost of House Painting
Painting a home may cost a little less than $100 for small areas, or even more than $10,000 for a large-scale house painting. That is why before starting on the project, it is helpful to know the different factors affecting the cost of house painting. This will allow you to gauge what your budget should be and how you can lessen your expenses for it.
Choice of Paint
Certain types and finishes work well on the house exterior than the interior, and vice versa. These paints also have different price tags, so choosing the right type is important.
Your chosen color and special features of the paint will also impact the overall cost of materials. Classic colors are generally cheaper than contemporary or trendier colors, and paint that resists mold and mildew, has waterproofing properties, and other characteristics cost more than basic, no-frills paint.
If you are unaware of your different paint options, don’t worry because we will discuss it in detail later.
Sections That Need Painting
If only a wall or a certain section of your home needs repainting, it will cost less than getting your entire house repainted. The drawback to this is that the newly repainted section may look different from the untouched walls.
Size of Your House
It goes without saying that the bigger your home, the more expensive it will be to paint, especially if you are getting your whole house painted.
Whether Painting an Existing or a Newly Constructed House
Painting a house is not as simple as getting a brush or roller and painting the walls; prep work is needed to make sure the paint adheres well to the surface that has become smoothened, unless you are working with stucco and other rough textures.
All the needed prep work makes painting a newly constructed home a bit more costly, since this step is skipped or done minimally with a home needing to be repainted.
But if your painter suspects that lead is present in the existing paint, especially if your home was built before 1978, special handling is a must; lead exposure can lead to poisoning, resulting in death. This suspicion will increase the cost of painting your home, because OSHA requires lead testing for such homes. You can do this by hiring a professional construction contractor to do it for you, or DIY using 3M lead testing kits from a service like Check4Lead.
Condition of the House
A painter must first assess the condition of the surface that will be painted on, as well as the underlying material. If repairs or replacements are needed, these should be done first before your painter will start working.
More prep work may be needed, or you may have to contact other contactors to do the necessary repairs, such as in the case of a mold infestation present in the walls.
And if your home needs cleaning, power washing must be done before the painter can work on your home.
A house in poor condition will cost more to paint because of all the other work needed to be done beforehand.
Number of Stories
Each level of your home will add more to your total cost, as more labor and materials are needed, especially for exterior painting. Painters also often charge extra to work on higher floors due to the safety risks involved and their use of safety equipment.
Interior house painting, on the other hand, tends to be unaffected by this aspect; painting each floor inside your home often has the same degree of difficulty but has more obstructions, so the labor costs are the same regardless of the number of floors present.
Method of Painting
Painters can use traditional methods of painting using paint brushes and rollers, or they can use a sprayer to do so. The traditional method is more time-consuming and uses up more paint than using the sprayer method, but painters charge higher for the latter because it takes skill to achieve the desired smooth finish and requires the use of a paint sprayer.
Presence of Furniture
Paint splashes are inevitable, so it is a must to protect your furniture and other stuff if you don’t want paint splotches on them. This means either moving them away from the areas that will be painted or covering them up, and painters will charge extra for it.
And if you have fixtures on walls that cannot be removed, your painter will have to work around them; this will slow down their work and add to your labor costs.
Texture or Material of Surfaces to Be Painted On
Certain walls are much easier to paint on than others. Drywall, for example, is a lot easier to work with, so painters finish earlier than when painting on a plaster wall. And if you have wallpaper, it must be removed first before you can get that wall painted, and painters often bill wallpaper removal separately.
The same is true for ceilings. A stucco or popcorn ceiling can be more expensive to paint than a completely flat ceiling due to its rough surface, unless you are just adding another layer of paint to it.
Different surface finishes also require different prep work and even different types of paint, that is why painters may have different rates for it depending on the material; painting a metal surface may cost more than painting over wood.
Accessibility and Location
Any obstructions and obstacles all over your home, including bushes, trees, and even steep ground, will make the task more challenging for a painter. That is why they usually charge higher for such homes, as they will need special measures and equipment to work around these obstructions.
Painters may likely charge extra to compensate for their transportation costs if your location is some distance away from their office or is hard to reach. Hiring off-state painters will also cost more due to the distance between your home and their location.
And if you live in a place with a high cost of living, expect to pay more for a house painting job compared to doing the same task but in a more rural location.
Time of Year
Most construction work has its peak season from spring to summer, while off-peak season is normally from late fall to early winter. Like other contractors, painters also charge less during off-peak seasons due to low demand.
Number of Coats Required
Most paint jobs require multiple coats of paint, as well as a layer of primer, to get the desired finish. More coats of paint will mean using more materials and your painter taking more time to finish the job. To cut on costs, you can ask your painter if the cross-hatching technique is possible.
If you have high ceilings, intricate columns and trims, murals, and other details in your home that may warrant special attention or care, these will affect the overall cost of the paint job. Your painter will take measures to prevent damage to such details, or need to use scaffolding, ladders, and other similar equipment to completely cover all areas that need to be painted.
Drastic Color Changes
Prep work is a must to get the shade of color you want when you change the paint of your home to a very different color from the original one. Done incorrectly, the old layer of paint may affect the color of the new paint.
While it may be easier to apply dark paint over lighter colors, the same cannot be said for its opposite; your painter will have to make a special mix of primer and apply two coats on average before applying the new paint of a lighter color to prevent the old color from bleeding into the new one.
Color Combination and Design
It is typical to find homes that use paint colors as an accent. That is, one wall is painted with a different color than the rest in a room, or used as a canvas for a paint mural. Such designs will significantly increase your project cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?
Now that you are aware of the different factors involved, the likely question you have right now is, how much does it cost to paint a house?
While we cannot give you an exact figure of how much painting your entire home will cost, we can give you an idea on the average cost of doing so.
As reported by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, or PDCA, here are the average costs to paint a house that covers both interior and exterior paintings:
- 1,000 sq. ft house with a single level – $2,500 to $6,000
- 2,500 sq. ft house with two levels – $6,750 to $12,500
- 4,000 sq. ft house with three to four levels – $10,000 to $19,000
Do note that the actual size of your home will be different from the total paintable area. If you have a 1,600 sq. ft house, the total paintable area may be more or less than that. The paintable area is determined by:
- Getting the total perimeter of your house
- Multiplying the perimeter by the height of your house to get the total finished area
- Subtracting the measurement of doors and windows of your home (standard is 21 sq. ft for a door and 12 sq. ft for a window) from the total finished area to get the paintable area.
Labor will take up the bulk of your project; although painters have an hourly rate ranging from $25 to $75 on average, most of them will charge you for the entire project and not the time of work.
Exterior house painting generally costs less than interior painting, primarily due to the ease of application, with their cost difference reaching as much as 15 to 20% on average with the same paintable area. But if you also get your roof painted at the same time, as well as outdoor features like fences, gates, and stairs, this will drive up costs.
Painting the interiors of your home will not only cover the walls but also the ceilings in each room, as well as trim, molding, and other accents. There is also a lot of prep work needed to prevent paint from getting all over your furniture and flooring, and different types of paint may be needed for a single room. Painting indoors is also slower for due to the obstructions present and increased difficulty. All these makes interior house painting generally more expensive.
How Much Does It Cost to Paint A House Exterior?
So, how much does it cost to paint a house exterior?
You should know that it normally falls between $1,690 to $3,940, and with an average cost of $2,810.
In terms of the cost per square foot, it will depend on the surface material but it has an average price range of $0.50 to $3.50. Painting on stucco or brick will cost $1 to $2 more per square foot compared to the cost per square foot of wood and vinyl. So, painting a 1,500 sq ft house can cost between just $750 to $1250.
And if you are entirely repainting your home, you may have to spend between $1,000 to $10,000 for it, or between $1 to $5 per square foot. On the other hand, painting a mobile home exterior will only cost you between $500 to $3,000.
We know that the higher your home is, the more you must pay for the paint job. On average, expect these cost increases at certain heights:
- 30% more starting at 8 feet
- 60% more and above starting at 13 feet
- 90% more starting at 17 feet
- 120% more starting at 19 feet
Materials will only cover a small fraction of your entire budget because they are relatively inexpensive. A gallon of paint will cost $20 to $80 on average, and each gallon covers an average of 350 feet. Do note that exterior painting needs a minimum of two coats to completely cover it.
For prep work, it will cost an average of $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot. This may involve any of the following as well:
- Repair – $25 to $50 per hour
- Patching – $0.50 to $1.50 per square foot
- Masking and caulking – $0.50 to $1 per square foot
- Sanding, scraping, and stripping – $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot
- Power washing – $220 to $380
If your home consists of siding, you can also get them painted to get the look you want. Each square foot of siding will cost between $1 to $4.50 to be painted, and this cost will also depend on the type of siding material.
Here is a list of the average cost to paint the siding of a 1,500 to 2,000 square foot house:
- Aluminum or metal – $400 to $3,500, excluding the cost of repairs due to rust, corrosion, and other forms of damage
- Concrete – $500 to $3,000. The cost per square foot will vary: $1 to $3.50 for just the paint itself, $2 to $7 for the paint and primer (a must for concrete surfaces), and twice the cost if paint stripping is needed. Add $300 to $500 more for every 100 feet if the concrete needs resurfacing or repairs.
- Vinyl – $600 to $3,500 depending on the finish, or $1.25 to $3 per square foot
- Wood – $700 to $3,000 or $1 to $3 per square foot. Aside from the paint itself, wood siding also requires sealant and must be re-stained or repainted after a few years.
- Stucco – $1,400 to $6,000 or $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Painting over stucco is more expensive because it is more labor-intensive and requires more paint
- Brick – $3,500 to $10,500 or $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot. Note that brick siding also requires more paint due to its texture and porosity.
Exterior house painting will not only involve your house itself. You may want to include getting the following painted at the same time to match your newly painted home:
- Garage – $600 to $3,000 for the garage itself, $200 to $500 for garage doors, and $1,500 to $3,000 for the floors
- Trim – $1 to $3 per linear foot
- Shutters – $50 to $150 each, $500 to $800 for all shutters, or $1 to $4.50 per square foot
- Fascia, eaves, and soffit – $500 to $1000 or $2.50 to $5.50 per square foot
- Deck staining – $540 to $1,000
- Porch – $500 to $2000
- Handrails – $1 to $2 per linear foot
- Door – $70 to $350
- Window sash – $100 to $200
- Gutters and downspouts – $200 to $800
How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Interior?
You already know how much you might spend to paint your house exterior, but how much does it cost to paint a house interior? We will answer that in detail in this section.
On average, interior house painting will cost you between $960 to $2,730, with the cost per square foot typically ranging from $2 to $6. But if you include painting the trim and ceilings, this will increase the cost per square foot by $2 on average, as painting trims typically cost $2 per linear foot. Doors and windows also cost $40 each on average to be painted.
So, painting the interiors of a 1,600 sq. ft house will cost somewhere between $1,300 to $6,000.
To paint a 10×12 room, which is the average room size, it will typically cost between $200 to $800. Labor will also take the bulk of that amount, which ranges from $170 to $680 on average. Painters can charge this type of project in three ways:
- Hourly – $20 to $50 per hour on average
- Per square foot of coverage area – $2 to $6 per square foot and covering both labor and materials. This is the most common arrangement
- Per square foot of floor space – $5 to $10 per square foot, based on the blueprints
Here are typical costs when it comes to interior house painting:
- 950 sq. ft apartment – $1,000 to $2,900
- 1,2000 sq. ft condo unit – $1,200 to $3,600
- 10×10 room – $200 to $600
- 12×12 room – $400 to $900
- 70 sq. ft bathroom – $150 to $350
- 330 sq. ft living room – $900 to $2,000
Painting on textured walls is bound to be more expensive, often priced at 50% higher than painting on regular walls.
Different Types of Paint
Did you know that there are different types of paint available, and each of them are recommended only on certain areas or surfaces? Are you also aware that there are different finishes available for you to choose from?
If you were just thinking about grabbing the nearest can of paint in the color you want when you go to Home Depot, wait just a minute because you need to read this section.
You need to know the different types of paint available so that you can properly decide which ones to get for different parts of your home. We will discuss them in three different categories to make it easier for you to choose.
According to Base
Paints are primarily oil-based or water-based (also referred to as latex paint), and they have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
- Better durability and resistance to stains
- Offers a smoother and shinier finish but cracks can appear over time
- Slow drying, making fixes and immediate touchups easier
- Penetrates and adheres to surfaces better
- Less environment-friendly due to the amount of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, it contains
- Gives off strong fumes
- Cleaning the brushes and rollers will involve using paint thinners and other similar chemicals
- Best for: rooms with high humidity or moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms, as well as surfaces that experience frequent beating, such as exteriors, furniture, doors, trims, and floors
- Faster drying and curing time
- Easy cleanup, as it only involves soap and water
- Less durable and can get scratches easily
- Pre-treatment is not needed
- Resists cracks due to its elasticity and flexibility
- Has a lower VOC and minimal odor, which make it more environment-friendly
- Mildew growth is non-existent
- Fading and discoloration does not happen even with prolonged sun exposure
- Best for: areas with less exposure to wear-and-tear, like ceilings and walls
According to Purpose
Some paints are manufactured for specific purposes, which limits where they can be used.
- Primer – although not technically considered a paint but applied in the same way, primers are vital in a painting project because it functions as an adhesive to make paint adhere better and provides a smooth surface for easier painting, and also acts as a base for a new paint color.
- Whitewash – comprised of powdered chalk or slaked lime, water, and size and is used to whiten walls
- Concrete or cement paint – water-based paint that has cement as its other base and is used for concrete walls that need good water and dirt resistance
- Bituminous paint – consist of coal tar or asphalt bitumen and is alkaline-resistant, which makes it best for structures that get frequently exposed to water, as well as exterior iron and metal works
- Epoxy paint – gives off a shiny finish and is commonly used as floor covering on commercial and industrial structures
- Luminous paint – also known as glow in the dark paint and is used for signboards and signs, especially on roads. It can be either fluorescent, radioactive or self-luminous, or phosphorescent paint
- Rubber paint – water-based paint that can stand harsh conditions and water exposure, making them perfect for pools
- Metallic paint – suitable for metallic surfaces, it contains metals like aluminum, bronze, copper, and stainless steel that gives its metallic finish
- Aluminum paint – also has a metallic finish but its silvery surface makes it reflective, which is perfect for retaining heat in hot air and water tanks and pipes
- Textured paint – paint mixed with grains like sand and gypsum that gives a rough feel when applied, which is a good alternative to wallpaper and is perfect for hiding flaws on walls
- Anti-corrosive paint – applied on iron and steel surfaces and prevents damage resulting from corrosion or oxidation
- Fungicidal paint – prevents the growth of fungi due to its special additives
According to Finish or Sheen
To get your desired look, you also must check out the different paint finishes available. As a rule, the glossier it is, the more expensive the paint. The list below is arranged according to the amount of gloss or shine present (from least to most):
- Least durable
- Attracts dirt easily and is challenging to clean
- Resistant to water, as it is water-based, so water damage is minimal
- Best for flawed surfaces that need to be hidden, low traffic areas, ceilings, siding, less humid rooms
- Like flat paint but has a bit of sheen and more durable
- Feels like velvet when touched
- Offers a deeper color when painted
- Best for ceilings, covering up walls with imperfections, and rooms that are rarely used
- Can look matte or shiny, depending on the viewing angle
- Has an increased durability, but retains a somewhat matte finish
- Easy to clean
- Best for house interiors, wood, living room, dining room, and spaces that have less traffic
- Similar to an eggshell finish, but has more gloss to it
- Washable, making it easy to clean
- Has a velvety appearance
- Best for all rooms, especially hallways, children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, and family rooms
- Has better durability and more shine that reflects light
- Can resist moisture and stains well
- Holds up well when scrubbed clean
- Will show surface imperfections
- Best for all interior and exterior surfaces, kitchens, bathrooms, high traffic areas
- Has the most sheen, which makes it reflect light the most and it unsuitable for walls
- Will easily show any surface imperfections
- Most durable
- Can be cleaned easily and multiple times without damaging the paint
- Best for cabinets, baseboards, trims, moldings, doors, fireplaces, and other decorative accents
Getting Quotes from Pros
You may argue that painting your home seems easy and you can try to do it yourself, but are you sure you will get the kind of finish you want when you DIY?
A lot of homeowners try painting their homes themselves, only to regret it when they cannot seem to get a flawless finish, even after using up so many gallons of paint for a single wall.
As a result, their DIY work ends up costing more than hiring a painter from the very beginning, which you should do.
You might wonder, “where in the world should I start looking for one?”
Don’t worry because this is where we can help you, especially if you are also interested in getting quotes from pros asap.
Once you fill out our form, you can receive up to four free quotes from painters who want to work with you; all you must do is choose which painter to hire.
If none of those who send in their quotes interest you, feel free to say, “no thanks” and walk away; we will never require you to hire a contractor who replies to your request when you use our free service.
So, let us help you start working on getting your house painted asap!
By the way, we hate paperwork as much as you do, so we promise that our form will only you take a minute or two to fill out.