How much does it cost to paint a house?

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A fresh coat of paint can increase your curb appeal, make your home look newer, and potentially lead to higher bids when you sell. But you will need to estimate the cost and make sure it fits your budget. Several factors, such as square footage and the cost of supplies and labor, will affect the final total.

Here’s how much you can expect a freshly painted house to cost:

How much does it cost to paint a house?

According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners spend an average of $ 1,901 painting the interior of a home and $ 3,045 on the exterior. But several factors, including the quality of the paint, whether you hire professionals, and the square footage of the house, affect this estimate.

Here’s a breakdown of what the paint costs might look like for a 2,300 square foot home, the median size of a new home sold in 2020:

Interior Outside
Average cost of painting $ 1,901 $ 3,045
Average span for a 2,300 square foot home $ 1,900 to $ 7,800 $ 1,100 to $ 7,700
Average price per square foot $ 2 to $ 6 $ 0.50 to $ 3.5
Sources: HomeAdvisor interior house painting guide and house exterior painting guide

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How to calculate the cost of painting a house

You can always get a quote from a professional, or you can take the following steps to determine how much it costs to paint a house yourself:

  • Find the finished area. For interior work, measure the height of each room you want to paint and multiply by the width. Do the same for the exterior walls if you are painting the exterior, as they measure differently. You may be able to find the outer perimeter on your mortgage closing documents.
  • Find the area that can be painted. Measure the total area of ​​windows and doors and subtract this area from the total finished area. A standard door measures 21 square feet, while a standard window measures 12 square feet.
  • Find the paint coverage area. A gallon of paint covers on average about 400 square feet, although you may need more for a rough exterior coating. Exteriors typically need two coats of paint, and interiors may need two or three coats if you’re making a dramatic color change.
  • Choose your paint. The cost of a gallon of paint depends on brand, color, gloss, regional prices, and whether you are using interior or exterior paint.
  • Do the math. Divide the paintable area by the one gallon paint coverage to find out how many gallons of paint you need. Then multiply the number of gallons by the price per gallon to complete your estimate.
  • Use this formula. To find the number of gallons you need, use this formula: square feet of paintable area / square feet of paint area = gallons of paint x 2 = total gallons of paint needed (rounded to nearest gallon )

Calculation example

Let’s say you paint three rooms – two bedrooms and a living room:

  1. Master bedroom is 200 square feet
  2. The second bedroom is 150 square feet
  3. The living room is 300 square feet

This gives a total finished area of ​​650 square feet. There are also three doors and five windows inside these three rooms, for a total area of ​​123 square feet, giving you a paintable area of ​​527 square feet. You decide to use paint that costs $ 50 per gallon.

Here’s how the calculations would break down:
  • The area to be painted: 650 square feet – 123 square feet = 527 square feet
  • The number of gallons you need: 527 square feet / 400 square feet (the average area of ​​a gallon of paint) = 1.31 gallons of paint x 2 = 2.62 total gallons of paint needed
  • The price of the painting: 3 gallons x $ 50 = $ 150

If you go for DIY, you will also need to calculate the cost of basic supplies. For an interior paint job, this can include paint rollers, paint trays, painter’s tape, a paint bucket, sandpaper, caulk, drop cloths, and a ladder.

Related: 15 home improvement projects to complete before listing your home

Cost to paint the exteriors of the house

The material of your home’s exterior will affect the type and amount of paint you use. You will also need to adjust the estimate if your exterior is made of more than one material, such as vinyl and brick.

On a 1,500 to 2,000 square foot home, here’s how much it could cost to paint the exterior, depending on its makeup:

Equipment Average cost to paint the exterior
Brick $ 3,500 to $ 10,500
Vinyl $ 600 to $ 3,500
Stucco $ 1,400 to $ 6,500
Concrete $ 500 to $ 2,000
Metal / aluminum $ 400 to $ 3,500
Drink $ 700 to $ 3,000
Accompaniement $ 1 to $ 3 per linear foot
Source: HomeAdvisor’s Paint a Home Outdoor guide

Factors that affect the cost of painting a house

Every paint job is different, depending on factors such as labor costs, materials and supplies, square footage, and the condition and location of your home.

Workforce

When painting a house, labor can be up to 75% to 85% of the entire bill, and many charge by the area rather than by the hour. Professionals who charge by the hour charge around $ 25 to $ 75 an hour to paint the exterior and $ 20 to $ 50 an hour for the interior.

Painters spend a lot of time preparing the surface, so this is an area where you can negotiate with the painter to save money. First, determine if you have the time and energy to clean, sand, repair and caulk the walls.

You may also need to agree to the painter’s terms. For example, some professionals won’t guarantee the finished product if they don’t do the prep work. When collecting quotes, make sure the final estimate reflects the arrangement you negotiated.

Advice: Depending on the price of labor and your level of experience, you might even decide not to hire professionals. Homeowners typically take about two to three weeks to paint an entire house, plus the cost of materials and supplies.

To paint

Paint is the second highest cost, ranging from $ 20 to $ 80 or more per gallon. Professionals often get a contractor discount that they can pass on to you. The cost of the paint depends on the brand, color, gloss and regional prices.

Good to know: Interior and exterior paints are not interchangeable, so make sure you don’t mix the two. The exterior paint is designed to resist mildew and fading, while the interior paint resists stains and allows cleanup.

While you might want to trim here, it’s a good idea to use the highest quality paint that your budget allows. Using the right paint can save you money by providing long-term durability and better coverage, which translates to fewer coats and fewer man hours.

Along with the exterior, you will also have to take into account the texture of the coating. Some rough textures, like stucco and wood, require more painting because there is more surface to cover than a smooth coating. So stucco and brick can cost $ 1 to $ 2 more per square foot than wood and vinyl.

Materials

Professionals will often include supplies in their quotes, but you’ll need to budget for them if you plan on DIY. The final costs will depend on the brand, quality, quantity and whether you are renting or buying the item.

Stationery Average cost
Brushes $ 5 to $ 90
Caulk $ 2 to $ 8 per tube
Protective fabrics $ 10 to $ 30 each
Ladder $ 100 to $ 300
Paint pots and buckets $ 2 to $ 10
Painter’s tape $ 2 to $ 5 per roll
Pressure washer Varied
Rollers and roller handles $ 15 to $ 30
Sandpaper $ 3 to $ 15
Scraper $ 5 to $ 30
Motorized sprayer and rollers $ 100 to $ 2,000
Source: HomeAdvisor’s Paint a Home Outdoor guide

Location and climate

When painting the exterior, the weather and climate affect what materials you can use, how often you will need to paint, and when you can paint.

Homes in areas that experience severe winters will need paint designed to withstand the elements. On the flip side, homes in year-round sunny climates may need painting more regularly, as direct sunlight causes the paint to fade faster.

Additionally, high humidity and extremely high or low temperatures can affect the way paint dries and can lead to cracking and chipping.

To verify: The cost of refinancing a mortgage (and how to pay less)

Preparation work

You or a professional will need to assess the condition of your home before preparing a quote:

  • For the exterior: You may need to repair the siding materials, plug cracks and holes, and pressure wash the sides. You may also need to prune the landscaping and remove the vines to prepare the space.
  • For the interior: The walls will need to be cleaned, repaired and sanded. A professional can ensure this is done quickly and correctly, but you can cut costs by doing it yourself.

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About the Author

Kim porter

Kim Porter is an expert in credit, mortgages, student loans and debt management. She has been featured in US News & World Report, Reviewed.com, Bankrate, Credit Karma, and more.

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