How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House? A Comprehensive Guide

Bob Thomas

Introduction

When it comes to sprucing up your home, painting is one of the most effective ways to transform its appearance.

Whether you're painting the interior, exterior, or both, you might be wondering, "how much does it cost to paint a house?"

The answer varies depending on numerous factors, such as the size of your home, the type of paint you choose, and labor costs.

In this article, we'll break down the various factors that contribute to the cost of painting a house.

Quick Summary

The cost of painting a house depends on factors like the 1) size of the house, 2) paint quality, and 3) labor expenses. On average, 4) exterior painting costs $1,800 to $4,000, while 5) interior painting ranges from $1,000 to $4,000. To save money, consider 6) DIY painting or getting multiple quotes from professionals.

Price By State

Average Cost Range (Cost per Sq. Ft.)
States
$1.50 - $2.00
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia
$2.00 - $2.50
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming
$2.50 - $3.00
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
$3.00 - $3.50
Alaska, Hawaii

 

This table groups states with similar average costs for hiring a painting contractor.

Keep in mind that these are only approximations, and actual costs can vary depending on factors such as location, specific contractor, materials, and the scope of the project.

Always obtain multiple quotes from local contractors and verify current pricing to ensure accurate estimates.

Price Per SQ. FT

Cost per Sq. Ft.
Room Size (Sq. Ft.)
Estimated Cost
$1.50
100
$150
$1.50
200
$300
$1.50
300
$450
$2.00
100
$200
$2.00
200
$400
$2.00
300
$600
$2.50
100
$250
$2.50
200
$500
$2.50
300
$750
$3.00
100
$300
$3.00
200
$600
$3.00
300
$900
$3.50
100
$350
$3.50
200
$700
$3.50
300
$1050
$4.00
100
$400
$4.00
200
$800
$4.00
300
$1200
$4.50
100
$450
$4.50
200
$900
$4.50
300
$1350
$5.00
100
$500
$5.00
200
$1000
$5.00
300
$1500


You can use this table to estimate the cost of painting a room based on the average cost per square foot and the size of the room.

Remember to always get multiple quotes from contractors in your area and to research local costs for a more accurate estimate.

National Average Price

Project
National Average Cost
Interior Painting
- Per Sq. Ft.
$2.00 - $3.50
- Single Room (10x12)
$300 - $800
- Whole House (2,500 sq. ft.)
$7,500 - $10,000
Exterior Painting
- Per Sq. Ft.
$1.50 - $4.00
- Single-story (1,000 sq. ft.)
$1,500 - $4,000
- Two-story (2,500 sq. ft.)
$3,750 - $10,000


These are general estimates based on the national average.

Actual costs may vary depending on factors such as location, specific contractor, materials, and the scope of the project.

It's essential to research local costs and get multiple quotes for a more accurate estimate.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Painting a House

  1. Size of the House: The most significant factor affecting the cost of painting a house is its size. Larger houses require more paint and labor, resulting in higher costs. To calculate the approximate cost, multiply the total square footage of your home by the cost per square foot for painting.
  1. Type of Paint and Materials: The type of paint you choose will also impact the cost of your painting project. High-quality paints may cost more upfront, but they offer better coverage, durability, and resistance to fading, ultimately saving you money in the long run. Additionally, consider the cost of primers, caulks, and other materials needed for a successful paint job.

Estimated Paint and Material Costs

Material
Price Range per Gallon
Exterior Primer
$20 - $50
Exterior Paint
$30 - $80
Caulk
$5 - $10 per tube


  1. Labor Costs: Labor costs can vary depending on your location and the painting company you choose. Generally, professional painters charge between $20 and $50 per hour. To estimate labor costs, multiply the number of hours required to complete the project by the painter's hourly rate.
  2. Prep Work: Proper preparation is crucial for a long-lasting paint job. Prep work includes tasks such as power washing, scraping, sanding, and repairing damaged areas. The cost of prep work can vary depending on the condition of your home's exterior and the extent of the repairs needed.
  3. Additional Services: Some painting companies may offer additional services, such as trim painting, deck staining, or gutter cleaning, which can increase the overall cost of your painting project. Be sure to discuss any additional services you may require with your painting contractor to get an accurate estimate.

How to Save Money on Your House Painting Project

  1. Do-It-Yourself (DIY): One of the most effective ways to save money on your painting project is to tackle it yourself. However, keep in mind that painting a house can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. If you're not experienced, it may be best to leave it to the professionals.
  2. Shop Around for the Best Price: Request quotes from multiple painting companies and compare their prices, services, and reviews. This will help you find a reliable and affordable painting contractor for your project.
  3. Plan Your Project During the Off-Season: Painting contractors tend to be busier during the warmer months, resulting in higher prices. By scheduling your project during the off-season, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate.
  4. Use a Paint Calculator: Using a paint calculator can help you accurately estimate the amount of paint needed for your project, preventing you from overbuying or running out of paint halfway through the job. This can save you both time and money.
  1. Choose a Quality Paint with a Lower Price Point: While it's essential to invest in high-quality paint, you can still find great options at a lower price point. Do some research and compare prices, reviews, and coverage to find the best paint for your budget.
  2. Prep the House Yourself: If you're comfortable with basic home repairs and have the necessary tools, consider handling the prep work yourself. This can significantly reduce the overall cost of your painting project. Be sure to discuss this option with your painting contractor to ensure a seamless process.
  3. Buy Paint and Materials in Bulk: Purchasing paint and materials in bulk can often result in discounted prices. If you have other painting projects planned or can split the cost with neighbors or friends, this can be a cost-effective option

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. How do I estimate the number of gallons of paint I'll need for my house?

  A: To estimate the number of gallons of paint needed, first calculate the total square footage of the surfaces to be painted.

Divide this number by the coverage rate of the paint (usually indicated on the paint can or product description).

As a general rule, one gallon of paint covers approximately 350 square feet with one coat.

You may need to apply two coats for better coverage or if you're changing colors.

Q. Can I save money by choosing a cheaper paint?

  A: Choosing a cheaper paint might save you money initially, but it may not be cost-effective in the long run.

Low-quality paints may require more coats for proper coverage and can be less durable, leading to more frequent repainting.

Investing in a high-quality paint may result in a longer-lasting and better-looking paint job.

Q. Is it more cost-effective to paint my house myself or hire a professional?

  A: Painting your house yourself can save you money on labor costs.

However, it's essential to consider the time and effort required, as well as your experience and skill level.

Hiring a professional may be more expensive, but they have the expertise to ensure a high-quality and long-lasting result.

Weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider your budget and desired outcome before making a decision.

Q. How can I save money on my house painting project?

  A: To save money on your house painting project, consider the following:

  1. Shop around for the best prices on paint and supplies.
  2. Look for sales or discounts on paint at local stores.
  3. Compare quotes from multiple professional painters.
  4. Consider painting during the off-season when demand is lower, and painters may offer discounted rates.

Q. Are there any additional costs I should be aware of when painting my house?

  A: Additional costs may include repairing or replacing damaged siding, trim, or other surfaces before painting; extra paint or primer for surfaces with deep color changes or heavy stains; and special equipment, such as lifts or scaffolding, for hard-to-reach areas.

Make sure to account for these potential expenses when planning your painting project.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the cost of painting a house can vary widely depending on factors like the size of the house, paint quality, and labor expenses.

On average, exterior painting costs $1,800 to $4,000, while interior painting ranges from $1,000 to $4,000.

To save money, consider DIY painting or getting multiple quotes from professionals.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional painter vs. DIY before making a decision, and choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.

Suggested Products:

  1. Exterior Paint: Behr Premium Plus Exterior Paint & Primer in One is a versatile paint that offers excellent coverage, durability, and UV protection. This product helps ensure a long-lasting, visually appealing paint job for the exterior of your home.
  2. Interior Paint: Valspar Signature Interior Paint and Primer is a high-quality, low-odor paint with excellent coverage and a washable, fade-resistant finish. It helps you achieve a professional look for your home's interior walls while minimizing maintenance.
  3. Primer: Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer is a versatile primer that can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces. It provides excellent adhesion, hides stains, and seals porous surfaces, ensuring a smooth and even finish for your paint job.
  4. Paint Brushes: Purdy XL Series Glide Angular Paint Brush is a high-quality brush that works well with all paint types. Its versatile design allows for precise edging and smooth paint application, contributing to a professional-looking result.
  5. Paint Rollers: Wooster Pro High-Density Woven Roller Cover is a durable, shed-resistant roller cover that provides even coverage and a smooth finish. It works well with a variety of paint types, ensuring a consistent and professional-looking paint job.
  6. Painter's Tape: ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter's Tape is a reliable and easy-to-remove tape that helps create sharp, clean lines when painting. Its strong adhesion prevents paint from bleeding through, resulting in a professional finish.
  7. Drop Cloths: Trimaco SuperTuff Heavy Weight Canvas Drop Cloth is a reusable and durable drop cloth that protects your floors and furniture from paint splatters and spills. Its absorbent nature prevents paint from seeping through, keeping your home clean during the painting process.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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