How Much Does Exterior Paint Cost?
Got worn-out shutters that need some TLC with fresh exterior paint? Or how about sprucing up some tired-looking stucco siding? Whether you need to paint a few areas or cover a whole brick facade, it is important to get good-quality exterior paint. Unlike interior paint, exterior painting will need to take a beating. Hot summers, wind storms, tumultuous rain, and the occasional projectile from neighborhood sports add up, requiring homeowners to ensure their exterior paint project lasts.
If you pick sub-par exterior paint, it won’t last as long and lose its vibrant color more quickly. This is why it’s important to buy quality paint for your home’s exterior. How much does quality exterior paint cost? And what is the average cost of the paint plus hiring a professional painter? Is it worth it to do the job yourself, or is the cost of painting cheaper if you try to DIY? Let’s talk about the cost and other details about this particular paint job.
1: How much paint do you need?
A large part of determining cost is knowing how much paint will need. Small projects may need just a gallon or two, but a large project can require 8-10 gallons for just one coat. According to the pros, to cover 300-400 square feet, you need between 8-10 gallons to coat a 2,500-square-foot home’s exterior siding. This is for one coat. Since at least two coats are recommended, this can mean you need 16-20 gallons of exterior paint.
2: Figure the cost per exterior paint can.
The cost per exterior paint can is between $20-$30 per gallon for mid-tier to low-quality paint. These economical options are affordable but more prone to fading or chipping. High-quality paint can easily cost $65 to $80 per gallon, but house painters prefer these brands. If you know that you will need over 5 gallons of paint, you can save money by ordering your paint in 5-gallon buckets which are often cheaper than buying individual gallons.
3: Figure the cost of exterior paint labor.
The cost of exterior paint labor ranges between $25 to $100 per hour. Every painting contractor has rates that depend on their expertise and skill level. If you plan to use a professional, you need to figure out the hourly painting price plus material costs to get the total project’s expense.
The larger the square footage and surface area you need to cover, the more you will pay. Get a cost estimate from your painter before you begin. Also, don’t hesitate to get multiple quotes before deciding on the best deal and professionalism. Since the price range can vary substantially, you must ultimately decide to balance expertise and cost.
4: Cost of tools and materials for DIY exterior paint.
If you plan to DIY, you can save more money if you already have the tools and materials. If you don’t have the tools and materials, you will need to pay upfront costs to complete the job safely and effectively. Materials and tools you need on hand include (but are not limited to):
- Power washing- To prep the exterior of a house for paint, it needs to be clean. This should be figured into this home improvement project cost.
- Ladder- Only get one that is in good condition and stable, and always use the buddy system when using one.
- Paint sprayer- For some exterior materials like stucco, a paint sprayer covers more ground and does a better job at filling in nooks and crannies compared to a traditional roller.
- Drop cloths/plastic coverings- Though you’re outside, you may want to cover specific areas, especially if you’re using a paint sprayer.
- Tools -paint roller holders, extenders, brushes, rollers, and protective gear are all necessary.
- Priming materials (if you don’t use paint with primer included)
- The paint- Depending on the home painting project, you may need a couple of gallons or more than twenty gallons to complete the job.
Due to market fluctuations, the cost of these tools can vary. When you hire a pro, it helps to figure in the cost of these materials to justify the high cost of labor. In a way, you get much value by hiring a painter because you don’t need to clutter your garage with a bunch of painting supplies, either.
What is the average total cost of exterior painting?
The average total cost of exterior painting usually costs around $3,000, which is around $3 per square foot, assuming the project encompasses around 1,000 square feet. Since projects vary widely, as well as the type of paint and pro you hire (or if you DIY), the cost to paint a house exterior ranges from $1,800 to $13,000. Keep in mind that your home’s size, the type of siding you need to cover, and the prep involved also affect these numbers.
Exterior House Painting Costs
Whether you decide to DIY paint the exterior of your home or go with a pro, you will either spend money on labor or the tools for the trade. If you decide to use a professional painter, you can let them drive the bus and recommend the best brands of exterior paint and bring all their tools to your house. Check for reviews to get the right painting company or contractor.
If you have the know-how and tools, you can save a lot of money by simply paying the cost of new paint. If you never did a DIY project like this before, expect to spend a few hundred dollars on tools to do the job effectively, plus the paint. This may make the price painters charge worth it if you are on a tight schedule. The choice is yours!
Alicia Persson is a real estate content/SEO writer at Marketplace Homes. She has several years of experience working in real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined Marketplace, she was a freelance writer for 7 years, leading to a specialization in real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies. During her writing years, she learned the basics of SEO and gained experience writing for many different clients, making her highly versatile at creating diverse content.
She is a proud University of Virginia master’s graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When Alicia is not writing, she plays keytar and sings in a local 90’s rock cover band, or she spends time with her amazing family.