The cost to professionally paint a house exterior is $7,582 on average for a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home with a typical range between $5,844 and $9,321.
Average exterior painting costs by square foot range from $2.34 to $3.72 per square foot depending on the local price of labor and materials. At the end of the day, most homeowners end up spending between $3 and $4 per sqft to paint their house exterior in 2023.
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Accordingly, the most important factors affecting average house exterior painting prices are prep work, home size, and the quality of paint needed. Additional exterior house painting cost factors include the colors you choose and average painter labor costs in your city or state.
By the end of this updated price guide, you’ll know everything needed to decide whether to save money by painting the exterior yourself or hiring a professional. Likewise, we’ll give you 5 cost-saving tips to avoid spending a fortune when painting your home’s exterior.
The Cost to Paint a House Exterior Guide
No question painting the exterior of a house is a great way to increase curb appeal and protect outdoor surfaces. In this exterior painting cost guide, Improovy’s home painting experts will answer all of your house paint pricing questions.
This includes how much it will cost to paint a house exterior by the square foot, by story or home size, and the price you’ll pay to do it yourself.
Improovy has decades of exterior painting project data because we’ve painted thousands of homes across the US. This data allows for the most accurate representation of exterior paint prices you can expect to pay today.
Most recently, paint material prices have skyrocketed due to an industry-wide paint shortage caused by the pandemic. Consequently, brands like Sherwin Williams, Behr, and Benjamin Moore are in short supply. This has increased paint gallon costs by 10% to 30% across the United States over the last year.
Given that, our goal with this house paint price guide is to help you calculate the most up-to-date and accurate exterior painting cost possible. Whether you are a homeowner or professional painting contractor, we’ll cover how much you’ll expect to pay to paint exteriors this year.
Without further ado, let’s find out how the average costs to paint exteriors range by size and type of home being painted.
Cost To Paint House Exterior By Square Foot
In the United States, the average exterior painting cost is $3.03 per square foot to paint a home exterior. Accordingly, the easiest way to calculate the cost of an exterior house painting job is to use the total square footage as a basis.
So if your home has 1,800 sqft of livable interior space, the exterior painting surface area could be close to 1,800 sqft. Just be sure to add the square feet of attached portions like a sunroom or garage. Using this “ballpark” method correctly can get you within 500-1000 sqft of the exterior painting surface area to be painted. Get more advice on calculating the square footage of a home.
Furthermore, add 10% to 50% more sqft for each hard-to-reach area like dormers on a 2-story home or if there’s a sloped incline. These exterior home areas require more time and labor to properly paint so you’ll have to budget accordingly. The same goes for areas with peeling or failing paint, which require extensive prep work before painting.
Now that you have the approximate square footage of the home’s exterior painting surface area, you can multiply the total square feet by the $2.34 – $3.72 range mentioned above.
Need help picking paint colors? Check out the best exterior colors of the season.
Exterior Price Calculator
Are you still having trouble calculating exterior square footage? Here’s a useful resource on how to calculate a home’s outdoor square footage properly.
So, how much to paint a 2000 sq ft house exterior? Or, what would the price be to paint a 1,500 sq ft home? The pricing table below breaks down average costs to paint a house by square footage.
More often than not, square footage is the best way to estimate exterior house painting. The above table can help determine if your calculations are close. However, there are more factors to keep in mind when using exterior painting calculators. Let’s cover these next.
More Exterior Painting Price Factors
There are a few more exterior painting price factors you should consider.
First, you should add 50% more for any drastic color changes or surfaces like brick or masonry.
Without question, major exterior color changes and surfaces like brick require additional coats of primer and specialized paint to cover well.
- Caulking Cost Per Linear Foot: $0.46-$0.88
- Power Washing Rates Per Hour: $50-$80
- Scraping, Sanding, & Priming Price Per Sqft: $0.58-$0.93
Don’t overlook these important exterior price details or you’ll risk paying much more in the long run.
Keep in mind, these are ballpark exterior home size painting price ranges. No doubt, each home’s style, and size are different. Accordingly, this affects unit costs for house painting and your wallet.
Thinking about painting the interior of your home? Use this awesome interior painting price guide to get the best deal.
Prep Work Labor Rates
Prep work refers to the surface preparation tasks that need to be done before an exterior repaint. Preparation work like power washing surfaces, scraping loose paint, priming bare wood, and caulking cracks account for at least 60% of exterior labor costs.
Additional considerations include proper containment of lead paint and replacing rotted wood or damaged siding material. Given that prep takes up a large portion of what painters charge for exteriors, make sure your total cost estimate details the exact process in writing.
Exterior Paint Cost By The Hour
The average exterior painting labor cost is $54-$91 per hour depending on the state or region you live in. Since painter labor costs vary widely from city to city, use these numbers with a grain of salt when budgeting.
Find out how Improovy makes the lives of painters better across the country.
House Painting Costs By Story
The average cost to paint a single-story home is $3,988-$6,852. One-story homes on the high end of the range tend to have a ton of prep work or require special paint for proper coating.
Professional painters charge around $5,844 to $9,321 for labor and materials to paint the exterior of a two-story home.
To paint a three-story house, expect to pay $8,974 to $13,491 on average. This includes the cost of paint, labor, equipment, and materials to do the job right.
Without question, painting a multi-story home is significantly more difficult to DIY as it requires specialized ladders and equipment. Not to mention, it’s significantly more dangerous to paint the exterior of a multi-story house.
This is why we ask to always verify that your residential painter has at least $1-million in liability insurance and workers comp coverage. Moreover, they should willingly produce these documents on request. Just be sure to check the expiration date of the painting service’s insurance coverage to verify it’s still valid!
Average Cost To Paint Exterior Yourself
The average cost to paint the exterior of a house yourself can range between $500 and $2,400 total. You’ll spend between $300 and $1,000 for basic supplies like ladders, brushes, rollers, tape, and drop cloths. If your home is over one-story, you will need special equipment like a 28-foot extension ladder which starts at $250 for the most basic option.
Please be sure to follow these extension ladder safety tips from OSHA to avoid injury or death when working outdoors.
You’ll also need to purchase or rent a pressure washer to clean the siding before painting. Typically, we recommend renting one from Home Depot or Lowes if you don’t already own a power washer.
Gallon Of Exterior Paint Price
Not to mention, you will have to pay retail prices at the paint store. The cost of a gallon of paint for homeowners can range from $40 to $90 per gallon depending on the quality of the exterior product used. Certainly, the type of paint used will affect how easy it is to coat the surface and how long the paint job will last.
Recently, gallon costs have been soaring all over the United States due to the pandemic-induced paint shortage. In turn, knowing exactly how much outdoor paint to purchase is more important now than ever.
Moving to the Dallas area and thinking about painting your home? Find out how much it costs to paint a house in Dallas, TX.
As a rule of thumb, the average gallon of exterior paint covers 300-400 square feet of surface area. That means you will need 8-10 gallons to paint the exterior siding of a 2,500 sqft house (one coat).
We always recommend applying at least two coats for any exterior color changes. This requires an extra 50% to 75% of paint depending on how porous the surface being painted is. To be sure, budget for at least 12-15 gallons for any major DIY exterior home painting project.
Which paint is best for exteriors? Find the answer in our Sherwin-Williams Vs. Benjamin Moore comparison breakdown.
How many gallons of paint do I need for exterior trim?
Most exterior paint jobs include painting trim, soffits, windows, fascia, or gutters in addition to the siding. Another rule of thumb is that 1 gallon of paint will cover exterior trim per 8 gallons of body paint. So for a 2,500 square foot home that requires 8-10 gallons of siding paint, budget for at least 2 extra gallons of trim paint. Double that amount for any trim color changes to account for a second coat.
If you only needed to paint first floor trim to maintain and protect the wood from the weather, this would actually be a great project you can do yourself.
Likewise, prepping, priming, and painting a few front porch railing sections each weekend is an easy job for homeowners. However, any trim painting that requires a ladder or special equipment to coat is best left to the professionals.
How long does it take to paint the exterior of a house?
The typical exterior house painting project takes 3 to 4 days to paint with a team of two or three professional painters. In contrast, the average homeowner will take four to eight times longer to properly finish the same surface area than a skilled painter would take.
As a homeowner looking to paint the exterior yourself, this means that you’ll need at least 2-4 weeks to complete the same job a professional painting crew would in days. This assumes you have some experience using a professional airless paint sprayer and wrangle heavy ladder equipment with ease.
The decision to take on a major exterior house painting project yourself boils down to a few simple questions. What is the value of your time and energy? Do you truly enjoy painting enough to devote 2-4 weeks to paint your house?
When it comes down to it, most homeowners value their time and energy enough to skip the massive undertaking of painting the house exterior themselves. Certainly, hats off to the ultimate DIY warriors that invest months to paint their own homes.
For everyone else that needs to paint their exteriors, please stay safe and hire a reputable painting company instead.
Easy DIY Home Painting Projects
Now, there are some exterior painting projects that are easy to DIY. Here are 5 of the best exterior jobs to tackle yourself:
- Stain or Paint Your Deck (saves $800+ on average)
- Power Wash Your Home ($300-$600 cost savings)
- Prep & Paint A Front Porch ($650-$1,700 saved)
- Paint Your Outdoor Furniture (saving you $150-$450)
Also, painting a front door by yourself is a distant fifth on the list. Keep in mind, front door painting can be tricky for most novice painters.
What’s best is that most of these popular DIY outdoor painting projects can be completed over a weekend. Not to mention, you likely won’t need a ladder which means they are much safer to DIY.
Exterior Painting Cost By Siding Type
The cost to paint your exterior is also affected by the type of siding or outdoor material being painted. For example, previously painted wood siding may only require a spot prime after scraping and sanding peeling areas.
On the other hand, painting unpainted brick requires a full coat of masonry primer. After priming, add two topcoats of quality exterior acrylic latex paint minimum.
Not surprisingly, each square foot of brick takes considerably longer to coat than standard clapboard siding. So, only calculating the cost of exterior painting by square footage would throw off your numbers.
That’s why calculating exterior paint costs by siding type may be a better option for homes with brick, stucco, or vinyl siding.
There are a ton of mid-century neighborhoods in cities like Denver with brick and clapboard siding. Learn how much house painters in Denver, Colorado charge on average.
Cost to Paint Exterior Brick
The average cost to paint a previously unpainted exterior brick home ranges from $7,889 to $12,583 for a two-story house. Indeed, the reason the cost is higher than your average exterior paint job is that painting brick requires extra time and materials to apply multiple coats. Brick painting prices by square feet range from $3.15 to $5.02 per sqft.
Not to mention, the bare brick will likely soak up your first coats of paint like a sponge. Furthermore, you’ll need to use special masonry primer and paint which can be pricey. Lastly, you will need special equipment like rollers and sprayers to apply the paint properly. It also takes skill and speed while painting to prevent flashing from one brick wall to the next.
Again, painting exterior brick is another outdoor job best left to professional painters. Find out the best colors to paint your brick this year!
Vinyl Siding Paint Costs
Average costs to paint vinyl siding range from $5,259 to $8,388 for a two-story home. Vinyl siding paint pricing by square feet ranges from $2.11 to $3.35 per sqft on average. By comparison, this is about 10% lower than the national exterior painting average for typical wood siding.
Undeniably, the key to painting vinyl or aluminum siding is your skill level. After a proper wash down, you’ll want to mask and tape all windows, soffits, and doors. Following that, you will want to spray out each side at a time to reduce lap marks. Certainly, this takes skill but can be done efficiently if you plan carefully.
By all means, a skilled painting crew can finish a vinyl paint job in days using a correctly calibrated airless sprayer and quality paint. Whether or not you decide to DIY your exterior vinyl painting project, be sure to pick a vinyl-safe color shade to ensure durability.
Indeed, if you choose too dark of a color when painting vinyl, the surface will overheat and bubble in the hot summer sun. Again, prevent costly repairs and future home improvement headaches down the line by hiring a pro at a reasonable price.
Stucco Painting Average Pricing
The average cost range to paint exterior stucco is $6,428 to $10,253. Often, exterior stucco exists on a Tudor-style home which increases the cost to paint by 20% on average. This is because of the intricate trim detail that needs to be painted in addition to the stucco.
In order to properly paint stucco, you’ll want to hire a painter that is focused on prep work and has done stucco homes before. First, you must gently wash down the surface, making sure not to push water into any cracks. This moisture will compromise the stucco paint job’s integrity.
Need a stucco house painter in Tampa? Improovy just launched it’s latest location serving the Tampa Bay area so get a free quote while we still have spots available!
Then you will have to properly patch and caulk any cracks in the stucco. You should use a quality exterior acrylic latex paint to ensure the stucco is allowed to breathe. To learn more, check out our stucco painting guide. This useful guide outlines the best stucco paint to use and the prep required.
Painting Outdoor Aluminum or Metal Siding
Metal or aluminum siding is less popular these days but there are still plenty of homes with this exterior cladding. It’s no surprise as aluminum or metal siding can last up to 50 years when properly maintained.
Depending on the outdoor square footage of your home, the average cost to paint exterior aluminum siding is $2.22 to $3.52 per square foot. Total painting costs for aluminum exterior paint jobs range from $5,522 to $8,807 for a two-story residence. For proper maintenance, you should get your aluminum siding repainted regularly every 5 years.
Moreover, the best paint to use on aluminum siding is exterior acrylic latex paint. Likewise, you should use a full coat of high-quality exterior acrylic primer if you are painting the aluminum for the first time.
As a paintable surface, metal or aluminum siding takes very well to paint and can last for years. Make sure to keep up with regular repaints. Also, confirm your house painter carries a written warranty for their workmanship just in case.
Price to Paint Metal Railings or Fencing
Outdoor surfaces like wrought iron railings or stairs and metal fencing need a fresh coat of paint every few years to prevent rust. To calculate the price to paint metal railings or fences, you will want to use a cost per linear foot versus square footage. The average cost to paint metal railings is $4.08-$9.46 per linear foot depending on the condition of the surface.
As with most exterior painting projects, the cost of labor and material make up most of this cost. In particular, the cost for metal paint like rust-oleum is $50 to $70 per gallon. Similarly, metal paint is 10-20% higher than your standard water-based acrylic siding paint.
Located in Chicago and need to paint your metal railings or staircase? Visit Improovy’s Chicagoland location to get your quote now.
5 Cost-Saving Exterior Painting Tips
Here are 5 tips to save on the cost of your next outdoor painting project. Following these tips can save hundreds or thousands in costly future headaches.
1. Prep Your Home
Prep the exterior of your home for painting before getting quotes. To save time and get a better price, remove exterior fixtures or vines and trim your bushes for easy access for your painters. Whether your painter offers convenient mobile quotes or requires an annoying in-person visit, ensure the area looks easy to manage. This can help when it comes to determining prep prices.
2. Busy Doesn’t Always Equal Good
Find a painter that won’t charge you a premium because they are booked out for months. Often painters underprice themselves to keep their crews working. After lining up a few jobs, they jack up prices on additional projects to make up for their paper-thin margins. Avoid this by finding a company that is highly rated and has the capacity to take on your job within the current season.
3. Ask For Insurance Before A Quote
Don’t waste your time with uninsured painters without workers’ compensation coverage. Ask for a painter to send you a copy of their liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage before wasting time getting a quote. No question, exterior painting is significantly more dangerous than interior painting. To limit your risk, you should not talk to a local painting service without insurance.
4. Warranty Or Workmanship Guarantee
Save money and headaches down the line by getting a detailed quote and confirming that the contractor carries a warranty on their workmanship. As a reference, the average painting service warranty is 2 years long. Also, ask the painter which surfaces are covered. Actually, most reputable painting contractors don’t cover surfaces like horizontal deck boards. This makes sense since wear and tear differ for every kind of deck. Certainly, no one can promise it won’t fade or peel. Any contractor that does should be a red flag.
5. Be Smart With Exterior Colors
The exterior paint colors you choose impact the final price you will pay. Drastic color changes require additional coats of paint. Consequently, more coats increase the cost of labor and the quantities of materials needed. Sticking with the same color scheme or a similar shade can save you thousands of dollars on your exterior painting project.
Outdoor Painting Cost Hack
Another money-saving tip is to paint the soffits and your siding the same color. Save even more cash by matching fascia and gutter paint colors to your soffits and siding. Indeed, the fewer colors to coordinate and cut in, the less you’ll pay upon completion.
Home Painting Pricing By Location
As you can imagine, the price to paint your exterior varies by location. Indeed, local exterior painting labor costs and material prices vary by city or state. Oftentimes, this results in a 10%-50% exterior paint cost difference to paint the same type of home from one metro to the next.
Furthermore, local exterior paint prices can differ due to the cost of living and the cost of doing business in a state. Lastly, insurance rates and workers’ compensation coverage can vary between localities. Let’s explore how exterior home painter prices compare by location in the United States.
Most expensive states for exterior painters
The most expensive states to hire exterior painting contractors include Illinois, California, New York, Washington, and Colorado. Moreover, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, and Seattle are the most expensive cities for exterior painting.
This is mostly caused by higher-than-average costs of doing business for contractors and skyrocketing local tax rates. More specifically, the average hourly labor cost to hire a painter can start at $24 per hour or higher. The bottom line, higher average costs results in a higher price to paint the exterior for you as a homeowner.
The most affordable cities to paint an exterior
The most affordable cities to paint the exterior of your home include San Antonio, St Louis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Riverview, Florida. Most of these cities are located in Southern states where exterior painting crews don’t have to deal with cold weather.
Likewise, warmer temperatures allow professional painters in these cities to paint exteriors year-round. Similarly, this extended exterior painting season allows for more flexibility and exterior work capacity. When painters don’t have to squeeze in a job before the winter, they’re less likely to overcharge for the job.
Exterior Painting Price FAQs
Here are some of the most common exterior painting questions we’ve received over the years from homeowners across the country.
Why are exterior painting prices on Homewyse, Angieslist, and Homeadvisor so low?
Improovy is the fastest-growing painting service in the United States. Accordingly, we compiled data on thousands of completed exterior projects to uncover the true cost to paint an exterior.
While sites like Homeadvisor, Angies, and Homewyse can provide some pricing insights, they simply don’t have access to the final painting project cost data. Generally speaking, these directory sites make their money by selling your information to painting business owners.
As a result, they have little access to the final prices paid by consumers for exterior painting. This is why Nerdwallet, Home Advisor, and Homewyse underestimate exterior painting costs by 60%-120%.
How do you estimate exterior painting?
The best way to estimate exterior painting costs is to first measure the total square footage of the surface you are painting. You can use a tape measurer or a laser measuring tool to determine the length and width of a surface.
As an easy reference, each story of a home is approximately 10 feet high. So for a two-story house, you would use 20 feet as the width or height. Next, multiply length x width to get the total square footage.
After finding the total square footage, multiply that amount by the exterior painting cost per sqft average in the U.S. of $3.03. Doing this will give you an approximate total cost to paint the exterior of a home.