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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

February 12, 2021 · 6 minute read

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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

Painting your house can be the quickest way to dramatically alter its appearance, but how economical is it? Depending on the size of your home, the cost of painting a house will vary based on materials used, whether you hire professional help or do it yourself, and the size and texture of the surface area to be painted.

There are several reasons a homeowner might want to refresh a house via a coat of paint: to change the overall look or aesthetic, to brighten a room and enhance natural light, or to maintain the integrity of the material from weather elements. Plus, keeping your home updated may increase its value.

Here are some factors to take into consideration when trying to figure out how much it will cost to paint your house.

How much does it cost to paint an interior?

Let’s start with the paint job you’ll spend the most of your time looking at: the interior. The cost of painting an interior space varies greatly due to the type of paint materials you choose, what condition the previous surface is in, if you’re planning on doing the doors and trim in addition to walls, if you hire a professional painter, and how many rooms you’d like to paint.

Cost to paint per square footage

You may expect the cost for an average-sized room, approximately 10 feet by 12 feet in size, to be somewhere between $300 to $1,000 for a professional job using $2 to $6 a square foot as a price baseline with $3.50 as an average. If you do it yourself, the cost of the paint and materials might set you back around $200 to $300 .

When looking at material costs, consider that a gallon of paint normally covers around 400 square feet and know that sometimes labels overestimate how much surface area a gallon can cover. If you’re painting a textured wall, you’ll likely require more paint because the texture increases surface area, and if you’re painting a raw material like fresh drywall or bare wood, the absorption into the substrate can quickly increase the amount of paint you’ll need.

When hiring help to paint your home, how quickly you want the job done also may affect the overall cost. An experienced painter might be able to cover a wall faster and therefore cost less, whereas a more methodical painter may need more time. Generally, you can expect a painter to be able to cover about 100 to 120 square feet in an hour.

Cost to paint by paint type

Prices vary based on what type of paint you choose and how much material you need, but you can base estimates off the fact that most paint is priced in the range of $15 to $40 a gallon for higher-end paint, and you’ll probably need between one to two gallons of paint per room.

Primer, which is a necessary first step for most projects, might cost around $10 to $20 a can, but if you’re on a budget or time crunch, you can purchase paint colors that combine primer to save time. If using primer, which is especially necessary when painting a lighter color atop a darker one, you’ll typically use at least two quarts of primer to cover one average-sized wall.

While these prices may fluctuate, here is a breakdown of popular paint brands and the average cost of paint per gallon:

Brand

Average cost per gallon

Behr $30-$57
Benjamin Moore $42-$80
Farrow & Ball $80-$120
Sherwin Williams $37-$102
Valspar $13-$55


Prices were accurate at the time of publication.

Professional Painter Costs

On average, professional painters cost $30 to $40 per hour per painter. The overall cost to paint your house can increase based on the prep work needed before painting and any equipment rentals such as scaffolding or a lift that may be required.

If on a set budget, when negotiating cost with a painter, consider proposing a project fee versus an hourly rate, as well as doing any prep work yourself. The added time required for properly preparing a surface for a topcoat of paint may be the highest cost of a project.

Non-Paint Costs

When painting your home, you’ll encounter a variety of costs for the tools required to paint. Some of these supplies like brushes and drop cloths can be used again, so in the long run, purchasing your own tools may save you money. If paying for labor, you may be able to deduct the costs of supplies if you provide your own, though professional painters typically use their own reusable supplies.

Necessary painting supplies may include:

•   Painter’s tape:To protect areas like ceilings and trims from getting paint on them
•   Dropcloth: To cover floors and furniture that could be damaged
•   Ladder: To paint a high wall or harder-to-reach areas
•   Paint tray or bucket: You’ll add a small amount of paint to this tray or bucket to use while painting to efficiently use a roller and to preserve the unused portion of the original gallon of paint
•   Paint rollers and brushes: A roller covers larger areas more evenly while a small brush can be used for touch-ups and corner cut-in

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior?

The national average cost of painting a home exterior is $2,928, but a 2,500-square-foot house can range from around $1,250 to more than $8,750 depending on a variety of factors. Painting the exterior of your home could increase your home’s value, potentially improve the structural integrity of the building and give you the chance to make any needed exterior repairs at the same time.

Two of the biggest factors that determine how much it costs to paint your home exterior are square footage and how many stories your home has (hint: the more stories, the higher the price). Additionally, the type of window framing (wood, metal, or vinyl) can increase the amount of time required to complete the work and affect the price.

While costs vary based on factors like location and type of paint, this chart from HomeAdvisor should give you an idea of what it may cost to paint your house. Please note that these estimates include labor costs as the painting of the exterior is a job better suited for a professional.

Home Stories

Square Footage

Cost Range

Single Story 1,000–1,500 $1,500–$3,500
Two Stories 1,500–2,500 $3,000–$6,200
Three Stories 2,500–3,000+ $4,500–$10,000+

Exterior painting can get complicated due to the variety of materials you can find on the outside of a home. Different materials require different paints and tools in order to prepare them for the outdoor elements.

To budget for how much it might cost to paint the exterior of your house, you have to look at each type of material you’ll have to paint. The following estimates look at the costs of painting a few materials, including the tools, paint, and labor possibly required to complete the paint job.

Concrete Siding

Cost estimate: $500 (app. 250 sq. ft.) to $3,000 (app. 1,000 sq. ft.)

Why: Because concrete walls have to be prepared before painting, you may be required to remove previous finishes to ensure the paint won’t peel or chip off, which can increase labor costs. In order to prime the concrete, you may need special sealants, paints, and primers to help the final coat of paint endure against the elements.

Metal Siding

Cost estimate: $400 to $3,500

Why: Metal siding, generally made of aluminum and galvanized steel, may require cleaning before painting. If any of the metal is rusted or damaged—or there are missing pieces—a professional may have to repair the metal. If the damage is severe, old paint likely will need to be removed from the area around the problem in advance of painting.

Stucco Siding

Cost estimate: $1,400 to $6,000

Why: Depending on the state of the previous paint job, stucco can be one of the easier materials to paint. The smooth and limited variability of the surface might make a stucco project more affordable than painting other types of materials. The process may involve cleaning the stucco, caulking windows, and filling in surface cracks, although if the previous paint has deteriorated to the point of peeling or bubbling, the amount and nature of preparation work can increase.

Vinyl Siding

Cost estimate: $600 to $3,500

Why: Vinyl siding needs to be cleaned and repaired, if necessary, before beginning to paint, and a careful evaluation of the benefits is often the best approach. It can be about the same cost to replace vinyl as it would be to paint the surface, as vinyl is typically installed with the chosen color embedded within the plastic. Additionally, the plastic is often brittle with age and doesn’t always warrant the investment in money for a paint job.

Wood Siding

Cost estimate: $700 to $3,000

Why: Similar to painting wood furniture or floors, wood siding that is damaged due to element exposure can be painted or stained. This process may help defend wood siding against sun, humidity, pollen, mold, and other environmental elements like insects. The cost might increase if the wood has holes or other issues, but the painting process should help protect your home’s exterior from needing more repairs later on.

Tips on How to Pay for the Cost of Painting Your House

Because painting supplies and labor costs are often different depending on regional aspects and the large variety of substrates, it can be difficult to know your final cost of painting your house until you research supplies and professionals in your area. In the meantime, you can check out this paint cost calculator for an idea of how much you may spend to paint the inside or outside of your home.

The Takeaway

The cost to paint a house is dependent upon the size and texture of the surface area, the kind of paint used, and whether you hire a professional or tackle the painting yourself. If you don’t have the available cash to pay for the costs of painting, it’s often preferable to find ways to save up for your project.

As an alternative, you can consider applying for a SoFi Personal Loan to help with home improvement projects. Unsecured personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes and can go a long way to help making your home improvement ideas a reality.

With a quick online application process and lower rates than most credit cards, SoFi Personal Loans can help you transform your house into a dream home. Check your rate in just two minutes.

Need a change of color? Find your rate for a SoFi personal loan today.


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