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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

January 14, 2020 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

Home is where the heart is, but sometimes your heart needs a change. At first, you may have wanted all-white walls for a clean and modern look, but now you may feel like a rich color is homier. Or, you loved the idea of being the only purple house on the block, but now regret such a bold choice.

Refreshing your home can be fun and inspiring, but who has the money for a complete home makeover? If you’ve ever picked up a home decor magazine, you’ve seen that interior designers love to recommend you paint your home as an affordable, DIY way to make a big statement. Not to mention, keeping your home updated may help increase its value.

Picking out paint does sound a lot easier than finding a new couch that your whole family agrees on. But is it as affordable as the Martha Stewarts of the world will have you believe? Here are some considerations when trying to answer the question: How much can it cost to paint a house?

Let’s start with the paint job you’ll spend most of your time looking at: the interior.

The cost of painting an interior space varies greatly due to the type of paint and materials you choose, if you hire professional help, and how many rooms you’d like to paint.

You might expect the cost for an average-sized room (approximately 10 feet by 12 feet) to be somewhere between $200-$1,000 for a professional job. If you do it yourself, the cost of the paint and materials may set you back around $200–$300. .

When looking at costs, remember that a gallon of paint normally covers around 400 square feet . Be warned, 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.

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

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

Primer, which is a necessary first step, might cost around $10–$20 a can, but you can purchase paint colors that combine primer to save time. If using primer, which is especially necessary when a new paint color is lighter than an old one, you’ll typically use at least two cans of primer just to cover one wall.

While these prices may fluctuate, here is a breakdown of popular paint brands and their average price per gallon according to HomeAdvisor:

Brand

Flat

Semi-gloss

High-gloss

Behr $31 up to $220 $30
Benjamin Moore $55 up to $400 $66
Olympic $45 $81 $120
Sherwin Williams $45 $62 $71
Valspar $31 up to $200 $20

Non-Paint Costs

When painting your home, you’ll encounter a variety of costs for the tools required to paint. Some of these supplies can be used again, so in the long run, purchasing your own supplies may save you money. If paying for labor, you may be able to deduct the costs of supplies if you provide your own. Necessary 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: If you need to paint a high wall
•   Paint tray: You’ll add a small amount of paint to this tray to use while painting so the gallon can stays closed and doesn’t dry out
•   Paint rollers and brushes: A roller covers larger areas at once while a small brush can be used for touch-ups

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior?

The national average cost of painting a home exterior is $2,842, but it can range from around $1,200 to over $8,700 depending on a variety of factors. Painting the exterior of your home could increase your home’s value, and it also gives you a chance to make any needed exterior repairs.

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).

While costs vary based on location, type of paint, etc., 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, damaged, or there are any pieces missing, a professional may have to repair the metal. If the damage is severe, old paint should be removed in advance of painting.

Stucco Siding

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

Why: Stucco is a difficult material to work with because of the preparation required to paint it. The process may involve cleaning the stucco, caulking it, or filling in the cracks. The paints and brushes required to paint stucco can also vary in price but are necessary because using the wrong materials can result in the paint peeling off the stucco.

Vinyl Siding

Cost estimate: $600 to $3,500

Why: Vinyl siding needs to be cleaned and repaired, if necessary, before beginning to paint—but generally, it requires less expensive paint. Painting a vinyl exterior (if you don’t need repairs for missing or broken vinyl) is a similar process to painting the interior of the house, however, the required finish may need regular maintenance.

Wood Siding

Cost estimate: $700 to $3,000

Why: Similar to painting wood furniture or floors, you’ll have the option of staining or painting wood siding that is damaged due to element exposure. This process may help defend wood siding against sun or humidity. 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 Painting Costs

Because painting supplies and labor costs can vary so much, it can be difficult to know your final total 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.

If you don’t have the free cash to pay for the costs of painting, it’s 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 dreams a reality..

With a quick online application process and lower rates than most credit cards, SoFi personal loans can help you make your house a dream home. You can check your rate in just two minutes.

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


Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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