How Much Do Professionals Charge for Exterior Painting?

Exterior painting can go a long way in protecting your home from the elements — and in boosting its curb appeal and resale value. So, it pays to hire a professional to get the job done right. Angie’s List members report spending an average of $2,800 to have their home exteriors painted, with most jobs coming in between $1,700 and $3,900. Of course, every painting project is unique — and the overall cost of your project will depend on three important factors.

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1. Preparation

It’s easy to overlook prep work, but it’s one of the most important factors in determining the cost of the job. Your house may need to be caulked or power washed, for example. And peeling paint, cracked or rotted wood, and exterior water damage all need to be repaired before painting can begin.

All of this prep work requires labor, for which painters usually charge between $25 and $75 per hour. So, if your house needs to be scraped from top to bottom, it may cost twice as much to paint compared with a house in better condition. Your painter should provide a detailed prep list in writing before they start work.

2. The size and type of home

The size and construction of your home will also impact the cost of your exterior painting project. The larger the home, the more it will cost to have it painted, of course. And painting vinyl, wood, concrete and metal siding tends to cost less than painting stucco and brick, which are more difficult materials to cover. Finally, if your pro has difficulty accessing hard-to-reach areas, it will require more labor and prolong the length of the project, thereby adding to the final price tag.

These calculations can help you budget for paint:

  • The average gallon of paint covers about 350 square feet, and most home exteriors require two coats of paint.
  • The average 2,500-square-foot home includes about 2,100 square feet of paintable surface. You’ll need about 12 gallons to cover it once, so a professional job will require about 24 gallons of paint.
  • Professional paint usually runs between $30 and $70 — so, you can expect to spend between $720 and $1,680 to paint a 2,100-square-foot house.

TIP: Don’t skimp on quality to save money. Investing an extra $15 or $20 per gallon of paint will prolong the life of your paint job.

3. Color choice

The more colors you use, the longer the job will take — and the more it will cost. A color scheme that includes just two or three colors will take much less time than one that includes several more (on an ornate Queen Anne, for example). So, you can cut costs by choosing a simple color scheme.

Above all, be sure you’re happy with your color selection before a professional gets started on your painting project. It doesn’t cost anything to change your mind before work begins, but once your painter has bought and opened materials, you’re committed to that choice (or spending the money for another).

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