How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a house?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • The typical cost of DIY painting your home's exterior
  • How to save money when painting your house
  • How much it usually costs to hire a professional vs doing it yourself 
  • The estimated cost of labor and supplies to paint a house

And much more!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House? (2020 Estimates)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending to get your house painted, then keep reading for all our tips and insights below!

Psst! Are you looking to paint you're home's interior instead?

Check Out Our Guide On That Here: How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Home's Interior?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room?

When talking about painting costs for a particular painting project, it all comes down to the size of the room (square footage) and how much prep work it requires to do the job right.

So for the sake of this article, we're going to break down the typical costs you'll incur if you're doing the paint job yourself, as compared to the typical cost of hiring a professional painter.

Average Cost To Paint A Room If You Do It Yourself?

If you're a DIY fan and you want to paint a room (or rooms) in your home yourself, it's typically going to be much less expensive than hiring a professional painter.

However, there are some other painting costs you'll incur that you wouldn't have to if you hired someone else. These things go above and beyond the actual cost of painting such as drop cloths, painter's tape, paint brushes or paint rollers, paint trays, and painting safety equipment.

If you have these things on hand already, then your total cost will likely just include the gallons of paint you'll need to buy to do the job. 

But, I'm going to go through and make an itemized list of the average price of all these items below so you can get a sense of how much to budget for your painting project:

  • Drop Cloths - $10
  • Painter's Tape - $7
  • Paint Sprayer - $35-$85
  • Paint Brushes (For Detailing) - $10
  • Disposable Painter's Masks - $20 
  • Disposable Painting Gloves - $8
  • Safety Goggles - $12
  • 1 Gallon of Exterior Paint Of Choice - ~$36
  • Bucket for Water - $7
  • Rags - Free if you have them
  • Sandpaper - $15
  • Putty or Caulk - $10

Now, obviously you probably won't need to purchase everything on this list if you've painted before, and there is some variability in regards to how much paint you'll need based on the size of the house you're painting.

So keep that in mind and price according to your specific paint job. 

That said, the estimated total cost of painting supplies for this project is somewhere between:

$550 - $675

This range is based on the assumption that you'd need to buy all of the painting supplies, plus primer and 12-15 gallons of paint (more on that estimate later).

Your final cost will ultimately depend on how big your house is and any other project costs you might have.

For instance, your cost of paint may vary if you choose a high-end type of paint or need multiple paint colors, so just keep that in mind when coming up with a price estimate for your house.

However, the good news is even with the prep work and supplies, painting your house yourself is still probably less expensive than it would be to hire a professional painter even if you buy the highest quality paint.

And the better news is that once you buy the painting supplies the first time, the project costs for every future painting project will be less!

Painting is one of the few home improvement skills that is fairly easy to learn (though it is time-consuming) and can save you a lot of money in the long run as long as you can get the hang of it and don't end up needing to repaint everything. However, painting a home's exterior is a bit more tricky than indoor house painting because exterior painting requires more weatherproofing. So if you're a first time DIYer, it may be better to hire a professional.

Important Note: If your home was built in 1978 or sooner, it's important to take precautions as some of the paint could be lead paint. Make sure you follow all safety protocols before sanding any old paint as you could expose yourself to harmful lead dust.

Read More >> How Do You Paint Your Home's Exterior Yourself?

Average Exterior Painting Cost If You Hire a Professional Painter?

Now let's talk about how much it'll cost you to hire a professional painter to paint the exterior of your home.

One thing to note here is that every professional painting company prices their work differently and charges different rates. 

So for the sake of this article, I'm going to price this out based on the national average cost per hundred square feet, and I'm going to base the total on the national average size of a home's exterior.

Keep in mind, if you're hiring someone to paint a significantly larger room, like your living room, it'll cost more. And, if you're looking to hire professional painters to do your entire house, they might price that out differently since it's a larger job.

The national average cost for painting per 100 square feet ranges from $50-$150.

And based on an average two-story home of about 2,400 square feet, you can expect to pay about $2,000 to $3,000 depending on who you hire and where you live.

This is usually how a professional painters charge, rather than giving you an hourly rate. This is because pricing by the linear foot gives them more insight into the total exterior painting cost and the cost of materials and labor for a given project. 

It's also important to note that labor costs for exterior walls is usually much higher than painting interior walls because interior walls generally need fewer coats of paint and with exterior walls they need to worry about weatherproofing and exterior durability.

However, that's one of the biggest reasons I'd suggest hiring a painting contractor to paint your home's exterior because they truly are experts in making sure your home's paint is durable, long-lasting, and fully sealed.

Read More >> What Are The Best Exterior Primer Paints?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

What Is The DIY Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

Now let's break down the estimate DIY costs a bit more.

This is where the quality of paint you choose factors in because certain paints cover more surface area than others.

It's also important to note that you'll almost always need at least 2 coats of paint and with an exterior paint job I'd recommend 3 or more to ensure that your paint is fully sealed.

The best way to estimate the amount of paint needed to paint your home is to look at the gallon of paint you're using to see how much coverage it offers. (Also, make sure you're specifically using exterior paint for the best paint job result possible.)

Then, estimate the size of your home to determine how many gallons of paint total are needed to provide the right amount of coverage.

For example, this gallon of Behr Paint and Primer In One in a semi-gloss finish covers approximately 250-400 square feet per gallon.

So, if your painting job is to repaint your home that is approximately 2,400 square feet you'll need about 12 gallons of paint to cover the whole area and potentially up to 15 gallons to cover it more times.

Types of Siding

One important thing to note here is that the type of siding your home has plays a huge role in the types of paint you can use, how many coats of paint you'll need, and much more.

For instance, vinyl siding requires a different approach than wood siding and wood siding will generally soak up more paint so your gallons of paint might not stretch as far.

Make sure you read up on painting your specific type of siding when you decide whether or not to paint your home yourself.

The Difficulty of the Job

The last thing I'll state here is that it's important to keep in mind the difficulty of painting your home's exterior.

If you have a single-story home, it's going to be much easier to paint than a two-story or three-story home. 

If you're a novice DIY painter, I'd strongly advise against trying to paint a multi-story home yourself because while it might seem easy to be up on a ladder, it's quite dangerous if you've never done it before.

There are a few other factors that impact the difficulty of the job as well, such as window trim you'll need to paint (or paint around), how much patching you'll need to do, and if you're dealing with repainting over the top of peeling paint.

Make sure you take all of these factors into account before diving into painting your house exterior yourself.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Sprayers For Walls?

Did you know? Painting the average home exterior takes 3 to 4 days to paint with 2 to 3 people.

How Can You Save Money When Painting A Home's Exterior?

Lucky for you, if you decide to go the DIY route there are several things you can do to lower your painting estimate and save money on your painting project.

Types of Paint

One of the best ways to save money is to choose the type of paint you're using carefully.

Obviously, if you choose to go with multiple paint colors, your project will cost more because you'll need an individual paint can for each color.

If you're still set on creating that epic accent wall, though, I'd recommend buying your paint in quart sizes to save money. If you know you only need a little bit of that high-gloss blue to create that cool pattern, save your money and only buy one quart and then buy the gallons of paint for your main colors.

Another way to save money here is by choosing your paint finish carefully. Typically, high-gloss and semi-gloss paints cost more than matte paints or flat paints.

Also, latex paints are typically cheaper than oil-based paints, and if you're a beginner looking to DIY your own home, I'd recommend staying away from oil-based paints as they're harder to clean up and harder to dispose of.

Read More >> What Are The Best Gravity Feed Spray Guns For Painting?

Renting vs. Buying Supplies

Did you know you can actually rent certain painting supplies rather than having to buy them?

Most Home Depot stores and Lowe's stores have a rental program where you can rent out certain painting and home improvement supplies. So if you know you'll only need those supplies for this particular project, that can be a much more cost-effective way to get the things you need.

Here's another thing that blew my mind when I learned it: some libraries rent out basic home improvement supplies!

Check with your local library to see if they have any tools like paint sprayers on hand that you can borrow. That'll save you lots of money on your painting project and you'll still be able to get the job done right.

Obviously, the cheapest route here is to see if any of your friends and family have some painting supplies they could lend you for the day.

Sales And Dented Cans

Another way you could try to save money on paint is by waiting for your local hardware store to run a sale. Even if they knock off a few dollars on a can of paint, this can save you a bunch of money if you know you have a bunch of square footage to cover.

You can also see if they have any dented or otherwise blemished cans that they could sell to you for less. 

Most people don't want to buy dented cans (just like ugly produce) but the paint inside is the same stuff, and if you can get it for a bit cheaper that's more money left over for you!

Hot Tip: One more place you can look for cheap paint is Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This works best if you're not picky on color or you're going with a standard color like white. I've seen some people getting rid of a large amount of paint cans near their expiry date for FREE on those sites, so it might pay off to be a little thrifty.

Read More >> What Are The Best Extension Ladders For Exterior Painting?

Other Money-Saving Tips To Note

One more thing to note here before you fully commit to painting your home yourself is the quality of the current paint on your home.

If you're seeing a lot of areas in your home's current paint job that will need patching (either with caulk or putty) and you're dealing with a lot of peeling paint, I'd recommend hiring a painting contractor instead.

While it's nice to save money by doing things yourself, your home's exterior is one area you don't' want to mess around with.

There are other hidden project costs to think about here, like the potential for wear and tear on the exterior of a house, peeling paint because it wasn't applied correctly (if your paint job only lasts you a year you technically haven't saved your money) and the potential for bad reactions with different siding materials.

Ultimately, a $2,000 to $3,000 price tag for exterior house painting might seem steep, but getting a fresh coat of paint on your home's exterior that is going to last for years to come isn't something to skimp out on.

If you're an intermediate or professional painter and you know you can do a good job, great!

But if you've only ever done interior painting jobs, it's probably best to at least have a painting contractor come out and do an assessment of your home's exterior to see how challenging the job really is.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Final Thoughts On Exterior House Painting Costs

Now that we've broken down the individual costs for painting your house exterior, these cost estimates should give you a good starting point.

While every painting project is different, knowing the range of costs before you start is always helpful so you can find all the areas of the budget that you can cut back on.

Whether you're going to DIY your house or plan to hire a professional painter, I wish you the best of luck on your painting project.

As always, happy painting!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

Got A Paint Question? Ask Your Pro Painter!

Learn More Expert Paint Tips

Painting shouldn’t be this hard. Check out some of these other helpful guides to help you nail the perfect paint job!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Fence? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a fence? You’ve come to the right

Read More »
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Aluminum Siding? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint your aluminum siding? You’ve come to the

Read More »
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Vinyl Siding? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint your vinyl siding? You’ve come to the

Read More »
How Much Does Benjamin Moore Paint Cost? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much Benjamin Moore paint typically costs? You’ve come to the right place! In

Read More »

Got Paint Questions? Search For In-Depth Answers Below!

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

About Pro Paint Corner

You’ve got painting questions. We’ve got the best painting answers from a network of seasoned painting pros.

Recently Published Guides