how much does exterior painting cost

How Much Does Exterior Painting Cost? Exploring the Variables

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By Jason The Painter

Whether you’re planning to spruce up your property’s curb appeal or just want to know what to expect for budgeting purposes, understanding the factors that influence painting costs is essential. From the size of the project to the type of paint and labor involved, we’ll explore all the key elements that contribute to the final price. So, let’s dive in and uncover the truth about exterior painting costs!

Average Costs per Square Foot

Giving your home’s exterior a fresh new look doesn’t have to break the bank. The cost to paint the outside of your home largely depends on the existing siding material. Follow this guide to get a sense of pricing for your specific project.

cost to paint exterior surfaces graph
  • Vinyl: $1 to $3 per square foot
  • Wood: $1 to $3 per square foot
  • Concrete: $1.20 to $2.70 per square foot
  • Stucco: $1.50 to $4 per square foot
  • Metal: $1.50 to $4 per square foot
  • Brick: $1.40 to $4.20 per square foot

Factors Affecting Exterior Painting Costs

When it comes to calculating the cost of an exterior painting project, several factors come into play. These factors can significantly influence the final price you will pay for the service. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision and budget accordingly. Here are some key factors that impact exterior painting costs:

  1. Size of the Exterior: The size of your home’s exterior is one of the primary factors in determining the cost of painting. Larger homes require more paint, materials, and labor, which can drive up the overall cost.
  2. Condition of the Surface: The condition of the surface to be painted plays a crucial role in pricing. If the existing paint is peeling, cracked, or damaged, additional preparation work may be required, including scraping, sanding, and priming. This extra effort can increase the overall cost.
  3. Type of Paint: The type of paint you choose can also impact the cost. High-quality paints may be more expensive upfront but can offer better durability and longevity. Additionally, some specialized paints, such as textured or waterproof coatings, may cost more than standard options.
  4. Number of Coats: The number of coats required for your exterior painting project can affect the overall cost. If your current paint color is dark, and you wish to switch to a lighter shade, additional coats may be necessary to achieve the desired result, increasing the labor and material costs.
  5. Accessibility: The accessibility of your home’s exterior can influence pricing. If your property has challenging or hard-to-reach areas, such as high peaks or architectural features, the painters may require specialized equipment or additional time to complete the job safely, which can impact the total cost.
  6. Professional Labor Costs: Hiring professional painters with experience and expertise comes at a price. Labor costs can vary depending on the location, the complexity of the project, and the reputation of the painting company. It’s essential to obtain multiple quotes to ensure you are getting a fair and competitive price.

Keep in mind that these factors interact with each other, and their combined influence determines the final cost of your exterior painting project. It is advisable to consult with professional painters to assess your specific requirements and provide an accurate estimate.

Average Costs for Exterior Painting Services

When it comes to exterior painting services, the costs can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the size of the house, the type of paint used, the condition of the exterior, and the location of the property. It is important to consider these factors when estimating the cost of your exterior painting project.

On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $2,000 to $5,000 for a professional exterior painting job. However, this cost can increase or decrease depending on the variables mentioned earlier.

The size of the house is one of the main factors that affect the cost of exterior painting. Larger houses require more paint and more time to complete the job, which can result in higher costs. On the other hand, smaller houses may require less paint and less time, leading to lower costs.

The type of paint used can also impact the overall cost. High-quality paints tend to be more expensive, but they offer better durability and longevity. Cheaper paints may save you money upfront, but they may need to be repainted sooner, resulting in additional costs in the long run.

The condition of the exterior is another crucial factor. If your home has peeling or damaged paint, it may require additional preparation work, such as scraping, sanding, or patching. This extra labor can increase the cost of the project.

Lastly, the location of your property can influence the cost of exterior painting services. Labor and material costs can vary depending on the region, so it is essential to consider the local market when estimating the expenses.

It is important to note that these average costs are just estimates and can vary significantly depending on the specific requirements of your project. It is always recommended to get multiple quotes from professional painters to get a more accurate idea of the costs involved.

Hidden Expenses and Unexpected Costs

When it comes to exterior painting, there are several hidden expenses and unexpected costs that homeowners should be aware of. These additional expenses can significantly impact the overall cost of the project. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Surface Preparation

Before painting can begin, the surface needs to be properly prepared. This includes cleaning, scraping off old paint, sanding, and filling any cracks or holes. Depending on the condition of the surface, this preparation work can be time-consuming and require special tools or equipment.

2. Repairs

If there are any damages to the exterior such as rotting wood, termite infestation, or water damage, repairs may be necessary before painting can proceed. These repairs can be unexpected and add to the overall cost of the project. It’s essential to inspect the exterior thoroughly before starting the painting process.

3. Primer and Paint Quality

The quality of the primer and paint used can greatly affect the longevity and appearance of the exterior paint job. High-quality primer and paint may cost more upfront but can save money in the long run by requiring fewer touch-ups or repaints. It’s crucial to choose the appropriate products for the specific surface and climate conditions.

4. Additional Materials

Aside from primer and paint, there may be additional materials needed for the painting project. These can include brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter’s tape, and caulking. These supplies can add up, especially if the project requires multiple coats of paint or covers a large area.

5. Accessibility

The accessibility of the exterior surface can also impact the cost of painting. If the area is difficult to reach or requires special equipment like scaffolding or ladders, additional expenses may be incurred. The complexity of the project and the height of the building can influence the overall cost.

6. Weather Delays

Weather conditions can cause unexpected delays in the painting process. Rain, extreme heat, or high humidity can affect the drying time and quality of the paint. If the project gets delayed due to weather, it may result in additional costs, especially if the painters need to return for touch-ups or repairs.

Considering these hidden expenses and unexpected costs is crucial when budgeting for an exterior painting project. It’s advisable to consult with professional painters and get a detailed estimate that includes all potential expenses to avoid any surprises along the way.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Which is More Cost-Effective?

One important factor to consider when deciding on exterior painting is whether to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional. While DIY painting may seem like a cost-effective option, it’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons before making a decision.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Painting

Many homeowners choose to paint the exterior of their homes themselves in an attempt to save money. However, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Skill Level: Painting the exterior of a house requires specific skills and techniques. If you’re an experienced painter, DIY may be a viable option. However, if you lack experience, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
  • Time and Effort: Exterior painting is a time-consuming task that requires significant effort. It involves prepping the surfaces, scraping off old paint, priming, and applying multiple coats. Consider whether you have the time and energy to dedicate to the project.
  • Tools and Equipment: DIY painting requires purchasing or renting the necessary tools and equipment, including brushes, rollers, ladders, and sprayers. These additional costs should be factored into your decision.
  • Risk of Mistakes: Without proper knowledge and experience, DIY painting can lead to mistakes such as uneven coats, drips, or missed spots. These errors may require additional time and money to correct.

Hiring a Professional

While hiring a professional painter may come with a higher upfront cost, it offers several advantages:

  • Expertise: Professional painters have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver high-quality results. They understand the best techniques, materials, and finishes for different surfaces and can ensure a flawless paint job.
  • Time-Saving: Professionals can complete the exterior painting project more efficiently, allowing you to focus on other important tasks or enjoy your free time.
  • Guaranteed Results: Reputable painting contractors often provide warranties or guarantees on their work. This means that if any issues arise after the completion of the project, they will rectify them at no additional cost.
  • Cost Analysis: Hiring a professional painter includes the cost of materials, tools, and labor. While the initial expense may be higher, the overall cost-effectiveness can be higher due to the quality and longevity of the paint job.

Ultimately, the decision between DIY painting and hiring a professional depends on your budget, available time, skill level, and the desired outcome. It’s recommended to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a final choice.

Tips for Saving Money on Exterior Painting Projects

Exterior painting can be an expensive home improvement project, but there are several ways to save money without compromising on quality. Here are some tips to help you cut costs:

  • Do your own prep work: Before hiring a professional painter, consider doing some of the preparation work yourself. This may include cleaning the surfaces, removing loose paint, and repairing any damaged areas. By taking care of these tasks on your own, you can save on labor costs.
  • Compare multiple quotes: It’s always a good idea to get quotes from multiple painting contractors before making a decision. Take the time to compare their prices, services offered, and customer reviews. This will help you find the best balance between cost and quality.
  • Choose a neutral color: While bold and vibrant colors may be tempting, opting for a neutral color palette can save you money in the long run. Neutral colors are generally less expensive, and they also have broader appeal if you decide to sell your home in the future.
  • Consider alternative paint options: Instead of using high-end paints, you can explore more affordable options that still offer good quality. Talk to your painting contractor about alternative paint brands or formulations that can help you save money.
  • Bundle other home improvement projects: If you have other home improvement projects in mind, consider bundling them with your exterior painting project. Many contractors offer discounts or package deals when multiple services are booked together.
  • Maintain your paint job: Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your exterior paint job, saving you money in the long term. Take proactive steps to protect your paint, such as cleaning it regularly, addressing any issues promptly, and applying a fresh coat of paint when necessary.

By following these tips, you can achieve a cost-effective exterior painting project without compromising the overall quality and appearance of your home.


In conclusion, the cost of exterior painting can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the size of the area, the type of paint used, the condition of the surface, and the complexity of the project. While it is impossible to provide a specific figure without assessing individual circumstances, it is important to be aware that exterior painting can require a substantial investment. However, by conducting proper research, obtaining multiple quotes, and hiring a reputable and experienced painting contractor, homeowners can ensure they are getting the best value for their money. Ultimately, a well-executed exterior paint job can not only enhance the appearance of a property but also contribute to its overall protection and value.

How Much Does Exterior Painting Cost?

how much does exterior painting cost

To get an accurate price, there are several variables to consider such as: the paint type, the condition and prep required, and accessibility of the area to be painted. Here are some average prices that are quoted by painters for specific surface types:

Vinyl: $1 to $3 per square foot
Wood: $1 to $3 per square foot
Concrete: $1.20 to $2.70 per square foot
Stucco: $1.50 to $4 per square foot
Metal: $1.50 to $4 per square foot
Brick: $1.40 to $4.20 per square foot

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