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How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Home Exterior?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Home Exterior?
How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Home Exterior?

Painting the exterior of your home is an important maintenance task, and the fastest and safest way to get the job done is to hire a professional painting contractor with the right tools, equipment, and experience for the job. The size and accessibility of your building, as well as the type and condition of siding and trim, will contribute to the cost of your painting project. Discuss with your contractor if he will be able to handle the necessary prep work and any repairs encountered during painting, or if you may need to hire an additional contractor to prepare for the job.


Painting Different Types of Buildings

Different types of buildings have unique features that affect the price for painting them. Homes generally have more windows and trim than garages, while apartment and commercial buildings may be taller or more difficult to access. Likewise, costs for preparing and painting trim and doors will vary with styles and types. Prices for painting a one or two story house generally range from $1,500 to $4,000, while it may cost between $600 and $1,400 to paint a shed or garage.


Size of the Project

An important factor in pricing a painting project is the space to be prepped and painted. Naturally, a larger space requires more material and time, so costs will increase with the size of the surface that is painted. Painters often price their work according to the square footage they will be working on, though they also factor in things like the difficulty of prep work, the intricacy of trim details, and the number of colors. Rates for typical exterior painting jobs range from $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot, but challenging prep or detail work can bring the price to $5.00 or more per square foot.


Painting Stucco and Concrete

Painting stucco requires specific prep work that includes a thorough cleaning of the surface and repairing any cracks. Further, the type of stucco on your home and the climate in your location may play a part in choosing the correct type of paint or other material to apply to your existing finish. Painting concrete require some preparation similar to that of stucco finishes, but may also require the complete removal of a previous finish and the application of specialized sealers, primers, or paints to properly adhere to the surface and repel moisture. The extra work and specialized materials can bring the cost of painting concrete and stucco a bit higher than painting other types of siding.


Painting Wood Siding

Staining or painting wood siding is essential to protect it from damaging exposure to moisture and sun. The condition and type of your siding and previous finish will help determine the cost of painting; more extensive repairs and prep work will increase the overall costs of the project. If a lot of scraping, sanding, patching, caulking, filling, and priming are involved, the labor end of the job could more than double and increase the overall cost of the project by 50 percent or more.


Painting Vinyl Siding

Until recently, choices of color for vinyl siding were limited to those you could select from the manufacturer, and were essentially permanent. Special paints designed for use on vinyl now provide homeowners an economical way to change the look of their home without replacing the siding. Preparation for applying paint to vinyl siding includes a thorough cleaning and the repair or replacement of any damaged clapboards or sections, but the application of paint is essentially the same as for homes with wood siding.


Painting Metal Siding

Like vinyl, the color of metal siding was once a permanent choice to make at the time of installation. Now, whether to change color or simply spruce up tired-looking siding, proper preparation and appropriate paints make the project feasible and economical. The condition of your siding will determine whether a thorough cleaning is sufficient preparation. Repairs to damaged or rusty siding and the removal of its original finish will increase the complexity and cost of prep work and the job overall.


Cost Comparisons

Low Average High
$2,400 - $3,200 $2,900 - $5,200 $4,500 - $8,600

The condition and characteristics of your home can have a lot of influence on the cost of exterior painting. Our examples illustrate how conditions can affect the cost of painting the outside of an 1,800 square foot cape-style home with wood clapboard siding.

Regular Refresher: $2,400 - $3,200

  • • Preparation: Excellent preparation is key to a good paint finish. Only the basics are needed on this job, keeping the job fairly quick and simple.
  • • Features: Basic building and trim styles don’t call for a lot of precision work, and simple access makes it easy for painters to get the work done efficiently.
  • • Colors: Repainting with the same body and trim colors often makes it possible to paint without priming first, helping keep both material and labor costs low.

A Fresh Take: $2,900 - $5,200

  • • Preparation: Standard prep work keeps the baseline on this job in the average range. Scraping, sanding, patching, and cleaning are the order of the day.
  • • Features: Dormers and more complex trim styles make this job a little more challenging and time-consuming than others. Setting up staging to reach heights safely adds some time to the schedule as well. The extra effort can add $400 to $1,000 to the tab.
  • • Colors: Changing the look of this home calls for a new color scheme. In order to get the best results, the field and trim must all get a coat of primer before sporting new paint colors.

Overdue Overhaul: $4,500 - $8,600

  • • Preparation: Procrastinating on maintenance never pays. A neglected paint job leaves this place in need of serious scraping and sanding, along with plenty of patching and repair work. The extra prep work can add $1,000 to the bottom line.
  • • Features: Although the house style and trim are simple, adding a front porch to the painters’ to-do list expands the scope of the job. In addition to extensive prep work, a different type of paint is used for this area.
  • • Colors: While you’re catching up, it’s the perfect time to make a change. Refreshing this home with new colors makes a big difference and adds applying a coat of primer to the list of prep tasks.

Find Exterior Painting Contractors Near You

Several factors contribute to the cost of your paint job, but no matter the type of walls or siding on your home, preparation often has the biggest impact on the bottom line. Be sure to discuss with your local exterior painting contractor how extensive repairs and preparation will be, and if special materials or paints are required for your project.

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