How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House?

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So you're thinking of painting your house and maybe you don't have time to do it yoursels. Just how much does it cost to paint a house these days? Well I can tell your from my experience in painting houses it really depends on many factors. The common main factors that go into a house paint estimate are square footage, local labor costs, style of house and current condition. Read my article below as I will answer the best I can while providing you some professional tips also.


If you live in extreme high cost of living areas like California or Northern Illinois, you will find the price per square foot on average to paint a house is probably 2-3 times as much as it would be in most other areas. Many people try to estimate an average cost to paint a house and use only square footage. This will get you very close in most situations but you can be way off. High ceilings, a unique layout or a two-story loft entrance will increase the cost of your paint job. Best tip for any home painting job is get at least three local estimates.


average price to paint house


How Much Does it Cost To Paint a House - Average Costs of Materials When Painting a House


We can start with the price of materials because this is usually pretty close across the United States. Just for a gallon of paint, expect to pay $25-$50 alone. Keep in mind there are many grades of paint. You have low end, low performance paints in which you can paint a house and it will look nice for a short time but will not last. High performance paints last longer and are more durable. Get something that suits your budget and climate.


For exterior and specialty paints, you can pay much more. If you have a stucco home, you will pay more for a specialty elastomeric coating. Go with a decent quality 100% acrylic paint for interior walls. For the ceiling I would recommend a CHB paint. A CHB paint is from Sherwin Williams and has a latex flat, no shine quality. I used this on many new construction homes and even commercial applications. Great for touch ups too.


You will want to use this for ceilings only as it hides and imperfections from drywall and light reflections. Pro Tip: Add a drop of your wall color tint into your ceiling to add some warmth into your living room areas. Works great on high ceilings especially well. Get the CHB in 5 gallons containers as you will not only get a better price per gallon, but you will get a better consistency for touch ups later on. Pro Tip: Use Benjamin Moore paints for interior walls and trim. Costs more but the effects are long lasting and valuable.


Below are some factors to consider that can determine the cost of painting your house.


  • Condition and Age of House ( More Prep Work, Substrate condition )

  • Single Story vs, Two Story or Custom Home

  • Type of Paint you Choose ( 10 year vs 25 year vs 30 year )

  • House Location ( Prices of Labor vary State by State )

  • Color Change and Custom Colors

  • Ease of Access



Cost to Paint a House Can Vary Greatly


On a 2500 square feet you will need anywhere from 15-22 gallons of paint to paint the interior walls, ceilings and trim. One gallon of paint will cover about 350-400 square feet. The amount can be slightly more depending on your room layout and existing color too. With 2-3 gallons of paint, you will be able to paint one bedroom.  So you’re looking at on average per bedroom for materials cost of about $75 per bedroom in materials alone. A 2500 square foot house will be about $500-$800 just for paint alone. It really depends also if you have textured walls and or ceilings too.


See the below house painting cost samples by house type below.

average cost to paint single story ranch houseSingle story ranch style 1,800 sq. ft. average cost painting the interior walls, ceilings and trim one coat $3,400. If you want accent and custom colors and two coats, price can be upwards of $8500. Exterior average cost to paint this house above price ranges can be from $2300-$5500 for labor only.


average cost to paint 2 story houseThis two story 2,800 square foot stucco home exterior paint cost average price can be anywhere from $4,500 - $12,000. For example going from a darker shade to lighter would require more labor.


Average Cost to Paint a House - Interior/Exterior Average Cost Per Square Foot


Unless you are a professional painter I would not go the DIY route in painting a house yourself. Painting is a professional skill as any other and requires proper preparation and precise straight line abilities. People will notice if you have something done right or not. A professional painter will have all the right tools and supplies to get the job done right. The actual cost to paint a house interior and exterior can vary greatly between $1.15-$7 per square foot by state. It really is a hard number to pin down because it depends on so many factors.


You can have a newer ranch one-story home with light colors and you just need to repaint it the same color. That price compared to the same square footage 2-story older home, with peeling paint will need more preparation work and materials. If your home has extensive moldings and trim work, this can be an additional cost. Exterior paints costs more too. Expect to pay $30 per gallon at a minimum for a quality paint. On the exterior there are too many factors to consider.



On a single story 1,700-2,000 square foot home with little siding and just trim, expect to pay between $2000-$5500 for am exterior paint job. A two-story 3,000 square foot home with hardi plank all around, exterior painting cost will be between $8,000-$15,000. But here again, how much of your exterior needs tobe painted? Painting contractors charge anywhere from $25-$90 per hour for labor if you wanted to get an hourly quote. But each state is different. Get a couple quotes for local contractors and you will see yourself the actual costs to paint a house in your market.



Average Cost to Paint is Relative - Get Several Estimates


I recommend getting at least 2-3 house painting estimates that way you can better gauge what the price will be. Prices change as time goes. Several years ago for example the average price per square foot to paint an exterior was about $1.76. Today that number is well above $2.0 per square foot as the national average.

Be sure to get a local licensed professional with some references too.

House painting is a skill. Be sure to use quality paints like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The actual cost can differ for your local market. Get the right painting contractor for your home.




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  1. Cecile Myers 02/10/2019 09:15 AM
Home Improvement
average cost to paint a house
cost to paint a house
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