How to Estimate the Cost of Painting Your Home's Exterior

estimate paint work

If the outside of your home needs some new paint, even starting the process of repainting can seem daunting because you are unsure how much it will cost. While many things can influence the cost of painting a home's exterior, you can do some quick calculations to find a rough ballpark for the expected price.

It costs $3,500 to $5,500 to paint the exterior of a typical 2,500-square-foot two-story house when hiring a professional painting company. Smaller homes cost around $1,000-$3,000, and larger cost $6000+ to paint the exterior. Exact prices depend on house size, accessibility, paint quality, etc.

Nearly every situation is different, and many factors can impact the cost of painting the outside of your house. You can't account for everything in a preliminary estimation, but there are many nuances that you can be aware of to increase your accuracy.

Below, we'll go over what you can expect and a few of the most common things that can influence and increase the price of painting your home's exterior.

How to Estimate the Final Price of Painting Your Home's Exterior

There are many variables when estimating the price to paint the exterior of a home, but using some averages, you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect. Many of these are average numbers, so expect to see higher and lower prices in the real world.

  1. Estimate exterior wall square footage. Generally, if your house doesn't have any crazy design features, the exterior wall square footage is equal to the indoor square footage of your home (with a +/-200 margin of error).
  2. Estimate labor costs. Professional painters can charge a wide variety of rates depending on the job and the person's experience, but generally, you can expect it to cost $25-$50 per hour. A standard 2,500-square-foot two-story house typically takes 3-4 days to paint the exterior with a three-person crew.
  3. Estimate paint costs. Most exterior cans of paint cost $15 on the low end and $40+ for higher-end paint. Generally, one can of paint covers 250-400 square feet with a single coat. When painting the exterior of your home, you'll typically need to prime the surface and then apply two coats of paint.
  4. Add everything up. Once you add up labor costs and paint costs for your estimated home size (plus the cost of additional supplies if you're doing it yourself), you should have a general idea of how much painting the exterior of your house should cost.
empty room painted

How Much Does it Cost to Paint the Exterior of a Home?

Prices for painting the exterior of a home vary depending on location, project specifics, time of year, and many other things, which we'll discuss in detail later. But in general, here are some estimated prices for how much it should cost to paint the exterior of three different sized homes.

Exterior SurfaceTypical Building Type
Estimate Price
1,250 sq ft
One-story house
$1,000-$3,000
2,500 sq ft
One or two-story house
$3,500-$5,500
3,750 sq ft
Two or three-story house
$6,000-$8,000+

Factors That Influence Home Exterior Painting Costs

Millions of factors can influence how much it will cost to paint your home's exterior. Below are a few of the most impactful and common factors to consider when pricing out your project.

House Size and Accessibility
It's pretty intuitive that larger houses will cost more to paint due to the additional supplies and labor needed to finish the job. But another consideration is the accessibility of the surfaces needing paint. Houses with multiple stories or ones on rugged terrain require more equipment and increase costs.

Surface Repairs
Before painting the exterior of your home, it's crucial to patch and repair any damage to the siding. If left untreated, siding problems can lead to more severe moisture or insect damage issues. Repairing siding can delay painting your home's exterior and add additional costs to the project.

Preparation Work
Preparation before painting the exterior of your home is arguably more crucial than actually applying the paint. It is imperative to clean the surface and prime it before painting. Depending on the size of your home, preparation work could increase the workload substantially.

Paint Type and Quality:
Many different exterior paints are available, ranging from very budget-friendly options to higher-end paints with lots of fancy additives. You typically get what you pay for in terms of quality and lifespan expectancy with exterior paint. Generally, you'll get the most value with a $25-$30 cans of paint; reasonably priced with many higher-end paints qualities.

Labor Expenses
Labor costs are often a significant portion of the total budget when painting a home's exterior. The availability of workers and the number needed to complete a project can heavily impact the total cost.

Paint Your Home's Exterior Yourself or Hire Someone?

The outside of a house is one of the first things you notice when you first approach a residence. The paint and look of the siding can make or break a property's appeal, so you want to make sure you get it right. Redoing poorly-done paint adds unnecessary costs and time to the project.

For most people without painting experience, it is best to leave painting the exterior of your home to professional painters. Most painting companies have their own equipment that they bring to the job so you can save money on items you would likely never use again. Having the exterior of your home painted professionally is excellent for home value, curb appeal, and helps save you time; well worth the money for most people.

Final Thoughts

Estimating how much it'll cost to paint the exterior of your home using averages and assumptions is only so good. There are too many variables at play that can severely impact the price. You can generally get a good ballpark price range, but you won't know the going rate in your area until you ask around and get some quotes.

When pricing out your project, take your time and look at all your options before committing. Sometimes you have to pay a little more to get it done right, but it's well worth it because a good exterior paint job can last a decade or more.

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