Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.
Like the rest of your home’s exterior, you should start from the top down when painting exterior trim. If your window sills look particularly weather-beaten, you might want to give them a second or third coat of paint. When painting doors, paint the panels first, then the rails and stiles, and finally the edges. For more details, read up on trim painting guidelines.
Paper/poly drop cloths: $2 to $6 for 9x12-feet. The best of both paper and plastic, these cloths are low-cost and disposable. They absorb paint drips while providing more protection for what's underneath. They also provide some protection from slipping. Plus, you can cut paper/poly drop cloths to fit the space. But, like paper, paper/poly drop cloths can rip more easily than plastic or canvas drop cloths.
On average, expect to pay $0.60–$1.60 per square foot for exterior painting. The average for painting labor across the country is $30–$40 per hour before you pay for paint, painting supplies, location costs, and equipment. To get a very general estimate, though, painting contractors will take into account the square footage of your home and the number of stories and also factor in normal prep work.
Get estimates from several contractors, request and contact references, search for complaints at the Better Business Bureau and check that the company is properly bonded and insured, as well as licensed in your state . Only pay a small deposit, and don't pay the entire amount until the job is finished to your complete satisfaction (both painting and cleanup).
When painting a carpeted room, keep in mind that paint will soak through drop cloths. This is especially true of the cheaper, lightweight cloths. It helps to tape masking paper to all of the base boards before laying the drop cloths. Tuck the edges of the cloth under the paper--this will help keep it clean. You might want to invest in a hand-held masking machine--they make the job go much faster. Even after taking these precautions make sure to clean big drops or spills before they soak through and before you step on them!
Painters will agree that you should always aim to paint in the part of the year when it’s least likely to rain, has low humidity, and when the temperatures are above 50 F. Rain can wash wet latex paint off a wall, and temps that are too low can affect the way the paint sticks to the walls. Some painters will add additives to the paint if working in very high temperatures to slow down the drying time.
Repainting is key to maintaining exterior house paint. The material that your home is made of affects how often you should repaint. For instance, wood-paneled homes need to be repainted twice as often as those made of stucco. Environmental factors also play a role in how often you should repaint, since harsh climates can be hard on a home. As a general rule of thumb, homeowners should repaint their home every six to ten years.
Priming - $30–$40/hour for labor. Many of the materials above need to be primed, but not all do. If you’re changing paint colors from dark to light or light to dark, use a color similar to the top coat. That way you’re less likely to need extra coats over the standard two. Prime with a flat or eggshell paint. You can ask your paint store to add tint to the primer to match it with the top coat color. Hammer in exposed nails and spray them with a metal primer to prevent rust.
Whether you decide to do the preparation work yourself or have a professional do it as part of your project, proper preparation makes all the difference in creating a smooth and lasting finish. Do it correctly the first time or you’ll quickly end up spending more to fix peeling and chipping paint. Follow this process before starting on your home's exterior. Keep in mind that the process may vary based on your siding materials: