If the exterior of your home is unpainted or has been scraped and sanded, you will want to lay down a coat of primer. Make sure that the primer you’re using is right for the surface you’re painting. While most surfaces can be treated with acrylic primer, some surfaces, like cedar and redwood, require oil-based primers. The oil stops the wood tannins from bleeding through the topcoat.
However, some water-based paints are easier to work with than others. The first coat of paint may not provide complete wall coverage, or the color may not be quite as saturated. Some of these problems can be addressed with a separate primer coat, but this is a time-consuming project. The ideal solution is using a higher-quality paint that combines a primer and a finish paint in a “one coat” product.
Some basic interior paints are sold in bulk, often in neutral colors such as white or beige. These can be very economical if the home’s color scheme is not a major consideration. However, many homeowners prefer to apply customized colors to match the furnishings or create a specific ambience for each room. Because of advancements in the industry, many manufacturers now offer a dizzying array of colors, from cool pastels to bold metallics.
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.

Painting interior walls does not require professional aptitude, but it is still a skill that arrives with a learning curve. The most challenging part of any interior painting project is the prep work, which often involves cleaning the walls, masking off windows, doorways and baseboards, then carefully “cutting in” the paint around the edges. Once the masking and cutting in are finished, volunteers with handheld or roller brushes can usually fill in the rest of the space with little trouble.
Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000 to $14,000 for new siding and installation. Expect to pay more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work.
Oil-based paint is commonly used for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and floors, trims, and moldings, since these areas take more abuse over time than walls do. Typically oil-based paints are less expensive than latex paints, take longer to dry, can create bad odor while drying, and contain more volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which essentially means they're less environmentally friendly.
However, some water-based paints are easier to work with than others. The first coat of paint may not provide complete wall coverage, or the color may not be quite as saturated. Some of these problems can be addressed with a separate primer coat, but this is a time-consuming project. The ideal solution is using a higher-quality paint that combines a primer and a finish paint in a “one coat” product.
For trim and doors, start with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of trim paint for every 600 sq feet of floor space. Purchase more at the store if/when needed. Trim is something that is difficult to calculate exactly, and it is more time-efficient to simply start with less than you need, and go buy more after you have used up the first round of paint and determined how much you will need to finish by seeing how much you have painted so far, compared to the gallons used.

One important consideration when comparison shopping for interior paint is the manufacturer’s available palette. One brand of latex paint may be significantly less expensive than others, but the tint options can be limited. There can also be a noticeable difference between one manufacturer’s “midnight blue” and another’s “Prussian blue.” There is no universal standard, so this is why sample cards and test paints are so important.


Oil-based paint is commonly used for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and floors, trims, and moldings, since these areas take more abuse over time than walls do. Typically oil-based paints are less expensive than latex paints, take longer to dry, can create bad odor while drying, and contain more volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which essentially means they're less environmentally friendly.
The BEHR PREMIUM PLUS 2 gal. Flat Interior The BEHR PREMIUM PLUS 2 gal. Flat Interior Ceiling Paint is designed for use on textured popcorn and acoustic-style ceilings. This splatter-resistant paint offers great hiding performance for coverage of up to 800 sq. ft. Its mildew-resistant finish helps ensure that the matte sheen lasts over time.  More + Product Details Close
Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000 to $14,000 for new siding and installation. Expect to pay more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work.
While you may choose to paint a door, ground-level window trim and other parts of your house’s exterior, it’s really a job best left to the professionals. One of the main reasons is experience. An experienced painter knows how to handle the prep work, spot problems and identify sources of future trouble, all while getting the job done more efficiently. They are also experienced with spending long hours on tall ladders. If you want high-quality work, it’s best to hire a professional painter near you. 
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