Prep the house. Wash the walls, remove wallpaper, patch, spackle, seal stains, dry and sand before you attempt to paint. Now is also the time to apply painters tape for trimming, lay drop cloths, etc. Remove all outlet and light switch face plates, collecting screws in a zip-top bag (good opportunity to wash the face plates all at once as well).[4] You can also buy your paint at this time. Don't wait until the last minute. It can take hours to mix many gallons of all your colors. Remember that traffic triples at your home-supply and hardware stores on weekends. Buy on a weekday if possible.
It’ll cost anywhere from $200 to $6,000 to hire a painter. Expect small jobs, like kitchen cabinets or trim, to run $200 to $2,000. Larger projects, like your home’s exterior, range from $1,000 to $6,000. To estimate your needs, figure paying $2 to $6 per square foot or $20 to $50 per hour. Actual costs vary considerably depending on coverage area, type of work and regional cost of living differences.
House painting is often an important step of the moving process. If your home or rental property is in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, you’ll have to decide how you want to proceed. Do you hire a professional painter or break out the ladder and purchase the exterior house paint yourself? Depending on the scale of the project, your time frame, and whether it’s an exterior or interior house painting job, the answer might be different. Read up on our house painting tips and tricks to see what choice is the best for you.
One of the first considerations when it comes to interior house paint is the base. There are two schools of thought, each with their pros and cons. Some brands commonly sold to contractors for commercial projects are oil-based, meaning the chosen pigment is mixed with an oil derivative called alkyd. Oil-based paint provides thorough coverage, and the finished coat resists moisture well. However, oil-based paint releases a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as it dries, and it can only be removed from floors, brushes, and clothing with strong chemical paint thinners. In fact, many states have actually banned the use of oil-based paints because of their VOC levels and hazardous ingredients.
A moisture meter will let your contractor know if there’s moisture in the stucco before starting. The wetter the material, the less ready it is to be sanded, painted, finished or covered. Your contractor will use a premixed stucco repair patch material to fill any small holes and will paint on dry days to avoid sealing in water. Painting rough stucco requires more paint. Brush painting stucco costs $112 per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $55 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting stucco costs $25 per 100 sq. ft.

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!


From dull to shiny finishes, paint comes in several different lusters. A paint’s luster depends on its mixture of pigment, resin, and additional ingredients. If you’re struggling to decide what finish you want, note that glossier finishes tend to be more durable and washable. Flat paint, on the other hand, is better at hiding surface imperfections. Pearl and eggshell lusters fall somewhere in the middle, as they are more washable than flat paint and partially hide irregularities.
A. Many homeowners purchase small sample cans of interior paint at a local home improvement store and apply each one to a different section of the wall. You should look at each color under different lighting conditions, such as natural daylight and nighttime lighting. You'll also want to consider the general color scheme of the furnishings, artwork and flooring that will be in that space.

The Coordinator. This person will care for the needs of the rest of the workforce, fetch drinks, make sandwiches, make runs to the store for last-minute needs, cook (or arrange) lunch and dinner, make phone calls, get directions, wash brushes, etc. Don't underestimate the need for this key person! When not gainfully employed, he or she can do some rolling.
Prep work should include removing all loose paint, either with a pressure washer or by scraping; removing any trace of mildew using bleach and water or a commercial solution, and sealing or covering dark stains; caulking all seams, corners and around windows or trim; applying epoxy filler to repair serious woodwork problems; covering dark stains; sanding all rough surfaces, and priming the bare wood with a bonding primer.
Plan the workforce. If you intend to not hire a professional crew, you'll need lots of help. There are many jobs to be done. First there's the furniture moving, then wall preparation, floor covering, materials gathering and prep, cleaning, and don't forget everyone will have to eat. It can easily take a team of five people a full ten days to paint a two-story (approx 2000 sq.ft.) home. Get as many people to help as you can. If some can only come one or two days, great. Maybe others can fill in. Ensure you plan with your workforce members in mind. They'll need plenty of time to arrange days away from work. Identify a few key personnel:
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.

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.
Power washing – $0.42–$1.40/sq. ft.. You might think you can save some money by power washing the exterior yourself, but homeowners can get a bit trigger-happy with a power washer in their hands. The pressure from the washer can take them unawares, breaking windows, leaking water into window frames and siding joints, and gouging wood. It’s probably wiser to use a hose and scrubbing brush. Rinse off any cleaning solutions thoroughly.
You’ll spend between $500 and $3,000 or $1 to $3.50 per square foot to paint concrete. However, expect to pay $2 to $7 per square foot since concrete almost always needs a coat of primer first. Double that price if the concrete requires stripping. Concrete is porous. Sealing it not only helps blend foundations and walls with your home’s aesthetic, but also seals it against water. Repairing or resurfacing concrete costs $300 to $500 for every 100 square feet.
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