The average cost to paint a house exterior is $2,500 for a 2,400 sq. ft. two-story home, with most homeowners paying between $1,800 and $3,200. The final cost comes out to around $0.60 to $1.60 per square foot. With so many variables in pricing, you need to take them all into account before coming to your own estimate on how much your painting project will end up costing.
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.
One of the most common home-improvement projects can also be one of the most enjoyable for the entire household. While some aspects of interior room painting, such as masking and “cutting in,” can require some experience and skill, applying a fresh coat of paint to a ceiling or wall or doorway is often a matter of a good brush, a paint tray, and some sweat equity. A coat of fresh paint may be all that’s required to revive a living space that’s faded a bit.
Of course, paint brushes and rollers are also important line items on your budget sheet. A 3-inch-wide paint brush costs, on average, $10 to $20—though you'll likely need an assortment of paint brush sizes for trim, corners, and narrow surface areas. Brushes come in a variety of bristle types and qualities, and each has a different purpose. Some are intended for specific paint types, finishes, and surfaces, so be sure to buy the right brushes for your painting job.

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.

Carefully consider the gloss level. The shiny gloss paints are easy to clean, but will make any wall blemish stand out. The flat paints will help disguise wall blemishes, but can be difficult to clean. Generally, you'll want glossier paints where there's lots of steam or cooking (baths and kitchens) and in high-traffic areas. Flatter paints are preferred for large walls and ceilings.


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.
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.
Following the same process as the primer, cut in the walls with your chosen paint. For best results, paint one wall at a time. This makes it easier to spread the paint while it’s still wet. Work from top to bottom, rolling the paint in V or W-shaped strokes. Before applying a second coat, wait two to four hours. Then proceed with the same process used for the first coat.
In addition, paint features such as mold and mildew resistance are important cost factors. Many mold-inhibiting bathroom paints, for instance, cost substantially more than ordinary latex-acrylic paint—sometimes close to twice the cost. Also, paints that come with warranties from the manufacturer may be more expensive depending on the length of the warranty. (A two-year warranty is standard.)
Staining a deck costs $540 to $1,000. Covered porches might hit $2,000. Consider negotiating the price a bit lower by combining it with a full exterior job. Painting handrails can run anywhere from $1 to $2 per linear foot, depending on whether it’s wood, metal or some other material. Although you might think this is an easy $30 to $100 job, most painters charge a minimum fee regardless of the size of the project. You’ll probably end up paying at least $150.
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