Most house painting professionals will agree that two coats of paint are needed on a home. Using one coat of paint may look sufficient, but will not hold up over time. Two coats of paint, on the other hand, provide protection, washability, and help retain the true color of the paint. If you are still toying with the idea of hiring a professional painter, ask if two coats of paint are included in the pricing estimate.
Get quotes from at least three painters. To answer the ultimate question, how much does it cost to paint a house, you'll want to obtain several bids before deciding who gets your business. Have the painters come to view your property in person before they write you a formal bid. This way there will be no surprises when the painters show up to perform the work.
Although interior house paints can be purchased in pint-size samples or five-gallon buckets, the standard measurement is by the gallon can. A gallon can of basic water-based paint can be found on store shelves for less than $25, but the additional cost of a primer coat should be considered. One-coat paint/primer blends for most DIY projects should cost between $30 and $60 a gallon, including customized tinting. VOC levels should be lower as well. For high-end painting projects featuring designer colors or full-gloss finishes, expect to pay $60 or more per gallon.
Prepping a house costs anywhere from $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot. This is almost always included in the total project price. However, the DIYer might negotiate some discounts for completing this work on their own. Be warned, proper prep is key to the quality and durability of the finish. If you do this work yourself, the contractor might no guarantee to finished product.
Most of a projects price is the cost of labor at $25 to $75 per hour. However, most contractors bid out based on the entire project which includes all work hours. Hourly rates are only useful if your pro asks to do the job as “time and materials.” However, be wary of this pricing structure, it usually shows the contractor is uncertain how long the project will take.