When determining the total cost of a home’s exterior project, you’ll want to include things like the trim, a garage, foundation, windows and doors. All work is calculated by square footage and sometimes by the linear foot, such as in the case of trim. Your contractor will give you a price for the entire project unless you specifically ask for each item separately.


My husband and I hired Rome and his crew to paint the exterior of our home and we couldn't be happier with the finished product! We purchased a Contemporary style home that was built in 1985 and what was once a gloomy, sad shade of a blue/grey, in desperate need of a facelift. Now, this house really feels like a "new" home (complete with an updated deck...read on for more)!
The next step up is a semigloss finish, which has the level of reflectivity that makes an impression but can be challenging to apply. Semigloss paint provides great coverage and is easy to clean but is less forgiving when it comes to brushstrokes and overspray. The highest-end finish is full gloss, which looks very luxurious when the job is finished, but requires a surprising amount of prep work and painting experience to apply correctly. It is also on the expensive side, so it is often used sparingly on door frames, window treatments and accent walls.

While many professionals use paint sprayers, they can leave drips and uneven coatings in the hands of an inexperienced user. If you’re set on DIY house painting but don’t have much practice, you may want to stick to rollers and brushes. Brushes are great for edges and smaller areas, while rollers can be used to paint large and long surfaces like siding and trim.
It’ll cost you between $500 and $1,000 to paint the exterior yourself. Not including paint, it’ll cost you no more than $200 to $300 at a home improvement store like Home Depot, Lowes or Menards. You may end up spending more if you buy high-quality products from specialized shops. Professionals can get the same supplies for about half what you’ll pay.
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.
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.

The Cutters. Someone with meticulous attention to detail and a steady hand should be assigned the job of "cutting in," or painting a straight edge where needed, such as along a wall where the ceiling does not get painted. Many products are available to assist, but none work as well as a person who's good at doing it freehand. Ensure this person is skilled (ask them to show you). A poor, jagged, wavy or splotched cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it. Why more than one cutter? This job is nerve-wracking and painful to hands and arms after a few days. You'll want to give this person a break after a few walls.


Exterior paint averages $25-$40 a gallon, and a 3,000-square-foot home takes 15 or more gallons of paint, or $375-$600 just for the paint. However, really premium paint can cost $50-$100 a gallon, or $750-$1,500 for that large home. Doing it yourself also requires renting a pressure washer or sprayer for $50-$100 a day; extra-long ladders or scaffolding at $20-$75 daily; and a power sprayer for $50-$100 daily, plus masking tape, drop cloths and other supplies. However, it's possible to paint a large, two-story house for materials-only costs of $400-$600.
Remove any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Then scrutinize the walls for any defects. Simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound if you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls and trims. There are also tips and tricks for filling nail holes. Once done with the repair, smoothen the wall down with sandpaper and then wipe it with a damp sponge.
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.
Summer is the busiest time of the year for painters, with some booked up to six months ahead of time, so book well in advance. Homebuyers getting VA loans have run into difficulties with this, so if you’re getting a VA renovation/rehabilitation loan, get all your painting and inspection estimates and work dates booked before you fill out any paperwork with a closing date, or the house will not be move-in ready in time.
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.
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.
Use semi gloss for hallways because walls there are more likely to be touched, bumped or otherwise marked over time (semi gloss cleans more easily). However, use flat for a living room. Flat will help hide imperfections in the walls. If you want the same color in both the hall and living room, then no problem. Use flat in the living room, semi gloss in the hall, making the threshold the transition point.
I hired a painting company to paint my house and garage. Price was about $5,000.Sherwin Williams paint T-1000. When he was questioned about the paint peeling two days after he painted the garage he quit even with a contract not a very professional person. So,now I have to find someone else to paint my house.After 3 weeks of them trying to paint around the rain. The original time frame was 3-4 days.Yes 3 weeks and all that got done was a small two car garage that could have been done in two days.I know he did not prep correctly and properly I will end up having to redo the garage. I went to Sherwin Williams and got the colors.So beware even with a contract and good references.
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:
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