A gallon of paint costs $15 to $40 and covers about 350 square feet with one coat. Designer varieties can run over $100 per gallon. Your contractor pays 50 percent less than what it runs in a home improvement store. You’ll also need to spend another $20 to $100 on supplies like brushes, rollers, masking paper and plastic. A professional will have these items on-hand.
Choose the best quality paint you can afford; it lasts longer. Experts estimate that the outside of a house should be painted every 5-7 years, but less-expensive paint may start peeling or fading in 4 years or less while really high-quality paint will hold up a bit longer. Better Homes & Gardens[1] describes and compares the different types of exterior paint while FastFacts.com[2] reviews specific brands.
My husband and I decided that we wanted to update our deck to have a modern cable railing...our house is very "treehouse" like, sitting high up in the words and the new cable railing really opens up the view. The guys striped the deck of its old paint and got started on taking down the old railings--they actually added an extra 6" around the perimeter of the deck to serve as a better support for the new posts that were put in and what a difference! Johnny and Robert, who worked together on the labor intensive deck, are truly artists.....cutting perfect curves into areas of the railing where we have a large boulder in our yard and using their creativity to further enforce our deck--talk about attention to detail! Its really hard to believe that we're living in the same house and thanks to Rome, there was never a time when I felt stressed or pressured to make a decision. I can't forget to mention that Rome is very reasonable when it came to giving us a quote for the entirety the work we had done, we were VERY pleasantly surprised!!
Even if you hire a professional, you may need to play a small role in your house painting process. This could be anything from moving your furniture to the center of the room to removing switch plates and outlet covers. Ask your painter how much prep work is expected of you before hiring. The amount of work you’re willing to do could help you narrow down the right painter for the job.
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.

Do the cleanup. When the painting is done, send the painter home and do the cleanup work yourself. This will include rolling up drop cloths and collecting scrapings, removing painter's tape (use a hair dryer on low heat to soften the adhesive), cleaning paint brushes, rollers, and other tools, replacing electric switch plates, outlet covers, and light fixtures, and sealing any leftover paint cans and storing them in a dry, temperature-controlled location.
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.
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.
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.
×