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.
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.
While vinyl siding salespeople claim it never needs to be painted, it does lose its color strength over time, and the degree of fading can vary depending on which sides get the most exposure to sunlight. Perhaps it still hasn’t faded, but you don’t like the color much. You can’t go any darker than its current color, though, because the siding is designed to absorb only so much heat, and a darker color could cause it to buckle. Vinyl paint is available in many colors. Brush painting and roll painting vinyl siding costs $43 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $34 per 100 sq. ft.
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.
The following guidelines will set you up for success. First, start at the top and work down. Second, paint out of the sun’s glare, since the sun will cause the paint to dry too quickly and flake or blister. To avoid marks, try to brush from one wet surface onto another. If you do have to paint onto a dry surface, overlap the wet paint onto the dry surface by several inches.
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.
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.
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.