Prime. Dark colors, stains (once sealed), and previously unpainted surfaces (drywall, spackle, etc.) will need a primer coat, usually white. NOTE: most paint stores & home improvement centers will now tint primer (at no charge) to match fairly close to the color of the finished coat, that way two coats of primer need not be applied.[6] Although not all surfaces need a prime coat, skip this step at your peril! Dark colors will likely show through the first -- or even the first couple-- topcoats of paint. Sealants and unpainted surfaces like spackle patches will absorb or repel moisture in a topcoat at a different level than the areas surrounding them. Applying a good primer coat will help even out these differences. Primer equalizes a wall to a uniform surface. It's like erasing a canvas before drawing a new picture. Although some will argue the point, you generally don't need to spend a great deal on primer or buy special primer. A cheap, 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket of plain, flat white paint will usually do the trick and cover a large area. Give your primer at least 24 hours to dry (follow its instructions) before applying a topcoat.
Priming is compulsory if you're painting over a darker color, or on a new drywall, but it's a good idea to include this step before any paint job. A primer is necessary because it blocks any stains from bleeding through. It is also important because it prevents any blisters and paint-peeling by improving paint adhesion. Lastly, primer is a good idea as it allows complete single-coat coverage of the walls. If you want a better appearance, you can tint your primer with the final color you intend on using on the walls. Most paints today come with inbuilt primers, but an old school primer is still a better option. Before you start painting, remember to use painter's tape to cover your door frames, window sills, and any switches on the wall.
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.
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Plan the schedule. Get a grip on the time it will take to bring the project to fruition. Plan for time to move furniture, wall prep, cut in, the painting itself, eating and breaks, and don't forget cleanup and bringing furniture back in. As you plan, err on the side of prudence. Unforeseen events will slow you down, so allow time for these. Remember, this is a multi-day project. Don't try to fit too much into a day. If you move faster than planned, great!

Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.


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.

According to Craftsman National Estimator, "High time difficulty factors for surface preparation and painting. Painting takes longer when heights exceed 8' above the floor. Productivity is lower when an application requires a roller pole or wand on a spray gun or when work is done from a ladder or scaffold. When painting above 8', apply the following factors:


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Your contractor will sweep or scrub the concrete first with a dry brush, and then clean it thoroughly with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water, then let it dry. TSP is a mostly alkaline solution that does a great job cleaning grease and oil off concrete surfaces. Brush painting concrete siding costs $138 per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $50 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting $32 per 100 sq. ft.
The Coordinator. This person will care for the needs of the rest of the workforce, fetch drinks, make sandwiches, make runs to the store for last-minute needs, cook (or arrange) lunch and dinner, make phone calls, get directions, wash brushes, etc. Don't underestimate the need for this key person! When not gainfully employed, he or she can do some rolling.
Your homeowner’s association might limit you as to how unique you can be with your exterior paint choices. Check with them first to make sure you don’t have to redo your hot-pink-plus-unicorns murals. It can help to drive around your neighborhood to see what your neighbors have chosen and come up with a color scheme that fits in. If you’re not sure, stores can give you small cans of paint so you can paint patches of color in discrete parts of the exterior to see how they look before purchase.
If you are painting for a client, skip the paint in the bucket, and use large trays. For faster completion and still quality results the 5 gallon bucket and strainer work great as well as a wood filler, 5-in-1 tool, screw gun (drill), metal joint compound tray, metal putty knife, wide drywall knife, mini hand-held paint containers (for brushes), and a mini-roller and corresponding nap (for edging, after cutting in with brush on the bottom, top and sides of wall, and the sides of ceilings, so that you don't see brush lines).
Many new homeowners want to change the color scheme of their rooms, either as a way to personalize the space or match the walls with existing furnishings and artwork. Interior house paint is relatively inexpensive, and it doesn’t require complicated machinery or professional-level skills to apply. There are also thousands of customizable colors available, as well as a choice of finishes, such as matte, semigloss, or gloss.
Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.
For walls, measure the linear feet of wall space (measuring along the baseboards) for the areas to be painted (using a tape measure, laser, or both). Then multiply this by the ceiling height (usually it is 7.5 or 8). If there are 2 story areas, measure them separately, and multiply them by double the regular wall height. Then multiply the total number by 2 (for 2 coats).

For walls, measure the linear feet of wall space (measuring along the baseboards) for the areas to be painted (using a tape measure, laser, or both). Then multiply this by the ceiling height (usually it is 7.5 or 8). If there are 2 story areas, measure them separately, and multiply them by double the regular wall height. Then multiply the total number by 2 (for 2 coats).
A more user-friendly option is a water-based “latex” paint, which blends acrylic pigments with a thin base for easy application with a brush or paint sprayer. Although many water-based interior paints are promoted as one-coat wonders, there can still be a need for an initial primer coat followed by one or two coats of latex paint. Water-based paints are very low in VOCs, which means minimal odors during the drying period. Most spills can be wiped away without the need for chemical cleaners, and clothing containing latex paint can be laundered in water and detergent. Water-based paint is a good choice for first-time DIYers and their younger assistants.
Paint acts as a protectant on wooden siding, slowing down the rotting process. This makes it incredibly important to fully coat the undersides of corner boards on the exterior of your home. Whether you’re undertaking a DIY house painting endeavor or have hired professionals, you should check corner boards and shutters to make sure they’re fully painted.
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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.

Each type of siding will need to be treated differently when it comes to primer and paint at different price points. Exterior paint costs between $35–$80 per gallon depending on the quality you choose. It’s not always true that the more you pay for your paint, the longer-lasting your paint job will be, but you do need to be careful when researching exterior paints to make sure it can weather the local elements well.

Painting exterior windows depend on the size of the window and the number of panes. To calculate the price for windows larger than 15 sq. ft., add 1’ to each side of the window and then multiply width x length. Add two sq. ft. for each window pane for painting the mullions, muntins, and sash and then multiply your total sq. ft. by $84/100 sq. ft. So a 4’ x 4’ window with 4 panes will come to a total of 44 sq. ft. x $84/100 sq. ft. = $37.
Homeowners report that painting a home’s exterior costs an average of $2,923 with a typical range between $1,734 and $4,119. The average price per square foot ranges from $0.50 to $3.50 depending on your location, condition of your exterior and accessibility. Stucco and brick cost an average of $1 per square foot more than vinyl or wood. The average 2,500 square feet home costs an average of $4,000, though it can range from $1,250 to $8,750.
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