Paint can be expensive. Buying too much paint is particularly frustrating since paint stores won’t refund an already tinted gallon of paint. That’s why it’s recommended to first buy around 80% of the estimated paint you need and then purchase the remainder when you’re almost finished. Factors such as square footage, surface type, and quality of paint all play into how much paint you’ll need. Paint stores should be able to help you determine how much paint you need for a specific job. If you aren’t sure how much paint to buy, ask a salesperson for advice.
At least 90% of painting time goes into setup, prep work, and priming. The method of prepping required varies for each type of exterior material on the home, but every project must be patched and cleaned. The more thoroughly you prep and prime your home’s exterior, the longer your paint job will last. You could save quite a bit if you do this part yourself, but it must be done correctly, or your contractor will have to go over what you missed. The prices mentioned are based on paying a contractor to do each job rather than one overall quote for the work from start to finish.
Paint can be expensive. Buying too much paint is particularly frustrating since paint stores won’t refund an already tinted gallon of paint. That’s why it’s recommended to first buy around 80% of the estimated paint you need and then purchase the remainder when you’re almost finished. Factors such as square footage, surface type, and quality of paint all play into how much paint you’ll need. Paint stores should be able to help you determine how much paint you need for a specific job. If you aren’t sure how much paint to buy, ask a salesperson for advice.

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.
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.
Another type of paint is on the market that claims to be a primer and paint in one. Basically, it’s just thicker paint and costs twice as much as regular paint. Most professional painters aren’t fans, but if you have exterior walls in excellent condition already, and the self-priming paint is the same color as the original paint color, it could certainly save painting time with one coat going on instead of two.
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.
The average cost to paint the interior of a house or room is $1 to $3 per square foot. Painters charge $1,200 to $3,900 to paint the walls in a house interior, and the cost to paint a room is $350 to $850. Prices increase when including the ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Get free estimates from interior painters near you or view our cost guide below.
Power washing – $0.42–$1.40/sq. ft.. You might think you can save some money by power washing the exterior yourself, but homeowners can get a bit trigger-happy with a power washer in their hands. The pressure from the washer can take them unawares, breaking windows, leaking water into window frames and siding joints, and gouging wood. It’s probably wiser to use a hose and scrubbing brush. Rinse off any cleaning solutions thoroughly.

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.


From dull to shiny finishes, paint comes in several different lusters. A paint’s luster depends on its mixture of pigment, resin, and additional ingredients. If you’re struggling to decide what finish you want, note that glossier finishes tend to be more durable and washable. Flat paint, on the other hand, is better at hiding surface imperfections. Pearl and eggshell lusters fall somewhere in the middle, as they are more washable than flat paint and partially hide irregularities.
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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