If the exterior of your home is unpainted or has been scraped and sanded, you will want to lay down a coat of primer. Make sure that the primer you’re using is right for the surface you’re painting. While most surfaces can be treated with acrylic primer, some surfaces, like cedar and redwood, require oil-based primers. The oil stops the wood tannins from bleeding through the topcoat.
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 describes and compares the different types of exterior paint while FastFacts.com reviews specific brands.
Wood is probably the most time-consuming when it comes to preparing it for paint. It has to be scraped and sanded until there isn’t a single chip or bit of loose paint in sight. Any wood siding or trim with wood rot will need to be replaced, and all cracks and holes need to be filled with epoxy filler. Brush painting and roll painting wood siding costs $43 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting costs $34 per 100 sq. ft.
On average, expect to pay $0.60–$1.60 per square foot for exterior painting. The average for painting labor across the country is $30–$40 per hour before you pay for paint, painting supplies, location costs, and equipment. To get a very general estimate, though, painting contractors will take into account the square footage of your home and the number of stories and also factor in normal prep work.
Determine the coverage area for each color and estimate the number of gallons you'll need for each. For odd walls with angled ceilings, make your best guess. If you're not comfortable doing this, measure the wall at its highest height and multiply that by its width. Now subtract the lowest height from the highest height, multiply that number by the width, cut that answer in half, and finally subtract that new number from the original height by width. That should give you the wall area.
Latex paint refers to water-based paint, the most popular and environmentally friendly paint. Since latex paints provide great color retention, they’re ideal for exterior walls that face a lot of weathering. Latex paints are also a good option for interior walls that are subjected to a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Additionally, latex paints dry faster than oil-based alternatives and produce fewer odors.
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.