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.
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.
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06/14/17: Renato completed an exterior painting project for our relatively large single family home in Stamford, CT last weekend. Project did not begin well especially with the prep, repair/carpentry work, but then Renato took full control and ensured that the work done was to our satisfaction. The final result is outstanding. Minor damage to window screens, gutters and plants. Ensure that your window screens, gutters, and shutters are numbered and stored indoors or if kept outdoor covered properly against the elements. The project can be extensively delayed due to rain and you may find yourself dealing with insects and/or flooding in basement and dirty/bent/ mismatched screens/gutters/shutters. Overall we had a good team working on our project and we are satisfied with the finished product. The house looks great!
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.

After you have done the multiplication, subtract about 40 sq feet per window, and about 60 sq feet per door. Divide by 400 (interior paint covers 400 sq feet per gallon). The number that remains, is how many gallons you will need. If doing multiple wall colors, then you should do this process for each room (or sets of rooms) with a particular color. 
House painting is no easy feat. While you may be tempted to purchase the cheapest kind of paint you can find, remember that you want the paint to look good and last a long time. If you haven’t chosen a color palette, there are a number of apartment design apps out there to spark inspiration. Once you’ve decided upon your color scheme, you’ll have to choose what kind of paint you want.

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.
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