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Average Cost To Paint Your House

by | Aug 12, 2020

There’s nothing like giving your house a little facelift by doing some painting. Whether you want to add some curb appeal to the exterior or give one or more of the rooms in your house a new look, paint can works wonders to give your home a refresh or a new look.

Are you thinking of doing some painting in your house and about the cost to paint a house? Many people feel like painting is something they can do themselves and choose the DIY option to save some money.  Yet, many others quickly realize any painting in their house is hard work and maybe more challenging than what they anticipated. They skip the DIY route and hire in the professionals to get the job done.

But it sure is nice once the painting is done and you have a whole new look and feel for your house. So, how much does it cost to paint a house? How is exterior painting pricing different from interior painting pricing  Read on for what you need to know about the cost of painting your house, inside and out. You can even get some tips on how to save some money too.

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Painting

Many homeowners try out the DIY option of painting. Since labor costs can be a big part of hiring a painter, it’s true that when you choose to paint yourself you can save money. But is it worth the savings and do you really save that much?

There are many benefits beyond not actually doing to the work that you get from hiring a professional painter. Painting a house is more than just throwing the paint on. It requires some skilled prep work. It also requires some tools that many homeowners don’t own themselves.

When you hire a professional, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake and you know the job will be done right. When the painting is well done, it also means it usually lasts longer, in saving some money too.  Let’s take a closer look at the costs connected to hiring a professional painter.

Hiring A Professional

You might be thinking, “I know how much it costs to run to my local home improvement store to buy a gallon of paint, why does it cost so much more to hire a painter? After all, how much does painting a house cost?”

Of course, there are many factors that go into the costs beyond the paint that a professional painter will quote you. What are you paying for when you hire a painter?

Labor Costs

The biggest expense in painting is the labor costs that go into the paint job. And if you have ever painted a room yourself, you know it’s not nearly as simple as just rolling the paint onto the walls.

Some painters will choose to charge by the hour. Some painters look at the job, estimate the time it will take them to do the work and charge by the job.  The estimate they give will include how long it takes them or their employees to do the work from start to finish. Often the painting is more about the prep work and the clean up than the actual painting.  Remember, too, a professional painter should come with insurance for the work on your home and for the painters who do the work.

Square Footage

Square footage will play a factor in costs. The more surface that needs paint, the likely the more it will cost. Yet, that’s not the only factor.
You might have a 2,500 square foot house with limited interior walls. So, while there might be fewer walls to paint, there might also be vaulted ceilings and intricate trim work to paint.

The same can be true when considering square footage for an exterior painting job. Some houses can be much larger but only need trim work to be painted. Yet, you could have a smaller house where every exterior surface needs paint.

Paint And Materials

The obvious cost of hiring a professional painter is the actual cost of the paint. Many painters have professionals relationships with paint suppliers that afford them discounts that you as a homeowner would not get.

The cost of painting also depends on the type of paint you buy and how much of you need. The painter will also consider whether they need a primer to apply before the actual paint.

This category goes beyond just the paint. There are brushes, rollers, paint trays. Painters also use an array of materials for preparing the surface that needs paint. Often an exterior will get power washed before it is painted. They need things like ladders too. Of course, they aren’t buying those things only for your paint job yet they are still ancillary expenses the painter must consider when giving you an estimate.

Costs To Paint A House

Remember, the cost to paint a house will differ for interior painting and exterior painting.  It will also vary depending on the amount of prep work that is needed. For example, you might have trim work on the exterior of your house that needs painting. But the painter must first power wash the surfaces.

Then they need to caulk and evaluate the wood and replace any boards that are rotted before they can paint.  You might have an interior job that is as simple as covering furniture, then painting walls and trim.  Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the costs associated with interior and exterior painting.

Cost To Paint The Interior Of A House

What is the cost to paint a house interior? The average cost of painting an interior is between $1 and $3 per square foot. While it’s hard to consider it by room size because room sizes can vary so greatly, the average room cost for painting is between $350 and $850.The cost to paint the interior of a house will depend on:

  • Number of rooms painted
  • Size of the rooms
  • How much wall repair and prep work is needed
  • Condition of the walls
  • The number of coats of paint needed – in fact, up to 70 to 85% of the cost to paint an interior space can be attributed to labor costs.
    Some average costs by room include:
  • Bedroom between $350 and $850
  • Master bedroom between $650 and $1,400
  • Living room between $600 and $2,000
  • Bathroom between $150 and $400

Breaking the cost down by size of the house, a 1,500 square foot house will cost between $1,500 and $2,400. While a 2,500 square foot house will cost from $2,100 to $3,900 on average.  The cost to paint an entire interior by square footage is as follows:

  • 800 square feet is between $700 – $3,000
  • 1,200 square feet is between $1,000 – $3,900
  • 1,500 square feet is between$1,300 – $4,400
  • 2,000 square feet is between $1,600 – $5,600
  • 2,200 square feet is between $1,700 – $5,900
  • 2,500 square feet is between$1,800 – $6,300
  • 3,000 square feet is between $2,000 – $7,500

Again, other factors besides just size factor into the cost. It can depend on the amount of prep and labor work beyond painting. It can also depend on what part of the country you live in.

Cost To Paint The Exterior Of A House

Now, what is the cost to paint the exterior of the house? How do these costs differ from an interior painting job? The average cost of exterior painting is between $1,716 and $4,032. This breaks down to between .50 to $3.50 per square foot of exterior space.  Of course, exterior painting is much different than interior painting. The factors that go into exterior painting include:

  • Location
  • Condition of your exterior
  • Accessibility to areas that need paint
  • Amount of repairs and prep work required

If your home’s exterior is made of brick or stucco and you want it painted, you can expect to pay as much as $1 more per square foot for those surfaces over vinyl or wood surfaces.  A house between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet can range in price for exterior painting between $1,000 and $6,000. The more levels of a house, the cost will go up. Other factors, like areas that are hard to reach, will also make the cost rise for an exterior paint job.
The cost to paint an entire exterior by square footage is as follows:

  • 1,000 square feet is between $500 and $3,500
  • 1,200 square feet is between $600 and $4,200
  • 1,500 square feet is between $750 and $5,250
  • 2,000 square feet is between $1,000 and $7,000
  • 2,200 square feet is between $1,100 and $7,700
  • 2,500 square feet is between $1,250 and $8,750
  • 3,000 square feet is between $1,500 and $10,500

A big factor in exterior painting is the number of stories in the house. The breakdown for cost by the story is as follows:

  • Single story of 1,000 to 1,500 is between $1,500-$3,500
  • Two-story of 1,500-2,500 is between $3,000-$6,200
  • Three-story of 2,500-3,000 is between $4,500-$10,000+

The cost to paint a house exterior to paint the exterior of a house has different factors than an interior job. Exteriors are often more laborious and can make the price increase.

Tips To Save On Painting Costs

Do these prices surprise you? Are you wondering how realistic they are for where you live? There are some ways you can work to cut costs on the painting job.

One thing to do before you hire a painter is to get multiple bids. Remember, the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best. But you want to compare the prices of several professionals to get an idea of what is realistic. Don’t be afraid to ask a painter why their price is much (or lower) than their competition.

You should also ask the painter to give you an estimate in hours of time they would expect it to take to complete the work. This will allow you to break down the estimates to be able to compare them by time.  You want to make sure that once you decide on a painter, you get a contract. You don’t want to be surprised if they suddenly change the price midway through the project.

You want the contract to spell out exactly what you can expect including prep, clean up, and materials.  To save some money, don’t be afraid to take on some of the work yourself. Remember, a huge percentage of the cost of hiring a professional painter is labor. Any labor you can do yourself should save you in the long run.

Maybe you own a power washer and can do that step yourself. Maybe you are willing to move furniture and clean in preparation for the paintwork to be done. You might need some bushes trimmed so the painter can get to the exterior surfaces. Any of that work that you can do, will save in the long run.  While some might think by waiting a little longer, you save some money. The truth is that you might not save by waiting. The surfaces might need more prep work which takes more labor if you wait too long.

Also, be sure to buy the best possible paints. It might seem like a way to save money by purchasing the cheapest paints. The truth is that better paints cover the surfaces better. That means they require fewer coats to do the job effectively.  The cost to paint a house is more than what it costs to buy a gallon of paint. There are time and supplies to consider. There is also the quality of the work being done. Hiring a professional painter is very often well any costs for getting the job done well.

Whether you need interior or exterior painting done, you need to consider all that’s involved in completing the job when evaluating the estimates.

Check out our home services page for more information!

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