One of the most frequent questions we get is “What does it cost to paint a home”? Specifically the exterior of a home. While this may seem like an easy question, there are many factors that play into the cost.  Here we will share some common prices, as well as factors that may create differences in pricing. 

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On a typical house, the exterior uses 15-20 gallons of paint.  Paint can cost anywhere from $20 a gallon to $70 a gallon depending on the brand and line selected.  With this huge variance in paint price, one can see how diverse the cost to paint a home can be.  

Generally speaking, the older a home is the more it will cost to paint.  Older homes, or homes where the exterior has been neglected, require more prep work than those that have been properly maintained.  When homes are older and/or have not been maintained properly, the exterior will have many areas where paint is peeling and the caulking has failed.  These failures allow moisture to invade the substrate which causes irreversible damage. The cost to paint a home can be dramatically reduced if the homeowner keeps up with maintaining the exterior of their home at regular intervals. On homes with older building materials, like wood siding (as opposed to fiber cement or composite wood) paint tends to fail much quicker.  In that same vein, on newer homes the parts that are made of real pieces of wood such as door frames, trim, and railings are also the first to fail. On newer homes, fiber cement and composite wood make up the majority of paintable materials and hold paint much longer than real wood.  However, as previously mentioned, any areas constructed of real wood tend to peel much faster.  In the end, the cost to paint a home built with newer materials, should be less expensive to paint due to less “real wood”, therefore a reduced amount of overall prep work.

The cost to paint a home can vary not only based on the paint selected or the age and condition of the home, but also a few other factors.  For example, the cost to paint a home that is a two-story vs a one-story can differ in price about $600-$1100.

In a second example, the cost to paint a home that’s one story with wood windows vs vinyl windows can typically add around $400 – $1,000.

In a third example, the cost to paint a home that’s two stories with a walk out basement vs a non-walk out basement can easily increase the price between $500-1,000.

In a final example we will discuss trim. Trim has the biggest impact on price. When you paint a house, the cost is made up of labor and materials. The amount of paint needed and the amount of time it takes to spray a home usually doesn’t fluctuate much. However after spraying, the detail trim that is typically done by hand with rollers and brushes can vary greatly. The labor to paint trim can dramatically impact the cost of a paint job. If you remove it completely by painting everything 1 color, you can reduce the cost of the paint job by roughly half. Furthermore, if you add lots of extra detail trim work, you can easily double the cost to paint. The same two story home can go from $2,500 to $7,500 depending on the amount of labor delegated to trimming stuff out by hand.

Hopefully these examples and information will help in the understanding of the cost to paint a home and the task of budgeting for that project.