contractor painting the siding of a home

The Typical Exterior Painting Project Costs $2,500

Exterior painting projects usually range in price from $1,500 to $5,000.
4 minute read

If you’re a homeowner who likes to undertake DIY projects on both the interior and exterior of your home, you’ve no doubt looked at the old, faded siding on the outside and wondered what to do about it. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to replace your siding. A fresh coat of paint is a great way to update the exterior of a home.

Exterior painting typically costs $1,500 – $4,000 for a 1,000 square foot single story home and can cost $2,500 – $5,000 for a two story home. Many spend about $2,500 to hire a contractor to complete the project.

Evaluate Siding Condition for Paint

It’s essential that you conduct a maintenance check on the condition of your siding before you can come to an informed decision. If any of it is warped or cracked, you should repair these sections before proceeding to paint.

Siding Repair Costs

If you’re preparing to paint your siding and notice some flaws in its overall construction, you should learn more about the price of new siding and the cost of siding repairs before investing in any paint. This way, you’ll know that your budget can cover the essential maintenance required before you dive into painting.

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Find Qualified Painting Professionals in Your Area

Once you’ve addressed any problems you may have with your siding and have fixed it up so that it is in good condition, the next step is to figure out how to go about painting it. One of the first questions many homeowners ask in this regard is how much it will actually cost. There are many factors to consider in this respect, but let’s look at paint cost first.

Exterior Paint Costs

The most crucial element of figuring out how much you’re going to need to paint your siding is the paint. Exterior paint can cost as little as $25 per gallon, but if you’re opting for a premium brand, it can cost as much as $100 per gallon. Once you’ve calculated your house’s square footage, you can estimate the overall cost of painting your siding.

Coverage depends on the brand, and some homeowners like to paint very thick coats with no gaps, so it’s always sensible to purchase more paint than your calculations say you need. This means that when you calculate the final price, you should add on an extra ten to twenty percent to ensure that your siding will be evenly covered to your satisfaction.

Ballpark Paint and Primer Costs

There are many factors that impact the overall price, but it’s always useful to have a round figure before beginning a project. The average size of new builds is over 2,400 square feet, but in the 80s it was just over 1500, so let’s assume that an average house is 2000 square foot.

If your home is smaller, you’ll simply reduce your budget to compensate. Now, with a good quality primer and paint, here is what you will expect to pay to paint the siding on a 1500, 2000, and 2500 square foot house, assuming the paint and primer cost $40 per gallon each:

1500 square feet: (6 gallons of exterior paint) (6 gallons of primer): $480
2000 square feet: (8 gallons of exterior paint) (8 gallons of primer): $640
2500 square feet: (10 gallons of exterior paint) (10 gallons of primer): $800

Note: This doesn’t include trim which can vary greatly on a home. You can also possibly get good quality paint and primer starting from $25 upwards, and you may find you need a little less or a little more paint or primer. These are just ballpark estimates using generous figures to allow for waste and extra coats on rougher texture or more absorbent siding.

Type of Siding

The type of siding you have is something you need to know before you decide to paint it. Not only will some cost more than others, but some will either require more preparation or will need touch-ups and repainting more frequently.

Preparation of your siding is vital. No matter what kind you have, there will undoubtedly be some thorough cleaning and priming to be done before adding paint. This will influence the cost of the project as prep work adds more time to the project and requires additional materials.

For example, if you don’t prepare vinyl siding correctly, the paint will peel off. It’s similar to attempting to paint anything shiny or glossy before priming it first. It also expands and contracts more than any other type of siding, meaning that it will be more likely to need repainting if you live in an area of extreme hot and cold temperatures.

On the other hand, wood may not require as much priming, but it will undoubtedly take more coats of paint as it is highly absorbent. Paint has come a long way, but painting the entire outside of your house is very time-consuming, and have you ever seen painted wooden fences or gates! After a while, the color fades, and it looks old and tired. This is not to say that you shouldn’t paint your wooden siding, but make sure you buy a high-quality paint that is specifically for wood and has a good guarantee.

The condition and type of siding will also impact the amount of paint required and the amount of labor needed to complete the job. Cedar shakes or siding with a rough finish will need much more paint and take longer to apply than a smooth finish.

Size and Complexity of the Home

It goes without saying, but a bigger house will require more coverage than a small one. Couple this with the type of siding and the cost can really go up if you have a large house that requires up to three coats.

Even paints that claim to require only one coat often require a second, so this is something you should seriously think about. If you’re not sure about how much siding actually covers your house, you can calculate the amount of siding according to your house’s dimensions.

Homes with multiple stories may also require scaffolding and additional time to work at higher elevations.

Houses with more detail and trim will also require more time to prepare and paint. Trim painting takes more time than painting flat surfaces and adds more time to the project. Complex angles also take more time to work around and should be considered during estimation.

Safety Precautions

Painting the exterior of the home can be a dangerous job. Lead paint and asbestos siding pose serious health risks, be sure to consult a professional to see if there are special considerations that need to be made on your project. Also use protective equipment such as safety harnesses when climbing, and hand and eye protection as-needed.

Labor Costs for Exterior Painting

Hiring a professional painting team is one way to achieve a high quality paint job. Professional painters can cost as much as $40 per hour, and a sizable exterior painting project can take several days. Labor rates will vary by geographic location, experience, and complexity of the project.

Painting contractors know the ins and outs of what it takes to get the best end result, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. DIY is a great alternative to save on labor costs, but make sure you prepare for the project. Use our paint calculator to estimate how much material you need for the project and be sure to prepare for all of the details.