How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House? – Free Picture Guide

March 24th, 2017 | Chandler Zieg | Featured, Painting Business Articles | 6 Comments

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Experienced painters know how many different situations come up when painting a house. I’ve painted houses for 11 years and I still come across obstacles that are difficult to estimate.

It’s impossible to include every potential pricing factor when estimating a paint job, but In short, almost every painting bid will fall between these prices:

Exterior Painting

Size of House Stories Total Cost
1500 sq ft. 1 $1500-$2300
2500 sq ft. 2 $2500-$3500
4000 sq ft. 3 $4000-$6000


Interior Painting

Size of House Stories Total Labor Cost
1500 sq ft. 1 $1800-$2500
2500 sq ft. 2 $2700-$4000
4000 sq ft. 3 $4500-$7000

Editor’s Note: Some people are surprised that interior painting is more expensive. But consider that:

  • Interiors have more surface area than exteriors.
  • You have to be extremely careful to protect the carpet and furniture.
  • There are more doors + baseboards that need painting than exterior work.
  • Interiors usually have to be done by hand or roller (more labor-intensive than spraying)

What Makes Up The Cost of Painting a House?

Almost all expenses for house painting fall into these categories (Based on a $3,000 Paint Job):

Expense Category Average Cost % of Paint Job
Labor $1650 55%
Paint $300 10%
Materials $150 5%
Marketing $150 5%
Painter’s Markup $750 25%
Total: $3000 100%

Your Price Will Be Higher If:

  • Your house is older and requires more prep-work
  • You have obstacles around your house (trees, ivy, decorations)
  • You need wood replaced
  • You have uneven ground (difficult ladder placements)
  • Your color changes are drastic (light to dark, dark to light etc.)
  • You want 2 or 3 coats
  • You use a high-end paint

Your Price Will Be Lower If:

  • You have a newer house with little prep-work required
  • There is easy access to all sides of the home
  • There is no wood-rot or broken trim pieces
  • You have even ground surrounding the house
  • You choose spraying versus hand-rolling
  • You’re keeping the same colors, or choosing similar colors
  • You use a more economical paint

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How Much Did it Cost? Actual pricing for paint jobs I did*

*My pricing is usually the middle bid – not too high, not too low


House 1
Actual Cost: $2,600
Cost Factors:

  • Easy access to house
  • Customer wanted same colors
  • No wood replacement
  • Outward trim style (easier than other trim styles)
  • Minimal Prep-Work

House 2
Actual Cost: $3,800 Cost Factors:

  • Smaller house but it was porous brick which took way more paint
  • Difficult access – many trees and ivy covering the exterior
  • Older home – required more prep than usual
  • Had to replace shutters

House 3
Actual Cost: $3,200 Cost Factors:

  • 3 stories at certain peaks of the house
  • Customer chose very different colors
  • About 3,000 square feet total
  • Even ground around house
  • Medium Prep-work

House 4
Actual Cost: $3,700 Cost Factors:

  • Bigger home – 3,200 square feet
  • Customer wanted 4 total colors
  • Railings in front required heavy prep-work
  • Easy access to rest of home

House 5
Actual Cost: $1,800 Cost Factors:

  • Smaller home – half of which was brick
  • Easy, open access all around home
  • Same colors
  • Minimal Prep-Work

House 6
Actual Cost: $4,600 Cost Factors:

  • Larger home – 3,500 sq ft.
  • 3 stories – Needed a 40 ft. ladder for some parts
  • Heavy prep on south-west sides
  • Difficult access to peaks – backyard fence was close to the house

House 7
Actual Cost: $5,400 Cost Factors:

  • Larger home – 4,400 sq ft.
  • Same Colors
  • 3 stories
  • Difficult access on 2 sides (heavy sloping to back yard)
  • Customer wanted an accent color

House 8
Actual Cost: $4,200 Cost Factors:

  • Larger home – 3,600 sq ft.
  • Light to dark color change
  • Many trees blocking the siding
  • Lots of roof line to mask off

Summary
There are endless factors when considering the cost of house painting, but the most important are:

  • How much prep-work is needed
  • How big is the house
  • Whether you’re spraying or rolling
  • What quality of materials are being used

I recommend always getting 3 bids before deciding on a house painter, which you can do here.

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