The Average Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House

The national average size of an American home is just under 2,500 square feet. As the average exterior paint job costs $2 to $6 per square foot, people who live in a traditional single-family home can expect to pay $5,000 to $15,000 to paint entire homes. 

Paint Quote & Pricing From Professional Painters

When a sizeable exterior house painting project is imminent, most initially consider how much exterior house painting costs. We have priced thousands of painting projects and are professional exterior painters with nearly two decades of experience. We will help you to estimate and understand all aspects of the cost of your next house painting project. 

Here is a list of the most significant factors that professional painters take into consideration when pricing the job.

  1. The Square Footage of the Home
  2. How Many Stories Will be Painted
  3. The Amount of Prep Work Required
  4. The Quality of Paint Used
  5. Total Paint Coats

Home Trim Painting Costs Based on Surface

Consider which areas of the home need repainting, as different surfaces will impact the total exterior painting cost. 

Additional exterior home features, such as gutters, downspouts, and trim, cost $1 to $7 per linear and square foot to paint. Meanwhile, companies charge slightly more to paint or stain wooden decks or porches, at $2 to $9 per square foot for multi-coat systems. 

Trim located higher on the home, like eaves, gables, fascia, and soffits, are harder to reach and typically are more expensive to paint. 

When pricing doors, windows, or shutters for painting, expect a fixed price rather than a square footage rate. 

Exterior Window, Door, & Shutter Painting Costs

The number of windows and doors outside your home will also influence the cost of the service. Depending on the style, exterior door painting will range from $25 to $170, with smaller flat-paneled doors being less expensive and multi-pane French doors being on the higher end.

Painting the outside of a window largely depends on its height, condition, and the type of window. The price range for exterior window painting starts at $28 for small lower-level window casings, topping out at $190 for old-style windows with several grids. Windows that need reglazing could cost more.


The cost to paint exterior shutters also varies based on whether they are vinyl or wood, how high they are, and how they are attached to the home. If the shutters have to be removed and rehung, there is an additional consideration for the added labor and new clips or screws.

Cost to Paint Exterior Home Siding

Various types of exterior construction materials require different kinds of paint, which impacts a project’s budget when considering painting the outside of a home. Some surfaces demand extensive prep work or more materials to achieve lasting results.

It needs hand brushing rather than spraying if it’s old wood siding with multiple layers of peeling paint. Spraying exterior siding costs 40 to 98 cents per square foot, while hand brushing can cost three times more.

The price to paint porous surfaces like brick and stucco is higher than wood or aluminum siding, as these surfaces require multiple coats of paint and often need priming. 

Commercial brick, concrete, and stucco exterior painting applications often require an elastomeric coating, which can often lead to more expensive material costs. 

House Painting Cost by Story

Painters will need additional equipment, like tall ladders and aerial support systems, for anything over 50ft. The higher the exterior painters have to climb up your house, the more money you can expect to spend on exterior painting services.

The following is a breakdown of what homeowners can expect to pay based on vertical standards when paying for expert house painters.

Diagram Here:

  • Single-story home: $1,100 to $8,200 
  • Double-story home: $4,500 to $14,000 
  • Triple-story home: $6,000 to $18,000

Exterior House Painting National Average Cost

The most straightforward way to predict the exterior painting costs is to consider the home’s dimensions. According to sources, the average price for an exterior painting project ranges from $1,800 to $13,000.

Here’s a breakdown of that range for common home categories:

  • Tiny Homes (800 square feet): $1,500 to $4,200
  • Micro Efficiency Homes (1,000 square feet): $1,900 to $4,700 
  • Small Family Homes (1,400 square feet): $3,100 to $6,100
  • Three-Bedroom Homes (1,500 to 1,900 square feet): $4,200 to $7,900
  • Average Family Homes (2,000 to 2,800 square feet): $4,800 to $10,200 
  • Large Houses (3,000 square feet and up): $5,700 to $24,000

The higher prices will include painting all siding, trim, doors, and windows.

Square Foot vs. Production Rate Pricing

Remember that you cannot accurately price a painting project based on sqft, but it’s an easy way to offer a general price analysis. To price any painting service accurately requires a trained eye with experience and knowledge to understand the needs of what they are looking at.

We use production rates for our painting proposals, which generate man’s hours based on each surface or item we count and measure. Production rates are the best way to maintain profitability if you are a painting company.

How to Save on Current & Future Exterior Painting

If you are looking for ways to reduce the cost of painting the exterior of your home, there are a few ways to obtain a lower rate.

Reducing the amount of prep work through routine maintenance is the primary way to minimize future repaint costs. When you see paint peeling or mold growth, have these issues taken care of before they worsen.

The time a professional spends preparing the surfaces for painting will increase the money you’ll have to pay. Paint surfaces in better condition will require fewer preparation hours than those neglected. 

Ensure you’re investing in quality primers or that your painters use them. Primers will seal the surface and create a good base coat for painting. Quality primers also reduce the amount of paint needed for a uniform finish.

It may be hard to see initially, but investing in quality exterior paint will save long-term money, especially if you plan to live there for several years.

Exterior Painting Preparation Cost Factors

When you hire an exterior painting service, you may be more appreciative despite the cost once you understand the process. Roughly 60% of the labor for the project occurs before the first coat of paint is even applied. 

Prep work is critical to a durable exterior paint finish, but the total time it takes to prepare a home’s outer surface largely depends on the project type. You should expect to pay $.57 to $1.12 per square foot for experts to scrape, sand, or prime exterior surfaces. 

Professional power washing services will cost 10-22 cents per square foot. Caulking per linear foot ranges from $.46 to $.88. Most painting contractors charge between $40 to $100 per hour, so it’s essential to factor all pre-painting preparations into your estimated painting cost. 

House Paint Color Affects Price

If you have inspiration for exterior paint colors drastically different from the original appearance, expect to pay more for the final coats. Significant color changes may also require coats of primer and specific paint products to complete the project, increasing costs by nearly 30%

Average Cost to Paint a House Exterior Yourself

Painting a home’s exterior is not a job for the inexperienced and could be very dangerous. However, if you’re ambitious enough to consider doing this as a DIY project, you’ll have to budget for all of the supplies you need to invest in to pull it off.  

You may need to rent or purchase a power washer, paint sprayer, ladder, paint, and brushes. If you are painting a multiple-story home, you’ll also need to rent or buy an extension ladder – and you should only use it while following proper safety protocols. Expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for basic supplies. 

A gallon of paint can cost from $40 to $100. Paint shortages from the past have artificially inflated paint prices, which are not expected to return to normal. 

To estimate how many gallons of paint you’ll need, consider that a single gallon of paint can typically cover 200 to 450 square feet. The average-sized home, 2,500 square feet, will require 8-15 gallons for a single coat. 

If you plan to change the color of your home, you will need two coats of paint. You may need 50 to 120% more paint if you paint brick or stucco.

Since the total sqft of the trim is sometimes hard to calculate, you can estimate 1.5 gallons of trim paint per 6 gallons of siding. Accent trim, separate door, and shutter colors will all be purchased as individual gallons of paint.

How Location Affects Painting Cost

The local cost of living will significantly impact how much you can expect to pay for a house painting project. Insurance rates, labor rates, workers’ compensation coverage, seasonality, and local material costs will also influence rates. 

The most expensive cities for home improvement are typically in places with a higher population density, including California, New York, Hawaii, and the Chicago area. Meanwhile, the most affordable cities for home improvement are in the Southeast and Midwest. 

However, in the last seven years, house painting costs have risen by over 20% in Raleigh, NC, as our city continues to increase in numbers and living costs.

House Painting Pricing from Homewyse & Others

Directories are not a good source of information to estimate your project’s cost. Predicted costs for exterior house painting on directory sites like Homewyse, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor are intentionally less than actual contractors’ prices. Furthermore, neither of these sites have access to final bills, nor do they have the ability to quantify the labor or details of the work provided.

Directory sites are more interested in encouraging you to use their platform and monetizing your inquiry by charging multiple contractors for a chance at your business. The most effective way for home improvement directory sites to attract clients is by publishing low prices within articles and their websites. 

These lower prices create unrealistic expectations since they have no role in how the project is priced, and often, the prices advertised are arbitrary. 

Why Painting Outside Costs More

As crucial as house painting is, some wonder why exterior painting costs more than interior painting. 

Exterior painting can be more labor intensive, and the process is also more involved. Surfaces must be pressure washed, and repairs are often needed before the painting starts. 

Weather conditions, height, material amount, and type will also significantly affect the price. There is often more scrapping and priming involved with exterior repaints that also contribute to the price. However, when you compare an interior project to an exterior under the same conditions, complete exterior painting will often cost less than custom full interior painting projects.

Increased Curb Appeal

Paying for a professional exterior painting service will protect your home, increasing curb appeal and property value. Homeowners who plan to sell their houses will see a spike in value, with an estimated 55% return on investment


Non-professional paint jobs have the opposite effect on a home’s value. If the paint is poorly applied, peeling, or faded, it will lower the overall value of a home. 


An exterior painting project is an investment into your home’s future. A fresh coat of paint protects the house from the elements, increases its value, and puts a smile on your face when you can appreciate its renewed beauty and craftsmanship. 

For local service, contact our team for a free quote today to get the most accurate estimate of the cost of exterior house painting.

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