How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House?

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated January 11, 2022
A professional standing on a ladder paints the exterior of a house
Photo: Spiderstock / E+ / Getty Images

Painting a home's exterior costs $3,000 on average but can range from $1,800 to $4,300

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Whether you’re looking to refresh your house’s old and chipping paint or making it over with a brand new hue, consider the cost to paint the exterior of your house before committing. Prices will vary depending on how dirty or damaged your house’s exterior is, where you live, and how easily accessible your exterior is. The material of your house’s exterior may also play a role in painting costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House per Square Foot?

The cost to paint the exterior of a house can range from $0.50 to $3.50 per square foot, depending on what painters charge in your area. But for the most part, homeowners end up spending between $0.75 and $2 per square foot for the total project. The condition of your home’s exterior will determine painting costs, as will accessibility. So if you live in a two-story house with lots of dormers to work around, your painter may charge extra for the added labor.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House Near You?

House painting costs will vary from state to state, but they all fall within a range based on cost of living—about $3,000 on average. On the low end, the cost to paint the exterior of a house professionally can be as low as $600. On the high end, prices can reach upwards of $6,000. 

Costs are different everywhere, so check with painters in your area for specifics. Here are some examples of exterior painting costs for an average 1,500 square foot house by region:

RegionCost
Far West$4,500
Rocky Mountain$2,900
Southwest$2,400
Plains$2,300
Great Lakes$3,000
Southeast$3,315
Mideast$4,300
New England$4,800

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House Yourself?

The exterior of a farmhouse on a summer day
Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images

Savvy DIYers may be eager to paint the exterior of a house themselves instead of hiring a pro to get the job done. The cost to paint a house yourself will be between $500 and $1,000 total. You’ll spend between $200 and $300 getting supplies, not including paint, at your local home improvement store. Those supplies include buckets, drop cloths, brushes, tape, and more.

Paint can cost anywhere between $20 and $80 per gallon. If you’re opting for more high-quality paint, hiring a pro who can get it at a discount might be more cost-effective. It’s also a good idea to hire a professional painter if you live in a tall house that requires ladders and safety harnesses or lifts. Pros will have all the right safety gear already. You can hire the best exterior painter for the job by searching online and checking reviews, references, and rates.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House by Siding Type?

5 cost factors for house painting, including paint type and labor
Photo: ksena32 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The type of siding you have on your house— wood, vinyl, brick, metal, stucco, or concrete—will help determine the cost of painting your house. Paint adheres to some materials better than others, calling for a quicker and easier job, while others (ahem, brick) are more difficult.

Wood

The cost to paint the exterior of a house with wood siding will be between $700 and $3,000 on average, or about $1 to $3 per square foot. Wood siding will require sealant and occasional maintenance (about every three to seven years) to address stains or peeling paint.

Vinyl

Vinyl siding costs between $600 and $3,500, or $1.25 to $3 per square foot, to paint. Vinyl is a relatively inexpensive material to paint, but the finishing you choose may increase the total cost.

Brick

Exterior painting costs are relatively high for brick houses. Expect to pay between $3,500 and $10,000, or about $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot. Brick is porous, so a gallon of paint won’t go as far on a brick house as it will on a vinyl one. Painting brick siding requires a primer beforehand to combat this issue.

Metal

Metal or aluminum siding costs between $400 and $3,500 to paint. If your metal siding looks a bit drab, a fresh coat of protective paint could revamp it while adding a pop of color to your home. But sometimes, a good cleaning will do the trick (and it will cost less).

Stucco

It will cost anywhere from $1,400 to $6,000 to paint a stucco house, which is nearly the same cost as installing new stucco siding. So if your siding is damaged, consider installing new stucco instead of painting over the water damage and cracks.

Concrete

Like brick, concrete is porous and fairly rough, meaning it needs a coat of primer before painting to help the paint adhere. Expect to spend between $500 and $3,000 or $1 to $3.50 per square foot to paint concrete siding.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House by Style?

As a home’s size increases, so do exterior painting costs. The number of stories and the relative accessibility of your house’s exterior will also determine painting costs.

Ranch-style

A single-story ranch-style house that’s between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet will cost between $1,500 and $3,500 to paint. Ranch-style houses are relatively easy to paint because there aren’t typically very many hard-to-reach spots, and you or the pro painter won’t need to worry about harnessing up or getting in a lift to reach high stories. 

For those reasons, pros usually charge less to paint single-story ranch-style houses, which is great news for your bank account.

Two-story

Painting the exterior of a two-story home can cost as much as 50% more than a one-story house. And if you have hard-to-reach areas (e.g. dormers), costs will increase—pros will charge for extra time spent adjusting ladders and lifts. The cost range to paint the exterior of a two-story home is $3,000 to $6,200.

Three-story

While a three-story home allows for lots of space for your kids, pets, friends, and house guests to spread out, they’re costly to paint. The cost to paint a three-story house can reach as high as $10,000. Costs may be closer to $4,500 for lesser jobs, like single-coat touch-ups to your exterior paint.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House?

House painting costs compared by 6 siding types, with metal ranging from $700 to $3,000

There are several factors that can influence the cost to paint a house, including how big the house is, the quality of the paint you use, and labor costs. If your house is damaged or dirty, that can play into the final cost as well.

House Size

As your house size increases, the cost to paint its exterior also increases. Expect a 30 to 50% increase in price per story.

Paint Type

The best exterior paints for houses are oil, latex, and acrylic latex. Oil paints will result in a smooth finish, but they cost more than the other types at $20 to $60 per gallon. Exterior latex paint and exterior acrylic latex paint both typically cost between $20 to $50 per gallon

Professionals usually get a discount on paint, so working with one could be cost-effective.

Labor Cost

Labor costs vary across the United States, but many professional painters charge between $0.50 and $3.50 per square foot. Check with local house painters in your area to get their specific pricing.

House Condition

If your house could use a good pressure wash or your siding is looking warped, the cost to paint your house’s exterior could go way up—prep work can more than double the cost. Consider tackling these issues yourself before hiring a painter. Some fixes are cheaper to DIY.

FAQs About Painting the Exterior of a House

How do I paint the exterior of a house?

There are several steps involved in preparing your house for an exterior painting job. Once you prep, follow the steps to paint your home yourself or hire a professional painter to get the job done.

  • Pressure wash

  • Repair damages

  • Protect doors, windows, lights

  • Apply primer

  • Apply paint

  • Paint trim and doors

What should I consider when painting the exterior of a house?

When you’re deciding whether to hire a pro or DIY, consider the size (especially height) of your house. If it’s more than one story, it may not be worth the safety risks to DIY. Pros will have safety equipment that will allow them to maneuver without falling. 

Always be sure to check specific prices in your area to get more information.

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