Giving Your Home A New And Updated Look: Exterior Painting Costs

Kenneth Wilson

There are many reasons why homeowners get a fresh coat of paint for their homes. Not only does it boost the value of a home or its curb appeal, but it can also make the home feel like new. Getting your house painted also helps protect it from mold, mildew, corrosion, insect damage, and harsh weather conditions. With quality paintwork and materials, the new coat can last for 10 to 15 years.

If it’s your first time getting your house painted, you might want to plan ahead so that you don’t go over budget. Now, how much does exterior painting cost?

The average cost of painting the exterior of a house can range from $0.60 to $5 per square foot or $1,700 to $8,000 in total. Labor costs can land between $30 to $50 per hour or $1,920 to $3,100 in total. This could decrease if you get more painters because even if you will spend more if you hire an extra hand, it will reduce the total number of hours on the job. It can also be reduced to half if there is less prep work needed. 

Besides the labor costs and prep work, there are many factors that can affect the price such as house size, number of stories, painting supplies, and sidings. Continue reading for more details about the factors that affect the cost of exterior painting.

Cost by Size and Story

The size of the home is one of the biggest factors that can affect the price. For a home with a square footage of 1,000 to 2,400, the cost to paint it can land between $1,000 to $7,700, while 2,500- to 4,000-square foot home can cost $1,750 to $9,800. The cost of painting homes with more than 4,000 square footage can range from $2,300 up to $12,000.

1,000 - 2,400 SQUARE FEET

$1,000 - $7,700

2,500 - 4,000 SQUARE FEET

$1,750 - $9,800

4,000 +   SQUARE FEET

$2,300 - $12,000

The number of stories can also affect the cost. A one-story home usually costs around $780 to $3,000, while a two-story is between $2,300 to $5,000. A two-story house can cost twice as much to paint than a one-story house since it has a larger surface area, has higher spots that are more difficult to paint, and takes more labor hours. So it's not a surprise that it would cost way more for a three-story house, which can range from $4,500 up to $7,000.


$780 - $3,000


$2,300 - $5,000


$4,500 - $7,000

Paint Per Gallon

The paint can cost between $21 to $80 per gallon or $380 to $1,440 in total. The final price will depend on how much you will need or what type of paint you want. Latex-based paint costs around $20 to $50 per gallon while oil-based paint can range from $20 to $70 per gallon.

You should consider getting the best quality paint within your budget for a finish that would last longer and will be less prone to mildew or blisters. It might be expensive upfront, but you will use fewer coats and fewer labor hours as well as save on the repaint since it is more durable and provides better coverage. A high-quality paint will also ensure that your home’s exterior will look great.  


The cost of exterior painting also depends on the sidings. Smoother sidings will be more affordable since they need less paint and have a smaller surface to cover than rough sidings. The prep work varies also for each material, which affects the overall cost. Here are the different sidings and how much it would cost to paint:

Wood Siding

It costs around $0.75 to $3 per square foot to paint wood sidings. This material can be painted with a brush or roller, which would cost around $0.40 per square foot. It would be less expensive to spray, which costs $0.30 per square foot. The total cost would depend on the prep work or if there are any damages such as rot. If there are any holes or cracks, it needs to be filled with epoxy or even replaced if there is wood rot on the siding or trim.

The entire process takes longer as well since the contractor will need to scrape and sand the wood siding to remove loose or chipped paint. It would even be more expensive for those who are in a wet climate since it is recommended to first paint the stripped wood with water preservative or sealant and prime it with an oil-based primer to lock in wood extractives. 

Vinyl Siding

The color of vinyl sidings usually lasts longer than other materials, but over the years, the color may still slightly fade especially on areas constantly exposed to the harsh sun. The cost is almost similar to wood sidings, ranging from $1 up to $3 per square foot.

You also have three options when getting your vinyl siding painted. Spraying it costs $0.30 per square foot while using a brush or roller will cost around $0.40 per square foot. But before you get it painted, check the manufacturer's guide if painting it will lose the warranty. It should be cleaned and repaired for any damages such as missing sections or clapboards. The new coat should also be lighter than the current color since going for a darker one can cause the material to buckle. 

Metal Siding

Metal sidings are less expensive to paint compared to other materials, with the cost ranging from $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot. Painting it with a brush will land you $0.30 per square foot. It is recommended to use a brush instead of spraying it since the paint will stick better to the material. 

Before metal sidings can be painted, it needs to be scrubbed clean, sanded, and primed. It would be less expensive if it only requires a simple cleaning. But if the metal is rusty, damaged, or have missing sections, it would cost so much more.

Brick and Masonry Siding

The cost of painting brick and masonry sidings ranges from $1 to $4.50 per square foot. There are three options for painting brick and masonry siding. Spraying it costs around $0.20 per square foot, brush painting will land you around $0.30 per square foot, and using a roller would cost $0.50 per square foot. 

To prepare for painting this type of siding, the concrete needs to be scrubbed or swept and cleaned thoroughly. In total, it is one of the most expensive sidings to paint. This material is porous and rough, which will require more paint, and it will need to be primed.

Plaster or Stucco Siding

Painting plaster or stucco siding can cost between $0.75 to $3.50 per square foot. Spray painting is less expensive, costing around $0.25 per square foot. It will be more expensive with a roller, which can land you $0.55 per square foot while a brush painting costs around $1.10 per square foot. 

A plaster or stucco siding requires even more prep work such as caulking, cleaning, and filling in cracks. Uncured stucco produces too much chalk or dust, so the paint will stick to it. That’s why for new homes with plaster or stucco siding, there is a one- to two-month wait time before it can be painted. To make this process quicker, there is an option to wet the siding to cure it in one to two weeks. 

Contractors will then use a moisture meter to know if the siding is ready to be painted. It needs to be dry enough to sand, paint, and add the finish and cover. They will need to do this during dry days to prevent sealing in water. For holes or cracks, there is a repair patch material to fill them in.

Concrete Siding

Similar to vinyl sidings, the cost to paint concrete sidings is around $0.75 to $3.50 per square foot. It costs more to spray paint than other materials, around $0.30 per square foot. Painting it with a roller costs $0.50 per square foot while brush painting it will land your around $1.40 per square foot. For the prep work, it will need to be scrubbed and swept with a dry brush and then cleaned thoroughly to remove oil and grease on the surface.

The cost can increase if it needs to be stripped or primed. Since it is a porous material, it needs to be sealed against water. This will also help make it look seamless with the walls and foundations. If there are any damages, add $3 to $5 per square foot to get it resurfaced or repaired.

Are you ready to start your project? If you want an easy way to get estimates from reputable contractors, head on to Networx to find local and top-rated exterior painters.


Kenneth Wilson
September 27, 2020
Cost Guides

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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