Exterior Painting Cost

How much does it cost to paint the exterior of a house?

Painting the exterior of your home, whether it is a new color or a fresh coat of your current hue, can make a huge difference on your home's curb appeal and property value. Exterior painting costs vary based on home size, style, siding type, location, and more, but for this example we'll look at a standard 1500 square foot, two-story home with common wood siding, which would cost $2500-$3000 to paint the entire exterior.

Cost breakdown

  • Materials: Most professional painters recommend using a primer 1 and two coats of paint. The paint typically costs $400-$600 depending on brand and quality, which should provide the average 15 gallons needed to paint a 1,500 square foot home. Other materials include rollers, sprayers, and scaffolding 2. Most professional painters already have the remaining supplies and don't include them in the price. If any part of your home's exterior needs to be repaired, you'll also need to pay for caulk 3 and other repair materials.
  • Labor: The majority of your painting budget will go to labor costs. Most professional painters earn an average of $20-$35 per hour, but you'll likely be paying for a team of painters instead of a single person. An average house should take three to six days to prep and paint, expect to pay around $2000 for this.
  • Removal and disposal: If some of the home's exterior, such as shutters or trim, is damaged beyond repair, you'll have to pay for it to be removed and thrown away, which normally includes a base of the average labor cost of $20-$35 an hour, plus a premium and any charges to use the landfill.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Using multiple colors, even for small accent colors, can add up to an extra $1,000 per 1,500 square feet, depending on the number of colors and the area they cover.
  • Shutters are typically painted a different color and require more detailed work; plan to add an additional $60-$80 per standard 15-inch shutter.
  • Not all painters add exterior doors to their price estimate. Add $100 to your total cost for every exterior door that needs to be painted.
  • Unforeseen issues can arise, such as the discovery of water damage or rusty nails. The cost to fix these problems varies based on the magnitude, but expect to spend a larger chunk of change if there are structural issues.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Homes with unique architectural features, such as mismatched windows, steep roof lines, or lots of edging, may require more prep work and labor costs. On average, trim costs $1 per square foot to be painted; a standard amount of trim is included in the estimate, but your costs might grow if you have a lot of trim.
  • Vinyl 4 or aluminum siding typically requires special paint, which can increase the overall cost by 10%-20%.
  • Even if it is good condition, siding that is dirty or covered in mildew will typically require an additional day to clean and prep, which will increase your labor costs.
  • Homes built before 1978 may still have lead 5 paint on the siding. If this is the case, the painter will need to scrape and remove the paint. This job can be toxic, so it should only be done by a professional.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Primer: Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted
2 Scaffolding: A temporary structure used during construction/maintenance/painting projects to raise and support workers (or one worker), required materials, and equipment
3 Caulk: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
4 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
5 Lead: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications

Cost to paint the exterior of a house varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buena Park, CA
+19%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Cos Cob, CT
+48%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Ferguson, NC
-36%
Fishers, IN
+9%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Glendora, CA
+12%
Goodyear, AZ
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Keller, TX
+20%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lincoln, CA
+3%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Manassas, VA
+12%
Mebane, NC
-26%
Meridian, ID
-11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Naperville, IL
+47%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Oak Creek, WI
-7%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Oxford, MA
+11%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%

Labor cost in your zipcode

Methodology and sources