Paint Whole House Cost Guide
Updated: 18 Jan 2022
Paint Whole House
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Reviewed by Cristina Miguelez remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.
If you’re looking for an easy, affordable way to enhance your home, consider a refreshing paint job. Many people paint their home’s exterior to improve curb appeal, increase its real estate value, and protect it from the weather. Painting the interior is another great way to enhance your home’s look and feel. Plus, a new coat of paint can mitigate dust and dirt in your room and keep the people in your household healthy and clean.
Various factors impact the cost to paint an entire house, including the quality of the paint, size of your home, potential obstacles in and around your home, and more. The average price to paint a house is $10,300 to $16,750, with most homeowners paying approximately $13,500 to prep and paint all of an average 2,500 sq.ft. home. However, some people pay as low as $4,500 to paint a smaller 1,000 sq.ft. home with low-quality paint or as high as $32,000 to prime and paint a 4,000 sq.ft. home with premium painting products.
Average Cost to Paint a House
|Price to Paint a House|
|National average cost||$13,500|
Cost to Paint Whole House vs House Interior vs Exterior
Painting is a convenient and affordable way to enhance your home. Whether you’re planning on painting the interior, exterior, or both, there are plenty of steps you need to take to prepare for the project. Often, it pays to knock out both projects at once. Many companies will paint both the interior and exterior of your home. On average, it costs between $10,300 to $16,750 to do both for the average 2,500 sq.ft. house.
If you just want to paint your home’s interior, you can expect to pay between $7,500 and $10,000. An interior paint job alters the scope of your interior and allows you to personalize every room in your space. Whether you want a simple makeover or a custom job, make sure to have a professional team on your side to help with all the preparations, cleanup, and of course, the actual painting.
The cost to paint your home’s exterior will be a bit less overall, though the paint products themselves are a bit more costly. On average, expect to pay between $3,500 and $7,000. On top of enhancing your curb appeal, repainting your exterior increases the value of your home. Plus, it gives you the chance to customize the look of your home to your exact specifications.
|Project||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Home Exterior||$3,500 - $7,500|
|Home Interior||$7,500 - $10,000|
|Whole House||$10,300 - $16,750|
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Cost to Have a Whole House Painted by Type of House
Painting the exterior of your home gives its curb appeal a huge boost. Painting the interior helps you modernize and beautify your home by completing projects like bathroom renewals, kitchen redos, new floors, and upgraded hardware.
If you want to make a dramatic change or enhance the appearance of your home, inside and out, you will likely pay $677 to $26,000. On the low end, $677 represents an economy paint job on the interior and exterior of an average-sized tiny home, just 225 sq.ft. On the high end, $26,000 represents high-quality paints used outside and inside an average-sized traditional home of 2,600 sq.ft. These figures assume a cost of $2 to $6 per sq.ft. for the inside of your home and $1.50 to $4 per sq.ft. for the outside of your home.
|Type||Average Square Feet||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Tiny House||225||$677 - $2,250|
|Cottage||1,000||$3,500 - $10,000|
|Apartment||1,015||$3,553 - $10,150|
|Condo||1,075||$3,766 - $10,760|
|Mobile Home||1,185||$4,144 - $11,840|
|Townhouse||1,375||$4,813 – $13,750|
|Ranch House||1,700||$5,950 - $17,000|
|House||2,600||$9,100 - $26,000|
Tiny House Painting
If you want to paint your tiny home, you will pay between $677 and $2,250. The average tiny home in the United States is just 225 sq.ft., which means the cost to paint the entire house, inside and out, starts at just $677 on the inexpensive side and $2,250 for the highest-quality paints and materials. The tiny home movement has swept the nation, with fans of minimalism flocking to the trend, but a minimalist or cozy lifestyle does not mean you need to sacrifice style and quality for a tiny home's paint.
To paint a cottage, you will pay between $3,500 and $10,000. A cottage is a fancy way of saying "small house," but a cottage is not so small that it is the size of a tiny home, which is usually less than 500 sq.ft. The average cottage is approximately 1,000 sq.ft., closer to the houses that architects commonly designed in the 1950s in the United States. Due to their smaller average size, the cost to paint a cottage is usually less than a modern house.
The total cost to paint the inside and outside of an apartment ranges between $3,553 and $10,150; however, it is relatively rare for apartment dwellers to receive permission to paint the outside of their home. Therefore, examining the average cost to paint just the inside might offer a more accurate picture of painting an apartment. The cost to paint the interior of an average-sized apartment ranges from $2,030 to $6,090.
Paint a Condo
Painting the inside and outside of a condo costs between $3,766 and $10,760. Much like an apartment, the owner of a condo might not have permission to paint the outside of their home because the building's exterior paint might fall under the responsibility of the homeowner's association. Further, the association might have rules restricting what colors and types of paint a condo owner can use inside their home. When painting a condo, it is essential to check with the HOA before hiring a painter.
Paint a Mobile Home
Mobile homes cost from $4,144 to $11,840 to paint. The U.S. Census Bureau pegs the average sale price of a single-wide mobile home at $57,700, which means that a high-quality paint job averaging $11,840 would represent more than 20 percent of the original purchase price of the house. Fortunately, the vinyl-on-gypsum wall panels inside the average manufactured home are easy to paint, which means it might be more beneficial to go with a painter that charges by the hour rather than by the square foot.
Paint a Townhouse
Average-sized townhouses cost between $4,813 and $13,750 to paint. A townhouse may have two or three floors and often sports a rather narrow width compared to traditional single-family homes. Painting the exterior of a two-story or three-story structure usually costs more because it takes extra effort to reach the top floors. Still, one of the perks of living in a townhouse is that the exterior only includes the front and the back since the sides are shared walls with other townhouses. Shared walls may offset the added labor cost required to paint the upper stories.
Average Cost to Paint a Ranch House
If you decide to paint your ranch house, you will pay between $5,950 and $17,000. If you look at a ranch house from the top, it should look like an "L" or "U" shape. They're a common sight in suburban environments. They were prevalent in the subdivisions built in the 1950s and after the close of World War II. Design experts recommend a neutral exterior color with a bright and complementary accent color when painting your ranch house.
Paint a House
Painting an average-sized house costs between $9,100 and $26,000. House styles, materials, and sizes showcase incredible variation across the country. The cost of painting a house varies considerably based on the home's location, its size, and whether it's a one-story or two-story home. Due to the costs involved in painting a house of 2,600 or greater square feet, you may find it more affordable to schedule an exterior paint job at a separate time from the interior paint job if you've chosen to use the highest-quality paints and materials.
Whole House Painting Cost by Size
One of the most important factors affecting the cost of painting your entire house is size. Generally speaking, one gallon of primer or paint is needed to cover 400 square feet of space. The average house is about 2,500 square feet. With this being said, you may need multiple coats to effectively cover your home’s interior and exterior, impacting the overall cost. Between materials and labor, you can expect to pay between $4,500 and $32,000 depending on the size of your home, number of stories, and shape of the rooms inside. Let’s take a closer look at each price point. The prices in the table below include only one coat of paint.
|Size||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$4,500 - $7,500|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$6,700 - $11,800|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$9,000 - $15,700|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$10,300 - $16,750|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$14,000 - $23,400|
|3,500 sq.ft.||$16,500 - $27,600|
|4,000 sq.ft.||$19,000 - $32,000|
Paint a 1,000 Sq.Ft. House
A 1,000 sq.ft. home generally consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, and a blended dining room and kitchen. If you’re planning on painting the interior of your home, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000. An exterior paint job for the same size house costs between $1,500 to $3,500. With that being said, the typical cost of painting a house--both inside and out--costs between $4,500 and $7,500.
Paint a 1,500 Sq.Ft. House
Generally, the house plan for a 1,500 sq.ft. home fits two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. To paint the interior of a home this size, the cost will be between $4,500 and $6,000. If you’re only focused on the exterior, expect to pay between $2,250 and $5,800. Sometimes, it makes sense to do it all together. The average cost to paint a 1,500 square foot house is approximately $6,700 to $11,800.
Paint a 2,000 Sq.Ft. House
A 2,000 sq.ft. home usually consists of two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen, depending on the layout. If you live in a home this size, you can expect to pay between $6,000 to $8,000 to paint the interior and between $3,000 and $7,700 to paint the exterior. Painting the entire house from the inside out costs $9,000 to $15,700.
Paint a 2,500 Sq.Ft. House
The average house size is approximately 2,500 sq.ft. and usually includes three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. If you’re thinking about painting the interior of a home this size, you can expect to pay between $7,500 and $10,000. An exterior painting job of the same square footage costs between $3,750 to $9,750 on average. Painting the entire house will cost between $10,300 and $19,750.
Paint a 3,000 Sq.Ft. House
A 3,000 sq.ft. home is a bit larger than the average home and generally has three to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. The cost to paint a 3,000 square foot home ranges between $9,000 and $12,000 only for the interior. An exterior painting job ranges from $5,000 and $11,400. Therefore, the typical cost of painting a house this size will be between $14,000 and $23,400.
Paint a 3,500 Sq.Ft. House
A 3,500 sq.ft. home is even bigger, which means it will cost more to paint. This size home usually consists of four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen--plus extra recreational rooms depending on the layout. An interior paint job for a house this size costs between $10,500 and $14,000, while an exterior job costs between $6,000 to $13,600. You can expect to pay between $16,500 and $27,600 for painting the entire house.
Paint a 4,000 Sq.Ft. House
The layout of a 4,000 sq.ft. home generally includes four to five bedrooms, three to four bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and additional rooms, depending on the layout. If you’re planning on painting the interior, it will cost between $12,000 and $16,000. For the exterior, you can expect to pay between $7,000 and $15,000. If you want to get both jobs done at once, the price ranges from $19,000 to $31,000 to paint the entire house.
House Painting Cost per Square Foot
If you are paying for your painting project per square foot, the costs vary between interior and exterior projects. The average painting cost per square foot for exterior painting projects ranges from $1.50 to $4. For interior painting, you can expect to pay between $2 and $6. Generally speaking, interior projects will be more expensive due to the complexity of the project. Even though exterior paint costs more than interior, it is more difficult to prep, paint, and clean rooms of various shapes and sizes versus the entire outside of a house. That’s why the overall cost is more per square foot.
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House Painting Labor Cost
When it comes to interior and exterior painting jobs, it’s important to hire a professional contractor. A hired painter does a thorough inspection of your property, pre-project cleaning and preparations, and performs any repairs at an additional cost. When it comes to painting indoors, they must tape off adjacent surfaces and cover any furniture or valuable items. The process for painting interiors versus exteriors isn’t entirely different, but they require different materials. Most companies specialize in both interior and exterior painting jobs though some only do one or the other.
A professional usually applies a layer of primer followed by one to three coats of paint. They have a clear eye to find any mistakes so that they can make any necessary touch-ups. Painters either charge by the hour or per square foot. A house painter’s cost per hour can be anywhere from $25 to $100, with the average project —painting a 2,500 sq.ft. house costing between $10,300 to $16,750. Generally, this project takes two to four days with two or three painters on the job. With that being said, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 in labor costs alone.
Does Interior Paint Need to Match Exterior?
When it comes to painting your home, it’s important to think about the interior and exterior as a single unit. While your interior does not need to be a perfect match for your exterior, there should be a sense of harmony. To choose your exterior colors, think about your style of home and the color of your roof, railings, and doors.
Your home’s style depends on the size and the location of your property and your personal preference. Think about whether you want a vibrant look with cool colors or a more warm and neutral tone. Some common home styles include coastal, modern, colonial, and cottage. Identify your style and start choosing the rest of the elements of your home.
From there, you can select interior colors that provide a smooth transition as people walk through the front door. It’s important to think about the accents in and around your home, such as furniture, decorations, patio pieces, and more. Think about your front entry door, as this will be the focal point of your exterior. You can paint the inside and the outside of your front door indifferent colors. However, it is important to match it with the borders seen from either the inside or the outside. These features may seem small and insignificant on their own, but together they will either make or break the entire aesthetic of your home.
How Often Should You Paint Your House?
Many factors impact how often you should paint your home, but there are basic guidelines you should follow. For common spaces like living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, you can get away with painting every five to seven years as long as you use high-quality paint.
You may need to do this sooner in a child’s bedroom since the walls will most likely encounter more wear and tear. Areas that experience more foot traffic, like hallways, need to be painted more often —generally between two to three years. This will keep them free of scratches, scuffs, and other blemishes.
Your exterior paint has to withstand the elements throughout the year, which means you must use durable paint that meets the needs of your home. Generally speaking, you should paint your exterior every five to ten years, but this will depend on where you live, the climate, and the surface of your home. For example, wood siding should be painted every three to seven years, aluminum every five years, stucco is five to six years, and brick can last fifteen to twenty years.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Full House Painting
Several individual factors impact the overall cost of your painting project, including how many coats of paint you need and the type of paint you are using. As you may have guessed, higher quality paints cost more, but that is not the only thing that affects how much it costs. If you’re planning on going from a light color to a dark color or especially a dark color to a light color, it’s going to take a bit more work and money. Older homes require more prep work, often including drywall or siding repairs.
When it comes to exterior painting, any obstacles around your house, such as shrubbery, trees, or decorations, make painting more difficult. You can expect to pay more if you have uneven ground around your home. Uneven surfaces make it more difficult to climb up on a ladder safely. So, a home with more than one story will be more expensive to paint. For the exterior, it means covering more surface area and climbing higher to paint the entire house. For the interior, it means more rooms and hallways to cover. Other factors that impact the cost of an interior paint job include the size and shape of the room and the placement of the items inside it. Plus, you have to deal with doorways, baseboards, closets, and trim. Most painting contractors charge by square footage or by the hour. Check with the painters in your area for their specific rates.
Reasons to Paint Your House
Painting both the inside and outside of your home is a great solution that refreshes your space and adds value. It’s more affordable and convenient than a full-scale remodel. The top reasons most homeowners paint their home’s interior is to change their aesthetic, protect the walls themselves, and enhance the quality of the air indoors by reducing the dust particles in the air.
Many homeowners need a paint job after both interior and exterior remodeling projects. This can be especially true after siding repairs, drywall repairs, plaster repairs, and other projects of that nature.
An exterior paint job protects your siding while improving its appearance. A fresh coat of paint makes it more attractive. A high-quality exterior paint keeps your home safe from all types of weather, including rain and snow. To top it off, a new paint job raises the real estate value of your home. So, if you’re thinking about selling, consider painting first!
Cost of Repainting a House vs New Construction Painting Cost
As a general rule of thumb, newer homes involve much less prep work to start painting the exterior. New construction will already be on even ground and won’t have anything obstructing the sides so that it will be less time consuming and cheaper. The painters will be able to come on the site right after the exterior construction is complete.
This is also true for a home’s interior. When painting new construction, it is often done before any furniture, lighting fixtures, cabinetry, and other items are inside, so there is no need for extensive preparations. Generally, painters start their work after all the drywall, plumbing, and electrical work. Since the flooring won’t even be down yet, you don’t have to worry about post-paint cleanup either. Due to all these facts, the interior and exterior painting cost for new construction will range from $7,000 to $11,000 to paint the average 2,500 sq.ft. home during the construction process.
Interior vs Exterior Paint
Interior and exterior paints need to stand up to entirely different menaces. Paint on the interior of your home will need to be cleaned or even scrubbed. Exterior paints need to be resistant to weather and sun damage. Both exterior and interior paints are a combination of pigment, solvent, resins, and additives. The solvent in paint keeps it liquid and spreadable until it dries on your wall or trim. Latex painting dries more quickly because its solvent is water. The solvent in oil-based paints is mineral spirits, which takes more time to evaporate. Once the paint is applied, the solvent evaporates, and the resin allows the paint to adhere to the surface. Various additives in paint give it desirable characteristics, like moisture and scrub resistance.
The primary difference between the cost of interior paints ($10 to $70 per gallon) and exterior paints ($15 to $80 per gallon) is the resin. The resins used in exterior paints are softer, making them resistant to flaking, chipping, and sun damage. The interior paint uses a more rigid resin that resists marking and staining. Many exterior paints use a resin that causes outgassing, an emission of volatile organic compounds. Common to many manufactured products, it is what causes that “new car smell.” The outgassing from exterior paint resins continues for many years, even after the odor dissipates. It is a major reason professionals don't use or allow homeowners to use exterior paints indoors.
Interior paint should last five to ten years. With regular light dusting and gentle cleaning, its lifespan will tend toward the latter. Addressing stains or any signs of water damage as soon as possible is key to maintaining both interior and exterior paint. If you find water damage on your exterior paint, you may want to inspect the gutters and downspouts. A yearly inspection and gutter cleaning may prevent paint damage down the road. Regular maintenance of your exterior paint should also include cleaning, touch-up painting, and trimming trees and bushes near the house to ensure proper airflow.
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Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Painting hides mold spots on your wall, but it will not kill it. Even if you’re keen on finding a quick fix for mold in your home, painting is not the way to do it. It is simply a temporary solution that allows the issue to spread. Your best choice will be to hire a mold remediation expert. Removing mold from your drywall before painting can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500, depending on if you need a simple treatment or a more complex solution for an entire wall.
For exterior painting jobs, you may have to deal with a few repairs beforehand. For older homes, damaged siding can make or break a painting project. Whether you have a small crack or a large gaping hole, it's important to have a professional deal with it before you begin painting. Most siding contractors will charge between $40 and $75 per hour to repair house siding.
Plaster or Drywall Repair
If you’re painting your home’s interior, you may have an entirely different issue on your hands. Plaster walls can begin to crack from stress or age. Before you think about repainting, it is crucial to repair your walls. On top of making your wall look brand-new again, plaster and drywall repairs reinforce your space in terms of strength. On average, it will cost between $500 and $1,000.
Lead Paint Removal
When it comes to removing lead from your home, it’s important to have a professional on your side. While it is possible to paint over lead paint, it has to be done in a specific way to effectively cover the potentially dangerous lead paint. This process is known as encapsulation. Regular water-based or oil-based paints won’t work. Instead, you’ll need to use paints specifically called “encapsulants.” Other methods may be used to remove lead paint, and each one has a different price tag. The process can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- HOA. If you are a part of a homeowner’s association (HOA), you need to remain compliant with their rules and regulations. As far as exterior paint goes, you’ll probably have to choose a color that unifies the neighborhood’s aesthetic. However, some HOA rules control the paint you use for your interior.
- Repainting. Often, you can paint over your old paint. However, there are times when it is necessary to remove the old paint. If your existing paint is in bad shape, the new layer won’t settle correctly. So, you’ll have to completely get rid of the old before bringing in the new.
- Weather. If you’re planning on bringing painters in for an exterior job, be sure to choose a day with good weather. If it is too hot or too cold, the paint may not set the right way. Also, avoid rainy days at all costs.
- Choose the right color. If you’re going with a more vibrant color, be sure to choose one that gives your room the vibe you want. Reds increase energy levels. Yellows open up a space. Orange shades invoke enthusiasm. Greens bring positivity into a space. Blues elicit a feeling of calm. And, purples make a space feel more luxurious.
- What is the average cost to paint a house?
The typical cost to paint a house, both interior and exterior, is around $10,300 to $16,750 for a 2,500 sq.ft. house.
- Does it cost more to paint the inside or outside of the house?
While exterior paints cost more, it costs a bit more to paint a home interior versus the exterior. This cost difference is due to the complexity of the different rooms and the number of different spaces that need painting versus a consistent exterior wall. Plus, interiors usually have to be painted by hand or by roller, which is more labor intensive. Exterior paint can be sprayed. It costs approximately $8,700 to paint a home interior and about $5,500 a home exterior.
- Is there really a difference between interior and exterior paint?
Interior paints and exterior paints may look the same on a surface level, but the truth is they are a bit different in composition. Interior paints can be rather basic. Exterior paints include many ingredients that boost resistance to impact, moisture, and harmful UV rays.
- Is interior paint cheaper than exterior paint?
Exterior paints cost more because they are more complex than interior paints. Exterior paints include special ingredients to ensure the paint won’t chip or fade from season to season.
- Is it better to paint inside or outside?
Generally speaking, it is better to paint in open areas to mitigate the odor. When it comes to interior paint jobs, that type is meant to be applied indoors, so you are safe to paint inside. Exterior paints should not be used inside as the ingredients used to make it resistant to the outside elements can cause health problems when inhaled in a closed area with poor ventilation.
- Can you mix interior and exterior paint?
Yes, you can mix interior and exterior paints as long as they have the same base. You can even mix a flat and a semi-gloss paint as long as they are both either oil-based or water-based. Be sure to combine both paints in a clean container and thoroughly mix the paints.
- How much should it cost to paint a house?
On average, the average cost to paint a 2,000 square foot house, both interior and exterior, ranges between $9,000 and $15,700. This price varies based on the type you choose, the number of coats needed, and the size and shape of your home, among other things to paint the interior and exterior of the average 2,000 sq.ft. house.
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